6/17/2015

Feel Like You’re Going To Die

By Laura Moncur @ 11:14 am — Filed under:

I saw this motivational poster on Funeral For My Fat and it made me shake my head.

I want you to feel like you're going to die. Jillian Michaels from Starling Fitness

It reads:

I want you to feel like you’re going to die.

  • Jillian Michaels

THAT is the kind of exercise that spawned a binge for me EVERY TIME. It might not have sent me to a binge that day, but it ALWAYS led to a binge. I could exercise like that for weeks on end, but the desire to binge would surface almost immediately. There is something about intense exercise that makes me hungrier.

And it’s not all in my head.

Exercise has been shown to increase hunger. This article from the Journal of Endocrinology tested that hypothesis:

It reads:

During the exercise period, hunger scores were significantly decreased; however, this effect disappeared in the post-exercise period. Exercise significantly increased subsequent absolute EI, but produced a significant decrease in relative EI after accounting for the energy expended during exercise. Hunger scores and PYY, GLP-1 and PP levels showed an inverse temporal pattern during the 1-h exercise/control intervention.

What they’re saying is that when you exercise, you get a slight decrease in hunger during and after the exercise. Afterward, however, your body produces more ghrelin, which makes you even hungrier than you were before you exercised.

As of this morning, I have lost 70 pounds. I did it by walking the dog and letting her sniff every interesting blade of grass on the journey. SLOW walks and easy yoga. That is all the exercise I did during this weight loss period. EVERY time I’ve tried to increase my intensity to running or intense weight training, I have had an increase in the desire to binge and hunger sensations.

So, when I see Jillian Michaels saying that she wants you to feel like you’re going to die, it just makes me sadly shake my head. That might be very motivational to some people, but to me, it just reeks of a binge about an hour after the workout.

5/29/2015

The Imitation of Those Whom We Cannot Resemble

By Laura Moncur @ 12:10 pm — Filed under:

I saw this quote today and it really spoke to me.

It reads:

Almost all absurdity of conduct arises from the imitation of those whom we cannot resemble.

  • Samuel Johnson

I’ve talked about this before here:

Whitney Houston Skin Care from Starling Fitness* Starling Fitness – Whitney Houston Workout Routine

When I was a teenager, I would look at the articles in Seventeen magazine and do the exercises and makeup that were written about there and wonder why I didn’t look like the models. That’s because I was trying to imitate women who I could not possibly resemble. I am not Whitney Houston and I never can be. Only Whitney Houston can be Whitney Houston.

The same thing happens today. Here is an example from OK! magazine called, What I Ate Today, featuring Jayma Mays.

What I Ate Today Jayma Mays from Starling Fitness

If I ate what she ate, will I look like her? Never. If I ate what the expert says I should eat, would I look like her? Nope. No one can be Jayma Mays but Jayma Mays. Once I realized this, all those women’s magazines lost a lot of their appeal to me. I used to read them avidly, hoping for the magic answer.

Here’s the magic answer: You can never be that, and that’s okay because you can be YOU and that’s even better.

Once I realized that, so much of the absurdity in my life evaporated and was replaced by sanity and productive activity. Don’t waste your time trying to imitate those you cannot resemble, and you will can have that sanity as well.

5/13/2015

The REAL Five Words We Should Stop Using When Talking About Food

By Laura Moncur @ 10:14 am — Filed under:

The REAL Five Words We Should Stop Using When Talking About Food from Starling FitnessMy friend sent me a link to this Washington Post entry:

I immediately thought of the words that I thought should be on that list. The words they chose, however, weren’t anywhere near to what I was thinking: Detox, Cleanse, Skinny, Never and Perfect. While I might agree with “Never” and “Perfect,” they didn’t come up on my list.

Here are the REAL five words we should stop using when talking about food: (more…)

5/11/2015

Mrs. Fields Cookies: That First High

By Laura Moncur @ 7:59 am — Filed under:

Mrs Fields Cookies: That First High from Starling FitnessWhen I was a teenager, I loved Mrs. Field’s Cookies. The walnut milk chocolate chip cookies were my favorite. I loved going to Valley Fair Mall in West Valley to eat them with my binge-buddy.

