When boring beats binges

Coffee, steel-cut Irish oatmeal, banana, 1% milk 357 cals.
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My usual breakfast, ready to be measured.

When Drs. Oz and Roizen published You on a Diet, I read and re-read this interesting and accessible book about what actually happens inside your body during weight gain or loss. Fascinating. There were even good recipes (my form of porn) and tips for dieting success. But after I read these good ideas, digested the new information, and thought, “You know, these guys have something here,” I tossed this book on the mountain of other diet and weight loss books threatening to overflow my closet and ran back to Amazon.com to find another one to read. Why? Because reading is easy and action is hard. AND I hate any form of dieting. Pisses me off. Makes me crazy. Mostly, because the concept underlying weight loss is true. One must eat less than one burns in order to remove stored energy (aka fat) from one’s body, and as a compulsive overeater, I don’t want to eat less. I want to gobble down more and more food at all times to mask the actual and perceived crap that life dishes out.

Come on now, raise your hand and comment if you’ve read a great book about compulsive eating or dieting that had great exercises for you to do to figure yourself out. You know the ones: rate your hunger scale, track your mood, write down, “What’s eating you?”. Did you do them? Or, like me, did you maybe think about doing them and then toss that part aside and rush to the part about calories or food combining or the other magic pill that would solve the food problem?

This time out I’m dealing with my food compulsive mind straight on. I’m facing my binge-generating feelings by recording my podcast episodes and I’m writing my logical mind tricks and excuses here. Magically freeing and it’s working so far, but guess what, I still have to eat less. Damn!

And this time I’m actually taking a tip from Drs. Oz and Roizen. I eat the same breakfast and lunch every single day. Oh the horror! Why? Because I don’t have to think about them. My compulsive food mind can’t wrestle with the decision or cheat the portion or do any of that. I tell you, when I read this tip, I think it was the one that made me hurl their book into the closet. I love to think about cooking, about different foods, textures, new techniques. Besides being a compulsive overeater, I’m also a full blown foodie. So what’s a foodie to do?

I actually developed these menus for myself based on food I find satisfying and also on food that will keep me physically full for at least 3 hours, so I don’t have to snack. Note that all of us are different, and the high amount of carbs in my breakfast, for example, might send your blood sugar up. Eggs may work better for you, or you might need to add nutbutter. But I exercise in the mornings about 90 minutes after breakfast and right before lunch. These carbs are perfectly suited for my energy and digestion needs. Steel-cut oatmeal holds me better than the quick-cook variety. The banana is alternated with a small chopped apple and 7 almonds. I only drink decaf coffee due to insomnia, but I love its flavor. I get my dark french roast at Trader Joe’s. I make a whole pot (which has similar caffeine to 1-2 cups of regular) and use my cup of 1% for both the coffee and the oatmeal. 1% is type of milk I like best.


  • Decaffeinated Coffee, 8 cup (8 fl oz) 1 cal
  • McCann’s Steel-Cut Irish Oatmeal (1/4 cup dry), 1 serving (180 gm prepared) 150 cal
    Milk, 1%, 1 cup 102 cal
  • Banana, fresh, 1 medium (7″ to 7-7/8″ long) 105 cal

Total = 357 cal.

After exercise I prepare the food I love most in the world, nachos and ice-cream.
I found I need full-fat cheese or this doesn’t hold me. The Guac comes pre-portioned so I don’t have to think about it. The Black Bean flavor Tostitos have extra fiber, taste great to me, and actually have less sodium than regular.

All of the amounts of chips and cheese are weighed on my digital food scale, but I can eyeball it now and come within about 2 grams.

Because my nachos are crunchy, salty, fatty and spicy, they hit all of my binge food notes. I eat them slowly and enjoy them. I really look forward to lunch every day. I follow the nachos most days with a fudge bar. I’m careful to get a variety that doesn’t contain HFC, because I get raging appetite when I consume that. The fudge bar is:
A. chocolate
B. portioned
C. ice-cream

It satisfies my need for sweet at the end of a meal and has the creamy mouthfeel of ice-cream that rings my bell — but not so much that I want another.


  • Cheddar Cheese, 28 grams, 113 cal.
  • Tortilla Chips, Tostitos Artisan Garlic and Black Bean, 1 oz 140 cal.
  • guacamole, Wholly Guacamole MINI 2 oz, 57 gram(s) 100 cal.
  • Fudge Bar, Lucerne-1 serving equals 1 bar, 1 serving 100 cal

Have you noticed yet that this isn’t the most nutritious menu in the world? That’s right,it isn’t. But it is a menu I can live with that hits all of the notes, in moderation, that if I deprive myself of them, has in the past triggered a binge.

Snacks and dinner vary. Snacks include raw almonds with one chocolate square, veggies and blue cheese dip or hummus, apples and tangerines, yogurt. For dinner, I cook some, I eat a lot of Amy’s Kitchen frozen entrees because I like those. But so far, I’ve stayed in my calorie range and not had to suffer too badly. Because my breakfast and lunch have been the same, it’s also very easy to track the calories by copying the meals directly from one day to the next at Sparkpeople.

If you’d like to join my new team of 1 (at the moment), here’s the link.
Laurie’s Sparkpeople team for listeners of the podcast and for those dealing with compulsive overeating, binge eating, or emotional eating issues who’d like support.

Comments box:

2 thoughts on “When boring beats binges

  1. Cheryl

    “But it is a menu I can live with that hits all of the notes, in moderation, that if I deprive myself of them, has in the past triggered a binge.” Thank you, thank you, thank you, Laurie, for mentioning this. I do the same thing, but I thought I was the only one. I do have about three different lunches that I rotate. One is oatmeal.

    I’ve switched over my blog now, but after reading yours and the entry I made today, there’s a whole lot of difference in the freedom I see you enjoying in your endeavor and the clumsiness in mine. I am FAR too aware of how I sound (even to myself) for the blog to be of help — yet. But you’re encouraging me and I’ll keep at it.

    1. Laurie@CompulsiveOvereatingDiary Post author

      Hey my dear friend, my first thought is you may need to be careful of that self-criticism. I so know how that goes. The sound of the first half of today’s episode drives me crazy, but I have to let it be good enough, because the words were important for me to say. Your blog is front and center to help you figure out your own food issues and maybe, you are distracting yourself from that by judging yourself. I do it all day long. BUT this time I am committed to being however I am. Bad sound, bad writing, stupid stutter, I want to eat it all, I want to control it all. I’m a bitch, I’m an angel. All is ok as long as I am honest with myself. We’ll see how it goes. You know how I applauded you when you cracked the social eating nut and that was all your own wisdom talking to you. ::::hugs:::::


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