A food addict's travels on the road to recovery.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Talking Myself Down

Yesterday I had to talk myself down from the edge of the Bingeing cliff.  Nearly every week that I go to my sister's house to babysit,  my eating goes badly.  I know some of you might be thinking I should just quit the babysitting, and oh trust me, if I could, I would.  However, there's backstory there that I can't talk about and the bottom line is that I'm stuck with it for a while longer.  Yesterday was absolutely horrible....not quite the binge I was considering, but bad enough.  I made myself count up all the calories when it was over, I arrived at 2400, sat down and had myself a good cry.

Let's see.  My sister asked me to meet her early at a gas station so she could get to the lab by 4pm and study for a test.  I obliged her, and we met up at 3:45p.  She quickly handed me a Chic-fil-A gift card with about $15 on it, an envelope of free coupons for Chic-fil-A items that came in some calendar she bought from them, and swift instructions to take her kids there for dinner when we parted ways and let them play at the indoor playground.  Then she was gone in a flash.  That's just how quick my healthy eating plans dissolve.  Yes, this is my problem....not my sister's.  Yes, I need a stronger resolve.  Yes, I should be able to face temptation head on and stare it down with no damage done to my eating plan. 

Grace was crying and clinging to her mom, saying she didn't want her to leave.  Brandy was bribing her by saying she'll bring her a gift home, etc etc.  Same thing every week.  Grace cried all the way to the restaurant and by the time we got there my nerves were already half shot.  I should have been able to sit in that Chic-fil-A for over an hour and watch them munch on their chicken nuggets and fries, slurping down their milkshakes, and not been affected at all.  I should have been able to resist the smell of the fast food that I've been working so hard to avoid by staying AWAY from those places, but I didn't.  I failed, and I did it in a big way.

We were sitting at a table right against the glass that enclosed the indoor play area.  Elijah was leaned up against the glass looking in when he dropped his milkshake.  It went everywhere.  There weren't enough napkins in the world to clean up that mess.  I sheepishly told one of the workers what happened and asked if I could use their mop.  She insisted on cleaning it up herself, while another worker brought him another milkshake!  (I was thinking, what the hell are you doing crazy lady???  The last thing he needs is something else to splatter all over the glass, table, floor, his clothes and shoes, etc.!!)  I just smiled and told her how kind she was to replace it at no charge.  When they were done making their food messes and stressing me out, they played for a while. 

We got there at 4pm and left at 5:15pm.  Elijah wears a diaper or pull-up still, and he had a bout of diarreah while he was in there.  You could smell it a mile away.  This is when I realize Brandy didn't send any diapers for our venture out to dinner and playtime.  Lovely.  We got in the car so I could rush him home and clean him up.  I know how acidic that can be and I didn't want him to suffer with diaper rash.  The smell was overwhelming.  I rolled down the windows but it didn't help.  15 min drive home.  I did some dry heaving but managed to keep from actually puking up my food (although that probably would have saved me a ton of calories).  I rushed him upstairs and onto the diaper table and pulled open the diaper.  He's a squirmy little thing and refuses to be still for a diaper change.  Threatening his life doesn't seem to help. 

This is when I realize there's no diaper wipes.  Anywhere.  Diarreah...a squirming child...and no wipes.  By this time my stress level is through the roof.  I had the diaper open and Elijah's legs up in there air, trying to keep from having poop get all over him AND me.  He kept wiggling around and hollering, "LET ME SEE THE POOP!"  "I WANT TO SEE THE POOP!". 


I tried to get Grace to bring me something to clean him up with while I held him in place but she was spinning around singing some song or something and totally ignoring the impending disaster.  I finally spotted a roll of paper towels and grabbed them, running back and forth from his butt to the sink to dampen the paper towels, without him jumping down and running off.  It was a poop fest to beat all. 

After I finally got him cleaned up and unleashed him, I went to the kitchen to find some plastic bags to wrap the diaper up in and put outside.  Guess what I saw sitting on the kitchen table?  A pan of homemade brownies.  Really?  Seriously?  God, do you hate me THAT much???  I ate 2 brownies.

