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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Weight Loss Transformation – A Process

weight loss transformation is a process

Weight loss transformation is a process. I am in the middle of my weight loss transformation. Daily, I struggle to keep myself motivated but I know it is a process. I needed to discover why I struggle and how I can get through my struggles. This helps me succeed in weight loss.

Going Through the Process

Some days, I am filled with motivation and the scale moves. Other days, I struggle and I want to eat everything in site. It is about finding a balance where you have more days where you are in a calorie deficit and then sometimes allow yourself to simply enjoy. There are days, I still struggle to find that balance. I am not gonna lie. However, I have so far been able to learn why I struggle those days. As long as I know why, I can start working on eliminating the ways or get to the root of the why so I can react to it differently.

I know this sounds all theoretical. So let me give you a few examples of how I keep my motivation, work out why I struggle and what I do to minimize my struggles.

Struggle

Usually, week days are my easiest days. I am kept busy during work. I go to the gym and I then head home to make dinner. Once I have eaten, I am so tired, I can’t think about food. The gym keeps me busy but they are rough. I am, usually, more hungry and if I forget a snack, I struggle. I might eat the blueberry pancakes my husband keeps in the fridge (yes, he is spoiled, I make these every weekend). The cheese, I have portioned out for the week, is incredibly tempting or the nuts on the shelf are devoured by the handful.

When foods are available for you to eat, that is when I need to dig deep. Remind myself why I am loosing the weight. I remind myself of any of these lines or sparks of motivation:

  • I am doing this for my health so I can live longer
  • Traveling without physically struggling is a win
  • “I love myself and I am worth it!” – Yes, I sing it with the melody from Divinyls “I touch myself
  • I have felt my confidence soar with my weight loss, I want to keep going.

These are just a few of the lines I might use but they are the most used. Everyone has their reason for loosing weight and I urge you to find these sparks of motivation to help you when you struggle. Write them down somewhere, so you don’t forget.

Why Do I Struggle?

Everyone struggles, some struggle for different reasons but it is important to find out why you struggle. When I first started out wanting to loose weight, I had no idea why I could not control my eating. It was infuriating! As I got older, I started reflecting about my life and somethings started making sense.

I was sexually abused as a child but I had never acknowledged that was what had happened to me. I had just buried it. Growing up, my family struggled so there was not space for me to address my sadness and pain. Others were in pain and I did not want to add to others pain. Now, we can all agree, I should have spoken up but I was 6 years old (up until the age of 10) so what did I know?

When I started approaching the subject I was in my 20s. However, once I had gone through the process of confronting my pain, talking with my family about what had happened, I should have been fixed, right? Not the case. I was still binge eating. I still could not control my eating. Something else, was at play.

I could track my behavior all the way back to when I was 6 years and would come home and eat in front of the TV. When I binge eat today, I do the exact same thing. I buy food, go home and watch TV. I don’t binge like this anymore. It has been well over a year since I last binged and before then, I binged maybe 3 times in a year for several years. What changed, you might ask?

It all started with my pain as a child but it all developed into habits. My binging was made into a habit every time I was in an emotional fragile state. Had I not confronted my pain, I could not have addressed my habits in the right manor and learned how to work around them.

Resolving the Why

Once I realized why I was binging, what my habits were. I could now look at what triggered my behavior. These triggers are the exact same, when I struggle with my food today. When I stressed, when I drink too little water or when I am in an emotionally fragile place. A fragile place, can come from many places but it is most commonly when my insecurities come up.

Now I know why, I know what triggers my behavior, so how do I go about solving it? As you can tell, weight loss transformation is a process. I need to make sure I get enough water, I need to address my insecurities and I need to be mindful of my stress levels.

Honestly, water is easy. I used “MyFitnessPal” to make sure I got my daily 8 glasses for a few months and now I am in a good routine. I use my husband as a sounding board when my insecurities pop up. This helps a lot! However, making sure I am not stressed, is not as simple. I have a tendency to keep pushing myself, expecting more from myself than what is reasonable. It is part of my DNA and who I am.

Acknowledging The Process

To lose weight, I know I need to address my stress levels. That is my focus right now. I keep building upon my habits to better myself and to make sure I minimize the risk of stress. It is all a process.

The process for me, started 15 years ago. I didn’t know that what I started 15 years ago would lead me to now a 65lb weight loss (and counting) but I am glad that I can now see where what I started so long ago, is what has helped me get this far. I can now enjoy the process and understand what I need to do and how I will get there.

Everyone has their journey. I had mine, you will have a different journey. But what we have in common, is that we will have to go through the same process. Why do we struggle? How do we get beyond the struggles? It is being honest with yourself and looking at the ugly sides of yourself (we all have it) and acknowledging the ugly. You are worth being acknowledged for who you are. You are awesome, no matter what flaws might surface.

All you need to know and trust is weight loss transformation is a process. It will take time and that is okay.

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