When Lack of Routine Triggers A Binge Eater

As I am sure most of you are aware, I am a binge eater. For the most part I have had in under control for a while and only had minor issues here and there. However, the changes to my day during the quarantine due to the covid-19 pandemic, this change has thrown me for a loop. I started reading some of my favorite bloggers and one of them touched upon this time being a trigger. Shout out to Andie Mitchell! How could I not have realized that my lack of a routine has triggered my binge eating?

What is binge eating?

Binge eating is an eating disorder where you have an uncontrollable urge to eat unusual amounts of food. Back in the day, I could easily eat a bucket of ice-cream, a whole pie and add in some chocolate on top. I would finish it off with take out food. I would be so full I would need to go and throw up to simply feel comfortable. If you think you might have a binge eating disorder, I do urge you to reach out to your doctor but you can also read a bit about it at the Mayoclinic or at National Eating Disorders.

Dealing with binge eating

I have had days, where I felt myself slip into my old habit. I would simply say, I could just grab a few nuts to tide me over. But I would return 5 minutes later to grab another handful and an ounce of cheese. And that is how my day would continue. So I have been gaining a little weight.

I am not alarmed… yet! However, I do need to build a new routine for myself so I can stop myself from binge eating. Anyone with an eating disorder thrives with routine. With the changes of working from home, my hubby is now losing weight and us having struggled as a couple, it has been rough finding my way.

Building a routine

This week is the week I am figuring out how I can build a new healthy routine. It is all about making my day manageable but busy enough that I don’t think about food more than I need to.

In a day, I have daily routines that we all need to take care of:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Plan meals for the day
  • Work
  • Workout

Those are the ones I need to focus on. I need to leave the rest behind to ensure that my essentials are taken care of. Once I have those down, I need to have a to-do-list that I can lean on so I can keep myself busy and out of the kitchen.

Structuring my day

Normally, I would meal prep on Sundays to ensure I am set for the week and I spend less time in the kitchen. However, the changes to my routine, had me thinking that I did not need to meal prep. Clearly, that is still needed. But until Sunday comes around my day starts the day before. I need to plan for my day. What will I be eating? What will Mike be eating? When will we be eating and how much time do I have to prep. When will I be working out. Are there other chores I need to add to my list?

Once I have my meals planned out and I know what to do when in the kitchen, I can move on to the when I will be doing my workouts. Workouts are very important to me. It keeps me focused, makes me feel better and with lack of movement for sitting on my butt all day, it is key in staying healthy.

My plan for tomorrow

  • 7AM: Wake up
  • 7:20AM: Get dressed, brush teeth, personal grooming
  • 7:40AM: Make breakfast (Yogurt, hulled hemp seeds and banana for me and grape nuts, milk with a bit of brown sugar for hubby) and coffee! We can’t forget the coffee!
  • 8AM: Eat breakfast
  • 8:30AM: Spend time with Mike
  • 9AM: Start work
  • 2PM: Make lunch (Heat up Red Thai Curry for both Mike and myself)
  • 2:20PM Eat lunch and spend time with Mike
  • 3PM: Start last 3 hours of work
  • 6PM: Wash dishes from breakfast and lunch
  • 6:20PM: Make dinner (Turkey meatballs with onion, mushroom and red pepper mix (and sweet potato for Mike)) during cooking, I will plan my next day.
  • 7PM: At home workout
  • 7:35PM: Eat dinner
  • 8:15PM: wash dishes
  • 8:30PM: Shower
  • 8:50PM: Spend time with Mike
  • 11PM: Bedtime!

My weekend To Do List

This is a typical day for me. The challenge always comes when the weekend rolls around as there will be no work to keep me busy. That is why a to-do-list gets handy. This is my to-do-list for the weekend:

  • Create weekly meal plan
  • Meal prep as much as possible
  • Vacuum
  • Clean bathroom
  • Take pictures of clothes and other items to be sold online
  • Study for 4 hours
  • Create a weekly social media plan
  • Take images/videos of workouts

This should keep me pretty busy.

Will this cure my binging?

This prep time is no guarantee that I won’t binge or struggle with the urges of binging. However, it will put me in a place that gives me greater chance of success. If I know what I am eating and when, this eliminates my time in the kitchen and the need to find something to put in my mouth. It, also, creates a structure where there is a sense of security as I know what I will be doing next. These are both really strong support mechanisms that I can implement myself.

If I should get the urges to go and eat more, my last resort is always to talk to my husband about my need for eating. That usually helps as most binge eaters are extremely embarrassed by their lack of self control.

Should you be like me and struggling with your eating, always know you can reach out. I know what it is like. The mind can convince us of many things and they can be hard to control. You are definitely not alone. I know, I’m not.

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