Saturday, September 11, 2010

I want a do over

Do you ever do something that you think will be amazing and/or that you build up really high expectations for only to be completely....underwhelmed? It's not a great feeling.

That would describe my eating this week. The week got off to a rough start with the holiday weekend. We had a welcome back to school picnic on Sunday, and those are always rough. I have to say everyone really rose to the occasion on this potluck bringing delicious (but not always healthy) treats instead of lame-o bags of chips. I definitely indulged. I didn't feel like it rose to the level of an out and out binge, but it was indulgent. I also took home some potato salad (probably three servings worth) and I ate it all that evening. It reminded me of the days of bingeing in secret and I do not like that feeling. It was bad.

I thought I would get back to tracking everything on Monday. I forget exactly what happened, but I ended up just not feeling like it. I also didn't feel like it Tuesday. Then I figured "Why bother this week?" AKA, the downward spiral. The worst part is that in retrospect it really wasn't even worth it. There was nothing that I had that I was like "You know, it was totally worth the ____ calories to have this _____." I had a lot of good stuff but nothing that was absolutely amazing or noteworthy or worth losing a week over.

Wednesday I had the closest thing I have had to a binge in awhile. It is probably the weirdest one I have ever had, or at least the weirdest one I can remember. Usually when I binge, I know why. I am sad or tired or feeling deprived. I feel like I am giving in but then it's like I lose control, or more accurately I feel like I surrender to food. I take a back seat and some weird primal desire to eat takes over. Wednesday I ate a ton -- I ate an entire calzone. I made red velvet cookies and some cream cheese frosting, and I ate half the cookies and made a serious dent in the frosting. The food was very much like a binge. However, my head was totally in control. It was like I was deciding to eat the food -- it was a willful (albeit poor) choice. I don't know how to describe it but to say that I was feeling some sense of agency over the food situation instead of being a hostage to food like I typically feel during a binge. In a weird dysfunctional way it was a nice feeling to feel like I had some control over the food, although I still do wonder why I did make such poor food choices.

The next morning I was up 4 lbs. It was not "real" weight, but I was like "OK, this has to stop." I threw away the rest of the cookies I made, and washed the frosting down the drain and threw away the sugar I bought to make it. I don't feel good about wasting food, but I feel less stable having it around the house and was not even confident I could take the food to school to share without breaking into it on the way to I tossed it.

Over the rest of the week, I made more poor decisions but basically the weight is all gone and I expect to be even for the week -- nothing lost or gained. We will see for sure tomorrow.

I am trying to process through why this all happens, and what to do about it so that I reach a happy medium on how I can handle this from here on out.
  • I think I need to have a realistic plan on how to deal with holidays and/or high stakes food challenges like potlucks. I need to find a way to allow myself treats there and to not feel deprived, but not something that is so lackadaisical that it will spiral into wasting a whole week not eating healthily. I think this is likely to be something beyond just the extra 35 points I am allowed for WW.
  • I need to figure out something that won't have me baking very often. Making an entire batch of cookies is a bad idea unless there is a very specific plan on what they are for -- a plan that isn't "eat them all until you are disgusted with yourself".
  • Daily weighing for me is really helpful. With my industrial engineering training, I am familiar with the concept of variance and how daily fluctuations happen as a result of hormones, salt intake, hydration levels, and other stuff -- that doesn't bother me. However, seeing the +4 lbs overnight is something that scared me straight. Had I not seen that the morning following my faux-binge, I am virtually certain I would have finished the cookies I made and made a further dent in the frosting.
  • While I love the concept of the weekly "reset" on WW the day of your weigh in, I feel like this week I used that as an excuse to waste time eating crap for an entire week rather than just getting it together and starting over ASAP. I need to figure out why I allowed myself to use this as an excuse.
I feel like lately I am in some really weird place. I feel like I take 10 steps forward and then 9 steps back. While the net result is progress, it has been REALLY slow and there is definitely no one sabotaging me but myself. I am not sure how much credit to give myself for continuing to make progress while working through issues vs. how hard I should be on myself for not battening the hatches and just hunkering down and doing the work (i.e., should I be proud of the net one step forward, or angry at myself for the 9 steps back?).

I would still really love to lose about 10 lbs. before I go to Disney World. This will not happen unless I am more consistent. Here is to a new week - one where I am back in control rather than surrendering my power to the food.


  1. I know that weight loss is ultimately how we define progress, but I see it in more ways than that for you as I read this post compared to posts written 2-3 months ago. This is specific and determined. I messed up, I caught it so I didn't mess up horribly, I took action by throwing away the remnants, and I wrote down a plan. To me, that is progress. The whole tone of your writing has changed and I am so happy for how hard you've worked this summer to fight your way through the depression and move forward. Keep on going - it IS progress.

  2. First off, sorry to read about the week. I have longed for a do over before. Unfortunately, this week is now gone. You just have to put it behind you and be mindful of this for the upcoming week. Like you, I need the daily weigh-ins. I don't take them real serious, but when I see a big jump after a binge, it scares me straight. My biggest problem is it takes me a week or more to lose that one day gain. Strange, I know.

  3. I agree with Sharon, the tone of your writing has changed and is more positive about how you see and interpret these eating patterns.

    One thing that popped into my mind as I read this was examining the connection between the types of foods you feel compelled to overindulge in, and your mood at the time. For me, that means white sugar and white flour -- which I am prone to use for their ability to boost serotonin levels.

    For me, it's a signal that I may need to reexamine the use of antidepressants so that food can be for nourishment, and not for mood enhancement.


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