Tuesday, May 3, 2011

How It Is

Yesterday was slightly better. If you have ever binged or gone off the rails with food, eating whatever you pleased, you know it is really hard *mentally* to stop doing that once you've started. It's like an entitlement thing, almost, for me. I *deserve* to eat what I want. I am *thin enough* and I should NOT have to tell myself no. It makes no logical sense, because no one in their right mind eats 5 pieces of pie in an afternoon, thin or not. It is food abuse, it is a compulsion to finish ALL of the food.

Which reminds me, when I used to go on binge drives, I was always compelled to eat everything I bought and not save any for later. I would decide I was going to binge (although I didn't call it that back then) and I would hobble out to the car, drive to the store, and wheel the cart up and down every aisle, eyeing every possible food. ANYTHING that looked good to me got tossed in the cart. ANYTHING that flitted through my brain as a possible desire got thrown in there. (I'd like to note that this behavior went on after many years of poverty, eating only whatever the food bank handed out, having no money at all to actually PAY for food at the stores. Once I was out of that very restrictive condition, I went sort of nuts with glee that I *could* buy whatever food I wanted, within reason). The excitement would build as I tossed all manner of junk into my cart. I didn't HAVE to choose between cookies and donuts... I'd get both! Ice cream, pizza, whatever I wanted! The only bit of reality on those binge trips came at the checkout, as I was loading the contents of my cart into the checkout belt. Bag after bag of chips, candy, and treats. Tons of frozen convenience foods. Candy bars. Sodas. It looked like a joke... a stereotype of the food-crazy fat person buying all manner of crap and not a single fruit or vegetable. I knew it, and for a split second, I felt some guilt as I put all that stuff on the belt and people were watching and I felt ridiculous. But the food was more important, and I'd get it home and I would start eating. One thing after the other. And I felt I could not stop until I had had at least *some* of everything I'd purchased. Even if I was stuffed and nearly sick, I HAD to have some of it all. And it was pretty much assured that I would eat the rest the next day. All of it.

I don't do that anymore, thank goodness. But I remember, and I still see hints of that "finish it all" compulsion when I do buy some sugary or fatty type of thing. I didn't want to share it, and I didn't want to "make it last." I still am like that. When I bought that darned pie, it was because I had a really intense desire for pie. But not ONE piece of pie. I honestly wanted to eat the entire pie. Right then. All by myself. If I had my way I really wanted to just sit with the pie in my lap and a spoon and eat the whole thing. But I made myself cut it into 8 slices. I forced myself to give some of my kids a piece and put one piece on a plate for myself. But when the kids were gone doing something else, I went back for more. And more. And more. And the pie was gone. And later my son said "hey who ate all the pie?" and I shrugged.

Yesterday was a little better, as I said. Not perfect. But I am trying. I am working it out to try and find WHAT WILL WORK for me. I had my coffee in the morning. I had Greek yogurt and fruit for breakfast. Medifast shake at 10am, Medifast chicken noodle soup at noon. A slice of Swiss cheese, half a banana, and a diet Coke in the afternoon. I made chicken enchiladas for dinner. I haven't made them in AGES. I used low carb/high protein tortillas, chicken breast, and low fat ingredients for the sauce. I topped them with low fat 2% shredded cheese. I ate one and a half along with a salad. Not a bad day.

Except, I also had gone to the store earlier and bought a pack of sugar free Klondike bars. I really, really wanted cookies and donuts but I was trying to make a better choice that would keep me from flipping out. Guess what, I ate 4 of them last night. And you know, it's weird, but I feel okay about that. I am happy I reined it in from the way I ate last week. The sugar free bars were a better choice. And hey, I ate 4, not all 6. However I don't think I will be buying them again.

The scale is moving in the right direction again, slowly but surely, despite the Klondike snafu. My eating is not perfect, but I am trying to find a way I can eat that will allow me to stop obsessing about food. I am not sure what I am doing yet. I know I need to increase my exercise but believe me when I say I am at my limit time-wise with what else I can add into my life right now. I *might* be able to schedule in 15 minutes of strength training a couple times a week after school is out and dance recitals are over, but for now, the walks (2-3 miles/day) will have to suffice.


Anonymous said...

I know what you mean about binging - yesterday I was calculating what my little binge cost: 5 marshmallows, 2 handfuls of chocolate chips and something that I forget = about 400 calories, or a meal. EEK! And it wasn't even a big binge - just mindless eating. Makes backtracking a necessity! Ugh. Learning...

