Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Hot Dogs and Chocolate

Last night I ate off plan. It was not a crazy, out-of-control off-plan, but it certainly wasn't conducive to weight loss. And while a lot of times I'd rather sweep my little incidents of poor choices under the carpet and forget about them, I have found a lot of insight and success by always blogging them here. So here goes.

My circumstances have been somewhat stressful but I've felt strong and have been tolerating it well. In fact, as I wrote earlier this week, I enjoy the sense of power and control I get by *not* bingeing. I have control over what I put in my mouth. That makes me feel better. It keeps me from that *spiraling down* sensation. The last time I had an off-plan eating episode was in early June and it was pretty controlled, and I have been totally on plan since then.

So yesterday I was going along, not very hungry, eating my usual small meals every 2-3 hours, everything was fine. Then it came to dinnertime. I was tired and nothing really sounded good. My teenagers had asked for hot dogs for dinner. I do let them have hot dogs once in awhile. They love them, were raised on them because they were so cheap and I was poor, but nowadays I only buy the higher quality all beef reduced fat type and only a handful of times a year. So I only had to make something for myself and my daughter.

I went into the kitchen. I made up a batch of healthy egg white salad and put it in the fridge to chill. I wondered what vegetables would be good for my dinner. I didn't want to cook and nothing looked appealing, so I grabbed this humongous, foot-long cucumber that I'd gotten from the Farmer's Market. I didn't even feel like making it into a cucumber salad so I just washed it and took it in the living room and sat down munching it as I read blogs.

After I got about halfway through it, I was *so over* that cucumber. It was a chore to get it down, but I just didn't want a salad or to bother cooking anything so I kept eating it. When I was 3/4 the way through, I said "screw it" and threw the rest away. I grabbed the egg white salad and started eating that, but it just didn't appeal to me much either. It was a huge bowl of food and after getting about 2/3 through THAT I just gave up and left it on the counter for later.

Enter the hot dogs. Teens were going in and out of the kitchen, roasting hot dogs, putting them on soft buns with ketchup and mustard. The smell wafted through the house. If you have read my blog much *at all* you know I have a serious *thing* for hot dogs. I used to eat 5 at a sitting, on buns, with a bag of Cheetos and some Coke. I don't know what it is about hot dogs, but they almost SCREAM to me to eat them. And once I have one I can't stop. I should know this. In fact almost every time I have gone off plan in the past 5 months has involved hot dogs.

I wanted one. But I know a bun was totally off limits. I rationalized: "well, I didn't finish my protein at dinner. I could have ONE low fat hot dog with no bun to fill in the gap." I roasted my hot dog, put it in a plate with some mustard and ate it. It was very yummy, but I wanted more, I wanted a bun, and I wanted cheese. Somehow, hot dogs and sharp cheddar cheese with dill pickles are linked in my mind. They were my PMS food, my childhood favorite, good times with Dad. I reasoned, "a bit of cheese would be ok. Protein, no carbs." And I cut myself a very thin slice of sharp cheddar (which I would NOT keep in the house... but other people buy it).

I walked past the kitchen table and saw a half eaten hot dog one of the kids had left. Almost instinctively, I grabbed it and took a bite. Before even swallowing I'd taken another, and then reason overtook me and I went and spit it all in the trash. I wanted to finish out the day well. I hadn't eaten any extra carbs. I'd be fine. I would take a nice, long walk after I got my daughter to bed to work off some of the fat.

I wanted something sweet though, and I had a few squares of 'special chocolate' in my cabinet. It had been there for months. It's low sugar, low carb chocolate with roasted flax seeds for omega-3 and fiber. Not bad nutritionally, if you're gonna eat chocolate. And I did, and it was good, and not over the top. Off plan, but still within my carb range. I'd walk it off... ::cue slippery slope music::

I had a plan! I was putting my girl to bed, and then at 8:45 I would go out and walk a couple miles, then come home and go to bed early. I was super tired and grumpy. But something happened that messed up my plans; I would be unable to take my walk and I would NOT be able to get to bed early either. I was SO frustrated and tired that I went into the kitchen at 9PM and stood there, deciding what I would eat next.

