I Need an Intervention

Friday night was the first time in a long while that I went to bed with regret about what I had eaten that day.  And I woke up with that same regret and disappointment in myself.  I remember those feelings from my former life and I don’t like them.

For two days in a row I cheated on my diet.  They were not horrible cheats.  Actually, everything I ate was South Beach friendly.  But I ate way, way, way too much.  I ate one serving.  Then got up for another.  And another.  And so on.  A lot of trips to the pantry.  A lot of food inserted into my mouth.  And I ate it in a way that reminded me of the person I once was.  I ate when I wasn’t hungry.  My mind was saying “eat” while my stomach was saying “full.”  I ate things that clearly didn’t satisfy me in some way.  I ate for some unknown reason.  And I ate knowing I would be mad at myself.  Heck, I was probably mad at myself while I was eating!  I knew in each bite that I would regret it and that I should stop.  But I kept eating.

For so many weeks now I have had such self-control.  I have to ask myself what changed.  Why did I do it?  Was it emotional eating out of frustration over this whole shoulder thing?  Was it because I actually had some recent moments of feeling almost thin and this was self-sabotage?  Was it that Triscuits are a kryptonite to be avoided; a gateway drug food that leads to other eating?  Was it that I engaged in activities that I know lead to mindless eating?  (I really wanted to finish my book and catch up on TV.)  Was it because I was alone all evening so could revert to secret eating?  And the big question:  Does it matter why I did it?  Will knowing make a difference?  Or is it only important what I do now?

After the first day of cheating, I ran here and wrote a post about it.  I committed to what I would do to stop before it got out of hand.  But I read the post the next morning and thought about what I had said and decided that I was fine and would just get back on the horse and move on.  Clearly that was a mistake.  Day two of cheating entailed a whole lot more food.  And a whole lot more regret and guilt and concern.  And yes, a whole lot more gain on the scale as a result.

So here I am.  Usually I like to write about what is going well and I like to write with optimism.  It motivates me.  It keeps me focused on where I am going and that I CAN get there.  It is part of the new me on this journey.  But today I have to write about something that is not going well.  Because I need help.  And I need that public accountability that until recently had been working so well for me.

I know what I would say to someone else who was telling this story.  Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, today is a new day.  So that is what I intend to do.  I will not let two days become more.  I will not let this become the beginning of my slippery slope.  I will find my optimism again.  I hope.  No… I will!   And I will prove Cammy right – I am stronger than a Triscuit.  Or any other food.  (And I will keep my fingers and toes crossed while I say that.)

For me those two days are a bright red flag.  The fact that I overate is clearly bad.  The fact that I recognize a potential problem is good.  If I now do something about it.

So here is what I decided – time for an intervention.  I have you and I have my blog and I am going to use that to put on the brakes.  For the next week I am going to avoid the foods that I overate.  I have physically removed them from my pantry and sight.  And if I cheat, I will come here and admit to it on my blog at the end of a post or in the comments.  Because my blog and readers and public accountability are great diet partners.  And I need that right now.

So here I am.  Back on track again.  Moving forward.  Taking another step on what is clearly a long journey with stumbles and landmines.  One foot in front of the other.  One more day at a time.  Working towards optimism.

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38 Comments

Filed under cheating/overeating, dieting, emotions/emotional issues, food, low-carb/South Beach, optimism, weight issues

38 responses to “I Need an Intervention

  1. I wrote something similar not too long ago … I’d REALLY overeaten at a Super Bowl party and the next morning I was beating myself up for it. I even looked at possible reasons why I did, and came to the same conclusion..does it really matter? What’s probably more important is getting back on the horse and not letting a “lapse” become a “relapse” (that’s from Thin for Life!).
    .-= Anna´s last blog ..All about what’s next =-.

    • Karen

      That’s a great quote! I’m still trying to decide if it DOES matter. If I don’t lapse again, probably not. But if I do…

  2. Don’t beat yourself up over something that’s done and you can’t change! All you can do it move forward today. You at least recognize what you’re doing, my problem isn’t diet it’s the darn internet addiction – LOL, I love connecting online!

    Good luck – here’s to making it a great day, one step at a time! 🙂
    .-= Debora Dennis´s last blog ..The “R” Project – Week 1 =-.

    • Karen

      I laughed over that in your post today! My time spent on the internet now is actually good – keeps me from eating and motivates me when I read other blogs. Although I did feel a bit addicted on vacation when I felt the pain of not having time to spend online.

  3. I think it’s great that you’ve reflected so much on why you did this. What truly matters is how you act today. I definitely indulged yesterday more than the rest of the week, but I also know that compared to every other Easter I’ve ever had, I did amazingly well. I have two choices before me this morning: go eat the rest of the candy in my basket, or go make myself a nice, healthy breakfast and go for a walk. I’m going with the second option!

