A Challenging Weekend

Today’s a confessional post. No, it’s not about midnight eating — I’ve been in the clear for a while.

I am struggling with my journaling on Sparkpeople. Not the act of journaling — I’m a pro at that. But rather about a pickle I’ve gotten myself into. See, my caloric range is 1270-1570. Not terrible, provided I stick to it; it’s a perfectly acceptable range and most days, totally do-able.

I’ve discovered on WW I was eating too much to lose. I lose when I’m in the 1400-1500 range with my usual exercise (which would be basically WW target points plus a couple Flex) but the past two weeks, after a kick-ass first week back on Sparkpeople, I’ve simply not been able to get it together.

What I mean is, I had one high day two weeks ago, and I’ve been “buying calories” for the next day ever since … Technically this isn’t cheating, as I am not going above my limit for the week, but it’s cheating because I am not in my range that one day.

And I gained last week — the same 1.4 I’d lost the previous week. Sure, it could have been a fluke (I hadn’t weighed in all week and didn’t this weekend, either) but I am sure eating at the high end of my range isn’t helping me any.

I seem to have one high day and it sets the tone for the rest of the week … or in this case, two weeks. And then this is what happens: I feel deprived knowing I am stuck dealing with 1000 calories basically … so I eat more than that (because I work out and am genuinely hungry) and just dock from the next day, etc, etc.

And then I find myself in a chew-and-spit cycle because I am often hungry but don’t want to go over my allotment … so it’s a vicious merry-go-round.

Last night was Superbowl Sunday. We went to a friends’ house and had a blast. Unfortunately, I was already in the hole by 400 calories at the start of the day, and then I had a healthy brunch (PB and grapes pre-gym; 1 egg/3 whites, Thomas Light, apple post-gym, and then carrots and cocoa w/FF ReddiWhip for a snack) … but later did some chew-and-spit (I pin-pointed the anxiety to knowing how in the hole I was and fearing being genuinely hungry at the party).

So the chew-and-spit docked another 200 (I figure 10% of what I spit has to be counted … there has to be some calories, right?) As a result of poor planning all week/weekend, I went to the party with 0 in today’s bank, which meant anything I consumed would have to go towards Monday.

There were the usual snacks … and I didn’t eat anything except celery and Diet Coke (red alert!) for the first few hours, because I just didn’t want to be in the hole yet again.

But then by 8, I was starving … and despite our plan to leave at half-time, we were having a ton of fun with our friends, and so we stayed. I found myself eating things I rarely do, out of pure hunger: Tostitos, BBQ chips, Wheat Thins. Not RF anything; all the real deal. And then I picked the M&Ms out of six cookies (didn’t eat the cookies).

So that was about 300 calories worth of M&Ms, plus 400 calories of snacks. No protein, no healthy fat … just salt, carbs, sugar. Crap I didn’t need. Crap that makes my rings tight, my jeans feel snug … clearly, I won’t dare get on the scale for a couple days.

Yes, it was a party, and I had fun. But food-wise, I ate things that simply aren’t “worth it” to me … I’d much rather have spent 700 calories on a mocha and a delicious slice of cheesecake or carrot cake … not snacks I could find in my own pantry or at the grocery store.

And so now I am 700 calories in the hole for today (Monday). My goal is to eat lightly (but reasonably) to catch up. I don’t plan to do anything drastic — will just skip my cocoa/FF ReddiWhip and keep lunch carb-and-salt free.

I know what you’re probably thinking. “Oh my God, she’s obsessing about food. It’s just a party!” And ok, I am obsessing and it was just a party. The thing is, if I were just following Points, I wouldn’t be so concerned about these calories — it’s just be Flex points. But I know I can’t lose weight eating all of them. I just can’t.

And now my Mexico goal seems further and further away, thanks to self-sabatoge. I know my mistakes: wasting calories on foods I don’t even really want … and chewing-and-spitting for the past few days. It ruins my week; I will not do it today … I gave myself permission to do it last week because it was a stressful week, but I have no stress to speak of this week.

Especially because I’m going home to NJ this Thursday-Sunday to visit my family (first time home since April) and I cannot wait to see them and to be in my parents’ house for a little bit. I need the next three days to be clean, so I can go home feeling good, not berating myself.

And so I have shared my story of the weekend and am moving on. Not dwelling any more than this post, but the thing is, I don’t always have good days and to pretend I do is silly. I’m honest here, even if it’s to a fault.

Truth be told, I’m once again struggling with my weight and my body image, and it doesn’t help when I have an experience like this past weekend.