I was going to make brownie batter. I didn't even care anymore. I was just exhausted and frustrated and wanted something *else* to focus on. I was lonely and angry and feeling helpless. I stood there thinking about the brownie batter (which I am quite good at making from almost ANYTHING in the kitchen... even when I have no sugar or white flour in the house) and I realized that if I did that, I'd be sick as a dog. Sugar these days just makes me so ill. I get nauseous, I get jittery. I wake up with a migraine and severe joint pain. Eh. It wasn't worth it. I didn't even really want brownie batter. I just wanted to go off plan and eat for whatever emotional reason. I ended up standing there eating a banana, 6 or 7 fresh cherries, a strawberry and 2 blueberries. They were sooooo goood. But I was still obsessing about hot dogs. I roasted 2 hot dogs, put them on buns with mustard and ketchup, and cut myself a few thin slices of cheddar with 2 little dill pickles. I grabbed a fried chicken strip that someone had left in the fridge, cooked it and poured a little Ranch dressing on a plate beside it. I sat down to eat it. I ate the cheese. I ate one hot dog. I took one bite of the chicken but didn't like it. On the second bite of the second hot dog, I realized I was FULL, and didn't really care about the food anymore. I got up and threw the chicken and the second hot dog away, drank a glass of water, and went to bed at 10:30.

What I learned:
I need to pre-plan my dinners better, and have salads and pre-cooked veggies in the fridge ready to just warm up on days like this.
I almost ALWAYS have these mini-binges/food issues late at night when I am super tired and something puts me over the edge and I cannot go to bed.
I no longer want to binge on sugary stuff. MIRACLE!
I have a lot more control than I used to have, spitting food out and throwing food out when I realize I don't want it.
There are still foods that 'bother' me that I am better off not indulging in *at all.* I should probably never buy hot dogs again.
I get full a lot faster than I used to.
I get back on plan way, way faster than I used to.

Interestingly, when I used to be binge eating out of frustration, I'd eat a whole lot, get those feelings that "I am full, I don't want anymore, I can stop now" but I would FORCE myself to continue eating ALL of the food, even if it made me sick. I would keep shoving and shoving it down my throat in a form of self violation, part of me screaming, no, no, please stop...

There is something deeper there that I may have to explore later, but I am not ready to do that now.

But I didn't do that this time. I didn't even consider doing it this time. I just felt full, didn't want it, got up and threw it away. I didn't punish myself, hurt myself, or violate myself. I think that is a big step.

I am 100% on plan today, doing well, feel better even if stressed. I am learning a lot on this journey, every single day.

34 comments:

Brigitte said...

We all have days like this. The important thing is to move on and not let it spiral out of control. I try to have a cheat day that will allow me to have something I've been craving.

Ice Queen said...

You blow me away, girl. Your insights into your binge disorder are so helpful to me in working through mine. I am grateful to you and your blog.

Oh, and potato salad is to me what hot dogs are to you. If it is in my house, it is in my belly. I literally can not leave it alone. Whether it is a spoonful or a huge, family event sized bowl full. I will eat it and eat it until it is gone and I am sick.

Floriana said...

Oh, I've had many evenings like that. There is only one difference - I was never able to get back on plan the next day. Noooo... it took me days, sometimes weeks to start eating right again. As far as I am concerned, you did great.

Lanie Painie said...

I'm sorry to hear you felt so low and helpless/overwhelmed that you went there, but hey - you came back! And you're doing better and better every day.

It's a little scary when those binge urges come on and I see how easy it would be to spiral out of control again.

Thanks for reminding me I'm not alone.

Leslie said...

Continued excellent progress, Lyn. You said you didn't know what it is about hot dogs...I do! Fat and salt - an amazing culinary combo. I get cravings for them too, and usually can do 2 without getting triggered to go further.

Yeah, it was off plan, but your damage control kept it within reasonability. No full on binge. I think once in a while we'll always have these moments where we just get overtaken by the "food something" and if we don't give in a little, it's a set up for much more damage later.

Shane G. said...

Wow, I just saw me to a "t" in that post. I am a hot dog addict, I am person who for whatever reason will binge eat and eat till I eat it all, no matter how long ago I was full. I am so going to follow your blog. I have started myown if you wanna drop by it..

losingitforthefamily.blogspot.com

birchgirl said...

I never thought I had a hot dog addiction until I tasted Nathan's. Wow, my mouth waters just thinking about them.

