It all started with a toffee mousse meringue dessert thing from the canteen - I've such a sweet tooth these days! I can't believe for years I barely touched sweet things / chocolate - I wish I felt that way now! Having said that, I came to some decisions yesterday about my eating going forward. I've decided to stop obsessing over having a sweet tooth. I've been so focussed on healthy eating that I've actually become unhealthily obsessed - I think this is the core of the binging. When I get back from the holiday (ideally also while on holiday, but its a lot harder so I don't hold up much hope) I will continue to count / watch my calories, at least loosely, but I'll aim to eat whatever I want that fits within those calories. If its all unhealthy, I'll start to feel unhealthy, and then I'll want healthier food to feel better, but as long as I don't gain weight (which I shouldn't, staying within calories, whatever carb-haters / low-fat fanatics say) I'll just roll where it feels right to me... This is what I did for years while actually losing my weight, and never at any other time - so when did it stop - when did everything become about healthy eating till 'breaking the diet' made me feel not just guilty and weak but also dirty? I will continue planning meals (and using up food) but if I really don't want a planned meal one day, I'll have it the next day instead, or freeze it, or adapt the ingredients to give me something I do want... whatever it takes to put the pleasure back in meal times, where it belongs!
There were some good and bad things about yesterday's binges that are new.
The bad -
1) that it happened at all (couldn't I even wait till Friday when I would be eating really good stuff that isn't available every day of the week?).
2) That I didn't just ransack the kitchen but also drove to the shop in the pouring rain (using a need to buy some Paracetamol as my excuse)
The good -
1) I didn't randomly grab a huge pile of crap but bought two things I've been looking at and wanting to try since the shop opened (deprivation - should have bought them (one at a time) weeks ago!) - a carrot, raisin & walnut muffin and a tub of stem ginger ice-cream. Even though I went there thinking I wanted chocolate I didn't buy any for the sake of it, because when I saw those I knew they were what I really wanted.
2) I didn't eat it all - either item! Two thirds of the ice-cream is in the freezer and half the muffin is waiting to be a snack for today! I didn't feel as good last night as I would have if I'd eaten my nice (relatively) healthy turkey & veg curry with brown rice and then stopped - but I didn't feel so stuffed I had to undo my jeans either. I didn't train, but I could've done so much more damage.
3) I didn't stuff the food into my mouth so fast and mindlessly I couldn't tell if I had room for more. I put the ice-cream into a bowl (apart from 2 spoonfuls straight out of the tub to try it....) and broke pieces off the muffin, and ate them sitting down in my chair and then realised I didn't want more right now - and didn't have to eat it all right now - so I stopped. I think that's a break through for me. In the past the main reason why I might not finish something in a binge is because when the pain kicked in I'd throw the rest away - then if the pain eased off I'd regret it and look for something else to eat. This time I think it was a less extreme - less of a baby out with the bath water, more of a considered response. And possibly the key to moving from binging to just over-eating and from there to just eating.... we'll see!
4) I did all the above even though I had 1.5 glasses on shiraz after the food. Usually wine makes me more likely to eat the wrong stuff, not less - but I think it helped this time because the idea of followinga full-bodied, spicy Australian shiraz with sweet creamy ice-cream of sweet muffin just didn't appeal. It also helped that I was busy with chores to get ready for the holiday, not just sitting comatose with my head in the ice-cream tub too. Hmmm, maybe a little of what I fancy followed by some kind of food-unfriendly activity is another technique I can try in the future...
I'm inclined to feel like a failure, even though I genuinely believe that you only fail when you give up. I'm not giving up, and I'm not a failure - these things may or may not work, but I will try them, and if they don't work, I'll try something else... I can beat this. I didn't always binge. Its not part of the way that I'm wired, an inevitability that I just can't escape. All I need to do is figure out the route, and if it means gaining a few (just a few!) pounds along the way I'm OK with that - at the moment anyway!