Friday, July 15, 2016

Starting a new binge-free streak

Thanks for all the support on my last post! I'm still not feeling back to normal, but I'm doing better than I was last weekend. This past week, I've spent pretty much equal time between relaxing and staying very busy. It was the last week of baseball for the kids, as well as Noah's birthday, which kept us busy; other than that, though, we didn't have much going on.

I've been doing really well with my eating habits the last few days, which is good. Early this week, when my depression was the worst it's been in a long time, I did something I hadn't done in almost a full YEAR--I binged.
The odd thing is, I didn't even beat myself up for it. I was so close to surpassing my binge-free streak from 2009-2010 (365 days); but last weekend, I felt really overwhelmed and unhappy. And, in the moment, eating took my mind off of it. I felt better for a couple of hours.

Now, of course, I completely regret doing it; but still, I'm not dwelling on it. It happened, it's over, and now I'll just start a new binge-free streak. Binge eating is something I've always dealt with, and I'll probably always have to deal with. I feel very accomplished for the long binge-free streak I had, so I don't feel like I "failed".

In the past, if I would binge after not doing it for a while, I would then have a "screw it" attitude and continue bingeing for several days or even weeks. This time was different, though. I immediately got back on track. I even took the kids out for ice cream on Noah's birthday with my parents, Brian, and Becky, and I didn't order anything. It would have been so easy to just say, "one more day" and order a large flurry; but I knew I could live without ice cream just that once ;)

Anyway, I really don't want to make a big thing out of the binge. It happened, it's done, and I've been eating really well the last few days. The most helpful key to being on track has been planning out what I'm going to make for dinner, instead of waiting until the last minute when everyone is starving. Also, I've been back in a good daily routine, which is always helpful.

My running has been going well, too. After running with Stephanie last weekend, and seeing that my foot pod wasn't correctly calibrated, I felt like my sub-8:00 mile at the rec center last Friday didn't really "count". I was curious if I could still actually run a sub-8:00 mile--outdoors, using GPS.

Yesterday, even though it was 75 degrees with 83% humidity, I headed out to try for a sub-8:00 mile. It's interesting how much has changed in just three months! In April, I ran a 10K at a 7:55 pace; and now, I wasn't even sure if I could manage one mile at that pace. But considering I scaled back my training a LOT, it was to be expected.

Anyway, it was tough, but the mile actually went by pretty quickly. I started off too fast, and I almost threw in the towel after just a couple of minutes; but I forced myself to slow down and stick it out. I really needed to do well on it, if only to feel better mentally.

As soon as I reached one mile (7:51), I slowed to a walk for about a minute to catch my breath. That mile was hard! But I was really happy that I managed to do it. It was so humid that I was dripping with sweat after only a mile. I ran the second and third mile pretty slowly, but my heart rate was still high (either from the humidity or the fast first mile I did). When I hit mile three, I was about 4/10 of a mile from home, so I decided to run hard for that last portion. I managed a 7:30 pace for that last (almost) half-mile! It was a great run, and I felt amazing when I was done.

That first mile was actually faster than the one I'd done in the rec center (which used the foot pod to calculate distance), so even if the foot pod was wrong, I'm happy to see that I still have a sub-8:00 in me.

I've been thinking lately about possibly training for a half marathon in November. It's been a year and a half since I ran my last half-marathon (the Santa Hustle in 2014, when I got injured). I've LOVED training for shorter distances, and it's so nice to be injury-free. But, I really do miss working on goals. I'm curious what my new therapist will say about it (my previous therapist thought it would be good for me to not set any running goals this summer). I liked the idea of learning to maintain my weight without having goals, but clearly it's not working out for me! ;)

I'm not sure yet if I want to train for a half-marathon, but it's crossed my mind. If I don't do that, I'll probably train hard for a 5K (PR) this fall. I'm still about 16 weeks away from the Monroe Half (my hometown half-marathon), so I have about a month to decide what I want to do before I'll need to start training. Right now, I just want to get my head in a good place and continue working on my binge-free streak!


  1. I am so happy to hear that you are considering running goals again. I think goals are super important on so many levels and I hated that your old therapist felt you should stop. Go for it!!

  2. Katie, I just want to say thank you for your vulnerability and transparency. It's because of your blog and thinking about my own battle with weight and attempts (and failures) with running and pursuing health that I finally have realized as an adult I'm a binge eater. I've never faced that truth and you've actually given me the awareness to face this issue in my life and do something about it. It happens about every couple of weeks but I'm now realizing why it happens and I'm taking steps to do something about it. Thank you so much for talking about these issues, for being real, and for inspiring me on my journey!

