Side Notes: Hard Habits to Break

[[Side Notes: Hard Habits to Break

I've already admitted that I'm guilty of still calorie counting that isn't helping me at all in my recovery, but I also have another action that isn't helping either: Time.

In my context of time, I'm talking about the actual time of day, or how much time has passed between eating. When I was in college I had to eat at certain times and if I missed it, there was no going back and I had to wait until later. These days I try my hardest to eat when my stomach starts to growl and is really hungry, but work gets in the way and I have to wait an hour, or two, or three. It all depends.

Now this might not sound like a horrible thing, that life sometimes gets in the way and you can't eat necessarily when you're hungry, but my thoughts take a turn with that: it's like I've fended off the hunger beast, past through more hours of the day without eating, and could potentially eat that much less food because I've staved off so much time between meals.

Does that make any sense at all? Anyhow, there is a pride when you have anorexia, about how long you can go without eating. It means that you have control, and means that you have passed that much more time without eating, so maybe you can make it to the next meal without having eaten another snack before the next meal.

It's silly really, but it has been happening way too much the past few weeks and has backfired on me. Back in the day I could have felt fine eating food hours after I originally started getting hungry, but now a days, I'll eat when I finally get the chance, believe that it means I'm going to eat less calories for the day, but then I'm no ravenous that I can't stop eating, overeat and then feel guilty.

It's a horrible cycle, but it's what happens. I tell myself after it happens every time that maybe I should get a snack in in the morning instead of waiting so many hours when I can't eat and then I'll feel better after I eat lunch.  But my mind gets the best of me with that absurd pride and again, the cycle continues...

I'm trying to figure out some mantras to get through those periods, tell myself that I will better off eating that snack, but then another voice pops in: What if you eat that snack, then do eat your normal lunch with a normal appetite and STILL overeat (evidently because you're anxious about it)!? You've failed in two parts then... frustrating... ]]


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18 Responses to Side Notes: Hard Habits to Break

  1. I KNOW how it feels. i’ll binge and binge and binge then restrict. it sucks…it really sucks. you feel out of control or in complete control.

  2. Kiran says:

    I haven’t commented before, but I wanted you to know that I COMPLETELY understand what you’re talking about, as I’m sure many others do. I don’t know how to change it or what to say to make it better, but please know that you are not alone!

  3. CJ @ says:

    I’m going through this exact same thing right now where before I felt I had control over my hunger and now whenever I am starving for a meal because I’ve waited too long I feel like I eat everything in sight! It’s so frustrating, anxiety provoking and horrible to deal with but I just try to keep telling myself that my body is smart and it knows what it needs. It doesn’t always work but it’s worth a shot. Your body has a natural balance. Hunger is it’s signal to us we need fuel. If you need anything girl let me know! Xoxo

    • Melissa says:

      Thanks CJ. I guess I always feel bad because I end up eating emotionally and just can’t stop. It turns into a “whoa is me” time most of the time and I need to figure out how to push out of that. Being alone a lot I think is a big factor so I need to work on that (I made a friend this weekend at a birding field trip so I’m making progress!) I’ll probably be emailing you soon if that’s ok. :)

  4. Kim says:

    I just saw an episode of Oprah’s Life Class where she said, “Get it in the whisper and the brick wall doesn’t have to come.” If it’s about control, know that the universe is continuously telling you that you can’t control everything. And if you don’t get this, something really big, “the brick wall” is going to come and show you that truly, you don’t have control. And trust me, you don’t want that.

    I know because I’ve been there. I’ve had the brick wall come down. I used to be obsessed with control, too. And everything in my life keeps telling me that I really can’t do anything about it, no matter how I try to contrive situations in which I will have control. So I’m trying to listen.

    • Melissa says:

      Thanks so much for this comment. That quote makes so much sense to me and I believe you when you say that having that wall come down could be a bigger downfall than wanting all control. I will try and listen too. :)

  5. Alexandra says:

    I can relate so much! Just know you can and will beat this in time friend, you’re strong for continuing this battle :)

  6. Biz says:

    Oh Mel, I wish I had some magic words for you, but I don’t. Just wanted to give you a virtual hug and hope that today is better for you. Hugs!

  7. Megs says:

    Hi Melissa,
    I can definitely relate to your anxiety about snacking. Honestly, I think changing ED thinking and behaviours takes a lot of different strategies and tactics so don’t be discouraged. One of my ED habits was to start snacking and never stop. So now, if I feel I need a snack, I just make sure I take a large enough portion that I won’t want to head back to the cupboard right away. Even if I get a little bit too full or don’t finish the snack, it usually stops me from beginning to binge. Another thing I do is plan to do a yoga podcast or class at certain times of the day. I can’t eat for at least two hours before a class or I feel sick, so I’ll plan to have a meal about two hours before class so I don’t have time to start an “eating spree.” Another strategy I learned in counselling is to write down the thoughts I was having (“if you eat now you’ll get fat”), point out the errors in them (“eating this will not, in fact, make me fat….etc.”), and try to take some of their power away.

    • Melissa says:

      Those are such great strategies! I have started the “writing your feelings down” exercise to help me through the hard moments, but sometimes they’re even hard to admit to myself, you know? But I do like the idea of the yoga podcast at a certain time; I have a planned run every Tuesday that I’m hoping I could stick to but should try that too! I don’t do as much yoga as I would like anyhow! Thanks for the comment and encouragement!

  8. Adrienne says:

    I read this post this morning and was thinking about how tough it is to stay away from ED thoughts when your schedule is thrown off. I’m on a plan to eat every 3-4 hours but when that can’t happen, I’ll stop eating entirely and then eat too much later, just like you said. Unfortunately (and ironically), it happend later today :( I’m trying to focus on tomorrow and making it better. It’s so, so tough to try again every day, but it helps knowing I’m not the only one. Thank you so much for sharing :)

    • Melissa says:

      I’m sorry to hear you’re going through the same thing and obviously, know how hard it can be. I talked to my bf about it today and seriously, just admitting it to someone out loud helped alleviate some of the anxiety.

  9. Amy says:

    Melissa, I completely understand how you feel. Although my problem was overeating, there is a sense of pride as well that comes with actually allowing yourself to be hungry. Then that backfires and you end up binging. Nowadays I let myself snack so that I am never completely ravenous, and I remember to eat slowly, take a deep breath after my meals, check my hunger levels, and remember that the food doesn’t have the power. I do.

    • Melissa says:

      Thank you so much for this and you’re so right, the food does not have the power, I do. I have posted it on my cupboard and fridge to remind me when I feel anxious about it.

  10. Katie says:

    Hey Melissa:

    If you overeat or binge one night, you may feel defeated and overly-ciritcal of yourself… but never forget that every day is a new day. Just say to yourself, “tomorrow will be different, tomorrow will be better.” Clearly our schedules don’t always allow us to fallow the patterns we wish (especially when it comes to eating) but know that one binge or one “off day” will never derail us completely from our goals. It’s just one day of our lives. Let go. Forgive yourself. Nobody’s perfect.

    -Katie at

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