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my recipe for maintenance mode

Thursday, December 20, 2012

I resolved in my last blog to determine what led to the mental shift to maintenance mode. Determine it I did, and what better time to put it down into words than following a relapse with bingeing?

There are several factors that contributed to the shift and which sustained it for its duration, but they're really secondary to the key difference:
**Lack of food**

It's amazing the mental change I underwent with: 1) the elimination of binge foods into my environment in particular; 2) scarcity of food in general; 3) complete lack of money to buy more food; 4) uncertainty as to when there would be money to buy more food.

Sounds like it would be stressful, right? It was to a degree, but mostly it was a godsend, because it forced me to exercise moderation and mindfulness.

As this is a factor out of the realm of my control, I suppose I'm left working with the other factors:

1. Mental toughness coaching, courtesy of
2. Read & work through "The Solution" by Laurel Mellin, a workbook addressing the psychological, physical, and lifestyle causes of weight problems, available

3. Learn new/different ways of "how to stop bingeing." The concept of developing a "pause button" was especially helpful.
4. Regularly role play use of adaptive coping skills when I'm feeling invulnerable: imagine I'm on the verge of bingeing and use stopwatch to practice emotion regulation in 2 minute intervals. Use emergency box, "50 Ways to Soothe Yourself Without Food" (
), positive affirmation cards.
5. Foster motivation daily. Read blogs, my motivation journal, positive affirmation cards, Transcendentalism quotes, excerpts from "The Alchemist"; watch "The Last Lecture" (
); listen/read lyrics to uplifting/inspiring music.

My binge-free streak this time lasted 11 "full days" (that is, from the time I awoke until I fell asleep), 12 days from binge-to-binge. Now I start anew, feeling vulnerable, on the approach of the most temptation-laden holiday of the year, replete with a surplus of food.

P.S. Getting my body fat measured on Monday really threw me for a head trip and actually triggered emotional eating. My weight at time of measurement was 2 lbs higher than when I'd last weighed myself at home, and my bf % had increased 0.6% from my last measurement. Granted -- I don't hold much stock in bioelectrical impedance; and I know weight fluctuates daily and varies from scale to scale because of calibration differences. Given the fact that I can see and feel physical indications of weight loss, the numbers themselves *shouldn't* have set me off. Yet they did, underscoring my assertion that it's wise for me to limit the frequency of my weigh-ins.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    11 days!!!! You have been doing great! Nice job of practicing and using skills. It is so hard to delay/pause when you're on the verge of a binge when everything in your body is screaming at you to use a bad coping mechanism like bingeing to get rid of whatever immediate discomfort you're feeling. Keep fighting!
    1939 days ago
  • KANOE10
    11 binge free days is very good. Scales vary in weights. It sounds like it can help you to stay off the scales.,

    Good luck staying healthy surrounded by the holiday madness!
    1945 days ago
  • MIRAGE727
    I looked at my weight fluctuation since I started maintaining May 16, 2011. I dropped 6 pounds since then and have had a normal +- 2.5 pound variance at max. I learned early not to stress out about it and embraced the natural process. It's worked. I also know how to burn down if I want to run with a 163 pound payload. The key to all of this is embracing that variance.
    1947 days ago
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