May 05, 2013

237 Days

This is a really difficult post to write. I want to ignore it, and pretend it didn't happen, but I know that a lot of you enjoy reading my blog because of my honesty (particularly when I'm honest about difficult times through weight loss/maintenance).

I binged yesterday. I ruined my 237-day binge-free streak.

I'm trying really hard not to beat myself up about it, but I'm just so angry with myself and disappointed that I let it happen. It was like a perfect storm of events--my kids were spending the night with my parents, and Jerry had to work all night. Just before he left for work, we got in an argument, and then he had to leave. The argument was over something really stupid, and I knew he'd call me when he got to work and we'd apologize, and everything would be fine.

Instead, I just wanted to eat out of anger. You know that expression, "Don't cut off your nose to spite your face?" Well, I was mad at Jerry, and a binge almost felt like I was getting back at him somehow (which I know is stupid, because I'm the one that has to deal with the consequences). I'm not at all blaming the argument for the binge, because we've argued many times over the past 237 days, and I managed not to binge because of it.

Like I said, I'm trying to just let it be, and not beat myself up over it. I'm starting a new binge-free streak today, and I'm going to do my best to make it longer than 237 days. I got on the scale this morning, just like normal. I know that weighing every day isn't the best idea for everyone, but when I start to avoid the scale, my weight goes up FAST because it's so easy to ignore the consequences of poor eating. My weight was up to 136 today, which I know is mostly water weight, but it was still pretty sobering to see that number.

I know that if I get right back on track, I can be back down to 133 or so in a few days. Because I'm over my "panic weight" of 135, I switched my Weight Watchers settings to "weight loss mode" instead of maintenance. So now my daily PP target is 26 instead of 32. I'll keep it there until I get back down to about 131-132.

I'm really determined not to let yesterday's binge become a defining moment of gaining back the weight. I will not let it turn into another binge, or "just one more day" of bad eating. And, as much as I want to pretend it didn't happen, I'm not going to lie to myself either. It happened, it's over, and now I can go back to the norm.

This morning, the cats woke me up (wanting their breakfast) at 6:00, and I couldn't go back to sleep. Lately, I've been eating breakfast, drinking tea, checking e-mail, and some other stuff before running, but I had the urge to run first thing today. It was light outside already (the bonus to springtime), so I ran outside.

Today, I was going to try and get my heart rate to Zone 4 (156-172 bpm).

I figured this would be about an 8:30/mi pace. I was surprised just how difficult it was to get my heart rate up that high! My legs and lungs told me I was working hard, but my heart rate was right around 152-154 most of the run. This heart rate training is pretty interesting!

While I was running (and thinking), I had an "Aha!" moment. I always gain 15 or so pounds during the summer, and then manage to take it off again in the fall. I assumed this was because my kids were home, and constantly bored or bickering, which is stressful.

July 2012
But I realized that's not actually the reason I gain. I tend to gain in the spring, and then I just hold onto it all summer. And the reason for this (my "Aha!" moment) is that in the spring, when the weather gets nice, I get a very carefree attitude. The nice weather makes me want to hang out on the back deck, with a beer or margarita, go get ice cream with the family (or by myself!), snack on chips and dip all day, etc. It's pretty hard to work all of that into a daily diet, and I get frustrated with having to count everything I eat; so then I start to think, "Well, normal people do this stuff. Normal people don't have to count everything, or measure food. I can do that, too."

 But I don't take into account the fact that I'm NOT a "normal, average person". I've lost 120+ pounds, and I'm maintaining that loss--most "normal" people haven't done that. So I can't eat the same way they do and expect the same results. My body works differently. Through trial and error over the last few years, I've learned that I have to measure and count my food to maintain my weight. I've tried "intuitive eating", but it leads to binge eating every single time.

So this time, when I find myself thinking that I don't have to count PointsPlus (or calories or whatever), I'm going to keep all of this in mind. Maybe I will actually be able to maintain my goal weight this spring and summer. I would love to experience summertime at my goal weight!