Every time I get there the house is a wreck because the kids aren't made to pick up their toys....EVER.  They're just always there in the middle of the livingroom floor, strewn down the hallway, hanging out of their bedrooms, etc.  And every time, I set about picking them all up and tidying up the place.  I fixed the cover on the sofa and got it looking nice again, washed a few dishes that were in the sink, etc.  I'm a bit OCD and beings that I have no kids, I'm able to keep my house neat and tidy pretty easily.  It helps keep my stress level down and sitting in a tidy environment calms my nerves.

Well a few mins after I got the place picked up, Steven came home.   The kids had watched their Franklin video 2x and their Candyland video 2x.  But when Steven got home, Elijah started yelling for his trains.  He couldn't find them in the middle of the floor because I cleaned everything up and put them in toy boxes.  Well....good ol' Dad came along and dumped out 2 toy boxes in the middle of the livingroom floor.  Stress level back up.  I immediately went to the kitchen and got my dinner out of the frig that I had originally brought with me....ate every bite. 

A couple of hours later, around 9pm, Brandy came home from class.  The kids were playing in the livingroom floor, and Steven and I were attempting to watch the news.  We couldn't really hear it over the noise of the kids, but we could at least see the screen.  Elijah jumps up and asks his mom to watch Franklin.  I told him he'd already watched it 2x and Candyland 2x.  Brandy reaches over and pops Franklin in, muttering something like, "You don't care, do ya'?" but not really looking for an answer.  Then Brandy asked me to take the kids BACK to Chic-fil-A for lunch the next day.  I said ok,  got up, went back to the frig, and ate the ham sandwich that I had brought for my Tuesday lunch.  The tears were just below the surface, and they stayed there until everyone went to bed.  Then I let them flow freely.

This happens every week.  Maybe not as bad as this week, but for some reason, I haven't found another way to cope other than food when I go up there.  I didn't want to, but I MADE myself count up all the calories.  2400 of them.  The really bad part is, I was scared Tuesday was going to be the same....but worse.  Once I knew I was going to be faced with fast food again, I was very much throwing my hands up in my mind and saying "Eff it, I'll get the kids their Chic-fil-A and I'll go across the street to the Chinese restaurant and take care of that craving I've been fighting off for a month now!!"

I was really disappointed in myself for going so far over the 1800 cal limit that I set, and felt like Tuesday wasn't going to be any better.  Sort of like I was pre-doomed.  I cried a lot last night....and I prayed a lot last night.  I asked for strength and resolve to move past the bad eating day, and make Tuesday a much better one.  Inbetween the praying, I was having horrid binge thoughts filled with vats of Chinese food and buckets of fried chicken. 

I woke up feeling really shaky this morning, like the resolve was still waivering.  I really hate to piss my sister off, because it leads to all kinds of unsavory things when I do...hurtful stuff that I can't get into.  And I was scared if I didn't take the kids back to fast food hell, that she'd be mad.  But....I took the chance.  I had to do it for me.  I had to.  We stayed in the house today.  The kids asked for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and peanut butter crackers and that's what they got.  I had some cottage cheese for breakfast that I brought with me, but unfortunately had eaten my lunch the night before.  By the time Brandy got home at 2:30p, I was only at 330 cals for the day.  I was determined to not go over 1500, in an effort to reduce a little bit of damage from the high calorie day previous. 

Well I didn't quite hit 1500, but I came close.  I'm sitting at 1530 today and I had a good, hard workout at the gym tonight with the trainer.  Yesterday, before I went to Brandy's, I got myself in the gym for 40 mins of cardio.  So the exercise is still spot on this week, thank God.  I don't know how bad Saturday's cookout, and yesterday's stupidity is going to affect Friday's weigh-in.  I never know til I step on that scale. 

