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Going off plan

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Old 02-09-2013, 04:52 PM   #1
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Default Going off plan

Every so often, I will go off my maintenance plan. Since I entered maintenance in October, this has happened three times. I was never a binger before, but now it seems that at times I am. And that makes me feel ashamed, and I don't know what to do about it.

The most recent time this happened was two days ago. I was out with friends having a few beers and eating vegetables and hummus, and everything was fine, until I got the idea in my head that I needed a nice dessert. So I had one, and then I decided that I wanted oatmeal, so when I got home, I had some of that, and then I had some yogurt, and at the end it was quite a bit of calories, way more than I usually have.

The whole experience makes me feel that maintaining my weight is not something that I can do. Why do I feel compelled to eat so much on these occasions? It seems that it's beyond my ability to control, and it makes me feel weak. And where did this compulsion come from, anyway?

I don't know if I want advice or if I just want to vent, but thanks for reading.
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Old 02-10-2013, 06:24 AM   #2
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For me alcohol totally lowers my control abilities. If I drink a beer or a glass of wine overeating usually follows. I compensate the next couple of days by eating less. No major harm done.

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Old 02-10-2013, 10:12 AM   #3
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For me, the vestigial binges that I go into now are all about expressing anxiety that I'm trying to tamp down.

But I started acting out with food only after I started restricting food.

So much in my life is outside of my control. I try to maintain control over my body and health. So it stands to reason that when I really skid out of control, as a sign that I'm feeling overcontrolled and starting to get rebellious, I express the desire to break free through eating fast & mindlessly, since everything else is laborious & mindful.

The best way to manage this is loosening the overcontrol a little so I don't bolt for the hills as soon as the gate opens just slightly.
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Old 02-10-2013, 10:22 AM   #4
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The most important part of your post is that you came here to post, so congrats for that!!

I don't have any real advice for you as it's something I struggle with too.

But what I am learning about this process in my own journey is:

1. Alcohol is bad for me, i.e. I act like it's freedom to eat anything I want and unlike you, I choose really really really bad food (think Chinese takeout and/or pizza). It would never occur to me to have yogurt and oatmeal, I am so bad like that. But I have learned here it's excess calories that matter and it doesn't matter where they come from.

2. When I get to goal (whether I stop at 199 or go less), I have to watch my weight every single day for the rest of my life. It's going to be exhausting for a while I think but I am so afraid that 5lbs will turn into 10lbs that will turn into 50lbs. Might be a little dramatic but it's happened to me in the past (except it was over 100lbs when I finally looked!). I think I might give myself a 5lb leeway to account for fluctuations (for example, 199-195 is ok, 200lbs means get back on total plan immediately).

I don't know if any of the above will help you but I hope it does. We are all in this together and anything we can do to help each other is so very important. I read your thread and could picture myself going through the same thing. You have had amazing success so I am sure you will get yourself right back on track and come back here to share your strategy with us.

Don't be too hard on yourself. We are only human afterall.
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Old 02-10-2013, 10:24 AM   #5
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I give another vote to alcohol possibly contributing to your most recent binge. Yet, realize that you are human. You will never be perfect or not have a day where you over eat. I think that type of thinking will ruin your maintenance. In my opinion, maintenance is what you do the majority of the time. You fall off a bit...you get RIGHT BACK ON. Nothing is worth sacrificing your health and what you've worked so hard to achieve. Not one thing.
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Old 02-10-2013, 10:35 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Natalie42 View Post
I give another vote to alcohol possibly contributing to your most recent binge. Yet, realize that you are human. You will never be perfect or not have a day where you over eat. I think that type of thinking will ruin your maintenance. In my opinion, maintenance is what you do the majority of the time. You fall off a bit...you get RIGHT BACK ON. Nothing is worth sacrificing your health and what you've worked so hard to achieve. Not one thing.
Agree 100%.
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Old 02-10-2013, 04:13 PM   #7
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Thanks for everyone’s comments. It’s very nice to have your support. Because of it, I’m thinking a bit more positively about this than I was before. There were, though, some things that I wanted to comment on more directly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mudpie View Post
For me alcohol totally lowers my control abilities.
I think that was the case here for me, too. It doesn’t happen every time I drink alcohol (which is only once every other week or so), but it does happen sometimes and my control definitely does falter. It probably falters a bit with everyone, now that I think about it, or why would anyone ever got to Del Taco?

Quote:
Originally Posted by saef View Post
So much in my life is outside of my control. I try to maintain control over my body and health. So it stands to reason that when I really skid out of control, as a sign that I'm feeling overcontrolled and starting to get rebellious, I express the desire to break free through eating fast & mindlessly, since everything else is laborious & mindful.
This idea of an internal rebellion really resonates with me. And I think the alcohol kind of enables that. It’s hard to remember sometimes that I’m trying to give myself a gift through my weight loss. I’m curious as to some of the things you do to loosen the over control without abandoning control altogether.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Natalie42 View Post
Yet, realize that you are human. You will never be perfect or not have a day where you over eat. I think that type of thinking will ruin your maintenance.
It’s true that I do like being perfect, and it’s also true that I don’t like realizing that that just isn’t possible.* My fear here is that if I fall off the wagon once, I will gain all the weight back because my resolve has weakened. Of course, getting back on the wagon (which I have done) is itself a sign that my resolve has not in fact weakened. I should probably take some bit of pride in that.

Maintenance is tricky, isn’t it?


*The long story short is that I have shame issues and the unhealthy way I deal with them is through perfectionism (so that I would have nothing to be ashamed about).
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Old 02-12-2013, 01:38 PM   #8
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Did you binge at all when you were dieting/losing? Before you started being conscious about your food intake? Do you feel totally out of control like you can't stop?

I sometimes go on mini benders when in altered states because I like eating and it's fun, but never with the frenzied panic/joy/emotions I felt when I was really struggling with binge eating as an outlet for diet frustration.
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Old 02-13-2013, 01:34 AM   #9
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I used to drink a couple good beers or a glass or two of wine on the weekend. I noticed my diet compliance would be a bit worse then. I wasn't going crazy or eating things I normally wouldn't, but just more quality calories. But they add up too and I would have to compensate elsewhere.

Although I miss it a bit, I quit alcohol for health reasons so it's no longer an issue. I am fully capable of binging if set off by some trigger foods, so they are on the blacklist. Some seem to set off a poor satiety/low blood sugar roller coaster that ends with me eating more just to feel ok. So those sorts of meals are avoided. I guess everybody's a little different and maybe the best plan is to pay close attention to your both your physical and psychological reactions to foods.
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Old 02-25-2013, 01:47 PM   #10
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For me, it's really the snowball effect. Once I "give in" to that initial item I had not intended on eating, it becomes increasingly difficult to stop myself.

I went on a 4-day scuba trip over Presidents Day weekend and every morning, we left early and always ate the hotel breakfast buffet. It was a nice variety of stuff and each day, I laid out a plan for eating the healthy stuff - a small cup of decaf coffee, bowl of oatmeal w/ honey, some fruit, maybe a strip of bacon for protein. And then I saw the doughnuts...the waffles...the biscuits...

I did my best to eat what I had planned, but then I'd grab a doughnut, which led to another, which led to 2 more strips of bacon, which led to a biscuit, etc., etc. I knew that I had to eat well to be able to do 3-4 dives each day and not crash, not feel bloated, not make myself sick - and I'd have this internal struggle each day NOT to eat the junk; but as soon as I'd let loose the first time, it became impossible to stop until the group would leave the hotel.

When I am able to resist that first item I hadn't planned on eating, I'm fine. If I give in, it's just a recipe for disaster.
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