Old habits die hard

This past weekend was our 2nd work weekend at the lakehouse (our 1st one was recapped here).  While I only worked one day last time, this time I stayed from Friday to Sunday (read: worked twice as hard as before).  Everything is still sore.

On Friday, my uncle cut down three trees on the property, and we all helped haul them down to the bank limb by limb



First mistake – instead of drinking ALL my shakes that day like I should’ve and then supplementing as needed with proteins and veggies (not on the agenda this week, but I’d totally allow it after working hard), I only had my first morning shake and then subsisted on trail mix all day.  TRAIL. MIX.  With M&Ms.  Not the worst thing in the world, but it didn’t do me any favors.  And here’s the kicker - I planned well.  I set myself up for success.  I brought all my shakes along with me.  However, in the face of temptation, I go for the easiest, tastiest option – not the best.  Looking back, I should’ve set an alarm and stopped to take a shake break every 3 hours, no matter what.  That way, I would’ve had a slap-upside-the-head cue and might’ve been more likely to act.  [sigh]

That night, I made mistake #2 – getting the guys to pick up a 6 pack of Blue Moon for me at the store “because I’d earned it.”  Here I go again with my “I deserve a treat” thinking.  Waiting until this week to treat myself by getting a massage would’ve been a much healthier plan, but I had that “I need to unwind” feeling, and hard labor calls for beer.  So I had 2 on Friday night and might’ve participated in some Dreeting.  I purposefully DIDN’T bring beer for this reason.  I stopped at the store on the way to the house and totally could’ve gotten some, but I deliberately passed over the beer because I didn’t want to sabotage myself.  However, in the passion of the moment (i.e., after hurling logs for a few hours), I caved…as usual.

The next day, we were joined by several more family members and participated in a few projects.  My team took the giant pile of tree limbs and trunks, cut them to manageable size, and burned them at the water’s edge, then we shoveled off dirt that had washed around our boathouse and boat ramp. 



Lifting and carrying and throwing those limbs and shoveling all that dirt reeeeeally took a toll on me.  It wasn’t the most brilliant thing to go on an all-liquid diet when 2 of the 7 days on said diet would be filled with hard labor.  Confused

So on Saturday after a particularly hard bout of shovelling, I went inside to catch my breath only to beat the lunch crowd by about 5 minutes.  I snagged a breadless sandwich from the kitchen…


…and had a 2nd unpictured one about half this size a short while afterward.  I’m not counting these as mistakes, because I truly needed more calories from healthy sources.  This was lean lunchmeat, a piece of cheese and lettuce, and mustardMistake #3 was following it up with…


…one of these little cream-filled Little Debbie oatmeal cookie pie thingamagigs.  I used to go apeshit over these as a kid, and I learned this weekend that I haven’t grown out of it; I had a 2nd before the weekend was over.  Oh, and before I went back outside, I also had a brownie and slice of poundcake.  WTF, Katherine?!?!  Neither were particularly good, either – it so wasn’t worth it!  Yes, I was participating in some heavy physical activity and needed sustenance, but that doesn’t give me the excuse to reach for empty calories, simple carbs, and sugary sweets

I went back outside, got back to work, dog-sat a bit (or rather, he sat on me)…


…and grabbed my first beer of the night at around 6pm when the bonfire got good.


Over the next 5 hours, I had 3 more.

I get this way about quantity – when I lived alone, I’d make a HUGE batch of pasta + sauce + vegetables + cheese and eat it out of a ginormous bowl.  Now, lots of people say that’s the wrong thing to do because you have no visual cues about when to quit.  However, that’s the only time I’d get to practice listening to my stomach, and because I knew I couldn’t eat the whole thing, I’d stop when I was full.  If I served myself a certain amount, I’d most likely jump back up and get more, even if I wasn’t still hungry. 

This is the problem with the 6 pack – I wanted to finish it all.  If I had gotten a larger quantity, I probably would have stopped earlier because 1) there’s no way in hell I could drink all of them, and 2) I’d have lots of leftovers to take home.  For some reason, I thought “oh, I’d better finish it off.”  Why?  Because I couldn’t leave two in the fridge for next time I came up to the lakehouse?  It’s stupid to bring two home with me?  I’m the same way with chocolate – if it’s a HUGE quantity, I’m better about portioning it (ok, who am I kidding? I’m terrible at portioning it), but if I CAN finish it all in one sitting, I’ll probably succeed or get sick trying.

And because my inhibitions were lowered, I ate bread for dinner.  Just breadAngryThumbs-down

The next day was lower-key, labor-wise, but my aunt baked cookies.  Y’all know where this is going.  I had my breakfast shake, worked a bit outside, had some meat and cheese for lunch (instead of one of my lovely shakes packed in my cute little lunch bag), then followed it up with…4 cookies maybe? 

