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I made it from Thursday 7th to 23:28 Thursday 14th without a binge. So so close to being able to check off that first item in my sidebar. Goddamn it.

Travelling for work is my biggest downfall it appears. I was at a conference Thursday through Saturday and probably consumed enough calories to get into 5 figures. Why is there always cake at these things? Such glorious, chocolatey, moist cake? Enter Bruce Bogtrotter mode.

Not only was cake my weakness this weekend, but oh hello wine 👋 Ya girl is a lush. I dread to think how many liquid calories I consumed on Friday night.a lush. I dread to think how many liquid calories I consumed on Friday night.

So Sunday - the clock restarted. It's 5pm Monday and we're going strong.

Victoria x

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I actually kind of love vegetables. Vegetables are easy as fuck. Vegetables can be bought fresh or frozen. Vegetables can be steamed, boiled, fried, sauted, grilled or roasted. Literally so versatile. They can take 5 minutes to steam or stir fry. 20 minutes left alone in the oven to roast.

I should eat vegetables all the time. Why don't I?

When I'm hungry and thinking of dinner, the taste of vegetables does not spring to my mind. It's the pasta or the pizza or burgers my brain tells me to get.

Take Monday for example, I had some pre-prepped roasted vegetables, squash and potato all cooked up and ready to eat. It was cold and sitting in the fridge. It was a long day. 400 miles travelled, 5 hours driven myself. Lunch had been taken from my control and too many lattes and gingerbread had been consumed. So when I got home, did I want me delicious roasted vegetables that just needed warming up?

No. Of course I didn't. I went to Asda with my boyfriend and I bought a box of Quorn fishless fingers and a loaf of bread and ate all 10 in sarnies.

There's no comfort in vegetables. Vegetables aren't a "treat" to my brain. Vegetables aren't something I reward myself with after getting through a tough day.

But why do I do this with food? Why wasn't a quiet night, curled up with my boyfriend watching trashy telly enough of a reward? Why does food have to be the treat?

How do I unlink these things?

Victoria x

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I love an egg and some avocado. Throw in a couple of toasted English muffins and you've got yourself a supreme 550kcal lunch. I like to top with some pepper and nooch, of course.

I have been vegetarian for a solid 5 years now. I attempted it multiple times as a teen, but it wasn't until my early twenties that I committed. The choice was made for ethical reasons, for the animals. At the time, that was enough.

Around two years ago I began looking into veganism. I gave it go a once or twice in 2015, to no avail. I did not have the willpower. I took the plunge once more in November 2016 and it just... worked? I did not crave anything, I did not want to cheat or stray. I began reading and researching more. I started planning trips to vegan fairs and festivals. I watched every documentary I could get my hand on.

Then in June I began my new job. In the first week of my new job I had to eat out 5 times, where I had no control over location or menu. I caved each time - I decided to temporarily go back to vegetarian during these work meals. But I found that every time I "cheated" on my veganism for one meal, I would end up cheating for the whole day. I would say, "screw it, I'm going to cram in all the non-vegans foods I can today".

This lead to some pretty epic binges. One day I can recall starting my day with a couple of Nakd bars, a houmous & falafel wrap for lunch - all well and good. Dinner we went to an Indian restaurant and I ate everything. Drank all the wine. Once back to my hotel room, I drunkenly ordered pizza. But not just pizza though, of course not. Got to cram in all the dirty treats! I got a large pizza, garlic bread, cookies & wedges.

This cycle of restricting my options, cheating & binging continued 2-3 times a week for over a month. The guilt, the bloat & the weight gain was out of control.

I made the decision to go back to being vegetarian for the time being. Knowing I can have a occasional chocolate bar once or twice a week means I don't force them down my throat like they're going out of style when I can. Bulking out meals with eggs helps me feel fuller for longer. Opening up my options lessens the anxiety when I have to eat out or grab something on the go.

Do I still believe in veganism? Of course I do. Am I a hypocrite? Totally. Do I feel guilt? Definitely.

I want to slowly transition back to veganism, as I get my relationship with food back on track. But I'm having to be selfish for the time being. I'm putting my mental health first, which is a privilege that animals don't have - I'm aware.

Until next time.

Victoria x


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As you can see above, here is a picture of me laying on my sofa grabbing my belly next to an empty pack of ginger nut biscuits.

