Eating in Secret and Hiding Food

by Christine on June 30th, 2010

filed under Christine's Life Updates, Eating Disorders, Gastric Banding Surgery

Eating in SecretDo you have any “secret” food that is hidden in your house that only you know about?

Do you “hide” food away?

Do you eat in secret?  At night when everyone is asleep? Do you sneak into the kitchen when your kids go outside to play?

Do you feel guilty when you eat certain things, making you want to eat them secretly?

Chocolate candy bars.

I have a stack of them. Mr. Goodbar, that’s my downfall.  My husband doesn’t eat them. The candy bars have nuts in them, which he doesn’t eat.  These candy bars are all mine. I don’t have to compete with a tribe of faster grabbers to snag one for myself. They are mine, all mine!

I have the candy bars on the kitchen counter (I don’t have to fear hubby eating them) but I cover them up with a towel or notepad of paper, etc.

I cover them because I want them to be secret.

I generally only eat the candy bars when I sneak into the kitchen for a water refill when Hubby is safely in the living room. Or, I might eat one if Hubby goes downstairs to play computer games. The eating feels “secret,” which is really silly because I know Hubby wouldn’t care less if I ate them or not.  Usually, I only have a bite or two at a time. I don’t gobble the whole thing down at once.

Eating the candy bar isn’t that big of a deal, really. I don’t want to put anything off-limits to me. I’m not on a “diet,” after all, but just trying to make healthier choices and eat in moderation. Cutting candy bars off entirely would send me into major binge-mode.  That being said, I’ve given this candy bar some kind of power over myself by hiding it, making it “secret.”


Is this disordered eating?
Is this unhealthy?
What would a more positive change to this behavior involve?

That’s the only food I can think of that I hide like that, but in a similar-yet-unrelated tpic…I also hide my laxatives.  There’s a little bit of backstory that I suppose needs to go here. In one of my eighty-thousand-million attempts to lose weight, in a land far-far away, I somehow got it into my head that if food leaves my body quickly, then surely some of those calories would not get absorbed. I was never able to purge (and yes, I tried) but I found some kind of mental relief by taking laxatives.  Big binge? No problem…it’s nothing that four or five extra-strength ex-laxes couldn’t eliminate in a few hours. Owch.

I discovered later that there’s a growing movement to include laxative abuse into the DSM-IV definition of bulimia. In my case, I think that the definition would fit. I think I had bulimic tendencies, even though I didn’tvomit my food. Disordered eating, indeed.

There’s a few things ironic in here. Firstly, it’s ironic that I was even approved for gastric banding surgery. My psychiatric evaluation prior to surgery was a big joke — he never even asked me questions about any history of disordered eating.  Even if he had, I probably would have lied. The second bit of irony: I vomit all the time now, thanks to the gastric band. But oh, there’s a big, huge difference between my vomiting and laxative abuse.  I puke because the food is stuck in the gastric band and I need to get it out. When the food is stuck, I can’t breathe. My eyes water. My heart rate elevates. My saliva starts spilling out of my mouth because there’s no place downwards for it to go.  I do not — I repeat, I do NOT — vomit on purpose because I want to eliminate food that I eat.  It’s the intent that’s quite different between these vomiting versus laxative abuse scenarios.

Since my surgery, my laxative abuse has almost entirely gone away.  I don’t get frantic over the food that I eat because with the gastric band, I just can’t “binge” the way I used to.  I’m not frantic, so I don’t feel any need to “purge” the food I eat.  Even if I have that secret Mr. Goodbar on the counter, I really don’t get worked up about it.  That being said, since my surgery I’ve had problems pooping regularly. This week I realized I went five days without pooping. Clearly, in such instances, a little help is needed. I put Benefiber in every I drink, but it doesn’t help. I’ve gotten “cleanser” lemonade things that haven’t helped.  Grapes, prunes, sundried tomatoes, apples…I’ve tried them all.  Sometimes…a little extra action is necessary. Again, there’s a big different in intent her: pooping because you need to versus pooping to relieve your head after a binge.

There’s a cabinet where we keep all our medications, and the laxatives should go there. But they aren’t there. They are hidden, even now. I know Hubby wouldn’t care about it. I know Hubby wouldn’t use them. But I hide them anyway. Why? Why do I do this? When I take a laxative, it’s always, always in secret. And then I feel guilty for doing so.