  3. I can see where your old therapist was coming from (I don't do well without goals either), but at the same time, if goals keep you on track and don't otherwise mess with your mental health, I might just go make one. IIRC, summer is always hard for you, too, right? So maybe you can work on not having goals in a season that isn't as hard for you, instead of doing it all at once..I don't know. Good luck!

  4. I operate a lot like you and goals are what keep me motivated. For the rest of my life I think I will need some exercise or eating-related goals to help keep me on track, and I don't really see anything wrong with that. One of the biggest things I've learned to accept about myself is that I will never be "normal" when it comes to my struggles with eating and weight. I may come close, and there will be times when I can eat intuitively without much thought, but I will always struggle and goals are something that help me stay as "normal" and balanced as possible. You did an amazing job with your binge-free streak and I think your attitude about starting a new streak is great. Good luck and thanks for sharing your journey with all of us!!!

  5. Katie, like the other comments above, I'm so grateful for your willingness to open up about your struggles. I've been able to really get honest with myself and while I do have some medical issues that mess with my metabolism and have to take lg doses of steroids which causes me to retain water, I am caught in a binge/restrict cycle and have scheduled an appt with an eating disorders therapist in 2 weeks. I have to believe it's hard for you to talk about your struggles here with strangers but I love reading comments almost as much as your blog as everyone is so supportive of you and you and grateful you share your whole journey with us. I'm able to get good ideas from these comments and makes me feel like I'm not the only one who is going through something similar.

    I know it must have been hard to leave the therapist you were seeing and I'm sure she had good reasons for what she suggested you try but it was brave of you to realize the relationship with her wasn't what you needed it to be and chose someone else.

    I think you working toward a goal is what kept your depression/anxiety under control because YOU feel in control of something so when the therapist took that off the table, it sounds like you just didn't know what to do with yourself. I truly hope this new therapist is a better fit but sometimes you have to "date" therapists to find the right one for you.

    I don't know you personally but I'm really proud of you :)


  6. Ditto what everyone above said. :) You help us all so much by sharing your struggles. Thank you! Super proud of you for persevering.


  7. I'm so glad to hear you got immediately back on track after a one-day binge. I find that so difficult to do. One day leads to two days leads to two months leads to a year. And 53 pounds later....I'm still trying to get back on track. I shouldn't imply I haven't regained my control, I found it again earlier this year and have lost 37 pounds of the regain, on my way back to goal. But it took some doing....I had to change things up....joining Weight Watchers seemed to be the "click" I needed to get back on track. Now, however, after a month of mid 160's on the scale, I'm thinking of going back to counting calories instead of WW Points, I know you did that Katie. My 3-month WW on-line membership expires at the end of the month, so I plan to go back to the calorie counting then. I am grateful to WW for helping me find my weight loss MOJO again, once I lose it, as I said, I have real difficulty finding it again. Which calorie counting app did you say you're using now Katie? I know you found something you like better than either Spark or My Fitness Pal and did a whole scientific analysis of all 3 of them a while back, but of course I've forgotten--I blame my advanced age.
    Oh--by the way--I LOVE your Joey. What a doll!

  8. Thank you for sharing this! I recently stumbled upon your page and have loved reading over your journey. I seem to do better with goals, even for small stuff, then leaving things open-ended. I don't think it's a flaw - just the way some brains work - and the trick might be in moderating the goals so they are achievable instead of setting up Big Huge goals and then beating yourself up when you can't meet them. I'd rather hit 10 little goals that get me to the same place as 2 big goals that take forever to accomplish. Anyway, am looking forward to future posts!

  9. Thank you for sharing, I used to really struggle with the "I blew it, so why not continue" attitude you mentioned and then somehow, thankfully, I realized that each moment and next decision is a chance for a different direction and fresh start.

  10. The fact that one binge didn't turn into a series of binges shows you've made a lot of progress :) Even if, as you say, binge eating is something you might always deal with to some extent, I definitely believe it is something that can become much less of a struggle as you get older and wiser :)

    It's great that your running is going so well, especially in the hot and humid weather we've had recently. I find it such a hindrance.

  11. I'm glad you're starting to come back from your bout. After you posted, I realized that I also struggle in July. Actually, most of the summer. It's strange because you'd thing summer would be such a happy, shiny time. I guess not for some of us! Hang in there, and I'll do the same!

  12. Exactly! It happened. Don't dwell. Just move on. You got this.


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