Down the Hatch/Tubes

It was like the perfect storm, but with more candy and less water.

I was set to go out to breakfast on Sunday, and the day before, a bag of ill-bought Reese’s cups depleted the calories I had been saving for said breakfast. Sunday, my frustration over my lack of self-control combined with sleep deprivation combined with stress combined with PMS to form … the perfect binge.

Dudes, I had gone ten weeks without bingeing. I thought I was golden. Then, WHA-BHAM! I consume 6,000 calories in one day. WTH?

Even now, four days later, I’m still hell of pissed off about it. Now, I’m not mad about any weight I may have gained (I was below range the last time I weighed in, after all, and it was just one day), but rather the lack of intuitive eating I practiced/the random eating I did. Basically, I went back to cupboard diving and ended up eating random, non-worthwhile P.O.S. foods like slices of bread. Plus, had I not binged and just had ONE thing, I could have had a pint of ice cream every day this week for the amount of calories I ate that one day. And, trust me, I would have much rather have had a treat per day than one day of stuffing myself and subsequently restricting. BUT, I ALWAYS FORGET THIS ARBDFHSDFSDJFH.

Ah, well. At least it didn’t turn into a multiple-day binge. In light of this, though, and the fact that I’ve been feeling really weak/rundown lately (like, “going to bed at 9 p.m. and feeling sore all the time”-weak) I was thinking of doing one of a couple of things for the summer, or until I’m done with my very physically demanding job at the cemetery:

a) Eat a bit more on a daily basis. Of course, this sounds like the most fun option, but I don’t want to get accustomed to a certain culinary lifestyle, so to speak, only to have to cut back come fall.

b) Indulge a bit every day. Quix left a great anti-binge tip on my last post; that is, indulge a bit every day in something small to keep from over-doing it like I did. And, the fact of the matter is, I am pretty restrictive on a day to day basis. But, I definitely can’t keep some things—like candy, evidently—in the house. What are you favorite small sweets that you keep around/can eat in moderation?

c) Exercise a bit less. I’m kind of hesitant to cut back on my exercise (for reasons I’ll go into another post coming up soon), but I feel like it’ll be easier to increase my exercise again than it would be to decrease my chomps come fall. So, I’m 90% sure that I’m going to go with this option and have a “taper week” every other week rather than every three weeks. I’d also like to allow myself some more splurges, but now my trust in my self-control is kind of obliterated. And yet, I’m thinking of finally giving up calorie counting, cold turkey.

After this weekend’s binge incident, which was essentially inspired by a “lack of calories” that should not even have been taken into consideration, because being at my maintenance weight means any calorie-oriented limits are merely guidelines, I’ve come to the conclusion that calorie counting while at my maintenance weight is keeping me from truly eating intuitively. I’m a little hesitant to give it up, though, as I feel like calorie counting is kind of like a speedometer—without it, I wouldn’t know I was eating too much/driving too fast until I gained weight/got a ticket. But, if I’m truly eating intuitively, I shouldn’t gain a massive amount of weight in between weigh-ins, anyway. And, getting rid of calorie counting would set me up to eat more according to true cravings/needs rather than according to numbers. But, I’m scurred. How will I know if I can consume certain “extras” in a day, like a glass of milk, an extra serving of rice or a cookie from a co-worker?* I know how to eat, though; it’s not like I’ll eat donuts on Monday, forget about it, and eat a pint of ice cream on Tuesday. I’ve also maintained my weight for about two months, now, and for most of that time I haven’t been calculating how many calories I’ve eating during the day until the end of the day.

What do you dudes think? Have any of you spent years calorie counting, only to give it up? I’m wondering, though, if I shouldn’t set up some rules for myself if I do give up calorie counting (e.g., only one “indulgence” per day, which I should be following, regardless—if I had followed this rule on Sunday, I’d be a lot better off, that’s for sure). Any suggestions?

THIS POST NEEDS MORE BOLD TEXT. OK, I’m done, now.

*OK, I would probably not eat this cookie regardless, unless it was a commercial cookie and I saw the package it came out of it. Homemade, though? Lord knows where that cookie has been/what the kitchen it was made in looks like. Gross.

Obsession, by Scale-vin Klein

OK, I know I said there was going to be a minor hiatus, here, but I am going crazy and I need to vent.

I started over-analyzing myself this morning.

“Hm, that ridge in my stomach wasn’t there before. Is that a good ridge or a bad ridge? Is this fat coming back or going away and revealing new … ridges?”

