Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Failure is Not an Option

I have a lot of topics I want to write about, and this isn't one of them. I have a whole list going on my desktop... things I want to make posts about, ideas I had, memories I want to share, victories I am proud of. The last thing I want to write about is this. I am gaining weight.

I have to put this out there. I am sick of lying to myself. "Oh it's just a couple of pounds. It will come right back off" or "one brownie is not so bad. After all I USED to eat a whole PAN of brownies." I want to keep it to myself. Hey, if I can post a weight loss in a week, even if it is a pound, then no one needs to know how nutso I went. Right?

But that's not reality. That's not how it is. And as close as I am not not even writing this... as much as I want to just get up and eat a bowl of cereal instead... I know that if I do not write about this, I am not being honest about what weight loss is really about. Why fat people stay fat. Why we regain weight after losing 40, 60, 100 pounds. Well, it's because we go back to bad habits... slowly... and keep our heads in the sand. We don't weigh. We tell ourselves we will start over tomorrow. And the tomorrows string together into weeks and months of unhealthy eating and not exercising, and BOOM! Before you know it, you're 278 pounds again.

I like to be positive. I like to be encouraging. But hey, I have to be real.

As you may know, I have been fighting hard for a month or two, just to lose a couple of pounds. Most of my struggle has been emotional. I want to be married. I love my husband. He feels differently. Then we have the looming medical re-tests (you may remember my surgeries for precancerous cervical cells, and my bad mammogram earlier this year.) I get scared. I hope they say it hasn't come back but until I get the tests I won't know. But I was hanging in there, still mostly eating right and exercising.

Then last week I had to take my 3-year-old to the doctor. She was born with some health issues. She is on daily medication. She is due for some more invasive (painful, sometimes traumatic) testing, and I just didn't want to hear it. She is my sweet little princess. I cannot BEAR the thought of those tests again. And if the tests are bad, she has to have surgery. Risky surgery. So I left the doctor's office with her referral to a Children's Hospital, and I was so upset that I felt like my brain was melting out of my ears. That was the last straw. I have been eating nonstop since that moment.

I feel like I have to apologise. I am SO SORRY I have been eating badly. I am so very sorry I have gained weight. Please forgive me. But really I am not saying those things to you. I am saying them to ME. I am sorry, self. Please forgive me. I thought I was stronger.

Sometimes I feel like I am two separate people. I am this fat chick who eats to calm herself. I don't care what anyone thinks. All I care about is the food getting me through the stress. I sit around and think of what I can eat next. And I am also this very strong woman who cares about herself. A woman who focuses on her goals, makes healthy food for herself, and eats the right amounts to nourish herself. I lift weights. I bike daily. I do 60 crunches and 20 counter push-ups every other day. I care. I am proud. I look good.

Two people live in my head. I am NOT that 278 pound binge eater anymore... but she jumps out every so often and tries to take over. And this week, I fed her. And now she is even worse.

It's like having an affair. You sneak around buying food at weird times, eating it in the car, then driving around to find a trash can to throw away the evidence. You come home feeling nervous and guilty. You wonder if anyone will smell the onions rings on your breath. You pretend everything is okay and eat dinner with the rest of the family. I am having an affair with food.

This week:
I made 1/4 recipe of brownie batter, twice, and ate it.
I had Arby's, Dairy Queen, Pizza Hut, McDonald's, Starbucks, and Sbarros.
I drank COKE and PEPSI.
I bought a pint of Haagen-Dazs ice cream and half of it one night, and half the next night.
I baked, and ate, zucchini bread.
I bought a pack of Skinny Cow ice cream sandwiches to try and calm my cravings in a controlled way. One day I ate 3. And the next day I took two, sliced them in half, spread peanut butter all over them, and ate them dunked in a bowl of Hershey's syrup.

So yeah, I understand why I am up ELEVEN POUNDS.

I hate typing that. I hate saying it, admitting it. I don't want to be like all the other fat people who go on diets and then binge back up the scale. I don't want to be a failure.

I didn't type all this out because I want anything. I don't want advice... I know what to do. I don't want criticism... thanks, I get that I ate like a boar hog. I am just trying to be honest so that in two weeks when I am 100% on track again I can look back at this and say, hey. We all mess up, but we have to take responsibility and put on the brakes. And we can keep right on losing weight. It's the long term that matters.

