Saturday, July 6, 2013

Tips for the slippery binge slope

I was so sore when I woke up this morning! I very rarely get sore after a run anymore, but for some reason, I was pretty achy today (in a good way--meaning, it felt like I had worked out). I was thankful that today was a rest day.

Before bed last night, Noah asked me, "Mama, what can we do in the morning?" I felt bad about that, because ever since their football and basketball camps ended, we haven't done much in the mornings at all. It doesn't help that it's been raining every day.

My mom told me about a city wide garage sale about 20 minutes away, so I suggested that to the kids. They were really excited to spend some of their money, and loved the idea. After breakfast, we headed out. Garage sale-ing is always hit-or-miss; sometimes, I find some really great stuff, and other times, it looks like someone just cleaned out his great-grandfather's garage.

Today was definitely a "miss" day. We spent about an hour walking from sale to sale, but there was mostly just junk. There was one sale that brought back some memories, though--a guy was selling tons of vintage games and toys. I saw all kinds of toys that I had as a kid. Noah and Eli each found a something at that sale that they bought, but other than that, we left empty-handed.

After lunch, I was really in the mood to continue my deep cleaning/organizing that I've been doing lately. Today, I pulled out the stove and the refrigerator and cleaned the floor and walls. I was shocked at how much dust can collect back there! Estelle was thrilled that I found three of her cat toys under the stove. I'm sure they'll be back under there in no time, though.

Oh, and speaking of the cats... when I weighed Chandler a couple of days ago, I saw that he had gained a pound since the last time I weighed him. I was bummed, because he had lost four pounds, and I was excited for him to reach the five-pound mark. I was also stumped, because I hadn't changed his diet at all, and he's been more playful than ever.

Well, when he's not sleeping, anyway ;) Yesterday, I discovered the cause of his gain. Remember how I said Chandler was too lazy to use the puzzle feeders? The other three cats use them all day long, but they aren't overweight, so it's no big deal to leave food in there. Well, apparently Chandler is now Estelle's BFF, because Estelle has started doing all the work for him. They sit together at the puzzle feeder, and Estelle uses her paws to get the food out... for Chandler! She eats some herself, too, but it's very clear that she's feeding him. I thought it was hilarious when I saw what she was doing, but now I have no idea how to get Chandler back on his strict diet ;)

I haven't answered a reader question on the blog in a while, and I got one from Michelle that I thought was worth bringing up; I'm hoping that other people can offer some advice, too! She asked: "What helps get you back on track mentally when you are sliding down a slippery slope?" (this is in regards to binge eating).

I've been thinking about this a lot lately. Sometimes, I feel like staying on track is EASY; I'm totally motivated, and feeling confident in maintaining a binge-free streak, and other times, I feel like I can't stay binge-free to save my soul. I have no idea what causes the ups and downs.

But here are a few tricks that have worked for me in the past to get back on track:
  • I don't try to overcompensate for a binge. Years ago, I used to binge and then try to eat as little as possible the next day to "make up" for it. What happened is that I became so hungry that I would binge again. It became a cycle. Now, if I binge or even just have a bad day of overeating, I go right back to my typical plan the next day. I don't cut way back on my PointsPlus to make up for it. I just wipe the slate clean and start fresh. 
  • I remind myself that after four days of being on track, it gets much easier. This will vary by person, of course, but for me, the magic number is four days. After that, I have a good streak going and I start to feel much more confident in staying binge-free. The first four days are super tough, but I just keep reminding myself that it's only four days.
  • I talk about it with a friend. Sometimes if I'm having a weak moment, I'll text my sister, or Andrea from my Ragnar team, or my friend Jessica, or someone else who knows what I'm going through and has been through it, too. Sometimes they'll say something that just clicks for me. Jerry is really great, too; if I tell him that I'm thinking of bingeing, he'll offer me a massage instead. I love massages!
Those are things have helped me. I'm definitely interested to hear from others, though! If anyone else has some advice, feel free to share in the comments :)


  1. When I have gone off-plan I find it helpful to plan out everything I am going to eat and have it prepped & ready to go for the next day. I try to leave nothing to chance and make it as easy as possible to get back into it. I SHOULD do that everyday but... I agree with you that severely restricting myself the next day almost always sets me up for a continued binge.

  2. Thank you for the helpful tips. I am doing WW too and I feel awful when I have a bad (or two) and struggle to get back on plan. I will try and keep your tips in mind.

    It is too funny about your cats! They have their own lives completely independent of yours and Jerry's. :)

  3. I appreciate so much your sharing your ideas and methods to get back on track after a binge. My binges are usually somewhat limited, but consist of one snack after another, usually healthy snacks, but when added up, consist of way too many calories for a day. I think the idea that you just get back on track the next day, don't deny yourself a lot of calories/points, just eat like you're supposed to. I tend to think I need to drop these extra pounds immediately, and think maybe I should just skip breakfast today to help me get back on track, etc. But then I remember this isn't a race. Even if I drop these extra pounds in a week, it's not like I'm going to go back to eating like I used to. This disciplined eating is for the rest of my life. Over-eating truly is an addiction and has to be dealt with like one. I'm working on it, but it's not easy

  4. I am going to second that a binge does not need to be corrected with a starvation diet. I think that only sets up the cycle for poor eating. I would even go so far as to say that the next day after bingeing, you should seek out your higher-calorie healthy food and come down off that high calorie bingeing with your "best" healthy food that is comforting and filling. Eventually you can cycle down to your lower calorie healthy food. Try to make those 4 days it takes to get over the binge as pleasant eating as possible. Also, water, water, water. To me, there is nothing better to start over than to make sure I am super hydrated. It changes how I feel and I could swear has stopped me from bingeing in times past.

  5. Hi Katie,

    Thank you for this amazingly timely post. I had a binge last night and it was so good to read your very sound advice today. I love that your husband will give you a massage when you are headed into that danger zone. He's amazing. What a support you have.

    I want to add a suggestion to your list. When I binge, I used to spend the next 24 hours beating myself up about it, stressing, feeling self loathing, and plotting exactly how I would change and be perfect. Now I do a redo, in my journal, verbally, in my mind before bed, and so on. I imagine what I would have liked to have done instead and visualize myself doing just that. I really imagine it in detail in my mind before I go to bed and again the day after. That way instead of replaying the binge over and over again, giving it tons of attention, I replay the good, new behavior and give that my attention. This helps change the brain pattern - because whatever you give your attention to stays implanted in your brain.

  6. Hi Katie,

    Thank you! I appreciate your input and the suggestions from your awesome readers.

    Like you, my ability to stay on track varies considerably. I am coming off a long spell of doing well but the past few weeks have been rocky. UGH. As you said, I cannot understand the ups and downs. So frustrating!

    I like your idea about four days and also the suggestion about replaying good behavior. Jerry's idea is great too. :)

    Michelle Christine

  7. I find when I slide, I tell myself that this 1 slide does not undo all the progress that I have done. I stopped beating myself up and I work to get myself back on track.
    Easier said than done sometimes, but so far, it's working.


I'd love to hear from you! I read all of my comments, and if you have a question, I do my best to respond; sometimes, however, I get busy and forget to go back to reply, so if it's important, just email me! :)