Thursday, September 20, 2018

On Eating "SO MUCH"

Since I posted my list of "how I ate this week" (last week), I have gotten a couple of comments and emails asking me how I could possibly eat "so much" and not gain weight (in fact, down a pound today to 182). I've had people saying it's the phentermine (which I didn't take last week) but obviously if I am eating "so much" then an appetite suppressant sure isn't the cause of my not gaining. I believe my metabolism has been raised so I can now eat moderately without big gains.

Anyway, I wanted to re-frame what I wrote before. What I wrote was a flat list of foods I had eaten in one week. Apparently that looked like a HUGE amount of food to some folks, so let's take a look at it in another way. Here is the same list of food, broken down into seven days.

1 small homemade cinnamon roll, coffee with cream
croissant sandwich with turkey, lettuce and mayo with about 6 chips
small bowl of chili with a little grated cheese, dollop of sour cream, and 4 tortilla chips

crustless vegetable quiche with about 1/2 cup of hash browns and 2 sausages
coffee with half and half
cherry tomatoes and a few chips
a gyro (lamb and vegetables with tzatziki sauce on pita),  some Greek fries, 2 pita triangles dipped in hummus and half a piece of baklava

about 4 oz of orange juice
coffee with cream
1 slice of pepperoni pizza, 1 plate from the salad bar with blue cheese dressing and bacon
an apple
a slice of pot roast, mashed potatoes with gravy, steamed peas
1 slice of homemade pie

coffee with cream x 2
raspberries and a small apple
cucumber slices dipped in Ranch
a Jimmy Johns Italian sandwich (on bread) with chips
1 slice of homemade pie

small pumpkin spice latte
1/4 of a donut
 about 1/2 cup of mashed potatoes with gravy, green beans
1 piece of corn on the cob with cotija cheese and mayo

homemade cinnamon roll, coffee with cream
Dairy Queen cheeseburger, no bun (I forgot this in the other list!)
a wedge of watermelon
1 square of lasagna with Italian sausage, salad, and 1 piece of regular garlic bread

hot cereal made with oat bran, 1 tsp brown sugar, and a pat of butter, topped with half and half
2 slices of cheese and 3 slices of ham and turkey, a handful of cheese puffs, some baby carrots
 about a tablespoon of peanut butter on a banana
1 sugar free Greek yogurt
2 slices of pepperoni pizza

To me, at least, it looks pretty moderate. Are there sweets and chips? Yes. Carby? Yes. But it is in no way a binge, a ton of food, an over-indulgence. Maybe it is not what *you* would choose, or even what *I* would have chosen years ago or on a different week. But it works for me, and I am content, have no restrictions, no compulsions, no food obsession, no white knuckling. It's kind of nice having a week or two of eating things I haven't had in awhile. It feels good to be flexible.

Today I ate a bit less:
coffee with cream
egg whites scrambled with zucchini and spinach, a spoon of hash browns, and 2 sausage links
a sugar free blended decaf mocha
about 5 cheese puffs
a sugar free Greek yogurt
Dinner is going to be a big bowl of the homemade tomato soup I made this morning from tomatoes my neighbor gave us from her garden. I might have a couple of crackers and a slice of cheese with it, and a Clementine for dessert.

The best part of this is that I know I could eat this way for the rest of my life and it would not feel like a diet. I am so glad to be off the diet roller coaster. I am working with my counselor on ways to feel at peace even when stressful things are happening in my life, so that in the future some crisis doesn't throw me back into the old binge habits for comfort. It's like an addict and I know it could happen, so I am doing everything I can to learn and practice healthier ways to cope.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Overdue Update

You know, I just don't know what to make of this, but I'll share in the spirit of "keeping a record" and always being up front with that I am doing and what's going on.

I didn't do a weigh in last Sunday, mainly because I was running around doing 200 other things but also because I broke my own rule of paying attention to weight gain or loss per week and sharing it here... and instead just weighed, entered it on myfitnesspal, and ignored it. I know it seems odd but I often forget what I weighed a week ago or a month ago and have to go back in my archives or look at my mfp data to figure out what my trend is.

Even though I wrote about "a struggle" a bit over a week ago (eating a lot of carbs and junk), I was able to "own it" and relax about it last time I posted. I *did* aim to not give in to every single want, and to delay my eating a bit by taking a walk or doing some other activity before eating what I was considering eating. And I've done that. But I also have *not* cut the carbs out or gone back to a lower carb way of eating. Why?? I'm not even sure. But it feels better now, not like a struggle at all but like a valid choice. I eat what I feel like eating, I don't cut as many carbs as I was (maybe my body needs more carbs during the fall, who knows? It certainly wants them!) So this week I have eaten many things that I didn't share on Instagram, simply because I've used that page to share my lower carb way of eating and don't want to derail people with pictures of peanut butter cups and donuts. If lists of carby foods are triggering to you, skip this next part between the row of stars, because I am about to share some of how I ate this week. You can just scroll down.

