Weigh-In Day: Week of June 25th/Body Snark

Ugh, dude’s my eating habits! They are hell of terrible. I weighed in at 127.2 today (Good!), but I fear that a great evil is returning to the land … the evil of …

Binge eating. (HOLY GOD, BAD)

But, I’m not sure if I should be legitimately concerned; I splurged three days this week to celebrate my birthday (which is today, actually, but for some reason I thought I should celebrate this weekend since I was working today, and then today rolled around and my mom and were like, “BOO ANTI-CLIMATIC BIRTHDAY LET’S CELEBRATE AGAIN!”), but I’m not sure if any of those days on which I splurged were actually a “binge,” or if I would have even splurged (binged?) today had I not weighed-in within my maintenance range this morning. But, on the days I splurged (BINGED?!?1?), I never ran out to buy extra stuff because I just thought, “SCREW IT! I’M OUT OF CALORIES!” but I did eat past the point of being full, and if I were in a store, I would impulse-buy a candy bar and chomp it without really thinking. Though, at the beginning of the week I was also only 124.6 pounds, and I’m not sure if I would have overdid-it had this not been the case/had I not been celebrating my birthday. Blergh. On the other hand, I know I am entirely in control of what I stuff in my face and I know I don’t want to go back to dieting and I KNOW that even though I splurged I am still within my maintenance range (and that’s part of the glory of maintenance, some weeks you eat more and some weeks you eat less but it is OK to eat more some weeks), so what am I really concerned about? Still, I kind of feel like normal people don’t gain 2.6 pounds while celebrating special events. Hm. Baby steps, I reckon.

I do have to give myself kudos, though, for taking some steps to not overeat:

a) When eating out and sharing an appetizer, I took what I deemed to be an appropriate portion off the group plate and then didn’t go back any more.

b) If I could eat healthfully, I did; I tried not make the days on which I splurged (BINGED?!?2?!?!@!? OH MY GOD I DON’T KNOW) into an all-day eating fest, and would start with something healthy like oat bran.

c) I tried to think about what I really wanted. Whereas before if I were having a “splurge” day I would just get everything and anything, I legitimately tried to keep my snacking to a minimum while out celebrating/shopping so I would have room for dinner at ze restaurant we were going to.

And, so on. OH, MAN, LOOK AT THAT LIST, SO IMPRESSIVE.

Regardless of whether I binged or splurged, though, I’m going to go back to counting calories and do a sugar detox (ie.e, no “dessert products), just for the next two weeks. I know I don’t really need to, and I’d like to get to a point where I don’t have to follow a celebratory event with calorie counting, but I just want to play it safe and make sure I don’t continue overeating. Also, every once and a while when I overdo it on the sugar, I kind of like to put a little distance between myself and the desserts and have a nice stint of clean eating to get my system back in order, you know?

In other news, a funny thing happened on my way to the forum.

Wait, no. A funny thing happened while I was out shopping (at the mall, no less, even though I detest crowds of people.) Long story short, my mother and I stopped by Eddie Bauer while we were out and decided to pick up some summer clothes. I happened to try on a dress and attract the attention of a salesperson, who began engaging my mother in the following conversation:

Salesperson: “Oh, my goodness! She looks so good in that dress!” (Aw, that’s nice.)

Mum: “Yeah, it looks really cute on her!”

Salesperson: “Ugh, she’s so thin! Look at her.” ( … OK.)

Mum: “Ha, yes, I used to be that thin at her age, too, though.”

Salesperson: “Ugh, yes, me too. Ugh, I hate her, she’s so thin! Let’s stop looking at her.” ( … WTF?)

It was just … odd. And, in this vein, I’m tired of “thin” being used as a compliment. In fact, I’m tired of size-related adjectives in general being used as compliments or insults. In my opinion, body preference is kind of like someone’s taste in movies or books or art; to each their own, ja? So, why OK to hate on or compliment someone for being overweight or underweight? For all that salesperson knew, I could have been a recovering anorexic, and her comments could have triggered a re-emergence of my eating disorder. And, not to be corny, but bodies can be beautiful at any size: Why has one shape become the standard for attractiveness? Can’t beauty come in a variety of sizes? And, why do we assume that all women want to be twigs? Likewise, why do “real women have curves?” Are chemotherapy patients who can’t keep weight on not “real women”? And, maybe some women pride themselves on being overweight or voluptuous or muscular.

