January 18, 2014

Birthday cake

Today was a rest day, but it was far from restful. Tomorrow is Eli's birthday party, and he made a last-minute request for his cake. He had been saying that he wanted a cookie cake decorated like a bowling ball (his party is at the bowling alley), and since I did the same thing for Noah's birthday, it was pretty simple. I had planned to buy the stuff and make it today.

Last night over dinner, however, Eli decided that he wanted to have a fishing cake instead. I tried to think of a simple way of doing it, and decided we'd buy a 1/4 sheet cake with blue frosting (to look like water). We could buy a toy boat, and put a fisherman in there, and put Swedish Fish in the "water" around the boat.

Jerry was working this morning, so the kids and I went in search of a toy boat. We couldn't find one anywhere. We went to five different stores looking for a boat, and came up empty-handed. At the last store we were at, we didn't find any toy boats, but I had an idea to go look at the aquarium/fish supplies, because I thought maybe they'd have a boat for aquarium decor. It turned out that they did not; but they did have a bunch of cool SpongeBob stuff, and Eli really liked that.

We bought a few things, and then went to Kroger to see if we could order the cake. On the way there, Eli asked if we could make his cake instead of buy it, and I was thrilled with that idea ($4 instead of $20). The SpongeBob stuff was pretty expensive, so making the cake at least saved a little money. He chose a devil's food cake with white frosting (to color with blue food coloring).

When we got home, we went right to work. All things considered (I'm a terrible baker!), the cake turned out pretty cute!

Eli was happy with it, which is really all that matters ;)

I haven't written much about my binge-free streak, because there really isn't much to write. I'm doing really well! And the best part is, I'm not worried about it, obsessing over it, or even thinking about it much. After reading Brain Over Binge, all of my binge habits made so much sense.

I always used to go through each day almost waiting for the moment I would binge. It was never a matter of "if", but "when". I just assumed it was a part of who I am, and that it was something I'd always have to deal with. After reading Brain Over Binge, I learned that the way I was thinking about it was actually making it worse. It had become a habit ingrained in my mind.

I'm not doing "intuitive eating", because that makes me obsessive--always wondering if I'm hungry, if I'm satisfied, what I really want most, etc. That never worked for me. Instead, I'm just not giving my food much thought at all--I eat my regular meals and snacks, and I just make sure I take (and eat) a "normal" sized portion. I haven't even had to use my Kitchen Safe, and I've bought several of my "trigger" foods without incident.

Yesterday, I felt so normal at dinner. First, when we were visiting Mark, I wasn't giving dinner a single thought. I was used to always thinking about my next meal, especially if we were going out to a restaurant. But I didn't hurry though our visit, even though I was starving. At the restaurant, when the server put chips and salsa on our table, I didn't have the ever-constant battle in my head about whether I should eat the chips or not, and if I do, how many, etc. I ate a few of them, but mostly, I was distracted from the chips by having conversation with Jerry. Usually, it's the other way around--I have a hard time focusing on conversation, because I'm thinking about the chips. Does that make sense? Am I the only one that has that problem?!

Anyway, yesterday's dinner made me feel really excited about all this. It gives me hope that I can get away from thinking about food all the time. I don't have to try and distract myself from the food, like I always felt like I was doing before. I just don't give much thought to it at all.

My weight hasn't budged in weeks now, and I'm happy with that. Yes, I wish I was maintaining about 7 pounds less than I am (I've been at 140), but if I can maintain my weight and stop worrying about food/weight all the time, I'll happily take 140 ;)

I still don't feel comfortable saying that this is it--the book totally changed my life and I'm cured from binge eating. I'm not sure at what point I'll be able to say that. But the book, as simple of an idea as it is, really made something click for me. I'm doing really well with it, and I'm very happy with the changes I'm seeing (and feeling)!


  1. Andrea GellenJanuary 18, 2014

    The cake is so cute! And I can totally relate re: conversation v. chips. When I go to the grocery store and I see they have no samples, I feel such a profound feeling of relief. It seems so silly, but sometimes I wonder if I'll feel that way for the rest of my life!

  2. Love the cake! I can totally relate to the boat-search experience. About a week before Christmas, my 4 year old son told Santa that he wanted a toy sailboat to play with in the bathtub. Well "Santa" looked in every store and even looked online and never found one. A few days after Christmas my son said to me "guess Santa didn't have my right address because I didn't get a boat", not upset, just matter-a-factly. Guess you can only buy boats in the summer.

  3. The cake looks great! I think I'm going to need to buy the book "brain over binge" because you are describing me to a T! I'm constantly worried about food and meals and how is that all going to work out. The only problem is I still need to lose weight so I should probably keep focusing on the food to make sure I don't go over? I don't know I'm at loss. Any advice would be great!

  4. I loved that book, it made me look at my habits so much differently, it helped a lot but didn't cure things totally for me, but made them better. I always obsess about food at the table and I use to sometimes get mad "in my head" if my eating partners were taking too much. It was so crazy!