I am back on track, starting immediately. If you are struggling, please join me and be good to yourself. We can, we will succeed.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for this post.

Anonymous said...

Boy can I relate to this post!

Be good to yourself!

Accept YOUR apology and move on girlfriend!



Anonymous said...

Once again, I'm blown away by your honesty. I am sure a lot of us have been where you are and I admire your determination to call yourself on it before it is too late. Stay strong.

Anonymous said...

All emotional eaters out here can definitely relate to this post. Sometimes our emotions are ravenous beasts needing to be fed. I wonder if we could learn other ways to feed those emotional needs that would be a good substitute for food.

I'm sorry you are dealing with so much. Love and Prayers

Anonymous said...

You will get through this. You'll get through all of it, the emotional roller coasters, the weight roller coaster. Thank you for your honesty, and for sharing your strengths AND your weaknesses.

Anonymous said...

You are amazing. We all have felt the guilt of these secrets. You are an honest woman. I am with you in your journey because of your honesty. I am learning that weight loss is not a straight journey. It has zigs and zags. Thanks for sharing.

Katschi said...

Let me get this right...skinny cow spread with pb & dunked in chocolate syrup? Oh, Mama! LOL!
Hands down, that's a winner, Lyn *g*
You've confessed your sins...three hail Mary's and back on the wagon for you, missy.
Seriously? Big hugs to you, girl. You've got alot going on and I'll be hoping for the best for you & your family. xoxo

Katschi said...

I was going to say that you have alot on your plate but that would've been redundant *g*

Anonymous said...

Thank you! thank you for being honest and human. I want to print this up so i know that when i screw up it is ok, not ideal, but ok... others have done it too. the knowledge that others have strayed from the path and gotten back on it helps me so much when i stray. thanks again!
-Jessica Mae

Mal said...

For me (I'm a psychotherapist in recovery from Binge Eating Disorder), one of the most important realizations was that those different "selves" inside of me are actually all part of one wonderful, complex, multi-faceted self. I learned to rephrase things to myself on both good days and bad days. I'm not a bad person, a lazy person, or even a binge-eater. I'm a good person who occasionally binges. I'm a kind person who has gained excess weight. I'm a talented person who must learn new lessons.

You have done amazing work in the past year -- both physically and emotionally -- and I utterly applaud you. Life does hand us challenges and I think it's okay to sometimes go a little bit easy on ourselves. (Note that I said "a little bit.") An era like the one you're going through will slow down your progress surely, but that's okay. Whether you reach your goal next month, next year, or in the next 5 years, I hope that you can see what we all see -- just how far you have come. You're wonderful. Hang in there.

Louise said...


one day at a time...

Once Upon A Dieter said...

First, I pray that the Good Lord is with your daughter and you in a special way during this time of medical trials. It makes me sad that a little one has to go through this. Poor dears, the both of you.

Second, I know this is just a blip due to the pain of what's going on. Shoot, the husband thing alone would send me headlong into a vat of cheese fondue.

You've got a lot on your plate, in every sense, but your honest and realization--that awareness--is what will put the brakes on and get you back.

The bad stuff, you just get through it. Really, you can't control diseases doing what they want. You can't control the heart of a wayward husband. You can only control your responses, and I know that your strength will come to the fore soon.

You haven't disappointed me--us. You're just coping and we know how hard eating well and exercising is in the BEST of times and how daunting in the WORST of times. We're people who drug our pain with food...and you've got pain, my dear.

All is forgiven. I live each day with the mindset of the Gracious God: He forgives my sins and encourages me to get back up and move on to higher ground. I forgive myself, too, and encourage myself to "sin no more," Food or otherwise.

You are having grace poured over you today--believe it! Be merciful to Lyn.

Then stand up and beat the shit out of the woes in your world.

Figuratively, except maybe hubby. Him you can throw a vase at. :)

The Princess

Lola said...

lyn, thank you for being so honest.
you are such an inspiration for me and because of you, i kept myself eating right. we are so far from each other and i feel like you are my dear neighboor.
sometimes, i think i am a monster because i cannot be strong everytime, but today, when i read this post, i thought that even you, my inspiration, can fail sometimes, and can be back on track again.. so why cant i do the same thing.

thank you thank you thank you.
and YOU KNOW YOU ARE GONNA LOSE THOSE QUICKLY. you know that. keep writing. for all of us.


spunkysuzi said...

