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Break the binge cycle

June 25, 2011

I’ve let you down. Sad smile I’ve slipped on my commitment to blog at least once a day and missed last night’s post. I can’t tell you how disappointed I am in myself.  Before you ditch my blog (and break my heart), let me tell you what happened yesterday. My first mistake was when I decided to double my morning calorie intake, so instead of a regular bowl of GoLean cereal, I made toast with sun butter and ½ banana. After completing a 4 mile run I had a green smoothie with berries and spinach. I felt strangely full for a morning, but energized and healthy.

For lunch I had a ½ can of tuna on greens with a bit of avocado and honey Dijon dressing (less protein and calories than my usual lunch, but I did have two breakfasts.) I was busy in the afternoon and ended up having my two snacks back to back: greek yogurt and apple with almonds. I got home later than usual and since I still had to make dinner, so I decided to have another snack (hummus, carrots and ½ whole wheat tortilla) while cooking. At this point I have been munching 200 calories every couple of hours. Some people would consider this healthy as it keeps the metabolism up; others say that you actually need to take longer breaks to allow your body to process the food and develop a sense of hunger. I am in the second camp. Even though my snacks have been healthy, there have been far too many and I am just constantly eating, blurring the line between hungry and full.

For dinner I made tortilla-less chicken enchiladas with some black beans and brown rice.

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I was super excited for dessert as Artic Zero finally arrived at my house. Of course I had to sample every flavor and settled on Chocolate Peanut Butter as the starting treat for the night. I’ve concluded that Vanilla Maple is my favorite (which surprised the heck out of me since I am a chocoholic) — sprinkled with chopped pecans, it tastes just like Butter Pecan.

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150 calories of Arctic Zero vs. Skinny Cow? Who says size does not matter?!

I also received the Justin’s Nut single serves, and could not resist trying the Hazelnut chocolate one. Oh my gosh! If you think Nutella tastes good, wait until you try this. I am just so happy I ordered the singles and not the full jar as it would have been gone by now. This stuff is amazing! Not too sweet, chocolaty-rich, but you can still taste the hazelnut. I spread a packet, which is 80 cal, just about a full table spoon, onto a tortilla and wrapped ½ banana – unbelievable! Most normal people would have stopped eating after this. I’ve had plenty of food for the day, but this is where things went downhill, and I had some rice chips, chocolate, grapes and more chocolate. Yeek!

Once my belly expanded to look like I was 6 months pregnant (I am guessing here as I have not been 6 months pregnant), I rolled out of the kitchen. Even though my original intentions were to blog, I felt so embarrassed and ashamed of my binge that it would have been contradictory to the topic I had picked out earlier. Instead I spent the rest of the night contemplating the reasons and triggers for the binge attack, and here is what I came up:

Reasons for bingeing

Reason #1: On my “good” days, my diet might be too restrictive and I don’t get enough calories so I starve myself (without realizing it of course) and overeat later.

Reason #2: I use food to cope with negative feelings like tiredness, stress, anxiety, boredom, etc. This is quite common among overeaters as they try to satisfy emotional needs with food. In reality, food never helps and I end up feeling worse than I did before I started stuffing my face.

Reason #3: I like breaking bending rules (even when self-imposed) and harbor suppressed desires for naughty excitement so my dark side takes over and rebels against everything my brain has worked hard to instill in my body.

One bad evening won’t derail my diet long term, as long as the bingeing does not turn into a repetitive cycle night after night. The important part is to pick myself up, dust off the crumbs and get back to nourishing my body.

Go Green Strategy

1. Exercise even when it’s the last thing you want to do. I forced myself to yoga this morning with my belly angrily grumbling at me for missing my eating curfew last night. My body was stiff and uncomfortable but I felt amazingly better after the class was done.

2. Fuel with a green smoothie. I was starting to feel better after re-charging with nutritious fibrous breakfast.

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Pretty brave to share a picture of myself after a restless sleep and a 6am hot yoga class.

3. Wear a big green shmata as I feel like a whale to hide the expanded waistline.

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It’s hard to tell from the picture, but the cardigan is greenish-grey.

4. Calm the inflammation with green tea.

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5. Eat the veggies. I prefer to continue my post-binge detox by having a giant salad for lunch to replace all the bad stuff in my system with vitamins and nutrients from fresh vegetables. However, I had a work lunch planned with my team at an Italian restaurant. I ordered a side salad to start with and only had two small pieces of the bread, which is a big step for me.

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I did finish the full bowl of pasta with prawns in spicy marinara sauce, but at least it was a true Italian portion (not Americanized).

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Dinner was a much better choice– a low-carb chicken tostada at Ooba’s Mexican Grill.

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How do you get back on track after a night of overeating?

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. June 25, 2011 5:15 am

    Great, honest post, except that I see no whale! You look beautiful!

  2. Mark permalink
    June 26, 2011 4:46 am

    I agree, you don’t look like a whale.

    “sprinkled with chopped pecans, it tastes just like Butter Pecan. ”

    Yeah, and it’s a lot more than 150 cals per pint too 🙂 And even though they’d be high in cals, those would be some of the “good fats”, right?

    I saw one flavor of that Justin’s stuff at QFC today. It was the size of a normal jar of PB. But it was $11. What makes it so special?

    As far as feeling ashamed for binging, you should definitely share them when they happen. That will encourage others not to make your mistakes, as we can get our fix through you 😛 I like your attitude on dusting off the crumbs and fixing it next time. People get way too negative when they slip up every now and then.

    For your binging, one thing you might want to consider is talking to a counselor to figure out all of the triggers, and maybe develop some tips for dealing with them (because you’re always going to have those).

    • June 26, 2011 2:45 pm

      Who needs specialists when you can self medicate thanks to the Internet and all the great books out there 🙂 It’s so great to have such caring readers though. Thanks guys for trying to make me feel better. Don’t worry, I beat myself up when I overeat, but that does not last too long. 🙂 I wanted to speak honestly how I felt in the moment and what I can do to make things better as I am sure there are others that have weak moments of self-doubt and guilt as well.

      Justin’s butter just tastes better, and it uses high quality ingredients, but don’t get it at QFC. It’s overpriced. Buy at my amazon store instead: http://astore.amazon.com/janesaddictions-20/ 🙂 The chocolate hazelnut is to die for.

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