Wednesday, October 24, 2007

A Bump in the Road

I usually like to be pretty upbeat with my blog and in real life, but today was one of those days that feels like a great, big bump in the road. A speed bump of sorts. I guess we all have our days; it's part of being human. We get tired, we get sick, we get emotional. And then, we eat. Whether we eat healthy foods to sustain us, or fatty/sugary foods to comfort us... we eat.

It has been about 2 months since I had a "baking binge" (or a binge of any sort, really). I used to have them several times a week. Today, I was very tired. My children have kept me up at night, so I am running on very little sleep. My husband has been out of town on business for nearly 3 months, and I have no family to help with the kiddos. It seems I run, run, run all day in a great big hamster wheel and never get anywhere. Of course, I do get someplace, but I don't get nearly as much done as I would like. And this last week it seems to be catching up to me. I felt I was coping okay all this time, but this last week has stretched me.

And so I found myself, today, sitting in a parking lot wolfing down a greasy burger. I had eaten healthy all day: whole grain pasta, green tea, black grapes, and baked winter squash. But at 4:30, I was sitting in the car with a toddler who was screaming to go to the park when there was no park in sight, and I still had 30 minutes to wait for my son to get out of therapy. I was hungry. I did NOT want to listen to a crying child for 30 minutes. So I hit the drive thru. I got a cheeseburger and fries, and gave her the fries, which quieted her down IMMEDIATELY since she loves fries and hardly ever gets them! I got myself some fried zucchini, too. I thought, "I need this, I need some comfort, a break from the routine. I need MEAT! I am hungry." I was guessing it to be 600 calories which would would not be unreasonable given my healthy day so far. I even got an unsweetened iced tea to drink. I threw away one of the fried zucchinis (okay, I threw it away because I dropped it on the car floor... ) and the last bite or two of the burger. It was an early dinner but a heavy one. I came home, looked up the calories, and gasped. TWELVE HUNDRED calories. Oh man....

I felt pretty exasperated. And I suddenly wanted something chocolate. I went looking and found a bag of gourmet semi sweet chocolate chips. I opened the bag... and took out a few chips. They were SO heavenly. Suddenly a switch flipped in my brain. Chocolate chip cookies!!!! It has been MONTHS since I had any. I could whip up a batch right now and they would be SO good with these chips in them. I already ruined my day with that burger, right? So what harm in rounding out the day with a batch of cookies? I could start fresh tomorrow.

I walked away to think about it. This is something I COULD NOT do a few months ago. When that switch flipped in my head, in the past, I was a machine. The butter came out, the eggs, the sugars. The oven was preheating faster than a speeding bullet. The cookie sheets were out, the batter made and half of it down my throat in the blink of an eye. It was like some kind of drug addiction. As the batter melted into my throat I could feel it coursing through my bloodstream and I felt soooooooo relieved. And then I would bake them all and eat half. I could not even stop to think until I was sick from eating 3/4 of what I started with. But not this time. I walked away, to think about it. * lightbulb moment *

And then I went back, had a few more chips (maybe 100 calories in total) and thought about how the batter would taste, how the texture would be, and how the cookies would smell and taste. I wanted them. Then I put away the chips, and walked away. I brushed my teeth, drank a bunch of water, and said, enough. It was not emotional. It was not even really difficult. It was just a mindset. This is such a breakthrough for me. I HAVE all the ingredients on hand for cookies. But I also have all the ingredients for a healthy lifestyle and a slimmer body. I chose to use the latter.

And so a little bump in the road has not turned into a detour back to morbid obesity. I am still on my path. And I am going to reach my destination.


Sybil said...

YES! You stared down your personal terrorist and won. You walked away the winner. Each time we stare down the urge to binge and walk away having not given in, we get stronger.

I certainly know how hard it is to stop once I start so I know the amount of strength it took for you. Keep up the great work!

Lauren said...

that is AWESOME, you totally kicked that demon's ass.

Alea said...

Thanks for letting me know it CAN be done walking away when the craving hits! I'm having a hard time with that lately... You rock!

hanlie said...

That is huge!!! Well done! You are a winner... I am so proud of you. And I hope I can follow in your footsteps when the craving hits me again.

Gibbons-Camp said...

Way to go. I think the most important mental change any of us can make is to find the ability to stop once we have gone off our high and mighty plans. If I were in your shoes, once I had a bite of that hamburger I would have been off plan for at least a week. You are so strong to be able to apply the breaks and turn around like that.

