Not Setbacks, Just Missteps

Hey everyone! Hope your weekend is going well! My Friday and Saturday were both good & bad. I ended up having some food problems, but it’s OK. I knew it had to happen at some point, but I keep telling myself they were missteps, not setbacks. What’s the difference? A setback would mean that my journey had been halted and pushed back by a binge. But that’s not true! It was a misstep, which means that I temporarily took a wrong turn and ended up off my positive path, but now I’ve found my way back and I’m ready to move forward again. One or two days is not the end of me. The big picture is much more important and the big picture is that I had almost three full weeks of practically problem-free eating which is great!

So here’s a recap of the two days.

FRIDAY

Friday was a very good day for 90% of the day. I woke up early (before 8am) and had a light breakfast:

Nature's Path Heritage Flakes, 1/2 banana, raw trail mix, unsweetened enriched soy milk

Nature's Path Heritage Flakes, 1/2 banana, raw trail mix, unsweetened enriched soy milk

I went to the hospital to get my TB shot checked, then I went to the gym and did some strength training followed by a one-hour Zumba class. I got home at 12:30 and made lunch.

DSCI0003

Salad greens, carrots, yellow bell pepper, red onion, blackened tempeh, walnuts, blueberries, and lite honey mustard dressing

I wish that I had a better dressing, I really only like honey mustard dressing in sandwiches and wraps, but I didn’t have anything else that would work at all with the blueberries.

Close Up

Close Up

After lunch I headed over to the local beach for a little sun time. While I was there I struck up conversation with this guy on the beach. He ended up asking me for my number! That made me feel pretty good about myself 😉 Nice little ego-booster! I got home from the beach and stuck around my house hanging out with the family until work. Some hilarious moments happened involving inside jokes with the family. It’s a little too hard to explain, but I had was having so much fun on Friday.

Friday's Dinner: Kashi pilaf, Coconut-Cumin marinated tempeh (store-bought), broccoli, black beans, carrots, peppers, onions

Friday's Dinner: Kashi pilaf, Coconut-Cumin marinated tempeh (store-bought), broccoli, black beans, carrots, peppers, onions

Work was when things started to go downhill. I snacked on way too much candy from the ice cream counter. Once I got started I had a hard time stopping and it seemed like every time I wasn’t making a sundae I was sneaking some candy. Sugar doesn’t respond well to my body, it usually sets of binge triggers and I don’t do well with the sugar crash.

When I got home I had my usual peanut butter/half banana/dry cereal combo with frozen grapes. I had some extra cereal and some additional spoonfuls of peanut butter which I didn’t really need to eat because I was certainly not hungry anymore. I think I was eating to calm my nerves before bed.

Why did I need to calm my nerves? Because I knew that I was not going to sleep. So far this summer I have only been to the beach a few times, but every time ended badly. I got pink faster than usual, I felt like I had a sunburn even when I didn’t (that intense hot feeling), and worst of all my feet would feel uncontrollably itchy, like I had a million bug bites.

Friday night I could feel my feet itching  through my shoes at work,that was my first sign that it was going to be a rough night. I went to bed before midnight but could NOT sleep. My feet were driving me nuts. So bad that I ended up getting up at 2am because I couldn’t just lie there and scratch my feet any longer. I got up and watched tv and ate. I didn’t have a full on binge but I snacked for a while. I went back to bed at 3:45am and fell asleep around 4am. (I have since realized that one of my herbal medications causes skin sensitivity to the sun and I am going off it until fall.)

SATURDAY

I woke up at 7:30am. OUCH. Yes, 3 and a half hours of sleep. Why get up so early? Because I was meeting up with friends from college at a girl’s house 40 minutes away and going to Six Flags for the day. I ate breakfast, lunch, and dinner away from home, which was the first problem. I hate being placed in a situation where other’s need to cook for “the vegan”. It makes me feel so uncomfortable. For breakfast I had fruit salad, some potatoes w/ ketchup,and a (non vegan) chocolate-banana-peanut butter muffin. No protein, no lasting power 😦 I hate not feeling fueled and this was a horrible breakfast for a day spent on my feet.

We got to the park just after it opened and hit up all the best rides right away. I love roller coasters! They’re SO much fun, and you get a rush from them that’s unlike anything else. By 2pm we had gotten on every great coaster once and took a break for lunch. We were supposed to all pack our lunches and go out to the parking lot for a ‘picnic’, but only me and my really good friend Brendan did that. We were kinda bummed about it, but we enjoyed our little lunch date together in the parking lot while everyone else ate inside. I packed a tempeh/hummus/tomato sandwich on a 100 calorie whole wheat bun, red pepper, a pickle, and an apple. This would have been a perfectly fine meal, IF we weren’t spending all day in the heat at the park. I was definitely not adequately nourished at all. Plus, very very dehydrated!

Everything costs so much at the park, so I didn’t buy any food (plus there wasn’t anything I would want to eat) and I didn’t buy any drinks. Besides the water bottle I drank at lunch I only had sips of other people’s drinks in the park. By 3pm my 3.5 hours of sleep caught up with me and I was dead. We finally left the park at 6pm (3 hours longer than I wish!) and ended up not getting back on any coasters a second time! Bummer.