/end rant

Gah, I wish I were better at organizing my thoughts. But, you get the jist, right?

Have you ever been the victim of “body snark?”

Goodbye, Brandeis

College—it is over.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I am more than happy to be hoofin’ it out of here. But, it’s still odd to say goodbye to a place where I spent the better part of four years of my life. I’m looking forward to going home, though, and starting a career; I feel like I’ve been spinning my wheels for a while here, now, and going into broadcast has been my entire reason for going to school. Now, I finally get to be a reporter and an anchor.

As an aside, though, I think the university system could stand to be revamped: For someone like myself who wanted to be a journalist, was it really necessary to take courses like astronomy, which I only enrolled in fulfill a university requirement? And, when am I ever going to use the skills I learned in English classes in which we discussed Proust? They were great classes, sure, but should I have to take classes that aren’t relevant to my career just because you have to take courses for four years to graduate? Peh.

Anyway, I’m a bit nervous about today, just because I’m a celebratory eater. If something rad happens,* I want to eat to celebrate, and I’m hoping that since I haven’t binged in six weeks I can keep up my good habits today. And, really, why be worried? Everything that I eat is my decision; no one is going to force me to binge, so having decided not to binge, now, I know that everything is going to be fine. Problem solved!

Wish me safe travels, dudes! I’ll try to start posting more often soon, but at the moment, I need to just get home!

* I’m also a stress eater. And a sad eater. … Alright, I guess any emotion is really an excuse for me to chomp, whatever.

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.

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.

Weigh-In Day: Week of March 19th

Oh, man, I had such the anticipation this morning. So much so, that when I woke up at 2:15 a.m. and decided I wanted a “sneak peak” of my weight for the week, I was so anxious before stepping on the scale that I couldn’t get back to sleep after weighing myself. Now here I am, writing a blog entry at 4:41 a.m., running on three hours of sleep on the first day of my spring break. Woo. Ah, well, I’m catching a bus home in a few hours (yay, home!), so I’m thinking I’ll just nap then. Though, I hate napping on buses … people around, just waiting for you to fall asleep so they can put you in weird positions and take pictures of you to put on the Intrawebs. Curses! Anyway, the moral of the story is I need to wait until it’s actually “getting up” time to weigh myself, because I can’t keep waking up on Fridays at 2 a.m. (by the way, this happened last week, too). It’s ridiculous, both the getting up so early and the being so jacked-up about my weight. Pah.

ONWARDS TO NUMBERS.

Last Week’s Weight: 131.3

This Week’s Weight: 128.4 (!)

Loss/Gain: 2.9 pounds

Average Daily Caloric Intake: 1,760

Excercise:
03/19: 5-mile run/40-minute weight lifting session (Upper Body)
03/20: Yoga
03/21: 2-mile run/30-minute elliptical session/1-hour weight lifting session
03/22: 7-mile run
03/23: 7-mile run
03/24: 7-mile run/20-minute weight lifting session (Upper Body)
03/25: 7-mile walk/30-minute elliptical session

This is hell of awesome, and not just because I’m at my goal weight. You see, the last time I began a diet in January at around the same weight as where I started this time, it took me until October to hit my goal weight, as you can see from the archives. That means it took me EIGHT MONTHS to lose about 10 pounds. This time, because I put my foot down about binge eating, it took me 10 WEEKS to lose the same quantity of weight. So, while I’m excited about being at my goal weight, I’m more excited to find that I have self-control and—should I put on a few pounds in the future—I’m capable of taking it off relatively quickly. Though, I hope for the most part that my binge eating days are now behind me, and a significant weight gain won’t be a problem again—or, at least it won’t be a problem again for a very long time.

That having been said, I would be more excited to be at my goal weight except that I had planned a splurge day for myself to celebrate Easter while I’m home (yes, I know I just said that I hoped my binge eating days were behind me, but I’m hoping it will be a SPLURGE day and not a BINGE day, but regardless I think I deserve a day to eat what I want. And, I know I can keep it to one day), and since I’ve been looking forward to it and I’m not really ready to jump into maintenance after having had a splurge day, I’m just going to stay on plan until I’m back down to my goal weight, which I imagine won’t take more than a week or two if I only take the one “day off” from healthy eating.

