Krissie: I can’t believe I ate the whole thing

There’s a saying in AA (and OA). Beware of H.A.L.T. Halt! Never get too Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired, because it leaves you open to slips.
I did fine when I went to Syracuse, because I had Richie with me.
And I had a fabulous time in Richmond. The air was gorgeous, the grass was green, the people were wonderful. But … I got tired. And by the end of the weekend, trudging through the airport, I was at low-ebb. Had a small bowl of oatmeal and a breakfast bar, hours ago, and … Excuses, excuses. I gave in.

There was a gourmet pizza place, where I could sit and be comfortable. I sat. I ordered a mushroom pizza with a thin crust, after first asking if they were too big for one person. They set it in front of me. I ate half of it, savoring every bit.

I got halfway through, and thought, okay, that’s all I need. It was more than enough.
But I was tired. Resistance was futile. I ate the whole thing.
And then looked up, and the woman across from me was eating a nice big salad. I could have had that salad, not the pizza. Smack! Thwap! Pow!
All right, it could have been worse. I’m still not interested in fast food or fried food. Or in cookies or cakes or any kind of sweets. It was a slip, not a disaster, but it was my first real slip. A big one.
So … I’m definitely an emotional eater. Hunger will get me going, not real hunger, because most people in America never feel real hunger, but when I haven’t eaten for a while I feel deprived. I don’t get angry very often but when I do, food seems a good cure. Lonely — not usually an issue for a writer — we’re used to living in our heads and need a certain amount of solitude, but missing friends could set me off.
And tired. Tired tired tired, to quote Eloise’s nanny. I met the enemy, and I was mush.
But … live and learn. I’m back and I’m bad. I didn’t use it as an excuse to keep on eating that day, I didn’t eat Monday, and I’m back on the track. I think I need to lower my calorie count, though I’ll get on the scale tomorrow. Ten years ago I would have been losing weight like crazy, despite the pizza laps and still eating McD’s and not swimming. But things change,
And I want this belly to go away. It’s lessened, but it’s still too much. That’s my first goal. Then to change sizes. I’d love to get into normal size clothes, not plus. I don’t care if it’s XL, it would still be lovely. And right now I’m just aiming for XL. One step at a time.
But I think I need to reach a little more.
Anyway, everyone has to slip, and I made it halfway through April before I did (the planned treat at Steak N Shake wasn’t a slip) and it’s okay. I had a Lean Cuinine pizza for dinner last night (340 calories) and was perfectly happy.
So, onward! Bloody but unbowed, our heroine braves the stormy waters of healthy eating once more.

51 thoughts on “Krissie: I can’t believe I ate the whole thing

  1. Amy O says:

    It was only one pizza, and it was thin crust. That’s like only eating two pieces of regular pizza. Totally fine. Slips can be good though, they help us realize we’ve fallen off the path and get us motivated to stay on it. At least it wasn’t a cheesecake. I had an incident with one on Sunday that still has me slightly ashamed. Besides, all that calcium in the cheese is good for your bones. See? We found the silver lining!

  2. Tanya (Wandering Betty) says:

    I’m wildly impressed by you not throwing in the towel and eating everything in sight afterwards (not that that is my usual modus operandi…ahem). It’s really hard to not be so mad at yourself that you say “the heck with it” and then inhale the heavenly praline pecans that your daughter brought you from Savannah…Oh wait…that’s me. My bad. Kudos to you again.

  3. Tired gets me, too. Only one slip up in all this time. I wish I could say that. You’re right 10 years ago, we’d be dropping the pounds, but alas…
    Keep up the good work. You inspire me.

  4. I mistakenly thought I could eat leftover easter candy from the store a little at a time. Nope. Made myself hurt. Still have some cookies left. I’m never going to get through my no-sugar detox at athis rate! Should have avoided that row altogether.

  5. It was thin crust.
    It had vegetables.
    It was yummy.

    I think you should be allowed one treat per week while you’re working hard to lose weight and to increase your exercise. And I don’t think there should be any guilt about it either. So there. I have spoken. : )

  6. The most successful diets/dieters that I have known always had a planned no guilt treat day. Some even gave themselves one whole day a week to eat what they wanted. It screwed with the weight loss only in the beginning because as time went on, their stomachs shrank (and they could only eat half a pan of lasagna instead of all of it) and they lost most of their sugar desire. So you just had yourself a treat for all the good work you’ve been doing.