I’m not sure how to resolve either of these issues — the hidden candy bar, or the laxatives. What would be healthier ways of dealing with both of these issues?

Many thanks to Prior Fatgirl (link to blog) for making me think about this today….



Adventure hiking leads to calories burned and good fun!

by Christine on June 29th, 2010

filed under Christine's Life Updates, Exercise

GeocachingI reached the top of the trail and looked around. A mile of steep terrain was in my wake, and I was 4,000 feet high, just above the tree line. My navigation system blinked over the bullseye indicating that I had arrived at the destination. I looked around, searching. Nothing stood out to me.  I picked up a stick and started poking at the ground, stirring up leaves and overturning rocks. Nothing.

To my right hand side was a stone ledge, about eight feet high. The craggy ledge smelled faintly of moss and mildew from yesterday’s rainstorm, and it was comforting to me. I noticed that the right hand side of the ledge jutted out in such a way as to resemble a crudely-cut stairway. I climbed up.

Geocaching ContainerI looked at my notes again. I was looking for an ammo container, camouflaged green, of substantial size.  The contents promised to be “sports-themed,” with a “take an object/leave an object” rule. Using my stick, I poked at the leaves and stones. Clunk!  Success! I squatted down and brushed the leaves away. Sure enough, there was the ammo container. Like a child on Christmas morning, I unhooked the clasp and eagerly opened the container.

What a treasure! Trading cards, dice, a small baseball, a soccer trophy, and other items cluttered the box. I picked through the items and found a glittery ice skating shoe in the form of a keychain. I pocketed the keychain and slipped an old leather golfing glove into the box. I pulled out the pad of paper and pencil. A lot of people had been here, I noted, flipping through the spiral-bound notebook.  “First to Find” (FTF) was some guy named “PluckyDucky” and was four years ago. Usually the FTF prize was something fairly substantial. I wondered what the prize was.

Geocaching made hiking and getting exercise fun. I discovered it about a year ago, when a friend took me out on a hike. He had pulled his portable navigation system (the one you use for driving in your car) out of his pocket and plugged in some coordinates that he had scrawled down on a piece of paper. That day the hike took us about a half mile to the edge of a river. The “micro-cache” was a teeny tiny little container hidden cleverly in the crook of a pine tree. If you weren’t looking for it, you never would have found it. There was no prize in that cache; it was too small. There was only an old rolled up piece of paper for signing your name.

Geocaching is totally free; it only requires that you sign in with a username and password. To get started, just go to and type in your zipcode and click “search.”  The website will bring up all the caches nearby. The first time I searched, I was shocked to discover that there were two caches on my street!

If you are just starting off, you want to search for caches that have a single green brick as its icon:  That indicates that it is a traditional, one-cache adventure. (The two yellow bricks indicate that the coordinates will lead you to another set of coordinates, and so-on. It can get lengthy. The question mark usually involves a riddle that you have to solve to find the next set of coordinates.)

Once you find a good “green brick” cache that sounds interesting, click on the name/description of the cache. You need to be logged in to see the coordinates, which are located at the top of the page.  Also at the top of the page you will find the difficulty level in finding the cache (how hard it’s hidden) and how hard the terrain is to get to the prize. If you scroll down you will see a description of the cache, perhaps a little history. There is usually an additional hint that you can click on that gives you a cheater of where to look, such as “in a big pine tree” or “Under a rock.”

When you find the cache, it’s nice to log back onto this page and leave a note at the very bottom of the page.  It’s fun to look at other peoples’ comments – sometimes they leave photos of their hunt!

Geocaching is great for kids. It’s free, it’s outdoors, it’s exercise, and it usually involves a prize f some kind. Who doesn’t like a prize?  Look for themed caches for even more fun. I’ve even found caches that are just for dogs and recommend leaving/picking up a treat for your dog.  These sometimes even have toys and special smells so the dog can help you find the cache!

Geocaching can be educational, too.  One day I looked up a cache that took me to a very remote trail that local Native Americans used  and where arrowheads are commonly found. Another cache took me to a statue of Martin Luther King, Jr., who had given a speech in my town (I had no idea)!  Caches are terrific tools for learning about local history.

The best part about geocaching? It burns calories! It’s basically hiking and exploring. The day I searched for the sports cache located on a medium-sized mountain, I burned over 1200 calories!  Not all geocaches are hard to find though. There are about 10 geocaches located in my mall parking lot.