Lately, though, the cookies haven’t tasted the same. They just don’t taste as good as they did when I was a teenager. I kept eating them, trying to get that same flavor. I blamed the frozen cookie dough, so I tried making them on my own with the recipes I found that said they tasted “just like” Mrs. Fields, but they didn’t taste right either.

What I was looking for is that first high.

We addicts will NEVER again experience that first high from food that we used to feel when we ate. It just takes more and more food or richer food to get even close to how it used to make us feel. Just like heroine addicts, we are searching for a high that we can NEVER get again. Unlike heroine addicts, it’s very difficult to OD on food. We just end up getting fatter and fatter and eating ALL day long.

Knowing that food will never again make me feel like it used to make me feel really depressed me, but it has also helped me to prevent binges. My binge foods don’t have as much attraction to me because I know that my brain is broken. I know they won’t taste as good as they used to. I’m sad about that, but at the same time, accepting it is my only option if I don’t want to eat myself into oblivion.

Two months ago, when we went to Cottonwood, AZ to camp, we passed through the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. There was a little shop there that sold cookies (and had gas and a bathroom). Mike asked if I wanted a bite of his cookie and I said yes. It tasted just like a Mrs. Fields Cookie used to taste and I KNEW that I couldn’t eat any more or I’d have a binge. Ironically, it was some insane “loaded” cookie with a THICK layer of chocolate in the middle. Probably THREE times the sugar and fat that was in those original Mrs. Fields Cookies.

THAT’S what it now takes to get me to that first high: a diabetic coma in a cookie.

The only thing that ever helped me was Overeater’s Anonymous. If it is taking more and more food to feel the same as you did when you were younger, you might have the same problem as I do. Get yourself to an Overeater’s Anonymous meeting, tell the truth, get a sponsor and DO WHAT THEY SAY. There IS hope. It’s just not in the form of a diet, workout or pill.


Overeater’s Anonymous does not endorse anything on this entry or blog. I speak only of my personal experience and not for OA as a whole.

Image via:

5/1/2015

Make Yourself HUMBLE

By Laura Moncur @ 8:03 am — Filed under:

Almost five years ago, Nike ran the “Make Yourself” ads. I wrote about them back then:

Back then, I said,

I love these advertisements from Nike. They encourage me to be strong, to let myself shine and to become fit. Sometimes I need encouragement like this and these are the perfect ads to tear out of a magazine and put on my wall right in front of the treadmill.

I found another Nike ad from that collection, but I don’t quite like it as much as the other ones.

Make Yourself Proud from Starling Fitness

It says:

Make yourself proud

I have written about humility and how it has affected my weight loss journey MANY times. You can read some of the articles here.

Time and time again, I have learned that when I’m humble, I lose weight. When I start to get proud, the weight comes back on. Humility is not about thinking I’m not as good as everyone else. It’s about thinking that we are all of the same value. You are not more important than me. I am not more important than you. We are BOTH important. There is room for BOTH of us to be great.

So, do I want to Make Myself Proud?

Strangely, no. I do not. I want to make myself humble.

4/29/2015

M&Ms and Artificial Scarcity

By Laura Moncur @ 11:33 am — Filed under:

I saw this ad for M&Ms a while ago. It was before I had started OA, so it was QUITE a while ago. When I saw it, I immediately wanted to go out and buy M&Ms.

M and Ms Artificial Scarcity from Starling Fitness

Somehow that ad had triggered my desire for them and I didn’t know why. I took a screen shot of the ad, which was, ironically, in a health and fitness magazine, and didn’t think about it again until today.

I looked through my folder of ideas to write about Starling Fitness and saw this ad. I was going to write about how advertising triggers cravings, but I now know it goes further than that. This advertisement triggers the Artificial Scarcity craving. We want it because it won’t always be around. We want it because we think it’s scarce.

Do those M&Ms taste any different than normal M&MS? No.

Do I even like regular M&Ms? Not particularly.

