Wednesday, May 22, 2013


I think one of the hardest posts to write is a post where you admit that you screwed up.  That despite your best intentions to NEVER screw up and have a flawless journey to goal weight, you screwed up - you did something to put the journey in danger.  I hate when I have to write a post like that.  But, today I do.  I have to write it, because it's the truth, plain and simple.  And I want this blog to be the truth about this monumental transformation I am undertaking in my life.

Last night, I screwed up.

Chris had gotten tickets to go to the  movies last night - originally we were going to see a preview of 'The Internship', but I wasn't feeling really high on seeing that movie, so instead we went to see 'Star Trek: Into the Darkness'.  Well, Star Trek was showing in the VIP lounge - which is a fancy, cushy movie theater replete with servers, a special menu, private bathrooms, couches, recliners, love get the picture.

I was having a really good food day and was right on track - so, I wasn't too worried about going out.

I guess I should have been.

When we got to the movie theater, we ordered popcorn and drinks.  The drinks, no problem - Powerade Zero - I don't mess around with carbonated, sugared drinks any more.  They are a trigger item for me, and I know that I just can't have them and stay on track.  Apparently I also need to add movie theater popcorn to the list of items that cause me to downfall.

We arrived at the movie theater a little early, but we asked to have our popcorn brought to us when the movie started to avoid issues with pre-movie snacking (yes, this movie theater had servers that brought your food and drinks to your seat - loved that!).  Chris and I chatted and got comfortable - we were enjoying the atmosphere, and we were both excited for the movie.  We were both feeling a little hungry and talked about ordering dinner to eat during the movie, but I wasn't impressed with the menu and so we decided against it.

I should have ordered dinner.

I hadn't eaten anything since lunch - hadn't had a mid afternoon snack - and the movie was starting right about the time I am usually getting dinner ready.   By the time they brought the popcorn to us, I was feeling ravenous - and that popcorn tasted so good - I was losing control.  Before I knew it we had finished the bucket, ordered a refill and finished that one too.


We didn't even make a good choice and order the popcorn with no butter.  We got "light butter" - whatever that means. Butter is butter and we shouldn't have added it period, but we did.  Yep, we weren't kidding around with the going off track thing.

I don't know if you have ever 'calorie priced' movie theater popcorn, but it isn't pretty.  Chris and I basically each consumed a large bucket of buttered popcorn.

1600 calories.

Oh my hell.  Not worth it.  Not even a little.

After the movie, despite feeling bloated and gross from the popcorn, Chris and I decided to go to dinner.  WHAT???  We decided to go to dinner even though both of us were stuffed from popcorn?  This, right here, is fat behavior talking - "Well, we ate popcorn - but that is really just a snack - forget the number of calories we just ate - we still need to eat dinner, right?  I mean, we need real food!!".  That is absolutely a behavior that I used to display, and often, and it certainly helped land me at 430 lbs.!

Have mercy.

So, regardless of the fact that we were stuffed and had no business eating anything else, we went out to dinner.  We ate at a Mexican food restaurant that wasn't very good and certainly wasn't worth the amount of calories we consumed there.  We ate the chips...we ate the food...we ate everything that came near our mouths! When we left, I left feeling so full it was disgusting - I felt physcially ill.

Eating until sick.  Another ugly fat behavior that was a common occurrence for me before January 2013.

By the time we got home I was so full and so sick, that I had to immediately lay down.  I was feeling so bad, and I regretted it all.  I had made bad choices.  I had allowed behaviors that were counter productive to my goal to rear their ugly heads - and I had given in to them.  I was so disappointed in myself.

After a little while I fell asleep.  I would like to tell you that the evening ended there and I was able to put it behind me and move on - but that just isn't true.  At 3:30 AM I woke up.  I was incredibly sick to my stomach and I knew that I was going to throw up.  I jumped out of bed and ran to the bathroom - and everything came up.  I had eaten so much crap that my body literally couldn't handle it and eventually just rejected it.

HORRIFIED barely covers how I feel when typing that last paragraph.

I guess this is the battle with addiction, right here.   You're on track, you're doing great - and then BAM, you give in and let the addiction claim power over you again.  Then comes the realization, again, that this is a lifelong battle and it is going to require daily vigilance - and honestly, that feels a little depressing.  You also realize that letting your guard down, justifying the bad behavior - even for just an hour or two is not just detrimental, it is down right destructive!