KZ MF said...

God, I wish I knew you in real life (in a non-creepy, don't-be-freaked-out, way!). When I read your posts, every single word of them resonates. While our life experiences have been so different, our eating issue experiences have been so similar. I'm another Medifaster who has been struggling for the last several months and trying to find balance.

I lost 83 lbs on MF the first time around and have regained 20. I'm back on MF as of today. The scale going up and clothes getting tight is such an awful feeling.

I wish I had someone in real life I could talk to about this, but your blog is so helpful to me. Thank you.

Susan said...

I've been a binge eater for decades. I do so well with my eating, then find myself in the middle of a binge. Sometimes I think I need to stop taking away foods from my diet because then I feel denied. I've been thinking about adding foods instead. If I make myself eat an additional piece of fruit each day, I'll theoretically have less time to eat junk.

Anonymous said...

And yet another post I could have written. I often wonder at my need to "finish it all." I have never lived in poverty, never gone hungry involuntarily, but I always have to finish it all.

I even argue with myself in the process, telling myself that I do NOT have to finish the package. And yet, somehow, I feel driven to do so.

I've learned to buy ONE of whatever--even if it's more expensive per item than buying a package. Because, really, If I eat all SIX Klondikes in one sitting, I havent' saved anything. (And I do eat all six)

Keep at it, Lynn. I know you're going to beat this thing. So am I.


The Captain's Daughter said...

Binge eating disorder is such a terrible thing... I know it all too well - and hate it! Just know you're not alone. I fortunately have time in my schedule for lots of exercise - I'm convinced that it's the reason I'm not regaining the weight as quickly as I should. Just one day at a time, often one hour at a time is all we can ask for. Be kind to yourself.

I am reminded when I hear of someone fighting/losing their battle with another disease, like cancer, which is less within their control, that all things being equal, I'd still rather suffer from this than anything else.

Lauren said...


You are a very strong woman and you will recover from this setback.

I know how hard this is to face and even get through.

Thank you for sharing your struggles, setbacks and successes with honesty and openness.

You are a great inspiration to me. This journey is hard and even once we each get to a goal it will not be a panacea of peace love and happiness...however it does help to be healthier and thinner so we get a chance to enjoy our lives with those we love with less pain!

Bunpoh said...

Wow, what a great window in what you've gone through. I went through periods of deprivation too, and I wonder if that had something to do with my past bingeing behaviors. I know the last time I did, which was actually fairly recently, it was a case of "he's having more, why can't I?" Only I had more and more and more.

Great job bringing it back around. I totally know how hard that is.

Dillypoo said...

One of the things I do when I KNOW I'm finished but still WANT whatever is left is to poison it somehow. I've been known to:

fill a can of nuts with ketchup
douse meat with Sweet-n-low
pour salt on dessert

ANYTHING to make it unappetizing.

Ice Queen said...

I read about your need to finish things, make them be gone and not able to stop until they are and my mind was screaming, "Yes! Yes! Yes!" Boy, does that ever sound familiar. I also have that have to finish it thing. And it is a bitch to battle against.

So much of what you have to say resonates. Your blog and your insights are a Godsend to me. :)

Andra said...

All this talk of food but yet it has absolutely NOTHING to do with food. Avoidance, anxiety, anything else, but not about the food.

spunkysuzi said...

I've come to realize that there are certain foods that I just cannot have in my house! When I have bought them I end up eating way to much of them.

Anonymous said...

Hugs Lyn

Helen x

HopefulandFree said...

I don't have any advice. Just a hug (((Lyn))) or is it (((Lynn)))... :)

Either way, try to remember you are not alone in this world. Caring people exist and are walking around this very moment. There might even be a million, or more! That's rather remarkable when you think about it.

I don't mean to minimize your situation, at all. I just wanted to share something that makes me feel better when I'm lonely or upset or confused.

Lyn said...

What great comments. I wish I could meet you ALL. I would love to have a gathering where we could all hug and see each other and visit. It is pretty cool that the Internet can bring us together from all over the world.

KZ, shoot me an email :)

Lori said...

I think you are moving in the right direction. You recognized there was a problem and started taking steps to correct it. Don't expect to fix everything all at once. It takes time.

