I can't believe I ate the whole thing

Have you done it too?  Told yourself that since you have blown your diet you might as well eat everything imaginable and restart tomorrow?  The all or nothing mentality that means when you trip, you fall in the biggest way you can manage?  The “I ate one cookie I might as well eat the whole pack” thinking?

I think this mindset is one of my greatest stumbling blocks.  There was no pun intended here but now that I read it I realize it paints the perfect visual image.  Because I still stumble.  And may always stumble.  But somehow I need to learn how to right myself after that little slip rather than falling head over heals all the way down a flight of stairs and head-first into the cookie jar.  Where I eat until, like Winnie the Pooh and his jar of honey, I get stuck and can’t get out.

I don’t get it.  I am practical.  I am smart enough to realize that if I add two and two I will get extra pounds on the scale.  I am so close to being in maintenance that I can kiss it.  But lately I have been kissing things I should not be kissing and you know what kissing leads to!  After a night of indulgence, food does not respect me in the morning.  It sneaks out leaving a trail of packaging and poundage in its wake.

My latest big stumble, at the lake a week and a half ago, included eating two cinnamon rolls the size of dinner plates.  I kid you not!  And one little smore that kicked off my binge led to me finishing the open sleeve of graham crackers.  And if I was going to cheat I might as well have a corner of a brownie.  But what about the other three corners?  And then the lonely middle left behind?  And the chips as a salt chaser after the sweets?  Go big or go home turned into… go home bigger!

I haven’t gone crazy like that with off-plan food in a long time.  But it brings back memories of all the times I had done it in years past.  And it feels just a bit too much like the little overeating stumbles I have had off and on for the last two months.  Evenings when I eat one thing, albeit healthy, and immediately think about what I can eat next.  It is amazing how I can find enough so-called healthy food to replicate the “I ate one donut I might as well eat the whole dozen” mindset.

I’m sharing some of my binge mentality here because I feel I need to be honest with myself.  I need to write it here, where I share my successes too.  I need to put the words in print so that I never, ever want to write them again.  I need to remind myself that after the first several servings, the food doesn’t even taste all that good.  But I now know that I can go back to the lake and not replicate my crazy eating frenzy.  So I am going to tell myself that the same thing applies anywhere, to any type of food.  If I cheat with one thing, regardless of how healthy or junky it is, I need to stop.  I heard someone say the other day that no one gets fat from one piece of cake.   Time to put an end to eating the whole thing.  One piece is one piece and life goes on.  A whole cake is another story altogether.



Filed under cheating/overeating, emotions/emotional issues

49 responses to “I can't believe I ate the whole thing

  1. Good Morning, Karen

    This post speaks so clearly about the ongoing struggle that I’m not sure will ever get any easier for those with food issues. The statement about eating one thing while immediately thinking about what can be eaten next clearly resonated with me. When I find myself doing that is when I KNOW I’ve gone from eating like a “normal” person back to the mind of an “overweight” person. It’s no longer about enjoying the taste, smell and sensation of good food, but has become shoveling down whatever it is I am running from. Oh, to be able to STOP!

    • Karen

      Exactly! The taste and sensation get lost at some point. I know many think that we must indeed be running from something or shoveling something down or feeding something. I haven’t figured that part out yet for myself.

  2. This is a tough one. First, I repect your honesty and throwing it out there.

    This was my comment, just after yours, on Diane’s blog this morning. Perhaps there is a nugget in there for you.

    “On this one I might argue a bit, and do so in the name increased mental strength. I too have a sweet tooth; profound and consistent. Rather than avoid sweets, I embrace them — as they should be embraced; scarcely. I will argue the first spoonful of ice cream is the best, and the law of diminishing returns supports that each subsequent spoonful offers less satisfaction — despite the craving to eat it.

    As a mind exercise, I once kept a pint of ice cream in my freezer — to see how long I could make it last. The deal I made with myself, was that I had to have a taste every single day. It lasted 37 days — some very small tastes. At the end of the 37 days, I felt a great kind of strength — similar to running faster or lifting more than ever before, because in a great sense, I improved the most important strength that counts; mental strength.

    Also, I start each day with a single Hershey’s Kiss — just one because that’s all it takes. I appreciate them so much more that way. It took time to develop this, but I think it’s a strength worth pursuing — the power over cravings. Cheez-Its notwithstanding”

    • First time I ever heard this concept. Very interesting. Not something I’m willing to try right now while I’m in a strict abstinence program. But I will keep it in mind for some future tire. In principle, it sounds quite appealing.

    • Karen

      I love how you describe it as the law of diminishing returns. I remember that I read some fact about the taste fading after three bites. You have amazing willpower! I don’t think I could do that ice cream challenge or start my day with chocolate. Interesting that it comes in the morning for you. On the other hand, I have a box of Chees-its sitting in my house and have not gone near them! To each our own temptation.

