Not bingeing: more than not-dieting

Friday, May 10, 2013 Permalink

A short post today as I’m just continuing on from last week’s post, Approaching Normal, in which I talked about different streams of thought in terms of therapy (with respect to eating issues, in this particular case).

In that post I commented that – the behavioural approach (or one promoting ‘dieting’ and strict ‘do this, but not this’ guidelines) was one I struggled with. JUST DO IT, (aka ‘Do as I say’) doesn’t really work for me. Similarly though, an approach which allows me free reign while my mind gets de-f*cked; or which allows me to use my f*cked up thinking / emotions as an excuse to endlessly binge-eat isn’t actually helpful either. Indeed… I’ve spent several years (off and on) examining my childhood and why I am the way I am / do the things I do – with minimal success.

In the previous post I decided that I was just gonna do my own thing – which was something that felt right to me. I was adopting the not-dieting approach, but with SOME limits or restrictions. Usually those words would send me into ‘deprivation’ mode and I’d feel compelled to binge-eat in response (or in preparation). However… I’m only restricting a couple of things AND they aren’t completely off-limits. They’re just not something I’m buying. At the moment. Chocolate, corn chips, brownie mixture etc fall into this category. In fact, I’ve probably added a few other things (like flavoured crackers and the like) as well, knowing that – if they’re in my apartment… I will eat them. All. At Once.

“Isn’t that dieting?” part of my mind asks the other. “Isn’t not-dieting about not taking ANYTHING off the things-I-can-eat table?”

It occurs to me that I’m making VERY conscious decisions each time I go shopping. The chocolate aisle beckons. The corn chip shelf sings. Any store stocking brownie mixture bellows. But… each and every time I go into that store (or any store really) I have to remind myself that “I’m not eating those things. At the moment.”

After a period of ‘failing’ in this task, I seem to have it under control again.

It makes me realise that my lack of bingeing isn’t SOLELY a result of a not-dieting mindset. It’s also a direct outcome of a conscious behaviour change. I literally have to STOP myself picking my trigger foods up off the shelf. Or stop myself going out at all.

Earlier today I felt miserable. Just down… I’m sure many out there know the feeling. I blamed my twisted ankle (which those who follow my Facebook page will know was a result of a fall at Zumba yesterday!) but it was a combination of things (more here in Debbish, if you’re wondering).

But fortunately, there was also this. (And yes, it appears I am one of those people who tweets Drama Queen-like ‘Woe is me’ tweets! Shit!)]

In Debbish I share what I ended up doing, which did involve buying vanilla diet coke. I know it’s still kinda the ‘treating’ oneself concept, which isn’t always healthy but, in the overall scheme of things, it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. Plus – as mentioned in Debbish – I reached out. To others. A rare thing for me.

So… As I sit here hurrying to finish this – as one litre of vanilla diet coke plays havoc with one’s bladder?! (TM!?!) I’m in a better mood. Because I reached out. Because of the vanilla diet coke. But also because the brownies beckoned but I declined to be tempted.

How are you at self-soothing?
Have you recently had to resist a craving? 
Did you notice this was supposed to be a short post, but now isn’t?! 

  • Satu
    May 10, 2013

    Hi Deb!

    To me you seem to be doing better all the time. 🙂 You’re trying new things (like kayaking) and exercising just for the pleasure of it. Even though you have foods that are off limits, you’re probably eating pretty well if you haven’t had many binges lately.

    P.S. If I ever get to visit you, down there I want to add kayaking in the Pacific Ocean in the list of things to do with you. 🙂

    • Debbish
      May 11, 2013

      Oh Satu, thanks so much! And I hope to you get to visit Oz someday. I do have that spare bedroom and you are most welcome to come and stay!


  • evilcyber
    May 11, 2013

    A feeling of deprivation is what breaks a diet for many people. My first attempt at losing weight had me follow a popular diet that consisted of eating nothing but salads. That went ok for, uh, four days. I only succeeded when I allowed myself to practically eat anything I want, as long as I controlled the quantities.

    • Debbish
      May 12, 2013

      Yes, quality control is something I’m yet to master. Sadly! 🙁

  • Char
    May 12, 2013

    This is such a win. You are making positive choices and you’re modifying behaviours so you’re not allowing temptation into your house. But you are allowing yourself little treats so you don’t feel deprived. They’re big steps in the right direction.

    • Debbish
      May 12, 2013

      Thanks Char. It feels like it. The difference in my mindset / state of mind between now and just a few weeks ago is amazing.

  • janinejackson
    May 14, 2013

    It is definitely an achievement that you passed on the brownies. Yes, you drank coke but what you DIDN’T do was bake brownies. Small steps Deb. Small steps. Every day you’re shuffling.

    • Debbish
      May 15, 2013

      Ha! Very true. I often sing that to myself – making sure I keep ‘shuffling’ in there, not ‘struggling!’

  • Lisa
    May 17, 2013

    I think there is a big difference between removing trigger foods from your house and dieting. When I set out to lose 100 pounds I had to remove all trigger foods from my house otherwise I wouldn’t have been successful! I never dieted, I ate whatever I wanted in moderation and within my calorie range for the day. After keeping the weight off for 5 years now, I still do that. It was a lifestyle change for me!

    • Debbish
      May 17, 2013

      Oh wow Lisa, it sounds like you’ve done a great job. Yes… I think that combination of not-dieting but not succumbing to trigger foods is what I need to pursue!

      And 5 years! Wow, congratulations!


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