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Some days you feel like a nut, some days you don’t

While there are some days when I want to drive to Marsh and stuff an entire stuffed-crust pizza in my mouth, there are also days when I come home wishing I wanted to binge but have to admit I’m just not feeling it. Last night was one of those nights. I was tired from work. I went out of my way to get diet cat food at PetSmart, and then got stuck in traffic for 20 minutes because a Thunderbird stalled in the left lane of traffic. My head still hurts a little all the time. I had no energy.

In the car and on the couch, my thoughts kept coming back to, “What can I eat to make myself feel better?” I think I just do that out of habit though. There wasn’t anything I was craving. I didn’t feel like chocolate donuts. I nixed Snickerdoodles. I thought about eating a lot of baked apple oatmeal, but eh, it didn’t sound right. When I listened to my body, I realized I didn’t even feel hungry, I was just thinking about dinner because I usually eat at around 6:30. So I at a reasonable dinner and went into my bedroom and watched a movie instead and continued to feel run down as I watched Logan’s Run. (There’s not as much running in that movie as you’d think.)

As I watched the movie, I did start to crack a little. I still wasn’t feeling the madness I did when I binged last month, but I kept thinking about eating something out of habit since that’s usually how I make myself feel better. I tried telling myself it was just low serotonin levels or wacky brain chemicals making me feel this way and oatmeal wasn’t going to fix that. That didn’t really work. But I had my cat curled on my stomach and I didn’t want to disturb him. I also kept coming back to the numbers on the scale lately and how I’d like for them to keep going down and not up. So I stayed in bed and I didn’t pig out. Getting out of visual range of the kitchen and trapping myself under a small furry animal while watching 70’s science fiction seemed to work. After about 90 minutes the urge to eat passed and I was fine again. It was bizarre. Usually I lose those battles and just go run the next day. (And that’s why I haven’t lost the last 20 pounds.) It was cool to actually work through the crazy and win. Now that I’ve done it once, I might have the confidence that I can do it again.

Chocolate & Vicodin: My Quest for Relief from the Headache that Wouldn't Go Away
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33 Comments

Ayesha97 • March 12, 2008 at 9:22 am

Aren’t kitties wonderful?

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psychsarah • March 12, 2008 at 9:23 am

Props to you for defeating the crazy!! I think I will try the “cat technique”. I never want to disturb my purring kitty, so it may well work!!

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BrightAngel • March 12, 2008 at 9:27 am

Great job.

Great insight.

I’ve experienced that Truth.

But I’ve found Truth to be to be a slippery rascal, and I’ve had to re-learn it again and again here in maintenance.

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deanna • March 12, 2008 at 9:32 am

great job. one point for the weight loss team! love it when i hear that someone conquered the crazy and won. the urges to binge happens to me a lot as I am in the early stages of losing weight…sometimes i win and sometimes i lose, what i am looking forward to is for these episodes to be few and far between. and from you, like always i draw motivation to win!

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Journeygirl • March 12, 2008 at 9:35 am

Hey Pasta Queen!

I have felt this way many times. I want to eat something unhealthy but nothing I can think of will do. I’ve even wandered about the grocery store looking for something that will do it for me, but leave empty handed. At the time it’s annoying because all you want to do is satisfy yourself. Once you wait a few minutes the urge really does pass. It’s in these moments you realize how different you have become.

I love your blog. You’ve even inspired me to start my own weight loss blog. Keep up the good work!

Journeygirl

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G.G. • March 12, 2008 at 10:03 am

Good for you!

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Robin • March 12, 2008 at 10:15 am

I’m glad I found you, I hope you can be an inspiration to me…I need it.

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JEMi @ MyFavoriteDietBlog • March 12, 2008 at 10:36 am

I too find that bizarre – I caught myself actually wanting to want to eat loads of crap. I was willing myself to crave for things I didn’t even want. You’re right – it’s habit. I guess food has been my “fix” for so long, I don’t know what to want anymore lol..you know – for the short term.

Oh my

I think its cool too – still weird – but cool

darn those mind games!

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~liz • March 12, 2008 at 10:37 am

Wow 90 minutes is a long time for self reflection and self control. Great job.

