Saturday, January 19, 2008

Binge, Interrupted

Friday night I did something I haven't in a long time. I planned a binge.

I thought about it and longed for it, and then I shopped for it.

The setting was right. I'd be all by myself, since Mark was taking Sophie to the Martina McBride concert. And my binges, of course, have to happen in secret.

My mood was right. Totally in the dumps, because I was stuck at home on a night I should have been out with my girlfriends having fun and feeling human again instead of a Mommytron. Poor poor pitiful me. I needed to get rid of that feeling, and numbing myself with food always does the trick.

The price was right. Who cares if Haagen Dazs is $4 a pint? One each of vanilla and chocolate should hit the spot. And oh yeah, let's throw in a box of Pop Tarts (my favorite, brown sugar cinnamon) for good measure. That's a measly $10 for a night of sugared-out bliss.

I didn't wait to be alone before I started in on the Pop Tarts. I opened a pack to feed to Luke with his antibiotic (a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, after all) while everyone was still here. I had one and my Mom ate the other; Luke didn't want anything to eat at all.

Then it was just me and the boy. He watched Dora the Explorer while sitting on my lap, and I picked up my recent book purchase about keeping weight off forever. I've got a fiction book going too, but wasn't in the mood for reading about the oppression of being a woman in Afghanistan, so I figured why not read about how someone else has stayed thin. Maybe it will sink in by osmosis.

Turns out, even though so far I'm not impressed with its disorganized structure and standard platitudes (like "don't eat unless you feel hungry" - I mean, really... who doesn't already know this? And I'm only in chapter one), the book made a difference for me tonight.

On page seven, a simple exercise of "The Old Me" and "The New Me." The questions under each:
The Old Me
I used to see myself as:
Most of all I wanted to be:
More than anything, I wanted to be able to:
Every day I hoped:
If I had one wish it would have been:
My favorite dream for my future was:

The New Me
Now I see myself as:
Most of all I want to be:
More than anything I want to be able to:
Today I hope:
Now I wish:
My favorite dream for my future is:

Since I had Luke on my lap, I didn't write out my answers. But I completed the sentences in my head and by the time I was done and had muddled through a few more pages of the book, the desire to binge had gone away. The desire to eat chocolate ice cream is still here, even as I write this late Friday night, but the desire of "More than anything I want to be able to keep this damn weight off for the rest of my life" is currently outweighing anything else.

I wrote the other day about there not being many books available for weight loss maintainers. Maybe that's because maintenance is a bitch. A bitch that isn't easily tamed and apparently is as ugly and frightening as the one Sigourney Weaver battles in Alien.

Only this one doesn't have a big Hollywood ending. This is going to be an endless battle. There is no finish line. There is never going to be a day when I can say "Okay, that's it, I'm all done and I don't have to do this anymore" (well, okay, the day I die I can say that, but you know, that's a long way off, God willing).

This idea of "it's never going to end" isn't new news, I realize that. It's just a small little epiphany in a likely endless road of epiphanies that will add up to be my life.

And The New Me says, "Most of all I want to be a weight loss success, for now and for good."


Lori said...

One of the traps of losing weight is the belief that there's a magical day when it's all over and we don't struggle anymore with food. There's also the "once I get to that weight, I'll be happy and not eat." You've just demonstrated how true that is. Maintenance IS a bitch.

Just as quickly as it takes though to buy your binge foods (and excellent choices, I might add!), you also managed to stop.

I'm really (once again) really proud of you and your actions. And for writing so honestly about it.

With much love and pride, Lori

Jess said...

You're right about there being few resources for weight maintenance and there really should be since that's the most important part!

Congrats to you for making the hard choice!

Heather said...

that is true because it never really does end. for most of us, we will ALWAYS struggle with food and have to constantly monitor ourselves. and it does get exhausting and overwhelming. and who could blame you for setting up to binge (and Im glad the book helped you!) because you have been through a lot and while I would hate for your efforts to be sabataged, every now and then it is hard to just keep going and going and going!

Grumpy Chair said...

I agree with Lori, your writing is so honest. Every single one of us has thought, planned and purchased our "binge" when conditions were ripe for it (emotional, stressful days).

But you fought it and you won. And there may be other times, when you will repeat the preparation for a binge, but you will find the strength again.

I'm glad the book was a helpful tool for you when you needed it.

Hope you get some time for you this weekend.

Sally Parrott Ashbrook said...

I started reading and just held my breath. Thank you for being so honest in this post. I'm relieved for you to see that something diverted you from your binge!

Perhaps you'll be the one to write a great book on maintaining in a year or two. :D

Vickie said...

I love Alicia's list of maintenance blogs on her Grumpy Chair sidebar - so that would be an idea - collecting maintenance blogs to read along with your other favorites.

For myself, I move in and out of it "being about the food". I go for long spells where the food really is pretty effortless. And then I go through spells where the food is quite difficult.

I don't take this personally at all - I factor in lack of sleep, sick kids, hormones, lack of sun shine.

I shore myself up and ride it out. There are times where I can be around any type of food and times where I can not. Times where I can handle something extra - and times where I can only take care of me and mine.

I am learning the differences. Yesterday was a pretty tough day for me. Not sure why - but just in a well of wallow. I got in the tub for a long time, stared at the back of my eyelids for a long time, then finally gave up and went to bed at 4:30pm. (Granted - I normally go to bed at 7pm, but still).

You are a working mom with very small children. I think you are learning and getting better and better at prioritizing. That is very hard with small kids.

Take a deep breath and give yourself a hug from me.

Vickie said...

this is a good posting from marie to read:

she is a WW person that has been at goal for along time.

Jill said...

I am so proud of you for one - planning a binge, and two - realizing you didn't really need it! That takes alot of courage and effort. I've never dealt with the maintenance monster, but when I get there, I'm going to remember this post!! Can I be like you when I grow up???? :)

ElleTeeJay said...

Great post, Laura! It really is the truth of the whole thing, isn't it? If maintenance wasn't such a bitch, I wouldn't be working to lose this weight for the third time in my life.

Rock on, sista!

(Thanks, too, for your comment on my post. By the way, do you have new hair?)