Friday, August 24, 2012

Creating a Safety Net

I think all of us, at one point or another, have gone off the deep end.
I was describing this to my hubby last night. Falling into a binge is like falling off a cliff. It takes NO time. It takes NO effort. All you need to do is let go, for just a second, and you are falling. When you finally smash at the bottom, you then have to claw your way back up to where you were. This, of course, takes much longer than the decent. It will likely take longer than when you did it the first time, as well.
 It's a horrible place to be. Not just physically, but most of the time, bingers feel overwhelming shame, guilt and even hatred for themselves.
 I know all about this.
 So, I was thinking. I plan for everything. I mean, I am a true planner. Having a plan in place feels... safe. The one thing, I realized, that I DON'T have a plan for, is a binge. Or rather, a plan to STOP a binge when I am right on the edge. When I realize I have white-knuckled it for a little too long, and letting go is looking like a real possibility. Not only looking like a possibility, but looking GOOD.
 It is at THIS point, that I NEED a plan.
 A safety net, if you will.
 I'm still sorta in the middle of hashing this out. Maybe you guys can give some feedback. I need to come up with some kind of intervention to implement when I am really right on the verge. "Cookie-in-hand" kind of verge. Now remember, this is a total mental game here, so I have to play the game to my advantage. The urge to binge or eat something that can LEAD to a binge usually comes fast and furious, but it also will subside in time. Here are some of my ideas:

-Tell myself that I can have "the cookie(s)" (Obviously, whatever food is on the radar) after I have do at least 20 (30? 40?) minutes of exercise. If, after that 20 minutes I still want to eat the junk, I eat it. (Usually after a good workout, the last thing I want to do is eat junk that will undo all my hard work… this is, of course, the mental game.)
-Jump on Facebook and look at all of the posts from Tuff Girl Fitness. Christa is always posting inspirational and motivational quote, pics and comments. Members post their triumphs. It's awesome. Reading them always makes me feel uplifted and stronger.
-Make a list that I can have access to in a pinch (keep it in the purse, or something) that can list some of the following: WHY I am doing this, BEFORE pic of myself, list of goals I have set and their DEADLINES...
 This is what I have come up with so far. I want to really make a solid plan that I will feel comfortable falling on if needed, not something flimsy that would be easy to dismiss in the thick of my screwy mental status.
 It's really disappointing to be coming off of a significant (for me) binge. I've undone work I had done the week prior. I'm still recovering physically, and mentally I am bashing myself big-time. Trying to just move on. It's incredible how easy it is for weight to come back on, and how f*cking hard it is to take off. Seems so unfair. But, we can't dwell on "unfair". It doesn't get us to our goals.
So, what do you think? Other ideas on creating the safety net? I've heard the standard "Drink a big glass of water", "Call a friend"... these are flimsy. Water is not going to help, and I dont have any friends who could possibly understand what it's like to be going through something like that... Lay it on me!


  1. Kelliann, I firmly believe the best safety net for binge prevention is not to have binge-likely foods accessible. If there's a cookie in your hand, that means there were cookies in your house. And why were there cookies in your house? If you give me the "my husband loves cookies" or "the kids ask for them," you know I will find you and kill you. There are certain foods that have not been in my home for years and never will be again because one bite = whole box GONE...and it doesn't have to be necessarily triggered by a bad mood or hormones or a crisis. If I am having company tomorrow and I buy ice cream for them today...I will be back at the store tomorrow for more ice cream because I will have made 20 trips to the freezer with a spoon for a couple of bites out of the carton and within two hours the whole thing will be GONE. So it never comes in in the first place. I assume you're binge-ing or worried about binge-ing at home as opposed to at work or when you're out; binge eating is usually a home thing. So go right now and get all the binge-likely foods and destroy them. And don't buy any more of them. If your husband "needs" chips/pastry/cakes/peanut butter/whatever he can keep a stash at work or in his car. Your kids do not need gummy bears, cookies, candy, ice cream, snack packs or anything of the sort. If it's not there you can't eat it. If you have the secretly-eating-in-the-car problem that I also used to have, a post it note on your dashboard telling yourself NO might be helpful.

    1. The foods are not in the house to begin with, when I get into binge mode, I go get them at that time, or hubby goes. I never, ever make the crap food part of our weekly shopping trip, for that exact reason. I don't feed it to my kids, especially since I am terrified they are going to end up like me. My hubby won't buy it unless I ask him. Truth be told, I am manipulative and I coherse my hubby into going out and getting the food at these times. It's horrible and it's incredibly embarrasing. I get hyper-hyper focused on the binge food, and hell to whoever gets in the way. It's bad. But, that's the reason I need my OWN, structured process that I MAKE myself go through to take my focus back.
      I really like the post-it note in the car idea, for the times I am IN the car already and I am tempted to stop for something...
      Thanks for replying...

    2. Recruit hubby and order him to SAY NO to you when you ask him to go get food. No matter how much you demand/beg, he needs to 1) refuse to go, 2) take the car keys from you like he would from a drunk friend and talk you off the ledge. Leaving the house specifically to purchase binge foods is a bad, bad thing, little sister...make him help you!

    3. I will. Thank you for your support. It means so much to me.

  2. I don't really have an answer for you (helpful, aren't I?). I just wanted to add my encouragement to Norma's - you can do this!

  3. You came up with a lot of good ideas yourself - so when you're on the verge, any one of them will work! Plus what Norma said. It's simple.....implement, esp that point about WHY you're doing this, list of goals and a photo of your old self in your wallet.....