I managed 5 days without bingeing. 5 bloody days. I consumed 1600ish calories in my "normal" food, and then another 1500kcal from those biscuits. I haven't gone to the gym today or been for a run. I'm sat at 7,409 steps for today and 1,614 calories burnt. I know I shouldn't look at these numbers, I know I shouldn't judge myself by them or let myself be ruled by them. I know I shouldn't feel guilty but I do.

I have put on 14lbs (a whole stone) since my birthday on the 11th May. That's 14lbs in 14 weeks. It took me a year to lose that stone in the first place. If I continue at this pace, I'll have undone all my hard work within 18 months. I cannot.

Ugh. Back to Day 1.

At least I can put all these extra carbs to good use tomorrow at the gym.

Until next time.

Victoria x

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Shoes

Reward 1: Don't binge for 30 days

Reward 2: Go to the gym 3 x a week for all of September

Reward 3: Make it to Halloween without binging

Reward 4: Get through Christmas without losing control

♥ ♥ ♥

i. Vans Sk8-Hi Black And White Trainers £60.00

ii. Adidas Originals Tubular Shadow Trainer In White/Pink £80.00

iii. Reebok Training Guresu Trainers In Grey £60.00

iv. Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Core Black Ox Trainers £50.00


Clothes

Reward 1: Run 10km without stopping

Reward 2: Deadlift 50kg for 1RM

Reward 3: Bench 30kg for 1RM

Reward 4: Squat 50kg for 1RM

♥ ♥ ♥

i. Carhartt W' Anchorage Parka £195.00

ii. Victoria Secret Pink Cotton High-Waisted Legging £32.68

iii. Lululemon Align Pant II £88.00

iv. Wrestling Is Forever Raglan £30.00



Run 5km without stopping

Eyebrow threading
@ Beauty Essence

45 days without binging

Lashes & nails
@ Perfectly Polished

Stick to budget for 4 weeks

Haircut
@ Allertons

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Binge:
indulge in an activity, especially eating, to excess.

Many of us have probably binged at some point in our lives. Whether this is a birthday meal with friends, Christmas dinner with family or enjoying some gorgeous food on holiday with your other half.

Binge Eating Disorder is taking those binges and losing all control. The NHS defines it as "an illness where people overeat on a regular basis ". However, I think that over simplifies it. Many people overeat on a regular basis - we're living in an obesity crisis. Most of the population overeats every day. BED is more than that. BED is the impulse to consume as much food as you can in one sitting, or in several sittings throughout the day. BED is that little voice in your head that says "Go on, you might as well. You've had one piece of chocolate - might as well have the whole bar. Whilst you're at it, you might as well eat all the food you've been dreaming of lately." And so you do. You go out, you buy every item you want and you sit and eat it all at once. Then you feel ashamed because you know you shouldn't have - heck you probably didn't even want to but you couldn't stop yourself. That impulse, that voice in your brain was too strong for you to ignore. You gave in.

How do you know if you have BED?
 

According to the NHS, the signs of BED are a follows:

  • eating much faster than normal during a binge
  • eating until you feel uncomfortably full
  • eating a large amount of food when you're not hungry
  • eating alone or secretly because you're embarrassed about the amount of food you're consuming
  • having feelings of guilt, shame or disgust after binge eating

I can safely say I can check off all those items.

When I first gained weight, I would eat in my car and it became my safe place. I would go to a shop, buy my ritual foods and eat them all in my car in one sitting before throwing away the evidence so no one knew what I had done. This continued when I moved out, but I also treated my bedroom as a safe place now. I would smuggle foods upstairs so no one saw. I would feast in bed on the same "treats" every day - eating in excess of 2,500 calories in one sitting. Of course, back then I had no idea how calories worked and how weight gain occurred so I didn't understand the true consequences of my actions for another couple of years.

Two months ago the cycle started again. I would eat until I was literally in pain. I would go out for dinner then once I was alone I would order Dominoes as well. I would hide all the evidence of what I'd eaten from everyone. I began to experience the same feelings of guilt and shame I did two years ago.

Why did I do it then? And why now?

In my two of years of retrospection, I've always put the answer down to boredom and loneliness. Food made me happy - I like the taste of chocolate and cookies and bread and mayonnaise and nuts and crisps and doughnuts and cake. I enjoy these things, so why wouldn't I indulge in them if I could? When there's not much else going on in your life, food becomes something you look forward to. It took me a very long time to break that habit in 2015 and I appear to have slipped back into it.

I think the combination of two things have led me to where I am right now.

