Last night, I had a dream. It lasted most of the night and was very vivid. I think it was a fried-potatoes-induced dream; I felt so icky and gross yesterday and today, almost hung over. I rarely dream of food anymore, so this one was pretty unusual.
I dreamed of eating food... all kinds of junk. I was in a store, like a Costco type place and they were selling all kinds of candy and ice cream and cookies. I was eating it. I had a couple of huge scoops of ice cream on a cone and these flavors of ice cream had candy and cookies and stuff mixed in (ice cream with crunchy, textured "stuff" mixed in is another trigger food for me, just like fried potatoes). I was happily eating away. I came to a stand in the store where they were making special milkshakes. They were pancake-and-sausage milkshakes with maple syrup blended in. Of course in my dream, this sounded amazing and I ordered the biggest one they had. As they were putting ice cream, pancakes and sausage links into the blender to make my shake, I looked in my grocery cart and it was full of packages of fresh lobster, crab and shrimp. I was horrified! I am severely allergic to shellfish, and even handling a leaking package of that stuff could send me to the hospital. Eating it would kill me. I stared and thought, "WHO put this stuff in my cart??" and then I woke up.
I think my body and my subconscious are both trying to tell me the same thing. What do you think?
Well, I never said I was perfect at this reintroduction thing...
So I decided to add back egg whites so that I could have eggs for breakfast sometimes instead of bacon, avocado, and fruit so often. On Saturday I had a bit of mayo (made with whole eggs) on a sandwich wrap (uncured ham, onions, and mayo wrapped in big lettuce leaves). That went fine. On Sunday, I had half a hard boiled egg in a salad that day (it was good, with Romaine, red onions, mushrooms, Gorgonzola, and grilled chicken) and that was fine too. Monday I had scrambled eggs (plain, scrambled and salted) which was just about the most delicious thing I ever tasted after not having them for so long. I think that was fine too. However I'm not sure... because I also ate potato chips. And French fries. Duh...
Why? Would would I do that? Such unhealthy crap... why?
1) It was a spur of the moment, craving thing. I justified it thinking, "hey, the egg whites went fine. I will try and reintroduce white potatoes! They're gluten free! Grain free! Nothing wrong with a bit of potatoes." Except of course I didn't wait long enough after reintroducing egg whites. And I know the potato frying oils are not in any way AIP compliant oils. Sorry, self, but eating potato chips and fries is NOT "reintroducing potatoes." It is an excuse. If I really wanted to reintroduce potatoes, I could have baked one or mashed one and tried that. But I didn't.
2) Cloe has often told me to "go ahead and have the chips! Stop torturing yourself. Have one measured serving! Learn to eat any food that isn't a medical issue, in moderation. Normalize those chips." I heard it during enough ED sessions and have been trying to ease into this normalization process without going overboard. Maybe this is another way I justified my food choice, but I honestly have been trying to trust her judgement and do things the way she says I should. Because she is the counselor... she is the specialist. So okay, buy a bag of chips, measure some to have with lunch. Eat them slowly. Be normal.
Only it wasn't normal, it was crazy making. After I ate them I felt like a switch had flipped and I needed to eat more. You can guess how that went. Then for dinner I went to a drive through and got a medium order of French fries and that was my dinner. Because all I wanted was fried potatoes.
And I remembered writing this post about food addiction and how my top crazy making food is... fried potatoes. I said in this post, "No fried potatoes. I am pretty sure that if you ever see me eating a fried potato it will mean I've had a relapse." Yep, obviously I relapsed all the way back up past 240 pounds, and now I am in danger of relapsing all the way back over 280. I know this and felt the crazy in those potatoes and I know I cannot let myself eat that kind of thing again. Not only do I feel gross and tired, but my face suddenly broke out (bad oils) and I am craving all kinds of crap.
Seriously, if you have never read that post go back and read it. I am living that prediction right now. But I am determined to stop it right now, before I go down the black hole of binge eating again.
I fired my counselor. I know that might seem harsh, but our views on food, addiction, weight, etc are just not meshing well. I *cannot* keep trying to normalize food in the way she is encouraging me to. There are just some things I cannot eat and that list is pretty long... and she doesn't agree. She doesn't agree that I should ban fried potatoes. She doesn't think there is a reason to never have a donut (gluten free donut, of course). I am not blaming her. I am saying, I cannot keep working with her on this path. I cannot normalize potato chips without ballooning up to 300+ pounds.
I don't claim to understand all of this. I am just working my way through this the best I can. But I do know this: trying to moderately eat French fries is really unwise for me. It was a lame thing to do (and to pretend to myself that it was a reintroduction of some sort, when it wasn't). Maybe I *will* reintroduce white potatoes some day... later. But if I do, those potatoes will NOT be fried.
