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Are you self-indulgent when you're sick?

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Old 08-08-2011, 07:11 PM   #1
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Unhappy Are you self-indulgent when you're sick?

On August 2nd, I had successful (but for a few days, painful) deviated septum repair outpatient surgery. During this recovery week, I've had severrreee chest pain while breathing and was diagnosed with mild pneumonia this afternoon. Anyway, the first recovery day, I was told to only eat jello, pudding, and liquids, so I had all the sugarfree, lowcal. options on hand. Now that I'm able to eat whatever I want, however, I find myself craving carbs and junk food (two things that my diet absolutely prohibits). When I am not loopy with pain meds, I'm good and choose apple chunks and other healthier meal options.

I've had sugar free ice cream and frozen yogurt 3 times this week, but now I seriously want legit ice cream. I don't know how to feel. I want to indulge because my body feels like crap, but I don't want to gain back weight that I've worked so damn hard to lose! I find myself saying to my family that I just don't care about my diet right now, when they question my pleads for the guilty goodness. Ugh. Should I be lenient with myself because I have so much other stuff going on? Or am I just letting this become an excuse?
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Old 08-08-2011, 07:24 PM   #2
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When I am not feeling good I let my self indulge in healthier options. Junk food is not going to help you heal any faster.

I don't know what diet you're on, but aren't their healthier versions of the junk you're craving? Instead of a roll, could have a piece of whole wheat low cal bread?

I think what you are craving is the "comfort" from "comfort" foods.
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Old 08-08-2011, 07:25 PM   #3
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i get like that sometimes too when i'm sick or stressed....it helps me to remember that my way of eating is considered for life, low carb and calorie-counting because i am prediabetic...and i'm still prediabetic whether i'm sick or stressed or not lol....

sometimes i give myself permission to have something "off plan" as long as i make sure it doesnt turn into a habit, or i get back "on plan" after that meal or treat...if i was in your shoes and truly truly wanted something off plan, i'd have it as long as i made sure to get right back on plan after that....if my willpower isnt enough that i dont think i can get right back on plan, sometimes i just wont have it at all....if that makes sense
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Old 08-08-2011, 07:27 PM   #4
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When I am in this headspace, I try to ask myself if what I'm eating will help me to heal.

Right now, you need to heal. And what does your body need to heal? Nutrition. Good nutrition will mean feeling like crap for LESS time, because your body will have all of the building blocks that it needs to rebuild the parts of you that need rebuilding and heal you up. Bad nutrition means depriving your body of the things it needs to get well. Which ultimately will make you feel worse longer.

When I'm sick, I eat 100% fruit bars a lot. They're not something I eat regularly (no protein, quick hit to the blood sugar), but I get the vitamins and fiber from the fruit, and at least I'm giving my body some real food to work with in making me well. I also drink a lot of protein shakes, because again, I'm trying to give myself building blocks for healing.

Now often, I WILL eat things I don't "normally" eat, because I do recognize the "I feel like crap, I want to treat myself" feeling. But I typically go for expensive pre-prepared healthy foods I don't normally want to pay for, or replicas of heavier foods that I prepare in a healthy way. For example, when I had sore throats as a kid, my mom always made me what she called "banana nog", which was a frozen banana blended up with milk, nutmeg, cinnamon, and vanilla. I'll make myself one of those with a protein shake instead of the milk, and it feels all comforting and indulgent, but still gives my body what it needs to heal.

Hope you're feeling better soon!
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Old 08-08-2011, 07:29 PM   #5
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I quit smoking recently. For years, I had told myself that I would quit when I was less stressed out/ whatever wasn't going on. Finally, a close relative I had been helping take care of died somewhat unexpectedly (we knew she was terminal but did not expect her to go so quickly) during finals for me (I am in law school). Since she was not an "immediate" family member, I could not defer my exams. I watched her die on Tuesday, had a final Wednesday, another one Thursday night, her funeral Friday morning, and another final Friday afternoon. It was terrible. And so I decided to quit smoking right in the midst of it. Why? Because I felt like if I could not smoke during one of the most stressful times of my life, I would always look back and think, "If I didn't break down and have a cigarette then, I definitely don't need one now!"

