Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Monday, I binged for the first time since I began my weight loss journey in March 2011. I've had a few days where I went too high in my calories, over-eating a bit, some binge quality to my eating but not a true binge for over 18 months. It was a pretty good run.
I'm still not entirely sure where it all went off the rails on Monday. It was a stressful day at work, but I have plenty of those. It was an especially long day at work, which I rarely have, and I had brought food for lunch and dinner with me. Before 2, I had eaten all my food already and I knew it was mainly stress related. Still, I figured I'd make it through the long day and have a small meal when I got home of about 200 calories and be ok.
In addition to the stress eating, I did have a good amount of actual hunger. I've been very hungry the past couple of weeks for some reason. When I finally got home, it was after 8. I briefly considered riding my exercise bike for 15 minutes because I recently discovered that helps me feel less like eating too much. But I was tired, I was really hungry and that morning I had done a vigorous hour on the the treadmill. I figured I could skip the bike for the night.
And then after my small meal, I started binging. I didn't even binge on anything approaching delicious or indulgent because I am pretty careful what I let into the house. I knew I was binging. I knew I should stop and yet I didn't until I felt fairly ill.
At that point, I went to bed and had a bad night's sleep.
Recovery strategy: I kept to my new habit of weighing myself every morning and was up 2 lbs. I expected something like that and accepted it. I went for my usual hour walk that morning. I ate very lightly all day and only when I felt truly hungry. I also only ate "real" food, skipping any of the protein bars I like and which were part of the binge the night before. I enjoyed the food I ate and didn't want to any more than I consumed. Then, at my acupuncture appointment (for my arthritis), I asked for some help with appetite control. I figured it might help.
What I learned: While I don't fully understand why this happened after so many months of not giving in to the desire to binge, I have come to a few conclusions. While I definitely do NOT recommend anyone binge, this experience was so unpleasant, even as I was eating (when you'd think there'd be some enjoyment) that right now any idea of over-eating does not appeal to me. That might prove helpful heading into the holidays! :-)
I am impressed by the way my body was able to recover fairly quickly from the assault it suffered. I am renewed in my desire to treat my body with respect, kindness and excellent care. I am not going to gain weight and put increased pressure on my knees. I am going to maintain in my weight range (which I haven't left, despite the 2lb gain) and keep fitting into all my cute new clothes.
I will not go so many hours without eating, especially when I am stressed. I am going to be very careful about what food I bring with me to work since I am much more prone to mindless eating there than I am at home. I'm not going to bring any cereal into the house for now since the binge started with a fairly bland cereal. It is just too easy for me to grab a handful, or two or four of cereal.
And I'm going to ride my darn exercise bike or do some form of exercise for at least 15 minutes the next time I feel like over-eating. I'm going to continue reading Full Filled, which addresses emotional eating and our relationship with food.
So, the binge was a really bad experience but I feel like I have learned a great deal from it, including how much I do not want to go through another binge or any serious over-eating. I love being at this weight. I love how I feel and how much I can accomplish. In a way, the binge has renewed my commitment to healthy living.
I say that, fully aware there will always be some part of me that wants to binge, to treat my body like a garbage disposal. I'm now a little wiser, I hope, in how I can keep that part from taking over again. Wish me luck!