And now I am backing off the potatoes completely and not adding anything else back until I feel better again.
Just a short update on my week. I am finding myself less drawn to the computer lately (it's spring!) but do want to keep a record of how I'm doing and update for those who are interested.
This week I reintroduced corn in the form of popcorn and restaurant tortilla chips. I didn't notice any issues with corn itself, but the tortilla chips were kind of triggering. I think that's just a "chip" thing and I am best served by avoiding them. My main reason for reintroducing corn is to be able to have a low calorie, crunchy salty snack when I want one (popcorn) and also to know that I can eat it when sweet corn is back in season. It's not something I plan to eat very often, but it's nice to know it is an option for occasional eating. A lot of things are going to be added back only for occasional eating. I think if I can eventually have an 80/20 food template that would be awesome. Meaning, 80% of the time I am eating the basic, low inflammatory, healthy foods from strict AIP, and 20% of the time I am eating reintroduced foods. There will be some things I never add back and some things I'll stay away from due to how I feel when I eat them. This feels very doable long term. I also added back nightshade spices (chili powder, cayenne pepper, paprika) and that seemed okay too. I am not adding back actual nightshades for awhile, though.
I used MyFitnessPal to track on four days this week, and the average calories on those days was 1668 calories/day. I've been really hungry this week! I also GPSed my exercise walks on my phone; I walked 4.6 miles this week and swam for 30 minutes. (I didn't find my pedometer yet to track my daily steps, and I don't GPS the walking I do in daily life... just the walks I do "for exercise.") Scale this morning says 241, which is one pound gone for the week.
I'm adding back egg whites this week since Easter is coming up and it sure would be nice to have some deviled eggs! Hope you have a great week!
It's that time of year again and I've been helping my daughter sell Girl Scout cookies with her troop. We've really enjoyed Girl Scouts, but when I was given those forms with the pretty, colorful photos of all of the kinds of cookies to sell, I was not too thrilled. What? You are asking a women who has a history of extreme binge eating (and a sugar/carb/sweets addiction) to look at, talk about, and sell these cookies, have cases of them in her home, and handle the boxes on a daily basis? Well, actually, that's how I imagine that I could have reacted when they handed me the forms. Instead, I thought, "Sure, no problem" and spent the last couple of weeks doing our Scoutly duty.
Yesterday, when I walked into the house after helping my daughter deliver dozens of boxes of cookies, I stopped and really thought about it for the first time. I looked at the cases of cookies in the entryway. I thought about the boxes of cookies other family members had ordered and were eating. I looked at the sales form and the pictures and I thought, wow. Isn't it ironic. So many years I would drive to Walmart to buy boxes of Girl Scout cookies and take them home and eat them all. So many times I would have only *dreamed* of being in a position to "support our troop" by ordering as many boxes of cookies as I could... having access to chewy, caramelly Samoas and crunchy Thin Mints and all the other yummy types there are. I could easily eat a box in one sitting. The sugar could send me to my old happy place, you know? And now, being gluten free, I have my dream come true (cookie mom) and I didn't order a single box. Heck, having sworn off junk, I couldn't even buy a few boxes of the new gluten free varieties to indulge in. Nope, no cookies, not for me. I am spending a lot of time with cookies but none of them are ending up in my mouth. Sometimes I just look at them and think "wow. I cannot believe I am not binge eating myself into oblivion on Girl Scout cookies, given this opportunity." I'm thankful that at least for now, I am food sober.
I didn't track calories today. I could say I was too busy (well, I *was* busy) but it would have only taken me a few minutes so I will just say I didn't feel like it. Food so far today:
Big juicy pork chop cooked in avocado oil with onions, baked white sweet potato with grass fed ghee, Brussels sprouts.
Starbucks grande iced green tea latte, 1%, no syrup
half a banana
homemade iced green tea with honey and lemon juice
2 squares of very dark chocolate
I think dinner will be chicken thighs and vegetables, maybe with some baked acorn squash.
Too much milk and cheese the last couple of days, and not even grass fed. I feel okay on it but crave it. I had uncured ham slices wrapped around string cheese several times this week.
I did track calories yesterday (1728) and the day before (1253). I also GPSed my walks and I have walked 2.5 miles (exercise walks) so far this week. Not a lot, but it'll get better over time.
*I turned off Anonymous comments for this post because I am not really interested in all the comments telling me it is evil to sell cookies because they are ruining people's health. I think people can make their own choices about that, whether they buy them from us for just get Oreos at the grocery store. As long as we are involved in Girl Scouts, we'll participate in fund raising for our troop.
