February 6, 2014 by Kara Nichols
Last friday night I was alone in the house for the first time in weeks. And guess what I did, besides walk around in my underwear? I totally wrecked my diet.
I wasn’t feeling particularly sad, happy, depressed, or upset. I was feeling lonely. And so I went to an old friend for comfort. Fast food.
I ate enough to feed two grown men.
I put myself to bed. My stomach hurt and I was in shock at what I had just done. I had gone over 6 months without any major slip ups on my Medifast diet and in just a 30 minute period I felt as if I was back to square one. A food addict returning to 0 days sober.
Sometimes I feel a little jealous of recovering alcoholics because they have the option of abstaining for the rest of their lives, while being a food addict, I must face my demons multiple times a day.
Since Friday I have continued to make some poor choices. Crackers and peanut butter to be exact. Finally last night out of desperation I threw away the peanut butter and crackers so they wouldn’t even be in the house. It’s scary how weak-willed I have felt this last week. I know it partly has to do with being alone in the house. There’s no one around to keep me accountable. But I don’t want to rely heavily on that as an excuse.
I went out of my way to seek out food. And it was easy to find! Food is everywhere. How could I be so disciplined for so long only to crash and burn with a huge meal at McDonald’s? It’s maddening. But I’m not going to over analyze. Instead I am going to greet this day as if it was a fresh start. I’m going to stick to my eating plan and completely flush this house of any tempting foods.
I see, too, that instead of seeking food I need to seek relationship. Relationship with my health coach Gina, family, friends, and most importantly with God. When I am lonely (or any number of different emotions) I need to turn to someone for support. I have a great group of cheerleaders that I count on. But Friday night it was easier to just run to McDonald’s for comfort instead of admitting to someone I was lonely and bored. Plus I just missed those damn fries. 7 months without fast food is a long run and I convinced myself that it wouldn’t hurt much to “treat” myself.
I have to “treat” myself in ways other than with food. A nice walk outside, a pedicure, seeing a movie with a friend. These are the things I want to incorporate into my “treat” system. Mcnuggets with sweet and sour sauce are the kind of treats that got me to the weight I’m at. And I’m miserable being overweight. As a side note: the Mcnuggets tasted so gross to me, like they were coated in something. Must have been the grease, which my tastebuds aren’t used to. I continued to eat them anyway. I was pretty desperate for a “treat.”
I know it’s not the end of the world that I’ve been cheating on my diet. In fact, after 5 weeks of a plateau I actually lost 5 pounds, even with the binge. I know some diets actually recommend having a cheat day because it can help with weight loss somehow, so maybe that’s what happened. But I have worked so hard to be disciplined. I made it through the holidays sticking to just chicken and broccoli. So to come so far only to screw it up really sucks.
The good news is that I can get back on track. I don’t have an appreciation for the roller coaster of emotions that come with binge eating. The desperation and lack of control is awful and I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. Plus it’s incredibly unhealthy. And more than being skinny, I want to be healthy.
I was pretty naive and a little cocky to think I could get through the whole weight loss journey without some slip ups. I’m sure I will slip up again, hopefully not any time soon. I am committed to this. I am at a 68 pound weight loss and I have much more to go. I am not giving up now.
Unfortunately there is a simple truth regarding all of this: I will always have to be on guard when it comes to food. There will never be a time when I can relax. This is my battle in life. Food is my addiction and if I don’t rule over it, it will rule over me. It is alone by the grace of God that I’ve come this far and it is by His grace that I will succeed in the future. I’m praying desperately for his guidance and help as I forge on to freedom.