How I Remain Binge-Free

It’s been over two years now that I’ve been abstinent / binge-free. Though I’m in recovery from 30+ years of compulsive eating and binging, I do still have my struggles. However, there are some things that I have learned along the way that got me to where I am today. So here goes…

1. I don’t deprive myself. I love what I eat every day. I’m a grazer. I’m not choking down rice cakes or celery sticks or things that I really don’t enjoy.

2. Over the years, I have tried many types of foods and have come up with certain ones that I eat throughout the day and I look forward to each one of them. I eat the same breakfast every day and there are three lunches that I rotate through, depending on whether or not I have worked out that day. I have a handful of go-to snacks and protein bars. Some I eat every day, others again, I eat depending on whether or not I’ve gone to the gym. I eat good carbs, protein and have some fat (like in the dark chocolate hershey’s kisses I eat just about every night). My dinners (when we eat at home) are varied – fish, poultry, some lean meat, whole wheat pasta, etc.

3. I also try to apply the concept of “volumetrics” which basically is getting the most bang for your buck out of food. For instance, you can eat a ton of salad or have a cookie for the same amount of calories. The salad will fill you and keep you satiated, while the cookie might be really enjoyable for the moment, but has no real nutritional value and won’t keep your belly happy.

4. Lastly, I always plan ahead, almost to a fault. I am the queen of packing snacks because I don’t want to leave food to chance. Because I’m a grazer, my body expects to be fed pretty frequently, so if I’m ever going to be away from the house for any length of time, I always pack something healthy for myself, including a water, so I’m never running into a Wa-Wa or 7-11 to grab a bite to eat. I have also for a long time checked out menus before going to restaurants (though I’m really trying to stop this controlling behavior and just “let go”) to make sure the menu had stuff that I liked.

Am I still tempted by things and struggle to some degree when I am out? Absolutely! The parties and events still remain the most difficult for me, but I’m working on that. But when I am home, or have the ability to pack, there are few compulsions because I’m very satisfied. The concept of a food plan is very similar to what I learned when my husband and I got certified to scuba dive right before our honeymoon over 12 years ago – “plan your dive, then dive your plan.” I think that translates very nicely to my food plan. 🙂

On another note… I’m feeling better today, almost officially back to normal. My appetite is slowly coming back and I’m sure it will come back with a vengence once I start going back to the gym. At that point, the listening-to-my-hunger-cues that I’ve started while I had this stomach virus are really going to be put to the test! And that is another thing… I have not gone to the gym in a week and I’m not freaking out about it (as I would normally, momentarily, do if I thought I was going to miss a workout). I haven’t had the strength to up until now, plus, I think I knew that since I wasn’t eating as much, that skipping the calories burned at the gym would be ok. Today I got on my treadmill for an hour to see how my body would feel afterwards, to ease back into the workout routine. If all goes well, I’ll be back at the gym for my normal Thursday run and strength training, although I will take it easy and listen to my body.

And oh, I haven’t been on the scale in two weeks and honestly, I’ve been totally fine with it. I can’t believe such a decades-year-old habit was that easy to break!


One Day at a Time... Nurture myself... Awareness... Letting Go... Listen to my Body

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Comments

13 Responses, Leave a Reply
  1. Diana
    26 January 2010, 6:43 pm

    Thanks for the info. I completely believe in the enjoy what you eat philosophy. And, I understand planning. It’s the only way to ward off binges. Especially in the beginning (I’m at the planning/beginning stage).

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    you’re welcome! the food plan is really key and is actually kind of freeing. you have your game plan in place then you just follow it, there is no guessing throughout the day of what you are going to have, you have freed yourself from thinking about it! good luck!

    [Reply]

  2. Jill
    26 January 2010, 8:43 pm

    I’m glad you are feeling better and congratulations on being binge free for so long! 🙂

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    thank you so much!

    [Reply]

  3. Michelle@Eatingjourney
    27 January 2010, 2:21 am

    I love this. I love that your open about this. I really do. More people need to read this. Thank you SO much for sharing this. I think that most important thing is that you don’t deprive yourself. Because that is my NUMBER ONE trigger for bingeing.

    You’re amazing.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    omg, you are too sweet! i only wrote what works for me, it may not work for everyone. i still have my struggles in certain situations outside my house, but i’m working on it. always a work in progress. 🙂

    [Reply]

  4. Lara
    27 January 2010, 11:21 am

    This is basically exactly what has worked for me in terms of controlling binges. Parties and events are hard for me as well but I found if I go with a plan to splurge a little as opposed to trying to “eat light” I do much better in the long run and save myself tons of calories becuase if I forgo what I really want I will wind up overeating on something that is not even as good. Deprivation is also my number one binge trigger.
    Way to go on staying away from the scale. That is huge.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    i have recently started to ‘let go’ and allow myself a little splurge at parties too, lara! i realized that a few hundred extra calories in the grand scheme of things really wasn’t going to have any affect in my life and that it feels good to be kinder to myself on that level. i have learned that if something is worth it, savor it and don’t look back.

    [Reply]

  5. jackie callahan
    27 January 2010, 10:17 pm

    Your post was very inspiring. I really hope to get there some day!Thanks for a lot of good advice!

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    you will definitely do it. if i can, anyone can! it’s a journey and this awareness you (and i) now have, is a huge step in the right direction.

    [Reply]

  6. Holly
    28 January 2010, 12:52 pm

    I agree with ALL of these 100%! I am a HUGE grazer and have found that deprivation/being hungry is a huge trigger for me. Also, I definitely plan ahead – like you said, almost to a fault sometimes! But it works for me to prevent binges. In fact, the days where I unexpectedly go out to lunch or dinner are the days when I’m more likely to binge.

    That is awesome about the scale! I’ve cut WAY back, but I need to cut back much more, probably.

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    wow! so cool that we both use the same techniques! i feel so anal sometimes and wish i could just fly by the seat of my pants like a ‘normal’ eater, but i just can’t seem to let go of that control.
    i’m not sure when i’m going to get on the scale again. haven’t thought that far ahead, which is so not me!

    [Reply]

  7. […] I wrote another post not so long ago about how I remain binge-free here. […]

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