A note about GeoBugs and Geocoins:

On the search page, you’ll find some curious looking icons, representing Geobugs and Geocoins. These are special objects that have a purpose. For instance, I found a Geobug once, in the form of a small gorilla statue with attached dog tag. I went to the website and discovered that this Geobug had come from Germany and whose goal was to make it to the top of the Empire State Building in NYC, then return to Germany.  I was able to take it from my cache to, a few weeks later, a cache a few miles closer to NYC.  It was on its way! I found another Geobug once in the form of a martini glass keychain. The goal of this “bug” was to go to parties and have its photo taken with groups of party-goers! The website had a bunch of photos of merry-makers with the keychain!  Look for Geobugs and help them along their journey!

Many thanks to Heather, from Heather’s Banded Journey, for reminding me about the fun and benefits of geocaching! Visit her blog today!


Music weekend and youthful generosity

by Christine on June 28th, 2010

filed under Christine's Life Updates

Me at Jazz FestWell, this weekend was Jazz Fest, and we had a really good time! I went with a good friend of mine that has a solid appreciation of jazz music. As for me, I was just looking forward to reading my new book and hearing the Afro Cuban All Stars play!

Saturday was a bit rainy, but it didn’t hinder our fun.  Fortunately for Jazz Fest they let you bring food and drink (yes, even alcohol) into the park! We stopped at Subway and I got a 6-inch sub. I hadn’t had a sub sandwich in perhaps a year? It was rough and slow-going. The bread was really hard on me. I only ate half of the sub for lunch, then I ate the rest of the sub for dinner. Mostly I just picked at it. I also had some wheat thin crackers and hummus and a few slices of cheese as a snack. Overall, not bad. Most of my calories came from alcohol, but I didn’t even have a lot of that.

Sunday was the best day: the weather was better, the music was better, the fun was better! We camped out at the small stage and heard a group called the Trio of Oz play. They were wonderful! They did jazz renditions of popular songs (Death Cab for Cutie; the Police; Stone Temple Pilots, etc.) I really enjoyed them.

After they played, my friend wanted to get their CD. There were two lines — one line to purchase the music, and one line for autographs with the band. I held a place in the autograph line while my friend bought the cd.  He grabbed the last CD off the shelf. Boy, was the guy behind him disappointed! The gentleman asked the Borders rep if there were any more CDs in storage, but he shook his head. They were all out.

There was a young kid standing behind me in the autograph line. He had dark, moppy hair and was maybe as tall as my shoulder. He was maybe 14 years old at best, if I had to guess.  He had two CDs in his hand. He went up to the gentleman without a CD and said, “Here, take this one.” The guy said, “Are you sure? Oh, that’s really nice of you! Thanks!” and got into line to buy it. The kid said, “No no, I already bought this. It’s paid for…enjoy the music, man!” The guy was flabbergasted. Okay, we were all a little flabbergasted. He pulled out his wallet and the kid pushed his hand away. “No, it’s free. Just take it. You gotta pass the music on, you know.  It’s for the music, man.”

It was so cliche that I had to laugh, but really, the kid’s generosity really touched all of us. The man ran off to find some money to pay the kid back with (his wallet was empty). In the meantime, I told the kid what a great thing he did there, and offered to buy him an ice cream cone. He said no. He said that he was learning to play guitar (acoustic and base) and really just enjoys jazz music, and this band was really good and wanted to pass the music on. What a great kid. With an attitude like that, he’s really going to go places. His father must be terribly proud of him.

afrocubanallstarsFeeling pretty good after this wonderful act of generosity, then came the Afro Cuban All Stars. They were great! The whole place got up and danced to the salsa and merengue music. I was grinning ear to ear to see so many people moving their bodies, smiling, and dancing with each other! Everyone was dancing — old and young, black and white, guys and girls, good and the bad dancers…everyone! It was a giant celebration! My favorite was their Buena Vista Social Club tribute, but the other stuff was super fun too!

Afterwards the band had an autograph signing. Being the autograph hound that I am, I decided I had to get Juan De Marco’s autograph.  So I sucked up my shyness, bought a “Live at Carnegie Hall” cd, and stood in line.  Here’s a pic of me with him and his two beautiful daughters. They were all very nice!