The winner of the book giveaway "Honey, Do You Need A Ride?" by Jennifer Graham is:

Congrats Crystal! I've sent you an e-mail. Hope you enjoy the book :)


  1. Thank you for writing this post. I lost 50lbs 4+ years ago. For a couple of years I was able to maintain it. Then I got into that mindset that I just wanted to be like everyone else and not count and weigh and track everything. Now I find myself right back where I started. Sometimes we need a reminder that the effort needs to be put in everyday or we end up back at the beginning. The weight wasn't lost overnight and it wasn't gained back overnight.

    I have been back on track for the last 6 weeks and I binged too. I wish I could say it was only one day but it was last night and all day today i've been eating! I think i've consumed about 100points worth of food today. I cannot and will not let this slip up define me and tomorrow is a brand new day. I too am not the average person. I cannot eat like them and continue on my weight loss journey. I have lost 70lbs and have 30 to go. I was much more disciplined when i was heavier but now that i'm an "average" size 12 even though i'm not at goal i am getting complacent. I can fit in to clothes from regular clothes and i don't stand out as always the heaviest one so when I am with my thin friends i want to eat like them...but they don't have to watch what they eat and i tend to eat like them...OUCH! This is not going to get me to my goal weight.
    THank you again for posting this because I was still munching on everything when your post came up...stopped me dead in my tracks, or bites ;)
    I am not going to let my screw ups this weekend define my overall progress and set a pattern of falling off the binge wagon!

    1. Cat... ditto to all of this. I feel exactly the same way. I know what you mean about fitting in with your friends and being a size 12. Thank you for sharing. I can relate.

    2. As crazy as it sounds, the closer you get, the harder it gets. The more you like the way you look and feel, the more you don't feel like you need to follow a weight loss plan anymore. Keep at it, Cat, and you will get there!

  3. AnonymousMay 05, 2013

    I don't even know you and I still love you.

  4. I am in a horrible funk due to some family drama this week. I overate a little at the beginning of last week, but it wasn't awful. Last night and today I have binged. :( I sat here crying earlier eating brownies. Sometimes I wonder WTF is wrong with me when I go so long and everything is fine and then I blow it. I also can go up several pounds in a matter of days. I feel like crap now, physically and mentally. My anxiety and depression has been really bad this week and I keep using food to make me feel better. Every time this happens I get scared that I can't stop. I feel like I am letting everyone down who looks up to me for having lost over 150 pounds.

  5. AnonymousMay 05, 2013

    Thank you for sharing what has to be a painful admission. To go practically a year without a binge with as much travel as you've done is amazing.

    My goal of clean eating is very challenging on weekends; it's when I don't have structure like packing my lunch for work, it becomes a mental challenge. So I've spent weekends as of late throwing myself into cleaning, and organizing my house for distraction.

  6. Katie,
    I am so proud of you for posting this. For some reason (stress!) I have been eating crazy things I would have never put into my body 2 weeks or 2 months ago. Today I kept on cutting off a little bit more...then more...and more pieces of brownie until I had eaten a whole row. I feel awful- sugar headache and just gross. Thank you for posting this. None of us is perfect. I am going to eat fish and broccoli for dinner tonight to get back on track. Thanks for the honesty.

  7. I think acknowledging it is SO important! You've just given yourself the 'talk'- and that's necessary sometimes. Its ironic, because I'm doing the same thing tonight. Scolding myself for poor choices this weekend.... So hard sometimes!


  8. Hey girl! Try not to beat yourself up about this. It happens to everyone. In fact, I think the occasional binge is normal. Even people who have been at a healthy weight their entire life do so naturally! The fact that you went an astounding 237 days without binging it just a testament to how well you've done.

    Tomorrow is another day!

  9. Katie,

    Not only is your streak impressive, getting right back on the wagon is more impressive! THAT is major! WTG! I'm glad you told us about it. Dusting yourself off and starting over is the right thing to do. I know you can do it!

  10. You have done amazing so far!! Seriously Katie, you write like you live in my head and I think that you are a MUCH better problem solver than myself :)
    Congrats on the great run today and so awesome that you have identified the issues with Spring/ Summer. I actually just figured out the reason for my never ending plateau last summer(BBQ's!!).

