How an Ex-Binge Eater Survives the Holidays

Hey I’m an reformed binge-eater!  Did you know that?  Now you do.  Want to know how I don’t binge during the holidays?  Well let me tell you a secret, I totally do binge.  Thanksgiving was last week.  The day before Thanksgiving I weighed the lowest I have since I rowed for UT.  Part of me was like “well, might as well not eat Thanksgiving dinner or I’ll ruin it”.  But the other part of me was like “NO, this is life and Thanksgiving only comes once a year and I’m going to enjoy it”.  So there’s that.  I went to my grandmother’s house for Thanksgiving with my cousins and handsome fella.  Not only did I eat a plate full of turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, hashbrown casserole, creamed corn, and rolls, but I went back for seconds (and a little bit of thirds).  Oh and I had fudge, cupcakes, and cheesecake for dessert.  Did I feel heavy and stuffed afterwards?  You bet your bottom dollar I did.  Did I feel guilty afterwards?  Nope, not a lick.    And you know what?  I lived.

my cousins are finally taller than me.

my cousins are finally taller than me.

I left feeling oversatisfied.  Technically dinner was a binge because I basically ate way past satisfaction and I ate in an uncontrollable manner.  But there was no guilt there because I really felt Thanksgiving Day was a day to indulge.  I saw lots of people on Instagram posting “healthy” concoctions of their meals and I’m not knocking that at all since staying on track takes a lot of willpower but I just went big and didn’t even care.

Although I didn’t feel bad on Thanksgiving Day for what I ate (or even the day after), I still chose to eat poorly in the days following including a Friday outing to a Mexican restaurant and a Saturday night date starting with REAL hot cocoa at a friend’s house followed by dinner at the Cheesecake Factory.   123cheesecake

homemade cocoa in an oversized cup?  yes, please.

homemade cocoa in an oversized cup? yes, please.

But today is a new day and my Momma and I were up this morning hitting the gym for a class called Pure Muscle.   Hopefully I did work my muscles because my arms are still hurting.  I ran another timed mile like I have done for the past 2 Mondays and today’s was in 9:07 which makes it 20 seconds faster than the first one I did two weeks ago.  I’m loving that Monday mile.  Tonight I’m heading back to the gym for spin class with the Biggest Winner team.  I love watching them step out of their comfort zones and I love helping my Momma.

Pure Muscle class.

Pure Muscle class.

So, while I chose to “binge” on Thanksgiving Day and eat whatever I wanted in unlimited amounts, I did not feel guilty.  That is a huge step because I spent months in therapy focused on the emotion of guilt related to eating.  Not feeling guilty is a major step in recovery.  The only thing I failed at was continuing to eat poorly in the days following.  My body felt heavy, my clothes fit tighter, and a few tears may have been shed yesterday but recognizing that it’s okay and to move on is a good realization.  Christmas is around the corner and of course I will indulge in the usual holiday treats but I’m going to work extra hard to not take home leftovers and to make sure the “bad” eating stays at the party and that the next day I get right back on track.  I lived through one holiday and I know I can live through another.  Being mindful that it is a holiday (one day) and not a month-long or even week-long thing will really help me come Christmas.  Bring it on!

How do you deal with food during the holiday season?  What did your Thanksgiving meal consist of?

12 thoughts on “How an Ex-Binge Eater Survives the Holidays

  1. Looking good girl!!! I think it is so awesome that you are now helping and inspiring others–both through your blog and the Biggest Winner. I can’t imagine how exciting it must be for you and your Mom that she is on a team. Can’t wait to see her progress through it, and yours as well 🙂

    • Yes, I totally agree Ali! Binge eating on a holiday or special occasion is probably most definitely in a separate category from the disorder. I enjoyed my meal(s) to the upmost degree and could tell a difference in the control I had over eating my Thanksgiving meal than I would have if I had been having a binge episode even if I ate basically the same amount of food. I do completely agree with that thought though! Thanks for your kind words!

  2. You look awesome! And I will binge eat on holidays to the point where I feel like I am going to explode. I do feel guilty to an extent, but like you said, you only get to have Thanksgiving once a year. You can run it off the next day 🙂

    I had turkey, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes,corn, a roll with pumpkin butter, a pumpkin pecan bar, and 1.5 pieces of pumpkin pie. I know that I’m forgetting a thing…or three. :o)

    • Holiday food is the best food! I always tell myself that one ad meal isn’t the end of the world. And yes, running it off definitely helps especially with the guilt factor.

      Mashed potatoes and a roll and pumpkin butter…mmm mmm good!! Can it be Thanksgiving again already?! I won’t tell anyone about the two…or three extra desserts 🙂

  3. I am so happy for you being happy! The only “healthy” subs I did for Thanksgiving was swapping my dad’s regular mashed potatoes for my own home made sweet mashed (still had butter don’t you worry). I also made a paleo pumpkin pie and it was amazing! But that didn’t stop me from tasting every single other type of pie that we had! I was home for 10 days and had to try to remind myself each day to lay off the snacks. I most certainly feel a little “fluffier” than when I arrived to see my parents but it is what it is! And you are right, these kinds of holidays come around once a year, I am a HUGE proponent of “consistency over perfection” the holidays aren’t going to throw your whole life off!

    • Paleo pumpkin pie? That sounds yummy and I’m glad you thought so too! Snacking is a killer for me too! Love you idea of consistency over perfection…one bad meal or one holiday season isn’t going to kill us especially when we are active and consistent year-round! Thanks for sharing.

  4. Kelsey, you are such a beauty and have such a wonderful attitude. I’m so proud of you and your mom – You all are just AWESOME 🙂

  5. Thanks for the honesty in your post–and just a quote to keep in mind that reminds me of life/eating: “everything in moderation including moderation”

    • Wow thank you for sharing that Nikki! I’ve never heard that quote before but I just wrote it down. That’s so true because so many people (myself included) preach to themselves about moderation but really even that needs to be kept in check. Again thanks for sharing!

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