Posted by: nikicf | June 21, 2009

Failure and Lessons Learned

It has been a few days, so I’ve gained a bit of perspective on our time away at Camp Cherokee.  I want to try to jot down (or type out) my thoughts, so I can remember this experience and learn from it.

Time away at camp was a failure.  Not happy to say it, but realistically it ended up being a four day binge. 😦  I ate foods I have not eaten in about 5 1/2  months, and ate WAY TOO MUCH of them. My tummy was not happy at all, but this did not seem to stop me from continuing to eat!

If I had written this post right away when I got back from Tennessee to Atlanta, a LOT of frustration and guilt would have come out here.  I felt horrible with my failure and was very angry at myself.  But it has been a few days, and I’m realizing that these feelings don’t do a lot of good.  I need to learning the lessons I can from the experience, and then focus on being healthy (both physically and mentally) now and in the future.

So, I have two thoughts around what happened (my jumping with both feet off “the wagon”!).

Most programs that promote healthy eating and weight loss (including Weight Watchers) ask you to look at the reasons WHY you eat, so that you can be aware of the fact you don’t just eat for hunger and then can work on addressing these reasons/issues.  (I’m not explaining myself very well here, but I’m sure you understand what I am trying to say.)  It is called Emotional Eating and explains why we often eat when not hungry or continue to eat when we are full.  I found this online article on WebMD about it, as well as a short write-up on the Weight Watchers site that discusses “emotional eating”.  (Don’t you love the internet for the wealth of information?!?)

In my own weight loss journey, I have often asked myself the question, “What hunger am I feeding?”  In trying to analyze why I abandoned my good habits of almost 6 months, I again asked myself this question after I got home from camp.  I’ve decided that two of my main reasons for “emotional eating” are:

Boredom.  I think I often eat because I am bored.  At camp, because my kiddos were the only ones their age, we were a bit on our own.  Andy was busy doing music, and we were often holed up in our (slightly) air conditioned cabin as it was the only cool place we could be. Being without adult interaction, I felt very isolated and often bored.  (This internet junkie was in withdrawal from the lack of wifi and I forgot to bring a good book.)

Feeling sorry for myself.  I have a mental tape that subconsciously plays when I am down.  Most of the time when I feel this way, I am not even aware of these thoughts playing in my head.  But they validate my rewarding myself with food to make myself feel happy. I tell myself, “I deserve it.” Unfortunately, I am in fact punishing myself and making my feelings worse, not better.  Eating unhealthy food, especially when I am on my own and eating it for the wrong reasons, gets me even more “down” and makes me feel even more sorry for myself.  It is a very bad cycle, and one I am committed to breaking, even if it takes my life to fully learn this lesson.  (Though hopefully it won’t!)

The good news of this story is that I am “home” in Atlanta and back on track.  I am eating well and exercising regularly.  Running even (see below)!  I weighed in yesterday at Weight Watchers and my four days “off” did not show.  (Must be the fact that I have been exercising almost every day while here!  And I only missed three days while being at camp.)  Even more important, I am mentally back on track and feeling happy, which is such a blessing.  (Thank you God.)

And since I took the time this afternoon to track my run, I thought I’d share it.  This is from  It was not a long run, though my longest since being here.  Keep in mind that the neighborhood my in-laws live in is pretty hilly and that at 9 am when I got home from my hour long walk/run it was about 34 degrees!!  Don’t think I’ve ever sweat that much!  😛

My walk/run/walk route today:

06/21/2009 Route
Find more Walks in Cumming, Georgia

My run:

06/21/2009 Route
Find more Runs in Cumming, Georgia



  1. Nothing like getting back on the wagon again. It’s the only thing you CAN do when you don’t eat right. And most people give up at that point. So yay! You’re on your way again.

  2. The “I deserve it” line is my absolute worse. After a crazy day with the kids or after losing a couple pounds…I deserve something nice. For me it’s a process of a new “reward” system…i buy a whole lot more magazines 🙂

  3. Wow, Niki, you are amazing! I SO admire your honesty here…I am learning so much from this blog about myself (and appreciate learning more about you, too!). I have heard the line ’emotional eating’ and what you have written here makes complete sense to me. Thanks for that lesson!

    I have a friend who went through a major alcohol rehab program a few years ago. About a year afterward she had a short ‘binge’ period. In many ways, she has told me she is almost thankful for that time because it really helped her refocus on where, what & WHO she wanted to be.

    Here’s to being back ‘home’ in Atlanta for a few more days before being HOME in B.C.!!!

  4. […] for the almost 3 weeks that we were there.  Not too shappy, eh?  I was able to, apart from my previously mentioned slip-up, eat moderately and make thoughtful eating choices.  I also took the time to exercise every day we […]

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