    Thank you for your great blog--I look forward to reading every single day.

  11. AnonymousMay 05, 2013

    Thank you for sharing. I had a few too many sweets lately and have really felt out of control. Then a trip to trader joes made me start grabbing cookies! Alas. Back on track tomorrow. Thank you so much for the continue inspiration. 87 pounds down and pr mile and 5k yesterday. :)

  12. You recognized it and made the decision to get right back on track and that is what is important.

    Here's to the summer at goal weight and an awesome Chicago marathon in the fall!!!

  13. You are amazing. Your honesty is amazing. Thank you for sharing something so difficult. I love your attitude for getting back on track!

  14. AnonymousMay 05, 2013

    I think you should be commended for your honesty. The blog world's an interesting place-I mean, people now earn livings from it. But I can't think of any that reveal as much as you have, and considering the subject of your blog, that's what makes your blog a must read for me. One thing I've always respected you for is you've actually used the word fat. I know a lot of people reading this will get angry at that. But it's the truth. In one of your blog posts you admitted that you were fat simply because you ate too much. Not because you had some medical condition, or any other excuse. I'm that person. Simple fact is I can't eat like "normal" people, and it's something I've struggled with forever. I wanted to be that person who got to eat entire pizzas and never worry, but that's just not my lot in life.
    You seem to have done so well on your journey because you have accepted things and your hard work. You will recover, and we all take that journey with you.

  15. I don't ever comment, but I wanted to thank you for this post. Your honest and upfront approach to your binging has made me feel more in control of mine. I'm sorry that you struggled, but want you to know you are not walking this road alone.

  16. Best and most relatable blog on the web. You rock.

  17. Everybody falls down from time to time, props for dusting yourself off and getting right back at it. You rock!

    I don't have a HR monitor but that would be an interesting way to train! I probably should get one for the summer because the heat slows me down and then I just feel slow even though I'm still working the same.

  18. I haven't read any of the other comments but I can almost guarantee that every one of them had nothing but support for you, despite your anger for binging. This email will be no different ;)
    You mentioned that you are not 'normal' because you've lost over 100 pounds and have to do certain things in order to maintain that loss. A bump in the road, whether it be binging, yo-yo dieting, or hiding food (which I have been known to do) also reminds us that we're not 'normal' but Katie I have to say - these trials have never broken you. You have recovered every single time; so while it may feel like your will is breaking, I don't see it that way. It just shows me how capable you are at persevering. Hugs to you. xo

  19. This is life Katie, you know it. Good days as well as bad ones come along. But more importantly they go also... They don't stay. So your last binge day is over now. Finished... Another beautiful spring day is here. And you can look yourself in the mirror and be proud for being mindful about yourself and your health. I love you... You gave me the courage to start running... And I am doing a C25K now... Kiss yourself on the cheek and go on.

  20. I know that feeling of being binge free and then tripping up. It is great that you acknowledged it, wrote about it, and have determined to move on from it. I have started to realise that having sorted my binge tendencies out and keeping it straight for a long time I then slipped back in to it. Not in the way I did before where I would binge in the sense of "loads, all in one go" but in the sense of all day grazing on my "binge foods". I am getting back on track now but only just seeing the last few months for what it really was.

  21. Congratulations Katie 237 is quite an achievement!! Me, I'm on day 12 and knowing you got to such an amazing number helps me to think that I can do it too. You are truly inspiring. Thanks for your honesty too. Screwing up sucks, but it helps me to see you get back on the horse =)

  22. 237 is super impressive - I'm in awe here. Your honesty is impressive too! Thank you for sharing your journey so openly with us.

  23. I've been following you for awhile and don't usually comment but I wanted to say thank you for being honest. I've been doing weight watchers since the beginning of February and made it to 5% loss and have had a horrible 3 weeks staying on track. Your comments on not being "normal" hit home for me as I also love to sit on the deck and drink/eat what everyone else does. If I'm going to succeed at this program (especially over the summer) I have to realize I'm not normal. Sometimes we (and I mean me) have to stop feeling sorry for ourselves and realize if we want to accomplish our goals we have to make sacrifices. Thanks for your honestly!

