Dusting Myself Off After a Binge-Eating Episode

I’ve been having a really good August: eating healthy food, making smart choices, keeping active with my daily walks. I feel better about myself and my progress than I have for a while.

But that doesn’t mean I’m flawless. I make mistakes, and I’m okay with that too. I’m trying to be better about acknowledging my stumbles, moving on, and focusing on my strengths.

I had a binge-eating episode late one night, last week. It was a little bit different than other ones I’ve had in the past, but it’s still worth sharing.

It stemmed from hunger. Not stress, or depression, or anxiety, or any of the other triggers that have caused binge-eating episodes in the past. I was relaxing at home, after a long day, watching TV. It was around 10pm when I heard my stomach growl and I realized I was hungry. Really hungry.

Hunger isn’t an uncommon feeling, but I’ve been on a roll lately with eating a substantial dinner and then not snacking again at night. I had eaten a hearty, filling dinner that night, around 7pm, and I wasn’t planning on eating again.

That changed at 10pm, when my stomach started growling and I turned to my fridge.

I had made a big bowl of broccoli slaw that I was planning on eating over the next couple of days, so I scooped some into a bowl and ate it.

When I was done, I refilled my little bowl and ate a second helping. And then I said ‘screw it’ with the little bowl, and ate the rest of the broccoli slaw straight out of the big bowl.

I was still hungry, so I ate my three remaining hard-boiled eggs. Then about 1/2 pound of deli cold cuts – turkey and ham. Then the rest of my cottage cheese – about 3 servings. Then over a pound of cherries. Then about 10 ounces of nuts (cashews, almonds, peanuts).

And then, finally, I stopped.

In the past, my binge-eating episodes have been centered around junk food: ice cream, cookies, Cheetos, entire boxes of cereal, or something like that. This binge, though, was all healthier stuff: fruit, veggies, lean proteins, nuts. I felt terrible and guilty, in the moment, because I was unable to control myself, but I also recognized that the damage could have been much worse.

The next day, I found myself not very hungry at all. Surprise, surprise! I still ate throughout the day, little bits here and there, but not as much as usual. I was still full from the night before. The day after that, I returned to eating the amounts of food I was accustomed to. There hasn’t been a binge-eating episode since.

There’s no big lesson here. This post is about being honest and vulnerable, and sharing a part of my day that, without a blog, would remain only in my memories.

There’s also a reason to pat myself on the back: there have been many times throughout my life where one evening of binge-eating would lead to two, then three, then a week’s worth of poor choices. This time around, though, I recognized what happened, and didn’t let it sour everything.

It happened. I moved on. I’m much stronger than one momentary lapse, So I’ll keep going, and I’ll keep doing the very best I can.

Keep it up, David.

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4 Responses to Dusting Myself Off After a Binge-Eating Episode

  1. jensils says:

    It happened. I moved on.

    I love that, David. That is the way to keep a bad episode from becoming a bad week! Thank you for honestly sharing with us. I always enjoy what you write.

  2. lunchmuffin says:

    I don’t think I’d call that a binge. My idea of a binge is making a special trip to get pizza and ice cream and cheetos or whatever and then eating it all.

    What you did sounds like an “eat anything you want day”.

    Back in the 1980s when I was dieting hard I would read body builders who were cutting or fitness gurus with washboards abs etc., for motivation. One woman fitness person had the best abs I’d ever seen. She talked about running first thing in the morning on an empty stomach, not eating little handfuls of stuff from people’s desks at work etc.. One thing she said is that she would never try to push past six days of hard dieting. Once per week she would have an “eat anything you want day”. not a “gorge yourself as much as you can” day, no, it’s just that nothing was off limits for her on that day.

    Your appetite will get the best of you if you push it too hard. It will win eventually. Celebrate a winning August and get back on track without lingering guilt. Never let a gainer meal become a gainer day, become a gainer week, etc.. I have been gaining ever since Sept 2017. It has been humbling. I thought sure this would be my year to set an all time adult low but it hasn’t happened. Thank god I keep fighting because if not it could be much, much, worse. I still believe I will get there. Good luck and best wishes.

    • David says:

      Thanks for your thoughts and keep up your hard work! I’ve never been attracted to the idea of a ‘cheat day,’ because I think it might be an open door that I’d probably have a hard time shutting again. Maybe that’s what I had, maybe not, maybe the language isn’t so important as long as I recognized it and put it behind me.

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