I thank God for helping me get through today without having 2 bad days in a row.  When I do something like that, it leads to a downward spiral and I would have given up until Friday and then started over, probably with a decent-sized gain.  It was really tough beating down the bingeing thoughts.  I spent most of the morning talking out loud to myself, praying, whatever I had to do stay indoors and keep control over the eating.  It's been a rough couple of days, but I'm hoping tomorrow will be better.  Staying on track can be a real struggle for some of us, but I know if I just stay the course as best I can, that it will all be worth it in the end.  'Nite friends.  :)

Quote For the Day:

"You don't drown by falling in the water.  You drown by staying there."  -Unknown


  1. It sounds like the situation you are trapped in is very difficult and I have to say I too would definitely have a very troubling time also. You are not alone. I was a nanny for 2 summers in a row, and though I did not bring the kids out for fast food, there was a lot of junk food in the house that I got into a lot of the time. It is so hard when you are bored or frustrated and I understand how it feels.

    I feel like the key to dealing with it is developing coping mechanisms, like is so difficult sometimes be it with food, drugs, emotions or any range of things and the key is finding what works for you, learning the best way to deal with it for yourself. For me, amidst the ever moving stressful world around me it helps to take a second, close my eyes, breathe, and find my own inner peace and strength be it for 1 minute or 20 minutes. Just a little meditation to bring some order to my mind so that I then can bring order to my life. I find I make the worst decisions by acting fast and not stopping for a second to think.

    I also want to recommend a book to you called "Skinny Chicks Don't Eat Salads" by Christine Avanti. It talks a lot biologically in laymans terms about nutrition and how your body uses fuel and why uncontrollable binges occur. When I eat according to her plan I truly do not crave 1/1,000,000,000th of the junk food that I do when I eat just according to weight watchers or just according to calorie limits. It tells you what to eat and when and if you are desperate enough I would give it a shot. I hope this helps and I also hope that you find your inner strength and call upon it in your times of need.


  2. Wow...I don't know anyone who could just smile that situation off. As dedicated as I've been, I might have found myself face down in the fry bin if I were in your shoes.

    Total victory to keep the second day in control and to keep your exercise goals.

  3. I'm so sorry you had a bad day yesterday :( But I'm REALLY proud of you for making different choices today, and not letting yesterdays stresses take you completely off track!


  4. What a story, Tammy! I am so proud of you for taking steps to make Tuesday better. I, too, am in the midst of learning to get rid back to business after I have made some poor decisions. I did that this weekend, but not sure I could have done so if I had been facing the extreme emotions that you were facing. Now THAT'S a challenge I'm not sure yet that I could beat. Not hoping to be tested soon, though.

  5. Tammy,

    I'm so sorry you had to deal with all that crap (figuratively and literally).

    I don't mean to pry, but it sounds like you are not being given the respect that you deserve. No one would expect an alcoholic who is in recovery to go sit at a bar with excitable children and not have a drink. That is what you are having to endure. To go sit at a fast food place, when you are trying to not overeat is unfair to you.

    I know family dynamics can be extremely difficult to deal with, but you deserve respect. You are WORTH that!! Hang in there....

  6. Staying on track is always hard for me too and I just got an email for a free cup of queso at moe's! Oh Joy!!!! Probably my Friday cheat, AFTER my weigh in. Its horrible, especially now that Im watching my friends kids all the time. They eat all the time, its insane. They can go through a weeks worth of groceries in 1 day. Luckily the parents are on weight watchers so there's a few things for me to eat around the house. But other than half a bagel or a yogurt or makin a sandwich, there is nothing!!! I tried bringing my lunch and then the kids want what I'm eating, and the middle child if you tell her no she goes into a screaming rampage so I share over half with her if she wants it to control her rages. Idk wtf I'm gonna do. May not have this gig much longer either so, who know... Ugh! I hope I didn't gain this week with stress from them and midterms. I feel helpless and hopeless!

  7. Hmmm...
    For fear of offending all I have to say is it's a bad combination and perhaps you'd be best to avoid all contact. It seems to me your sister may be trying to make things harder for you...
    Good luck!

  8. I don't know whether to laugh or cry! I'm a little like that when I'm around my mom. I can't seemt to control my eating...to the point of being quite ridiculous about it. It scares me a little to think I won't ever find a solution to that. Avoiding her seems harsh. I suppose it's something I'm going to have to work out.

