8/26/2014

How To Start And End Your Day With Love

By Laura Moncur @ 2:35 pm — Filed under:

I read the headline to this old Sara Lee advertisement and I thought to myself, “THAT! That was my problem for so long!”

How To Start and End Your Day With Love from Starling Fitness

It reads:

How to start and end your day with love.

Pecan Morning Love

Strawberry French Cheesecake Evening Love

That’s what we all want, right? We want to start our day with love and we want to end our day with love. The only problem with this ad is the idea that it comes in a pie tin.

I’m not villianizing pie and coffee cake, mind you. You can work a slice of pie into your diet as well as any other high calorie food. I’m just pointing out that sweets and desserts are NOT love.

Love is a hug. Love is a kind smile when we make a mistake. Love is a calm and loving response when we have a bad day. Love is NOT food.

Oh, but it can FEEL like it sometimes. That’s why it fools us. Sometimes love MAKES a pie, but it’s the person who made the treat, NOT the treat that is the expression of love. Don’t get fooled.

Or maybe love isn’t around, but there’s pie and when I eat it, it ALMOST feels like love. Yeah, that dopamine response is good, but honestly it’s not THAT good. It’s close, but a hug is much, much better.

So marketing is doing what marketing does best and fools me into thinking that a Sara Lee coffee cake IS love, but they are wrong. So how can I do it? How do I start and end my day with love?

GIVE IT AWAY.

If you want more love in your life, you MUST be the first one to give it away.

Love Isnt Love Till You Give It Away from Starling Fitness

I know it sucks that you have to put your heart out there on the line. I know that as much love as you give out to strangers, lovers and acquaintances will never come back to you in the same form or quantity. But it WILL come back. All you need to do is honestly love others and SHOW them it every morning and every night and you can start and end your day with love. No pie required…

Images via

8/25/2014

Two Facets of my Disease

By Laura Moncur @ 7:04 am — Filed under:

I saw this image on Breathe Happiness and it shocked me into a realization.

Two Types of People - Two Facets of my Disease from Starling Fitness

It reads:

Fasting day 1 in full effect

Going to eat the rest of my graduation cake for every meal today because I don’t even CARE.

Built to Bulk posted this first and commented:

There are two types of people…

The thing is, the longer I am in recovery, the more I realize that THESE are the two facets to my disease. My disease wasn’t just all bingeing. It was also starvation. It was also exercising so much that I my toenails fell off.

Every time I feel like bingeing, that is an indicator that something is wrong in my life. Paradoxically, every time I feel like upping my exercise drastically, that is ALSO an indicator that something is wrong in my life. Every time I feel like changing my calorie goal to a far lower number so I can lose more than one pound a week, that is an ADDITIONAL indicator that something is wrong in my life. It’s never about the food, whether I want to eat ALL of it or NONE of it. It’s never about the running, whether I want to do nothing or ten miles in a day. It’s about WHY I want eat, restrict or exercise too much.

I am so grateful that I have finally learned this. When I am tempted to overeat, over-restrict or over-exercise, there is something ELSE going on. Maybe I’m anxious about something. Maybe I’m angry at someone. Maybe I’m resenting something from my past. Maybe I am getting too proud and have forgotten my humility. Whatever it is, it’s not about the fasting. It’s not about the graduation cake. These are the two facets of my disease and they are warnings every time they surface in my mind.

8/23/2014

Beware The Pumpkin Spice Latte

By Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am — Filed under:

Beware the Pumpkin Spice LatteStarbucks is bringing back the Pumpkin Spice Latte early this year, which brings joy to many people, apparently. I’ve seen excited ramblings on Tumblr and FaceBook, which is all well and good, but only if you know what you’re getting into.

You see, the Pumpkin Spice Latte is not just a cup of coffee. It’s basically a milkshake that a little coffee looked at once. Look at these nutrition facts from Starbucks’ website. If you get the smallest cup (8 oz.) and ask them to use non-fat milk and no whipped cream, you can get away with it for only 130, which seems like a LOT to me considering I can have three ounces of chicken for the same amount of calories.

