The Deep Down Dark Ugly Truth
Every day you guys read about the "perfectly fit/clean eating" side of me. You read my posts preaching about eating clean foods and limiting carbs before dinner. Let's not forget my posts about working out at your absolute maximum effort for the best results ... and my posts about "Quit the whining and just eat right and workout". While reading my blog you might think I'm one of those hard core people who swore off junk food and sugar and never looked back. Well, here's the deep down dark ugly truth - I'm human and I mess up too! As a matter of fact I mess up way more often than I care to admit. I love to eat. I love to feel full. I just plain love food!
Fruity Pebbles, Goldfish, Protein Bars, Cheez its, and Mini Muffins
For instance, this week I stayed within my calorie limits Monday and Tuesday. ednesday by 4pm I was starving but had already eaten all but 400 of the calories I'd allowed myself for the day. I was at the grocery store so I picked up some protein bars. I ate 2 of them the minute I got in the car. Now, all of calories for the day were used up. "No problem!", I thought, "I just won't eat anything else tonight. I'll drink lots of water and look forward to getting to eat again tomorrow.". That lasted until around 7:30 PM when I poured a bowl of Fruity Pebbles for my oldest child. I thought, "I'll just take one bite of these before I give them to her". So, I did. Then as I was putting the cereal back in the pantry I noticed there really wasn't enough left to save (WTH? Really? That was my rationale?) So I poured the remaining Fruity Pebbles in a bowl with milk and gobbled them down. Then my mind went into "Well, I've already blown it so I might as well eat what I want and get this binge out of the way". So, I did. After I ate the Fruity Pebbles I had milk left in the bowl so I filled it with Brownie Flavored Goldfish! OMG! Really? I gobbled those down but there was still milk left so I refilled the bowl but this time I used the Vanilla Cake Flavored Goldfish. Ugh. Feeling like I had just totally lost control I grabbed the 3 remaining protein bars that I had bought at the grocery store and ate them as fast as I could (Yes - I said 3!!!). Then it was time to put the kids to bed. At least there was a distraction at this point so I thought my binge was over. Nope, wrong, think again. After I put the kids to bed I poured a big bowl of Cheez Its and got on the computer to search for "Why do I binge eat?". I surfed around and found lots of articles telling me that I was binge eating because I'm stressed or I'm missing something emotionally in my life. As I popped one Cheez It after another into my mouth I kept surfing. None of this was applying to me. I'm not stressed. I love my life. I have the most amazing husband I could ever ask for. My kids and family are healthy. My biggest worry in a day is "When will I work out?". Having not found the answer to my binge eating issues I decided I'd keep surfing while I ate a bag of Blueberry Mini Muffins. After the mini muffins I felt that my mouth had too much of a sweet taste in it so I ate a handful of salted almonds. At this point I knew the only way to break the binge was to go to bed. So I did.
What the Hell Happened?
Now it's the next day and I'm sitting here asking myself what happened to trigger me to eat so out of control. I think I know. It's because at 4 PM I was starving. I knew I only had 400 calories left for the day and in the back of my mind I knew that wasn't going to be enough to get me the kind of full I wanted to be. Last week I had decided that instead of my normal 1500 calories a day I'd drop down to 1200 a day in order to REALLY look good by my birthday in a month. Cutting those 300 calories out left me feeling hungry and like there was no way I'd be able to satisfy my desire to feel full (I can't help it...I like to feel full!). So my mind rebelled and I ended up downing probably close to 2000 calories in one sitting. This is why starving and depriving myself doesn't work. I preach this stuff on my blog day in and day out so why can't I get it through my own thick skull?
So, What Will I Do Going Forward?
This is not the first time that this has happened and I'll take a guess that it won't be the last. What can I do to minimize these episodes going forward? Here's my plan:
- I'm going back to my 1500 calories per day. I'm taking my own advice - MODERATION! NO STARVING!
- I will eat my 1500 calories whenever I want but will try to limit carbs for 2 hours before going to bed.
- I will eat clean and healthy foods but I'll also have a treat when I have the urge. I just have to stay within my daily calorie allowance. My treats will not be cookies and ice cream. Not until my break date of 5/18 (read about breaks here). The treats will be somewhat nutritious treats. I get just as much pleasure when I eat a Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein bar as I do when I eat a chocolate chip cookie.
- When I feel a binge coming on I will distract myself with some sort of activity (play with kids, clean my office, anything).
- When I feel a binge coming on I will remind myself of how I feel after the binges and that my body deserves to be treated better than that. I work too damn hard every single day to keep myself fit and healthy; I won't throw it all away in one 2 hour window of binging!
- Some folks would say I should not have junk foods in my house to begin with so I suppose I need a bullet here saying "Throw out the junk food". That's not gonna happen though. I have this food around my house for my kids as special treats. I'm sure many people would disagree with this but I'll cover my thoughts on kids and junk food in a future post. In the mean time just know that my kids do eat a healthy balanced diet but they also get junk food in moderation.
Does anyone else battle with binge eating? What do you do to stop the binge? What do you think your triggers are?