Birthday Binge Blues



The pounds were coming off despite my errant indulgences. The first week was 4 pounds, second week was 3 pounds, and the third was 5 pounds. I would chime in with new numbers every weigh-in and recant protocol errors to my coach and co-workers about spit takes with sweetened Starbucks drinks given to us by well meaning clients. I stubbornly and regretfully consumed restaurant steaks with sugary marinades. The time I couldn’t make them stop laughing is when I was feeling guilty for eating “three Chipotle beans.” Despite all this, I was steadily losing weight even though I had started this major lifestyle change right before the holidays.

What I did not anticipate was the emotional turmoil of my birthday. In the past, I have always had a baseline level of depression due to coping with a rough childhood. Essentially, this year, the sadness was amplified by ten. It felt like everyone in my life flaked, there was a stressful emergency that led to me bringing a friend to the ER, and my birthday went by not properly celebrated as holidays were time consuming. The stress was so overwhelming I heavily ate carbs and chocolate for four days straight. The damage was unspeakable.

In addition to gaining weight, the bathroom experience was a nightmare. I will never stray away from protocol this hard again. Planning is mandatory and so is planning for emotional eating. There is a need to schedule single special occasion extravagances to prevent lengthy binges. I’ll allow myself a single slice of birthday cake and a drink at New Year’s Eve. My birthday gift to myself next year will be cooking and baking up a storm in advance, so I don’t give into eating everything but the kitchen sink just because I’m extra depressed. I’m writing this to remember, just like I didn’t wait for after the holidays to start my lifestyle change – I will not be waiting until after New Year’s to recommit to protocol. I’m going to keep re-commiting after a single indulgence rather than continuing on with 4 days worth of bingeing. I’m going to remember that I love myself and I need to take care of myself.

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