Pumpkin Spice Latte Nutrition Facts 8 oz

If you’re feeling like a tiny 8 oz. cup is not enough, however, you might order a Venti. Since you’re going big, you might as well splurge with whole milk and whipped cream. If you do, you’re drinking 510 in one cup.

Pumpkin Spice Latte Nutrition Facts 20 oz

Torani® Pumpkin Pie Syrup Sugar Free at Amazon.comSkip Starbucks altogether and you’ll be $3.50 richer and thinner. Here’s how to do it. Use the Torani Pumpkin Pie Sugar Free Syrup in your coffee and you’ll spend zero calories on your coffee unless you choose to put milk or creamer in it. The reason Starbucks coffee tastes so good isn’t about the coffee. It’s about the SUGAR and MILK that they put in. The pumpkin spice is just a flavoring added. Save yourself the calories and make your own.

8/22/2014

Food Porn

By Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am — Filed under:

I had to adjust my Pinterest boards recently. I realized that so many of the things that my friends were pinning were food porn. They weren’t necessarily unhealthy foods being posted, but I was seeing page after page of pictures of food. Sure, they were healthy food pictures like this one.

Food Porn from Starling Fitness

Still so many images of food just aren’t that good for me. They make me feel hungry even when I’m not hungry. So, I unsubscribed to the boards that my friends had set up that pertained to food. ALL of them, even the healthy food recipes. I decided that when I’m feeling like I need new food recipes, I’ll go find them myself.

The funny thing is, BEFORE OA, I used to love looking at pictures of food. I would fantasize about making the recipe or ordering it at a restaurant. I spent A LOT of time thinking about food I was never going to eat. Now that the compulsion to eat is being handled by other means, I can see those images for what they are: FOOD PORN.

Image via: Breathe Happiness

8/21/2014

Anorexia Knows No Age

By Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am — Filed under:

This postcard from PostSecret reminded me how hard eating disorders can be.

Anorexia knows no age

It reads:

Anorexia does not discriminate and it knows no age.

People assume that anorexia is a young person’s disease because that’s all we see in the media, but it can hit people at any age. The same is true with bulimia, binge-eating and exercise bulimia. You’re not “safe” once you hit a milestone in your age. You’re not even “safe” if you used to suffer from an eating disorder and have been in recovery for many years.

In fact, when you have a relapse, it usually hits you HARDER and STRONGER the second time. If you have been recovered and you fall back into your eating disorder, it will be that much harder to get back out. Your brain is pre-disposed to being addicted to these behaviors, so if you give it that crazy hit of dopamine again, then you are playing with fire.

I HATE the fact that I will never be free from binge-eating. I haven’t had a binge for over seven months, but I am not safe. I will never be safe and every day, I need to meditate and get my “hit” of those brain chemicals that are released when I have a spiritual experience in order to hold off the eating.


PostSecret‘s beneficiary is the National Hopeline Network. It is a 24-hour hotline (1 (800) SUICIDE) for anyone who is thinking about suicide or knows someone who is considering it.

4/8/2014

PostSecret: Soap on the Cake

By Laura Moncur @ 12:50 pm — Filed under:

This postcard from PostSecret reminded me of how I stayed in my addiction to food for so long.

PostSecret - Soap On The Cake from Starling Fitness

It reads:

I had to put soap on this so I wouldn’t eat it out of the garbage. It wasn’t even that good.

I knew that putting soap on food was a sign of disordered eating. I remember throwing away cake and thinking, “See, I’m not that bad. I can throw away cake and not have to soap on it like those poor people who are binge eaters.”

It was a way that I tricked myself. I wasn’t a binge eater because I could throw away food without getting it out of the garbage. Of course, nothing was stopping me from going to the store and buying another cake, some Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and a bag of Munchos. And I did…

The worst part of that postcard is the last sentence:

It wasn’t even that good.

