It’s Not Pretty

Well, it seems I’ve had a relapse in my compulsive eating ways and it’s not pretty. It’s weird to actually even write that sentence, like I don’t want to admit to it and it feels all wrong. But this blog is a way for me to document both victories and mistakes in order to learn from them, so it is what it is.

After lunch yesterday I registered for classes – most of which are filled up already wlEmoticon sadsmile3 It’s Not Pretty I got into one class that I needed but it’s on Friday night/Saturday 8am-12pm. This is not good as I was planning on taking a volunteer position that requires Saturdays soon. Plus I would have to re-do the training program I just wrote out. And Ben and I had road trips planned… Uh.

Anyways, I couldn’t figure out if I was Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired (HALT) – or rather, I didn’t’ try to figure it out and I ate this bar and a Vitatop. And maybe a few other things. IMG 4204 thumb It’s Not Pretty

Then, I busted out the leftovers… the pictures aren’t pretty either. But the addition of crackers and cashews to my lunch salad were beautiful wlEmoticon smile14 It’s Not Pretty 

IMG 4203 thumb It’s Not Pretty

I saw that I was on the road to Bingeville so I grabbed my phone and got out of the house to call my friend Lisa for a chat. That was good. And Lisa totally got a new car this week so it was an exciting call!

IMG 4201 thumb It’s Not Pretty

Ben and I had a date at Ikea last night that ended with $.99 fro-yo. Kate totally called it on twitter. Oh, and there’s not way to make half eaten frozen yogurt look good…IMG 4205 thumb It’s Not Pretty

We finally got a dresser so if you see piles of clothes in the background of my pictures call me out on it – now there’s no excuse!

We also got 2 more chairs for our kitchen table. Now all we need is 2 friends and we can have a dinner party!

It was just one of those days where I knew I wanted to eat well into the night, so I made hot cocoa and popcorn to satisfy that chewing need. IMG 4208 thumb It’s Not PrettyWhen I feel an eating rampage coming on, sometimes I try to get out of the house to avoid it, but sometimes I just try to avoid too much calorie damage with smart choice foods.

Now I am supposed to be doing a long run, but it’s raining. Boo.  I’m off to brave the elements. This is going to be as wet as my Golden Gate Bridge run, but not as fun because Bobbi isn’t’ here to talk with.

IMG 4212 thumb It’s Not Pretty

Question: What do you do when you “just want to eat” – be it out of stress, fatigue, boredom or anything else? How do you handle it?


  1. D says

    Sorry you had such a rough time!

    I get like that too – sometimes I “just want to eat”. While I don’t think this is a healthy mindset, I think that *sometimes* you just need to recognize it and allow yourself to do it. Obviously in an ideal world, we wouldn’t have the desire, but once in a while I find it can actually help keep me in line the rest of the time. When I feel that way, I tell myself I can eat as much as I want as long as it’s completely healthy. I might roast up a ton of veggies and munch through an entire sheet pan of them, eat a whole bag of baby carrots, a whole bag of grapes, etc. I tell myself “this isn’t about the food, it’s just about wanting to eat”. I also make hot chocolate, and drink tons of tea and water, because even though it doesn’t take away the urge to munch, it can definitely fill me up and make eating a bit less comfortable when the water has already filled my stomach. Another thing that helps is telling someone, or at least saying it out loud. When you hear yourself say “Ugh I just want to keep EATING all night long!” you realize that it’s your emotions talking.

  2. says

    Oh man, I have been getting way too binge-y lately. I gave myself a rule that I cannot open the fridge or cabinets in my kitchen after 8pm. It almost always works. I try to call friends, reply to e-mails or talk to Andy when I feel like I’m about to snack on everything. I also freeze cookies, muffins, cakes and bread so it takes longer to defrost and eat.

  3. says

    I’m sorry you had a rough eating day, Monica.
    When I’ve gone overboard or am trying to keep myself from it, I start cleaning. It may not be the funnest distraction, but it works for me.

