Wednesday, June 9, 2010

I Guess I'd Call That a Binge

Boy, I had a rough day yesterday. It was the hardest day yet on Medifast... in 14 weeks I have not really lost control of my eating. Last night I would say I lost control and I *almost* completely lost it.

It started out fine, a bit of PMS but not bad. I was eating my planned meals and doing stuff and then in the afternoon, I was having those salty/strongly flavored food cravings. When I went to the fridge for a dill pickle, you know what I saw? HOT DOGS. If you've read my blog for long at all, you know hot dogs were a MAJOR binge food for me in the past. I'd eat 5 or 6 on buns, easily, with Cheetos and Coke. I saw the package of hot dogs and I wanted them SO BAD. I live in a household with other adults who purchase their food, and I am *not* in control of every item that comes into the kitchen (although everyone has agreed to my no candy, no cake, no muffins, no donuts, no cookies EXCEPT a couple times a year I let the kids bake something). I do usually just tell myself "that food is not mine" if someone brings in salami or something, and it works. So back to the hot dogs. My brain was going, "oh, yeah, have one! Have a few! They're low carb! You'll be okay, they are not that bad without buns. You really want them..." and I actually had to say OUT LOUD to myself, "Stop, stop, STOP!!" and get out of the kitchen.

Later, I made myself another "PMS platter" which was *almost* on plan: soy crisps, 3 olives, and some grated cheddar (the cheese was NOT low fat, thus not 100% on plan). And then I lost it. I grated MORE cheese. I probably ate 3 ounces. I decided to log that as part of my protein source for the day. But then I had a fit and got the last 2 hot dogs out, cooked them, and ate them. They were SO freaking salty and greasy! I didn't exactly LIKE them but in some odd way I wished there were more so I could eat another 3 or 4. I ate them on a plate with mustard... no buns.

When I was done I felt sick. I thought, "that's it, that's going to have to count as my entire protein, snack, and condiments for the day." And I got busy with other things. But somehow I still felt *driven* to eat. And eat. I ate 2 Medifast protein bars, in a row. I've never done that before. I sat there wondering what the heck is going on with me.

*I am stressed about dance recitals coming up.
*I am worried about finances as I just found out I have way less in my bank account than I thought.
*I am nervous about hitting 199 or being ABLE to.
*I am having vivid, emotional dreams about my parents, my children, my exes, all kinds of things.

Heck, I think I might be sabotaging myself about this whole 199 thing. It seemed impossible for SO LONG and I actually feel kinda sick thinking about weighing 189, 179, 169...

As I lose weight a lot of *losses* are surfacing that I'd buried a long time ago, coming out in dreams and memories and feelings. I think it's time for counseling, but that has to wait until fall. Before, I thought I needed an eating disorder counselor, which I was unable to find. Now, I think I just need a couple months of guided conversations about my losses and unhealed wounds, to get them *expressed* and get some feedback. I have done a lot of that work already, some of here. And I work on it every single day. It just gets a little jumbled after awhile, so talking it out will probably help.

Last night after the hot dogs I started having super obsessive food thoughts. I went in the kitchen and dug through the fridge, found 2 pieces of leftover fried chicken someone had bought at a deli, and ate them. Then I found the last 2 cookies my son baked the other day, and ate them. I got in my daughter's Easter candy bucket (yeah, she still has stuff left) and ate a Hershey's kiss. I went in the kitchen and found some semi sweet chips and had a handful. I started feeling really hyped up from the sugar.

When I put my daughter to bed, I was listening to some music with her and all I could really hear was the stuff in my head: "chips, you want chips. No you want ice cream. REAL ice cream. Or English Muffins. You can go out to the kitchen and toast a couple of whole wheat English muffins and slather them with butter and eat them all. No, wait, everyone will notice that. How embarrassing. You can go to the store, get a pint of ice cream and take a spoon with you and eat it in the car! No one will know. Yeah, chocolate Haagen-Dazs ice cream, a pint, like old times, in the dark parking lot..."

By the time she was asleep I was just beside myself. I made a decision (and it was difficult and painful) NOT to go to the store for ice cream. Instead, I had an extra Medifast meal. I used a pudding mix and water and ice and a spoonful of peanut butter in the blender and made a shake. It was NOT on plan, but it WAS under 200 calories, and under the raging binge circumstances, it was the best option.