THAT is the wretched betrayal of this disease. The longer we live in it, the less dopamine charge we get from bingeing, so foods that used to taste divine don’t taste as good as they used to. They start to taste bland and we are ever-searching for a better dessert or salty snack.

I can’t believe how many lies I told myself about my binges. Just a few months ago, I would have smugly nodded at this postcard, not realizing that disordered eating comes in many shapes and sizes. Just because I refuse to eat out of the garbage can doesn’t mean that I’m not a binge eater.

The telling aspect of this disease is that last sentence. Wanting to binge and when I did, it didn’t even taste that good, is THE definition of the biological problems that occur with binge eating. If you are noticing this trend in your eating, get some help, because this problem only gets worse the longer you have it.


PostSecret‘s beneficiary is the National Hopeline Network. It is a 24-hour hotline (1 (800) SUICIDE) for anyone who is thinking about suicide or knows someone who is considering it.

3/30/2014

PostSecret: Obsessive Cravings

By Laura Moncur @ 12:52 pm — Filed under:

This postcard from PostSecret reminded me of how I white-knuckled my way down to 150 pounds.

PostSecret: Obsessive Cravings from Starling Fitness

It reads:

My diet makes me obsess about food to the point where I google image search my cravings in an attempt to stave them off…

Just a note to this person and anyone else in this situation: IT DOESN’T WORK. I have done many crazy things to keep myself from eating food, which just fed my obsession.

Once I realized that I had no control over food, I saw how silly all these activities were and how they actually made my food obsession worse. I also felt a huge wave of grief and self-pity because I felt completely and utterly doomed. I was fully aware that there was nothing I could do to control the biological urge to overeat. My hunger response was so broken and I felt as if I could never get past this.

And then I found this awesome other part of my brain. It had been there all along, but I never had been able to access it before. Now, I let it control all my eating and it does a better job than I have ever been able to do on my own.

If you are feeling hopeless over your eating behaviors, there is a way out. Get yourself into an OA meeting. Get a sponsor, do what your sponsor tells you to do, and learn to access that powerful part of your brain that can handle your hunger more than you could ever do it.


PostSecret‘s beneficiary is the National Hopeline Network. It is a 24-hour hotline (1 (800) SUICIDE) for anyone who is thinking about suicide or knows someone who is considering it.

3/19/2014

PostSecret: Throw It Up

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

This postcard from PostSecret reminded me of my worst of days suffering with my compulsive eating.

Throw It Up from Starling Fitness

It reads:

I only eat fast food if I’m near a place to throw it up.

I never was bulimic. I could never make myself throw up my huge binges. For some reason, that made me think that I wasn’t THAT bad. “Sure, I ate over 4000 calories in one sitting, but at least I didn’t throw it up,” I would think to myself. I knew I had a problem because eating that much food made me feel sick, yet I felt like I couldn’t stop.

But at least I wasn’t barfing. I wasn’t ruining my teeth. I wasn’t THAT sick.

I now know that my compulsive eating was just as dangerous and harmful as bulimia. Bingeing and purging is bad. Bingeing all by itself is just as bad. BOTH of them hurt the victims of these diseases.

And don’t fool yourself. It IS a disease. It is just as damaging as a disease. It leaves its victims just as powerless over it. It is a physiologic response to food that makes you need more and more. I’ve talked about this before here:

Watch this video if you don’t believe that compulsive overeating is not a disease:

This is the most important quote:

No one can exert willpower over a biochemical drive that goes on every minute of every day of every year.

If you are telling yourself that you’re not THAT sick because at least you don’t make yourself barf after your binges, you are WRONG. Get some help. For me, I found help at Overeater’s Anonymous, but there are mental health professionals who might also be able to nurture you back to health. The most important thing is realizing that you have a problem and getting some help for it.


PostSecret‘s beneficiary is the National Hopeline Network. It is a 24-hour hotline (1 (800) SUICIDE) for anyone who is thinking about suicide or knows someone who is considering it.