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MB • March 12, 2008 at 10:38 am

This is what is must take to get those last 20 pounds to go away.

I can’t wait for the day I can work through the crazy. The crazy is all I have right now :(

I hope your headaches go away with the longer days and spring in the air.

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Joni • March 12, 2008 at 11:08 am

Wow! I guess I need to get a cat, because that habitual eating really nails me sometimes!!

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Red • March 12, 2008 at 11:23 am

Logan’s run may be the worst/best movie I’ve ever seen. I don’t know if the Nazis won in this alternate future or what, but there sure were a lot of blond, blue-eyed people.

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Laura • March 12, 2008 at 11:26 am

That’s awesome. First of all, I think it’s great that you share the fact that you still have these emotional food cravings and soothe yourself with food. One would think a super hero like you wouldn’t have that problem any more–just proves you’re human. =)

Second, you are a champ for beating the cravings. Big step toward life long success. I love how you used your cat as an assistant.

I read over on Jonathan’s blog at Jack-SpratDOTnet a post about a week ago where he talked about how he deals with emotional cravings. He thinks about how much food it will take to make him feel better. When he realizes it’s massive quantities, he doesn’t eat anything and just feels the emotions and deals with it, just like you did. He does treat himself, though, when enough will be enough. I tried that trick last week–how much ice cream would it take to make me feel better? When the answer was GALLONS, I didn’t buy the pint I so badly craved because I knew it wouldn’t be enough.

Hope your head gets better. Dang girl, that is tough stuff to keep dealing with.

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Kyle • March 12, 2008 at 11:55 am

I need a cat. Or maybe I’ll just ask my husband to lay on me whenever I’m about to eat.

Sucks that the headache is still draining the life out of you. Hope you start feeling better soon!

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jesse • March 12, 2008 at 12:00 pm

I think it is fascinating that you were able to stay with those feelings and explore them — I don’t think I’ve ever been able to snap out of the automatic thoughts. I’m not a classic binge eater (um, I’m not Roman and I don’t own a vomitorium?), but I do a lot of automatic-eating that is a million miles away from my stomach.

(Hi, new reader! Spent a lot of yesterday reading your archives.)

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anonymous boxer • March 12, 2008 at 1:09 pm

Impressive. You described a situation that was probably going on in many places all over the country/world last night; fatigue and hunger.

And appreciated by me because I have to hide in my basement to keep from attacking the kitchen.

I’m sorry you’re still having those headaches

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Rah • March 12, 2008 at 2:16 pm

Really interesting. At a support group one night, one of the members referred to “the call of the binge” and we all understood exactly what she meant. That was scary. I often drive around in my car after work thinking about a binge, but if I can reason through it I realize that I am “only” actually honestly hungry, then it’s okay. Sometimes I promise myself I’ll get the _____ afterwards if I am still hungry. But so far I never have. The problem is getting through the reasoning part instead of acting too soon on the call of the binge.

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MamaMaven • March 12, 2008 at 4:01 pm

Congratulations on beating the crazies! I know for me its been a real battle just to realize they actually ARE crazies! Love the cat technique!

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DDWT • March 12, 2008 at 5:11 pm

I’ve said it before & will say it again. You totally rock, woman!

I spent the weekend in the land of stress and bagels. Not fun. Not looking forward to the WW weigh in tomorrow . . . but at least I’m keeping on.

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Karen Baum • March 12, 2008 at 7:39 pm

That’s cool. I’m impressed.

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AG • March 12, 2008 at 10:45 pm

Good for you! My shrink used to tell me to stop before I eat and “HALT” – was I Hungry? Angry? Lonely? or Tired? While I hated hearing her voice in my head and having to then put down the chips, it usually worked and then I’d journal about it.

AG

http://www.100daysinbed.blogspot.com

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jae • March 13, 2008 at 2:31 am

“Ahhh, I hate outside!!!! I hate outside!!”

That is exactly how I feel about being outside. I just about fell off the couch when that lizard ran up her skirt and she freaked. Eric just rolled his eyes, because he knew she was my twin!