Juan de marco

On Sunday I had a salad with tunafish for lunch, some chips as a snack, an ice cream cone while listing to the AFAS, then had some French Onion soup after the show. Plus two beers over the course of the day. Not a low-calorie day, and very high in salt. Today I’m bloated as all get-out…no surprise as to why. I shall counteract the salt-bloat by drinking a lot of water today!



If I’m being honest…

by Christine on June 25th, 2010

filed under Christine's Life Updates

Okay I admit it. I’m partially looking forward to visiting my family in two weeks because I’m secretly hoping for a “WOW you’ve lost so much weight” reaction from them.

I’ve gotten very few of those reactions in my daily life. I think this is partially because I see most of the important people in my life very often. (To be honest, the fact that I get so few reactions is really bothersome to me, but I try really hard not to dwell on it.) The people that live around here probably don’t notice the change as much.  when I do get reactions, it’s more like, “You look great, Christine! But, of course, I didn’t think you needed to lose any weight beforehand.”  How paradoxical!

However, my family hasn’t seen me in a year, so the change should be noticeable.

I hope.

‘Cmon. It’s 85 pounds. Eighteen clothing sizes. That’s not “chump change,” right?

I hope I get a couple of amazed reactions.

Maybe I should just tell my mom and dad of the reaction that I’m hoping for, that way I don’t get stuck in “missed expectations” and be disappointed?



Music Love and Comfortable Self-Denial

by Christine on June 25th, 2010

filed under Christine's Life Updates

afro cuban all starsGood morning Revolutionists!

I hope that everyone is having a great week…lots of weight lost, spending quality time with family, and enjoying lovely summertime weather! What have been the highlights of your week? Post below and let me know!

Sometimes we get a little too busy for our own good, you know? This has definitely been one of those weeks for me, and I know that my schedule isn’t going to slow down anytime soon.  Yesterday I was due to go out shopping with some girlfriends, but the outing was canceled at the last minute. Boy, was I relieved! I love my friends of course, but I really needed a day to just chill out.  Number one on my list was to go to the gym, especially because I neglected to go for this entire week due to my busy schedule. My hubby wanted to go too, but he had a prior committment with friends, so we agreed to go when he got back. While I was waiting, I went to the bookstore and picked up a new novel to read. I walked to Paneras and had some Vegetarian Black Bean Soup (250 calories for the large size, of pure deliciousness!). Relaxing was exactly what I needed!

As it turned out, my hubby didn’t get home until 9 p.m. (and didn’t call to tell me he would be so late), so the gym never happened. Very frustrating.

I currently have a food shopping conundrum. What would you do? I am completely out of fresh, healthy food in my fridge right now. I will be gone all weekend, and I will be gone two days next week as well. Then, I leave Friday (in one week) for vacation. There’s no way I can eat a shopping-trip worth of veggies in the two days that I will be home. What advice do you guys have for eating healthfully but dealing with the no-food and no-time conundrum?

This weekend I have a two-day jazz festival to attend! Now, I’m not a huge jazz fan. I mean, I like jazz music, but I would be hard pressed to name three current jazz singers’ or musicians’ names.  That being said, I love all music. I don’t discriminate. I went to a Phish concert last weekend. I’ll be seeing the Gin Blossoms this week. I’ve got tickets to several classical concerts this summer, a Sublime tribute band…I’m really all over the place musically. I like it all! That’s probably why I have more than a terabyte of music on my computer at home!

But I digress…Jazz Fest! One of my favorite bands is the Buena Vista Social Club (also known as the Afro Cuban All-Stars). I love to cook while listening to to their Cuban music.  I believe they inspire culinary savvy. The band is made up of these really old guys that are all-star musicians from other latin-music bands. Well, the Afro-Cuban All Stars are coming to the jazz fest! I’m so excited to see them in person!  Interested in hearing their music? Check out these two You-Tube videos:

Weight-wise….I haven’t moved at all. I haven’t gained, but I haven’t lost a thing this week either.  I know I need to re-assess my eating and exercise and get stricter with myself, but I’m not ready for the self-honesty and that level of commitment yet. I’m happily, comfortably in denial, but I think I may need to “get real” with myself after I return from my vacation.  I’m not overly looking forward to that conversation with myself.

Have you checked out the clothing giveaway yet? There are still many pieces of clothes still available!  CLICK HERE!

There are other giveaways going on! Check out this post AND the comments section!  There’s an ice cream maker up for giveaway, a food processor, casserole dishes, etc!


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