July 3, 2011

The mixer

Another week without a recipe - sorry to disappoint. I've been trying to stick to my standard fare these days: lots of salads topped with random leftovers (this week: wild rice and either chili beans or pintos with dill/onion/garlic - quite delicious), chicken grilled on the George Foreman with lots of veggies, yogurt for breakfast, and fruit and/or air-popped popcorn for snacks. It's simple, but it's cheap and clean and I know I get great results from going back to my basics. I promise a new recipe next week, I just want to make sure I string together a few great days first - secure my footing on the path back to weight loss success before I try any fancy tricks.

One step I took this week towards binge prevention was to put away my Kitchen-Aid mixer:

Hanging out in the way back of the under-sink cabinets with all my super cool vintage soup bowls, the Ikea funnels, and the ravioli stamp ... all fairly neglected lately.

Since I live alone and Pilsen apartments are notorious for their lack of counter space, my kitchen table typically houses my record player, my grocery list, my food log, a food scale, a mini-food processor, and the Kitchen-Aid mixer. Putting the mixer away means I'm less likely to bake, which is good, because my poison of choice lately has been raw cookie dough.

I wasn't sure why (my usual binge favorites are cheesy/salty/starchy) until I realized I'm still working through Geneen Roth's "Breaking Free from Emotional Eating." She talks about abandoning diets and eating nothing but cookies and raw cookie dough for weeks, and while it worked for her (she gained weight but got sick of it eventually and craved healthier meals/snacks), I think it may have been triggering something in my mind.

I'm okay with abandoning the diet mentality but not the diet, if that makes sense - I need to stick to regimented eating for now, but I know that the decisions I make overall are lifestyle changes. I'm okay with occasional treats - I'm not okay with using food to soothe non-hunger pains and cravings; there's a difference between one cookie or cupcake from a nice place when I'm out with a friend, and standing at the kitchen sink crying with my spoon in the mixing bowl.

I mashed up a sweet potato for today's breakfast, then cleaned off the mixer and tucked it away for now. (I've also put down Geneen Roth for the time being and picked up Ruth Reichl's "Comfort Me with Apples.") Are Geneen's anecdotes and the Kitchen-Aid mixer entirely to blame for my food struggles? No, of course not - there's no one single cause for anything on this journey. But having the mixer right there made poor choices a bit more accessible, and any small steps I can make toward positive progress need to be taken right now.

What about you? Have you ever had to put away an unusual trigger - either hidden out of sight or rid of for good? How did it work for you?


Debbie said...

Yes I have been cleaning off my counter these last few days and putting things away myself. I put away my smoothie maker and the waffle maker. We are going to start eating a healthier breakfast on the weekends and this includes hubby to. Have a great 4th.

Jillian said...


"here's a difference between one cookie or cupcake from a nice place when I'm out with a friend, and standing at the kitchen sink crying with my spoon in the mixing bowl."

totally helpful. I need to remember that there is a proper time and place for everything--even cupcakes.

PJ Geek said...

I've been trying to post and then I keep accidentally deleting it. Let's hope this works.

It's good to hear someone going through what I'm going through. I'm reading Intuitive Eating and trying to find my way of ditching the diet mentality. I don't know that I'll be a true Intuitive eater, but maybe a bridge between that and my world of food addiction, rigid diet behaviors, struggle , and guilt.

I thing putting away the baking is fine for now, but please let yourself one day . Allow yourself when you are in the right frame of mind.

I'm a food addict but also a foodie. I've had to avoid the Food network, magazines, books, stores (whole foods, trader joes), and the every day places like Paneras and Starbucks to avoid my triggers. Add that to the deprivation that is a diet of 1200 calories a day and what is created is an angry and rebellious and guilt-ridden foodie.

Diet mentality worked and all that structure worked for me to lose 130lbs. But years of that backfired on me and I had started using food and having binges. I didn't want to regain all the weight I'd lost. So now I'm digging even deeper in my soul. Now I'm finding my way anew. One day I may want to truly "diet" again. Right now, I'm following a structure of a food plan with a nutritionist but with a lot and trial and error and forgiveness as I try to legalize foods and places.

this is the road less traveled.

Katie Foster said...

I was actually contemplating getting rid of my Kitchen Aid mixer permanently--for the very same reason! I keep mine stored in a cupboard, but I don't mind dragging it out to make cookies or muffins or quick breads. I so wish I had the willpower to eat just one cookie!

As for now, a binge trigger that I had to "put away" is food blogs--I used to follow some really great blogs, but I had to delete them from my reader and bookmarks. They were even "healthy" food blogs, but I would binge so often after reading them, that I had to give them up :( Haha, that sounds ridiculous!

Kelliann said...

I've tried hard to have the occasional treat, but I am still triggered by them. I begin to fall into my "black and white" feelings - if I'm going to have one, I'm suddenly eating the box. So, I still have to stay away from them all together. I am looking forward to the day when I can distinguish between ONE treat and a day of free-for-all...

Kelty said...

Yeah, that should definitely help. Just making things more of an effort to get to should still give you additional time to decide if you really want to get it! The basics are always a good thing to go back to after a couple of lackluster weeks. Enjoy it!

Hungry Girl Fan said...

I make my husband put his chocolate chip cookies and other junk food on the top shelf of our pantry. The only way I can get to it is by standing on a chair, so it is pretty much out of sight, out of mind.

Amy said...

I've read quite a few blogs when people come to onderland and struggle with the transition. It's just a new hurdle and you'll power through!!

timothy said...

carbs are my trigger, i simply can NOT eat one chip or a cracker. biscuits and bread by ridiculous amounts. so i try to eat fresh meat and veggies broiled , baked, or steamed.
i think finding your triggers and eliminating them is a great step! have a great/healthy week!

Anonymous said...

OF COURSE I have to put away triggers. I have a room full of them in the basement and have asked hubby to hide so many of them that once in a while I stumble onto them (usually in the garage... next to the poison... HEY!)

About the gorging on the triggers as a diet method. That may work for some, but I have tried this and every time it does not work. One healthy meal and I would be ready to gorge again. For me that is utter rubbish and a perfect way to grow even larger.

Hyla said...

The last two birthday cakes I made for the kids, I always make really rich cakes. I called my mother and had her take home the rest. My trigger is birthday cake and I knew I couldnt have it in the house. I wanted to keep sneaking into the fridge!

Krista said...

Nut butters, bread, and sweet treats are all triggers for me, and while I didn't keep them around my apartment before, now that I live with my parents that's not really an option. I can't just tell them to stop buying their food! It's definately a true test of my willpower.

Unknown said...

I had the Same thing happen with Geene Roths book and had to send it back to the library unfinished. I realized that while reading it I was having MORE binges and craved more sugary foods while reading it than before I started it.

Really enjoyed reading about the why behind the binge eating from her perspective, but her advice for abandoning that behavior just didn't work for me either.

How are you liking that 'apple' book so far?