Good for you for waiting out your urge to eat instead of just giving into the habit. It’s so awesome to see that you’ve come such a long way. :) ~j

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Cindy • March 13, 2008 at 6:29 am

BRAVO, PQ!

Working through the crazy is a milestone, for sure. For me, there is something insidious and evil about those feelings. It is a dark moment when those clouds come on…”Crazy” almost makes it sound cute and cuddly, when for me it is frightening and threatening beyond belief. In those moments, my entire previous existence threatens my current situation ~ like it was all a tease and I haven’t changed a bit. It is overwhelming, at times. Thanks for posting this and “normalizing” these feelings a bit for me. Maybe the terror will not be so devastating next time and I can get past the darkness faster. Control is all I’ve got, so when I lose it, I panic…

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The Phoenix's Egg • March 13, 2008 at 11:04 am

Isn’t it interesting to realize that some of the not-so-good things we do are really just habit? It makes it harder in some ways, because habits get so ingrained and are so seldom thought about, but it also it sort of cheering, because with enough time and effort (and attention), they can also be changed.

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Happy • March 13, 2008 at 12:14 pm

Our cats have no idea they’re such good weight loss tools.

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Marla • March 13, 2008 at 4:03 pm

Dear God, Logan’s run. Was Farrah Fawcett in that, or am I thinking of something else?

Congrats on the overcoming.

PQ – Yep, but she was credited as Farrah Fawcett-Morgan.

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K • March 13, 2008 at 8:23 pm

It is astonishing how well a little furry animal can pin you down. Even our guinea pigs work, and they only weigh a couple of pounds each.

Krupke probably has no idea how helpful he was, either…

I hope your head continues to improve. The constant ache sounds really dispiriting, even if it’s not as bad as it was.

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Cynthia • March 14, 2008 at 4:26 am

Good fight on that battle!

I get those kinds of nights where I just want to eat… and it’s really hard not to eat something. I lose a fair number of these battles.

The good thing is that there is nothing truly unhealthy in the house these days, but there are items, like raw almonds that normally I control well, but suddenly will want to eat in an out-of-control way.

The cat technique is a good one… I will never disturb a purring kitty in my lap to go to the fridge.

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Geosomin • March 16, 2008 at 3:16 pm

Cool. It was odd reading this – it was like reading my diary…and I just had to say, I am proud of you. I’ve never met you, but I am nonetheless.

I know you can’t win them all, but it starts with one and can only go up from there. I struggle with the same thing, and it never goes away, but once you know you don’t have to…well, it’s not so crazy.

I find the cat in my lap technique to work very well too. That and the “drink a whole pot of decaf tea” therapy. :)

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Dana • March 17, 2008 at 9:43 am

This may amuse you. It has enchanted me.

http://www.robinwood.com/Catalog/Books/BookPages/CGBBook.html

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Dana • March 17, 2008 at 9:47 am

Crap. I just realized I was pointing you at the book version, not at the original essay. This one quotes the essay.

http://www.robinwood.com/Catalog/Prints/PrintPages/CatGravPoster.html

PQ – Heh, that was funny. Thanks.

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Ellie • March 18, 2008 at 4:24 pm

I’ve just found your blog recently and to hear you describe this has so inspired me.

The fact that you were able to realize that you were feeling not truly hungry even though the binging urge had descended and still refrain from giving in is really impressive.

Sometimes I know it’s not going to satisfy and yet I can’t seem to stop myself even though I know it’s stress, or fatigue, or whatever that’s driving me rather than true hunger. Hearing your thought process here, especially on this topic, is incredibly helpful.

Thanks!

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Wani • March 24, 2008 at 10:43 pm

I totally understand this post. I’ve struggled with a love-hate relationship with food most of my life. Just when I feel like I’ve got a handle of things my life gets stressful and I stumble back into old habits. Congrats on triumphing over the urge this time! Keep up the good work!

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Comments are now closed on all PastaQueen entries. The blog is an archive only so I don't have to deal with spammers. For fresh discussions please visit my new blog at JennetteFulda.com.

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Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JenFul now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

Disclaimer: I am not responsible for keyboards ruined by coffee spit-takes or forehead wrinkles caused by deep thought.

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