  7. You’re allowed to have the occasional treat while you’re on a diet, Krissie. It will keep you sane. The important thing is that you immediately got back on track. That’s hugely important and shows real progress.

  8. Lily C says:

    I’m sorry, but that looks delicious. Have at it, enjoy, then get back on the horse of dietary misery. Plus everyone knows that travel calories don’t count.

  9. If you never eat anything fun, then sems to me that you will be more likely to “slip up”. Maybe your body just needed that whole pizza after a busy weekend. As Jenny’s post today clearly shows, you have come a long way in a relatively short time.

    Keep up the good work.

  10. Maria Powers says:

    I am totally an emotional eater. It is a part of why I am trying Transcendental Meditation now. If I plan a treat then it is fine, it is when I eat for reasons other than the planned ones that lead me down a path filled with good intentions and lousy applications of those intentions. Of course everyone is different.

    I also have some foods that I simply cannot ever have ever again. When I eat them, I feel as if I change into one of those sharks in the middle of a feeding frenzy. My main one is potato chips. Ruffles, Lays, Kettle, etc…. I cannot eat just one and one WILL lead me to the buffet table where I will growl at others trying to remove MY food from the groaning table. Homemade fudge is another but only for itself. I will eat the entire batch and make myself sick and still not stop.

    You have done marvelous getting back on the horse of control Krissie. I know that when I slip if when I start all that negative talk to myself and then I simply don’t keep going. Good job!

  11. Ylva Hedin says:

    Here is the thing: Its only one pizza. BUT I really know where you are comming from.

    When I do slip, witch I do. I blame my self and feel worthless… And I allow me to feel that whay for exactly ONE day. No more… Then Im ready to go again.

    I have realized I have to have goals… not goals like: “I want to fit in that dress I got 3 years ago and have not used one single time”. But “luxery food goals”. One day every 8th week I eat something that I cant have, ie a heavy chocolate cake, a dinner on a resturant with thik bearnese souce… or a bag of mixed candy.
    Whatever really.

    What I have noticed is with this “lyxery food goals” Im not slipping, becouse I think: ah well now its only 4 weeks to go… and so on.

    So, it was a slip but you grow stronger from it!

  12. You are such a great role model for me Krissie! Guilt will get us no-where.

    I am totally an emotional eater. I also eat wrong if I get too hungry or tired. I try and fuel my way through exhaustion with food. I’ve been good today though! Yay me!

  13. And there wasn’t much cheese. You know, you’re right. As long as I don’t go insane (as in half a birthday cake or something it’s okay.
    And look at all the progress I made. No fast food, when I loved it. One DC a day. No fried foods or sugar at all.
    This is good. this is very good.

  14. I like that. Because I did feel guilty, looking at that woman eating the salad, and felt guilty (or at least remorseful) for the rest of the day and a little bit since. But I can let go of it. If I didn’t feel a little remorse I might keep doing it.

  15. It’s been said but I’ll say it again. ONE piece of pizza is not the worst thing in the world. I don’t care how big it is. Life got annoying yesterday and I was cranky and had to get home instead of stopping for groceries so ordered pizza. Had 2 pieces (small square but thick crust), 2 breadsticks (maybe 3, can’t remember) and 3 small cinnamon sticks dipped in a cup of frosting.

    Now, your little slip doesn’t sound so bad, does it?

    Terri – who can always serve as a bad example.

  16. Leigh says:

    If it makes you feel any better, that salad-eating woman was probably thinking, “Second I get back home, I’m pulling the thin crust pizza out of the freezer.”

  17. You’re back on track, and that’s what matters. It did look yummy!

    I was thinking about you the other day. My mom’s been on prednisone for her pulmonary fibrosis, and she’s just become diabetic as a result. (Yes, I know I’m talking to you, not Jenny.) But she’s going to see a nutritionist to try and control it through her diet.

    After reading about your on-going battle with Goldfish, I thought a nutritionist might help you. They map everything out that you can eat in a day. If I have to figure stuff out on my own I totally fail, so when I was gestationally diabetic I saw one. Perhaps your doctor could write you a prescription to see one, and then insurance would cover the cost. More help = more better.