  3. Thx for sharing Karen! I ate & ate & ate when I was young & fat. It was not even a binge. I just ate like that & it was always sweets or bread/crackers type things.

    Now, I know that if I keep on going, I am going to not only feel like crap physically BUT metally too cause it just ruins all the hard work one has put into the weight loss efforts.

    Luckily I don’t do that “I ate this so I might as well keep going” thing. I know that just does not work & does not make sense….

    I plan for what I want (sometimes it just happens) BUT I stop at the planned amount which is usually one… it takes time to get there but we can all do it!

    As Roy said, mental fortitude & know that it is not like you can’t have it again, you just can’t have it all the time which lead to the reason many of us were overweight to begin with.

    • Karen

      So rational. Makes so much sense. Yet here I am. Sigh. Someday, I may be able to do that too. Someday I hope to handle moderation.

  4. MA’AM….
    I do believe, with your permission, that I will post this into my blog post tomorrow. Of course, I will give you the credit 🙂 This is EXACTLY what I struggle with. 100% the issue that I face! Thanks for putting it into eloquent words for me 🙂

  5. I don’t know if my plan is worth borrowing, but you are welcome to!! I plan on drinking water when I feel the need to eat. If I really need to stay awake and want something a little sweet, I will drink some coffee…with good stuff in it. This is actually what my sweet husband did. Why didn’t I follow his lead?!?!

  6. I read blog after blog about this issue. I feel blessed I don’t have the same problem. I think it comes from NOT having an addictive personality. But I could be wrong. I can have a tiny bite and not want more. See blessed. Sorry you are having a problem but recognizing it is the 1st step. So you almost have it whipped.smile.

  7. I find, as we discussed after the weekend, not so much the “might as well” but the “maybe something else” will satisfy.

    In the end it all leads to that mindless eating because as discussed above, after a bit, it doesn’t even taste as great! So we are searching for something great that really isn’t going to be found in the food.

  8. Yes, yes, and yes….I have and still do all of the above. GROAN!!!

    That is my biggest downfall. If I would simply unhook the guilt plug associated with eating I would not be overweight. Eat a cookie, feel guilty, eat another, feel more guilty, eat the bag, rolling in guilt. Now repeat the insane cycle with a piece of cake since you’ve already chucked the day down the toilet!!! UGH!!! So ridiculous.

  9. “All or nothing” seems to be my middle name. I can adhere faithfully to my diet or blow it after tasting one sweet food. This is where monitoring my food intake (and emotional state when I go off) are so crucial for me in this phase and probably forever.

    I do get it, Karen. Many of us do and are glad you have the courage to blog about the tendency for one bite to become the entire cinnamon roll – it’s helpful to know we are in this together and can draw on each other’s strength and coping mechanisms.

    • Karen

      I think in general I have a very black and white mentality about a lot of things, so it is no surprise that it translates to food with me as well. But for a while there I thought I had this licked. (Truly no pun intended.)

  10. Karen, this is so normal for all of us. I’ve found that two things help. First, ask yourself WHY…why did I want to eat more even though guilt accompanied it, etc. Often, the reasons are emotional or social and once you call them out, the craving diminishes. Second, the fact that you’re recognizing this now and not two months from now is proof of how you’re committed to good health for a lifetime. Proud of you for paying attention!

  11. Viewing the comments so far, it seems that “binge mentality” is very common among us. It certainly is for me… or was. Partly habit, partly an old life-line behavior… I don’t really know why or how. OA calls it a progressive disease, which is really frightening to me, yet seems to fit (me at least).

    After 60 or so years of practicing “binge mentality,” I’ve come to accept that I alone can not control it. I alone can not solve or fix it. I’m still struggling with what a higher power is all about… whatever it is, I find myself turning to it in prayer and surrender. For now… one day or one moment at a time. I feel much less “crazy”… because, yes, the thing about having good sense, being practical, knowing what to do is true of me too. Not following my own wise self made me feel “crazy.” For now, with the help of some source of power greater than my own, I’m feeling better.

    I know you get this, Karen… Yet I think there may be a little plea for sanity in your post here. Is that so?

    • Karen

      After leaving those long comments on your blog, I am just going to say to you here that I always appreciate your thoughtfulness and am also so impressed that you read and often comment on what others have said:)

  12. I wrote a new post on this topic just now and linked to your post. I’m curious about your thoughts on it…

  13. RamonaRay

    Im so glad I stumbled upon this post….I have the same struggles, the same stumbles – ive yet to learn the art of “everything in moderation” – moderation just isnt a word in my dictionary….it will be one day, im glad to know im not alone 🙂 thanks for posting this….