You are definitely a superhero :)

lizzytish said...

Where did you get the fried zuchini from Carls JR? Sounds nice. How sad am I imagining food lol. It was just one day on a Binge and you managed to control yourself and not go completly nuts 1200 calories for a burger and zuchini thats nuts! I would't have thought no wonder there are so many larger people in the world. Damn fast food. People In England often blame the Americans for introducing fast food here and i think Man i wish there was a taco bell here i could open one and b rich lol. Like they wouldn't have junk food anyway really. It's not all of the English obviously but a few people have said that to me. Man what i wouldn't do for some home made nestle chocolate chip cookies. When i get to Canada next year I am totaly making some. In the last 4 days I have found myself bored of eating I really don't feel like it but i have to because my tummy is grumbling. You made me laugh with the whole throwing one out because you dropt it on the floor. At least your not bad enough to eat it off the floor lol. I'm sure you will do just fine today. you are winning and you have gained self control! Everyone needs to induldge occasionaly.

Teale said...

Oh, I am so proud of you for STOPPING the one bad moment from becoming a bad day! Every single one of us has our weak moments, but probably not every single one of us has stopped the cycle there. I'm so happy that you had that lightbulb moment!

I also think this can show as a good example for how we can easily misinterpret how many calories something has. Good for you for going home and looking it up instead of just saying "oh, this is about 600 cals"

Leigh said...

Since I started looking at my eating habits more seriously, I've been seeing myself in those same kind of moments a lot! I find myself reaching for something... then saying no! then reaching again... and sometimes I win, and sometimes the food goes down faster than I can turn around and walk away. It's scary how much of a hold something can have over you!
Thanks so much for showing that we can be strong- even after a moment of weakness, we can pull ourselves up and go on! Good for you!

FatGirl said...


The hardest thing for me is going to be NOTICING these moments. Really thinking about them.

Chubby Chick said...

Good for you! This is a major victory for you! You didn't allow the little bump in the road from the burger to evolve into a ditch in the road due to binging on cookies! Yippee!

As for me... I'm trying to claw my way out of the big, freaking ditch!!!

LBS said...

I HAVE all the ingredients on hand for cookies. But I also have all the ingredients for a healthy lifestyle and a slimmer body.

This is so true. Making choices in life is hard, especially when you're stressed out and all you want is to give up caring and to feel good in the moment. I guess we all have to learn how to endure and overcome problems rather than ignoring them and take the easy way out.

Anonymous said...

holy COW Lyn. That's exceptional. You did just GREAT. And the pulling-ones-self-up-by-the-bootstraps that has taken place - esp with the tooth brushing, water drinking, walking away -- has been GREAT. You've made my day!!!


honib1 said...

BRAVO BRAVO.. that is fabulous!!!!!! it is those type of changes that will see you through this.. so the burger was a bit shocking. in the future try ordering a junior burger.. with just lettuce tomato and a little ketchup or mustard .. no mayo.. and try and find a fast food place that has a jr. burger.. eat it slow and enjoy it .. if that is what you want.. we stop at Sonic from time to time and I either get that or a regular single burger from time to time.. spending less than 400 calories either way. PLEASE be PROUD of yourself.. and continue to have faith in yourself as well.. you will win.. You will win because you are developing the keys you need to make these long term changes.. !!!

Heather said...

you are amazing! you should be so proud of yourself. You are proof that we can all change our mindsets and stop and think about we eat.

PS: I have never wanted cookie dough so much in my life after reading your post! LOL

MB said...


I wish we could just shut that switch off permanently but you won the battle today.

This is exactly what we have to do. We will fall off our plan but can't use it as an excuse to keep off.

You should be so proud. BRAVO!!

Once Upon A Dieter said...

Man, now that I see it in your entry, I've done this several times in the last two months. Just stood on the precipice of an all-out binge and had that moment of reflection, warring internally, thinking, arguing with myself, and most of the times, I decided to walk away and say no. NOT EVERY TIME, no. But most.

In the past, I wouldn't even reflect. Just order up the lasagne or cheese enchiladas and tacos and chips and whatever and gorge. A couple thousand calories and more at a pop.

Part of the struggle is that moment of decision--going through it, making the choice. And learnign to say NO more often than YES, as hard hard hard as that is.

Cool entry. Thanks for reminding me that I need to focus on successes, too, not just the times I caved.

The Princess