On June 10th I moved out of my mother's home and into my own place, 200 miles away. I started a new job, working from home. I spend the majority of my time sat inside my house alone. Suddenly, a little treat of cheesecake becomes the highlight of my day. A walk to the shop to buy my ritual foods becomes my only reason to go outside. I'm all alone so no one can see or judge me if I chose to indulge. I used to be able to go without food until lunch - I've never felt hungry for breakfast my whole life. Now I average out at around 600kals before 2pm. Why? Because it's there and I can and I want it.

I reached my goal weight on 30th April. I have been counting calories for almost two years exactly. For two years I had read labels, weighed foods, researched menus and denied myself certain things because they didn't fit into my calorie count. I still believe in calorie counting - I really do. It is the most reliable and straightforward way to lose weight. But after two years of it, something has snapped in me - I want to rebel. I want to have all these things I've denied myself for so long. I ate cheesecake for the first time in 18 months last week. Since then I've eaten 2 whole cheesecakes. I had cookies for the first time in two years in June. I have bought a pack of cookies every day this week and eaten them alone. I banned nuts from my diet because I can't control myself around them. I've proven myself correct as I binged on two bags of chocolate-covered peanuts on the 3-hour drive down here Thursday.

So what now?

1. Acknowledge the problem: The creation of this blog is part of that. I acknowledge that I have an issue with BED and need to work on it. I can no longer ignore it and hope it'll magically go away. I have to put effort into a recovery.

2. Take steps to arm yourself: Research, research, research. Arm yourself with resources that can inform your journey. This way if you experience a new sensation, you may already have the answer. Plus, knowing you're not alone is pretty magical. I have bought over Brain Over Binge and intend on reading it over this weekend. I have watched YouTube video after YouTube video of people discussing their own experience with BED and how they've helped themselves. The more I learn, the more I'll discover I don't know. This is a never-ending journey.

3. Give yourself the best opportunity to succeed: "Failure to prepare is preparing to fail". I will not be putting myself in any situation where bingeing might happen. I will not allow myself any trips to the shop alone. I will not put myself in a situation where I can justify a binge in the rational part of my brain.

4. Non-food rewards: I spend far too much money on food. If I didn't go to the shop every day and spend £xx on food, I would save a vast amount of money. All the things I've wanted to buy and the things I've wanted to do - I could probably afford them if it weren't for food. I also need to stop thinking of food as a reward or a highlight, so replacing it with something else is essential.

5. One day at a time: That's all I can do. I will not get ahead of myself or beat myself up for not getting over it and reaching my goal weight again by a certain time frame. I will not make myself stress about fitting into a certain item of clothing by Halloween or Christmas.


Until next time.

Victoria x

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Today is Friday 18th August 2017. I am back at my Mum's house, sat in my pyjamas, doing a little bit of work and waiting to leave for a doctors appointment. Today also happens to be a new beginning (I'm aware of how cliche that is). It is 10:45am and I have yet to eat - because I am not hungry yet.

The Journey So Far

On 16th May 2015, I decided to do something about my weight. I weighed in at 192.8lbs (87.5kg) and hated everything about myself. This wasn't even my highest - I had tried losing weight the year previously and had managed a few pounds, but the only time I weighed myself I was coming in at an eye watering 198.2lbs (so your girl was definitely over 200lbs at one point). I researched and read and experimented and within no time I was dropping the pounds and loving every second of it. I managed to stick to 1,200kcals a day consistently for over a year. Of course, I had the odd cheat day here and there but by my birthday the following year (5 days shy of the one-year milestone) I weighed in at 125.8lbs. 67lbs down and only 14lbs to go until my goal. It took another year to lose that last stone, but I didn't stress about it. I enjoyed my life, took my time, didn't restrict too harshly and everything was great.

I reached my goal weight of 111lbs on the 30th April 2017. I managed to maintain it (+/- a lb or 2) for 3 weeks. Since then I have steadily put the weight back on and I've undone the last years worth of work. My levels of self-loathing are at an all time high. My control has vanished. My discipline is nowhere to be seen. I have returned to the binges that got me to 192.8lbs in the first place.

Where Our Story Starts

I refuse to let myself become that again. I will not. I will not allow my life to be consumed by thoughts of consumption. I will not revolve around my next binge, what foods will I eat and how much I hate myself for it. I am drawing a line in the sand and today marks day one.

I have downloaded Brain Over Binge after hearing so many, many positive things about it. I will be reading that over the weekend and hoping for something to resonate within me as I do.

I have opened this blog purely to document, keep myself accountable, write down some thoughts. I have no clue how often updates will happen or what they will look like, but they will come.

Until next time.

Victoria x

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