I applaud your honesty!! I know what you mean when you say that you start to feed the hunger and all of a sudden you just can't stop. To me it's almost an addiction, especially to sugar. I start i have a real hard time stopping. Thank you for putting it out there so that those of us that do it know we are not the only ones ;)

Honi said...

sweetie I am right there with you since my moms death july 15th I gained 5 pounds.. but I am getting it back together .. today has been a great day for me.. eating wise.. still have to work on portion control.. but I am just trying for now to get the eating back in the healthy zone.. i know how it is.. and you are not nor never will be a failure.. you are a brave , strong woman.. ONE WOMAN who can do this.. so your eating went wacko.. let it go.. try harder right now just for this one second.. after this second try the next second and so forth.. you are worth everything .. do not forget that.. sending strong vibes your way!!

Heather said...

dont apologize! you are honest and real and you should never apologize for putting yourself out there. Failure isnt a WORD at all in my book. Your honesty shows that it is hard to lose and KEEP off the weight. I still struggle every day and will probably for the rest of my life. it is so easy to gain it all back and that is the scary part. but never feel like you have failed because each day you keep trying and doing your best is not failing, its living and thats what life is. we cant be perfect and things like this will happen again. the key is just to keep picking yourself up again. that is what distinguishes you from the people who will never fully succeed.

ten said...

Thank you SO MUCH for your honesty. I'm hoping that it will help you stop the bingeing again and make a u-turn back to the successful patterns you've built over the past year. I deal with the same struggle, with the urge to binge becoming almost insurmountable in the face of emotional distress. Thankfully I'm slowly getting better at using other methods for coping. Your blog has been very helpful along the way.

mrs dorson said...

aawwwwww lynie! dont be sorry. pick yourself up, dust yourself off and BEGIN AGAIN! we love you and if you need it....we forgive you. but there isnt anything to forgive.

and most of that 11 pounds is water (and your body in shock after all those freaking veggies you eat!).
you know i think you rock and i am totally on your side.

this will pass. but you are your first priority. you ahve to be. know why? because your kids need you. and just like in a airplane...put on your oxygen mask FIRST!

you are not alone even tho it feels like it.

Karyn said...

Know that your burdens are being shared...that is obvious by all the wonderful comments....we all care about you and feel for you, with all the stresses in your life right now.

I will be praying for you....

Anonymous said...

I've been struggling right now too. The personal, the emotional... things that I can't control. I so relate to where you are. I'm ready to get back on track too. *WE* can do it, Lyn. We've proven it over and over again. We're stronger, smarter, and better than all the sh*t we're having to deal with it. I'm glad you're not giving up... because neither am I.


elife said...

I'm sorry that you have so many stressful and scary things going on in your life right now. You family is lucky to have a mom/wife that loves and cares for them so much.

We care about you and are cheering you on and praying for you every step of the way.

Anonymous said...


Just wanted to send some good thoughts and wishes your way. I am hoping you will get good news on the medical front for both you and your little girl. Take care.


Anonymous said...

I'm sorry to hear life is hard right now for you. Take it one day at a time, or even one minute at a time.

Let's face it, food is the drug of choice for us or we wouldn't be overweight. We can't go cold turkey like we could if we were trying to quit smoking, drinking, taking narcotics. We have to eat.

You have no idea how thankful I am that you are telling the real story. I know we both belong to a large diet website, and I feel like screaming at those in there who say "Oh from the moment I decided, I never had a single craving or a single cheat." You just have to WANT it seems to be the mantra. "You don't WANT it enough". Maybe for them it really was true but I personally doubt it. If we were that strong we would never be fat in the first place.

Bless you and I know you're going to make it.

Paula M

Vonavie said...


I'm with you! Our goals have not changed. We will succeed!

Sheri said...