“I look bloated. Or am I just gaining weight? Oh, my God, I must maintain my weight 1,700 calories per day and now I’m overeating AHMYGAWD.”

Now, every time I see a mirror, I am compulsively checking out how much my stomach is protruding and I am also compulsively feeling myself up every five minutes. I am glad I am graduating soon, because after today everyone on campus is going to think I am a pervert.

Regardless, what’s the worse case scenario, here? Say I do maintain my weight at 1,700 calories per day. That would mean by having consumed an average of 1,850 calories last week and 1,900 calories this week, I would gain about seven-tenths of a pound. And, even if I did, I’d still be in my maintenance range, and come Friday I’ll just cut back my calories. And, how likely is it that I really only need 1,700 calories per day? I work out, I’m 5’6″, and I’m 21 years old. I must need more than that, right?

Regardless, CALM DOWN, SELF. Just because you’re eating more doesn’t mean you’re going to gain an absurd amount of weight in two weeks.

Should I just weigh myself tomorrow, though, and know for sure whether or not I should be worried? Or, should I just hold on until Friday because I could just be retaining water at the moment?

Also, DOES ANYONE ELSE ACT LIKE A CRAZY PERSON or is it just me BECAUSE IT FEELS LIKE IT’S JUST ME.

Exiting into a Beginning

Dear Reader(s?),

You have my apologies for the recent lack of posts; unfortunately, I am in the midst of my final ten days at university (!), and this entails writing papers, writing more papers and taking exams. Also, packing. Also, boiling all my water, because the town in which I currently reside as well as bunch of other communities in the surrounding area are currently working with a broken water pipe that is apparently giving us water unsafe for drinking. Fun, yes?

Anyway, I am hoping that once I am gradumacated and living my exciting post-education journalist life, I will have both a) more things to write about and b) more motivation to write. At the moment, though, the last thing I feel like doing after sitting in front of a laptop all day putting together essays is writing blog posts. Alas. Bear with me, though, and hopefully things will pick up again here at AWI. I’ll still try to post product reviews if I try anything new/have the time, and I’ll put up my weigh-ins.

By the way, I am currently DREADING this Friday’s check-in; I haven’t weighed in since April 23rd, which is good, but this also means I have no idea whether I’m maintaining or gaining or losing. I’ve been following my plan to a T (i.e. eating 50 more calories per day each week), but even when I did that upon starting maintenance last time, I still gained a bit the first week. Honestly, I wouldn’t mind a wee gain at all, I just hope I don’t get on the scale come Friday and find that 1,700 calories per day was actually how much I needed to maintain and that I’ve spent the last two weeks putting poundage back on. Blergh.

The Binge Beat-down Post

First off, I feel the need to make a disclaimer: Although I have been without a binge for quite some time (four weeks, I think, and I’ve only binged twice in the past 13 weeks), I reckon I don’t really think I’ve “beat” binge eating. I don’t think that I’ll go without a binge ever again, but there is a big difference between bingeing every few months when you’re presented with delicious noms at the holidays or you just really want deliciousness and bingeing every week and feeling like you’re an emotional wreck afterwards. Everyone binges sometimes, and that’s OK, but the key word here is “sometimes.”

Anyway, if you don’t recall, before my blogging break I was bingeing about every one to two weeks. Part of this was because of stress, part of it was because of a mish-mash of other reasons, but regardless I know other people struggle with this, and I want to share some of the changes I made that allowed me to shake this, somewhat. I hope it helps, because I know how frustrating being a binge eater can be. Also, you’ve probably seen some of these tips before and are going to be like, “OMG I’VE READ THESE IDEAS ALREADY.” Yes, but have you tried them? Regardless, if I’m reiterating them here, it’s because they worked for me. Also, some of these tips may be more “don’t-binge-while-on-a-diet”-oriented then others, as I was trying to lose weight AND quash bingeing at the same time, so if you’re just trying to maintain your weight some of these may not apply to you.