After I ate it, I went to bed. I had more dreams. I woke up 2 pounds heavier. I am 100% on plan today.

I have a lot of feelings about the whole thing. I am a little scared because 14 weeks binge free is a big deal. I knew I wasn't "cured" but figured I had it pretty much under control. I think, in fact, I *do* have it under control. Maybe normal people *do* eat the occasional 2 hot dogs, 2 cookies, 2 chicken thighs and a handful of chocolate chips.But I still don't like it when I feel like I am being *pressured* by some inner ghost to eat stuff that is contradictory to my health and weight loss goals. It seems like a form of self-violation to me.

I've decided that the 199 issue is messing with me a little too much, so I am going to skip weighing for a couple of days. I will still weigh in on Sunday for sure. Funny, seeing the scale go UP no longer bothers me as much as seeing it go DOWN. I am happy when I lose weight but this week it has caused me a bit of anxiety. I am gonna stay 100% focused, exercise, and take a couple days of scale break.

That's all for now... I feel better getting it all out. Thank you for always listening and for all the support. It means so much to me. If ANY food "bothers" me today, that food is going into the trash can.


Stiney said...

I'm where you are right now. Sitting at 201 and that 199 is EASILY attainable weight to get to this week. But what have I done? Not gone to the gym but once and eat everything in sight. I haven't been under 200 in 3 years and before that 2. I'm terrified and I can't help it. I actually caught myself this morning thinking well I'm at a good weight now. If I don't get any smaller it's FINE. But I know it's not.
It's scary but we'll both get there even if we have to fight ourselves.

Andra said...

Lay the ghosts to rest, the only power they have is that which you give them.

You are still *you* no matter what the number on the scale says and you know what you really want out of life, now get out of your own way and go get it.

Happy Fun Pants said...

Hoo boy! Way to reign that puppy back in! We all know it's hard to do!

I hit a huge wall when I got to losing half of my weight. I had 112 pounds to lose. I was losing weight like a rock star until I got to 56.6 pounds down. And then, internally, I freaked.

My issue is that I let my "freak out" last a year - being stuck between 225 and 230.

I'm SLOWLY inching my way down again and am having to remind myself to NOT check the scale for validation OR support.

You're doing have done great. And even if all you do is hover at 200 pounds until you can get some relief from the thoughts that are plaguing you (I'm a HUGE proponent of therapists), that's still a win.

Hang in there.


Lisa said...

I'm sorry you had to go through this yesterday, but I know how you feel.
I had what I'd class as a binge last Friday. Compared to my old binge eating it was nothing, but compared to my eating for the last 10 months or so it WAS a binge, because I gave in to various cravings and lost control for that period of time, eating things I don't even particularly like anymore.
But I got back in control the next day which wouldn't have happened before, just like you are doing today.
Getting to Onederland didn't freak me out which surprised me, but I have other issues that are freaking me out along the way, but we are doing this, and we can keep going, we have to....

Ex Yo-Yo Dieter Debbie said...

You deserve a giant gold medal for NOT going to the store for that ice cream...That took super-human strength!!! Stopping in the middle of the whirlwind of binging mode and not succumbing to that siren call of a secret binge...

That was a huge victory, Lyn! Huge! The "old Lyn" probably would have gone to that store to eat in the car in the dark. But not now.

Superhuman strength!!!

Spaghetti Cat said...

I wish I had some advice
"unny, seeing the scale go UP no longer bothers me as much as seeing it go DOWN. I am happy when I lose weight but this week it has caused me a bit of anxiety. I am gonna stay 100% focused, exercise, and take a couple days of scale break."

I could have written that myself. I also had a few more pieces of godiva pearls then I planned to yesterday. I stayed under 100 carbs, but it also felt like a binge.

I am going to steal your advice. Since today was my official weigh day... I am going to hide the scale and try to avoid thinking about numbers this week. Hope it helps you and I hope it helps me ((hugs))

Anonymous said...

