Turning It around When You're Spiraling Out of Control

35SHARES

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
6/17/2010 9:36 AM   :  472 comments   :  64,590 Views

By Beth Donovan, ~INDYGIRL

Embarrassed... I admit to you all that for a few days last month I was out of control. I binged one or two times and chose really junky food that left me feeling toxic and demoralized and strangely enough like eating more of it. Sometimes I get to feeling so badly, that I eat badly, and feel worse, so I eat worse... It's really hard to dig out or even have the desire to dig out. I used to just resign myself to failing.

Since joining SparkPeople, I have done things differently when I've had these bouts. Now I know how to turn it around.

I want to share my turn-around with you so it might help you turn it around during a bad spell.

Notice first that all of it starts with feeling… feeling badly, so you eat.... Even if you started with eating something you were ashamed of, it was the feeling of shame that kept you going. In other words, an event happened, triggered you to eat, shame followed, which turned into an event itself, so you eat more, have more shame… That’s the spiral.

The BEST thing you can do for yourself is to treat yourself well. That's right, have a manicure, wear your favorite outfit, do whatever makes you feel your most beautiful or handsome. Your actions will follow how you feel. Have you ever noticed when you’re in these moods how you want to lay around in sweats or not put on cosmetics? It’s like you’re punishing body even further by making sure it isn’t allowed to look good if you can’t be “perfect” with your eating. So then you feel lousy and keep eating junk.

I also notice that when I’m in a spiral I won’t exercise, eat my vegetables, fruits, or drink my milk. It's like I have a total disregard for my body because I think “Why bother, I'm such a failure.” Then I look over at some piece of tempting food and think “I ate that extra helping of ____. I may as well…” Here is where I tell myself "If I can say 'I may as well,' I can say 'I may as well not.' "

One slice of pizza is always going to have fewer calories than two. I get a grip and feel a bit of strength coming on, as I remind myself “If I got a traffic ticket I wouldn’t break every traffic law the rest of the day. So why toss the whole day over a slice of pizza or some cookies?" These are my mantras, my powerful sayings I bring to mind when I need strength to pull through.

Then to get cravings and attitude under control, this is what works for me:

  1. Go to the Spark Start Page and reset my weight goal and date to something realistic. It gives me a fresh start and a new beginning, rather than a place from which to unbury myself.

  2. Drink extra water, tea and eat extra fruits and vegetables to get in fluids, vitamins, minerals, fiber, and natural sugars to stop my cravings. Eating extra lean protein helps me, too.

  3. Eat filling snacks that combine protein and fruit like an apple and peanut butter or cheese and pineapple. The fiber and protein keep me full, while the sweetness of the fruit helps calm my residual sugar cravings. Vegetables provide crunch and fiber to combat the nervousness that comes with coming down from a binge.

  4. This is the time to spend that money that I would spend on junk food on a fruit or veggie tray instead. They are a beautiful and delicious treat. We don't think twice about shelling out $10 for fast food or junk, but we deprive ourselves a pretty precut deli tray of fruit or veggies pretty often.

  5. When I can, I get a massage or a pedicure or anything that makes me feel special and beautiful. You can even do a spa treatment at home with one of the luxury masks or nail kits available at the store. The important thing is to get myself feeling like the beautiful person I am again and out of that “I’ll just wear sweats, stay in the house and eat” mentality. When you feel good about how you look, don’t you notice that you tend to eat less? I do anyway.

Pretty soon I feel like moving around again and be refreshed. Hope this helps you like it does me.

How do you recover after a binge? What do you do to pick yourself back up?