I want to feel good and healthy … and that means drinking lots of water today, getting in a moderate workout (not aiming for X calories), living up to my potential, being kind to my body, and fueling it well — treating it with dignity.

That means not chewing and spitting, which is truly my Achille’s heel. I let it go all week/weekend, but today … the buck stops here.

How about you? How can you be kind to your body today, especially if you had a tough weekend?

20 thoughts on “A Challenging Weekend

  1. I think you’re MAJORLY overestimating your calories that you’re ingesting!!! The M&Ms out of 6 cookies couldn’t have been 300 calories, since an entire package of M&Ms isn’t even 300 calories. As for the chew-and-spit calories, I would say that maybe count 1% instead of 10%. If you’re hungry, you’re obviously not eating enough.

  2. Hey Mara, I don’t think it’s over-estimating … each cookie was 150 cals (there was a label) and had about 8 M&Ms, the part I ate … 8 times 6 is 48, about how many M&Ms are in a package.

    And I think 10% is about right … it docks myself for the error of my ways. Mentally, it forces me to count it. But I am def. eating enough apparently most days, b/c I am gaining, not losing.

  3. It’s just one day, and you can bounce back. I’m sort of in the same boat as you. I was good all last week and even “mentally” journaled what I ate on Saturday. I was proud of my weekend food choices. But yesterday was a mess food-wise. I wouldn’t even know how to count the calories of the stuff I ate! The dip! The cookies! We all have days like these though, and I think we should be grateful that they’re few and far between.

    I’m trying to make up for my overeating by keeping my food in the lower end of my caloric needs, but if that doesn’t work, it’s time to just brush it off and move on. So much easier said than done though. Remind yourself of how far you’ve come, and how forgiving you’ve been of yourself in the past. Try not to be so hard on yourself about this little incident. You didn’t hurt anyone or let anyone down. I have confidence that you’ll be good the next few days and will come to Jersey feeling good about yourself.

  4. I feel like this post was written especially for me. I too “messed up” on saturday night and filled myself up with junk at a party on foods that totally not worth my time (store bought brownies, wheat things, m&ms..). I was actually enjoying the party so there was absolutely no reason for me to be stuffing my face with everything I deny myself usually.
    It definitely does put a damper on the following day but heading to the gym to sweat it out and then making better decisions makes me feel a little better.Its a challenge I’m constantly faced with and am working hard to change it! Taking a couple m&ms is great, handful after handful.. not so much

  5. Kristen, exactly — I’ll just try to break even today which would essentially be eating at the low end (but really the high end b/c yesterday is counted on today). It’s just messing with my brain. Thank you, you’re a sweetie!! 🙂

    Oh yes, a good workout always helps, Danielle!

    The problem is, I didn’t even overeat … if I had, I could even rationalize it. I didn’t have any calories left b/c of days and days before of being in the hole by 200, 300, etc. — which makes it harder the next day. I am still within my caloric ranges and it was just one high day two weeks ago that I’m still “making up for” … ugh. That day I did overeat. The rest have been playing catch-up.

    I hope to break even today … and just “be” — thanks for your support, ladies!

  6. I think you need to go easy on yourself! We all make mistakes, docking yourself today for yesterday doesn’t seem like a healthy mindset/habit to be in at all. It sounds like a vicous cycle!! You seem to be fighting so hard against your body, is it possible that your body is just happy with the weight that you are?

  7. Thanks Beadie, but I assure you, I’m not happy at this weight and my body isn’t either. I’m technically “overweight” at this weight. Trust me, I know I’m being hard on myself but this … has been tough for me.

  8. It seems like you’re punishing yourself for mistakes rather than trying to learn from them. Junk food happens. Mistakes happen. While your head may not be happy at this weight, (and you’ll probably adamantly disagree and probably get angry here) your body may really like being t here. It might be time to talk to a nutritionist to get a professional idea as to what your caloric range looks like, rather than SparkPeople’s.