Recognizing this bump in the road is one step closer to your goal. Just keep moving forward, Lyn. You can do it!! I'm behind you!


bbubblyb said...

Breaking into the 100's was scary for me too and I had a mental block that seemed to last a really long time. I think it's good you can talk through it. Hang in there you'll be where you want to be before you know it.

Leslie said...

I could have written this post Lyn. Good for you for the damage control you were able to manage. Last November I got to 192, and as much as I wanted to break out of the 190s, I know that at some level if freaked me a bit. Your phrasing "being pressured by some inner ghost" really jolted me. That's exactly how it feels - old stuff. When I get a certain amount of weight off and binge free eating for many weeks, the vague stirrings of murky angst start happening.

You will work through it. For myself I know that if I maintain the loss I've had so far (I'm around 204 right now - close to, but higher than you), there is victory in that...for a time. I do go to therapy and while I had terminated for awhile am picking it back up for now for the very reasons you talked about.

Thanks for being honest. Your on an amazing path of genuine healing and recovery. An occasional stumble keeps us humble and remembering what we're dealing with in food addiction.

Banded Girl said...

I can't add anything that hasn't been said by other commenters already--I just wanted to let you know that I'm another person supporting you from afar. I'm so proud of you for not going to the store with your trusty spoon! I'm so proud of you for recognizing that you WERE bingeing, even if you felt powerless to stop it yesterday. I'm so proud of you for being back on track today. And mostly, I am SO PROUD of you for not beating yourself to a bruised pulp over a day's slip-up.

Hang in there, Lyn. The emotional stuff is, I think, so much harder than the physical when it comes to weight loss.

April said...

wow, i honestly feel so realived that i'm not the only one struggling. i've been 199 for almost 2 weeks now. the "smallest" i ever remember being in my adult life is 198. and as badly as i want to get below that number, i can't help but think i am in fear of being below that number. everyday is a new day, and i'm trying not to be obessed with the scale. i'm going to a baseball game tomorrow afternoon, and god knows i will WANT a hot dog!!! again thanks so much for sharing your journey and your honesty. i suppose what i've learned is that i'm trying to be perfect, trying to be 100% on my plan. and well expecting to be perfect, isn't realistic. i will mess up, but i also know that i will get back on track. and before i know it i will be numbers that i don't ever remember being. and for now i'm going to start with 197.

SeattleRunnerGirl said...

I think taking a break from the scale and making this about your committment to the CHOICES you're making is a great idea. I'm sorry you struggled last night, but I'm so happy for how far you've come, both physically and emotionally/mentally. Just think of what that binge would have been in the old days. Progress is progress. It's not an excuse to say last night was okay, but you know what? You're human. We make mistakes. Last night? A mistake. NOT a moral failing. NOT a sign of things to come. Just a single mistake.

Rose B. said...

Your day sounded like my day yesterday, but I gave in to that extra serving of tacos. :( Congrats on staying strong and not getting into that icecream!

Mistie L said...

I've been reading your blog for a long time now, but I've never commented. But today I wanted to thank you for being so honest. I'm only day 3 back on WW (after a year and a half break) and am struggeling today...not hungry, but in my mind and your post today really helped me identify it. It seems that I can manage my thoughts easier if I can at least lable them and know where they are coming from. While I was thinking about your blog I was able to identify my own struggle today. You are such an inspiration to me because you are making it happen, even through all the ups and downs you don't give up and are succeeding. So thank you from someone who has so far to go that I can't even look ahead because it's just to scarry....

Brandipants said...

You are a strong person! You did good considering your past. I am glad you are back on track and focused. Yup we all have those days where we eat too much. It's good to recognize it and move on. Congrats on all that will power you had. Keep up the great work! I hope I can be where you are someday. SMILE!!

Anonymous said...

Lyn, I feel your pain. Your post makes me sad, not because you had a weak moment, but for all the weak moments. It's a battle and it could be a forever one. I think you can get right back to plan. And you might even be ready to switch to something less restrictive than Medifast. Changing it up might help you. But whatever you do, look how far you've come and kick those ghosts in the groin! Here's to a successful trip to Onederland!! You can do it!

52 lbs & counting!

Cris said...

