The Anatomy of a Binge

July 10, 2012

It’s Monday and I had an unscheduled “cheat” day. I usually have “cheat days” once a week, typically on a Saturday, when I consume whatever I want. Usually it’s not that excessive. I splurge on wine, sushi and frozen yogurt and maybe have a little more carbohydrates than normal. However, since my stepdaughters have been in town, eating healthy has been very difficult.

Firstly, we have activities every day. When they arrived on Tuesday, we celebrated their belated birthdays by going out to sushi. I ate fairly well and avoided the Pinkberry yogurt afterwards, but my husband ordered me a plum wine, something I typically do when we go out to sushi – but wasn’t planning on ordering on Tuesday since it wasn’t my ‘designated cheat day’. I drank it anyways. I checked later and it was not that bad.

The next day was Fourth of July. We created cake pops. (I didn’t eat any) Then we went to a BBQ, where there were tons of food. (I stuck with the salad and delicious blackened salmon my husband bbq’d) On Friday we visited my Alma mater, UC Davis, and had a delicious High Tea at Ciocolat. They brought out four courses of mini sandwiches, scones, pastries and more. THAT day I was intending to ‘cheat’ and not eat poorly for the rest of the weekend. And so Saturday and Sunday came along…I avoided the Sunday after-church lunch at a pasta restaurant and a pool party filled with cupcakes, chips and everything delicious.  I even avoided the chocolate and the Ghirardelli store in San Francisco today. But, as we drove home I became very hungry.

I ate small meals throughout the day – but I was getting very hungry and ate half a peanut butter and jelly sandwich (which I packed for the boys) then, after getting home I had a fork-full of pasta I was serving to the boys for dinner.

I was still hungry so I ate half a small fish I had cooked from the day before and half of a small chicken burrito (the organic, healthy one you buy frozen) I just heated up for my husband in the microwave. While lying down, I decided ‘screw it’ and I ate the rest of a bag of skittles in my coat pocket from Friday. Then, while cleaning the kitchen I picked at an open pop tart wrapper and a piece of chocolate.

Now you see the anatomy of a Binge!

In total, I probably ate around 700 calories in a one hour period. This is equal to a foot long subway sandwich or three slices of pizza.

I was hungry and since I:

1)      Didn’t have my normal cheat day this weekend, I was still hungry to relax on my diet.

2)      Felt like I was soooo good (because I avoided so many opportunities to eat poorly, because I obviously did have some unhealthy moments) this past week, that I needed (and deserved) a break.

3)      Was so tired, I didn’t care what I ate.

4)      This is the BIG one: I ate a “little” bit of everything. You see, I eat ‘half’ of things, a “bite” of things, the “rest” of something – and it ALL adds up. Heck! It all added up to a lot of calories and sugar in a short period of time! Something little became very big!

While I used to feel incredibly guilty when I ate something that was unhealthy, I don’t anymore. I know now more fully how that mentality is unproductive and not worth thinking about. After all, you can’t change it, you can only move forward.

My reflections of my actions today are:

1)      Some biological logic: I needed the calories – my body and mind needed a break.

2)      Good part: I stopped right when my body signaled when it was full. In the past, I could probably eat 2000+ calories.

3)      My focus: Next planned “cheat” meal is days from now – which is planned for Saturday at my son’s Baptism.

4)      One more thing: I am getting my period this week, which probably triggered the binge also.


I am sharing this experience with you to show all of you that:

–          I’m not perfect

–          I binge still

–          I have a way of thinking of things: from when and why I eat and how I justify or not justify it.

–          To remind everyone that experiences are all lessons and that in order to know them, you must reflect on them.

This is my reflection.

My goal this week is to:

1)      Run a lot

2)      Eat salads with protein for dinner each night

3)      Stay on diet

4)      Follow through!!

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