Because those M&Ms are in special “Fall” colors, they won’t be around for long. This is a limited time product, so I better act now. They do the same thing at Christmas, Easter and even Independence Day. The same M&Ms, only in red and green, pastels and pink, or the old red, white and blue. They are desirable because we can’t get them all the time.

I talked about this before here:

Back then, I said:

The problem is PERCEIVED SCARCITY. We could cook a turkey any time, but we only have them at Thanksgiving. We could buy that Torani Pumpkin Pie Sugar Free Syrup for our coffee at any time, but Starbucks has somehow convinced us that it is only available in the fall. None of these things are actually scarce. The food manufacturers use marketing and self-imposed limits to make them scarce and even create hoarding.

DON’T FALL FOR IT!

M&Ms in Autumn Colors. Don’t Fall for it…

4/24/2015

The Cake Is A Lie

By Laura Moncur @ 8:21 am — Filed under:

I was looking through my saved images in a folder called “Starling Fitness Ideas,” and I found this one:

The Cake Is A Lie Diet from Starling Fitness

It reads:

The Cake Is A Lie Diet: Lose 17 pounds a week by changing your diet with this one simple tip!

Awarded for: “Watch an inspirational video on YouTube or TED.”

I have a vague memory of an app that I played with that gave me awards and kudos for doing good things in my life, but I cannot for the life of me remember where this came from or even why I saved it.

“The Cake Is A Lie” is a meme that came from the game Portal. In that game, the computer voice kept promising me that if I completed the tasks, that there would be cake at the end. About halfway through the game, you come to this creepy hallway and the phrase, “The cake is a lie,” is scrawled over and over on the wall.

The Cake is a Lie image via Project Reroll

At the end of the game, you realize that there is no cake and you have been doing all these things for nothing. The phrase “The Cake Is A Lie” has come to mean that a promised gift is being used to motivate you without any intent of delivering it. For a while there, I couldn’t log onto Facebook without seeing this image it was so popular.

The Cake is a Lie Meme from Starling Fitness

The truth of the matter is, the cake IS a lie. Every time I eat cake, I am trying to recreate that intense feeling of ecstasy that I had the first time I ever ate cake. I am trying to get that same hit of dopamine that I got when I first had cake. The problem is that the more cake I eat, the less of a dopamine hit I get until I need to eat cake all day long EVERY day to just feel normal. The promise of the cake is a lie.

Then again, the promise of the “fit” life is a lie, too. I remember being at 150 pounds and being so close to goal and STILL feeling miserable. I had told myself that when I got skinny, I would be happy. I had told myself that when I lost the weight, I would love myself. That was a lie just as much as the cake was.

Eating the cake was a lie. Not eating the cake was a lie.

THAT is the sense of hopelessness I had when I stepped into my first Overeater’s Anonymous meeting. I hated myself when I was fat. I hated myself when I was thin. I couldn’t stop eating and I didn’t want to eat anymore. I was in a No-Win situation and I had no idea what to do. That’s why I got a sponsor. That’s why I did EVERYTHING she told me to do. That’s why I cleared the wreckage of my past and started fresh. That’s why I was willing to meditate every day and make a “God Box.”

I knew the cake was a lie and I knew that I couldn’t stop eating it.


Overeater’s Anonymous does not endorse anything on this entry or blog. I speak only of my personal experience and not for OA as a whole.

4/18/2015

My Eating Disorder Loves To Fantasize About Exercising

By Laura Moncur @ 10:01 am — Filed under:

The other day, I wrote this entry about old exercise machines:

The whole point of the entry is that exercise equipment hasn’t changed much in the last fifty years. For the last fifty years, our population has only been getting FATTER, so don’t bother buying any of those exercise machines that are available today because they won’t help you.

After I wrote that entry, I promptly spent the next hour researching stretchy fitness bands on Amazon and YouTube. I found the best resistance band exercises video. It’s short, simple and shows you the proper form for ten exercises.

I found an awesome printable poster for exercises for resistance bands from FitnessHealth.co.uk that you can just fold up and put in your traveling case.