This post is probably riddled with spelling/grammatical errors. Ciao, internet! Wish me a harassment-free bus ride!

Do you have trouble sleeping? What do you do if you can’t fall back asleep after waking up in the middle of the night?

Ch-Ch-Changes!

So, one of the many reasons (and, perhaps, actually the worst reason) I wanted to stop bingeing is because I knew it would make losing/maintaining weight—both now and in the future (because, let’s face it, everyone gains a few pounds on occasion, though I would hope I don’t find myself staring down a 10-pound gain again)—much easier. And, it has. For the sake of accountability, here’s my weight from the pass 10 weeks in addition to how many calories I ate on average per day in the week leading up to that particular weigh-in day:

Date: Weight, Average Daily Caloric Intake (Notes, If Applicable)

1/15: 142, Calorie Count Not Available (I ate hell of terrible up to this point. Oops.)

1/22: 139.5, 1700

1/29: 136, 1700

2/05: N/A, 1850 (I started weighing myself ever other week around this time, something I’ll touch on in the anti-binge post. This is also the first week where I introduced the “Anti-Binge,” increased-calorie week [See Below])

2/12: 134.6, 1700

2/19: 137.6, C.C. Not Available (This is the week I slipped up and binged.)

2/26: 132.8, 1640

3/05: 132.2, 1700

3/12: 131.9, 1700 (At this point, I was a little frustrated, so I introduced a “Plateau Week.” [See Below])

3/19: 131.3, 1900 (The Plateau Week worked!)

So, yes. As you can, although my weight loss has slowed down a bit recently, it’s a big improvement over steady, big loss followed by a huge step back. What’s made for better progress?

a) Not bingeing, obviously.

b) “Plateau/Anti-Binge” Weeks. My mom actually came up with this idea when she noticed that, about every three weeks, the diet tended to go out the window. So, rather than just tossing it entirely, she decided to give herself a week—every three weeks—where she got extra calories. Not a ton, mind you (about, on average, 150 extra calories per day), but it was enough to keep her from falling off the wagon. And, it worked for me, too. Eventually, when I went a few weeks without bingeing, I decided I didn’t need the help, anymore, and got rid of the “higher calorie” week in the interest of losing weight more quickly. But, when I hit a plateau, I re-introduced it and ended up losing more that week than I did the week before, when I ate less. Neat! So, now I institute a “Plateau Week” whenever two weeks pass and I lose less than a pound.

c) A higher fat diet. Inspired by Susan‘s “Fatty February,” I made a conscious effort to start including foods with higher amounts of healthy fat. And, it knocked out my appetite. Now, this may not work for you, but getting rid of the “diet foods” in my diet (e.g., “Light” bread, products engineered to be fat free, etc.) and including more fat (and, consequently, more protein, as many sources of healthy fats are also goods sources of the p-stuff) helped me feel more satiated and, thus, less like bingeing. Also, my hair is super silky now. Seriously, it feels like I have a kitten on my head. Want to try a higher fat diet, yourself? Try having hard boiled eggs with miracle whip for lunch instead of a turkey sandwich, or introducing more tuna and nut butters/nuts into your diet. Good stuff, and good for you. HOWEVER, if you’re not counting calories/Points and you decide to switch to a higher fat diet, keep in mind that a lot of food with healthy fats are also higher in calories than their leaner counterparts. So, when you make a PB + J, make sure you aren’t putting as many ounces of P on your bread as you would have of turkey if you were making a turkey sandwich, otherwise you’ll be gaining teh weightz and wondering why.

Other changes:

d) Fewer miles per day. When I stopped writing in January, I was working towards running 10 miles in one set. But, I’ve found I really don’t enjoy long runs (packing snacks for excercise? Water coolers on your back to stay hydrated? No, thanks; too lazy). So, now I do a maximum of seven miles in one session, but my total mileage for the week is the same.

e) More strength training. I used to have my Cardio/Weights/Yoga weeks, but now I lift weights three times a week every week, and I really feel like it’s helped me maintain muscle mass and that, now, I’m losing more fat than muscle. NEAT.