a) You gotta want it. Or, you have to be ready. Honestly, I think for some time I didn’t really care if I continued binge eating. For me, I was in college, i.e. not the “real world,” and I could always just lose the weight next semester before I started my “new life.” Granted, impending graduation is what finally made me get my act together, but if you really don’t want to stop bingeing, then you’re not going to be able to. And, in this same vein …

b) Find an alternative motivation for wanting to lose weight/stop binge eating besides “being thin.” My primary motivation to stop binge eating was, as I just mentioned, not wanting to graduate and enter a new stage of my life as a binge eater. But, I was really helped through the first few weeks of trying to break the habit by two other motivations: The first was that I was thinking of joining the military at the time (and am actually still pondering this), and I kept telling myself “The lighter I am, the faster I’ll run at the physical exam.” My other motivation actually came from someone else’s blog post: A 50-something year old woman happened to comment on a post about how she had been a yo-yo dieter for the last 30 years. It hit me at that moment that if I didn’t put my foot down and stop binge eating, I could be that woman. I could be that person who avoids social events because they are constantly on a diet and spends their whole life obsessing over food. And I didn’t want to be that person—I wanted to be someone who, you know, actually enjoyed my life and wasn’t constantly worrying about my weight.

c) Make a pro and con list when you feel like bingeing. Alright, the frenzy is on you, IT IS HERE. What do you do? Personally, I trained myself to make a pro and con list relating to binge eating. Usually, my thought process went like this:

“OK, what are the pros to binge eating right now?”

“I’ll feel better for a little bit. Also food is tasty.”

“Anything else?”

“… No.”

“OK, what are the cons?”

“I’ll be disappointed with myself. I’ll feel terrible tomorrow. Excessive quantities of food are expensive. I’ll gain weight.”

“Then you shouldn’t do it, should you?”

“No.”

“OK, then.”

And that was that. Once you realize how irrational it is to binge eat, it becomes easier to get through the moment.

d) Distract your mind. OK, that list thing didn’t work. But, guess what? I found that if I could just get my mind off of it for about five minutes, the feeling would usually pass. So, what did I do?

Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” video is about five minutes. Turn it on. Rock out.

Buy a coloring book so that when the frenzy strikes, you can color. No, really. I bought (or, my mom bought for me, because she is awesome) a coloring book entitled “Danger from the Deep.” It has pictures of Batman, and I found that when I took a crayon to that sonofabitch, I became so focused/lost in thought it was easy to get through those five minutes. Not in an area where you can color/at work/in a store? Bring your music player to the store/work and when you’re in a munchy-mood, take a “bathroom break” with your mp3 player or crank up the music while you’re cruising the aisles; I found if I was playing tunes that conjured up sexy gyrations, etc., I didn’t really want to overeat.

e) Distract your mouth. OK, you are still in a frenzy. Start drinking—tea, water, whatever. Pop a hard candy. You know Lifesavers? They should also be called Dietsavers; I was in the grocery store one day and was 90% sure I was going to binge when I spotted the sugar-free Lifesavers (One of my few exceptions to the “Minimal artificial sweeteners” tip below, so long as I only eat them when I’m in danger of bingeing). I tore that bitch open and popped a few right there, and the taste kept my mouth busy and lessened the binge-edge. And, if you’re worried about the cashier giving you the evil eye for eating a product in the store, trust me—They could care less. And, if they do care, screw them. In fact, right now, stop giving a shit about what everyone else thinks and just start caring about what you need to do to get over binge eating, because whatever that may be is way more important than the opinion of random check-out girl/guy.

f) Always be prepared. Remember those mints I just talked about? Keep some in your kitchen cabinet/purse/desk drawer for when the binge monster rears its ugly head. Always have a bottle of water on you. Keep a protein bar with you, unless you’re like me and can’t wait to eat it when you actually need it. Keep your music with you. Have distracting YouTube videos bookmarked so you can fire up something amusing right away. Be ready.

g) Take a look at your diet. As I mentioned in this post, integrating more healthy fats into my diet made a HUGE difference in my appetite. And, according to science, if you’re constantly craving food/always feel as though you could binge eat, you’re probably missing something important in your diet. It may be fat, it may not be, but regardless it might be a good idea to tally up the protein, iron, fat, fiber, etc. that you get on a normal eating day; you may be surprised to find you’re lacking an element in your diet that could easily be integrated into it.

h) Minimal artificial sweeteners. For a while, I’ve wondered if artificial sweeteners were wrecking havoc on my appetite. So, this time around, I pretty much cut them out altogether. Granted, I still pick up a Diet Snapple every once and awhile (because it is a tasty beverage), but I probably have a product that contains artificial sweeteners at most once a week.

i) Take a multivitamin every day. This is in line with the “take a look at your diet” idea. You may be missing out on some essential nutrients by dieting, so try and a pop a multivitamin so you are at least covering some of your bases.