  24. I've been reading your blog for a while now and you just identified WHY I like certain blogs and not others. You are a real person and I like following real people with real lives, real setbacks, and real feelings. It's what I strive for in my own blog, sharing who I am, the good and the bad. I'm glad you shared and appreciate being able to read something that I relate to and think "yes! I do that too! I'm not alone." You almost made me head out for a run before my own breakfast, but I'm waiting on my teenage son (running partner) so I'm trying to have some self-control! LOL

  25. It's such a different midst--this maintenance thing. I just started it 5 weeks ago and feel more tense than I did while I was in weight loss mode. It's kinda scary letting myself eat things I haven't allowed myself for 18 mos or so. I so appreciate all your honesty--you are helping me through this. THANKS! You will succeed.

  26. I appreciate y9our honesty. I had a horrible day Saturday, don't know that I would call it a binge, but it bordered on one I think. I had my grandkids here, hubby and son went to a ballgame out of town, and giving the kids snacks and being alone, seemed to make it okay for me to snack too. It's interesting how we can justify over-eating to ourselves, isn't it? I did better Sunday. Like you I fear every binge day like that is the beginning of gaining all the weight back. But I know I can STOP it, it's not easy but I CAN! I have to weight myself every morning too, I think it keeps up accountable for those bad, mess-up, bingeful days. Here's a toast (I had a skinny pomegranate margarita yesterday to celebrate Cinco de Mayo) to better days for both of us!

  27. Katie - I think you handled this really well. Do not beat yourself up over yesterday because that doesn't help the future. Just get back to doing what you do normally.

    I hear you on having trouble in the summer. My issue is that I do soooo much biking that my calories get all out of whack trying to take in enough, but not too much. It's a tough balance and you are so right - our bodies are very different from people who have lost a smaller amount of weight (or have never been overweight at all). When you start thinking like you are those people, that's when the gains come.

  28. I'm sorry you broke your streak - that has to be tough. I think in previous posts you had mentioned you have been teetering on a binge for a while. I totally understand that. Binge eating disorder isn't something that just goes away. It is always at the back of the mind waiting for an opportunity to trick you into a binge. You are a strong woman and can get through this just like you have many times before!

    I also relate to the summertime is easy feeling. I usually don't gain in the summer, but I *never* lose. I hope to change that pattern this summer!

  29. AnonymousMay 06, 2013

    one day of bingeing does not negate 237 days of not bingeing. So job well done Katie Girl. And now you have a goal to do seem to do better with a goal! lol

  30. I have the opposite problem with my HR, I used to always run in the 180's but have gotten down to 170s now... its slowly coming down, but ALL my runs are in the zone you talked about today... I cant get or keep it down! I guess I could if I walked, but I love running!!!

  31. Carolyn KirchenstienMay 06, 2013

    Thank you for being so honest with us! You are go that long, 237 days...I don't go more than 3 months ever, I've been riding the weight roller coaster for about 10 yrs now, up and down....since finding your site in january, I've taken such different approach (esp with running) and I just want to thank you for that! Please keep up the great work you've done, with your weight loss, running, its very inspiring to us who read your posts everyday :)

  32. KimberlyMay 06, 2013


    As always, thank for being you and honest. And BINGO ...."one day of binging does not negate 237 days of not binging". You had a bad day... just A bad day. It's okay, you're allowed... your human. And honestly, you can have more than one. It's suppose to go this way. But the darkness always ends, and there is light again.

    I am SO proud of you for at least a million reasons.... now I can add another, how you handled getting over yesterday and moving FORWARD.

    XOXOXOXOX's & peace to move forward.

  33. This is a fantastic post. Thanks so much for sharing hard topics with us. I had lost 30lbs on WW and let it creep back on. I'm fighting to make progress on losing it again. And your thoughts of "normal people eat ice cream and chips" is exactly what I'm struggling with. Do I want the weight off or do I want to indulge? I really can't do both. Thanks Katie! I know you can exceed 237 days this next go round, you're amazing!!