Yep! Of course, the basic structure of my diet is pretty much the same (1,500 calories per day and 1,400 bonus calories per week, unless it’s a Plateau Week, in which case I get between 2,450 and 2,800 bonus calories for the week), and I hope it keeps workin’ for me. Who knows, maybe if I’m lucky, I’ll be in my 120s by this Friday (Eeeeee!)  Last time I started a diet post-holiday season, it took me until September to reach the point I’m at now, so I’m pretty pleased, regardless. But, I’m also going home on Friday and will be celebrating Easter in that time, so hopefully I can keep it together while splurging in moderation. Woot.

ANYWAY … any questions?

The Danger of Deadlines

/rowses self from sugar-induced coma

Blaaargh … sorry for no posts lately, guys. It has been kind of a hectic time, and also the excessive amounts of sugar I have been eating have been making me mad sluggish and also jiggly; yes, I’ve gained eleven pounds since I’ve been home (Probably more as of this morning, but let’s not talk about that). Yes, I caved to the “Well, I’m starting my diet on [DATE] so I may as well get all my eating in!” mentality, and chowed. That’s the thing about having a “start date” in mind for me, personally; I have good intentions to do well until that day, but then always end up bingeing in the days leading up to it. Though, I haven’t really been hell of bingeing; yesterday I got into the “Let’s Eat!” frame of mind, but midway through thought, “What am I doing to myself?” and just stopped. And, I just decided to go “on program” today, rather than wait until after Christmas–if I gained anymore weight, there’s no way I’d be at my goal by graduation.

So, that’s things in a nutshell. I’ll try and do a more extensive post in the near future, but I just wanted everyone to know I am not dead … just jiggly.

Change of Plans / Blogging Responsibly

I’ve been doing the one indulgence-a-day plan for about five days now, and in light of establishing that I am very much capable of eating one treat without entering a downward spiral, I think I’m going to go ahead and count calories for bit. The thing, I’m one of those people that the longer they don’t eat well for, the worse their eating habits get, if that makes sense. For example, on Tuesday I had Cookie Bars (no big deal), on Wednesday I had Jingles (also not a big deal), but Friday I had ice cream and yesterday I sat down an a quart of ice cream AND went out to dinner. Not because I was looking to binge (and I didn’t eat much else besides said ice cream and dinner), but I just thought nothing of sitting down and eating a quart of ice cream in light of my recent splurges. Just didn’t care. Today? Pie for a midmorning snack. And, I skipped my upper body workout, because I tend to get sluggish in every other part of my life when I don’t eat well. Peh. So, I guess I am capable of having one treat without going totally crazy, but I also know that I’m not a person who can eat a treat a day without seeing negative effects in other parts of my healthy living-lifestyle.  And, while people with normal eating habits may have periods of time where they can’t eat healthy 100% of the time (i.e., vacation), most “healthy” people don’t eat a treat a day, and follow a day with a treat with a day without one. Yep. Of course, in light of having pie, am I rushing out to the grocery store for treats? Nope! So, improvement noted. Weight gain also noted: 137 this morning. Yeesh.

So, I know this blog is usually me boo-hooing about my weight and such, but since my current apathy regards my eating habits and my weight, today, I decided I wanted to talk about something else today: citizen journalism, i.e., blogging.

As a Journalism student and someone looking to enter the field professionally AND someone who is studying journalistic ethics, citizen journalism is something I have hell of strong sentiments about. Granted, most of you are probably fellow food bloggers, and thus anything you or I write isn’t exactly going to completely destroy the reputation of a public figure or potentially violate any journalistic ethics, but it is my view that bloggers still have certain responsibilities to their audiences, be they newsgatherers, food reviewers, casual film critics or otherwise.

Thus, here are a few suggestions for those of you looking to blog ethically or, at the very least, in a helpful manner.

1) Minimize Harm: Hey, I love linking to other blogs, don’t you? Sharing awesome blog finds is a cool thing, and a nice way to help a fellow blogger get traffic. But, whenever you link to another blog, please make sure you know who you’re sending your audience along to; they are a lot of people on the internet who are a) gullible and/or b) very desperate for solutions and take any kind of hope they find on the internet as gospel. So, when you find that Acai Berry blog author who is just OMG SO EXCITED SHE LOST 50 POUNDS IN 3 MINUTES WITH ACAI BERRY!, take a moment to determine whether this blog is a) a safe place to send your readers and b) legitimate. If you haven’t already heard, there has been a recent rash of weight loss-oriented companies creating fake blogs as a way to promote their products, so take the time to double check whether your new, potential blogosphere buddy is actually real.