This week I ate:
homemade cinnamon rolls, twice
homemade pie, twice
a croissant sandwich
chili with cheese, sour cream, and tortilla chips
a really awesome quiche with a side of hash browns and sausages
lots of coffee, mostly sugar free with cream, but once was a pumpkin spice latte from a specialty shop that makes their own pumpkin syrup by roasting pumpkins... but not sugar free
1/4 of a donut
mashed potatoes with gravy, twice
corn on the cob with cotija and mayo
orange juice
pot roast
a gyro, pita, and hummus and half a piece of baklava
a Jimmy Johns Italian sandwich (on bread) with chips
lasagna with Italian sausage and regular garlic bread
salad, watermelon, apples, carrots, cucumbers, peas, green beans, berries, tomatoes
pepperoni pizza, twice
salad bar with blue cheese dressing and bacon
hot cereal made with oat bran, brown sugar, and butter topped with half and half
sliced cheeses and deli meats
peanut butter on a banana
chips a couple times, and cheese puffs


So there you have it, and oddly enough it does not feel dysfunctional at all to me, no guilt, no "I need to change this" and actually, since I spaced the sugary items out, not much pain from the sugar. I feel fine eating this way and if I was going to adjust anything, it's probably that next time I'll chose a half piece of pie or a half cinnamon roll because half would have been enough.

As for weight, it's ranged between 183 and 184 all week. Was 183 on Sunday and is 183 today. I have weighed 185 or less since mid-July... good maintenance practice! I am pretty sure that as soon as I switch back to a lower carb way of eating (which will happen as soon as that is what I feel like eating) the weight will start dropping off.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

On Not Overreacting

Even after I wrote my post yesterday on my struggle with eating this week, I did not totally clean up my act. I kinda sorta tried to just get busy and ignore any food urges, but I noticed something. The more I tried to say in my head, "You can't have that" or "you shouldn't eat that," the more I started to get those old irritated feelings of resentment towards a "diet." I have not had that feeling in a long time, because no food has been off limits and I've just stayed at peace with eating whatever I wanted. So when I'd "want" something yesterday, and tell myself I needed to not eat it so I could get "back on track" with my eating, it kind of ticked me off. Childish? Yeah, probably. The old binge-eater Lyn of a decade ago was *very* childish, with the McDonald's and the cupcakes and the tantrums over getting what she wanted. I'm definitely not there anymore, and don't binge... but I did have a little mental foot-stomping moment a few times yesterday.

At that point, I had two paths I could choose:

1. Just tell myself to knock it off, make myself skip the food I wanted, and try to force it. Or
2. Tell myself I can have it. Eat what I wanted... even if they're not the best choices and was more food than I usually eat... and lay off the guilt and worry.

I chose 2.

I decided I have *got* to learn to truly trust myself with what I eat and not go back into the old diet mentality where foods are morally right or wrong and what I ate made me a good or bad person. I can definitely say no to foods I think about eating. But if saying no is setting off some kind of "eat more" emotional reaction, then it's not about the food. It's something else. Time to examine that and not make it about the food.

So I ate the sandwich I wanted yesterday, with chips. I had some breaded mozzarella sticks. I even had a slice of really good, 10-layer chocolate cake from a fancy bakery at a birthday party I attended last night. And I calmed myself down about it and said "this is not binge behavior. It is okay if I eat this way sometimes."

More importantly, I spent time examining *why* I've had this shift in the way I eat and feel. I uncovered some answers.

Yes, the chilly fall weather and shorter days does result in my wanted to move less and eat more. I crave starches and hot, comforting foods.

Yes, the hormones are raging at this time of the month. I always want to eat salty and greasy foods around this time of month.

But more than either of those things are the mental reasons: 1) medical stuff going on with family members has been emotionally stressing me out for about 2 weeks. 2) a job I had to do for about a month that was fairly stressful has ended, and I have this sense of relief/decompressing that wants food. 3) I have felt a bit overwhelmed with life in general this week. Too much to do, I cannot get it all done, and I was exhausting myself trying. And then there is the bit of emotional stuff internally that surrounds the looming "100 Pounds Gone Again" milestone, with all the feelings that evokes and the thought of measurements and pictures.

You know, it's temporary. I can address all of those things and be okay with sometimes coping with food, but also coping in other ways (exercise, counseling, journaling, hanging out with friends, resting, focusing on my hobbies). I have kept taking phentermine through this, and that will make it easier to get back to eating less. I think it would also help to ask myself a question before I eat anything that wasn't planned: "Can you take a walk or ride the bike or do one thing on your to-do list *before* you eat that?" Note, it's not a rule or a demand. It's a request to myself to see if that sounds doable. Then even if I do come back and eat it, I've done something productive first and given myself time to think about what I really want.