I sabotaged myself to staying into the 200's for a MONTH because I wans't willing to go through my emotional baggage.

You spoke of soem of your issues in todays blog, but I bet theres some more things that need out. Right a letter to your mom. Say what you mean(you can't hurt her now). I had to do the same thing after my mom passed.

Don't let this keep you from your goals! You're a huge inspiration to me. Keep your chin up!

Anonymous said...

Hey Lyn!
You are doing great even with a binge day :) You have worked really hard at this weight loss journey and I am still praying that you can heal some of the old wounds. I tried the South Beach phase one for three days last week. I had to stop because I was getting really sick with working out and having no carbs or sugar. I was thinking about this as I read your blog. Since you don't have many carbs in your diet do you think that maybe you have been without carbs too long and maybe that is causing the binge type feelings? I just know after three days I missed my morning oatmeal. Anyways just a suggestion!
Sarah Lownsbery

Anonymous said...

Oh Lyn, I want to give you a big hug right now. I completely understand how scary it might be to be close to 199 when it has been so long since you have been in the 200s. That would mess with anybody! I do think you might be prone to some self-sabotage so you don't have to deal with the 100s but the good news is that you have a great head on your shoulders and you are aware of what you are doing.

The only thing I wanted to comment on is where you said that maybe normal people do eat 2 hot dogs, 2 chicken thighs, etc....while that might be true, they are not out of control while they are doing it and that is what the issue is. You could have a binge and stay within a good calorie range but that doesn't mean it's okay. If someone binged on iceberg lettuce and ate three heads in one sitting, sure they may not gain weight but it is still a problem since they were not in control of themselves while they were doing it. This I can identify with on a personal level because it's something I have had to remind myself of time and time again.

Hang in there, Lyn. We are all wishing only the best for you :)

Tammy said...

How weird is this. This is like watching a prophecy being fulfilled right in front of my eyes. I remember thinking a few days ago when I read that you were 203, wondering if you would self-sabotage and binge because 199 was so close you could almost reach out and touch it. I wondered that because that's exactly something I would's nothing against you personally Lyn, so please don't take it that way. I hope that it only happens that one time, and I'm glad to read you're back on plan the very next day. I have to tell you...the psychology behind weight loss (or the attempt at it) absolutely fascinates me. So intriguing. I know this is a weird comment, but I'm in a weird place this week. Sorry girl. You hang in're going to make it.

Mom to the Fourth Power said...

I found that losing weight is a very EMOTIONAL thing too, as I am not just "Letting go" of my weight but also my emotional baggage. It is a process to work through our feelings and to change our past. You seem to be doing some big time "working through" and learning about yourself a lot. But you are facing these and learning from them. So good for you!! It's hard work, and I am going through the same thing! Best of luck!!

Anonymous said...

I've read your blog off and on over the years. I know about the issues with your mom and some of the issues with your husband and ex-husband. I know there are other players but those are the main three.

Have you tried forgiving these people and then forgiving yourself? Maybe counseling is in order but I have always felt two things were going on with you. The first is you are very sensitive to sugars. I recommended a higher protein diet some time ago. Even fruits seem to set you off.

The next are the issues with the people I mentioned above. Is your husband spending more time around you now? I think it's time for you to stand up and really be brave. Claim ownership of your life, the past and the present along with the good and the bad.

Good luck.

Jess @ THIR said...

Lyn, I just wanted to say that I totally know how you feel...
I often read your blog and not comment, but I had the exact same sort of night last night... I am having the same battle at the moment with the 90kg barrier... I just can't seem to push myself through!
I really do admire the honesty you have with your blog posts. I can't image how hard it would be to do that, but you help SO many people by doing it. Just remember you have so many people out in cyber space supporting you!!

Lyn said...


You're right about the major players. And it's crazy. Sometimes I really feel and believe I have forgiven each of them. In fact I'd say yes, I have forgiven my mother and ex. I still get *emotions* about the things that went on with them, though, and even new memories that I had buried. I guess forgiveness is more of a process for me, than an event... but I am certainly working at it!

Laura said...