I have the same problem with needing (not wanting but needing) to finish something. Maybe one of us will find the key to fixing that behavior soon.

Dinahsoar said...

Exercise is not the key to weight loss. It might help and it is healthful. But it is possible to lose and never exercise. I did. I lost 30 pounds and never did a lick of exercise beyond my normal daily sedentary life. I'm not saying don't exercise. I am saying because you don't or can't exercise, don't believe you are hindered in some big way...because you are not.

Let me tell you...all the other times when I dieted and exercised--I didn't have as much success..and I had the burden of 'having to exercise' in addtition to everything else.

Amy said...

Lyn, I have been reading your blog for over two years. I read it and was inspired. I loved to China and read it for a year from the other side of the world. I returned, went through marital, health, and spiritual struggles... and I read your blog. You inspire me with your honesty. I share the same struggles with you. Somehow, these blogs have a way of making me feel like I"m friends with a person, even though I've never even talked to you. Because of that, my heart hurt a little when you mentioned that you felt okay about the ice cream bars. I know the Lyn who loves fresh produce, fruit, and cooking healthy. I know the Lyn who powered through Medifast; the Lyn who has shared so many amazing recipes (your lima beans have become a mainstay of my diet!). I know the Lyn who knows her weaknesses, and knows her strengths. Who is brutally honest with herself, and her readers... even if it's tough. And I can see through that comment you made that you are struggling deeply. Stay strong, Lyn. Please know that this is said out of concern and love. Sugar free is not calorie free. Four is not okay. Yes, four is better than 6 or 8. But I know that with me and my struggle, it's the small reassurances I give myself that get me in trouble.
Also know that you do not have to answer to me or anyone else besides yourself, and don't feel like you need to defend your actions to me. You have proven yourself time and time again to be strong and resilient. This was just a moment where I felt that I needed to say something, because I have wished that someone had said something to me.

katie said...

My new Secret Weapon? "If it's not in my house I don't eat it" Yay! I have done this for a month and it's working..painlessly and easily!! If I want something dessert-y I only buy a single serving size / portion..ie a piece of pie or one cupcake. It's heaven to be losing weight so effortlessly :)

Stacy said...

Wow... your second paragraph was actually quite scary for me to read. I used to do those same things. Binges that would include me getting some of everything I love... this would often include a trip to Dairy Queen, Pizza Hut, McDonalds and the grocery store all in one night so I could get a little bit of everything I loved for my "binge".

I'd usually stuff it all down regardless of whether or not I was full since this was my only opportunity (not really) to eat all this delicious unhealthy food. I'd tell myself that "I'd go back to eating good tomorrow, so now is my chance to eat all I can before midnight". One day to try and stuff every one of my favourite foods into me, like the world was going to end the next day. Can't explain it, but I think you understand.

I'm not sure if it helps at all, but you're very much not alone in your feelings or actions.

PS - Congrats on eating 4 and not 6. Little steps, but meaningful ones nonethless. Seriously.

timothy said...

it's been a crazy week for me too hon, just remember that you are a wonderful speacial person and stronger than you know. you can do this and you will!

Lyn said...


I have actually fantastized about that. About having a kitchen where ONLY on-plan, healthy foods reside. But I am just one of several adults buying food in the house, most of it being "communal". I used to tell myself something like "NO, you CANNOT eat that trail mix because your SON bought it and it is his" but many, many food items come through the kitchen that are shared.

And even if I somehow got everyone on the same page, there is the matter of my youngest who has eating issues of the medical variety. She needs to have higher fat, higher calorie foods on hand for daily intake... like that darned cheese. I do try and make healthier choices for her but she really needs calories, even if that means pudding or ice cream or whole grain crackers & cheese. The nutritionist told me to give her a big milkshake every night! I am not doing THAT though. I don't want her to get in that kind of unhealthy habit. So we do yogurt smoothies instead.

Anyway yeah I agree, it would be much easier if I was the only one buying and eating the food. (And I am sure if I didn't buy sugar free Klondike bars I would NOT eat them!)

Anonymous said...

Hi Lyn,

I'm coming out of lurkdom to comment. I fight with the 'entitlement' mentality too.

I agree with Andra's comment. I have been an overeater since I was a child and in the last three years I started to overdrink on alcohol. The addictive behavior poured out into another venue and I need to figure out how to combat it.

Good for you on the small steps and for recognizing all of this so soon after weight loss.