Lyn said...

birchgirl~

yep. Nathans and Hebrew Nationals are the ONLY ones we will eat. I bought HN because they come in reduced fat and 97% fat free.

screwdestiny said...

Hebrew National hot dogs are so good. That's the only type my parents ever bought, and when I tasted other hot dogs I was like, "How do people eat this crap?" Anyway, hardly ever eat hot dogs anymore.

I love that you noticed that you are no longer binging in a way that's purposely violating yourself. That you stopped once you were satisfied. That's great, Lyn. :)

Theresa said...

Thank you for sharing your continued struggles and successes. I hope your stress is short lived and you can get back on track with calmness. It is tough, but you are strong!! I totally HATE hotdogs. I find if I substitute my favorite binge food (Chinese take-out) where ever you say hotdog I can relate so much better..... lol. I seriously could eat a dinner for six from a Chinese take-out. I've made awesome progress too. My daughter asked for Chinese food the day of her graduation. There are too many kids for a banquet, so we ate here at home. I stuck to plan as well as possible. Chicken, mixed vegetables and a cashew or two in the mix. We will win this war Lyn! You can email/phone me any time you are stressed.
Hugs

Debbie said...

I love hot dogs of any kind. I could eat 3 or 4 with mustard and ketchup on them. Or chili.. See now you have me craving a hot dog. So as you can see everyone does have binge days.. You have done great..

Julie Lost and Found said...

I've had a thing for hot dogs lately. Hot dogs and ketchup.

Your awareness is amazing..and very inspiring.

You did awesome

Bonnie said...

Oh, Lyn can I ever relate! When I feel empty (translate, lonely, anxious, angry..) why oh why do I go for food? I actually feel like running away and end up at the frig instead.

The Captain's Daughter said...

Just know you are not alone.

I have NO answers - But one thing I've learned is that when I want a hot dog, (they scream at me too!) I just need to have the hot dog.

Dancing, which translates into eating everything BUT the hot dog, (or whatever else it is) around wanting the hot dog just does more damage in the end.

spunkysuzi said...

Luckily hot dogs aren't my thing! I have enough trigger foods as it is. I loved this post because it shows that even if you still have a binge you can change what kind, how long it will last and move on. Thanks

-J.Darling said...

Sounds like the next step for you is to realize when you're tired and frustrated you need to do something else you can control rather than eat. Maybe some crunches? Some simple in house yoga?

I keep "special teas" around the house and have a cup of that when I need some down time, and then I journal or read a book to keep my mind and hands busy.

Neesha said...

Thanks for the honesty, Lyn. It's a wonderful thing. I do a 12-step program (Overeater's Anonymous) that I use to work through my eating issues. I use your blog, too. I can relate to that feeling of, "Woah! What did I just DO?!" or "I'm not even hungry, why am I eating this?" a I take another bite. Thankfully, many of those issues are behind me now as I have also worked on my emotional baggage, but I know the grip it can have.

jaenkes said...

Use coupon code: Momsview for $25 off a $150 Medifast order :)

I don't order, but have started following your blog...

Amy Jo said...

Seriously, Lyn - if you compare this "binge" with some of your earlier posts, it's shocking. You are a completely new woman.

Thank you for being so honest with all of us. It's so nice to know that we aren't alone in our weaknesses. Someone else hits them head on as well, but can still manage to work with it and move forward with her goals.

Something I've thought about, but never mentioned, is that you've become such a better role model for your kids. You can't change what you've done in the past; but they can see you now. Your choices effect theirs. And now that they've got a healthy momma, they have such a better chance at being healthy adults.

Farewell Fatso! said...

I've been following your blog for the last couple of weeks. It piqued my interest because I too struggle with obesity. My story differs a little because I'm a product of childhood obesity, but many of the things you speak of I've encountered. I love your honesty and willingness to share your struggles. I've also started my own blog, Farewell Fatso! Come check me out sometime I'd love your feedback.

Gin22464 said...

Wow, I love hotdogs, too. I am not a real binge eater, but make all the wrong choices. I just had to have a hot dog when I was on vacation a couple weeks ago & did! Salt is a very bad thing for me, as I swell so much that it is not good. Thank you for sharing & keep on going. You are doing so great & have been very inspiring to so many people, myself included. I am not much of a blogger, but do read your blod almost every day! Thanks for being here.

Kisha said...

