Tag Archives: binge

On The Naughty Step With My Candy For Company

Who the hell was I kidding when I thought it’d be easy getting back on the wagon? Myself, apparently. It’s never been easy, getting up from a fall but this time it’s proving harder than ever. It’s killing me, and I’d love to say I’m winning but a high-calorie lunch and at least a dozen refresher chew bars yesterday afternoon tells a different story.

Those things are just pure sugar…cheap and nasty candy that I don’t even particularly like, so what on earth was I thinking? It was there in the office one minute, in a carrier bag in the corner after someone brought it back from a training course, and then all of a sudden there was a little stockpile of it in my top drawer. My hand kept snaking its way in every five minutes for the rest of the afternoon and my jaws never stopped moving.

And I haven’t been swimming since Sunday either, although In my defence, I’ve been too full of this crappy head cold to make it to the pool. I still feel pretty grim, although I’m better than I was. My cold broke good and proper on Wednesday and all I’ve heard from the Asshole Voice since my nose started running is feed a cold…feed a cold…FEED A COLD!!!

Fine, if I was feeding it with the food of sick people, right? Chicken soup, or a bit of broth or rice pudding. Not cheap Halloween candy that nobody else wanted…whoever coined the phase sure as dammit didn’t intend for cheap candy to be the foodstuff that would ward off bugs and help me feel better. I was so wired by the time I’d done with the onslaught of sugar in my system that I went down like a sack of spuds when the sugar crash happened.

As luck would have it, I was home and laid back in my armchair by then, so I dozed for forty five minutes…for fuck’s sake, would you listen to me. I’m describing the life I used to lead and I’ve worked so fucking hard to step out of those shoes.

I don’t know about you, but it colours the way I think about myself when I’m wildly off the rails. Last week was different, I mean I could justify my food fuckery as a conscious choice. A normal thing. I’m on holiday therefore I choose to enjoy everything on offer and suspend diet-related activity until I go home. Lots of people do it, and this year I’ve chosen to be one of them. It’s okay, permission granted, go fill ya boots…I slept easy at night, and accepted the shitbird scale would have something to say about it when I re-joined the real world.

This week is different. Completely different. I took the Shitbird’s damning assessment of my time in paradise on the chin, squared my shoulders and got right back to it. Only I didn’t did I, not really. On the days where I’ve managed to stay within calories, my food choices have been dodgy to say the least. And then I go and eat a spur-of-the-moment calorie-laden lunch and dive off the high board into a bag of pure sugar for no good reason whatsoever other than it was there and I wanted it.

That makes me feel weak, out of control and worthless. In reality I’m only one of those things, but the Asshole voice pulls all three out of the bag because past experience tells him that a complete character assassination is a more effective way of keeping me under his influence.

I know it’ll turn the right way up again if I keep plugging away. In the meantime it’s all just a bit of an uphill slog.

One foot in front of the other, and repeat, right?  🙂

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The Killer Question

Do you ever shake your head in wonder at the food-related situations you find yourself in?  I do. I found myself in a face-off with a freezer full of ice-cream lollies on Saturday. My feet ground to a halt in the middle of the supermarket in what felt like an act of betrayal, and I probably stood and stared at that freezer for a good ten minutes.

Earlier in the week my friend had included a picture of a raspberry magnum amongst the holiday pictures she’d shared on social media, and I’d made a jokey comment underneath the photo about how I’d once eaten six of them in one sitting. That was true, in fact it happened during my last four day binge and if I close my eyes I can still taste them.

Now, you’ve got to remember that my head was up my arse for a significant chunk of last week, and that perfectly innocuous picture seemed to fire the starting pistol for my tastebuds. Every day since, I’ve been lusting after a raspberry magnum like a dog on heat, and fantasising about beating my personal best by going for seven, or maybe even eight. It was just one in a long line of assaults that the Asshole voice made towards my food sobriety at the back end of last week…it was relentless.

The thing is, when I’m in the grip of an urge to binge, it’s very easy to convince myself that as soon as I’ve eaten whatever it is that I’m fantasising about I’ll be okay, you know? You’re going to cave at some point, so quit with the pathetic attempts at resistance. Just get it out of the way. Fill your boots now and then you can move on…

It never works out like that though, does it? I don’t know about you, but once I’ve got the taste for something, I’m screwed. That’s why I very rarely have a one-incident binge.