2) Act Independently: Is anyone here familiar with Avenue Q? I am not really, because I am not a person who is cultured. I sit around on my ass and watch re-runs of The Office and scoff at the prospect of “musicals” in a “theater” filled with people who wear “monocles.” Anyway, there is a song in said musical, I think, that goes “Everyone is a little bit racist!” This is true. Everyone is also a little bit biased, and it’s YOUR job to disclose said biases, particularly when they involve conflicts of interest due to commerical influences. Did you get that tasty, tasty chocolate you’re reviewing for free from the company that makes said delicious product? Then, you are obligated to inform your readers because, like it or not, the fact that you got it for free may have influenced your opinion, whether you realize it or want to admit it or not. Also, this is now the law, so just do it.

3) Be Accountable: Everyone is a little bit biased, and everyone also makes mistakes (except me, as I am perfect and amazing). Did you promote a product that actually contains cyanide? It sucks to be you, but it’s your job to inform the public of the truth so as to prevent further harm. Did a person call you out on a factual error you made on your blog via a comment on a post? Don’t delete said comment; encourage dialogue. THIS IS THE INTERNET, NOT CHINA, and if you censor legitimate criticism (key word: legitimate; don’t feel as though you need to feed the trolls) then you’re not doing anyone any favors.

If you’re interested in the source of some of these rules/interested in more ethical guidelines pertaining to journalism, check out the Code of Ethics produced by the Society of Ethical Journalists. Also, I hope this did not come off as super pretentious; I JUST WANT EVERYONE TO BE A BETTER BLOGGER BLOO HOO HOO.

By Popular Demand …

I received one response regarding what people would like to see this blog become, and majority rules, so by popular demand this blog will now be entirely devoted to pictures of sexy dudes/ladies dipping their feet in Peanut Butter:

[OK, so I actually searched on the Internet for a picture of this to put here, and there was totally not a picture of someone putting their feet in Peanut Butter, WHICH IS TOTALLY RIDICULOUS BECAUSE IF A FETISH EXISTS YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO FIND IT ON THE INTERNET. Anyway, sorry to disappoint, Allison.]

But, I lied about the hiatus, because to be honest, this blog is partially for me; I am not an entirely unselfish person, I KNOW IT IS HARD TO BELIEVE. This is basically a public diary, and goddammit, I want to write about my PERSONAL JOURNEY. So, suck on it. But, for those of you who enjoy it, thank you for stopping by and I am glad/hope that it is somehow relatable for you. I have to agree with a certain visitor whose name I will censor to protect from the viciousness of the Internet, though; I feel like everyone and their sister’s blog mostly entails pictures of what they ate that day. This displeases me, especially when it is not accompanied by an additional commentary, like “I ate this because this food has blee-blah nutritional attributes!,” or, “I ate this because I was stressed! Grr, it’s a trigger food! Do you have those?” I like blogs to TEACH me a thing, or at least share something interesting. And, while it is sometimes interesting to see how a person eats healthy, a picture of your sandwich isn’t going to improve my own eating habits, really. Sorry. (Did that make sense?)

Also, yes, I know this started as a “food journal” blog, but I very, very quickly became bored with this, and here is the thing: Chances are, if you are bored with writing a thing, then chances are what you write is going to be boring, and no wants to read things that are boring. Well … maybe some people do. Maybe some people have a fetish for … reading boring … things … while watching women dip their feet in peanut butter.

(P.S. – If you are interested in this and want to come to my “boring content/peanut butter-dipping” convention please e-mail me at pbandboring@nofingway.com.)

ANYWAY, onwards, to unoriginal content!