j) Pretend you’re someone else. OK, this is the most ridiculous of the bunch, but just hang with me for a second. When I wanted to binge, I would sometimes think, “This is not behavior befitting a Naval Officer!” (’cause, you know, the military thing). And, the thing is, binge eating isn’t behavior becoming of anyone. So, the next time you’re thinking about bingeing, think about what future you/your trainer/someone else you think is rad or healthy would do.

k) Think about what you really want to chomp. Whenever I had a ravenous appetite, I would think, “OK, self, you can have one thing—what do you want?” If I couldn’t pinpoint one thing that I reallyyyyy wanted, I knew I was just looking to eat copious amounts of food. If I could name something, though, and I legitimately, seriously craved it, then I chomped it. Chances are, if you give yourself a break every once and a while, you’ll be less likely to binge in the future. BUT, I always made sure I only chomped that one thing, because Naval Officer-me would practice restraint like a dignified lady who eats normally.

l) White knuckle it—you’re forming a good habit. OK, you’re in the store, and you see all the treats you want to buy, but you can avoid a binge by just making ONE GOOD DECISION to not buy the chomps. The same goes when you’re at home and want to plow through cupboards. And, here’s the thing: Every time you make that one good decision, or every time you start to binge but put the breaks on, you’re forming a good habit. Basically, you’re building a “Good Choice Muscle,” as I like to call it. Every time you make a good decision, making good decisions in the future will come more easily to you, and the more good decisions you make and the longer you go without bingeing, the less you’ll want to go back to square one. Is it hard sometimes to make a good decision and outlast the frenzy? Yes, but just grit your teeth and bear it—If not eating is the worst experience you’ll ever have in your life, consider yourself lucky.

m) Integrate some yoga-time into your schedule. Yoga practitioners are more likely to practice mindful eating, too. Neat, no? And, it’s certainly proved true for me.

n) Know thyself, and stop keeping that junk food in your house. My hairdresser is stick thin, and it’s not because she doesn’t love sweets or hates food; in fact, she told me that she can’t keep packs of Hershey bars in her home, because she’ll eat them all. Bottom line: Non-binge eaters have portion control problems, too, but they just don’t keep certain trigger foods in their house.  Is that “value size” pack of candy on sale, and you know this time you won’t eat it all? YES, YES YOU WILL, STOP FOOLING YOURSELF. SERIOUSLY. I know if I buy a bag of Dove chocolate, I’ll eat the whole goddamn thing, so, guess what? I buy a single serving bar, instead. And, 90% of the time you can buy your favorite foods in single-serve portions. And, just because you can’t exercise portion control doesn’t make you a bad person, it just makes you human. Recognize that, learn from it, and put down the gallons of ice cream that are buy one, get one free, because if ice cream is your trigger food, you’re just putting yourself unnecessarily in a lair of temptation.

o) Don’t be afraid of hunger. One of the big things I see when I look at dieting tips is “Don’t let yourself get too hungry!”, which is, in fact, a good idea. But, I also think it has made people afraid of hunger when they don’t need to be. “HOLY GOD,” they think, “WHAT IF I GET HUNGRY AND I CAN’T EAT/DON’T HAVE ENOUGH CALORIES?! AHHH ANXIETY/AHHH FEAR OF FAILURE BINGE BINGE BINGE.” Whoah. Chillax. Think about the worst case scenario: OK, you get hungry. So what? The human body can go quite a while without food before it gives out. If you get hungry, you’re not going to starve to death. Hunger is not an emergency (unless you’ve been hungry for a week and you really are going to starve to death); it is uncomfortable, but you can tolerate a headache/being tired, right? Then you’re going to be OK if you become hungry. And if you’re out of calories for the day and you’re hungry, then have an apple/carrot—those 50 calories are only going to amount to 1/70 of a pound at the end of the day. Not hungry enough for an apple? Then chances are you just have an appetite and need to discract yourself.

p) Stay off the scale for a bit. I used to weigh myself every day. And, guess what? It made me bat-shit anxious. But, SCIENCE IS RIGHT: YOUR WEIGHT FLUCTUATES. Sometimes, on a Wednesday, I’ll be three pounds heavier than I will be on Friday. So, if you’re dieting, weigh yourself once a week, at most; otherwise, if you’re anything like me, the number will just make you crazy-anxious and you’ll try to remedy that anxiety through binge eating.

q) Brush your teeth. OK, this one is also pretty ridiculous. But, you know how you finish a meal sometimes, and you feel even “hungrier” after you’ve eaten than you did before having done so? Brush your teeth—it kind of works along the same lines as the mint-popping deal. Regardless, I can’t tell you how many times it kept me from having my meal turn into an afternoon snackfest.