The circle of addiction is so hard to break because 1) you're addicted to something - in my case food  2) when you fail fighting your addiction it makes you feel terrible about yourself, and 3) when you feel terrible about yourself, you are inclined to run toward the addiction that for some reason makes you feel better - for just a moment - but when that moment is over, you are right back to feeling like a failure and then the cycle repeats.

I am worried.  These last few weeks I feel like I have allowed certain behaviors - specifically eating out WAY too much - to sneak back in to my daily routine.  Sure, I track what I eat in my food journal, but bottom line, eating out is a trigger for me and not amount of journaling or tracking is going to change that.  Also, as that behavior sneaks back in I swear my mind starts to process justifications for other behaviors that "aren't so bad".

And this is my pattern - this is when I fall off the wagon - this is when it all falls apart.

I don't want that to happen.  I feel TERRIFIED that it might, because I DO NOT want it to happen.  And maybe feeling scared and terrified that it might be starting to happen is the wake up call I need to be more vigilant.

When I finally got out of bed this morning and started getting ready for work, I committed that today was a new day.  I also forced myself to face the scale - to get immediate feedback about how this slip up was affecting my progress.

It wasn't pretty.

Nonetheless,  I couldn't go back and fix what happened yesterday, no matter how much I wanted to. I played with the idea of fasting today - I mean, if I didn't eat anything today then that would make up for the calories I ate yesterday - RIGHT (said with a very sarcastic tone).  I also played with the idea of seriously restricting my calories for the next few days - again, that was definitely going to take away the bad choices from yesterday - RIGHT (again, apply very sarcastic tone)!

Ultimately, I decided that neither of those things would truly help me get back on track.  Following the my plan, sticking to the eating schedule, tracking every bite, and recommitting myself to the journey - that would get me back on track.  And that is what I am doing today.

I am also trying to analyze just what is going on with me.  Trying to figure out why I am allowing some bad behaviors to creep back in.  I know conventional wisdom says that during weight loss there will be slip ups,  but I'll be honest, I disagree with conventional wisdom. I don't think it is OK - EVER.  We would NEVER say the same thing to a drug addict or an alcoholic, so why do we when food is the addiction??  For me, this is a fight against addiction and slipping up is not OK!  And figuring out what caused the slip up is IMPORTANT.  It's going to take some serious introspection, but I need to figure out why this happens and then get a strategy in place to deal with it.

Anyway, that is my story.  I screwed up - I've been screwing up.  Again at the crossroads - give in, or fight it and move forward.

I'm fighting and moving forward.  Going back just isn't an option.  Letting a screw up take four months of hard work down - well, not going to happen.

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  1. I appreciate you posting the real times on your blog. Weight loss isn't all roses and wonderful news. It's tough and can be ugly. I too have battled the movie theater popcorn demon and I will admit the popcorn has won...several times. One of my biggest accomplishments in my weight loss journey was going to the movies and eating grapes (that I smuggled in my purse) while my husband ate popcorn. It was tough but I walked out of that theater feeling proud. Thank you for keeping it real!

    1. Thanks Wendy. I came so close to not writing about it, but I felt like it was important to write it down.

      As much as I hate it, I am going to have to add movie popcorn to the trigger list. Grapes are a GREAT suggestion!!!

  2. Hi Connie! Well, at least you didn't make excuses to rationalize it. There are load of bloggers who have 101 excuses to stay fat. It's good to chew yourself out a little when you're bad with food so that you tighten the eating back up.

    I'm a broken record here but have you considered food journaling? I have an addictive chubby mind with chubby thoughts that tend toward being fat without my tools that stop that behavior. I keep my food journal in my purse, so I always can update it when I'm waiting for something during the day--so it really doesn't take any extra time. It is a true weight loss miracle for me. You should try it.

    :-) Marion

    1. You know what is tragic Marion, I do food journal every single day. I am religious about it. I actually food journal-ed the damn popcorn, saw how many calories I was at for the day and STILL kept going.

      I agree that food journaling is absolutely key - and normally it really keeps me in check and holds me accountable...but yesterday, I just ignored it - even though it was staring me right in the face!

      I absolutely need to tighten back up. Even though I can technically track the calories in restaurant food, the reality is that it isn't good for me, isn't helping me get healthier and I need to really cut it out as much as possible. I can technically track a snickers bar too, but I'm not running out and eating those!! I need to apply the same logic to restaurant food - it just isn't helping me, period.

  3. oh i love movie theater popcorn so much that IF im allowing myself to have it i get the kiddie pack, which isnt that much, no refills, ever.
    i have a giant list of things i cannot eat unless i want to binge. twizzlers are a big one for me (i think it is the sugar in it), and real soda gets me too. even healthy food will make me binge. it is a daily struggle.
    im sure you will be back on track right away.