We got back to the house and sat around, drank a few water bottles, and played a game. For dinner we had a BBQ. I had a vegan veggie burger on a white bun with ketchup and (too many) potato chips plus some pasta salad. I think that, since I really ate nothing on Saturday (aside from the tempeh) that was as filling or nutrient dense as I’m used to that I fell into binge mode.

I was supposed to sleep over, but I went home at 8:40pm because I was way to exhausted to want to sleep anywhere but my bed, and my dad was not doing well earlier in the day. I wanted to be home and make sure everything was OK. My dad was no better when I got home, he was even weaker. My parents went to bed and I went to the kitchen. I binged. It was a combination of dehydration/lack of nutrients and feeling nervous about my dad. But on the positive side, it was not my worst binge, many of my college binges were worse than the one last night, and I’m at the point now in my recovery that I can really understand why the binges happen. That’s one of the most important improvements I can make, because the better I understand them, the better I can deal with them.

CONCLUSION

These past two days were more difficult than any in the past three weeks of blogging. But I learned from the experiences. Here’s my quick little wrap up of how things went, starting with the bad and ending with the good… because I’m all about leaving things on a high note and being as positive as possible!

Bad

  • I had a mini sugar binge at work.
  • I ate because I couldn’t sleep, not because I was hungry.
  • I let myself go too long without food/water and without protein and nutrient rich foods.
  • I ate to calm my nerves.

Good

  • I had the confidence to strike up conversation with a cute guy, which ended in the exchange of phone numbers.
  • I shared some hysterical laughs with my family and I love nothing more than a good laugh.
  • I got to see some good friends.
  • I realized that one of my herbal anti-depressants was causing the sun problems and I decided that after three horrible nights of sleep that I would take a break from that pill until September.
  • I binged, but I learned from the binge and will hopefully be able to avoid those same situations again.
  • I didn’t hate myself for the binge and the morning after I woke up and decided to have a healthy breakfast instead of trying to hold off eating for as long as possible. Instead of restricting, I treated my body with kindness.
  • I’m focusing on the positive, forgiving myself, and not letting the binge derail me. It does NOT erase all the hard work I did and it does NOT stop me from continuing to do well and move forward, it was just a blip on the radar.

So now I’m moving forward and moving on. See you soon!

-Emma K.

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7 Comments

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7 responses to “Not Setbacks, Just Missteps

  1. I think it sounds like you had a fantastic and enlightening weekend and I for one am so proud that you took positive lessons from the bad parts and learned from them – you go girl! xxxx

  2. *Andrea*

    love your outlook. i have similar struggles as you. each day is a new one! 😉

  3. Sara

    great post! I love your healthy attitude. I binge whenever I’m overtired too. Whenever I don’t get enough sleep I make sure to take care of myself and ask for support.

  4. Jacky

    Great job Emma! It was a very good post. Keep up the positive attitude, its okay to have some misteps but definitely don’t beat yourself up because of it. Take care. =D
    -Jack

  5. I am so proud of you! It’s always better the next day when you’re able to put things in perspective, reflect on them and see how far you’ve come! I’ve been there, and struggle with the mini binges once in awhile (used to be almost daily) but I also know life is short- enjoy it. You’re not going to be 98yrs old and wishing you hadn’t eating cake in your 20’s. Youll be looking back with regret and wondering what were you thinking!!! Hope the rest of your week is FANTASTIC!!!!

  6. jentrinque

    Emma, I challenge you to change your point of view even further – the things that you did were not “bad”, they were your way of coping. We wouldn’t have addictions if they didn’t serve us in some way. The amazing thing is that you’re looking at your issues and learning from them, and someday won’t need to binge to ease your anxiety. Do you do anything calming for yourself, like journaling or meditating? I bet if you added something else calming into your life it would help even more.

    You are doing a FANTASTIC job! NOTHING you did was BAD. NOTHING. Keep your head up, as you are already!

  7. Gwennypoo

    Howdy , guess who

    Don’t forget, maybe its not always a binge at that given moment. If your body is saying “OH MY GOD I NEED FOOD PLEASE!” and you end up piling the food in (like the six flags day), maybe its out of necessity for nutrients and calories, not necessarily part of your issue. I know that seems like maybe a write off but it makes sense, ya know? You’re doing good, and if once in a while you and up packing large amounts of the days calories into fewer, larger portions, it may only be because you couldn’t get the food in that you would normally eat at the normal times. All that means is that life happens, not that you lost control.

    I just know that that happens with me a lot. With school and my notorious lack or organization, I tend to eat maybe a banana for breakfast and some other lame excuse for food, then I go 10 hours with nothing. So then I get home and its like a free-for-all; a huge plate of spaghetti and french fries and broccoli and ice cream and whatever else i can find. I think the difference between your situation and my situation is that I look at it as “eh, whatever, shit happens” and you look at it as part of a larger problem. I’m glad to see you taking the “eh whatever” approach once in a while. It has done me well, lol

    Keep your chin up,

    -Gwenny

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