Phew. Wall of text. I think that’s it, though. If you have any questions/want me to elaborate on anything, don’t hesitate to ask, and I hope this is helpful to someone, somewhere.

Struggling With Being Social

So, I’m back up at the school (for what is—hopefully—my last five weeks as a college student) and according to my scale, I’m 0.2 of a pound heavier today than I was yesterday, so contrary to my initial belief I’m thinking my scale weighs me the same as my home scale. But, regardless, I’m not going to flip out if I get home and find after a few weeks of maintenance I’ve been maintaining a weight of 129 rather than 128.

Anyway, as the title of this posts suggests, I’d like to discuss combining healthy eating/dieting with having a social life heute.*

Recently, a friend invited me to go out next Friday and, realizing how non-social I’ve been lately, I agreed to head to a movie with him. Then, panic set in:

“Whoah, that is a late movie. What if I need snack? Oh, man, I might be starting maintenance that day; what if I have get too hungry while I’m out and I totally lose it and set myself back? THIS IS NOT GOING TO WORK.”

So, I called and cancelled. Ridiculous, right? Of course, this isn’t entirely due to my weight-related fears; I’m also graduating soon, and I’m a) overwhelmed with work, which makes me hesitant to go out and stressed, and whenever I’m stressed my other anxieties are amplified, and b) I’m just not very motivated to hang out with people I’ll probably never see again after the next five weeks and who I’m not very close to. But, definitely most of my social anxiety can be traced to food-related issues.

I’m not nearly as obsessed with the number on the scale as I used to be, but I feel as though I’ve been counting calories so long that the idea of being out and forced to eat something that I don’t know the EXACT calories of wigs me out. Yes, I know no one is going to force a Vermonster down my throat and there are plenty of healthy options out there, but I’ve developed some OCD tendencies, it seems. And, I really don’t want to get into the same social rut after I graduate that I seem to be stuck in, now. So, my question to you all, is …

For those of you who have had a long anti-social streak due to dieting/food anxieties, how did you break out of this mindset?

Yep. Personally, I’m thinking I’m just going to have to take baby steps (i.e., making sure I go out at least once a week, etc.), but I’m hoping once I start maintenance/realize I can splurge a bit at my goal weight I’ll be more confident and prepared to venture into the world. For the next few weeks, though, I’m going to give myself a pass and let myself concentrate on school.

In other news, I totally lost my shit this morning at the gym; I was on the treadmill, rocking my last mile when this girl tripped over my cord and unplugged my machine. When I realized what happened, I turned to her and said, “Dude,” … but not the reason why I was addressing her. So, basically, I just said “Dude” to some random chick at the gym this morning. But, five minutes later, I also dropped a hell of f-bomb when I knocked my iPod off the treadmill panel and onto the belt while it was going seven miles per hour. Yep. What, I just wanted to be done AND THERE WERE SO MANY DELAYS SUDDENLY I JUST FLIPPED.

Gah.

* Yeah, that’s German for “today.” That’s right, I threw some foreign talk into this post, and I am totally helping you learn new things.

Side-effects

Greetings from spring break, intraweb. No, I am not flashing dudes in Tijuana; instead, I am chillaxin’ while fully clothed in the homeland. It is nice.

I almost made it six weeks on plan as per my original goal, but my splurge day ended up coming a day early so I ultimately fell short a day. Still, in between now and my graduation I have an additional six weeks to lose any weight I gain over this week/get started on maintenance, so I am pretty pleased about that. And, seeing as how I kept my splurge day to, you know, only one day, I am hoping I’ll be back down to my maintenance weight by next Friday and able to take another shot at intuitive eating/maintenance. Yay! To be honest, though, this is my last shot at maintenance; if I can’t keep the weight off this time (give or take a few pounds—everyone’s weight fluctuates sometimes), I’ll just take it as a sign that 128 is too low a weight to maintain, and I’ll stop trying to stay at that point.

But, I’m much more confident in my ability to maintain my weight after this last splurge day: Like I already said, I kept it to one day and immediately got back on plan the day after the splurge, and—for having decided ahead of time I wouldn’t have to count calories that day—I didn’t do too terribly. Usually, I would be all up in my cupboards/the grocery store on a “no-calorie counting” day, but the only additional thing I purchased was a pint of ice cream, and the only thing I ate out of the cupboards was half a serving of tortilla chips. Everything else was Easter-oriented* and given to me or consisted of a restaurant meal with family. Anyway, I definitely feel like making an effort to break the bingeing habit over the past several weeks improved my overall self-control and made it so I didn’t want to binge on my splurge day, either (though I did definitely overeat; I’m up four pounds at the moment [Oops], but knowing how my body retains water, I’m not too concerned.)

