Thursday, September 23, 2010

Not Perfect

Yesterday was a bad eating day. I admit it. I still have them. I can't eat as much volume as I used to, but I still have those days when I get totally stressed out by some event or circumstance and it almost seems *too much* to deal with the emotional fallout AND the eating. I don't fall in the pit like I used to, so it is easier to get back up and just keep going, but I do wish I didn't crash my food intake over stupid things. It doesn't make it any better.

I used to do it ALL the time. Any little thing was a reason (excuse) to binge. It would be: "Oh, I had a really long report I had to write for school, and now that it's over I *need* to decompress." (Decompress = binge). Or "oh man, my kid is having another surgery/MRI/appointment and it might be bad! I need some comforting." (Comforting = binge). Or maybe "So-and-so said something that hurt my feelings, and now I *have* to soothe myself." (Sooth myself = binge). Well, I don't do all of that anymore, but sometimes it does sort of build up and if I am not really taking care of my emotional self I turn to food again.

Progress, not perfection is a mantra I see often on people's blogs, and it is a good one. BUT, it is important not to let that mantra become an excuse for continuing poor behaviors. So I come clean, as always, and say, yeah... yesterday was not a good eating day. Emotional stress combined with the new fall weather and shortening days triggered some unhealthy choices. We ordered pizza for dinner the night before (because, you know, pizza is easy and the kids like it) and then for lunch I went to the bagel shop where they make fresh bagels every morning and got myself a nice soft bagel, smeared it with light cream cheese, and enjoyed it with one of those small bags of chips that go with sandwiches. Yes, chips! Of all things. I mean to avoid them. They are never enough.

I walked my mile although I absolutely did not want to and tried to avoid it. I felt better on the way home though after some sunshine and time to think in the quiet as I walked. I drank too many cups of coffee and I thought about going to Dairy Queen (but didn't do it) and for dinner I had... can you guess?? come on, if you've read me long you know!... 2 hot dogs. (Interesting thing. Last time I had a hot dog problem I swore off buying them anymore. I decided I would *only* buy them once or twice a year, for barbecues in summer. But the very day I made that decision, someone else in my household went to Costco and bought FIVE PACKS of my favorite hot dogs. Yeah. So they've sat in the freezer.) I also had a diet Coke and some macaroni salad (about 1/3 cup) and then the last thing I did is what was a bit unnerving. I do not buy sugary stuff anymore. But yesterday I actually bought two boxes of ice cream bars "as a special treat for the kids." And yes the kids went nuts for them since I have not bought any in ages, but over the course of the evening, I personally ate three. THREE of them.

I look at the good parts: I used to eat five hot dogs. I used to think a day like this was a day to indulge in EVERYTHING I wanted. I used to easily eat 6 or 8 ice cream bars in an evening. I'd go for the straight real Coke on a day like this. I wouldn't walk. I'd languish for days, wallowing about in the food wreckage because I HAD to eat the leftovers and I didn't know how to get back on plan. Well, I don't do that anymore either. But in all honestly a couple of days a month like this is enough to make me stop losing weight. So I can't do it again, unless I really like staying in the mid-180's.

Back to the grind...


Laura said...

I read the quote "Better is good enough" awhile ago, and for me, it helps me, first to not beat myself up when I binge or do poorly, and second to recognize that my habits are better than they were a year ago, or 6 months ago, or even last month.

Not an excuse for poor behavior, but the fact that you binged, ate alot less than you used to and acknowledged that it probably wasn't the right choice still sounds positive. :)

Vee said...

You're right. It's not about perfection because then we'd never have gotten fat. It's about progress. And I definitely see progress, not just throughout your blog, but also how you handled yourself yesterday. YOU WALKED! How great is that?! And you didn't eat as many hot dogs and ice cream bars as you used too. That's major progress. So you indulged a little. You picked yourself off, and started back where you left off. GOOD FOR YOU!