I totally have a thing for hot dogs too. :)

While you may have gone off plan, I think it was almost worth it for what you learned from the situation. Yes, you ate off plan. But you stopped when you were full. Even "normal" weight people without eating issues sometimes eat emotionally or unhealthily-they just stop when they are full, exactly what you did.

I am very sorry for the current turmoil in your life, and hope it improves soon! hugs!

Joy said...

I too love hot dogs, especially when they are wrapped in foil, like the ones you get at a ballpark. Don't know why!! So glad you are back on track. Keep on pushing through!!! Hugs!

Previously Plump... in progress said...

wow - spitting food out... that's somehting that I have never don! Good for you. Yes, you did 'binge' but it was a controlled binge. You're right in saying that you probably shouldn't buy hotdogs - I'm the same way, there's a few items that I just DO NOT keep in the house, becase I know that I can't control myself around them.

So glad that you're back on track, and so proud that you were in control of your slip up :)

Anonymous said...

You did great! What progress you have made. I agree about keeping the hotdogs in the house. That might not be such a great idea if they scream your name LOL. But I am reminded of a saying that says it's about Progress and Not Perfection. The most important thing here is that you got right back bandwagon. Surely there will be detours along the way. What counts is how long those detours derail you. In this case, it was just a bump in the road :)

Linda

Fat Grump said...

That's interesting progress Lyn. You were tempted and had cravings.. you felt like eating because you became grumpy...you indulged...but put the brakes on without going bananas and eating everything in sight! It's so good when you can throw food away rather than eat it.

I think being tempted by foods and going off any plan is likely to happen to anyone giving up certain foods or cutting back quite severely. It seems that by allowing yourself a tiny amount...consciously...you have gained some control.

I am sure there will be hot dog moments again...for lots of us, tempted in one way or another by certain foods. Controlling your intake whilst satisfying a craving is what it's all about...and you've managed to do it without a binge and without feelings of self-disgust which invariably follow those mad eating times. You haven't blown it, even temporarily, and that's what we all have to be aiming for I think - enjoying a treat but controlling our intake.

It's all good! :)

Stephanie said...

Hi Lyn - We all blow it at times. I ate a DQ Arctic Blast last night. Who eats blue ice milk?! ME, that's who!! I am getting ready to embark on yet another attempt at improving my eating and exercising habits. You are doing so good - you're a great inspiration. I was SO excited when you went under 200 - how awesome that must have been for you. Keep it up. And occasionally, eat a hot dog.

gingersnapper said...

I'm glad you posted this, because we all go through it, and it helps to know that other people are experiencing the same things. Also, that egg white salad looks fantastic, and I can't wait to make it.

Destiny 150 said...

I think I can identify with just about everything you wrote! It took me a long, long, long time to unlearn the habit of consoling myself with large amounts of food. It's good to know that there are other people out there who know that we are in a battle for our lives.

Anonymous said...

Hmm, what is it about hotdogs I wonder? On my recent trip home to Detroit, I went to the coney island restaurant THREE separate times and had a chili dog. It's pretty hard to get them where I live (if not impossible), but still ...

Back on the diet shakes and dragging my old carcass to the gym ...

PaulaM

Anonymous said...

Hello! I am a MFer too! I started in October and technically today have reached goal - but this is my first day weighing at or below my goal weight, so no party yet! Anyway, one thing I have learned, sometimes it just doesn't pay to "eat around" a craving. If you really want something (like a hot dog) and are that focused on it, you only end up eating more in other calories before you just end up eating [whatever]. Sometimes it is just best to have some of what you want. Of course applying your other methods of control and behaviour changes plays a factor too. I definately have changed my patterns with MF. My "name" on MF is Marble - see you around!

Nancy said...

I'm new to reading your journal and I want to thank you for your openeness and honesty in this post. I could relate so much to what you were saying and it really helped me to see that I'm not alone in this battle with food.
Nancy :-)

Elle said...

Hey Lyn, I know it's generally "best" to stay away from trigger foods, but if you do ever feel the need to have hot dogs in the house, you could consider soy ones. The brand I buy has 45 calories, 8g of protein, and 1g of fiber per dog.

Deanna - The Unnatural Mother said...

I think this "episode" is remarkable growth- and I am glad you wrote because I went through this the other night too,not as successful!