  34. Please remember that your one slip up in 237 days does NOT define you. I have been reading your blog religiously for months now and have really appreciated the light you bring to your eating disorder. Thank you for your honesty and candor in all of your blog posts.

  35. You really shouldn't beat yourself up about it. One slip does not change the 237 days prior to that. Just move forward.

  36. Hi Katie,
    I haven't ever commented before but have followed your blog since it was new, but today's post made me stop and need to write a comment. I am glad to hear you are trying to let it go and restart the streak, because my first thought when I saw this was "she has gone 237 days without binging? Oh my gosh, that is amazing, I wish I could say that!" because for me right now a victory is one or two days without binging. And maybe you once were in my position where that's all you could say, so sometimes it's good to look back and realize just how far you've come! And thank you for writing your blog and sharing your journey with us:)

  37. Katie,

    Thanks for your honesty. I'm having a hard time getting back on track with my eating after 2 weeks of vacation and getting back on track with my running, after almost two months off due to a back issue and two weeks of vacation where there honestly wasn't much of a chance to run.

    If you can hop back on... so can I!! I'm not going to beat myself up on either my eating or running.

    I'm just going to hop back on my now-normal-just-the-way-it-has-to-be-in-order-to-maintain my 25lb loss way of life.

    Thanks for your honesty!!!


  38. As always - we love your blog, for keeping it real! I understand what you're going through and it helps me and my daily choices when I read your blog! Here's to a better day for you :)

  39. Hey there - like prior commenter "Helen" I am struggling make it one or two days BF. 237 days is such an inspiration. Thank you for keeping it real and honest. And you know what? Since I binged yesterday too, I can use you as motivation to keep up with your new streak!

  40. AnonymousMay 06, 2013

    Katie, I have to say, when i am struggling with my weight or eating, I come straight to your blog. Because everything you say I can relate too. And actually, your ups and downs are what motivate me the most - that you don't stop. So I know this sucks for you and your binge free streak, but seeing how you are handling it is so encouraging and makes you even more my hero. Thank you so much for sharing.

  41. Thank you for posting this. My heart just broke for you when I read it because I know the feeling. Being a food addict is harder than I think people realize...and being able to jump back on the "wagon" after losing control and bingeing is even harder. And I always wake up the next day with a food hangover! This post inspired me to get my own counter app on my phone to keep track of my own binge-free days. 237 is AMAZING and you should be so proud of that. I will admit that I'm curious what exactly your binge consisted of compared to how mine tend to go (overdosing on pizza and wings and soda...and cupcakes. LOTS of cupcakes) But I also understand that it's not something that should be dwelt on. Your attitude about the whole thing is inspiring and motivating and I intend on reading it anytime I have a bad day. Thank you for pushing me. I'm so glad I was introduced to your blog :) 80lbs down and 100 more to go. I'm glad I'll have you to read along the way!

  42. Michelle B.May 06, 2013

    Thanks for sharing!

    I hope you are feeling better today - good job on the run and trying out new things like the HR training.

    I like to reframe things with "how would I want my kids to handle this?". Would I want my 10 year old to beat himself up about a set back or acknowledge it and move on?

    Asking myself that questions works for a lot of different situations. It helps me put things in perspective when I'm spiraling or anxious inside my own head.

  43. Katie-

    I love that you are 'real'. It's inspiring to feel like I'm not going through this alone. I too am a binge eater. Last time it was happening I just was happy I recognized I was doing it and I only lost the day instead of weeks and weeks and a ton of progress. Do NOT beat yourself up over it. We are human. If it were easy everyone would be a size 0. Besides, everyday is a NEW day. That's what counts.