How can I even describe what the urge to binge feels like, to a regular person? It’s like a massive build-up of pressure, which in that moment I am utterly convinced can only be relieved by shutting myself away and pushing all the things I shouldn’t be eating into my face. I’ve heard people who self-harm talk about how slicing into their skin with a blade somehow relieves the pressure which is building up inside, and I guess binge-eating is different but the same. It’s certainly followed by all the same emotions…guilt, shame, the whole fucking nine yards. I might not carry self-harm scars on my body per se, but I do have a double arse inside my pants for remarkably similar reasons.

In the ten minutes I stood rooted to the floor in front of that freezer, with the pressure of the last few days threatening to blow like a volcano out of my ears, I literally clung on to food sobriety by my fingertips. I even had hold of the freezer door at one point.

Is this me making a conscious decision then, to choose fat over skinny? That’s the killer question, because if I reach for that box, whether I admit it or not, I’m choosing to wake up heavier tomorrow than I am today. 

That argument swung it, in the end because…well, it’s true isn’t it? Nobody ever ate seven raspberry magnums and woke up skinny the next day. So I didn’t go there. Somehow, I let go of the freezer door. My feet started moving again, and I walked away. Isn’t it evil, the way your mind can manipulate a memory…in the grip of it, I didn’t recall the bilious bloated day-after effect because I was mentally blinkered and could only focus in glorious technicolour on how they tasted.

I did buy a box of peanut bars from the healthy snacks section, and ate every last one of them. But they weren’t raspberry magnums…they weren’t even close to being that naughty. And yesterday I rebooted, and had a textbook day without incident.

One more pound gone this week despite everything, and I can live with that… especially after an obscene amount of healthy peanut bars which, in those numbers probably weren’t that healthy at all.

I’m back at work today, and I’d be really grateful if we could all just keep our fingers crossed that this week passes without incident 🙂

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Climbing Out Of The Hole. Again.

Saturday night found me sitting at home on my own feeling wretched. My one bad day had morphed into a run of bad days. Confidently declaring I choose skinny, after pouring my heart out to you guys on Friday turned out to be nothing more than a bunch of words and a really strong statement of intent, you know? I believed it from the bottom of my soul as I tipped those words onto the page, but somehow the intent never got wired up to actually drive a turnaround in the way I was behaving. For that reason, Saturday had been day four of what felt like a freight train descending into anarchy.

From a position of food sobriety, I’ve often wondered how it’s possible to have both my head and my heart lined up behind a determination so strong that it could support the weight of a thousand cravings, only for me to watch it fall away to dust when I’m in the grip of an overwhelming need to eat shit, and lots of it. At the very moment that I’m pushing food into my face, I can hear the sound of my Asshole voice laughing hysterically, as he takes the piss out of my naivety in daring to believe I’d ever have the power to stop him in his tracks.

So. Two steps forward and ten steps back huh? If you’ve clocked my conversation with the Shitbird Scale this week, well. What can I tell you? That’s the aftermath of the last few days and it officially sucks. I had to reset the dial yesterday morning, and by some miracle I managed to pull a textbook day right out of the bag. Yesterday, happily, the Gods of Skinny were on my side.

As I laid my lazy arse back in that big fat armchair on Saturday night, I was catching up on one of my favourite medical dramas on the TV and the  Psych doctor said something which struck a chord. He wasn’t talking about me, obviously, but in that moment when I was beating a path back and forth to the freezer eating one raspberry magnum ice-cream after another, he may as well have been. What he said was this…

Ironically relapse can be a very important part of recovery…it happens to most addicts at some point and it’s very often the utter misery of falling off the wagon that motivates those that suffer to finally get serious about staying sober.

Ain’t that the truth.

The only person rooting for me to keep on eating ice cream was Charlie dog, who always gets to lick the lolly stick so to be fair, although I feel sure in his little furry bonce he’d want the best for me, him rooting for me to stop would be a bit like turkeys voting for Christmas and on that basis I forgive him for egging me on.

Even as I ate those ice-cream lollies, one after the other, I didn’t really want them. I just felt compelled to have them. But the words spoken by Dr Whatever-his-name-was kind of stopped me in my tracks because I was miserable. Utterly fucking miserable. And somehow, for once I wasn’t easy in my own company. It was a lonely place. Just me, and the pile of lolly sticks sitting in the chair with a drooling dog at my feet. Some life, right? The thing is, it’s not my life.