Today, though, I just worked on my peace, and I feel much better. I weighed this morning (184) and have eaten:

coffee with cream x 4
bacon and avocado
corn on the cob with mayo and cotija
lunch with friends: deviled eggs, pasta salad, cucumbers and baby carrots with dip, steamed peas, a croissant with butter, watermelon, and two cookies.
sugar free brownie with walnuts
small bag of bbq chips
Dinner will be meatloaf, mashed potatoes, gravy, and green beans. Probably another sugar free brownie for dessert.

My cravings and food volume will go down as I address what made them go up. I refuse to overreact, restrict, freak out, and undo all the hard work I have done to normalize food. I feel really good about this! It's going to be a better week!

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

And Now, A Struggle.

I am not sure what came over me the last two days. My food behavior has gone into the toilet for the first time in over a year, and I am sitting here trying to sort it out and find a way to stop it. It's like that train wreck dream I had back on 2011 right before I started regaining. It's like a sense of barreling down the freeway in a car that has no brakes, going faster and faster towards a cement wall, and trying to stop the car by opening the door and sticking your foot out onto the road like you might do if you needed to stop your bike when you were a kid. That's the feeling I have this morning as I sit with a stomach ache from eating a piece of cinnamon toast after a full breakfast of eggs, sausage, hash browns with cheese, and chocolate chip banana bread. Four cups of coffee into this, I am starting to feel like hey... I am actually feeling out of control.

I felt it yesterday. I woke up and it was chilly and overcast instead of warm and sunny. My house was cold and I had almost no energy. Instead of having my coffee and going about my day, I felt restless. I wanted to eat. I had an English muffin and a scrambled egg with cheese. I felt discontented. I started thinking about the stressful stuff that's been going on in my life, and instead of doing anything, I sat. After awhile, I thought I should get out of the house so I went to a lunch with friends. Lunch was served and I ate the meat, fruit, and potato salad... and then a piece of cake. Came home and felt even more melancholy. I went to the pantry for a Coke Zero and there were none left. At that point, I just threw my hands up, wanted the comfort of old familiar junk, and went to the gas station for a can of (real) Coke, a hot dog, and chips. Yep, I went there, with a candy bar too.

Why though? Last night I felt like crap and this morning I did not weigh. I had this sense of overwhelm. I feel like I want to stay home alone and do absolutely nothing. Now I don't know if this was triggered by the weather change or stress overload or maybe a bit of PMS, but it is the first time in over a year that I have done this. This is old behavior and it scares me. I try to tell myself it is no big deal and a couple days back on plan will drop off any weight I gained, but I know this goes way, way deeper than that. THIS is how I regained 80 pounds. THIS is a reactive behavior that is not healthy at all. And as much as I kept telling myself to knock it off, I just kept going.

Where from here? I'm not sure. I'll start by stopping, and go from there.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Down, Up, Swinging

This morning when I got on the scale, I knew it would be up a bit. Yesterday I kind of crashed and burned because I have been SO busy, and I finally got a day to just be. And apparently just sitting around for half the day reading and watching TV makes me hungry... or lets me think about food more often. I snacked more than usual and ate some fried chicken with potato salad. I *really* wanted a Snickers bar at one point, which I can have, but I didn't want it badly enough to get in the car and go get one so I skipped that... although I may make some sugar free brownies this afternoon.

Anyway, earlier in the week I got a surprise scale drop and saw 179 pounds! I was really excited to see the 170's again after SO long (last time was over seven years ago). So I spent some time looking back at my blog posts from when I weighed between 175 and 179 pounds and landed on this post from October 2010: Swinging. Wow, I remember that. I remember what being on a swing at the playground felt like. I haven't had that experience in so long. It is just not fun (and can even be painful) to swing when you weigh 250 pounds.

So I walked to the park the other night and got on the swing. In the dark, with no one else around, I was swinging and remembering and feeling. It was amazing. I hope I never let this go again.

Today I weigh 181 pounds, down a pound from last Sunday (and down two from last Saturday). I love how everything is going. I had to sort my clothes AGAIN (I thought I was done with this!) because the weather has changed. It was easy this time since there is only one bin of fall/winter clothing, so all I had to do was pull some of those out (and discard a couple that used to fit in spring but are too big now) and send a few of my summer clothes to the Goodwill box and a few to the one, small, summer clothing bin under my bed. I also had to go back to Victoria's Secret and get a smaller bra because the two I got last January are way too big now, and all but one of the bras I had stashed away and have been using are suddenly just not fitting right. I had to retire one pair of jeans that has gotten too big since spring, and pulled out some new, smaller ones from my dresser drawer. I had to donate almost all of my winter pajamas though... they are way too big!

I am all set now. I have enough to get me through the winter. If I keep losing I am going to need a new wardrobe in the spring! There is not a whole lot left that is smaller. I have not been under 175 pounds in something like 21 years. It sure will be interesting to see a lower weight on me now at 49, versus how it looked on me in my 20's!