Binging vs. Unneeded mental beatdowns - Where do you draw the line?
I am curious as to when you guys finally decide when to wrap yourself in a guilt blanket over what could be perceived as a relapse in your dieting habits. What would you say is the line between tolerable and binging.
Let me explain.
In the past few days, after discovering exercising, I realized that I had done so well that I was dying for this amazing curry from a local Thai house. Now, compared to eggrolls, fried shrimps and those delectable scallion pancakes from the local Chinese cuisine place, which is chock full of the MSG and deep fried, or what you could call my "formal norm", – the boiled chicken, veggies and curry paste and coconut milk seemed pretty harmless.
But I still felt as if I should go and puke it up in a fit of disgust.(No, I have never forced myself to vomit – unless you count that week after my 21st birthday and I had consumed that bottle of tequila and it was totally necessary.) But the sheer thought of me trying to rationalize myself of how bad the idea of take out food is was pretty brutal.
To make it worse – My father comes over and is looking for seafood. I shake my head knowing damn well that there is some kind of theme happening this weekend that involves testing me to see the before and after of myself. Before – Fried. After – Baked.
I end up getting a pretty lean piece of fish, seafood stuffing, mashed potatoes and raw broccoli. Of course it comes with the lobster sauce and the dinner roll. Not only am I not getting a pound of fried fish, French fries, coleslaw and enough tartar sauce to dice a mermaid up and cover her in it – but I eat half of everything and put the rest in the fridge for my father to eat tomorrow. But the idea of even putting that 5 fork fulls of potatoes and stuffing in my face is haunting me. I even ordered the sauce on the side and had less than 2 tbsps.
My rational side is telling me that I was okay. That I had changed. That my changes and mentality are permanent. I have the idea in my head that take out food, any and all of it because I didn't cook it myself, is the devil.
But why am I beating myself up. Why did I feel the need to go for three bike rides today just to get rid of some of the guilt? A month into my diet and I am wondering if it ever ends. I feel like I am lying to myself about how much control I am really in. I am really terrified of losing this zone I am in...
Anyone facing the battle?
Oh, and thanks to everyone for the support in "Fat Kid on a Little Bike". You are all right. It is getting easier. I love you guys in the face.
Last edited by xYourBelleMortex : 08-24-2008 at 12:00 AM.
Reason: forgot to subscribe
A month in is not long to have established control patterns - and yet you put leftovers in the fridge? I think that is awesome self control!
The bad news - no, I don't think it does ever end. The price of slimness is eternal vigilance. I'm here today because when I lost a ton of weight 4 years ago, I stopped concentrating and re-gained 80%.
Don't beat yourself up - it's very healthy/normal to want to break out occasionally; the fact that you could stop without emptying the plate shows how basically in control you are!
Here are my thoughts......Sounds like you are doing pretty darn good with the control.
As Ailidh mentioned it will take eternal vigilance to lose and then sustain the weight loss-a thought i find particularly depressing these days, but i imagine it's true. At the same time you're talking lifetime here. Why does that have to mean no more take out? Give yourself credit for making healthier choices and for stopping after a reasonable amount of food. Leaving half of it-that's reasonable!! Isn't that we're all after here is learning to eat reasonable amounts of the foods we eat and choose foods that add up (over a day or two) to a good balance of fruits, veggies, proteins, grains, dairy, nuts, oils and sweets? And aren't we also after making a reasonable amount of exercise part of our lifestyles?
I wonder if the guilt comes from the fear that if you're not "perfect" you will slip back into the eating behaviors that have gotten you where you were a month ago with your weight. It can be a slippery slope, i know and these habits you're building into yourself have to be ones that are livable over the long term if you're going to stick with them. It seems "occasional" takeout consisting of healthier offerings can fit into a longterm plan of weight loss and maintenance.
I have a very clear idea in my head between what I call "thanksgiving" overeating (which I see as normal) and binging (sick). I measure it by thinking about what my thin friends would eat under the circumstances...they all would go out, they would order sensibly, and they wouldn't finish the food on their plate. They would leave feeling a little more full than usual, and the next day they would cut back and increase their exercise.
When I binge I eat everything in sight...often more than I want because I feel compelled to finish what I have started. I don't feel full, or even a little overfull, I feel totally stuffed and often a little sick and uncomfortable. I don't think about my choices, I just think about my wants.