  4. says

    Firstly, thanks for keeping on sharing your struggles with compulsive eating on the blog. I love how open and honest you are.
    When I’m like that, it normally comes down to emotional things, like being stressed/angry or procrastinating or being in an uncomfortable social situation. Most of the time having a good whinge in a journal helps me figure it out and get my mind off things. But when that doesn’t help, getting out of the kitchen and away from food is key for me, e.g. going for a run/drive/ride with no money on me. I used to live above a movie theatre with $5 movies and sometimes I would just go to a movie. But to be honest, when I’m in that sort of mood I’m sitting in the movie using all my willpower not to leave and go and eat.

  5. says

    awe man I hate that!
    I get on the sweet-savory bandwagon. Something sweet, then something salty, then something sweet…. Ahhhh.
    I was actually instructed by my naturopath years ago to start eating meat again. It seemed my body wasn’t absorbing plant protein. I was eating vegetarian to be healthy and mindful environmentally, but when I started eating meat again (only local meat for this girl), I stopped the crazy binges. I felt satiated, not full.
    I am also a gum addict.;)
    Something to think about…xo

  6. Becca says

    We all have days like that…and I definitely do it when I’m getting stressed about something. I’m a college student, so what I do is I just remove the temptation. I head to my nearby Starbucks with some schoolwork, grab a cup of coffee with a flew Splendas, and just relax and crank out some work. Just being away from the kitchen/pantry is usually enough for me!

  7. says

    I did this last night. I had dinner, wanted a little something more so I had dessert. Then still wasn’t satisfied so I had a second dessert and THEN I felt completely stuffed. I just wanted to keep eating, I realized (of course, not until afterwards) that I wasn’t actually hungry. I need to check in with myself more often before eating, not after!

  8. says

    Hang in there! You recognized what was happening & did your best to be smart – that’s huge!

    My binge food of choice is celery. Hard to overeat, doesn’t tend to kick off a sweet/salty pendulum. It took me awhile to realize that an urge to binge was often the first sign I was feeling overwhelmed. Now that I understand that, I try to take steps to get back in control, or to cultivate calm in some fashion. It can be hard – not only to snap out of “eat everything” mode, but also because I always feel stupid for not recognizing the stress as it was coming on!

  9. says

    I don’t have a good solution of what I do in times where all I want to do it eat but I have definitely been there and have been there the past few days. It seems like when I work out really hard I come home and just eat off and on all day! The best thing for me is to just throw away the leftovers (bc that seems to be what I like to go for).

    I love your honesty and you are so motivating!

  10. says

    I love this honest post, and honestly, I’m struggling with the same thing recently. It seems like I can’t stop long enough to analyze whether I’m really hunger… and before you know it, I’ve eaten enough for two dinners and two desserts. As you said, it’s not pretty.

    The most important thing (usually) is to STOP and ask what’s really going on. And then go DO something… even if it’s just get online.

  11. Kate says

    Thank you so much for this post, Monica. I am currently experiencing my own struggles with binge eating. A few nights ago it seemed I just couldn’t eat enough…I felt like a bottomless pit :( The next day I tried to eat more healthfully, but it was more of the same, and I’ve been struggling to get back on track ever since. I feel absolutely disgusting, and today, with the dreary weather, I haven’t had the drive to even get out and attempt to exercise.

    I applaud you for being able to write about your struggles and coping mechanisms. It helps those of us who have the same issues to know we’re not alone!

    Thanks again, Monica…I hope today is better for you :)

  12. Wazzup says

    Trust me, there IS a way to make a half eaten frozen yoghurt look good … that is if you’re a girl and the viewer is a guy………. ;)

    Anywyas, about the binge… meh whatever. There’s plenty of good days to compensate it.

  13. Margie says

    What I’m going to say might sound stupid, but it comes from a little researching on binge eaters and talking with other sufferers. I binge eat too. I learned or researched that a lot of binge eaters ACCEPT that they binge eat. Meaning…If you know that you have eating episodes, just have them(within reason) and move on. For me, I get really binge-y right before TOM. I accept that on those couple of days I will eat much more. It almost takes away the power from the whole binge eating thing. The main goal in the long run is to not use food as emotional substitutes. For some(like myself), I can never say that I will eventually not use food for comfort because that is not realistic. I just have to accept where I am at and work with I have got.
    Hopefully, you can find what works for you. I try to add as many different projects to my life so I don’t turn to food. Good luck!

