Summer Of The Measured Binges


The summer after 11th grade, as I swam in the backyard pool, my mind was swimming with visions of a thin senior year.  As was my custom, I vowed some time during the last week of school to stick to a strict diet of carrot sticks and water for the entire summer and return to school 3 months later magically transformed into a raving beauty.  But it would all be to no avail once week two of summer vacation arrived.  However, what made The Great Summer Diet Attempt of 1984 so different from all the others was the new low I hit in binge-control (or lack-there-of).

I started-off with the usual enthusiasm.  (Back then, I was young and foolish, not yet jaded by four decades of unsuccessful weight-loss attempts.  In my forties, I barely had the energy left to put-up a fight at all.)  I was going to only eat 800 calories per day.  Where I came-up with that figure, I have no clue.  I started out doing it in a healthy way (or, I should say, in as healthy a way as an 800-calorie-per-day diet can be), by spreading out my food consumption evenly throughout the day.  I basically ate fruits, veges, and one thin tuna sandwich on wheat bread daily.  By the fourth day, that ice cream in the freezer was calling my name.  By the fifth, it was screaming at me.  By the sixth, I had the measuring cups out and came to the wise decision that I could eat 400 calories of “real food” and still have 400 calories left to “spend ” on ice cream.  Ingenious!

That brilliant plan lasted about two days.

7 days after I had started, the idea came to me that the ice cream would be much better if I added a half-cup of unsalted peanuts to it.  (Doesn’t that sound sickeningly like the guy in The Big Book who decides that a shot of whiskey would taste great in his milk?!)  Peanuts are healthy, I reasoned.  Especially unsalted ones.  Yes, they are high in calories, but I could just take off some more calories from my “healthy” food list and use them for that…so now I was eating a cup of ice cream, a half cup of peanuts and 3 fruits every day.

That lasted about 3 days.

Then the REAL insanity kicked-in.

For the next week I lived-off little else but ice cream and unsalted peanuts.  But here was the kicker! – – I did it one half-cup at a time!  I ACTUALLY went through the trouble of measuring-out the ice cream in one-half cup servings, even if I ate TEN of them, just so I could feel like I was in control and be able to write down the amounts and figure out the calories!  Needless to say, I barely left the house that entire time!  I felt like I was chained to the freezer!  (AND the calculator!)  Finally, after 2 weeks of white-knuckling it, I gave-up.  Whatever few pounds I had lost were re-gained within a week.  Then I spent the rest of the summer bingeing and then starving and basically managing to stay the same weight as when I started, but continuing to mentally abuse myself for not being able to lose all the weight I thought I needed to lose.

Not exactly the type of summer a sixteen-year-old should be having.


May 20, 2012 This post was written by Categories: Tales of Terror: My Days as an Active Addict Tagged with:
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