  9. Hey Mara, I agree I am punishing myself … but my RMR was tested at 1620 so the Sparkpeople range is actually ok. The facts are there: I am not losing when I eat the max. Or follow WW at this point. But I do appreciate the concern — I know you mean well 🙂 And don’t worry, I don’t get angry. I am just frustrated. My body likes 150, 145. Not this extra fluff I am carrying. I know it sounds harsh towards myself, but I know I don’t look my best. I saw pics from summer 2005 and I was blown away with how lean and toned I looked. Granted, that was in the peak of losing … but still. I know my potential and I’m not doing what it takes to get there … I realize how deluded it all sounds — anyone looking at me might think I’m being ridiculous but it’s how I feel … 😦

  10. I know all about tough, fighting with eating disorders is hard. I struggle with binge eating and through therapy, I am learning that self care is the most important step in recovery. You aren’t taking care of yourself by punishing yourself for what you ate yesterday. I know how hard it is to move on and not beat yourself up, I do it too. But learning how to take care of myself and forgive myself has been crucial in my recovery.

  11. I agree Beadie — I’m not going to do a long workout or something like I might have done in the past. In fact, I might not even exercise today at all — I promise I’m not actually punishing myself the way I used to; even if it seems that way. I’m just going to eat more consciously today … it’s not even to make up for yesterday — it’s the fact that I’m still playing catch-up from two weeks ago.

  12. I take every day as a new day. So I overate a little the day before – eating less today might make the scales balance in calories, but it definitely sets up deprivation mindset. So I move on from what I ate, and take today as a fresh day, and eat mindfully, but not punishingly.

    And I have to say, with what you ate before Superbowl, I’m not surprised you were hungry (mental anxiety aside). It doesn’t sound too solid to me. I would have done something with a little more sticking power – oatmeal made with milk & banana, maybe.

  13. Hi Susan, I’d slept in until 9 (late for me!), and didn’t eat (except for grapes/PB pre-gym) until 2 (I usually do brunch at 11-12 on Sundays but was making Oreo balls and cleaning in the morning and then worked out … we left for the party at 5. So I was actually not hungry for a while … but yes, the anxiety was there. And at 8, I got hungry and there were no good options for me (I don’t like Swedish meat balls, chili).

    I agree, I could have eaten more wisely leading up to it. And honestly, I haven’t been restrictive mentally like this in ages. Part of me questions if I should have posted this post at all b/c it sounds like a crazy person … 😦

    Yup, I will eat mindfully, not punishingly.

  14. I think the docking calories from the next day is a really bad idea mentally and physically. Sometimes a high day is actually good for the body. Many people do very well on the “Wendy Plan” where you alternate points during the week. By going so low the day after a higher day you are never giving your body a chance to benefit from the higher day. And of course psychologically (which is the biggest part of all in the weight loss gain) going into a day knowing you have to eat so little just sets us up to fail. WEight loss really is a mind game. When you think “oh I can only eat this much boo” it can make you want to eat MORE. and really no difference whether you count calories or points. If you have a higher calorie day just think of those extra as “flex calories” or what not.

    There was a time when I knew exactly how many M&M’s were in a bag LOL but I am blanking on it now. Seems like there has to be more than 48?

  15. I know you’re all right … I won’t dock from tomorrow if I need more today … it’s just not worth it mentally. A clean slate.

    I don’t know, was guessing. They’re 4 cals an M&M … the bag is 240 cals. So 60 M&Ms … oh well. I probably had 60.

  16. Don’t feel bad that you’re overreacting. I think it is normal to feel this way when you are trying so hard to change your body.

    I don’t do WW, so I don’t understand 100%, but I just start each day, or EACH moment (when necessary) fresh. Every minute is a chance to start over. I try to stop when I can, rather than “wait for tomorrow.” If I can’t, then tomorrow IS a new day. It sounds like Flex wouldn’t work for me 😦

    Good luck this week!

  17. Some advices i can give because i felt like you often in the past: 🙂

    1. Never put the extra calories of the day to the next day. It’s horrible, it makes you feel like you can almost nothing and it makes you anxious.
    2. One more day of eating too much won’t make such a big difference. You have your life in front of you to lose the extra pounds, don’t try to lose them in a month. If you have 5 or 10 extra, it might take you a while, but you’ll be able to do it. I know it’s frustrating… :S
    3. Try exercising more and change your exercise. Instead of treadmill, do a spinning class or jog or anything else. Lift weight also, it gives you more muscles which boost your metabolism.
    4. Eat lighter. What i’m gonna say is probably not a good advice, but forget all the “healthy” facts. Just eat according to the calories for a while, even if you don’t have all your protein or vitamins. When i ate too much in the weekend, i usually go 2-3 days with only 1200 calories and 1 hour of cardio, and it sheds the pounds. But… im younger, so it might not give you the same results… I know its not healthy, but its fast, and the days after, i just go back to what i used to eat before, around 1500-1700 with exercise every day, and i go back to my normal weight.

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