It used to be, but it’s not any more. And in that moment, realisation dawned that I was just passing through. I wasn’t staying in that old life. I’d visited it, briefly – well not that fucking briefly if we’re splitting hairs – but it was as wretched as I ever remember it, and I wasn’t staying. No way Jose…it was time to come back. I practically sprinted.

If we’re looking for the learning opportunity here, it’s glaring me in the face. The moment I started messing with my food plan a few weeks ago coincided with my decision to just reintroduce a bit of sweet stuff into my diet…it doesn’t take Einstein to make the connection, does it? No refined sugar equals food sobriety with no binges and an inner peace. Reintroducing refined sugar on the other hand – even in small quantities – well, I’m right back to that combative broken relationship with anything that goes in my mouth.

So listen, I’ve been back to the dark side, and I’ve learned a lesson. To those of you who can achieve and maintain balance by eating a bit of what you fancy from time to time, well fair play to you and I’m more than a little bit envious of your self control. Me, I clearly don’t have the ability to control shit when I’m under the influence of sugar. I sort of knew that, based on the first four months of this year but like a true scientist I needed to prove the theory. And now I have.

So I can’t have it. And I’m not going to have it. This is day two of my refined-sugar-free food sobriety and tomorrow will be day three. Next week’s conversation with the shitbird scale will paint a different picture, and the horrors of this last week will become just one more scar amongst the motley collection which have opened and closed many times over the years.

My heart feels lighter already 🙂

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One Hundred And Fifty One Minutes

That’s how long it took, to go from hero to zero. I’m always honest with you guys, right? Best buckle in then, let’s get it over with.

I woke up in a dark place on Wednesday, I mean I’d really seen my arse. From the moment I opened my eyes I was seething with resentment that I had to be on this stupid fucking diet in the first place, and I knew I was going to have a bad day. If I look back on the sequence of events I can sort of see it unravelling.

I had a rubbish night’s sleep on Tuesday night, which I think is  where it all started to go tits up. I’d had to pull out of my fat furnace class at the Kingdom of Pain due to my knee, which since our cycling adventures on Sunday has been giving me hell. I’d settled down later in the evening to draft a blog post, but no words had come.

It happens every now and then, you know? I wrote and rewrote the same few moany paragraphs until I was boring myself sick, and I ended up turning in after midnight with a pile of shite on the page and a plan to look at it with fresh eyes in the morning. Which I did, and it was still shite. It took a while for me to get it to a point where I was ready to send it out to your ears and that meant I was late getting into the office.

My to do list was overwhelming, and from late morning I was tied up in a meeting that was due to go on for the rest of the day. For all the reasons I’ve talked about I’d not had time to prepare any food to take to work, so when the catered lunch arrived at 11.59am, my defences were shot.

And I fell.

Mini yorkshire puddings with rare beef and horseradish…oh yes I’ll have one of those. Then another two. Three BLT sandwich triangles and a handful of crisps. Back for another mini yorkshire, and a king prawn and cream cheese blini. MMMmmm that was nice, best have a couple more of them. There’s cake? Awesome. The rocky road looks good…three of those then and a square of ginger cake whilst I’m there. They’re only little after all.

We’re done? I’ll just carry the six remaining squares of cake across the hall for the girls in the office…girls, (chewing) there are five pieces of cake here if anyone wants them...

Just in case anyone on the planet was still under any illusion that I was watching what I ate, I also managed to sink six treacle toffees before we wound the meeting up. One hundred and fifty one minutes to eat my own bodyweight in crap, and I did it beautifully. It was carnage.

So from there, contrite and lesson learned, I headed home to sit on the naughty step and think about what I’d done, right?

Did I fuck. I drove three miles out of my way because I wanted pizza, and whilst I was picking that up I bought a box of Magnum ice cream lollies for my boy. Except I ate three out of the box of four before he got home, and I didn’t tell him about the fourth. FYI I ate that yesterday. Which wasn’t as bad as Wednesday but I won’t be winning any prizes for clean eating, that’s for sure.

How is it, that the ground beneath my feet can be so fucking solid one day – actually for more than one hundred days – and then I’m jettisoned headlong into dieting quicksand for no apparent reason? I think messing around with my food plan has had a catastrophic effect on my psyche. Lesson learned, eh.

This morning, I just feel a bit dazed. And I’ve got two choices haven’t I? I can choose a skinny life, where I pick myself up and reset. Or I can choose to carry on behaving like a fucking ejit.

I choose skinny. I’m starting again with my clean eating as of today, right now in this moment. I’m not waiting until Sunday. From today, and one day at a time.