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Comments

  • MICHEC
    472
    wow this is so encouraging i have felt like this these past 2 months and the result i gain 10 lbs .i will use these tips to get back on track today........i love ur comment about the traffic ticket its so true - 2/22/2014   10:05:58 AM
  • MAIDEN24
    471
    Perfect timing for me to find this as I was sitting here binging on chocolate! Great post. - 2/9/2014   7:57:26 PM
  • 470
    I realize that you wrote this a while back, but the timing for me to read this was impeccable. I love your analogy about the parking ticket and going to quote you in my journal. Everything you wrote was so spot on. Thank you for sharing your journey. Hugs Rachael - 2/2/2014   8:48:24 PM
  • 469
    I needed this. Thanks so much! - 11/30/2013   12:00:52 AM
  • TONDI002
    468
    wow That is really inspiring. great post. - 11/28/2013   3:44:48 AM
  • 467
    If I didn't just know that you didn't know me, I'd think that you knew me! Lol! Thanks for sharing! Been trying to change that pattern and now I have a guideline to put in use! - 11/14/2013   10:36:00 PM
  • SPARKME120
    466
    I really like the analogy to the parking ticket! That puts all the "food trash talk" into perspective in my head and gives me a better argument for not running with a binge!!! - 9/25/2013   2:50:45 PM
  • SPARKME120
    465
    I really like the analogy to the parking ticket! That puts all the "food trash talk" into perspective in my head and gives me a better argument for not running with a binge!!! - 9/25/2013   2:50:43 PM
  • POOKS53
    464
    I too was at that point in my life and now I make myself happy when I think I might fall!!! - 8/13/2013   12:31:43 AM
  • 463
    Thank you sooo much....These things I know and I actually I just came back to SP today..!!...It's probably the best site for everything and it's free..!!!...I started from scratch again today work towards only wearing jogging pants for jogging..If you feel good you look good and are more apt to watch your calorie intake....AND...thank you again for a wonderful article....it was very appreciated....Good luck.... - 8/10/2013   9:44:53 PM
  • KIMKAY150
    462
    I needed this. Thank you for sharing! Very inspiring! - 7/21/2013   8:16:06 PM
  • 461
    Thank you! This is a very informative piece. I know a fruit tray and a manicure would make me feel better when I have a set back. I'm going to try this next time. :) - 7/17/2013   9:20:06 PM
  • 460
    Thank you for sharing your struggle and coping strategies. Also, for reminding us that we are on a journey; a few steps forward, a few backward. The main thing is to not give up and find strategies to help us continue forward! - 5/22/2013   11:16:30 AM
  • 459
    I am just coming out of a spiral. When I got on the scale this morning, I knew it would be bad and it was....I just have to take a breath and get myself into gear again. Thanks for an excellent article. - 4/17/2013   8:12:48 AM
  • 458
    I have several notebooks that I've recorded my weight loss progress in, so when I feel discouraged about a gain on the scale, or a weekend of poor food choices, I just look back at one of the notebooks to remind myself of how far I've come. I also like to tell myself, "I've escaped from fat prison and I'm NOT going back!" LOL, if nothing else, it gives me a good laugh :)

    Julia - 4/13/2013   8:18:56 AM
  • LIZZIE-BELLE1
    457
    Thanks for sharing. I too suffer with depression and I can identify with what you have shared with us. - 4/12/2013   2:23:22 PM
  • 456
    i have severe depression and a mild bi polar disorder so there are times when i hardly want to get out of bed let alone eat right and workout. ive learned to not feel guilty about eating bad. when i get in my depressed states im guilty enough as it is about random things i logically know i shouldnt feel guilty about. not eating right for a day or maybe two isnt that bad. ive learned that i can have my comfort food. i just drink a lot of water or i try and lift some light weights just to get me moving. all of march was a hard month for me and my fiance. we were constantly running around and didnt have time to cook at home before we had to run off somewhere else so we ate fast food a lot during march. i didnt gain a single lb or any inches because i still did my workout and drank my green tea. but as of the last week weve slowed down and things are settling again and i can cook healthy meals at home now. ive been trying a new recipe every night to make it interesting. binging once in a while wont hurt you. before march my fiance and i hardly ate fast food and we went out once a month for date night and that was my binge day. when i want comfort food i tell myself that i can have it if i do a quick workout. - 4/2/2013   3:06:21 PM
  • DIETER061
    455
    Thank you for great inspiration. I am in the middle of a climbing up and out of a bad week of not being good to myself. I am going to forgive myself and set new short term goals that will help to motivate me to be positive. - 3/31/2013   4:45:04 AM
  • CLARAELIZABETH1
    454
    Just had a 'spiral' -- wish I had read this beforehand....but putting it all into effort now. Thank you! You described me to a T. - 3/20/2013   11:54:31 AM
  • 453
    I couldn't have read this blog at a better time. I am spiraling out of control because of my emotions. I have gained 6 lbs in the past 3 months. I appreciate all the tips you gave especially about the fruit and veggie tray. I always think they are too expensive, but you are right, I wouldn't hesitate to spend 8 bucks at Wendy's. Thank you for your awesome advice. It was very much needed. - 3/14/2013   4:37:50 PM
  • 452
    Great read....thank you for sharing. - 3/12/2013   7:07:39 AM
  • 451
    great read-thanks - 3/7/2013   4:14:52 AM
  • 450
    Dear Beth, I just needed to read this on this very day. Thank you so much for sharing. I always find some kind of uplift or encouragement from your posts.

