Fat Head Syndrome (FHS)

If you’ve ever gotten drunk, you probably have a hazy memory of starting the evening. Maybe you were all dressed up and feeling good about yourself. Maybe you were looking forward to having your favorite beer, a glass of some really fabulous wine. Your friends are there and everyone is talking and laughing. One drink leads to another.  After that it gets a little fuzzy. You wake up the next day, head pounding, your mouth tasting like something crawled in there and died.

Yesterday I started my day with pancakes, peaches and sausages. Not exactly a weight loss surgery friendly meal. High on carbs, big on bulk and more sugar and less protein than I need in a meal. Surely, I persuaded myself, the whole wheat flour we’ve substituted into the pancakes and that they were smaller and thinner made them much healthier.  And the peaches were from fresh, organic peaches that I cooked with splenda and froze last summer.  The sausages were chicken and apple, so a much better choice than the full pork, high fat ones I used to eat.

But still. Too much food. Too many carbs. Too much sugar and too much fat. I had a protein drink later, but it was really like locking the barn door after the horses were out. All day I had Fat Head Syndrome (FHS).

FHS is when you think about doing something good for you and you talk yourself out of it, for example, when you know you should go for a walk and you make cookies instead.

FHS is when your menu calls for grilled fish and broccoli and you have barbecue and tortilla chips instead.

FHS is when you have a list of errands and chores to get done on the weekend and you surf the web, watch television and read trashy novels instead.

FHS is when you finally drag yourself out of the house and into the sunshine and instead of getting the walk you need, you go to the Goodwill and spend 4 hours mindlessly flipping through clothes. The only good thing about that was that I did get out of the house and it was the only four hours all day that I didn’t mindlessly graze and snack. And I found a fabulous lamb leather jacket and a cool bedazzled t-shirt.

But did I really need to spend $36 on clothes when a fair portion of my clothes are dirty or most of the rest are lying on my bed upstairs, waiting to be put away? The answer is no, but.

No, I didn’t need to spend that money, but I did find a great deal.

No, I didn’t need to spend that money, but I have wanted a leather jacket for ages and $26 for a leather jacket IS a great deal. And I look pretty good in it. But the resulting guilt from using the shopping addiction to try to address the fall back into compulsive eating put me firmly on the sofa for the rest of the night, mindlessly watching shows like Hoarder and Heavy – that both address possible scenarios for my future if I don’t snap out of it – until after midnight.

So, Sunday morning, almost 10 and I’m finally up, blogging and sipping my first protein drink of the day. My wonderful, loving family is surrounding me with love and support. My husband, who sat next to me and dozed to keep me company in my crazed channel flipping, made coffee and is even now cooking veggies for an omelet for our breakfast while I sit in the light of the therapy device he built for me. (More on that later in Labor of Love post).

This afternoon, my son and I are going to hike up Stone Mountain and get some exercise and out of the house. After blogging and breakfast I’m going to work on my list of chores and do my laundry, put away my clothes and clean my bedroom. Then I’m going to try to make a stab at my office, which has become a dumping ground instead of  a place to work and think and create. It may take me a while, but it is the first step in getting our taxes done, which, if I’m honest, is where yesterday’s FHS originated.

Cabin Fever

Atlanta has been ice bound for the last week and by the time it started to melt off yesterday I was suffering from extreme cabin fever. Just before dark last night I made some excuse and went out. Didn’t make it far; even with all the melt off, there were still some serious black ice spots. So I went to the local WalMart. First I got some temporary hair color – I’m going to try and cover my gray while the old color grows out so when it wears off I can see how I like the gray. It would be nice not to have to color my hair every 6-8 weeks. I wouldn’t miss either the time, the money or the chemicals if I stopped doing that. But can I live with the color??? Who knows? It’s been too long since I saw what the natural color is.

Then I went to the pharmacy and got some syringes for my B12 shots, which was my excuse for going in the first place. Got the wrong size, so I’ll have to go back today.

Then my sneaky brain sent me to the grocery section. Just pick up some more sea salt almonds, it said. They have the big 2lb bags at a good price. Sure, okay, I said. Then I saw that they had the Dove dark chocolates we love on sale – okay, grab a couple of bags of those. No problem, right? Well, THAT put me on the chip aisle, which is apparently where I was heading all along.


I got a bag of SunChips. Maybe not as bad as potato chips, but who are we kidding? The stats are just as bad.

SunChips: 1 1/2 oz. = Calories: 210, Total Fat: 10g, Carbs: 27g, Protein: 4g

Lays Classic Chips: 1 oz (About 28 chips); Calories: 150, Total Fat: 10g, Carbs: 15g, Protein: 2g

I thought I would have been better off with the sweet potato chips, but Walmart doesn’t appear to carry those and they are just as bad:  Sweet Potato Chips: 1 oz (about 17 chips); Calories: 160, Total Fat: 11g, Carbs: 15g, Protein: 1g

That’s not the worst part. The worst part was at checkout – I grabbed a bottle of Coca-Cola and drank about 4 ounces with my chips. Yep. Pure sugar cola with bubbles. Eating with snacks. What was I thinking? My stomach hurt the whole evening, especially as I then came home and ate the complete, healthy dinner of roast chicken, cauliflower and sweet potatoes that my wonderful husband made for me.  Can we say OVER INDULGENCE?

So yes, part of the problem was cabin fever – I’ve just been stuck in the house at my computer for too many days and not making myself get on the treadmill or do anything else very physical. I kept thinking it would melt and I would get out. Not even a terribly good excuse since I like doing my treadmill and I am training for my half marathon in May.

But I think another part of the problem is that I’ve been trying to stretch out how long it is between my b12 shots. I went over three weeks this time. There’s also a lot of crap going on with my husband’s family, which is stressing me out. So all that combined resulted in a three days of no exercise, a bowl of chips and a glass of soda.

Hmmm. Well, I guess, all things considered, that isn’t too bad. It’s a lot better than the old days when the no exercise might have lasted for months and a binge would have been the whole bag of chips and a liter of soda. Plus ice cream. Plus pizza. Plus whatever else I could find and stuff in my mouth.

Hmmm. The good news is that I took my B12 shot this morning and I’m just finishing up a nice protein shake. Then I’m going to put on my boots and get out for a walk in the sunshine. Maybe I’ll take a ski pole in case of icy spots, but it looks like it’s going to be a beautiful day.