Walk with me? I need you guys 🙂

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Knowing Where I’m At

So, Friday night was work’s Christmas doo – if you’ve been reading along for a while you’ll know that the prospect of a big night out generally makes me want to run at warp speed in the opposite direction, but for once I decided not to be an antisocial old git, and I went along. As it turns out, I had an awesome time, in fact I can’t remember the last time I laughed so much.

We’d arranged to have a pre-party face make-over, so by the time we got there I didn’t really look like me at all. We all sort of ended up with a similar version of the same thing, dark smoky eyes and a ton of face paint which I’ve got to say didn’t look half bad, right up until I got a bit warm halfway through the evening and my face started melting…it was nice whilst it lasted though. Except, I looked a bit like a panda. There were two girls doing make-up, and I think I got the rookie, you know?

Saturday afternoon was a low point. I’d woken up with renewed determination that I could kick the Asshole voice into the long grass if he started being a twat, and by 2pm I still had a full house of smart points left. Eating nothing seems to be the safest option for me, you know? I can hold out for ages, it’s stopping once I’ve started that gives me a problem. Anyway I ran a few errands, went for my nails and eyelashes done and then walked Charlie dog before I turned my attention to food.

That’s the point at which it went horribly wrong. I had a full-on binge, having decided that (wait for it, Asshole logic at its finest) since Sunday was my weigh day, and I’d actually given up trying to programme my new scales with the fancy stuff and just taken them upstairs, midnight Saturday was my line in the sand. Sunday I was back on it.

So best buy a Daim cake now because from Sunday when I woke up I wouldn’t be eating anything like that, right? So I actually went to the supermarket and bought the offending article, together with a family sized moussaka. And a large bag of crisps to eat whilst the moussaka was cooking. Not cheese balls, I wouldn’t let myself go there and strangely I didn’t even try.

Having vaporised the moussaka and the crisps, I cut myself a quarter of the Daim cake. It was gone in sixty seconds and oh my days it tasted amazing. So I cut another quarter and ate that too. I was starting to feel a bit sick at this point, but I had that now or never logic going round and round in my head…if you don’t eat it now you won’t be able to eat it at all, you’re back on the diet tomorrow

The third quarter took a bit of getting down to be honest, but having eaten it I had to go hard for the fourth and final quarter, otherwise my boy would know I’d eaten three quarters of a Daim cake when he got in from work and I’d be too ashamed to look him in the eye. So I ate the lot, and got rid of the packaging in the outside bin before falling into a food coma and dozing in my armchair for a good couple of hours. I woke up feeling bloated and bilious with rampant indigestion.

Does that sound familiar..? It does to me. That was my life, once upon a time and I think I shocked myself at how comfortably I was able to just step back into the bad old days. And I brooded about it for the rest of the day, and into the evening. I felt so sick, which was hardly a fucking surprise.

Sunday dawned, and I didn’t feel any better. And then I stood on my new scale – which by the way will be known hereafter as the shitbird scale – and felt even worse. I wanted to know where I was at…well, let me tell you exactly where I’m at. I’m fifteen pounds heavier than I was when I set off for Cuba, that’s where. 

Knowing the damage I’ve done drove it home to me how broken my thinking has become of late…I thought I’d moved way past all that head spam, but I’m clearly not as free and clear of it as I’d thought. Mary made an interesting point on Friday when she said

…as a side note… it seems like at first naming the Asshole voice gave you power over him. Because you named him and separated him from who you were and what you want, you could say no. But lately… it feels like when you do something you didn’t want to do, it’s because you felt like you couldn’t say no to the Asshole voice. You don’t seem to have that power over him any more, the confidence that you can overrule him, that you can achieve your goal. It seems like you feel like you’ll inevitably give in, so you might as well get it over with…

Mary, you are spot on. I can’t pinpoint the moment in time where I started hearing my own voice instead of his but I’d lost sight of how quickly I can turn a deaf ear and close him down when I feel like I’m the one in control. So, that’s my homework for this week.

Back to basics. Listen for the Asshole voice, recognise him, and give him a big fat kick in the ging gang goolies every time he tries it on. One day at a time. Yesterday was a good day, once I’d got over the horror of the shitbird scale and I even went to bed last night with points in the bank. Not because it was easy, he was chewing my ear all evening as it happens…but I tuned him out.

I’ve forgiven myself for the fifteen pounds…it is what it is, and at least I know what I’m dealing with now, right? It’s time to get this show on the road 🙂

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