    Let’s rock this day together!
    .-= Weightlessly´s last blog ..Yes! =-.

  4. I’m so sorry to have been so out of touch! Very sorry to hear about your shoulder woes. Re this weekend….admitting you erred is 7/10’s of the battle, my friend. You are taking the correct steps. We are all human. As long as we learn from these incidents, it’s ok. Sometimes, life is like that. We need these slip ups to learn more about ourselves, and help prevent them the “next time.” 😉
    .-= Sunny´s last blog ..Live from Earthquake Land! =-.

  5. Hi – Thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting. I shot right over here, and boy! I can relate to your recent struggle. I agree with what others have said; no need to beat yourself up over “ancient history”, but it’s really good that you’re trying to assess things in see what was different that made you vulnerable to patterns you’d rather have stay in the past.

    Also, I didn’t read about your shoulder, but will as soon as I finish this comment. Any injury that takes us away from our regular routine can create a mindset that is negative and frustrated. Both those can contribute to me thinking about food for comfort. I’m just getting back from 2 separate knee injuries and arthroscopies, and I’ve been using that as an excuse for awhile to let my program lapse.

    Good luck – I’ll be checking back to see how you’re doing!
    .-= Leslie´s last blog ..An inside job =-.

    • Karen

      Thanks Leslie. I have been trying to do what cardio I can and have to say that, since my shoulder hurts when I do that, I have wondered if I should just take an exercise break for a while. But that is toooo scary!

  6. Brava! Kudos! (Watch out, next comes my “scientific” voice”.) Slips, as Sunny called them, are inevitable – however you define those slips or relapses. Catching them quickly, recognizing what led you to relapse, and developing a plan to deal with future potential relapses are crucial. Relapse in any long term behavior change adventure is normal, and what you have done – turn this into a learning experience – is outstanding, truly outstanding.

    That said, you have beat yourself up enough, learned valuable steps to help you on the road to life-long health eating, and as always, written so clearly in a wonderful voice. I’m truly proud of you! (And you’ve given me fodder for a post – “relapse and recycling as normative”) 😉
    Jan
    .-= Sskar´s last blog ..I Didn’t “Kneed” This =-.

    • Karen

      Thanks Jan. And I look forward to reading that! Since my history is years of yo-yo dieting, I guess I may worry more about this than someone who is dieting for the first time with success. I am determined to maintain this time.

  7. Try not to beat yourself up too much. Today is another day 🙂 Found you from Lady Bloggers.

    Devan @ Accustomed Chaos
    http://accustoemdchaos.blogspot.com
    .-= Devan @ Accustomed Chaos´s last blog ..I Never Thought I’d Crave This =-.

    • Karen

      Thanks Devan. I am in much better spirits:) I actually did my cheats on Thursday and Friday so have now made it through two days clean and post-cheat. The first was very hard. The second a bit hard. Funny how just a little slip makes it so hard to get back on the wagon after falling off.

  8. We all “mess up” from time to time. Glad it’s only 2 days and not 2 weeks or 2 months! Be proud you stopped it in it’s tracks and are learning from this 🙂
    .-= beerab´s last blog ..Trying to keep it Together =-.

  9. Good for you for getting the last two days under control! It just goes to show that us yo-yoers have to very careful about slip-ups. That’s why I completely avoid my biggest binge trigger (chocolate). Because sometimes I feel like a huge relapse is just waiting around the corner!
    .-= Carla´s last blog ..A great weekend =-.

    • Karen

      You have done such a great job with chocolate:) Maybe I need to pay more attention to each little thing that triggers binges for me and cut them out like you did. Sad, but in the end I would be happier.

  10. Karen,
    On those days when I am just beat I have a tool I have to use. I read once that willpower is not enough to carry us through difficulty. We have to rely on new habits to carry us through. Funny, I think commenting on your blog just helped me solve my current posted problem.

    So, I created Training Wheels for my healthy habits. I forgot so easily! How my cockiness has grown. Seriously, thanks so much. I think you sparked and epiphany.

    • Karen

      Those Training Wheels are a great idea! (Except for the toilet one.) Thanks for sharing that. I think I should write out a list for myself that is similar. It will start with “go write a blog post.”

  11. Jen

    How great for you Karen to be posting and writing and holding yourself accountable. I’m in no way an expert, but as I’ve reflected on losing weight, I am realizing that there are always going to be those moments when you eat for other reasons–right or wrong.

    And I am realizing that what you do next is THE most important thing- I’m realizing that my success is going to stem on what I do and the choices I make after I eat in excess for the wrong reason. Lots of great comments on the topic–what smart readers you have!
    .-= Jen´s last blog ..Home from Grandma’s and My Five Things Update =-.

    • Karen

      I think you are right… both about those moments happening, unfortunately, and about the next thing being important.

      I agree – my readers are amazingly smart:) They make me smile and motivate me. I can’t say enough good things about them all. And you should check out their blogs because there is amazing wisdom there!

