This is what falling off the wagon looks like.

A couple of you have messaged me asking what happened to sample menus from this past weekend.  (It still blows my mind that so many of you are reading and asking questions- thank you!)  I am ashamed to admit that I went on a pretty serious carbohydrate binge on both Saturday and Sunday.  I'm not going to post all of the gory details, but there were biscuits, pizza, popcorn, and ice cream involved- among other things.

Instead, let's talk about where things went wrong, what I can do to avoid falling into these traps next time, and what it means for this week.

First, where things went wrong.  It all started innocently enough.  I planned a trip home to North Carolina for mother's day weekend.  I was riding solo- awesome boyfriend had some work things to take care of in DC on Saturday and wasn't able to make it.  I ate a good breakfast and lunch on Friday and hit the road around 1:00. Somewhere around Richmond I started to fantasize about delicious southern cuisine- mostly biscuits.  I'm not sure why every time I go home my diet seems to go all haywire, but things that don't even appeal to me that much somehow do when I cross over the Virginia border.  By the time I reached the North Carolina line I was about to pull over at the nearest fast food place and order some bread right there.  But I thought, 'Kelly you are being ridiculous.  Just keep driving and this will pass.'  And it did.

My amazing mother cooked a dinner full of low carb options including shrimp cocktail, a huge green salad, and thick and juicy New York strip steaks.  I passed on the baked potato, bread, and even dessert without so much as a passing glance.  When I woke up the next morning I think the planets had shifted because I had one thing on my mind- Biscuitville.

Bacon egg and cheese.  
For those of you who aren't familiar, Biscuitville is an awesome place that you only find in the south where they specialize in- you guessed it- biscuits.  My dad used to take me there on Saturday mornings when I was a kid for bacon, egg, and cheese biscuits and hash browns.  My mom never served such greasy and delicious fare, so it was really a treat. When I think about biscuits, I think about so many wonderful things other than just food.  But I digress.....

I made the decision that I was going to allow myself one cheat meal while I was home.  I would go for a run, drink lots of water, and get back on track in the afternoon.  So off to Biscuitville I went.  The biscuit was soft, buttery, delicious, and totally worth the million carbs that it probably contained.  If that was the end of the story, it wouldn't be such a big deal.  But it didn't end there.

So good.  If you ever get a chance
to try it do.  It's worth it.  
What happened next is somewhat of a blur.  A girlfriend of mine invited me to lunch at Brixx Pizza, another one of my favorite southern spots.  As soon as I sat down I saw Carolina Blonde on the menu, which is my absolute all time favorite beer, and also something that you can't get up north.  I ordered one, drank it, ordered another, and the next thing I knew I was eating pizza and spinach dip.

At that point, things spiraled out of control, culminating with me dragging awesome boyfriend into my ridiculousness for pizza and ice cream on Sunday afternoon once I had returned to Maryland.  We decided that we were going to call it a cheat weekend.

I'm not a person who believes in crying over spilt milk, but I would be remiss if I didn't acknowledge that this eating is very obviously emotional.  It always happens when I am at home in North Carolina, and it is usually always excessive.

The easiest fix for this emotional binge eating is to drag awesome boyfriend along with me whenever I go south.  Sticking to any diet is much easier when there is someone there to support you.  There are endless studies showing that if your friends have unhealthy eating habits you are more likely to have them too, and it also works in the opposite direction.  But what if bringing him along just isn't possible?

The answer is probably to just not cheat when I am at home.  Once I start cheating, cheat meal becomes freebie Saturday, becomes weekend bonanza.  It's a slippery slope and one that is hard to get off of.  I don't seem to have this issue if I cheat in Maryland.  I think it's because my life is very structured and scheduled here and if I get off track it's easy to get back on.  When I am in NC, I'm usually on vacation with nowhere particular to be and no huge obligations.  Why not order another beer and some mozzarella sticks?

The thing that will most discourage me from letting this happen in the future is the way I feel this week.  I had an extremely hard time getting out of bed on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.  Once you rid your body of carbohydrates, if you put them back in they will make you extremely groggy.  All day Monday at work I had trouble focusing and was generally grouchy.  We are rolling into Thursday now and I'm back to my normal perky self, but it was rough going there for a few days.  I almost killed someone in my office over what color business cards to order on Tuesday afternoon.  Another side effect of a carb load is the bloat.  I've been hot, felt like my jeans were tight, felt full, swollen fingers, the whole shebang, because my body is retaining an incredible amount of water in response to all the junk I put into it this weekend.  Sunday night I woke up in the middle of the night with a terrible stomach ache.  I had heartburn beginning Monday morning and lasting into Tuesday evening.  All this is to say that I'm paying for my actions.

As I always say, don't let your diet control your life.  This is a sure path to being miserable and quitting.  Am I going to beat myself up over this?  Absolutely not.  Am I going to be more prepared next time I visit NC?  You betcha.  I'll be visiting again over memorial weekend in two weeks, so we will get to test my will again, quite soon.  Awesome boyfriend and I both picked up an inch or so in the hip/waist at our weekly weigh in, which I suspect is mostly water and will drop off quickly.

The lesson here?  Plan, plan, and then plan some more.  Bring your tape measure along, call your support system, tell your loved ones that you need their help, and stay out of the pizza place!  Eat high protein, high fiber snacks before meals if you have to so that you're a little full and less tempted.  Above all, just because you had one bad meal is no reason to throw away the whole day or weekend.  Pick up the pieces and keep moving.  That's what I'm doing this week, and I would bet my next paycheck that things will be back in line by weigh in this weekend.


  1. I like this entry! You're very right about everything you said. I risk the emotional eating myself. That has always been my comfort through any situation. I think North Carolina, and I think a vacation to eat! I also live here in Buffalo, and theres a pizza shop on every corner- my father own personal business where every slice of pizza is free for me! lol- I stay very very far away because even with WW those loaded up slices would send my points off the deep end. I've given this a lot of thought, and the more I read your blog and entries, I find myself motivated and inspired! I decided that for the rest of the week I'm going to finish my WW meals and such that I expensively bought in advance, there's only enough to finish through the weekend anyway, but Sunday when I go grocery shopping, I'll be giving this low carb life a whirl with you (and stealing some recipes from you too!)

  2. I think that these are issues that everyone deals with. Vacations are so hard because you feel like you should be allowed to cheat since you're on vacation. I think that my original plan of one cheat meal wouldn't have been such an issue, but it's like once I start I cannot control myself. Carbs will make you crave more carbs because of the havoc they wreck on your blood sugar, and if you're not mentally prepared for that it can be devastating.

    I'm glad you are thinking about giving it a try! My best advice is to be prepared for the time commitment that is required during the first 2-4 weeks. It's best to start at a time when you can focus because- I'm not going to lie- those first 20 days or so can be tough. The good news is that low carb is very inexpensive because there aren't any 'diet' foods to purchase, so your wallet will thank you.

    If you want some good guidance, you can use my Sample Menus- just start towards the beginning because I've slowly added a few carbs back in recent weeks.

  3. I just wish I had been there to eat Biscuitville and drink beer with you. I am a horrible enabler, but a wonderful dining companion.

  4. Me too! I had a huge thing of grits with lots of butter too- it was awesome.