  18. Pam says:

    I went to the doctor yesterday and left with a prescription for anti-anxiety meds, which as it turns out, I find just as upsetting as chronic panic attacks. So of course I went right to the bakery and bought two huge cookies and a ginger ale, and then ate them all.

    Thing is, my body doesn’t tolerate sugar very well, so now I’m going to be itchy for the next week. You know, on top of the clothes being too tight.

    Emotional eater? Right their with you, babe.

  19. Pam says:

    Hmm. That was supposed to be in response to Amy’s comment. It may be time for me to get off the computer.

  20. It’s not the cheese, it’s the sodium! At least that’s been the case with most pizzas I encounter. Hopefully YMMV. Still think you’re looking good 🙂

  21. German Chocolate Betty says:

    Yeah, but, Krissie, we ALL know there are salads and there are salads. Salads with a half a pound of ham, cheese and croutons drowned in thousand island dressing are probably MUCH WORSE than that thin crust mushroom pizza.

    (Of course, if that woman was eating only veggies with olive oil and a touch of balsamic vinegar, well, then maybe some remorse…)

    But, hey, at MOST that pizza set you back, oh, a day. You can deal with it!

  22. German Chocolate Betty says:

    And remember, you didn’t go for the meat-lovers special with cheesy crust and garlic butter.

    You were RESTRAINED.

    (Me, I’d have gone for the 3 gazillion calories a slice, so I still admire you!)

  23. stephanie says:

    But today is a new day. Draw a line. Lesson learned. Pick yourself up and start again. The sun will still shine. The birds will still sing. And you will be a better person, making even better decisions.

  24. Pffft!

    I just ate a bean and cheese burrito smothered with guacamole followed by about 6 large chocolate covered pretzels. That’s probably my caloric intake for the week. Your pizza wishes it was so fatty and bad for you.

    Feel better?


    I agree with German Chocolate Betty – a once a week planned treat is the way to go.

  25. You’re doing terrific, Krissie! Don’t beat yourself up over thin crust pizza ’cause Roben’s right–yummy veggies are good and you did wonderfully finding something good in a damn airport. Brava to you!! You look maaavalous!

  26. Jessie says:

    Do not beat yourself up too much over the pizza. It looks tasty. And don’t beat yourself up over the resulting weight gain because you did not gain as much as the scale says. After having pizza, my weight goes up 2 or 3 pounds because of all the sodium I am not used to eating. But in a few days – regardless of how bad I have been- it comes back off as the excess sodium leaves my system. It is the real reason I rarely eat pizza. The supermarket rotisseried chicken is the same way – too much brining. Also plane travel has a tendency to make you retain water even if you eat virtually nothing.

  27. Ylva Hedin says:

    I really think its important to feel guilty I do… not forever but for a bit… As you say if you didnt you may slip again… but its as important to let go after a day! Well done!

  28. Kieran says:

    And we need carbs! That thin crust provided you with them. So what if it might have been white flour? It was still carbs–the gas in your car–and you mixed it with a bit of fat in a reasonable amount of cheese, which would slow down the sugar spike white carbs can give.

    If I ever have white bread (which I did today at Panera in the form of a modestly sized piece of baguette), I dip it in oil or spread real butter on it. That way I’m protecting myself against that sugar spike, which is really what screws with your metabolism.

  29. romney says:

    I’ve really got to work on spotting these things BEFORE they happen. And then not doing them. Why is that so hard?

  30. Kieran says:

    Food’s not the enemy. It’s totally neutral, just sitting there for you to take it or leave it. The enemy is your own doubts of self-worth. When I say you, I mean the universal You. I can’t presume to know your thoughts, Krissie.

    Once you love yourself, the struggle goes away. Food just becomes food again. You’re in charge, and you decide to eat it for pleasure or for sustenance or as a way to connect with other people through the ritual of dining.

  31. Kieran, you are a wise woman! I love the concept of food being neutral–for so many of us who’ve believed for years that food is the enemy, it’s very empowering to be in charge of food. Thanks for that!

  32. To most of us, food = nurturing. Yes, there’s a sustenance side, but being fed is also one of the first ways we’re shown we’re cared for so food is enmeshed with emotion pretty much from the get-go.

