Don't Let a Hectic Schedule Interrupt Diet, Health Plans

Whitney Health Guide
  • This week started out great. I was on a high from my earlier fitness achievements, content to eat at home each day and do Yoga Burn DVDs each night. And for the first few days since I last posted, I did this, averaging about 1500 calories a day, feeling wonderful.

    Then disaster struck. Tuesday brought a very tight, impossible work deadline. Wednesday brought another. Thursday meant a little bit of a break, but with news of a snowstorm enveloping the Washington area, I needed to get all of my Friday work done just in case I couldn't leave the house, so two days worth of writing was crammed into one. I responded to the increased stress in the only way that felt right: I binged.

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    It started Tuesday with a bagel and cream cheese from Starbucks. I knew that the whole shabang would cost me a third of my daily calories, but I didn't care: I was annoyed, frustrated and hungry for carbs and cream. But I still managed to get back on the wagon that night with a home-cooked dinner.

    By Wednesday I was literally a ball of nerves and woke up with a craving for everything in sight. I ate my normal turkey-broccoli-cheese omelet, despite my intense desire for an Egg McMuffin. But when the afternoon rolled around and I was sitting in the coffee shop, on the verge of tears from the near-impossible demands I was under, I didn't reach for the sliced apple I had packed. I reached for the Starbucks donut behind the counter. And a tall hot chocolate. And a sandwich for good measure. I went home around 8 p.m. with the intention of cooking, but didn't have an appetite for anything in my fridge, so I stopped by Chipotle. Yep, the 830 calorie burrito was mine. And I didn't stop there. I went to Safeway for sugar wafers and Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. I would've gotten a soda, too (my first in weeks), but they didn't have Fanta Orange. After the first couple of wafers, the stress headache that had been distracting me all week started to ease. I knew it was wrong and that I was un-doing all the good I'd worked for, but at that moment it felt really, really right.

    I declared Thursday a free-for-all. I woke up and snacked on more wafers. I did a quick phone interview with a novelist and opened miniature Reese's as she answered questions. I arrived at Starbucks to work and ordered an Asiago bagel and cream cheese, without guilt. I had fun dreaming up all of the fast food places I could go to for dinner. But by the afternoon, I had crashed. My sugar-high was gone, my headache was back and, on top of all that, I felt like crap. After two weeks of good work and conscious eating, I'd gone right back to the mindless, emotional eating that had gotten me here in the first place. I felt like I'd cheated on myself... with myself.

    So I didn't weigh myself today, as is my new custom. I'm sure that I haven't lost any weight and I don't really need to go down that emotional roller-coaster. At least, not today. Tomorrow starts a new weight-loss week for me and (snow-permitting), I'll be starting a new exercise class and, hopefully, do a little better at winning the battle of the binge.

Published On: February 04, 2010