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Wagon Fall

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

On the eve I would have tied my longest running wheat free streak, I failed. Miserably.

The formula? Exhaustion + Depression + Anxiety = Chocolate Chip Cookie Free for all.

I left bright and early on Monday to head up to Connecticut for two glorious days at a work offsite meeting. My husband decided to tag along since we have friends up in Connecticut he’s been meaning to visit – and I certainly appreciated having him there, as it made me dread the time away from home a little less.

Unfortunately, I still have this cold/cough/annoying persistent super bug that wants to torture me/ by not letting me sleep at night. I arrived to work at 9am groggy, and was forced to deplete the remaining energy stores I had through social interaction – my anxiety disorder always makes meeting new people an ordeal for me. So I was happy to see my employer offer eggs and sausage as part of a morning breakfast buffet, and overate my share in the hopes I’d be re-energized for the rest of the day. It didn’t work out that way, and I continued to chow through a giant chicken and bleu cheese crumble harvest salad with balsamic vinaigrette at lunch.

I realized that what I had eaten had left me minimal calories to spare for the rest of the day – and I still needed to get through dinner with a friend where I knew wine would be flowing. The rest of my work day left me more anxious and drained than when I started, and after an hour of playing with my friend’s three daughters (ages 2,4, and 6) – I just had nothing left to fight off overeating the delicious vegetarian meal she prepared. More potatoes and risotto, please.

I returned to my hotel ready to pass out, but illness and the end of the NCAA Championship game just wouldn’t let me. Michigan’s loss left me severely depressed – as I blogged about before ( wp.me/p1N36Q-3K ), their win would have allowed me to take home the Grand Prize of the Brother Jimmy’s Barbecue Tournament (an Apple iPad). The top ten winners of the tournament all got something cool – but unfortunately, so many others had chosen Louisville to win that Michigan’s loss plummeted me out of the running to #48. Bummed and hacking up a lung, I tried to get some sleep… but was unsuccessful.

I had intended to get a run in at the hotel gym early the following morning, since Monday was a planned day off and it has been sometime since I have had a successful treadmill run. But lack of sleep, an abundance of coughing, and the extra dry hotel recycled air left me feeling worse come Tuesday morning than I have in quite some time. So I skipped the gym, ate more eggs for breakfast, and kept myself going the rest of the day on decaf coffee. A flawed strategy in many ways, I’m aware.

I was looking forward to coming home and sleeping in my own bed after two very long days, but I had to make it through one more hurdle – dinner out with my supervisor and a colleague. We were at a Mexican restaurant where they make fresh guacamole right at your table (and prepared with lots of jalapenos as I like it). Being too zapped to be a good dinner companion, I just stuffed myself with lots of chips and guac. I figured I would eat only half my entree salad with shrimp skewers and take the rest home, but planning that way rarely works for me. I ate the whole thing.

I said goodbye to my co-workers, and headed back to the hotel where we had been staying (my husband had planned to visit some friends and pick me up after dinner there), where interestingly enough, fresh baked cookies had come right out of the oven. The whole hotel lobby smelled delicious. And my husband, I learned, was going to be a half hour late. All I wanted was to go home and get into my nice cozy bed.

And I couldn’t do that. So I ate cookies. I was stuffed from dinner, but it didn’t matter. Two very long, exhausting days meant cookies were ok.

So here I am, starting a new day 1. I’m still tired and wondering how I’m going to make it through the rest of the week when all I really want to do is sleep for a zillion hours. I’m encouraged by the fact that I still have an opportunity to make two weeks wheat and binge free before my next race, but I just hate starting over. And I know this won’t be the last time I have to travel for … or be exhausted because of… my job.

It turns out mental health issues like anxiety and depression triple the likelihood of death for heart disease patients: www.sparkpeople.com/reso
My heart is perfectly fine for now, but I’m sure it won’t be if I keep up the cookie habit. I think my future self will be very grateful if I can quit wheat and finally beat anxiety soon.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Thanks for the support and encouragement! I did make it through yesterday as planned (always easy to do the day immediately after a binge) and am slightly worried about today. I have a social event tonight where there will be appetizers served - I'm not sure what's on the menu, but I'm betting on at least veggies and cheese so that I can behave myself. If there's nothing I want to eat, I won't stay too long - or step out, eat dinner, and come back to it. Wish me luck!
    1865 days ago
    The addiction to wheat glutten is not easy to over come. It may take some falling off the wagon here and there and when you are not feeling well, it magnifies that.

    Geneen Roth, in her book Breaking Free From Emotional Eating has several strategies that might suit your needs, when you get a chance, order the book and read it. I am finding it very helpful but have had gluten this week also. Results? ALL my skin disorders back in full force - not to mention GAS .. well ... for me anyway. These could be considered your learning year(s) with the wheat on trial, sometimes you have to fail to succeed. You've learnt from it, now pull up the socks and lets get busy. That's not ment to belittle your struggle, its meant to get you moving again when you are feeling up to it. BUT eventually on this form of food management, you will have to learn to deal with these issues and still maintain your food management if you continue to be wheat/gluten free. Remember, something addictive takes some time, and several attempts to get it right. You may need to do some more research and then pursue.. just a thought... emoticon
    1866 days ago
    Why is it that when I read your blog, I could picture myself in all of your situations? I love chocolate chip cookies (or any other cookies for that matter) so I stay away from them altogether. If I eat just one, I want to eat the whole batch! I am told by my doctor that the cookies (sugary, fatty sweets) can cause a form of addiction. I just stay away from them period.

    I feel for you with your anxiety disorder too. I have a different type of anxiety problem but dealing with anxiety is exhausting when you are in a situation that triggers it.

    Hang in there! The good news is that you are right back on track! Good for you! Don't worry about yesterday, it is done and gone. Just let it go and concentrate on today. I hope your cough is better soon. If it lingers too long you may need to have your doctor take a quick look.
    1866 days ago
    These things happen. But you know what? You're getting right back on the horse. You know your goal and you know how to achieve it. All you need now is time. This time you'll break that previous wheat free streak by a mile! emoticon
    1866 days ago
    Keep pushing! You'll get there!
    1866 days ago
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