Remember the game plan? I am happy to report that ever since that post, I’ve been much more focused on staying within my points plus allowance and exercising. And when things got tough (like when all I could smell was buffalo wings when we were out bowling on Friday night… and in turn I just wanted “something bad for me”), Adam was there to remind me that I don’t actually “need” any of it. That what I needed was sleep or water. On Saturday night I was the most proud. I was home alone, prime time for mindless snacking (bordering on bingeing). I don’t remember the last time I didn’t eat while alone. I really wanted to this time too. All these cravings came but I was already at my points limit (I had an awesome day of eats!) and I knew it was just a knee jerk reaction that I needed to work through. Eventually I made a deal with myself – if I made cookie dough for the Super Bowl cookies, I could lick the spatula. It was the perfect little treat and I got another errand done (a fun errand, but still).
Everything was going so well. I really felt like I was making progress. And then the Super Bowl party came. We didn’t go out to dinner on Saturday, knowing that Sunday was going to be a caloric night… so I sort of had permission to eat whatever I wanted. And I did. I ate all.night.long. I couldn’t help but track my points the next morning and estimated my daily consumption at 80 points – blowing through every single one of my weekly bonus points (but still being at exactly 0 because of all the activity points I earned in days prior). So in theory everything was ok. Except it wasn’t.
I felt bloated all Monday morning and my body was constantly reminding me of my “sins” the night prior. And then came the guilt… and the discomfort and anxiety, lack of concentration… and eventually the desire to binge. Since I promised Adam that I would tell him BEFORE I ate anything in this situation (and let’s face it, I don’t really want to ask him for “permission” because I already know what the answer will be), I had to sit with this feeling and was actually able to observe what was unraveling right before my eyes. It was so amazing to see how discomfort instantly brought on thoughts of food. Here I was, still happily full from lunch, thinking about what was in my desk drawer or the fridge that I could munch on. YOU DON’T NEED FOOD!!!
Instead of giving in to this short period of quietness (while eating) I made tea and told myself I had to keep working on my assignment at work. It wasn’t easy, but I did not give myself the option to binge. It was out of the question so I had to go with the alternative and get through the day like a “normal” person.
JUST SAY NO. These instances are mental. You can let your mind win and seduce you into bingeing, even though you know you will regret it right after (or maybe even during, stuffing yourself guiltily). Or you can tell yourself that you can get through whatever emotion you’re feeling without food because food is off limits for the moment. That feeling (to binge) passes – we all know that! It’s a matter of not falling victim to it and letting it pass WITHOUT food.
I know it’s tough.
Yesterday was a strong moment for me. I’d like to build on this one strong moment and remember it next time. I now know that I CAN say no, that it is possible and that it is worth it.
If you’re struggling with binge eating, please remind yourself of the same. Your mind is strong. Make it work for you, not against you.