    Paula - 2/21/2013   5:27:36 AM
  • 449
    I see that you wrote this so long ago and I feel that I've read it before, like when I first joined SP, back in 8/11 and when I saw it listed again, I thought, Oh my, I can read that and instill it all over again. Thank you so much for such an awesome blog to help me and so many others! - 2/17/2013   2:22:51 PM
  • 448
    Here's where that Journal SparkPeople advised me to keep comes in handy. I look back at some pages from months ago and the feelings from back then flood me. I don't want to dishonor the woman who worked so hard by pouring more junk into her. - 6/6/2012   10:21:27 PM
  • 447
    Here's where that Journal SparkPeople advised me to keep comes in handy. I look back at some pages from months ago and the feelings from back then flood me. I don't want to dishonor the woman who worked so hard by pouring more junk into her. - 6/6/2012   10:21:26 PM
  • 446
    For the most part I drink plain ice water, but on a shakey night (why is it always at night?) I'll have a decaf iced tea or a diet hot chocolate. - 6/6/2012   10:21:18 PM
  • 445
    Thank you so much for sharing your feelings, inspirations and ideas. I really need them on these last few pounds to lose to my goal weight. When I get to weighing 150 lbs, I will have finally lost 200 lbs. and reached the goal that my doctor's have set for me. It somehow seems though, that the journey of a few pounds is harder mentally and emotionally than I thought it would be. Could it be that I'm scared?

    Paula - 5/13/2012   1:20:06 PM
  • 444
    My last spiral was when I found out I had a blood clot in my leg, had to go on coumadin and completely revamp my diet (no leafy greens, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, asparagus, and very limited choices of legumes). It lasted for a year and a half. Fortunately, in that time, I was able to get my blood work stabilized (THAT took a year to do!), and what I do to at least try to prevent another spiral (I'll never say never!) is to make sure that I exercise first thing in the morning. It's such a positive and powerful time that is exclusively for ME. It's when I take the best care of myself, because the exercise I do are things that I love to do. That keeps me on track for the rest of the day. - 4/11/2012   5:16:18 PM
  • SBNORMAL
    443
    I have been fighting this and this week I work a seven day plan to restore my sanity. I had a back spasm, that would not leave, getting depressed because I am off my program and I want to lose weight overnight. I have to make myself a once a week treat plan, that does not include fat snacks or binge foods. - 4/6/2012   7:42:51 AM
  • ELIZABETH_G
    442
    I love the comparison to getting a traffic ticket, I'll remember than when I stress-eat. I've started finishing the phrase "At the end of the day..." and realized I don't want to finish that with ".... I ate two candy bars." I want to say "...I made good choices and feel great about it!" - 3/31/2012   3:51:31 PM
  • LOLOSMOMMY
    441
    Thanks for sharing your story and your tips. One of my goals is to not make excuses about the day and throw it away because of a few bad choices. Will definitely use your tips. - 3/17/2012   10:00:31 AM
  • SHELTERED1
    440
    Thanks so much for sharing. There is no shame, we've all or atleast most of us have been there.