So, I avoided another binge today, but while I was originally going to skip my indulgence for the day (just for the sake of being healthy), I caved and ate a thing when I became stressed. Did I binge? No, but I really want my automatic response to stress to not be eating. But, at least I didn’t binge, right? Granted, I had been craving the indulgence I had today for two days, now (I wanted it yesterday, but passed in favor of having a day where I didn’t indulge, just to make sure I still possessed some willpower), and I tried to wait it out, but I got a little stressed and headed to the grocery store for a treat. Also, in a close brush with a binge, I chomped a candy bar that ended up not getting counted. It was a big one, too (Green & Black, IT IS NOT MY FAULT I ATE YOU, EVERYONE ON THE INTERNET TOLD ME TO AND I HAD TO TRY YOU), but other than that I didn’t eat anything besides my indulgence (A pint of Ben & Jerry’s with a Warm Delight Mini … and then the other Warm Delight Mini, as there are two in a pack) and my normal 1,500 calories. Still, I really need to learn to eat only when I’m hungry; after I had my treat, I kind of just mindlessly snacked for the rest of the day because I “had the calories” (except not really, because I ATE A WHOLE PINT OF ICE CREAM AND A CHOCOLATE BAR), and if I had had bonus calories available I know I would have plowed through those, too. So, while I’m doing better with my eating habits, I need to keep my regular healthy eating habits intact post-treat.

I think the thing is that you need to pretend you have amnesia after each meal, and just have your automatic “choice” be something healthy. Sometimes, I find that if I try to overcompensate for a big snack by not having my normal healthy dinner or lunch or whatever, I just end up eating the same amount of calories over the course of the rest of the day, anyway, because I snack so much. Weird. Maybe I’ll just have to give myself a caloric “allowance” for days when I indulge in the future to prevent excessive snacking. Or, maybe I’ll actually get the hang of intuitive eating. LAWL.

Regardless, I am beginning to feel a bit … jiggly, but I’m trying to just give myself permission to indulge/gain weight in an effort to beat this binge habit. It’ll come off quick … right? And, at least I’m keeping up my excercise routine, so there is muscle tone underneath that thar pudge.

KTHXBAI.

Inspiration from the Internet

One of the things I love about food blogs is that so many of the authors are relatable; it’s amazing, when you start perusing said blogs, how many recovering/struggling binge eaters you come across. My problem, it seems, isn’t that uncommon.

Anyway, while I was digging through blogs looking to see how people coped with binge eating, I came across this post in Elina’s blog. I’ve been reading Healthy and Sane for awhile, now (it’s one of my favorites, and I now have a long list of Boston eateries to visit thanks to her), and it was a great source of inspiration for someone like me who is struggling with binge eating (You may remember that I quoted one of her posts relating to binge eating, before.) Anyway, this particular post essentially details a conversation Elina had with a RD regarding how to overcome binge eating. I won’t recap the whole entry here (you’ll have to read the whole thing for yourself), but the RD recommends allowing yourself one indulgence per day—but, only one.

And, after reading this entry, I’ve made an executive decision to try this plan, myself between Dec. 8 and Dec. 23, before my designated “Intuitive Eating” days. You see, this afternoon, I was literally planning the binge I was going to have the day before I started my “post-holiday” diet. And I thought, “Why do I have this all or nothing mentality?” I think the reason is similar to that behind Elina’s binges; that is, I associate not counting calories with the free-for-all day I used to have once a week during my WW days. Regardless, I need to learn to eat only what I want, rather than a bunch of junk PLUS what I wanted simply because I went over my calorie count or had an indulgence.

I’m not going to lie; I’m a little scared. But, the fact of the matter is, I feel like if I don’t do something like this, I’m not going to learn how to eat like a normal person. And, I’m freaked out by the potential weight gain; “I’m going to put on so much weight before I start my diet!” But, if I can overcome bingeing, it’ll come off that much quicker. And, I’m not losing any weight right now, anyway, because of the bingeing (in fact, as of this morning I’ve gained weight [I know, I said I wasn’t going to weigh myself before weigh-in day], which has me freaked even more.)

But, at present, I’m just trying to decide if I want to weigh myself again after tomorrow before January 1; I don’t want to get freaked out by a gain and fall off the progress wagon.

Anyway, I’m so excited to be going home tomorrow, WHOO! I just hope I don’t fail my Politics exam, though this seems like it would be pretty difficult to do considering that we’re allowed to use our notes during the exam. But … I feel like this is a trap.

« Older entries