If I were near you, I'd give you a big hug. Last night I weighed in at 278.8 pounds, my lowest yet. And after my weight watchers meeting, I stopped at Taco Bell and got 3 things that I shouldn't have, and ate probably 1500 calories. Luckily I hadn't had dinner yet, but it was still too much. And as I'm eating the last 1/2 of all that, I don't want it, it's no longer tasting good and I couldn't put it down and not finish it.

I understand how you're feeling, just not why we have to struggle so much already, just to lose weight, and then add on emotional baggage to the journey.

Take care friend. :)

Traci said...

OH I know how you feel about that illucid 199 that never seems to get there. Counseling seems like a good option to get it all out there and talk about what the inner problems and struggles have been. I've done some binges in my battle for this weight myself. Just knowing what you have done and that you did make some of the options more healthy is probably actually a step in the right direction. In the past you probably would have gone to the store and got the ice cream, but this time you didn't. It's something. You can do this. Pick yourself up again and remember why you are worth changing. Remember why you are doing this. :)

Once Upon A Dieter said...

You're gonna move through this. YOu already showed you can nip the binge midway rather than go all-out and make yourself utterly ill.

You are on a learning, not just losing, journey, and this is just another lesson. You'll get past it. You'll be fine, because you're smart, strong, evaluating constantly what your obstacles are or might be.

You will win this one.

Steph said...

In one of Geneen Roth's books (can't remember which one) she talks about emotional eating and that sometimes thin people emotionally eat too. Thin people tend to not do it as much as the rest of us that have issues with emotional eating and using food as a way to cope. It was kind of an eye-opener for me. I very much have the all-or-nothing attitude when it comes to food/weight-loss, so I figure that I'm not "normal" until I can control myself from binging or over-eating 100% of the time. Now I realize that's not the case.

And yes, I do think that sometimes thin people eat 2 hot dogs, 2 cookies, and 2 pieces of fried chicken at one time. They probably just don't obsess or feel guilty like others do.

Lissa said...

I think, in fact, I *do* have it under control. Maybe normal people *do* eat the occasional 2 hot dogs, 2 cookies, 2 chicken thighs and a handful of chocolate chips.

Some normal people do, Lyn, but I don't think that's a good idea to grab hold of. It's like alcoholism -- once a pickle, never again a cucumber. Some people can have two or three drinks in a sitting and be okay, but alcoholics - former or current - can't. Ever.

You are so strong! I'm so sorry you fell off the horse -- or the wagon -- but way to get right back on! YOU CAN DO IT!!!

Dinah Soar said...

Talking about the past traumas can help...but only to a point...when you reach that point, cross that line, it makes it worse to talk.

You can only get so much mileage out of past traumas.

Believe me, I know whereof I speak.

Anonymous said...

Is it possible you are starting to feel truly hungry? As in: you want to eat more because you are restricting. Restricting as in: the flip side of binge eating for someone who has BED. Restricting as a form of control over emotions is just as powerful as binging, maybe more so because you feel so virtuous. But restricting also leads to binging eventually because you are ignoring your body's natural hunger signals.

Now, maybe I'm just talking about myself and my own relationship with binge eating disorder, not yours. In that case, carry on Lyn, and peace be with you.

Lyn said...


I actually paid close attention to that, and THIS time, I was not hungry. In fact, I only have a few hungry days in a month, and I eat more on those days to get through it. Today I was having a hard time ALL DAY but I was never hungry at all. Just food thoughts, cravings for crap.

That was a good point to bring up and I appreciate it. Anything that makes me think and reflect is helpful!

Anonymous said...

Lyn - I have let that 199 number trip me up also in the past. In reality it is just another number. It has no power over you. You are stronger than any number or obstacle that is coming your way. We've all seen that side of you. Your journey is inspiring for so many of us. You are a winner every day. And you deserve to be happy and be at the weight that you choose and desire to be.

Karen said...

We have all been there, done that and all you are, Lyn, is HUMAN. And an amazingly strong, talented, intelligent, compassionate human. Do you think a couple hot dogs or a few ounces of cheese can change the amazing woman you are? Not a chance. Tomorrow is a brand new day and I think it will be a great one for you...and for all of us. Hang in there, Girl, you are still our hero and we learn so much from you!!!

