I promised to be honest in this blog, as if I was talking to my friends in person. Today it's hard to be honest, because yesterday I failed. It started out like any other day, I ate my oatmeal for breakfast, worked out, and stayed on plan for lunch and dinner, and accomplished a lot during the day, but then night fell, and I couldn't sleep. It was the worst bout of insomnia that I've had in a really long time.
Something you have to know about my insomnia is that even when I am so tired I'm to the point where I think that I couldn't possibly stay awake, I have to pass out soon, I just can't get to sleep. Once I'm asleep I'm normally good, but for me the act of getting to sleep is not that simple. I was awake till 4am, and I fell back into old habits the longer the night got. The worst habit I feel into was eating. For some reason when I can't sleep I eat, and the foods I eat are not good for me. After dinner on my meal plan I normally have about 200 calories, and 15-20 grams of fat that I can use for a late night snack/dessert. I made brownies a few nights ago, and one brownie fits into the left over fat and calories. I had one around 10pm which was fine, as the night went on though I had eaten half the pan...8 total brownies. Then to make matters worse, around 3am I figured I'd already blown it, so I ate chips and queso, about 6 servings according to the package. Am I ashamed of this, yes. Did I learn from this, absolutely. Am I going to beat myself up over the fact that the 1800 calories I should have had, turned into over 3000, no. I can't beat myself up over this set back, if I do I'm only going to be counterproductive. The fact is that today I'm going to get back on my plan, and move on. What's in the past, is in the past.
When I began studying psychology I learned about a lot of different things, one of my favorite classes was Behavior Modification where we learned about something called cognitive behavioral therapy and how to implement it. I've been using this technique on myself for over a month now with success. Another thing I learned about were mental disorders. In my adolescent development class we spent a week talking about eating disorders (in grad school a week on one topic is a big deal!). I bring this up because I learned something I hadn't learned about in any other class about eating disorders. When people think of an eating disorder they most likely think about anorexia, and/or bulimia. This is true, the two recognized eating disorders in the DSM (psychologists big book of all the mental disorders there are, our bible), but there are different forms of both disorders. I'm not going to go into all the different types, but I am going to talk about one, non-purging bulimia. Now when bulimia is brought up we think of someone who eats a lot of food, and then makes themselves sick in order to get rid of all the food they had just eaten. Non-purging bulimics do binge eat, but stop after that, hence the name non-purging. They don't stop because they feel guilty, or the need to purge, they stop because they feel sick, or have run out of money to buy food. They stop before they purge.
I bring this up for several reasons. First I think that it is important for all of us deciding to make this health journey to know about the dramatic far side of the spectrum. I think it keeps us in check. Just like seeing someone who is morbidly obese reminds us we don't want to be on that side of the spectrum, we don't want to take it too far the other way either. Second I mention this because the psychologist in me wants to raise awareness about the fact that there are many different types of disorders, we just choose to look at the ones that are the most publicized, it doesn't make either more or less important. Finally I bring this up because after hearing about non-purging bulimia I began to question myself. Although I know that I am not a non-purging bulimic, the knowledge made me aware of the fact that I am very close to having an eating disorder. Although not recognized by the medical community, I believe that the act of eating for reasons other than to sustain life, is an eating disorder. Last night made me realize that, I wasn't hungry, I was eating out of frustration of not being able to sleep, and then anger at myself for eating in the first place. Another realization of a sick cycle in my life that I need/want to change. So today is a new day, with new attitudes, and a new outlook. Today will be different than yesterday. =)