Now, I’m off to enjoy this incredibly, laziness-inducing rainy day.

*Because spring break ends right after Easter, we decided to celebrate this weekend instead of next weekend.

A Running Start

I’m a lady who likes structure. On days I don’t have class, I tend to just mosey around and not get anything done. I plan out my meals a week in advance. And when I don’t have an excercise program to follow, I get into a slump.

Lately, I’ve fallen victim to the latter most item on that list. My workouts have been getting done, but I haven’t been enjoying them that much and my intensity has been lacking. So, I shopped around for a new running program.

I adapted this plan from Runner’s World in an effort to, at the end of 10 weeks, complete my first double-digit run. “Hey,” I thought, “I’m eating more, so now is a great time to start running more, right?” I was already running 6.5 miles comfortably, so I’m starting at around week four on the Runner’s World program. However, my plan caps my runs at 10 miles, when the original plan goes up to 20+ miles on certain days. Honestly, I don’t have time to devote more than two hours in a day to a run, and I don’t want to get into an excercise plan that I can’t sustain. But, here’s my plan:

WEEK F S Su M T W Th Total
November 13th Cross Training Quality

6 miles

Easy

4 miles

Tempo

5 miles

Yoga Easy

7 miles

Easy

3 miles

25 miles
November 20th Cross Training Quality

6 miles

Easy

4 miles

Tempo

5 miles

Yoga Easy

8 miles

Easy

3 miles

26 miles
November 27th Cross Training Quality

6 miles

Easy

4 miles

Tempo

6 miles

Yoga Easy

8 miles

Easy

3 miles

27 miles
December 4th Cross Training Quality

7 miles

Easy

4 miles

Tempo

6 miles

Yoga Easy

8 miles

Easy

4 miles

29 miles
December 11th Cross Training Quality

7 miles

Easy

4 miles

Tempo

7 miles

Yoga Easy

8 miles

Easy

4 miles

30 miles
December 18th Cross Training Quality

7 miles

Easy

5 miles

Tempo

7 miles

Yoga Easy

8 miles

Easy

4 miles

31 miles
December 25th Cross Training Quality

8 miles

Easy

5 miles

Tempo

7 miles

Yoga Easy

8 miles

Easy

4 miles

32 miles
January 1st Cross Training Quality

8 miles

Easy

5 miles

Tempo

8 miles

Yoga Easy

8 miles

Easy

4 miles

33 miles
January 8th Cross Training Quality

8 miles

Easy

5 miles

Tempo

8 miles

Yoga Easy

9 miles

Easy

4 miles

34 miles
January 15th Cross Training Quality

8 miles

Easy

5 miles

Tempo

8 miles

Yoga Easy

10 miles

Easy

4 miles

35 miles

It probably seems excessive to stretch this plan out over 10 weeks, but, whatevs (DON’T HATE.) I don’t want to injure myself or ramp up my appetite by doing too much too soon. Also, the days on which I do my long runs probably seem a little whack, but some days I don’t have class until 1 p.m., and those are just the best days for me to do an extended run. And, I have Yoga class every Tuesday, so that workout is kind of nonnegotiable.

Anyway, after my little panic attack last night, I recovered fairly well after I wrote about my anxiety. I didn’t do great yesterday (I ate about 3,500 calories: Yikes. Not exactly stellar for the first day of getting “back on track.”), but I didn’t eat over 5,000 calories like I did the day before, either. It’s funny, but last night I started eating and I thought, “Ah, no, this is going to be another binge.” But, it’s like, if I can stop eating for about five to 10 minutes, I just forget about food and go about my business. Sometimes, I feel like it’s easier not to eat at all then to start. Does that make sense?

I know I said I wasn’t going to weigh myself, but I sometimes I feel like not knowing how much I weigh in the aftermath of a splurge makes me more anxious. If I just follow my plan, though, I’ll be fine, and I want to eat well. So, why am I not confident in my resolve?