Slap on a smile and take a walk, water in hand. Just keep moving. Even if it's just walking in place while watching soaps or cooking.

FILL UP on water. Want something sweet? Eat some fruit. Salty? Couple of peanuts.

Give yourself permission to enjoy one hot dog and one ice cream bar ONCE a week... then do it without guilt. Sit down at the table with your plate. No TV. No distractions. By yourself if you have to. Then close your eyes and enjoy every freaking bite! You have YOUR permission! THAT's what counts!

Like I read on another blog recently, eating is only the cure for hunger, nothing else.

Vee at

spunkysuzi said...

I've yet to meet anyone who is perfect! In fact today i'm feeling icky and i've already had more carbs than i usually do. But i really do feel it's the get back to-it-ness that is the most important and knowing what we need to do and doing it that will get us where we want to be!!

Theresa said...

I was wondering if negative comments help set you into a downward funk? With all of your followers I was wondering this. You rarely speak about mean emails, but I'm sure you get them....
I always have to chuckle when you say you have eaten hot dogs. I would do *anything* to never have to eat one ever again! lol

Jenification said...

This helped me more than you know. I have been sick binging and it is totally uncalled for. Thanks so much for sharing--it helps!

Leslie said...

Hi Lyn - I love and always appreciate your honesty. And guess what??? I knew it was going to be hot dogs! I've read you for a long time!

I hear you about not wanting to continue and to cave in even once in awhile to food as coping strategy et al, but I also believe in comparing oneself to oneself - which you did. It is nothing like a binge of your past, or my present, I'm sorry to add. It helps us all to know that even a blogging weight loss superstar isn't perfect and can still come out the other side back on track and purposeful.

Dinah Soar said...

Maybe it is time for you to come off Medifast??? If you are feeling restricted and reacting to that, staying on might be more harmful in the long run.

Anonymous said...

I love how you are always honest, that helps immensely. I was always skeptical on another site we both visit when somebody said I dieted for an entire year and never cheated, not once! I spent the last week alone and I was shocked at how quickly bad habits resurfaced. I've been mostly on low carb for months. While husband was gone however I got fast food several times, including fries; I had a huge pot of spaghetti and ate that. At one point I thought about going out to get a small ice cream cake! I don't really even like sugar, much prefer chips or bread type foods. What was the deal, I used the excuse of his not being here to go right back to eating badly? Being back on so many carbs I had gas again. I know in our heads we know what's right but still miss the "good feeling" those foods gave us? If we aren't addicts I don't know who is.


beerab said...

Haha how funny Lyn- "Progress, not perfection" is written on the top of my blog :)

I 100% believe in that. Looking back at my eating in the past I can honestly say I've never been so healthy or eaten so well in my life :)

Twix said...

back to the grind... This is AWESOME! ;-)

It's great not to be down long and recognize where we are and where we've come from and where we're headed. High five!!!!!

bbubblyb said...

I sure know those type days even this far into this journey, I think we all have them. I think you've made progress like you said that you don't just tee total it. I know it doesn't make ya feel better either but it is just life for people like us. I love that you can come and talk about it too. Makes me know I'm not alone.

Lori said...

It is a difficule balance to recognize progress, but not use it as an excuse. That has been a hard one for me.

The Captain's Daughter said...

Yesterday was a tough day for me too. And you're right, it's not about perfection, it's about doing better than we've done before. And just the fact that I am BACK on plan today means I'm doing better. So I fell flat yesterday (after 37 days of "perfect" on-plan eating) but today, I'm better!

Thank you for sharing all that you do.

Lyn said...

