Thursday, September 18, 2008

Scare tactics

I ate McDonald's last night. Again.

After my high-and-mighty post about high fructose corn syrup yesterday, I now feel like a total hypocrite. What's wrong with me? Why do I keep doing this?

As I was losing weight, I forced myself to watch shows like Big Medicine, Inside Brookhaven Obesity Clinic, and I Eat 33,000 Calories a Day. These are the people I could have been. People don't believe me, but I firmly believe I could have reached 400, 500, or even 600+ pounds if I didn't make a change.

My addiction to food never went away when I lost weight. It was dormant most of the time, only making an appearance when I was in an unfamiliar food situation, like a party or a buffet. I never kept unhealthy food in the house, so it was difficult for the addiction to come out. But lately, I've been seeking it out. McDonald's here, pizza there. As you already know, I've regained a few pounds.

I now feel like another person named Morgan...Morgan Spurlock from Supersize Me. Addicted to fast food all over again, hating myself for it, and feeling powerless to stop it. I'm happy while I'm eating it, then depressed when it's over.

The fact that I'm in marathon training is the only thing saving me from ballooning to my old size. If these eating habits continue after the race is over, I'll regain it all, and them some. I could wind up like the people on those shows. That can't happen.

I quit smoking cigarettes, so why is kicking fast food so difficult?

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

I ate McDonald's on Tuesday night and I was starving all day yesterday from the minute I woke up! It was all I could do not to go back for breakfast. It's a trap, just like cigarettes. Good luck.

Anonymous said...
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Alison said...

Hi Morgan - I've been reading about your struggles for awhile and think I have some good advice to give, although feel free to ignore me. :) I know you gave up on the idea of intuitive eating, but I honestly think you should reconsider it because in my opinion, that's the only way to get over a binge eating problem. But you have to really follow the core principles of it, not just "eat what you want whenever you feel like it." That's not really the point. Intuitive eating is about trusting yourself enough that you permit yourself to make choices, and forgiving yourself when you don't make the "right" ones. Beating yourself up just gives you the urge to binge even more and putting yourself on "lockdown" sounds like you're in prison -- of course all you can think about is escaping!

I don't know if you've read any of Geneen Roth's books, but she talks about intuitive eating in a way that deals with the emotional side of it, rather than just the physical side. She helped me get over my binge eating issues many years ago and every time I feel like I'm going to a bad place again, I re-read her books.

Mrs. Darling said...

Its hard for sure. I tell myself that if I want a hamburger I can have one when I get home. Then when I arrive home I dont want to cook it so there goes the hamburger. Maybe if you're having a struggle like this you could start counting calories. You could then eat the fast food as long as the calories didnt go over what they should. They may keep you from gaining during this fast food phase.

Morgan said...

Yeah...um, I already do count calories. But thanks for the tip.

abby suzanne said...

Hey Morgan -
I too quit cigs and found it much easier than quitting junk food. We have to eat to live. We dont have to eat junk, but we do have to eat something. You do not have to have a cig to live, in fact, the opposite is pretty much true. Also, after you havent had a cigarette in a while they taste terrible. Going back to them is unpleasant. While you may have built up your healthy food taste buds, McDonalds still manages to taste yummy.
Since this seems to be a weakness for you why dont you try a scheduled Micky D's trip - say after your long run, once or twice a month. Look at their nutrition menu and pick out something reasonable. Like a grilled chicken sammy minus the mayo and a small fry.
Also, have you thought about what you are going to do after the marathon? Maybe pick up swimming and biking and plan for a triathlon next spring? It seems like working towards a goal is what works for you.

Morgan said...

abby-suzanne, thanks for your comment. I think the planned McD's trip is a good idea, but I probably should abstain totally for a while and get it all out of my system.

As for the next thing after the marathon, I was just thinking about that today. I may cut my running down to once a week, and supplement with boot camp and spinning classes. We shall see.

deanna said...