  5. Your description of the dinner with chips made perfect sense to me! I also constantly think about food, like thinking about dinner at breakfast. Common sense tells me this is something I need to work on, but making myself stop obsessing is hard.
    The cake is really cute!

  6. I've been there with the chips! Especially at a work lunch or something. I keep think "am I eating too many chips? Can I have a few more? I really want those chips!" I set up a 30 day challenge for myself. No desserts (my biggest binge item), 12 -16 cups of water a day and to track my calories. This is all in place to help my binging. Today wasn't so good... But it was better that I was a week ago when I started this. I enjoyed your post because it gives me hope. Thanks!

  7. @Stephanie - My husband and I are also doing a 30 day challenge (inspired by Katie's many challenges, of course). We decided to try and go 3 days without having any meals in a restaurant. So far it's been a real eye opener for me. Not only calorie wise, but monetarily as well. Although, I do have to admit that I spend a lot of time thinking about where we're going to eat on February 5th when the challenge is over. I think I'll take a page from your book and try 30 days without a dessert after this challenge.

  8. I think that cake is adorable :) And the fact that you made it together with Eli is just awesome. Means soooo much more then just buying one :) This blog gives me hope that someday maybe I could get to the point where my head space is taken up with conversation during dinner rather than chips and ranch.......

  9. Your emotions at the restaurant sounded so familiar. I always obsess over those damned chips and salsa and try so hard to limit myself, but I want MORE so badly. I'll have one and think that'll be enough. And then I have another one and another one. Sometimes spying a heavy person in the restaurant, will give me incentive not to eat so many. I have eaten none once or twice and many times had only three chips. But usually I eat too many.

    And thinking about the next meal? That is always on my mind. I would like so badly to be normal, I KNOW there are people out there who do not worry and think about food all the time like I do. I went to a banquet last night to honor an old friend who was being inducted into our local bowling hall of fame. She used to be my partner, she won her first tournament championship with me, back in 1976. I kidded with her last night, telling her we must have only been about 10 years old when we won that tournament. She was super skinny back then. I hadn't seen her in years, and was fantasizing yesterday before we went to the banquet that MAYBE, just MAYBE she had put on a pound or two. NOPE! She is skinny as ever, and so tall (5'11). And her husband (my husband and I were really good friends with both of them years ago), is just as skinny. They are both about our age, early 60's, and so very attractive. I wish I had their attitude towards food. Since I don't, I'm going to have to struggle with this addiction for the rest of my life. But that struggle is still better than morbid obesity. I know I don't have it licked. That is evidenced by this15 pounds I can't get back off. I do okay for a day, then slip, binging on snack food. Meals are not really my problem. I buy healthy snacks, but then I over-do on them. Maybe I should read your binge book, if it would help.

    1. Forgot to mention, LOVE the cake! Nice job!

  10. Something that I've realized over the past year or so is that over-eating/binging is an addiction. Like alcoholism or drug addiction. And when an alcoholic finally accepts help they have to realize that they will always be an alcoholic, no matter how long they stay sober. I am addicted to over-eating. And we have it so much harder because you can't stop eating completely like a drug user or an alcoholic. You can completely remove those things from your life. Not food. How would an alcoholic feel if every time he/she sat at a restaurant, along with the chips and salsa, came a shot of whiskey? Not good. Looking at my over-eating from an addiction standpoint has really helped me. It also helped me explain my plight to my 175lb 6'4" husband that can eat whatever he wants. Anyway, I don't know if any doctors have done any research into this perspective, but I sure think it could use some attention.

  11. That cake turned out fantastic - you deserve a Mom Of The Year award! It sounds like the book has engaged you in something we therapist types like to call cognitive behavioral therapy. You should google it! It's a therapy technique where you basically change your own thinking patterns in order to correct "cognitive errors" (i.e. "I'll never be binge free" or "binge eating will always control my social outings if food is involved"). Super interesting, worth researching :)

  12. When you said, "Does that make sense? Am I the only one that has that problem?!" I was replying to you out loud! ha No. No, you're not the only one. I'm working on it and just hope I can get to the place some day. It seems like I'll be planning every bite and counting every calorie for the rest of my life. Some days it seems so daunting. :/

    In positive news, the cakes looks fantastic! I hope Eli had a great party!

  13. Hello, I have come across several of your posts when I am searching for online help for binge eating. I really, really need help. It would make me beyond happy and thankful if I could contact you and talk about this. Please!! Thank you so much!
    If you want to please contact me at facebook.com/queengazelle or 2143840644 or mpyle50@live.com

  14. That cake is so cute--and looks yummy!!

  15. Katie, I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for sharing your experience with Brain Over Binge on the blog. I read the book in one sitting yesterday, and I have to say, it spoke to me in a way other books about binge eating have not. I also suffer from some OCD tendencies, and the precepts in the book are things I've discussed with my therapist regarding the OCD. It never occurred to me that those same thought practices could help me with binge eating! I put the principle to work last night, and I woke up this morning with renewed vigor. Please continue to share your experiences with the BOB principle; I, for one, find it very encouraging and helpful!


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