    Think what you said about feeling deprived is important. Feeling deprived can be akin to not feeling nurtured. The logical solution is to self-nurture. Ergo food to the rescue.

    The thing is, caregivers often give out more than we take in and our wells run dry pretty quickly leaving us feeling deprived. Tricky cycle really.

    Allowing ourselves to take care of ourselves before our wells run dry is the key I think. And knowing that taking care of ourselves means taking care of our bodies with proper food, lifestyle habits, etc. may seem elementary but not to caregivers. Caregivers are programmed to do for others first and subsist on what’s leftover.

    You’re working to change that, and doing a fab job. It takes time, yes, but look how far you’ve already come. Jenny’s post below is great testimony to that. Even stormy waters eventually lead to calm shores:)

  33. Call me when you go face down in a box full of Krispy Kremes. Until then, I refuse to feel bad about you eating a lot of vegetables and cheese. Most places that’s called Healthy Eating.

  34. We all slip up, it’s not allowing that slip to take over and over indulge…And you didn’t! No worries there.

    I have noticed that since I’ve stopped swimming, (it’s too cold now and too far to get to a pool) in a matter of a few weeks my upper body has become flabby.
    Swimming IS fabulous 🙂

  35. Kathryn says:

    I hope that was a typo “I didn’t eat Monday.” Doesn’t matter what happened yesterday; today, you eat. You eat good stuff, but you eat.
    And I wouldn’t dwell on the body of 10 or 20 yrs ago that would have shed the weight much quicker. You are now a woman of, ahem, “a certain age.” It’ll be different now. And that’s fine. Long haul, not sprint.

  36. Micki says:

    Exactly! Before you beat yourself up, I’d like to see the calorie count on the pizza, and the calorie count on the salad. Also, would you allow yourself to leave half a salad? I think I would probably eat the whole thing.

    If you feel the need to “punish” yourself, then do something like have that French leek diet soup for lunch instead of a real lunch, then hop back on your diet wagon.

    I understand the point — if you let yourself have evil pizza, then it’s just a matter of time before you slip right down that slippery road to banana splits and oreo blizzards. However, you have to recognize how “evil” something is — to tell the truth, there are easy pizza crusts you can make yourself, and with the right calculations, you could put pizza in with your regular diet. (The Smitten Kitchen rosemary flatbread, with half the flour substituted for whole wheat flour, would make an excellent base. Add some tomato paste and some fried onions and mushrooms, and then calculate the calories! I’m betting you would find it to be a not bad meal for those times you want something light. Serve with “heavy” veggies like broccoli or pumpkin.)

  37. Micki says:

    On one memorable trip to the US, my baby caught chicken pox, and my big girl started barfing daily . . . the doctor diagnosed anxiety and prescribed icky-tasting Xanax. She hated the meds! And then I got the bright idea to give her a choice: meds, or chamomile tea. The chamomile tea helped tremendously, and if they don’t fight the meds, I recommend trying it (maybe with a little honey). If you still need the sugar, go for it. Anxiety is pretty hard stuff to live with . . . but you might be able to divert the urge a little.

  38. Yes! If I go astray, I embrace my guilt, which is to say I give it a quick hug before moving on. I no longer take it home and cuddle it all night. We don’t have that kind of relationship.

  39. Oh, yes, that was a typo. I meant I didn’t eat bad things MOnday. Though Kieran is right, food is neutral. I didn’t eat things that are bad for me though. Lean Cuisine for dinner, breakfast bar for breakfast, something healthy for lunch (I forget).

  40. Kelly S. says:

    These ladies have said my thoughts well. There are 2,000 calorie salads in restaurants and there can be 500 calorie pizzas. You didn’t have tasty processed meat such as pepperoni, personal favorite. Until you know the nutrition value of the pizza and the salad, you truly can’t judge accurately.

    Personally, I don’t see the need for guilt here. Someone suggested if you do feel guilt to suffer a punishment. If so, I’d vote for extra exercise. It would combat any extra calories.

    Do you remember the name of the pizza place? It might have nutritional value online.

  41. Pam says:

    Thank you. I’ll definitely try that. I’m allergic to everything, it seems, so the idea of taking medication is really upsetting because chances are I’ll get really sick from it. But I already know I can tolerate chamomile tea! Any suggestions re bags or leaves? Is one type more effective?

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