  14. Sure no one gets fat from ONE piece of cake- but when you have one piece a day that’s something different!

    • Karen

      Well that is true. And I have never actually eaten a whole cake in one day. Maybe ever – since I live with guys who love cake too.

  15. I have the same problem but I have a false confidence about it. I’ll have a cookie today and nothing will change on the scale so I’ll have a bag of chips the next day and again no change on the scale.

    Since I’ve mastered how to balance my junk food vs healthy food I can go a month eating junk and only gain 3 pounds.

    I should gain 10 pounds with the food I eat. But I get sad because I could have spent the month eating healthy and losing weight instead of maintaining or gaining 3lbs.

    • Karen

      Aha – that is my whole shoulda, woulda, coulda thinking. For the past two months I have gone just a tiny bit off track and oh where I could be now if I was not stumbling around in the dark. Sigh.

  16. Being close to your goal weight, sadly, doesn’t ensure that you’ll never have “one of those moments”. After I lost the weight I gained with my first child, 50 lbs, it was quite some time before eating a piece of cheesecake or a few chips felt like a non-event. Hang in there.

    • Karen

      For me, it is harder now that I am closer. When I was not dieting, was of course another story. But when I had more to lose and the scale was moving (albeit slowly), I was more motivated to stay on track. Sigh.

  17. Genie@dietof51

    Yeah, it’s like unleashing the Beast of Snack-Hunger and Bad Rationalization. Hate that beast. You let him have one brownie corner, and, well, you described it perfectly.

    It’s hardest when we get close to the goal. That’s all I can say. Hang in there. You’ll be in maintenance soon.

    • Karen

      My mom and I used to joke that there were no calories in half of a brownie. Or half of a cookie. But invariable we went back for the other half. Of course if I started the brownie my mom often ate the remainder so I needed to begin a new one. And so on.

  18. Right, Karen, I know that thought process well. It’s actually easier not to have that first bite. You should have seen the crazy mind games I used to make up with the scale at my Weight Watchers weigh in! “I gained so I may as well eat this week because I didn’t deserve it. I’ll show them!” Or “I lost so to reward myself, before my new week starts tomorrow, I’ll eat everything in sight today.” Eh.

  19. Karen, you are singing my song. This was me. Especially with the brownie thing – I did that more times than I can count. You are just fighting yourself right now and you can win this battle. One mess-up or sweet does not define your journey. Stay strong.

    • Karen

      Thanks for the support Diane. I would be much better off to stick with the pudding I mentioned on your blog today:)

  20. I fell victim to this for so many years. I’m not sure what flipped the switch, but when I built a plan that included an option for the occasional splurge, I was able to eat those things in moderation. Go figure….

  21. Laura Jean

    So nice to catch up with your blog! I’ve got a few months of reading to do. I like the new site!

  22. Hi Karen – I totally get this. You know I’ve struggled mightily with a binge that sort of comes out of nowhere. As another commenter noted, this speaks to the fact that we are likely never going to be cured, but we can get right back on track after an episode like this and not only minimize damage but optimize our efforts. Thanks for your honesty here. Food is a mighty opponent at times!

    • Karen

      What most caught me about your comment is the last sentence. I sense a whole new blog post coming for me as I explore that whole notion. Hmmm.

  23. ditto.
    It’s like you wrote an entire post about me.

    Yesterday my hubby bought some delicious Marie Callendars pie… I had a piece today. While eating it I began thinking about all the other things I could eat because I’ve already cheated. Seriously – mid-pie eating I’m already thinking about my future in the kitchen. What!? An extra 600 calories won’t hurt me nearly as bad as another 2500. So far I’m staying strong… it’s been about 15 minutes, but my mind keeps wandering to the chips in the cabinet. Thanks for your post — I will be thinking of this today!

  24. Ugh. I always do that. I’ll eat something “bad” and then decide I may as well just have a piece of cake too and that I’ll start over the next day.

  25. Karen, I love your honesty. I have battled with the same rationale over and over and over and over… You get the point.

    I am very far away from my goal and my understanding on WHY I have done this to myself and very rarely it does still happen – but thank God only a few times since last November – and the only sane reasoning I can apply to the WHY’S that I do it is this.

    When I do not allow myself a little taste of something I binge. When I try and live in the world of “all or nothing” I binge and then I berate myself. In my experience it’s all about a little taste and that’s it. Not about NONE… that’s when I get into trouble.

    Best of luck in figuring out why you are struggling at times. I have no doubt you’ll come thru.

    • Karen

      Thanks for sharing that Bobbie. I really thought I was better in and “all or nothing” eating world. But lately I have been wondering if I am wrong about that. Something I need to figure out. Just one more piece to the puzzle that is not only missing but hiding under the table where I can’t find it yet.

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