    I can also completely relate to your extra weight in the summer as well. I seem to notice the same thing. My husband and I are completely different when it comes to what and how we eat. I have found DoleWhip (a non-dairy flavored 'ice cream') that some Frosty Boy's offer helps cure the cravings without all the fat and dairy issues. It does have sugar so if you are watching it, then get smaller portions (of course you already know this). I also use mints in my water to flavor them. There is a pretty awesome water enhancer that Crystal Light has that tastes like Margaritas. Bonus too is I get to have it while at work. These are nice subsitutes for the real thing but occasionally only the real thing will work. When that happens, I treat myself and don't feel bad about it.

    I have started tracking my Non Scale Victories (NSV). When I resist the cookies or get a small instead of the large like I want or skip sour cream on my tacos or only have 2 instead of the 6 I want, I note it and it helps make me feel better when I do have a few treats. This actually really helps me. It makes me see that I am making changes and every little change helps.

    Stick with it Sweetie!

  44. Hi Katie,
    Thank you for sharing about your binge. I know how awful that can feel. I've been maintaining the last couple weeks instead of actually losing on WW because I've binged a few times and then been too embarrassed to track it. It is definitely harder to stop myself from bingeing once I start. But I know it can be done! You are a huge source of support for me!

    This week I commit to tracking EVERYTHING, like you have talked about in the past, even if it's painful to acknowledge.

    I really appreciate that you are so open about this stuff with us. I look forward to journeying with you through summer!


  45. AnonymousMay 06, 2013

    You're still awesome.

  46. You're fantastic. I respect you so much for honesty. & like unknown said, this doesn't define you.

    I think I'm the opposite - in winter I blob more, just want to be inside with a hot chocolate & a cat & a good book! Summer I'm definitely more inclined to get outside & exercise.

  47. Hi Katie. You are amazing. I've been reading your blog for about 5 months now and you are just so inspiring to me. As a fellow "binger" I wanted to cry reading your post because I know how hard it is. I was also wondering if you would feel comfortable sharing what your binge consisted of. If that's too personal, I totally understand. For me, a binge can consist of driving through the drive thru and ordering a milk shake and two packs of cookies. It can also consist of sitting down and eating almost an entire carton of ice cream. It's embarrassing. Humiliating.

    Because of you I have started running again. I am slow. Really really slow. I started my weight loss journey at 230 pounds and this morning I was 198.6. I am hoping that I will be able to run faster as the weight comes off.

    You are an amazing person. Thank you so much for being you!

  48. Hi Katie, I've been reading your blog for about six months, since I started running and counting calories too. Please know that you are a huge part of the success I have found (albeit slow!) and that so many people find your journey just as inspiring and courageous as I do! The journey for all of us includes ups and downs. I've felt that crushing feeling you're experiencing right now (we ALL do) but please don't let it get you down. A friend of mine recently told me when feeling down on myself to think about how our body builds muscles (just bear with me!). When you're working out, you're basically stretching and tearing those muscles so they can grow stronger. With every low point in this weight loss journey, although sometimes so painful, is opportunity to grow stronger. Beat yourself up for one day and one day only just to get it out and then get yourself right back up on your swift and powerful running feet again! You are an amazing person. Know that there are tons of us rooting for you from the sidelines.

  49. Just wanted to add my support. You are awesome!!

  50. I agree with so much of what's already been said. I've read other weight management blogs, but you are the only blog on my "Favorites" list. You've inspired my to start my own Binge-free streak. Day 1 starts tomorrow!

  51. Thank you for sharing these words. I've been following along for a few months now and am inspired by your journey. I had my 4th child in November 2011 and since then have lost 132 pounds (almost 100lbs since August 2012). I always wonder if there will be a time when I will no longer need to weigh and record my food and just be able to "wing it". I also wonder if I'll lose the desire to binge. It is SO HARD. I am encouraged to know that it's okay to have a bad day, that those days happen, but not to let those days "win". I'm also okay with the idea of always needing to track my food intake. Thanks for your honesty and helping me to realize that though this journey may be hard, it's one that I can complete (still have another 50lbs to go)!


I used to publish ALL comments (even the mean ones) but I recently chose not to publish those. I always welcome constructive comments/criticism, but there is no need for unnecessary rudeness/hate. But please--I love reading what you have to say! (This comment form is super finicky, so I apologize if you're unable to comment)

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