How I stopped binge eating

Look in my pantry and on my kitchen counters and you’ll notice one thing — for a person trying to thin down I have a lot of junk food and candy.
There’s a lot of healthy food, too, but in every dieter’s self-help article one of the first golden rules to dieting is to divest your home of junk food.
That particular golden rule was making me fat.
After binge eating on a package of cookies, pie, potato chips — whatever and sometimes all at the same time — I would feel horrible. Not because of all the crap I’d just put in my body, but because I felt I had absolutely no self control. I’d beat myself up and think, “I could throw this all up.” But I chose punishment instead. “You ate it,” I would think to myself. “Now you’ve got to suffer the consequences, so no throwing up.”
My cabinets were bare of those temptations, but a grocery store was just down the street. If I brought home a package of Oreos, it would be gone in a day. If I brought home a bag of Seyfert’s BBQ potato chips, it would be gone in one episode of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” (This was the early 1990s.)
Finally, one day it dawned on me: Depriving myself of having junk food in the house was not working. What if I did the exact opposite?
What if I stopped forbidding myself? Isn’t the call of the forbidden more tempting than what’s good?
So that’s what I did. I bought those Oreos and barbecued chips. I stuck them in my pantry and I binged for many months.
Fortunately for me I was working out two hours a day, otherwise I would have gained 50 pounds.
And then one day, the binging stopped.
The cookies, the chips — they didn’t call to me from the cabinets. They stayed there for a couple of months untouched.
I believe my brain finally made the switch from “forbidden feast” to “so what.”
I haven’t had a problem with binge eating since. Do I ever overeat? Yes, but not a binge. Do I ever eat those chips? Yes, but a handful and I’m done.
I found I do have self control.
And thank God, because I don’t have two hours a day to workout anymore! I’m lucky to get in an hour!
So yes, I have a tub of Snickers bars in my pantry, along with a tub of Halloween and Christmas candy. There is a jar of M&Ms on my counter. There is a cookie canister filled with an assortment of mini-candy bars. And my freezer always has ice cream in it.
And 98 percent of the time, I don’t touch any of it or even think about it being there. The 2 percent of the time I do get a craving for it, I know it’s there. I eat a small portion of it and I’m satisfied.
People — especially dieters — walk into my home and shake their head in wonder. “How do you do it?” they ask. “If I had all of this in my house, I’d be fat!”
“You know me,” I tell my friends. “I’ve got to do everything backwards.”

Thanks for reading! If you’ve had any experiences with binge eating or want to share how you stopped binging, please feel free to write me.

“Work hard. Play hard.”

Surprise Tweet

A few days ago, after downloading Maroon 5’s latest album to my iPhone, I plugged in my buds and hit the elliptical machine in my basement for a 45-minute high-intensity workout. I followed my sweat-fest with a circuit of strength training from my David Gandy Fitness app.

At the end of the app, it asks if you want to Tweet or Facebook that you’d completed the workout.
I went the safe route and Tweeted — it’s not like my 240-some followers know me, unlike Facebook where I’ve known a good chunk of my “friends” since elementary school. If my “friends” knew how hard I’ve been working out and watching what I eat, I’d have to repeatedly answer the inevitable question — “So how much have you lost now?”
Suddenly, I would be held accountable by people who could actually see and judge me.
I mean, it’s one thing to Tweet to strangers about your husband grabbing a wedge of fat thinking it was a chesticle. It’s another to put it out there on Facebook, where your friends will remind you of it for the rest of your life.

So, a couple of minutes after Tweeting my awesomeness at completing the Gandy workout I get a message on Twitter from @DavidGandyAsst. A very nice social media assistant named Laura wanted to know how I liked the workout and if I had any concerns or comments.

I did have one suggestion: I thought a popup before each set would be nice. (There is such a variety of exercises I forget what some of them are and hitting the “i” at the top right of the screen just displays what the next exercise is.)

She liked the popup idea and told me I should direct message David Gandy through his Facebook site and tell him about my idea.

So I did.

I figured I’d get another social media person with a canned, “Thank you for your comment.”
Instead, I got a direct message back from David Gandy himself (of course the journalist in me is always skeptical). He explained I just had to touch the center of the timer to look at the current exercise, but that he was thinking of tweaking the timer anyways.
I am ever a polite girl and thanked him for the tip! Of course, he couldn’t see that I was blushing because I felt like an idiot for not figuring that one out myself.
Social media assistant Laura then followed up again a couple of days later. I would employ this lady in a second!

After the “Hey! That was really cool!” moment wore off, it was followed by an “Aw crap!” realization: I’ve got to succeed.
I may never hear from David Gandy or Laura again, but I feel accountable to them.
Why? Because they took the time to ask how I was doing. It’s pretty simple stuff, but I’ve downloaded well over 100 apps over the past couple of years and not once has an app producer ever contacted me until now. That bit of personal touch cemented my customer loyalty to whatever Mr. Gandy is involved in.
So, I will succeed. I just have a little extra incentive.

I’ll leave you with my mantra that I actually stole from (yes, I know it’s name-dropping) actor Peter Facinelli: “Work hard, play hard.” I interviewed the “Twilight” star this past summer and that expression really stuck with me.


Next week: Conquering binge eating.

The stuff sweat is made of

It’s been a couple of weeks since I restarted my workouts.
Here’s what I’ve learned:
1 — The biggest key to doing anything in life and being good at it is consistency.
2 — Never give up because life causes a detour (work schedules, illness and the like).
3 — Excuses are the first step to failure.
4 — And, Nike was dead on in its “Just Do It” campaign. It really is as simple as that.

I have amazing muscles forming underneath my fat thanks to my slight obsession with David Gandy. I downloaded his fitness app on my iPad and do muscle conditioning with him in the basement. Now I just need to get rid of the fat so I can admire my two-pack abs in the mirror!
The David Gandy Fitness app was definitely worth the download. Here’s the link for more information:
The only suggestion I would make to the site is that a pop-up box appear on the timer showing the exercise when it’s time to switch — that or I make flashcards. I have to do the exercises repeatedly in order to remember them. (Perhaps that was the creators’ plan?)

Zumba still rocks, but the occasional peep of sunshine through the gray clouds of northern Indiana is beckoning me outside.
I want to slog on the trail behind my house and breathe in the fresh air — just not the below-freezing air that makes my nosehairs freeze. I’m sticking to indoor workouts until it warms up another 20 degrees.
Today I am headed downstairs to fix my elliptical machine. I’ve been working out on it with the arms backwards. I’m bright that way.

Now to work out. No excuses. And Happy Valentine’s Day!