November 20, 2014

Moving on after a bad day (or two) of eating...

Yesterday turned out not to be a very good food day for me. And unfortunately, I let it carry over into today, which I hate doing!

It all started innocently enough. I haven't been eating a ton of sweets lately, and I seem to be doing fine with just having a piece or two of chocolate now and then. So yesterday, I thought I'd be fine to make some fudge (in retrospect, I should have seen in coming! haha). I made the fudge, cut it into a whole bunch of little pieces (3 PointsPlus each), and then promptly ate way too many of them. So much for my plan of having a piece for dessert each night!

I had already put a healthy dinner in the Crock Pot (Split Pea Soup), so I decided to just play it off like the fudge hadn't happened, and continue on with my day. After Eli got home from school, the kids were really excited to eat the soup. As strange as it sounds, my kids' very favorite food that I cook is Split Pea Soup!

I gave the soup a stir, and thought, "Wow, this isn't even close to done! The peas still seem hard." Sure enough, I had the Crock Pot turned on all day, but it was UNPLUGGED. I had been burning a new candle all day as well, so I had just thought the lack of "yummy soup smell" was because the candle was overpowering it.

I was so frustrated. I plugged in the Crock Pot to cook the soup then, but knew that wouldn't be done until at least 10:00 pm, so I started thinking of just ordering pizza for dinner. I felt like the day was already shot, so might as well. Instead, though, I just looked through the pantry and decided on Ramen noodles. It was freezing cold outside, and Ramen noodles actually sounded better than pizza anyway. Ramen isn't exactly healthy, of course, but it was a little more Points-friendly than pizza was. The soup situation felt like it mentally messed me up all evening--I had a handful of Goldfish here, and a handful of dried cherries there.

Today, I decided to cut my losses with the fudge and evening snacking, and just get right back on plan. I was doing really well, too--until I got a phone call from the school asking me to come pick up the pies that Noah had sold. Noah had a fundraiser several weeks ago, and he sold four pies--I let the kids pick one out to buy, and then my parents ordered one, my sister ordered one, and my younger brother ordered one. When I sent Nathan a text telling him he could pick up his pie (Oreo), he told me that I could take some of it if I wanted. He'd only ordered it because Noah had asked him to, and he wouldn't mind if it wasn't all there. Such a nice brother! ;)

Nathan's Oreo pie

After lunch, it was like without even thinking it through, I just opened up the box and cut a slice. I was hoping it would be terrible, but it was actually really good. Since it was Nathan's pie, though, I left the rest alone. When Noah got home, he really wanted to try the pie that he and Eli had picked out (Peanut Butter Cup!). So I cut a slice for him, and then even though I knew better, I cut a slice for myself as well. We sat down and ate it together, and Noah kept saying how delicious it was. I shouldn't have taken any, because after the Oreo pie earlier, it honestly just didn't sound good. But since I was on a roll, I guess I just figured I might as well (I wish I could cut that habit, I really do!).

I'm sure it would have tasted much better if I had been hungry for it, but it was just really rich and I didn't even finish the piece. But of course I was mad at myself for taking it when I didn't *really* want it.

Peanut Butter Cup pie

Anyway, that's how one bad day turns into two. And if I'm not careful, it can turn into three, or a week, or a month! So I thought I'd write a little of how I get back on plan after a day or two of going (way) over my PointsPlus. A lot of people ask me how I count the PointsPlus if I know that I've gone way over--do I try to eat my minimum target for the rest of the week? Pretend it didn't happen? Count it and keep a negative balance?

It can go one of several ways. If I add up all those PointsPlus I spent on the fudge and the pies and other stuff I ate, I would have been way over my allotted PointsPlus for the day AND the week. I get 49 PP per week to use whenever I'd like, but those would be gone, leaving me with nothing until my week resets on Wednesday. In the past, when I've done that, it almost inevitably leads to a binge. I can't live on 26 PP per day! I get too hungry, and I just say "Screw it!"

The worst scenario would be to just ride out the rest of the week without counting anything, and feeling like, "I already blew it, might as well just eat whatever I want until my week starts over on Wednesday." This has never turned out well, and is definitely not a solution!

What I find works best for me in this situation is to look at the entire week as 7 separate days (instead of as a week as a whole). So for me, I get 26 PP per day, every day, no matter what. I also get any activity PointsPlus that I earn. AND, I get 49 PointsPlus per WEEK (which would average out to 7 per day). So if I was to break that down into days, I would get 26 daily PP + 7 weekly PP + activity PP earned that day. Instead of letting those two days ruin my entire week, what I like to do is just discount those two days by treating them as if I'd eaten 26 PP + 7 PP + the activity PP I'd earned.

So yesterday, for example, I earned 3 activity PP. So I would count yesterday's points as 26 daily + 3 activity + 7 weekly = 36 PP. I know that I ate much more than that, because of the fudge, Goldfish, and a couple of other snacks here and there, but for the sake of keeping my sanity and really working hard to get back on track, I just count that day as done and over with at 36 PP. I just tend to think of it as a 6-day week instead of a 7-day week. If I try to make up for the excess fudge and pie and whatever else, I find that I just get frustrated and overwhelmed and I try to "wait until Wednesday" to start fresh for the week.

It probably doesn't make a whole lot of sense, and sometimes I'll end up with a weight gain, but I know that it would be much worse if I just stopped counting until the new week. If I was having way more bad days than good days, this wouldn't work. But I've found that when I'm on track for most of the time (say, 12 or 13 out of 14 days), that one day doesn't matter so much.

