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Reality Check & Excuse Busters for Overeating

Saturday, July 14, 2012

One of the challenges for the BLC#15 is to write about a setback or mental barrier and how we overcame it what we learned from it.

I am currently in the process of overcoming my compulsive overeating. I have discovered over the past few months that my brain was making a million excuses in order to allow myself to continue eating more calories than I needed.

This list is not all-inclusive, but I feel it's important to get this out there to remind myself next time I catch myself trying to use one of these excuses.

1. "I worked out hard today.. I need a few extra calories"
OK, maybe you do. But, do you need more fruits, veggies, and lean protein, or do you need that fast food drive thru???? Also, you said a FEW extra, not 700 extra!!! Good thing you tracked it and won't be doing that anymore, right? right.

2. "I can estimate how many calories are in that, no need to track"
Even after years of using the Nutrition Tracker, your best guesses often underestimate. You really. do. need. to use that tracker, no more excuses! Set yourself up for success by cooking the majority of your food at home so that you know -exactly- how many calories are in it.

3. "I am eating this because I am tired / it's that time of the month / I'm stressed out! I will do better later."
Really? You are going to procrastinate on your health? How has that worked for you so far? If you are tired, take a nap. If you cannot, you have a freezer full of healthy meals that you can whip up in a second. French fries might make you feel better mentally, but you will be kicking yourself tomorrow. Make choices today that you will thank yourself for tomorrow, and remember, exercise and sleep are much, much better tools to reduce your stress than eating junky foods.

4. "I will just use this as my cheat meal and not track it"
BAD IDEA. You know you set up the cheat meal once a week to reset your hunger hormones by letting yourself go over your calorie intake for the day by a few hundred... it is not a FREE FOR ALL. You STILL need to track it, and you need to be responsible for it. It's ok to indulge, but it is NOT ok to see how much food you can stuff in your stomach until it feels so full it hurts. That leads to overeating by more than a few hundred calories as you planned, and it stretches out your stomach so that you feel less full with your meals tommorrow. You know better than to engage in this behavior.

5. "I haven't lost any weight this week, so it doesn't matter if I overeat"
Yes it does. It certainly, absolutely, 100% does. Weight loss results from a net deficit over weeks and months and years, not days. And, just because your body (for whatever reason) is not losing weight NOW does not mean it is not coming. Except, now it won't come as quickly, because you just ate way. too. much. food. Next time, just give it more time, have faith, and if it doesn't happen in a few weeks, look for more ways to improve your nutrition and fitness instead of just giving in.

6. "I'm ugly/fat and don't deserve it/not worth it"
Yes, I have actually said these things to myself, as much as I don't want to admit it. But, the thing is, I am going to go ahead and admit that I am NOT ugly, and that "fat" is just a word. It may be a word that was once used to hurt me, but I will no longer allow it to hurt me. I have the power to not let words like this bug me. Beating myself up with insults like these is NOT making the process go any faster--in fact, it is slowing me down. From this moment on, I will treat myself with respect. I deserve that. I deserve to stop allowing others (or the memories of others) to hurt me. I deserve to be happy, and I will choose happiness. I will reach my goals because I want to, because believe I can, because I am taking steps towards them, and because I am not allowing myself to slide back into the negativity that took me away from them in the first place.

Things I have learned over the past few months:
A. I can live with much less food than previously thought, and that I used to "hoard" food by eating more so that I would not get hungry later.

B. I was not letting myself become truly hungry between meals (now I am).

C. I was using food as a security blanket, as a habit to drown out anxiety without even realizing it.

D. I need to find other things to replace the feelings of happiness and comfort that overeating used to provide. So far I am using exercise, guitar, singing, and yoga. I also get a ton of support from my bf and from Sparkfriends.

E. I was subconsciously perpetuating the bullying that I received throughout my childhood and young adulthood, and treating myself poorly because I felt inadequate. Bullies--be they peers or family members--are just (poorly) dealing with their own inadequacies when they bully others, and I forgive those people for their stupidity; I refuse to let it affect me for one more second. And you know what else? I forgive my parents for being too immature or too wrapped up in their own mental issues to know how to deal with it. I forgive them for ignoring me and losing themselves in their work, for making me feel less-than-human with their comments about my body or my weight, and I forgive them for not being there for me emotionally when I needed them. I no longer crave their approval. I deserve to feel good about myself--at any weight--for myself, and for no one else. And I am the only one who is going to make my life better.