    1. I love the idea of getting the kiddie pack - I may consider that, if I don't cut popcorn out all together.

      My list of trigger foods is definitely growing - soda, in any form - diet or regular - is on that list. I had to give it up completely and accept that I can never have it. Baked goods - they are death to me. I haven't cut them out completely, but I don't partake very often at all!

  4. What a tough lesson to learn. And I admire your honesty. Always remember how you felt right at the moment you were ill. It happened to me when I first started losing weight and was the reason I never went back there and could stay on track. It's a tough lesson but a very powerful one too! Now get back to becoming the healthiest Connie you can:)

  5. I love your honesty here. You are so strong and courageous to post this, and it helps me to see someone experiencing the same things I do when I screw up. I think you have handled this in a healthy way. You beat yourself up for a minute, admitted you screwed up to yourself, experienced that sick feeling of eating too much, and now you know what happens when you overindulge, and setting your mind to an attitude that is positive and getting past this. I've been following your journey, and I'm so proud of you, and know that you inspire me! Keep up the great work. Tomorrow is a new day to get it right!

  6. Way to be honest with yourself and put it all out there! I haven't been following you very long so I don't know if you've ever tried this -- you might want to check out a book called the Beck Diet Solution. It's not a diet, but a 6 wk program to retrain your thinking as far as weight loss goes. I've got about 150 to lose, but this has really started to turn my thinking around and not be so hard on myself and give up when I 'screw up'. It sounds like you've got a good basis going with journaling and your exercise, so this might be something to look into as another tool to help your brain get with the program :)

  7. You are handling this the right way. Stop and assess the situation and then move on with your plan. If you punish yourself for the screw up by starving yourself you most likely will end up repeating the cycle. Acknowledge the slip up, try to learn from it and move on. Nobody is perfect, realize that this might happen once in a while. The only way you lose the battle is by giving up.
    I read maintainers blogs to keep me motivated, I'm sure you probably do too. Lately I've been listening to the half size me podcast. The interviews are great, real people that have lost large amounts of weight. is a really good one too. She talks a lot about the mental/emotional side of losing the weight.
    You already know Katie from runsforcookies is a good one, she shares all the emotional stuff that goes along with weight loss. I don't think it matters what plan we choose to follow, if we don't deal with the mental/emotional part, it's very hard to lose and then maintain. I didn't realize that until I started losing this last time.
    Hugs to you, Connie! It's not easy, but you are doing it!

  8. Don't get mad, get even. The best thing about having a plan is if for any reason you move away from that plan, you can go right back to it. Movies are a horrible trigger for me. Luckily (?) I had a situation similar to yours in January after eating a ton of buttered popcorn and know I feel nauseated just looking at the stuff. Sometimes I think we just want it to be easy for a day/evening. Everything is so complicated when we're dieting. But that's the hard work we have to do with addition. And you got this.

  9. I loved this. I've been thinking about this myself and I still can't conquer myself. Why do we let ourselves slip when we know it is going to affect us? My pshycologist said it's instant gratification rather than gratification you are going to get in a long term. I have to agree to that. There is a saying that says "nothing tastes as good as skinny feels" but I always let myself get carried away by how good everything else tastes so I haven't seen what skinny feels in a loooong loooong time.

  10. I dont want to get all "analyzey" on you....but i think it's interesting that you went from all confident and happy and bouncing on a trampoline to a binge. i do this ALL the time. it may be just a "fluke" one time thing for you. but for me it's a "thing"....right when i start doing good and really "feeling it" i self sabotage. i have NO idea why!! i cant put my finger on exactly what's behind it but im pretty sure it's fear based. fear of not being able to "keep it up"?? fear of not knowing how to BE this "new" person that i am becoming. i get in my own way EVERY time. i so appreciate your honesty and bravery in putting it all out there. it's why i read every single post. it's why your blog is bookmarked and saved to my phone's home page. im not interested in reading about a 2 dimensional person floating through their weight loss. i want to hear the good the bad and the ugly. the truth of how great this journey can be and how scary and rough it can be!! i want to read about people who feel the same thing i do but keep going. push through. succeed!! even if it's one step forward two steps back sometimes. i used to blog and i know how time consuming it is and how much energy it can take. i am so grateful that you care about helping not only yourself but OTHER people (many who you have never met) and that's why you are willing to devote all the time and effort and energy into putting this all out into blog land. really. thank you. cant wait for your next post.