I’m trying not to beat myself up over this weekend, but it’s hard.  I put certain measures in place to help myself succeed, but I always stop short of making certain I DO succeed. 

I find loopholes. 
I make excuses. 
I fall into old patterns. 

I can pinpoint exactly what went wrong and the line of thinking that led to it.  Hell, I realize what’s going on AS IT’S HAPPENING, but it’s somewhat rare that I stop it in its tracks.  It’s been known to happen, but it doesn’t happen often.  This is probably leading to a post I’ve been mulling over for awhile on self-sabotage, so I’ll stop it there, lest I give away all my secrets early. 

Does anyone else have this issue with portioning and cues to quit?  What about rationalizing “I deserve this [treat/out-of-the-ordinary food] because…”?

**Editing to add that I bounced back today - I'm back on-point with my diet, and I haven't been a total Debbie Downer, despite what this post might suggest!


  1. Ooooohhh yes I do that! At the end of a great week (or just a day) of eating healthily, I have a "treat". Just a treat is fine ( a few pieces of chocolate, a small bowl of ice, 1 or 2 beers...etc). BUT, my treats normally end up being absolutely way overboard and out of control, portion wise.
    you're not alone girl, we've all been there.
    let's pick oursevles up and have an awesome week though! each day is a new one.

  2. All self-control I have fails in the face of an oatmeal cream pie. Don't beat yourself up ;)

  3. I have little self control when it comes to cheese, bacon, cereal, and chocolate. I've found having it in small quantities everyday makes me not binge on it.

  4. I had tough time portioning when I began dieting. I was stunned to see that my idea of portions was way bigger than the actual ones! I am still trying hard to portion control!

  5. I struggle with this EVERY SINGLE DAY. My problem is at night when I am tired, I love to just sit and munch. I really like healthy foods, but I just cant seem to get my portions in check. It is such a battle. Keep your head up!

  6. Oh, yes. My only saving grace is that I don't have this stuff around my apartment ever, so whenever I feel like I deserve some cookies, I have to MAKE them, and then 75% of the time it turns out I'm too lazy, so no cookies. Good thing, too because on the rare occasions I do make sweets, my husband and I can totally clear out a whole cake/batch of cookies in 2 days.

  7. Yeah Kat-I don't think I have one of those Satiety indicators that tell you when you are full. I look at an enormous amount of food, want to eat it and then do. Weird. In the past though I used to eat til I felt horrible and now I don't so I must be improving a little~

  8. Yes, all of the above, lol. Great job not beating yourself up though. That only perpetuates the cycle for me.

  9. It's so easy for me to go overboard with Booze as well. Not even to the point of "oh I'm drinking to get drunk" but the "OMG I just had four Sam Adams so that's like....600 calories?" It's really hard in social situations to reign it in. Don't beat yourself over it - you're still doing great :)

  10. I do it all the time. I actually did it just now. Perhaps that will never end. I guess the trick is to realize you are human, it will happen, and forgive yourself quickly when you do, so you don't continue to do it over and over again. Because, let's face it...that's not going to get you anywhere good.

    I must say though, you ARE successful. You are making changes. You see your mistakes for what they are...mistakes. Just realize that being successful doesn't mean you are perfect. (Need I email you a copy of my thesis, missy?!) You need to see that doing your best at every moment is all that you can do.

    And, in my personal, professional (well, maybe not so much...) opinion, you are doing fabulous. You are fabulous. Period. Love you!

  11. OH, i know i have struggled with these exact same emotions. but i think the reality of knowing they're there and doing something about changing it is one of the biggest steps to take!!!

  12. This is definitely a struggle I face constantly..."what's one bite"..."oh im already xxx lbs"...one thing that has helped me has been to reframe my thoughts about food and to tame the food police...for instance, you think as the little debbie's as "bad"...food isn't good or bad (like a person)...it can be healthy or it can be unhealthy...and you can eat unhealthy food if you want..as long as you balance it by eating healthy food all of the time and as long as the unhealthy food isn't going to make you sick...by taking food off that pedastal, I found that a lot of my trigger foods aren't even foods I like! They're just foods I came to idolize from restricting myself!

    Hope this helps...I loved the book Intuitive Eating and the The Rules of Normal Eating...they help me get back on track and knocks off a lot of that guilty. <3

  13. I have the opposite issue with portion control. When I lived alone before T and I were married, I'd make the huge batch of pasta salad and if I sat down with the whole thing it would only last me 2-3 meals. But if I portioned it out in individually-sized gladware containers, it would be like... dinner for the night, and 4-5 lunches for me to take to work throughout the week. Not even kidding. And it wasn't like I was hungry after eating my lunch (usually a portion like that, and a yogurt, and maybe a piece of fruit).