3/8/2014

Keurig Coffee Pods: Sendin’ U Packin’

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

I’ve had a never ending problem with caffeine that I’ve talked about for over ten years:

I have limited my caffeine intake to a single Coke Zero every day. I’ve always said that coffee is the cheapest way to get a caffeine dose, but a cup of coffee is not consistent. What I get from a pot of coffee at a convenience store is different from my automatic drip coffee maker at home, which is also different than what I would get from the local barista.

Keurig K75 Platinum Brewing System at Amazon.comKnow what IS consistent? Keurig coffee makers.

I get the same amount of caffeine every time from that machine, if it will keep working. We LITERALLY have returned three machines because they keep on breaking.

Now, I learn that Keurig is trying to prevent people from using coffee pods from other companies in their machines.

“Green Mountain has announced a new anticompetitive plan to maintain its monopoly by redesigning its brewers to lock out competitors’ products. Such lock-out technology cannot be justified based on any purported consumer benefit, and Green Mountain itself has admitted that the lock-out technology is not essential for the new brewers’ function. Like its exclusionary agreements, this lock-out technology is intended to serve anticompetitive and unlawful ends.”

So, when my current machine breaks, (and it WILL very soon, I guarantee it because they all do) the new machine will only work with pods that pay for the extra DRM or that come from Keurig. It’s kind of a crappy thing to do to your customers, so I’m sending the Keurig machine to the thrift store.

As Wil Wheaton says: “Friends don’t let friends use pod coffee makers.”

Update 08-03-14

Folgers Flavors Hazelnut Ground Coffee at Amazon.comI DID send the Keurig machine packing. Right after writing this article, I pulled down the automatic drip machine from the top of the cupboards and started using it, leaving the Keurig unplugged, but ready for me if I wanted to go back. The thing that I liked best about the Keurig was the variety of flavored coffees. I had no idea that I could get so many varieties for my automatic drip machine, but Folgers has been VERY busy.

They also have a wide variety of roasts (i.e. French, Country, Breakfast, House) for every taste. EVERYTHING that I loved about the Keurig has been easily replaced with my old automatic drip coffeemaker and each cup costs me a few cents instead of a dollar. I haven’t missed the Keurig for the last few months, so I gave it away and didn’t look back.

3/4/2014

Azodicarbonamide: Dough Conditioner, Flour Bleacher and Foam Plastics Blowing Agent

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

Why are food companies putting non-food in their foods? It’s a simple question and one that has the customers of Subway up in arms.

Subway has agreed to stop using this particular chemical in their bread, but that doesn’t mean much. This is a common chemical used to “condition dough” or “bleach flour.” Unfortunately, it’s also used as a “plastics blowing agent.”

The principal use of azodicarbonamide is in the production of foamed plastics as a blowing agent. The thermal decomposition of azodicarbonamide results in the evolution of nitrogen, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and ammonia gases, which are trapped in the polymer as bubbles to form a foamed article.

Azodicarbonamide Molecular Structure from Starling Fitness

A long time ago, my dad told me that they put plastic in bread to make it light and fluffy. I dismissed it as another one of his paranoid rants, especially since he kept eating bread. Now, as I am looking at the ingredients for the bread sitting on our kitchen counter, I see “dough conditioner.”

Dough Conditioner from Starling Fitness

According to Wikipedia, the USDA has deemed Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate as safe:

But then again, the USDA thinks Azodicarbonamide is safe as well.

SSL is currently manufactured by the esterification of stearic acid with lactic acid and partially neutralized with either food-grade soda ash (sodium carbonate) or caustic soda (concentrated sodium hydroxide). Commercial grade SSL is a mixture of sodium salts of stearoyl lactylic acids and minor proportions of other sodium salts of related acids.

I’m beginning to think that there is no food that hasn’t been tainted by big business and the hand of greed. I wasn’t eating bread because I thought the gluten was causing trouble, but considering all the other chemicals that have been used to bleach flour, perhaps it’s just the food industry that I’m allergic to.

Via:

Molecular Image via: File:Azodicarbonamide 3D ball.png – Wikimedia Commons

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