    I think your decision to stay in instead of going to the fast food joint the second day was a good one. Good for you and good for the kids. Is there anyway you could ask your sister to keep some healthy foods in the house for when you're there? Just a thought...for those times your lunch gets eaten a little too early!

    After all of that, it does sound like you coped quite well...watching what you ate the second day and working out! Good for you!


  9. Oh honey, I feel for you. It always seems like when a bad day comes along......it goes all out! Im proud of you for being strong the 2nd day and since then. for getting back on track.

  10. Please! Give yourself a break, I have 2 small ones, and was laughing out loud at your apt description of the POOP Incident, BEEN THERE! GReat for you to recognize that you use cleaning as a de stressor as you do food, it s so hard sometimes, we are only human. AND 2400 calories is not that bad! NO gain.
    Please give yourself credit that it wasnt 5000! We all know at one point it WOULD have been, so see where you are! YEAH to YOU!!!

  11. I know it wasn't funny for you, but I couldn't stop laughing about "I WANT TO SEE THE POOP." I'm still laughing about it.

    On serious note, I think there's a lot to be said for you not haing 2 bad days in a row. I don't know how many times in the past an event like that has been the end of the weight loss thing for me. So congrats on pulling yourself back togtehr and just eating the 1530.

  12. The employee at Chick-Fil-A replaced the milkshake because most customers expect them to. They don't think that if someone spills a milkshake all over the place, making more work for the employees, that maybe they shouldn't get another one.

    Anyway, I'm sorry you're having such a rough time with the babysitting. That really does sound like such a hellish day, and I wish I could give you advice about how not to eat poorly, but honestly, I don't know what I'd do if my stress levels were that high. Maybe you just need to talk to your sister about teaching her kids to be better behaved and doing things like cleaning up their toys. I know nobody likes to be told how to parent, but some people need to be whether they like it or not.

  13. "Oh.

    Yeah... that about sums it up. Wow, Tammy! What a nightmare! You are such a trooper though and I am SO, SO immensely proud of you for having a great Tuesday! You did it!!! Just keep stringing those days together - and being the amazingly strong person that you are - and you will get there.

  14. WOW! I don't think I would have been able to handle that as well as you did. Glad you reined in the binge and didn't let it continue another day.

    Stay strong and don't let those kids (or your sister) push you around.

  15. Kids...you gotta love them. I can see Gracie doing that. Children are so oblivious to things happening around them. They are just in their own little world.

    Good for you that you came up with an alternative plan for Tuesday, eating fast food two days in a row can be disasterous. But we had a good work out last night and everything will be good in the end. Tomorrow will be a better day.

    We are going to do this!!!

  16. Omw. What a night.

    Maybe you should go out somewhere when Steven gets home? Library, walk, ........something. Wet wipe run...haha. Is it at all feasible to go home and come back in the am?? Guess not, or u would!

    I know your sis loves you, but it seems that their fam isn't supporting your WL/health efforts. ?

    Remind me how many more of these you committed to? I know Brandy's schedule is hectic right now and all, but the Franklin comment seemed a bit hurtful, ungrateful for ALL YOU ARE DOING for them. ? And sounds like E's needs come FIRST. (I assumed u meant he then took over the TV from the adults.) And WHEN is their bedtime??? Wow. I think I better stop now. Hugs to you, friend! Chrissy

  17. Hi Tammy. God, you are really going through it. I know I couldn't look after children like that and come out of it remotely sane. 2400 cals is a miracle actually. I'd have been at double that for sure!

    It can't be that far over maintenance surely? Not a disaster. And you did a brilliant job to get through the second day so well.

    So really, even though your nerves are in shreds, you've done pretty well. It wasn't a diet breaker, just a day you didn't lose weight.

    You're doing an amazing job Tammy. I admire you so much for your commitment and never say die attitude.

    I hope the rest of this week is much easier!

    Bearfriend xx

  18. way to pull outta the nose dive, real quick!!!!! HUGS, hope whatever has you obligated to the babysitting job changes at some point soon, STRESS makes me eat my emotions too!