I am working on it, one day at a time... and I am worth it.

Wow, I feel better now. Thanks for listening :)
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • MILLIE5522
    What a wonderful blog! I feel as though I should print it out for all the good ideas and straight talking. I love "Make choices today that you will thank yourself for tomorrow." I also love your attitude towards bullies. I was bullied by my older brother all my childhood and bullied at school by my peers for most of my school life (until I hit back. Bullies=Cowards)
    I wish all the best for your future healthy life. emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2161 days ago
    It always surprises me how we (those who are losing weight and making ourselves healthier inside and out) are doing so many of the same things to ourselves.
    You are doing so well and I will be keeping up with your journey I relate to completely
    2162 days ago
    Great blog!!!
    2163 days ago
    I SO LOVE THIS BLOG, YOU SHOULD TOTALLY POST THIS ON THE FB GROUP!!! This speaks o many who have failed @ the WL attempt bc of th emind games we play w oursevles when it comes to out eating habits. I mean jeez, it felt like Jillian Michael's sister talking to us, like that annoying naggy, but much needed voice in our heads. I swear we need to each print this blog entry out & tape it to our fridge!!! :D Very well written, #highfives emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2163 days ago
    WOW. Incredible blog! So much of this applies to me too, and you worded it all so well! Thanks for sharing, it's given me MUCH to think about....
    2164 days ago
    This post is so full of wisdom!!! I love it!
    2164 days ago
  • FARIS71
    There's some wisdom! I am fighting the urge to splurge right now. Blahhhhhh! The chips will not win!
    2165 days ago
  • KIPPER15
    Very honest. I relate to C, I still do it some times. emoticon
    2165 days ago
    This is exactly how I feel....Thanks for opening my eyes-Great post!
    2165 days ago
    Wow! Look at all that internal progress you are making! Losing large amounts of weight is less about the physical pounds and more about the emotional baggage, isn't it? Like we have to grow emotionally as we shrink physically- it's not a cut and dry "equation" it's a process of intense growth too.
    2165 days ago
    I've used variations of those excuses. I've learned B&C, i just have to put those lessons into practice more.
    2165 days ago
    All so true and common among many of us. I know I have said similar things often. Thanks or putting it out there. You deserve to be happy, healthy, and live a prosperous life! emoticon emoticon
    2165 days ago
  • OSTERA15
    Thank you so much for sharing this. It's great to get it all out and it helps the rest of us so very much!

    It is scary how easy it was to come up with excuses for over eating, making unhealthy choices, and not exercises but how hard it was to come up with reasons to do all those healthy things. I am guilty of all those excuses you shared and many more but change is slowly coming.

    emoticon to you on all that you have already accomplished and emoticon emoticon
    2165 days ago
    Wow. Like reading an autobiography. You really are doing great, though.
    2165 days ago
    THIS is an AWESOME post!
    2165 days ago
    Get out of my head!

    But honestly, I am struggling with the same things too and I know that I've used every single one of those excuses for a reason why it was okay to compulsively overeat.

    This is such a great exercise because you can literally refer back to it, when on the verge of a binge.

    I sometimes feel like when I am reading your blogs, I'm looking at myself three months in the future. You seem to have such a handle on the mental blocks of weight loss and it's really inspiring to read things that I am coming across. I honestly have moments where its like "omg, that it!"

    2165 days ago
  • MIRAGE727
    Excelent! You are embracing it slowly but surely. It will become natural after a while...guilt-free! Stay strong!
    2165 days ago
    i really need to hear this today. Thank you for Posting such and honest and straight to the point post. It was like you wrote it for me! :)
    2165 days ago
    #4 is what gets me a lot. x_x
    2165 days ago
    Wise words...thanks so much for this post.

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2165 days ago
    Very good blog! I have said and done all of these but #6 stands out b/c I was really saying that to mysel alot in the years before 2012. Sad but my state of mind is chaning.
    Thanks again for the blog always on time!

    2165 days ago
  • OPTIMIST1948
    So truthful. Truthiness! You speak for all of us.
    2166 days ago
    This is a GREAT post. You're making tremendous strides, and thank you so much for sharing. Now, make sure you take a long, loving look at the strong, beautiful, wise you that I see shining in your post, and give yourself a huge mental hug. You're right - you do deserve better, and it sounds like you're prepared to dish it out (heh, pun intended) much better than you ever got.

    2166 days ago
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