I don’t understand why some days I feel entirely in control, and others I just shake because I want to eat so badly. What’s the deal? And why is it so hard to just not eat? Like, today; I have to go to the movies today to review a film, and honestly, I just want to stay home so I don’t have to deal with being surrounded by a bunch of food that I can’t eat. On my way to the movies, I pass about a gabillion restaurants, a McDonald’s, a Wendy’s, the grocery store and my favorite ice cream shop, and then there’s the concession stand, itself. And some days, I could care less. But, today is a day that I just want to eat everything in sight. Maybe it’s just the stress, but regardless … I just don’t feel like fightin’ the urge, some days. And I get into a very dangerous mindset: On the one hand, Good Me wants to eat well so there is a minimal amount of time devoted to dieting following the holidays. But, Bad Me says, “Binge eat! You’re going to have to diet, anyway, so once you’re on it, what’s another two or three weeks?” And you might say, “Well, m’lady, why can’t you just have the ice cream, or just the candy from the stand?” ARE YOU CRAZY?! I have eaten terribly, lately! I am counting calories! If I were to have one of those things, I will have failed for the day, and then I may as well just eat everything! “But, that makes no sense.” SILENCE! THIS IS THE INTERNET! YOUR LOGIC HAS NO PLACE, HERE!

I just need to be dropped an island/placed in isolation for a year so I can lose the last few pounds and then learn to eat. Anyone have an island I can borrow?

An Attempt at Anti-Anxiety

Dear Self,

I know you’re stressed out about gaining weight. It’s OK; food and your weight have been the main focus of your life for a long time, and I understand that you thought you were at a point where you could begin moving past that and are afraid you’re going to be starting over again. I understand that.

HOWEVER:

The appropriate response to this stress and to the upcoming holidays is not to eat more now. You feel bloated and anxious today? You’re going to feel worse tomorrow if you continue to overeat. Can you not handle counting calories right now? That’s OK; just stop, then. But stop stress-eating; it’s not going to help.

I know you probably feel like you look terrible, and I know you’re upset about the weight you may have gained over the wedding weekend and yesterday and today. But, you can lose it after the holidays if you just buckle down. And, guess what? No one notices those five or even ten pounds but you. Everyone is too focused on themselves and how terrible they feel they look.

Also, it’s only food, and it’s not going to magically disappear while you’re trying to lose weight. Your favorite things will still be there when you’re done dieting.

So, take a deep breath and step away from the ice cream.

Love,

Self

Taking Out Frustration on Food

Well, I definitely won’t be in my 120s for Thanksgiving after last night; yes, I binged.

Here’s what I learned from it:

1) I can’t weigh myself every day. When I do, I just get super frustrated/encouraged when I don’t/do see results, and end up overeating.

2) I don’t enjoy processed foods/mass quantities of food, anymore. Today, I set out to have one treat (a pint of Haagen-Daaz), which I enjoyed. Then, I just went crazy after having that pint, and I set out to the store to get some “binge supplies.” However, as soon as I left the store, I immediately began to feel … not guilty about bingeing, per se, but just … unhappy with the idea. Why stuff myself? I’ll just feel gross tomorrow, and I’ll just have to diet for even longer as a result of the binge, and having to diet for a prolonged period is what I’m so unhappy about that I set out to binge. The result? Well, here’s what I bought at the store:

-A King size package of Mounds

-A pack of Swedish Fish

-A Moonpie

-A three-pack of Oreo Cakesters

-A pack of Tim Tams

-A pack of Pepperidge Farm Almond Cookies

Here’s what I ate:

-Two Mounds Bars (of four)

-The Swedish Fish

-Two Oreo Cakesters

-Five Almond Cookies (of 24)

-Two Tim Tams (of 10)

Honestly, when I started eating, it just felt excessive. The chocolate was waxy, and eating the Mounds after the Cakesters was just too much. After all that junk, I wished I had just eaten healthy for the day. But, getting rid of the food I didn’t eat brings me to my next conclusion:

3) Bingeing is horribly wasteful, especially now that I find myself enjoying it less. The food I didn’t eat I either threw away or left lying around campus (dear Brandeis student that eats my Moonpie: YOU’RE WELCOME.) So, I wasted a) money and b) food. Gross.

4) I don’t get ANYTHING done when I’m bingeing. Today, when I got home from school, I needed to do work, dishes and an assortment of other chores. Guess how much of that got done? NONE OF IT. And, guess who feels to gross today to run? MWAH. (Moi? I think I just made kissey noises at the Internet because I don’t know French.)