    Same thing with other stuff - T and I used to make a pound of bacon and then eat the whole thing (granted, we wouldn't get hungry for a LONG time after... haha) but now we put the raw bacon in the fridge and just make a couple slices to go with breakfast if we want some. No obligation to cook the whole pound, so no feeling like we have to eat the whole damned thing (because heaven forbid we put cooked bacon back in the fridge, right?).

    A lot of times if I don't put away our extra dinner food pretty soon after serving up our dishes, I might go back for seconds even if I'm not hungry (similar to what you said w/portions of the pasta stuff) so I put it in the fridge pretty quickly and that takes care of that issue. And if one of us is truly still hungry we can take it out of the fridge and reheat it. I don't know how many times I had more just because "there's only a little left" but the "little" that was left would've been a perfect lunch the next day. I'm guessing this technique saves money on groceries too. haha.

  14. It's hardest for me to stop eating at night. I love night time treats and I find that I look forward to them so much that when they're gone I'm sad! Ha. I just love dessert!

  15. "one of these little cream-filled Little Debbie oatmeal cookie pie thingamagigs. I used to go apeshit over these as a kid"

    HAHAHAHAHA ME TOO! My mom bought them constantly and even called the "creamey burgers" when we were super little.

    Ahhhh and then I wonder how I got fat. ;)

  16. @Amanda - Thanks! It's hard being your own police, especially when some small, messed-up part of you thinks "I earned a treat"

    @Abby - gaaaah I forgot how good they are!!!

    @Jessica - CEREAL is a huuuuuge trigger for me. It doesn't even have to be sugary kids' cereal...I'll go overboard with honey nut cheerios or Kashi! I do need to practice moderation skillz, like putting serving sizes in baggies and making a tally on the box about when I eat it, etc.

    @CJ - I do that, too! It makes such a huge difference when you serve yourself with an actual measuring instrument. It's eye-opening and a little disheartening. :(

    @Jennifer - aside from this weekend problem, my "munchy time" is like 3-4 in the afternoon; it's been a couple of hours since lunch, it'll be a couple of hours until dinner, I'm usually bored and could stand a nap, so traditionally I waddle over to the cupboard. This is where planning would come in handy, I think

    @Spyhop - I so agree with you; if they're not there, you can't eat them. And the baking thing - sometimes I just want to, excuse me, BAKE SOME FUCKING COOKIES. I'm sure the people mom works with simultaneously love and hate me, because I've been known to bake cookies, pull out a couple for myself, then send the rest to work with mom. And it helps being lazy and talking yourself out of it in the first place. ;)

    @Candace - I HATE that! Back in grad school when I was soooo unhealthy, mentally and physically, I'd pick up a dozen cookies on the way home from work and sit down and eat them all, even if it gave me a stomachache. Why did I do that?? I've got some theories, but it's seriously effed up.

    @Kat - I'm getting better about letting stuff go and not beating myself up, but a small part of me always will. Bleh.

    @Layla - I love you. That's all. Let's have little lesbian babies together.

    @Seth - Thanks! I think the trick is to not have too many days like that and to not be soooo hard on yourself when you do. It's a learning process, definitely!

    @TryingtoHeal - It's frustrating to know that these patterns of thinking are so deeply ingrained that it'll take a looong time to fix, but you're right - the mere fact that I can identify them means I'm doing something right...I hope. :D

    @Megan - you're right about the "good" vs "bad" foods; I try not to categorize foods like that, but when I crave them and give in and feel guilty afterward, it's hard not to think of them that way (I'm not defending it AT ALL). Also, this diet, while I do understand it's in the short term, and it's working for me now, is kinda helping to contribute to my all-or-nothing thinking("on plan" vs "off), which isn't awesome. I've got a lot of work ahead of me. :(

    @Emily - You're so right about portioning out leftovers; right now when I make dinner, I'll serve our plates and immediately put the leftovers in the fridge so it's inconvenient to get more. I definitely LOVE the idea of pre-portioning stuff!

    @Andrea - I'm with you. I'll always be a dessert gal. I need *something* as a nightcap, even if it's a lame little pudding cup.

    @Ashley - HAHA!! Little Debbie is such a bitch. I love aaaallll those nasty little cakes, so it's a good thing I have one maybe every other year. The more I eat things like that, the more I crave them, so it's best for me to stay the hell away!


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