HLx2 Challenge: Week 3

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I almost knew this would happen. I consider my challenge to be over. I was doing really well this week, and then on Thursday, I got really sick. I had a sore throat from hell, a nose like a dripping faucet, a pulsating headache, and no energy whatsoever. I was coughing violently, with my chest heaving and my whole body convulsing, every other minute.

I hope that trying to be healthier didn’t cause my cold; hopefully it was mere coincidence. Either way, things took a turn for the worst once I got sick. The next day, I had a major binge. One very bad day is all it took to turn making my food goal this week into being so far off that there was no way I would ever make my goal by the end of the month. There was no way I would even be close. It’s astounding and heartbreaking to see how just one enormous binge can ruin an entire month’s worth of effort.

The first few days of being sick, walking home from work completely exhausted me. The thought of doing a moderately intense workout was laughable. That being said, I did do all four of my 30-minute workouts last week, although one of them was simply a brisk walk because I really couldn’t muster up the energy to do anything more. Fortunately, I had done two of my normal workouts before I got sick, and I did the last one on Sunday, when I was feeling a bit better.

When I was thinking about what to do with this last week of my Healthy Life – Happy Life Challenge, I realized I had two options: 1) try to restrict myself as much as possible without triggering a binge in order to do as well as possible, or 2) let myself eat what I want without worrying about calories.

As much as I wanted to complete the challenge and prove something to myself and inspire others to do the same, I decided to go with option 2. This week, I have to attend two farewell lunches with my coworkers and bosses, a BBQ lunch for law school orientation, lunch with my parents, and an end-of-summer celebratory dinner with my boyfriend. The ultimate objective of this challenge was to make me happier, and the thought of trying to count calories at every meal, balancing out calorific restaurant meals with meagre breakfasts and dinners, feeling guilty for not picking the lowest-calorie option on the menu or finishing the whole meal or ordering a drink, and being hungry at night or as I wait for lunch did not make me remotely happy.

Given how much I have already eaten today, I know that I will not even be close to my final food goal. I wouldn’t even be surprised if I finish this month at a notably heavier weight. As long as I am still eating more than I need, the weight will keep piling on. However, I will try to still meet my fitness goal. I’ve surprised myself in this area; I thought I would fail this goal too. Knowing that I am physically able to exercise four times a week is a handy bit of info for me to hold onto once school starts.

I shied away from doing health challenges in the past because I knew I probably wouldn’t be able to complete them. I didn’t like the idea of feeling pressured or guilty for not completing them or not doing well. I place enough guilt and blame on myself as is. So that is why I am going to just let this failure go. I am not going to stress over it. I am not going to beat myself up. Instead, I am going to enjoy my last week before returning to law school with my family, friends, colleagues, and boyfriend, and I am not going to hold back.

I hope that I didn’t disappoint anyone, but for what it’s worth, I did learn from my experience. I learned that continually moving forward in my recovery is a hard enough challenge for me. And rather than tackling another month, I am going to take this challenge – the challenge of freeing myself from binge eating disorder – one long day at a time.

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5 thoughts on “HLx2 Challenge: Week 3

  1. Aww Kristen. Big e-hugs! You poor dear. I hope you’re feeling better now; getting sick is just awful.
    I think you’ve done the right thing to just relax about the end of the challenge. You made an awesome effort, and should be really proud of yourself.
    Calorie restriction is such a dicey area to navigate as a binge eater. I myself am trying to work out the best way forward. And you’re completely right, the point is to make yourself feel better. I’d shoot you a PM if I knew how but, since I don’t, enjoy those celebrations and take care of yourself!

    • Thanks Marnie! I’m glad you think I made the right decision. Unfortunately, as you will see in a post to come at the end of the weekend, I’ve taken 100 huge steps back since making 1 small step forward. I am so frustrated with myself, but I will try to finish off this week without my depressed mood ruining the weekend celebrations I have planned.

  2. First of all, you are not at all a disappointment to anyone. You are being far too hard on yourself. In looking at the progress you have made, you should feel so great about it! You really worked so hard to do your best, and all things considered, you did really dang good! You got sick, and those hiccups happen. You weren’t expecting it, and you did the best you could given the situation. But don’t look at yourself as a “failure” because you are far from that. You are so much stronger than you even realize and you accomplished so much more than you even know!

    I am also really glad that you did not choose the course of calorie restriction. That, in my mind, would only lead to a problem in the future…and make binging that much easier. So good for you.

    Enjoy the moments you have now with family and friends and co-workers, and try to see just how much you DID accomplish!

    • Your comment means so much to me right now. Things have just gotten worse and worse since that third week (to be shared in a post coming soon) and my binging is out of control. It does comfort me to know that others thought I did well. The constant mental battle between wanting to be positive and optimistic but facing a negative reality is so difficult to handle.

      • I understand hun. I can relate more than you even know. I’m sorry to hear that you are currently struggling. But try your hardest not to be too hard on yourself. I know it’s much easier said then done, but you need to embrace the good moments you had…celebrate those victories.

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