I have thought a lot about what has doomed my past efforts (some very successful) at weight loss and more importantly, maintenance. It has been obsession, the feeling that I couldn't eat anything, that food was almost poison for my body, and that I would never be able to enjoy food again. For a short time that has worked really well for me, I lost a lot of pounds. Eventually, that failed miserably because it isn't sustainable.
I think you deserve major kudos, you exercised your new behaviors and strengthened them! Hip hip hurrah! You made good choices, healthy and delicious food, and enough to satisfy you without overeating. YOU STOPPED EATING WHEN YOU WERE DONE! YOU DIDN'T CLEAN YOUR PLATE!
Ailey has said it all..."these habits you're building into yourself have to be ones that are livable over the long term if you're going to stick with them. It seems "occasional" takeout consisting of healthier offerings can fit into a longterm plan of weight loss and maintenance."
Don't fall into the obsessive trap, it isn't maintainable...
Well, I think the biggest problem many of us face is the 'all or nothing' mentality. You are either 100% on at all times or you are a failure. This is destructive thinking, and is something that you will have to work on for a long time.
Learning to accept the fact that slips happen, holidays happen, tired days happen, etc, will help you get right back on track with the next meal.
Self flagellation only cements the 'all or nothing' mentality.
So, make a point to note the positives of this experience, such as not eating the whole thing, and use that to help you next time.
Fiberlover said just was I was going to say. It's that 'all or nothing' food behavior that makes sanity with food often challenging. Life happens, food happens, stretches or eating with sanity happen, days of unplanned eating happen....The key is to carry on. It isn't a diet....it a lifestyle change that will bring a long term healthy relationship with food and some weight loss.
Many folks use this as their montra -
Progress and perserverance - not perfection is what we strive for.
Move ticker, move!
Next Mini Goal - 214
"You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it." - Margaret Thatcher
I can't lose 100 pounds....but, just maybe I can lose five pounds twenty times.
I think you did great! As long as you are sticking to your portion sizes & not finishing something because it's there, how could you go wrong? Was it a plate of steamed veggies, no. Are you allowed to enjoy your meals? YES!!!
For me the line between tolerable & binging is: how many meals is this going to be for? If I overdo at one meal, I make sure to try & tone it down for the next one. If I don't overdo, but it wasn't the healthiest choice, then I make a healthier choice at the next meal. I may feel a little guilty, yes, but I try not to dwell on it.
"It's never too late to be what you might have been." -George Eliot
Thank you for asking this question and telling your story. I gained some much insight from the replies. So not only did you get some great feedback for yourself, but you helped all of us struggling with the same issues. I think, like most things in life, we learn more from our 'imperfections' that our perfect days. Real life consists of going out to dinner and making healthy choices...and perhaps not making the healthiest choice. But to keep on going is the key! Again, thanks for asking the question!
Neaniebean said exactly what I was thinking. I was pretty down on myself today as well because I did not eat the healthiest food in the past couple days, even though I was within my calorie range. So I was feeling pretty bad till I read this thread. Your doing great, relax take a deep breath and congratulate yourself for your current accomplishments and the courage it takes to do this for yourself. Besides every once in awhile you got to let yourself have a treat like takeout . Its even a better treat when you did so well in handling how much you ate. If I didn't have the occasional treat Id get miserable and wonder if it was worth it. Keep on chugging along, and take a moment each day to tell yourself how wonderful your doing, you deserve the praise.
Here is my logic...flawed as it may be. I am trying to learn to eat like a normal person does. I am sure normal people have dinners out and occasional treats as well..but they watch their portions. If I get that "I can never have...insert your favourite...pizza, ice cream, french fries...again I know I will lose it and eat everything in sight. "Normal people" eat all of the above but in much smaller portions than I was used to eating it.
I am still struggling to find the balance as well. I guess that I just try to eat healthier overall, I force myself to chose the salad (blue cheese on the side please...dip fork then pick up salad) instead of the french fries when given the choice and when I can't stand it any longer...my downfall is pizza...I try to find a way to have a portion controlled serving of it. Otherwise I will eat everything in sight trying not to eat the pizza...somewhat self-defeating.
I just wrote in my blog about the exhaustion I feel at times when I feel like all I ever do is think about food and exercise and my weight ALL THE #(*$&ING TIME...but I hope as I get new behaviours habituated, this will end. I have pretty bad pain in my right arm right now so I am trying to rethink my weight training and maybe let myself give myself a bit of a break from it...or do lower body only, and just trot along for endless turns on the treadmill. Anyone else feel like a hamster on one? LOL