5) I need to learn to distract myself. The minute I sat down to roll through blogs/write in my own blog, I stopped eating. But, I get so wrapped up in the appeal of eating that I forget there are other things to do with my life that are enjoyable. Crazy!

So, there you have it. I ended up just wiping the day clean and “starting over,” (i.e., counting everything else for the rest of the evening as though the day just started, post-binge), but it still brought my binge calorie count to around 5,500, what with the ice cream and whatnot that I ate earlier. Le sigh.

But, I’ve decided to take a break from the scale after this incident: I’m going to do the best I can in between now and Thanksgiving, and whatever the scale is … well, I just don’t care to know right now, because I don’t want how I eat/how I feel/how much I enjoy this holiday to be affected by what the scale says, particularly if I’ve done the best that I can. I’ll weigh in post Thanksgiving, and if I’ve put on some pounds … well … at least there’s a few weeks in between Thanksgiving and Christmas, right? I really, really don’t want to be starting over again after the holidays, though … but, if I don’t binge, then one bad day (today) and the holidays shouldn’t make that much of a difference if I eat healthy the rest of the time. And, I know I will eat well when I come back for the week between Thanksgiving and winter break—yes, we only have one week of school in between Thanksgiving and our month-long winter break; yes, it is ridiculous—because a stressed tummy + final exams + junk food = too many bathroom trips during final exam periods. NOT GOOD. (Sorry, I know that was TMI. But, I STAND FOR ALL OF US OUT THERE WITH NERVOUS STOMACHS!)

While at school, though (and most likely in the time between Christmas and Thanksgiving) I’m going to count calories. The only thing is, I’m not sure if an average of 1,700 calories per day is right. The frequency with which I crave sweets/binge eat makes me wonder if too few calories is the problem; yes, I want to lose weight, and yes, I did so before at an average of 1,700 calories, but it took so damn long because I overate so frequently due to the onset of an extreme appetite. And, if I have to undertake a diet AGAIN, I’d rather lose weight more slowly but have it be easier, mentally, then try to lose it too quickly and deal with the appetite/the two-steps-forward-one-step-back cycle (it’d probably take less time with the former system than the latter, anyway, what with the frequency that I overate on my diet plan—I don’t binge nearly as often as I did while on Weight Watchers, but there is still room for improvement during those times when I need to get back on track for a bit.) It shouldn’t take nine months to lose 10 pounds, you know?

Or, maybe I should just eat intuitively. I don’t know why, but I have some kind of mental barrier that says, “You cannot possibly lose weight eating intuitively! Crazy talk!”

Have you lost weight successfully? If so, how many calories per day did you eat? Did you count calories at all, or did you use another method?

Stubborn as a Scale

Yep, a mule’s got nothing on my scale: Over the past three days, I’ve dropped a grand total of three-tenths of a pound. Usually after a significant gain like this, I’ve started dropping weight like crazy by now (you may remember a few weeks ago after a steady climb I dropped two pounds in between one morning and the next.) Granted, I guess a lesser gain followed by a smaller loss is better than a substantial one (i.e., the six pound gain I saw following my binge) that is followed by a sharp decrease in my weight, but at least last time I was back into my 120s by the following Tuesday; honestly, I didn’t think this past weekend was any worse, eating-wise, than that weekend binge two weeks ago, and that I would be back into my 120s by this upcoming Tuesday. But, unless my body is just HOLDING ON TO WATER WEIGHT FOR DEAR LIFE, I take this weight stubbornness to mean I gained a legitimate three pounds, which means I gained a pound per splurge day this weekend. And, a gain of a pound per day isn’t the product of an intuitive eating splurge; that’s the product of a binge. Disappointing.

I guess I won’t really know until the end of the week when I officially “weigh-in,” but at the moment I’m gathering I didn’t do nearly as well not overeating as I thought I did. But, I honestly wouldn’t be so worried about the gain if I had the time to lose it. At the moment, I’m just stressed that the following pattern is going to emerge:

Holiday/Celebration –> Gain Weight –> Can’t lose it all in time for next holiday –> Holiday –> More weight gain –> Can’t lose much of that before next holiday –>Holiday –> More weight gain on top of initial weight gain –> Holidays end, back to where I started –> Prolonged period of dieting characterized by “two steps forward, one step back” –> Takes months to lose weight, finish just in time for holidays and haven’t learned intuitive eating/how not to binge –> Holiday/Celebration –> Gain Weight … OK, you get the idea. Honestly, I don’t think I can do another months-long stint of dieting … The frustration would/almost did drive me crazy.

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