Anonymous said...

forgive your self and move on to healthy eating :) sounds like you have done that today! Good idea to step away from the scale...I know for me it becomes an obsession. Wishing you a wonderful 'on plan' day :)

LHA said...

I read this post with great interest, as I have struggled with this issue for years. Even a small binge makes me feel bad phyically and mentally, but I have never been able to stop them totally. My motto is...."Tomorrow is another day, and I will just get right back up and get back to healthy eating." Sometimes I have to do this over and over again, but it is better than giving up and gaining all the weight back.

I do recommend therapy, and specifically with a therapist trained in eating disorders. It has made all the difference for me in my struggle.

I want to say thank you not only to you, but to all the wonderful people who comment and pass on their wisdom and ideas. It is helping me enormously to read your posts and comments daily.

Jo said...

For 3/4 of my life I wasn't overweight, but during PMS week I'd ALWAYS crave and indulge myself with extra sweet or salty treats. Not full on binges I guess but I know *whatever* I ate would never really satisfy me that week.

Thanks for being so candid. Give "little" Lyn a hug and tell her she'll be just fine.

screaming fatgirl said...

Your post really got me thinking, and I think that binging isn't only (or even mainly) about boredom. I think that what you describe is essentially relieving the anxiety from the changes to your routine and lifestyle. You gain relief from the binge. It's like you're holding back and holding back and you finally give in, but it's not about the anxiety from food deprivation so much as the change in your habits and losing the comfort of those habits.

I wrote a blog post about this, because you spurred me on to answer some of the questions I've been having about myself lately and some depression and anxiety I've been feeling.

tabby said...


my freak out number was getting into the 280's. Yeah, that's not so small, but I was coming down a year ago from 316 lbs. I reached 285, flipped out about getting into the 270's and gave up.

then later it struck me... I was with an abusive ex when I got up to the 280's.

it's so strange how these emotions are like time capsules just weighting to open up and play hell on us.

i'm just got to 287 yesterday Lyn. Not flipping out this time.

you will get through this. this time you are more aware and you know how to work through this pain this time. <3

tabby said...


My last pms week was crazy with a capital c. I wanted to eat everything in the house. I finally found that a chocolate glucerna shake shut down the cravings lightning fast. It's really hard to quell those cravings. Sometimes I just let myself sit and cry when I want to eat.

Momma Hunt said...

I think it is great that you are so honest on your blog, I love that. I would really encourage you to go to therapy. It has been the best decision I have ever made. I realized that the one time I did loose weight I couldn't keep off the 70 pound loss because I still had eating issues. Issues with binge eating and issues with restricting food and over exercising. Although it is a struggle (hence the huge piece of beer bread I just ate, after my breakfast) but there are more good days then bad. It is tough to take an honest look at your inner self but with the right therapist by your side I think it can help you make a healthy and forever change.

Jennifer said...

Sorry you had a hard time. Forgive and move on. Dont beat yourself up over it. That only makes it worse. Yes, normal people are allowed to splurge now and then. And by getting right back on plan you did the right thing. I too have those thoughts of pressure. I usally refer to it as guilt, but same thing. Medifast is sooooo structured and it felt like anything off plan would make me a failure. But that isnt the case at all. The other day I went off plan for the first time. I blogged all about it. And it was actually a choice I made. I felt in control and while I did have a little guilt I knew that I deserved it. And I also knew I would get right back on plan. And I did just that. And so did you. Soo...dont look back. Just take it one meal at a time. You are doing great!!! You have come far!!


MB said...

It's so easy to fall back into the deep dark hole of a binge. I think the less we stuff down our emotions with food the more we need to get them out by other means. I'm getting so close to breaking into the 100s too. It's freaking me out a little because I've been here before and I want to make sure I never have to lose this weight again. It's a tough mental game but we're going to win it, I just know it.

Anonymous said...

Oh my.

I wish I had read this a few weeks ago. I was hitting new weight loss lows and starting to have major panic regarding hitting "maintenance". I thought I must be insane because who freaks out about a good thing.

I know this might not help you, but you are not alone in this. I was feeling the same way - I am mostly past it, but it was touch and go there for a moment.

Thank you so much for sharing this - I feel less alone having read it.