    - 3/16/2012   2:35:08 PM
  • 439
    Inspiring! Dressing up really works. When I look good, I feel better, thus I do better. Also, when I mess up, I find if I go exercise, it helps me not sink into the spiral. It lifts my mood and that helps stop the feeling bad cycle. - 3/16/2012   1:54:15 PM
  • 438
    Kind of strange...I had an out-of-control evening last night and stumbled on to this perfect blog today! My opinion - We have to stop beating ourselves up when we slip, take a deep breath and 'fogettaboutit'! Otherwise it is a very easy to get discouraged and give up. We are sooo worth it! Thanks for the wise words! - 1/23/2012   2:11:20 PM
  • USHARANI_333
    437
    "I also notice that when I’m in a spiral I won’t exercise, eat my vegetables, fruits, or drink my milk. It's like I have a total disregard for my body because I think “Why bother, I'm such a failure.” Then I look over at some piece of tempting food and think “I ate that extra helping of ____. I may as well…” This is exactly how I feel right now. I've been spiralling out of control for a few months now. I did manage to lose almost 20 pounds. Then, I just let go of myself and gained all of it back. I feel distressed, uncomfortable and totally tired/lethargic. Yet, I can't get myself to snap out of it. Your blog is just what I needed. No, I wouldn't break every traffic rule just because I got one ticket. I'm going to get back on track today! Thanks! - 11/22/2011   1:44:56 AM
  • 436
    A great blog. I have a problem getting my protein and eating foods that fill me up and take care of that "sweet tooth." These are some really good ideas. Thank you so much for sharing. - 11/13/2011   10:12:36 PM
  • 435
    Thank you! Been there, done that, along with all the other people who commented!
    Great ideas for damage control! Why is it we always pay more attention to that bad little voice inside our head, than the good one? - 11/11/2011   8:41:17 AM
  • 434
    I absolutely love the veggie tray idea. I don't even want to know how much money I've spent on cookies and donuts. - 11/4/2011   10:05:28 AM
  • 433
    Thank you I will start to use these tactics, makes so much sense. Thanks! - 10/25/2011   10:23:15 PM
  • SABRINALONDON21
    432
    Great blog! I just did number 1, before I read this blog...it took me a while to figure out why even if I was doing better I was still in a rut. I figured it was the immenseness of my goal! So I know have to time bound goals. I wrote them down and posted them on my bathroom mirror! - 10/19/2011   4:17:17 PM
  • GSISSON8
    431
    This is right on target for me. I am an emotional eater. It helps to get on Sparkpeople and read what others are doing, or just read past blogs I have written when things were good. - 10/12/2011   1:25:38 PM
  • 430
    This came at a perfect time. I just emotionally ate 2 servings of lays potato chips after hearing from my upset, crying daughter whose 1000 miles away in college, racking up a 300 calories in 5 minutes. Stopped myself, got on sparkpeople, counted the calories to my daily intake, and then read your blog. It came at a wonderful time! Thank you. - 10/11/2011   2:29:38 PM
  • 429
    Thanks for the honesty & tips! I relate to the bad actions that follow the bad feelings but I love the snack tips! Thanks! - 9/28/2011   9:09:18 PM
  • 428
    Everything you said describes my past actions perfectly. Luckily, I've become aware of it, and am trying really hard to not fall back. The main thing is, i need to stop sabotaging myself, and that became perfectly clear to me while reading your blog! I thank you! Recognizing the problem is truly half the battle! Beautifully written! Thanks, again! - 9/26/2011   11:17:51 AM
  • 427
    Obviously you've hit a nerve with many of us. Thank you for sharing this, it couldn't have been easy. I appreciate the useful ideas to turn it around, one my hardest things to do. Thanks again! - 9/23/2011   3:36:45 PM
  • CHELE1972
    426
    This was a great! Thank You!! I saw a quote on SP once...."Being fit is hard...Being fat is hard...Choose your hard"..I LOVE it....When I have a bad day or make a bad choice...I think back to that quote...Choose your hard! - 9/23/2011   2:28:31 PM
  • ROGERSBABE1
    425
    This was a great blog. What helps me is knowing that others who have successfully reached goal go through this, and that we just get on track the very next meal. It is demoralizing to fall off of the wagon, but we must get back up and push through. - 9/23/2011   1:32:41 PM
  • FOOD-FIT-FUN
    424
    This is helpful in so many ways. First, it is good to learn that I am not alone in my struggle with binge eating. The solutions offered are simple, practical and I believe they would work. I have to remember to use them instead of caving in to cravings when they feel so overwhelming. Thank you for sharing this. - 9/20/2011   8:41:30 AM
  • 423
    Thanks. What I needed to get back on track - 9/17/2011   9:16:41 PM

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