Some days, I am really tired of this whole thing... the dieting, tracking, sticking to whatever plan, exercise, weight loss thing. I just want eating to be a natural part of my day. I remember back when eating was just that: a natural part of the daily schedule. It happened at our three meals a day and sometimes in between, if I got hungry. I didn't have to think about it or plan it beyond the basic menu planning one does when one gets married and has children. Even in college, eating and weight was barely a blip on the radar most of the time. Sure, over the years between the ages of 16 and 24, my eating was just unregulated because it didn't really need to be regulated. I wasn't obsessed, I wasn't addicted, it rarely crossed my mind to crave a food (unless I was pregnant!) or to overeat anything (except for hot homemade bread with butter). My brain really changed since then. After I dieted the first couple of times it wasn't really that much different. Not until I was in my late 20's and became morbidly obese did things really change in my head.
I think just *being* morbidly obese did something to my brain. Sure, my thinking... cravings, food obsession, growing awareness of calories and carbs and food measurements... changed my eating and my weight. But my thinking has never gone back to where it was pre-100-pounds-overweight.
There have been times I have felt a lot more normal in my relationship with food, but even then it has taken a concentrated effort to keep the weight off or to lose it. Like now. I am not obsessing about food much at all anymore. I am not craving like I used to on a daily basis. I attribute those changes to eating cleaner and lower carbs. Eating junk triggers desire for more junk, so being off it really helps. But I can't help but think how nice it would be to just not think about food and be a normal weight. You know, like it used to be. In my early 20's I'd get up and fix the kids breakfast... whatever we had on hand. We'd have oatmeal or eggs and toast or chocolate chip pancakes or cereal with milk, and it was fine. I'd just have whatever I made for them. Never a thought about carbs or calories and there was no measuring involved. I'd go along in the morning, doing my chores and caring for the babies and the farm animals and if I got hungry before lunch I'd just grab some crackers or whatever. I'd make the kids sandwiches or pasta or something like that for lunch and just eat what they were having. Maybe a snack in the afternoon after school, whether it was peanut butter apple slices or homemade cookies and milk, and then a hearty dinner for my farmer husband... usually some kind of meat like a pot roast or a chicken or pork chops with mashed potatoes and gravy or buttered noodles, a vegetable, and homemade bread. I'd often bake a pie or cake for dessert. I remember "how much I eat" being such a NON issue. It was just, you know, meals.
Can it ever be like that again?
I kind of think not. Maybe it can, within some kind of framework. I think that is really what I am striving for: food being a non issue again. Do you think if I stick by the rules... no grains, no nightshades, no junk... I could somehow get back to that point again? Where I just make whatever is on hand for everyone, eat some of it, and go forward? And not be obese?
I feel myself easing into a less stressed food state, and that's good. I think about food less now than I did a couple months ago. But I still put more effort and mental energy into it than I'd like. When I batch cook and have things on hand, it does reduce the amount of time per day I am thinking of food. You know, that's what I loved about Medifast when I was right in the middle of it. No thinking about food except one meal a day. Just tear open your packet, drink, and go on. I go back and read parts of my blog and realize how much more free time I had just by doing that! I am not going back to packets again, so I wonder if I can do that with pre-portioned meat and veggie meals somehow. Just batch cook some meat and produce, portion out the breakfast and lunches, and just have dinner for the family to deal with. I've gotten kind of close on this but I do get tired of eating the same thing day after day.
I have also thought about creating index cards with 5 breakfasts, 5 lunches, and 5 snacks on them and only choosing from those. Sounds boring, but it can't be any more boring than packets! I dunno, maybe I am overthinking again. I just wish I had never gotten obese in the first place. Please, people. If you're reading here and overweight and on the verge of obesity, stop it now. Don't let it get to that point. You do not want to be me at 45.
Something else I have been thinking about. I know this has not been a real productive year for me weight-loss wise. I have been focused on other, "more important" (it seems in the moment) things and letting myself be put on the back burner. I am still kind of half assing my weight loss, because I had so little motivation over the winter and am just now waking up and wanting to work on it again. I've been sliding along without a ton of effort, eating my AIP and walking a few days a week, and losing a pound a week or so. Maybe it is time to ramp it up a bit and try harder. Maybe I should actually start working at it, instead of just getting by doing my program and doing just enough to drop a couple pounds a month. Maybe it is time to get out of my comfort zone a little more and work harder at this. My body is crying out for more. I just need to make the time for more working on ME. And I don't mean more focus on what I eat, although beginning tracking was a great first step in working harder at weight loss. I know I need to move more. Just being "active" is not enough. Yeah, I am on my feet most of the day and busy, but I am not getting my heart rate up that often and am not doing any heavy lifting either. I could work on those things and probably speed up my rate of loss while improving my overall health.
This is nothing new. I've done all this stuff before. But this is a lifelong journey, a story of obesity and weight loss, of regain and re-losing... a battle so many, many people struggle with. I am not going to give up and stay fat. I finally feel like I am able to put in the effort, so I think... yes... it is time.
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