  14. says

    I am totally an emotional eater. I find myself often eating dessert out of habit, not because I really want it. When I’m emotional, I try to drink a glass of water to help me calm down, or a nice mug of tea helps too. Other times, I just eat a little bit of what I crave, because if I try to substitute something else, I just end up wanting my craving more and eating a bigger serving of it. Sometimes you just need chocolate, too :)

  15. says

    It happens! Whenever I experience a lot of stress or very high anxiety, I either want to eat EVERYTHING or NOTHING. When it is one of those “everything” times, I try to only go in the kitchen for meals and snacks, but I often end up binging and feeling like trash afterward.

    I try not to freak out about it. Like another commenter said, accepting that I will every so often binge takes away its power. When I am not afraid of the binge, it is easier to avoid and/or accept.

  16. says

    A lot of the time when I’m feeling super munchy, I try brushing my teeth. That usually puts me off for awhile and if I still want to eat once the clean mouth feeling has faded, I do what you did–usually make some popcorn or eat carrots or try some sort of healthy snack that I can eat a high volume of with minimal damage.

  17. says

    It’s a hard thing to admit to yourself (and to the blog world), but you’re doing great by catching yourself and stopping before it becomes damaging. It’s a life battle process (I believe) and we have our ups and downs. I usually pop a piece of gum in my mouth (sorry – I know you’re trying to cut back). Or get out of the house if I’m super bored.

  18. says

    Hang in there! I have been through many a hunger rampage- it seems to wax and wane but so many factors go into it (fatigue, boredom, mood, etc) that it’s hard to snap out of it and use sound reasoning to stop the munchies. I’ve found I can’t really fight it, as I end up eating more the longer I push it off. Good luck!

  19. says

    UGH!! I too had one of those days…I woke up at 7:30am to get in an exercise DVD before the kids woke up..only to have them wake up 15 min after me…that was the start of a downhill day…I am totally an emotional eater…and I filled that void with Chick-fil-a and then pizza for dinner…not a good day:/
    I also found that most of my classes that I need were already filled when I went to register…tomorrow is a new day..maybe if I feel the need to eat…I should just go run!

  20. says

    Ha! This happened to be yesterday. All I wanted to do was eat. Honestly, I just gave in. I was reading all day but munchy too. I alternated a cup of trailmix that I put together myself and a carrot that I cut into chips, tricking my mind into thinking I was eating chips. I tend to play with carrots as I eat them (chewing them in different ways), so that helps. I also alternated tea and water.

    I figure part of the problem for me was not eating much the day before. Friday my husband and I went to dinner at a place I wasn’t very happy with so I didn’t eat much. Saturday all I wanted to do was read, so I didn’t wake up and eat breakfast. I ate lunch (Subway) but was hungry until about 7.

    For me, it’s hard to munch all day because we just moved to a tiny apartment in Hong Kong and simply don’t have enough room for a ton of food. We do have an evil 7-11 downstairs without many healthy options. Candy, chips, ice cream, and soda… I can’t go there when I’m snackish.

  21. says

    I’m with you, Monica! I just finished eating dinner, and still just wanted to CHEW. I thought about going into the kitchen for some decaf coffee to signal the end of the meal and then realized I should just stay out of the kitchen right now. So I am. I’m thinking I’m going to stay out of it for a little while longer before I go back to clean it up.
    That type of strategy doesn’t always work, though, so I’m planning on reading the rest of the comments for more ideas.

  22. says

    Good on you Monica <3 Writing posts like these is so brave and honest!

    I'm still struggling to get out of a binge-restrict problem, so I totally get this. To be honest, when I feel like eating, I always eat – but lately I've been trying to stop myself after eating a reasonable amount.

    I find if I don't eat anything AT ALL, it'll come back and bite me within an hour. So I grab some cereal, an apple, hell, even a piece of chocolate. I eat it, then I reflect. And (usually) that stops it in its tracks. But lord – this time last year, nothing could stop a binge. Nothing! It definitely does get better and easier.

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