I went from counting calories 3 days a week to doing it everyday rather spontaneously. The idea was to not limit myself to my goal number (1500) every single day, but simply to get some structure into each day so I knew how much I was eating. For 10 days, I ate just under 1500 every day and it was actually pretty easy.
I started to grow both confident and complacent about my control over my eating. Then, there was today. I still tracked my calories, but at the end of the day, I found myself craving salty food and giving in to the craving. I told myself that it was okay as long as I didn't go over 2000 calories because I never planned to eat at a low number every single day. I rationalized it further by saying that it was probably not a bad idea to mix up my numbers and eat a little more occasionally. The bottom line though was that I was eating compulsively because I had a harried, stressful, and painful day.
In the end, I finished at 1950 calories. This is by no means a disaster, particularly in light of all of the days behind it of very good control and strong numbers. There was no way I was going to go over 2000. However, when I found myself saying that it was okay to finish off the remains of a bag of Chee-tos (about an ounce) because I could have a day where I indulged every once in awhile, I knew that I'd lost control and was acting on emotional eating. I ate about 8 cheese curls and threw the rest in the trash. Most of the extra calories I ate ended up being from a few small handfuls of peanuts.
On the bright side, this is the closest I've come to a "binge" in a long time, and I truncated it. On the not so bright side, I came close to a binge. At the moment, this experience only improves my determination for the road ahead, and it gives me a good hard kick in my complacency. Unfortunately, it also puts a tiny dent in my food control confidence.