I just love all your comments guys! It totally makes my day to come home and read what you had to say about a post. I feel like we have this great kinship :)


I do get mean emails, but I guess about a years ago it dawned on me that those kinds of comments are spawned out of pain... maybe anger, hopelessness, jealousy, sadness... and I know there is no truth in the meanness. I just hope people get free from their pain. I do get fewer than I used to :)


I actually feel pretty good on Medifast. If I started hating it or resenting it I'd do something else, but actually I feel pretty good on it. I like all the chocolate I can have! lol :)

No matter what plan I have been on I have had those moments of "why can't I just eat XYZ?" but it is usually something I really need to monitor my intake of regardless of plan. Like cheesecake!

And for anyone who comes back and reads the comments... I had another one of those moments today when I looked in the mirror and did a double take and said WOW!!! I look good! :)

Jill said...

It must have been something in the air yesterday. I too had an awful day. I have been on Medifast since June 1 and have lost 41 pounds, I finally made it to "Onederland" and now my mind feels like it wants to hop the train back to Twoterville. I did GREAT during the day, then last night, spaghetti, a chicken wrap, and more, it's back in the saddle and try to regroup. I thank God i found your blog to help me through this journey.

Loretta said...

I agree with you. Better is" good enough ... but it doesn't need to be the excuse.
Keep your chin up. This is a hard, rocky path we walk. The road will be smoother in some parts though.

Anonymous said...

You are doing so great. I know some people can be on some kind of a diet and just follow it. But I quess for the most of us it isn´t so. And certanly for me it is even impossible. Your attitude is so right.

I have some 20 pounds to loose. I wish I could just follow some program and that´s it. But I know myself. It is never going to happen that way. I have to accept that, and get my focus on smaller improvements.

By the way, after reading your blog for so long time, I would try Medifast if it was available in Europe.

Anonymous said...

Its sort of creepy in a way, but oh so awesome. I just had a really bad bad week with tons of stress... and caught myself numerous times eating cereal bars and apples and what not when I wasnt even hungry! Then to read your blog and you had a bad day or two too! I'm not alone! Why is it we eat horrible when we feel horrible?! :)

MB said...

Nobody's perfect but if we can learn from our mistakes hopefully they will happen less frequently.
The difference now is that we're learning that one bad day of eating doesn't have to throw us down the rabbit hole of despair where we continue to binge for days/weeks/months until we snap out of it. We can be honest with ourselves, accept that we overate, binged or just didn't stay on track, and then we move on.

Anonymous said...

Wow, this post bothers me. I'm not even sure why except I don't feel as though I understand what you said to yourself at the time you made each of those several different choices (to eat *off plan* foods) to make it acceptable to eat know, what your rationalizations and justifications were at the moment of choosing. That knowledge seems like it might be helpful to you, and to your readers who, like me, can relate to making choices that stall weight loss, for instance.

I'm wondering if you told yourself that you would get right back on plan again afterwards, so it was ok this once. That seems to be a pattern for many of us. It also seems to be the slippery slope that so many of us end up sliding down when we eat foods that can be physiologically triggering (not simply psychologically challenging).

It is one thing to understand what happened (what rationalizations one used), forgive oneself, and move on. But it is another to forgive and move on before really understanding the dynamics of each choice while they are still fresh in your mind.

If this comment is harsh or unhelpful, I am sincerely sorry. You don't owe me or anyone else an explanation. I find it helpful to know what my mind is telling me when I am deciding to act in ways that I have already decided are not in my best interest.

Bless you, and good luck!

Lyn said...


Thank you, I understand what you're saying. I appreciate the way you said it.

I think for me it was more of a "gee, I am super tired and a slice of pizza would taste good" combined with not feeling particularly driven or desperate to get more weight off fast. I want more off, for sure, at a reasonable pace, but the desperate "oh my gosh I am so obese I could die at any moment" feeling is gone. The daily pain, heart palpitations, acid reflux, etc, is gone... and I look pretty good too. So what I was thinking when I made the choices was mainly, "eh, I think I'd like a cookie" and yes, figuring I will lose the weight anyway soon enough.