I dumped the rest of the fudge in the garbage today, and I'm not even tempted by the pies anymore. Tomorrow, I will continue to count my PointsPlus, eating all 26 daily PP, my activity PP, and if I want to use any of my remaining weekly. Today, I had my heathy Split Pea Soup for dinner, so I at least ended the day on the right note! ;)

I have plans to meet up with Stephanie tomorrow morning to do a long run together (yay company! But it's going to be a super cold run.) And tomorrow evening, I have plans to go to Renee's for wine. I haven't sat and had a conversation with her in a long time! I think since February-ish. This whole year is just going by so quickly. Anyway, tomorrow should be a good day :)

Jen, a long-time reader of mine, recently interviewed me for her blog. You can check it out here, if you'd like! I feel honored that she asked me, because she's interviewed some pretty great people recently--Bart Yasso, Jeff Galloway, Mark Remy, and others.

Finally, last chance to enter the giveaway for the Indy 500 Festival Mini Marathon registration! I'll be pulling two winners tomorrow. Good luck!


  1. Hang in there and stay strong! Thanks for the shout out, I really appreciate you doing the interview! You are so inspiring and honest!

  2. My WW leader use to say, "Count it as a vegetable and move on!" Definitely better than a binge.

    I really appreciate your honesty, Katie. People who have not maintained a weight loss for any length of time may not realize how much work it is. I think it's harder than losing weight. It's for life! I'm current on a "No Desserts Marathon Countdown" until the Honolulu marathon on December 14th. It's actually been easier to have none than limiting to a single treat. Mini candy bars are my Achilles heel!

    Tomorrow is a new day and you're going to have a great one!

  3. I never comment but always read and I NEEDED this today-I have been in a bad place for the past couple days and needed to read that I was not alone on the slippery slope. Tomorrow is a new day and back to 26 pp I go. Thanks for making me feel normal and not like such a failure.

  4. I've done that with the crockpot more than once! Been dreaming of my awesome meal all day, then I realize it wasn't even plugged in. :/ It really does throw the whole day off, too, especially if you don't catch it in the first two hours or so.

    Glad you're feeling a little more positive about this mini-binge than you have in the past! I don't know if it makes you feel any better, but I can see so much personal growth in the way you're handling this than you have in years past. (I hope that doesn't sound mean, I don't mean to imply you were doing anything wrong, ever, just that you seem stronger, and more in control.) Please don't take that the wrong way!

  5. This happens to me so much, where one little treat turns into two or three, and then I "might as well finish off" whatever chocolate/cheese/etc. I have left. When I used WW I had a really hard time getting back on track; now I use MyFitnessPal and I really love that each day is almost completely independent. That way I can honestly log everything I eat, which I think is educational for me, without feeling like I have to atone for it by starving the next day.

  6. Way to go! Its good to look at it in a positive way and get on with life. If I slip up, I always just call it a go and move on. I don't know if I could have dumped the fudge, but I think its awesome that you did.

  7. I know what you mean when you say " I already messed up might as well just blow it". It's an all or nothing mentality. I have that same mentality with food and challenges in my life. It helps for me to catch myself doing it as you do. It helps me to break the cycle if I forgive myself and try to take it one day at a time. You are very reflective and I'm glad that you can look at things rationally and find struggles as a puzzle that needs to be solved instead of a disaster. =)

  8. Dear Katie, I have been reading your blog for quite some time now. I think you are an inspiration. What you succeeded is a tremendous task. And the fact that you are still struggling with your eating and sharing this with us demonstrates how difficult it is to hang in there... I have weight and health issues myself and recently landed on a website following the footsteps of an MD who "cured" her own MS. It is the Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson. I have been on primal eating for the past 2 months now and feel like what I felt right after my Lasik surgery at the age of 40: "Why the heck didn't I do this earlier!" I have no relationship personal or financial with the primal folk, just so that you know... If you decide to give it a try, let us all know how you find it. Greetings from Switzerland!

  9. I have been enjoying way too many Halloween candy bars lately. I finally had to freeze them so they were not so handy. With the cold in the Midwest my miles have fallen too. :( Holidays are hard. You want to enjoy them but everything settles around good food! I'm hoping to not stray too far from my weight goal by monitoring my weight daily and tracking my food. But I'm still going to enjoy a piece of pumpkin pie next week. :)

  10. Thank you for having the courage to share your bad days, those posts are never easy to write. Do you think maybe changing up how you're tracking would help? Much like another commenter here, I can't recommend My Fitness Pal enough. WW just never has worked for me, and seeing all the nutrient macros in food is important in my journey. Due to blood pressure nonsense I have to keep an eye on sodium, and I also strive for a certain fiber goal a day. I was also lacking in several vitamins and didn't realize it. There have been a lot of times where looking up something in MFP that I want to hoover down and seeing the calorie/fat/sodium macros on that item was enough to be like "aw, h*ll no". Their database is pretty comprehensive, so tracking takes me about 10 minutes a day at most. I swear I don't work for MFP, I just really have had success with it! I know that either way you will figure things out, and continue to work towards and reach your goal. You're awesome, and so is anyone else here who may be struggling!

  11. I just love your honesty. Even tho I know your story pretty well I went and read your interview on your friend's blog. I live when you talked about a binge. You said, "I may give in, but I will never give up." That says it all to me and kinda proves what you believe about how determination us more important than motivation. Next month will be the 5th anniversary of when I started my journey. I like to think this has become a way of life. I DO know that, like you, I will never give up!!

  12. Thank you for this post. The timing couldn't have been more perfect for, it seems, a lot of your readers (definitely including myself!). I don't struggle so much with sweets, which is not something I thought would be the case when in first started this journey but salty foods are my trigger. Tortilla chips with cheese and salsa (super simple nachos) have been my biggest problem, to where I'm going to have to stop keeping them in the house anymore, or maybe get a kitchen safe! I'm still losing, but I know my progress would be more if I could stay away from the saltiness. So thank you again fir the wake-up call.


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