Printable Resistance Band Exercises from Starling Fitness

BalanceFrom Heavy Duty Premium Resistance Band Kit with Improved Safe Door Anchor, Ankle Strap and Carrying Case at Amazon.comI had JUST written an article about how simple exercises like yoga and walking have helped me way more than intense exercises like weight training and running. I had just written an article about not letting the health and fitness industry steal your money and here I was SERIOUSLY considering dropping the thirty bucks to get this resistance band set: BalanceFrom Heavy Duty Premium Resistance Band Kit with Improved Safe Door Anchor, Ankle Strap and Carrying Case at Amazon.com. Despite the fact that I ALREADY own a resistance band set!

I realize now that my disease took over a little bit at that point.

The sad truth of the matter is: my eating disorder loves to fantasize about exercising. Ever since the age of ten, I was told that if I just exercised that I wouldn’t be fat anymore. If I wasn’t so lazy, I wouldn’t be fat.

It was a lie I believed. It’s a lie that I still catch myself believing, even though I know what has helped me and what has hindered me.

After YEARS of research on my own body, here is what I KNOW for a fact:

  • Weight training makes me binge
  • Running makes me binge
  • Skipping meals makes me binge
  • Stuffing down my feelings, instead of dealing with them in a healthy manner, makes me binge.

Yet, I’m still tempted to weight train, run, skip meals to “save calories for later,” and just ignore my feelings. I keep catching myself thinking:

  • This time, I won’t train so hard
  • This time, I will only run a little bit
  • This time I will be able to keep my food under control
  • This time my feelings aren’t that big of a deal

“This time” isn’t going to be like “last time.” That is probably the biggest lie I say to myself: “This time, I’ll be able to do it.” Just like the alcoholic who tells himself that this time he will just have one drink.

My eating disorder loves to fantasize about exercise just as much as an alcoholic loves to fantasize about being able to drink moderately. It’s a fantasy that I need to discard and accept the fact that exercise will not make me thin. It will just make me binge.

4/17/2015

PostSecret: Take Off The Ring

By Laura Moncur @ 8:00 am — Filed under:

This postcard from PostSecret was interesting.

PostSecret: Take Off The Ring from Starling Fitness

It reads:

I take off the ring that you gave me when I grow up. I’m not sure if it’s because I don’t want to ruin it or because I know how disappointed you’d be.

I was never able to throw up to rid myself of my binges. I wished that I could, but I could never really do it. It’s just a different way my disease could have harmed me that never came to pass and I’m grateful.

The reason why we binge is because there is something wrong with our brains. The reason why we purge is because there is something wrong with our brains. Science hasn’t entirely figured it out yet, but there is hope. Get yourself to Overeater’s Anonymous and be entirely honest with yourself, your group and your sponsor. You don’t have to take off the ring anymore…


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.


Overeater’s Anonymous does not endorse anything on this entry or blog. I speak only of my personal experience and not for OA as a whole.

4/16/2015

Old Exercise Machines from the 1979 Argos Catalogue

By Laura Moncur @ 8:00 am — Filed under:

Retrospace had a post about Argos Catalogues from Great Britain which was pretty much just about looking at half-naked women, but one page really caught my eye. It was the page from the Health and Fitness section of the catalogue.

Argos 1979 Spring Catalogue Health and Fitness from Starling Fitness

There are some fairly typical things, like these weights and springs. The springs have been replaced by plastic stretchy cords in a variety of colors, but this equipment is still available today.

Argos 1979 Spring Catalogue Weights and Springs from Starling Fitness

Even these body weight machines are still available today. Companies have slapped the word “Pilates” on the label, but other than that, they’re still the same. I talked about that here:

Argos 1979 Spring Catalogue Body Weight Machine from Starling Fitness

Even the stationary bicycles are still around. They look different, but they are still something that is recommended for losing weight.

Argos 1979 Spring Catalogue Exercise Machines from Starling Fitness

The thing that bothers me is that we have been doing this for over fifty YEARS and we are just getting fatter. Don’t waste your money on the new versions of these products, they are just as silly as the old ones. Exercise can make you stronger. Exercise will help your heart, but I have never lost weight from exercising. In fact, it just made me hungrier. Don’t let them steal your money. Take a walk outside for twenty minutes a day and save yourself money and grief.

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