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Anatomy of two days of eating

Friday, January 25, 2013

Yesterday I went about 700 cal over my limit. I ate a lot. One thing that happened was that I had a mini binge at night, but of course, the damage didn't start there. It happened all day long. So I decided to use my blog to go back over my food choices yesterday, and see how they all contributed to a day where I consumed far too much.

I got up especially early because I had to get to work early. I had gone to sleep at 12:30 the night before, so I got less than six hours of sleep. Not a good start to the day. I spent too long in the bathroom, was late in leaving for work, and consequently had a stressful drive.

But I did eat breakfast before I left the house. I had my usual, oatmeal with strawberries, which was a good choice. (I add in wheat germ and flaxseed meal for nutrients and protein.) And I skipped the juice, which I've been doing lately as part of my Spark program. It just adds extra calories.

For my first snack, around 10 AM, I had a hard-boiled egg. A good snack with some protein to tide me over until lunch.

My first problem was lunchtime. My work provides cafeteria – style food, which yesterday was enchiladas. I had some green salad with Italian dressing (good), a vegan cheese enchilada, and a chicken enchilada. Not exactly low cal, but I could've made it work. The problem was that I didn't have much time for lunch, so I scarfed down my food. Then when it turned out my next participant was late, I realized I had a little more time, so I went back and got another chicken enchilada. I wasn't hungry, I just wanted the enjoyment of eating. That was a mistake.

In the afternoon, after my second session, I had some nonfat yogurt with cereal on top for crunch. A decent choice from the perspective of calories, but it didn't fill me up, likely because it was very low fat. Consequently, I was ravenous by the time I drove home. I grabbed some water to drink in the car, and also some turkey jerky, and a snack pack of veggies and cheese. And also some pop chips. None of these things in and of themselves are bad, but together, they were too much.

I got home, and ate a quick dinner of leftovers, meat loaf and potato leek soup. Healthy, but it didn't fill me up, and was only about 350 cal. I needed more.

And there I found myself in the evening, hungry and tired and craving some sweetness, both taste-wise and emotional, to end the day. I ended up eating one skinny cow ice cream sandwich, five strawberries, a weight watchers ice cream bar, and finally kettle corn which I bought on impulse at the farmers market. I started out a little hungry, but by the end I was simply noshing, and in the process, eating too much. Not good at all.

(When I reread that paragraph, it sounds a little bit like part of The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Cute, but not a role model in terms of eating habits.) Fatigue, hunger, and lack of satisfaction lead me to a day way over calories.

Today, I tried something different. I was able to get up an hour later, so I had more sleep. I have the same breakfast of oatmeal. I brought a snack of a hard-boiled egg, but didn't end up eating it since I had lunch at 11:30 AM.

Lunch was pasta, not my choice and not necessarily a good thing. But I filled half my plate with salad and Italian dressing, one quarter with shrimp picked off the top of one dish of pasta, and another quarter with pasta Bolognese. I was trying to focus on proteins as well as on healthy choices. Remember back in the 80s when we thought that pasta was healthy because it was low-fat?

In the afternoon, when it was time for a snack, I went with a spinach salad with nuts, dried cranberries, and hard-boiled egg rather than a nonfat yogurt. It has more calories, but it also kept me full longer. I was able to have a much smaller snack on the way home – only veggies and grapes.

When I got home, I had a slightly larger dinner. I had potato leek soup and salsa chicken that I made that day in the slow cooker. It was more calories, but it was also more satisfying, a fact helped by my husband being home from his business trip at last. That added emotional sweetness and enjoyment to the meal.

In the evening, I wanted a little dessert, so we shared a persimmon. I still wanted something else, so I indulged in one small hard candy before heading upstairs to bed. And with my husband's influence, I started getting ready for bed a lot earlier than yesterday.

I'm still a few calories over my range today, and I didn't have the opportunity to exercise on either day due to long work schedules. But today showed how focusing on getting more calories in for snacks as well as fat, getting more sleep, and having more emotional support can really contribute to less bingeing.

This is why we journal our food: to learn from our past experiences and make better choices next time. Now I know that a salad with protein and dressing on it (to provide necessary fat) is a much better snack for me than a nonfat yogurt. And I've proved to myself, once again, how important getting enough sleep can be. I need to remember that this is why we journal. Not so that we can castigate ourselves for bad days, but so that we can introspect about things that worked well and that didn't, and make positive changes in our lives. And those changes, over time, will lead to success.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • JESSIKA_56
    Good job being honest with yourself about why you ate what you did. That can only help as you move along this journey!
    1819 days ago
  • RX_2_RV
    Just a thought, but I allow myself a 500 calorie splurge every other week while I am losing weight. I know I will reach my goal a little more slowly than if I was strictly adhering to the plan. That way, I can allow these inevitable splurges to occur, incorporate them into my plan, and move on. To me, it mirrors the way I see myself maintaining my goal weight later on. I can "save" my splurge days for family gatherings or a special event, when I know I will be tempted, or use them on a day when I am REALLY short on time or options.

    It is good to learn from your mistakes, but better to plan for them and stay focused on a positive vision of a successful outcome.

    1819 days ago
  • CARI2012
    Although you went over on your calories, you did eat healthy things! It's not like you had an entire chocolate cake followed by a whole bag of potato chips! Yes, you could have (and probably should have) tried to eat LESS, but the things you did eat were healthy! That, in itself, is a success! Hope you have another successful day!
    1819 days ago
    George Santayana said that "those who fail to learn from the past are doomed to repeat it." Memory is self serving, at least for me, thus the importance of a journal. Isn't it amazing how we can forget something we ate just 2 hours before? But there it is, and the journal is the best way to force remembrance.
    1819 days ago
    I think you can lessen the cravings by focusing more on protien, fats (as you did), and veggies. The dried fruit, oatmeal, pasta, etc, can all lead to spikes in blood sugar, which then lead to more cravings for sugary and starchy things. The protien and fats lead to a more even burn of blood sugar, without as many spikes. And you are so right about the importance of getting your sleep. Good of you to self correct, as you did. Good luck to you. Glenn
    1820 days ago
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