Friday, 10 July 2009

Feeling like a failure today

I really thought I'd got past the days when I would binge horrendously one day, then keep it up for the rest of the week - but yesterday suggested I was wrong about that.
In the morning I wrote a post, but didn't end up publishing it because it felt no longer true... so now instead I'll post a confession.
I binged again, for the second time this week (if my big 'thai' meal day qualifies as a binge, which now I think probably does). My breakfast was fine - oat & wheat bran again, with banana and berries and whey protein.
My lunch started well - soup and bread with laughing cow (the soup was only a tin, so a bit processed, but still....). And then things started going wrong. I bought some cheesecake in the canteen. Even though it was actually very poor I ate 3/4 of it before throwing the last bit away. I think then I felt cheated - I'd eaten excess, unplanned for calories and they were wasted on a bad dessert. So after work I bought vegetable crisps (fried not baked), a piece of gingerbread, and some single serving tubs of Ben & Jerry's. I had my planned dinner - chicken baked in the slow cooker with salsa and mashed swede - but in addition to the crisps and gingerbread I also ate two of the Ben & Jerry's pots - Chunky Monkey and Chocolate Fudge Brownie. Then I felt bad enough about what I'd done to drink some sauvignon blanc. Another day ended > 2000 cals over, and now, as I said, - failure.
It has made me look harder at what I've been doing though. I've been saying that I'm maintaining now, while actually acting like a (bad) dieter. According to my maintenance calories should be 1756 a day. I've been aiming to save at least 3-400 of these, plus at least half of any extra calories 'earned' through exercise. I don't need to, its just become a habit. Is it any wonder then that I feel deprived and want to binge? If someone else asked me that, I'd say no. I can live on 1300 cals a day - or less, I managed with 1100 a lot of the time while I was trying to get to goal. But those were also times when I binged heavily, deprived myself in compensation, and ended up 1) worried that I was developing an eating disorder and 2) found myself maintaining when that wasn't my goal. Now, maintaining is my goal - but so is getting sane and moving further away from my fears of an eating disorder. In the interests of that, I've decided its time to up the calories to a more sustainable level in the hope that I'll feel less deprived and therefore overall less likely to binge. My intention is to get those calories from healthier, higher quality foods rather than processed, highly refined junk food. And also to get those extra calories without adding masses more bulk in food. I'm a natural volume eater and I'd like to shrink my appetite so that if I do go off the rails I stand a chance of my satiety point being reached before I've eaten too much crap.
So next week I'm going to try to cut out all refined sugars, as well as most artificial sweeteners. No soft drinks for a week - help! I'm addicted to diet ginger beer so this one will be very hard. I'm going to stop obsessing over micro-managing my macro-nutrients (primarily fibre and protein) and start eating food that satisfies me mentally and emotionally as well as physically. If a dinner of vegetarian pasta or a huge bowl of fruit or cereal is what I want, and eating it leaves my protein levels lower than I usually aim for, instead of trying to cram extra in elsewhere, I'll just accept that today is a lower protein day in the knowledge that tomorrow or the next day may well be a higher than usual protein day. I'll replace diet bread with real bread, ideally nicer bread - stone-ground spelt or buckwheat, rye or granary bread - rather than just a more calorific sliced, processed loaf. I'll replace some oil spray with small quantities of olive oil where it seems appropriate, and start making my own salad dressings. I'll continue trying to plan my food - mainly for financial / logistical reasons, so I don't keep going shopping for ingredients to do different meals on impulse - and I'll try to bias my planning and substituting towards using up the massive amounts of food in my cupboards, fridge and freezer.
I'm going to stick to my plan of trying new recipes so that I don't get bored, and if I'm eating something that turns out disappointing I'll stop eating it and get something else. (or try to think of a way to jazz up the disappointing food - I hate wasting food if I can help it).
And I'm thinking again about cutting back from daily to weekly weigh ins... this morning I woke up determined not to weigh in and still did (10 st 4 oz or 140.25 lbs BTW - lower than I expected). I always thought it was a good idea to weigh daily and therefore be aware of (and un-fazed by) fluctuations but now its finally getting through to me that given my obsessive personality maybe its just another way to keep the whole diet and weight loss thing right at the forefront of my mind. Maybe I'll try that next week too... I've been reluctant to make changes before my holiday in case I gain weight, but I know I will gain weight on the holiday, and therefore need to cut back when I get home, so as long as I'm still fit and healthy (and fit into my clothes) does it really matter if I have one or two more pounds to lose afterwards? Or indeed if I don't lose them? I can still gain 14 lbs from this morning's weigh in without exceeding my healthy weight (although I don't feel or look as good at that weight so I don't want to); maybe I should consider the possibility that a slightly higher, more easily maintained but still healthy weight would be better than paranoia at a lower weight....
In case this sounds like preparing to regain a lot of the weight I lost it's not... there's no way I'm ever going back up to 180 lbs +... but relaxing about things a little will only do me good I think.
Food today:
Disappointing protein oatmeal made with soy milk; wholemeal toast
Goat's cheese, laughing cow, mixed salad leaves, tomato, cucumber & red pepper in wholemeal bread.
Small fillet steak pan fried with steak seasoning in olive oil tossed with a big salad of mixed leaves, tomatoes, cucumber, red, yellow & green peppers and spring onions plus sweetfire beetroot.
Apple, satsumas, prtein bar, chocolate berliner...
Planning to walk into town for some red wine (I won't be drinking it myself - had enough for one week)

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