Honib1 said...

it is easy... to let the window open and not close it.. it is easy to let the window half way open and not close it.. but somewhere along the way you remember the air conditioning and that that is on.. and you have a brand new one and leaving the window open is a waste of energy and leaving it half open well thats the same thing too.. You closed the window.. because you love your air conditioning... and your new house that your soul resides in.. you love all the gifts it gives you... the most important thing we do is remembering to close that window .. so all that effort and energy is never wasted... Proud of you for remembering to close that window.. your honesty is true.. each of us can relate to it at one time or another and that is why I love reading you....

Pamela said...

Lyn..I, too, have struggled with this situation more times than I care to recount. Like you, I have become much more adept at getting right back on track and not letting my good work come undone...And there is another similarity I have noticed..The day before you started to eat way off plan you had more sweets than normal. According to the journal I keep for myself this is something that I have also done 99.9% of the time when I have overeaten to excess..I know I am sensitive to carbs and sweets, even artificial ones like diet sodas..they will lead me to binge behavior like buying ice cream, eating in my car (FAVORITE thing),making cereal bars at 2 am when I get home from work - you know...It is a lesson I have learned over and over. If I control sugar, fat and carbs I just don't ever have a craving I have to worry about no matter how few calories I consume. Just a thought..

And thank you for always being so genuine about your struggles as well as your success.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for being so honest about this. It helps me stay honest with myself. Christina

Steelers6 said...

Usually this kind of crazy eating for you is associated w/your buddy TOM coming, but you didn't mention that.

I was wondering if you said anything out loud about the hot dog problem, your decision, and swearing them off the last time this happened. It just seems too coincidental that the person bought the industrial size (ha) the very same day. Sad. Perhaps the remaining hot dogs might like to meet their demise in the garbage disposal? :)

So great how you are encouragement to so many ppl. No pressure. haha.

Thanks for being a real & honest person.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I wish post-binge analysis ever did me any good. My conscious brain will give me excuses to do stuff. Sometimes it's about having an automatic replacement handy - taking that pizza and putting it on some sliced veggies. I've also been looking at NLP methods to try to reframe junk food as yucky. Especially anything mass-produced and of questionable nutrition - hot dogs, really? - compared to a small serving of home-made cake. Following the principle of "I can have it if I made it", I made this low-carb cake (adding pears) which is great.

Momma Hunt said...

I know how it is, as a binge eater I am getting better about realizing its happening and trying ot take control back. A few months ago one binge moment would then lead to three or four days of bad eating! Good for you for getting right back at it!

Verity Vaudeville said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Verity Vaudeville said...

It's because we become complacent with where we are and forget just how far we have come. So much so that it becomes impossible to measure, especially when all you can see is the long, rocky road ahead. How much there is to go. By having a binge, you've gone past the point you were before. By which point it's too late.


You can always keep it in proportion by comparing (or contrasting) with where you were before. So that you may never get complacent again.

A way to be successful is simply to be mindful.

Lady Lazarus said...

I have been reading your blog in the past couple of weeks. I started from the beginning and have followed your journey right through to the present day.

There are many things I want to say to you and I a large email is in the pipeline, but I just wanted you to know that your story is so frank, so eloquently told and so real. You touched a real chord with me as I too have been working very hard at overcoming the REASONS why I binge eat and how to turn my thoughts into positive action.

You really deserve a medal for what you cope with daily, and I have been so impressed with how strong you are as a person.

I really have valued reading this and will continue to do so. I think the outstanding element for me is your determination and perseverance. I know how hard it is to take those baby steps daily, and to have to keep picking yourself up off the floor after a fall. But boy is it worth it, hey? Finally life is being lived, rather than blurred in a haze of food!

Again, thank you for giving the world such a gift, the pleasure of reading the inner thoughts of an inspiring, uplifting and strong woman. By the way, your little princess has made me smile constantly and I am so glad that you have had the pleasure of a little girl in your life :-).

Here's to the future.

Much love,

Lady Lazarus