  12. It happens, even with the best of intentions to never let it. Good for you for recognizing and posting and most of all, stopping. Hugs on the shoulder; I’m glad you don’t need surgery.
    .-= Siobhan´s last blog ..great expectations =-.

  13. I broke my diet yesterday, too. Just up and ate a bagel and some suger sweetened strawberries. I would have left some berries out of the bowl if I had anticipated a second “cheat” of the day, but my fingers dipped into the bowl and I was off to the races… Good thing I am off in the car with only my packaged food for the next few days…and lot’s of time to reflect on why I did that after almost 3 months.
    .-= Brightside Susan´s last blog ..COLLEGE ROAD TRIP =-.

    • Karen

      I don’t dare go near a bagel! I looooveeee them to much. Let me know if you figure things out – it might help me on with my own cheating.

  14. Karen,
    I’m sending you a cyber hug. Go easy on yourself. I’m sure you know that, but it is easier said than done. This weightloss gig is a process. I wish I could tell you that I completely conquered it, but I still struggle. I’m now recovering from one of the biggest blunders I’ve had in a long time, and if found me with a little baggage that I wish I wasn’t carrying around.

    While it doesn’t help to beat ourselves up, I do think it is imnportant to figure out the why… how else can you hope to come up with a plan that might work next time when you find yourself vulnerable.

    It will be OK – you can do this…remember you are not alone. Hang in there!
    .-= Melissa Fast´s last blog ..Happy As A Clam? =-.

    • Karen

      You are right, says my sane voice. But I really thought I had gotten a bit further on that “process.” Oh if only it were easier. Sigh. I appreciate the support:) Thank you.

  15. Of course you’re stronger than a silly Triscuit. Do you think one of those things would survive a fall from a ski lift? 🙂

    When you’re as successful as you’ve been, falling off the wagon seems a much bigger deal than it has to be. (Maybe we see it as “the beginning of the end”?) Somewhere in it are lessons to be learned, and there’s definitely merit to exploring the ‘why’ of it…until the point where we’re dwelling on it and feeling stuck.

    One really awesome thing you’ve learned from it is that you can detour from your path and catch yourself before you wind up in another state (or continent.) This bodes well for your future as a fit, healthy woman! With your attitude and ‘battle plan’, I think your yo-yo days are gone!
    .-= Cammy@TippyToeDiet´s last blog ..A Life Worth Breathing (Book Rec) =-.

    • Karen

      Cammy – You are always so positive and so wise. I am so glad that I found you in cyberland and that I have you to follow on my journey. Thanks for your kind words:)

  16. You would not be normal if this never happened to you! I always tell people that when this type of thing happens it’s actually good practice for maintenance. Because maintenance is just life, and sometimes we don’t make good choices. So now you know how to handle an off day and what to do now!

    You are strong and have done so well already!
    .-= Diane Fit to the Finish´s last undefined ..Response cached until Wed 7 @ 2:24 GMT (Refreshes in 23.42 Hours) =-.

    • Karen

      I never thought of it that way before! Of course maintenance has always been my downfall before. I think I am a very black and white dieter… I do well when I am restrictive, but when I add back things, I can get out of control.

  17. Karen, I think everything that can be said has been said…there is SO much wisdom in this group of bloggers. I can only offer “thanks” that you are sharing your experiences….it makes it so much easier for those of us just beginning the journey.

    I read your blog every day and look forward to hearing about how you come to resolution about this!
    .-= Mary´s last blog ..Back in the water =-.

    • Karen

      I feel the same way. The wisdom is amazing. And the support just makes my day! This time around my dieting experience is so different thanks to you and all the other amazing bloggers and readers. Sharing the journey makes the road seem a little less arduous. And a lot more fun:)

  18. I’ve been there before Karen. One day leads to another and another. You have the right attitude though. Just get back on the horse! How about a challenge?! Say…for the remainder of this month I’m not going to eat this or that. I’m doing a challenge this month and it’s really motivated me to not get down but to move forward. Emotional eating was my enemy until I said NO! I fail at times. But you are in control 🙂
    .-= Jen-JensFitnessTips.com´s last blog ..Tip #74: Yoga Crane =-.

    • Karen

      It is always nice to know I’m not alone:) I am actually doing another challenge on my South Beach forum and through the end of May I am attempting not to cheat. I have also made a personal commitment to not eat the darn Triscuits for at least a week… because my binges both days started with those addictive crackers and then went on to other foods. So far, three days Triscuit free:)

  19. Resisting temptation is soooo hard. If you’re not careful it turns into a cycle. 1st you give in, then you feel guilty about giving in so you eat more, then you feel guilty about that.

    I can relate to the secret eating. I would plan my binges around the times my husband would be gone.
    .-= adrienne´s last blog ..KFC Double Down is Good for the Community? =-.

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