Don't let the self-pity monster get you. You know that the foods you are craving are the ones that are the WORST for your already ailing body! Nourish yourself with some good, healthy choices- and take advantage of other people bringing you food! You can do this!

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Old 08-08-2011, 10:18 PM   #6
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I rarely get sick and haven't been sick since making this healthy living lifestyle change. So I can't relate or give advice there.

I do go through a similar phase, however, when I'm stressed. It is almost always around exam time in my classes. I get stressed and just crave bad foods. Part of it is that I feel like crap so I don't want to go home and cook something. Part of it is that I feel like I "deserve" it since I'm going through such a rough time, have done so well for X days, blah, blah, blah.

This time around, for the first time ever, instead of going to McDonald's or Wendy's or Pizza Hut when exams hit, I went home and made a double portion salad. I still felt like I was indulging because it was so much more food than I usually ate for dinner. But it was healthy, and I didn't wreck my day because of it. I also felt sick afterward, which made me realize, hey, maybe your stomach isn't big enough to handle this much food anymore.

It is an excuse. You have to think about how you're going to feel after this is over. Will you think Gee, I'm really glad I ate all that junk food! It helped me heal and was just so delicious!? Or will you think Guh, now I feel worse and I've gained some of the weight back I worked so hard to lose! What was I thinking!? For me, after that exam was over, I was patting myself on the back for sticking to my plan, eating healthy, studying and kicking butt. Stay strong!
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Old 08-08-2011, 10:38 PM   #7
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This happened to me - it's how I gained 15 pounds or so from my injury. Indulge a little if you must, but in the end, know it won't help you. Try to avoid it as much as possible.

GW1: 149.9; GW2: 146.6 [[Bottom Half of Healthy BMI]]; GW3: 143.9 [[Comfy Back-to-School]]; GW4: 139.3 [[>Half to Goal from Recent Start Weight; Featherweight]]; GW5: 135 [[BMI<20]]; GW6: 129.9 [[120s - First Time!]]; UGW: 125

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Old 08-08-2011, 11:06 PM   #8
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I tend to think on it more in the Mandalinn manner.

If I'm feeling ill, I want to eat things that are going to help me get better. Sometimes they're things I may not normally eat as much of, but in the case of illness will help me get back to healthy faster.

However, it depends on the injury/illness. I'm not going to eat a bowl of icecream simply because my toe hurts. What I'm going to do is adjust my activity in that manner to allow my toe time to heal.
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Old 08-09-2011, 03:17 PM   #9
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All of what you guys said is true. And I still feel crappy, but I had a warmed subway sandwich and a plum instead of ice cream last night.
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Old 08-11-2011, 01:42 PM   #10
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I've been chronically ill for fourteen years, so obviously I can't just indulge myself when I'm sick because I'm sick every day of my life! A bit of a treat is useful, but then I build in small treats to my everyday diet and they don't take me outside my calorie limit. Feeling that you are allowed to let go of the diet because you're ill is a dangerous mindset, and while a bit of feeling sorry for yourself can be useful in moderation, this isn't the way to do it. As some wise person has said, and has been often quoted on this board, "If hunger isn't the problem, food isn't the solution". Medicate with meds, medicate with exercise, medicate with massage or meditation or whatever's appropriate, but don't self-medicate with food. There are other ways to cheer yourself up.

That said, if for some reason I have eaten next to nothing one day for medical reasons, such as less than 400 calories due to throwing up all day from migraine meds (yes, tramadol, I'm looking at you), I may allow myself 200 calories extra the next day. After that I go back to normal. Thankfully this doesn't happen often, otherwise I'd probably have to rethink my eating plan.
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