Why are you putting so much stock into this? You ate McDonalds, it's okay move on, and if you eat it again, so what move on! If you eat every day, every meal you may have a problem.You have accomplished so much - 30 big macs and 30 fries in a year will not put all your weight you lost back on your kick ass body! I get it I do, I struggle so much with that, and I feel exactly the same way - Europhia when eating it and like shit right after, why we do it may not be the issue the fact that we do not allow ourselves to indulge could be the reason why we keep going back - maybe say "mcdonalds only once a month -perhaps at the "time of them month" and maybe it won't be so forbidden. I may try that as well. I am writing this because I hate to see you beat yourself down over a few fries and a burger, you are so much better than that, and it's not worth the mental anguish! Just my thoughts...

Kelly said...

Hi Morgan,
I love McDonald's too! If I feel that I HAVE to have it, I order a kids meal. That way I get the taste and the yumminess but it is not too damaging. If you get hungry again right away you can supplement with a salad or something light. Just a thought...

Sarah said...

Hey Morgan,

I've so been there... you do so well, all is great and then bam, you fall off the wagon and everything falls to shit when it comes to eating well. I used to go through these kind of cycles way more often when I had first dropped the weight... as I move further and further from obesity it is getting easier. But it takes practice and commitment to picking yourself up and getting back on teh wagon the moment you fall off. I find it much easier to slip back into good habits if I can still see the wagon!

As time goes by he choices you make will become more automated and it becomes easier to drive past McDonalds. But that isn't to say that I (and you) shouldn't stop there. I actually blogged about it last week but I make different choices when I am there. Always order the smallest size possible. It's really the taste and not the quantity I have found is what I want. Often now a whole burger or thing of fries is kind of disgusting the way the fat coats your mouth. But then other times that is exactly what you want.

Don't give up. This is where too many people fail-- the regain starts and it is hard to stop. I know I could never go back to being super heavy, I hope you don't too. You know as well as I do that is no kind of life to live.

Morgan said...

Thanks for your support, folks. I'm not quitting. The goal is to abstain from fast food until I can get a grip, then maybe I'll partake occasionally.

Oh, and for the record, it wasn't just a few fries and a burger. I've been on a fast food bender for a few weeks now, which is why I've regained over 10 lbs. I'm not beating myself up over one freaking happy meal...

I'm not quitting.

deanna said...

I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE how freaking open and honest you are, and love that you share it with the world. You just rock - plain and simple. I LOL at: I'm not beating myself up over one freaking happy meal...

Although we can be our own worst critics ultimately we do know what is best for our lives and our limitations, boundaries etc...

Good luck in accomplishing this! I have good feelings..

I didn't realize how extent the episode was, sorry for insinuating

ashley said...

For what it's worth. I've been reading for a while but have never commented. Try to keep your chin up. Remember it doesn't matter how far you fall it's how high you bounce.

I'm doing the 1/2 in October instead of the full and every time I read about your training I get jealous of how far you have come and the distances you cover. Keep it up.

SeaShore said...

I quit smoking in '96. Much easier than losing weight or maintaining weight loss! One of the leaders at the WW I go to said he quit smoking, drinking, and lost 70 lbs in the last 20 years. He said maintaining the weight loss has been far more difficult than abstaining from cigarettes or alcohol. You can't go cold turkey on food!

More importantly look how sharing food is so important in any culture. Weddings, funerals, birthdays, holidays, religious observances, graduations, reunions, christenings, dating, whatever, it all involves lots of (calorie laden) food! We were ingrained with this since we were born. I don't know about you, but when I was a kid, fast food was considered a fabulous treat, sometimes a reward, sometimes a bribe. In some ways I still think of it that way. And the stuff is addictive, plain and simple.

kate said...

You're gonna have to white-knuckle it for awhile, but every time you get those cravings you'll know you're doing something good for your body (and spirit). You have to regain control. Even if you find yourself in the parking lot its not too late to turn right back around. You can do this, Morgan!

PerfectMomentProject said...

It is sooo hard. Hang in there. You know all the answers.. and the first is to stop beating up on yourself.
You deserve to be thin(nish), liked, loved, athletic, AND fulfilled. It's ok. It's ok to work really hard on it and it's ok to relapse some.
I think it may go back to a simple one day at a time.

Push the shitty stuff behind you and let it go.

All much easier said than done, I know... You may enjoy my partner's efforts to "get up off that couch" last weekend:

It wasn't pretty, but I was running

Hang in there.