You are exactly where I was a few days ago, and I have stepped back on the track - even if I stagger like a drunk fool (figuratively speaking) to keep on track. It's getting better, I feel better. Lyn, you are awesome! I understand your temporary setback, but you need to know how much of an inspiration you've been for me. Your humble writing has helped me realize that I am not alone in what I am dealing with, or how I feel. I am not one to give advise, after all, you have surpassed my success. However, someone said to me something that may be beneficial to you and others. Though we've been through negative, heart wrenching experiences, stresses or abuses, it is up to each of us NOT to let them hold us hostage and keep us the victim. That suppression leaves us weak in the loving support for ourselves and others. Lyn, I have no doubt you will overcome and regain your direction and success. After all, look at how far you've come already! Nobody but you could have done that.

Meg said...

I just found your blog, coincidentally, on a day when I am trying very hard not to fall into my emotional eating patterns.

Thank you for having the courage to post this. You are strong.

I am inspired by your strength and your determination.

Thank you.

new*me said...

Keeping your princess and you in my prayers. Your honesty through your journey is what keeps me coming back to your blog....you are one of the reasons I started my journey. You said all the things that I felt and was too afraid to say. Stay strong and move forward when you are ready. We are cheering for you Lyn.

emzeegee & the hungry three said...


I too am awed by your honesty. Truly, truly awed. I'm not going to give advice, I'm just going to offer some virtual (((hugs))).


ryry the adventurous said...

Lyn, if forgiveness is what you feel you need, you know you have it. But you don't need to apologize. You've hit your first major plateau and your body is in throwback mode (aside from whatever emotional hurricane might be going on having the husband around). I totally went through the same thing last week where I was in a "screw it" mood and "why can't I eat like normal people" came into my head more than once.

But you had your moments of sanity, and they won over. You turned an easy attempt at binging into a crisis averted and you will continue to do well. We ALL have to falter a bit on this road sometimes. We will never get there on our first try. Sometimes we stumble a little, but you have the strength to see it through, we know you do.

Never forget that you are awesome, and that everyone who posts here and sends you mail knows this.

Sarah said...

i'm sending positive thoughts your way. for you and your little girl. the damage is probably not as bad as you think btw.

the 11 pounds might look scary-- but you know calories by know-- there is no way you ate an additional 38,500 calories in such a short amount of time. i bet some of that is water weight and general ickyness based on the foods you are eating. you will clean yourself out and get back on track.

just keep going!!!

Anonymous said...

Wow! what a post you are such an inspiration. Remember we all go thru it "LIFE" we just gotta stand strong. You'll be back on track in no time

My prayers are with you and your family.

Anonymous said...

I only recently started reading your blog. I'd say about a month now. I had no idea you were dealing with so much.

Adversity does not define who we are as people. It’s how you respond to adversity that makes you a stronger person and that is what you should indentify with when life decides to beat you up. Giving in to your cravings won't change anything in this situation except for your weight. So not only will you have your sick child (I said a prayer for her), a rogue husband (I went back and read where things went wrong), and looming health problems, but you will also have to deal with your weight all over again. Now does that sound fun? ;)

I like what another poster stated - just beat the shit out of your woes. That's exactly how I live my life and I'm never sorry for it. You'll find much more peace and happiness on the other side than you'll ever find in a bag of cookies.

The Lassie said...

You will absolutely get through this, no doubt about it!

Anonymous said...

I am really sorry hear about everything you're going through lately -- although, as you said, failure is not an option and you do need to get yourself back under control, I have to tell you that the challenges you have been facing lately would drive MANY people to seek comfort in something destructive to them, be in food, cigarettes, alcohol, cutting, whatever.

Yes, you do need to pull it together, but PLEASE don't feel ashamed of yourself for being "weak" and for falling back on old habits during this trying time. But you are better than these problems, which is why I believe you can overcome both these personal problems AND the binging too.

In terms of binging -- have you ever considered that you might actually have a kind of chemical addiction to the sugar in the foods you binge on? I personally found that if I eat too many grains, even healthy whole-multi-whatever grains, I just cannot stop eating them; I go crazy and I go from binging on healthy whole wheat crackers to healthy whole wheat cereal to healthy whole wheat bread to... you know... cookies. If I keep my sugar/bread intake relatively low, my desire to binge disappears. As you said, much of your desire to binge is probably emotional, but maybe keeping your sugar intake low, especially while you're on this emotional rollercoaster, your desire to binge might decrease a bit.

Anonymous said...

Okay, listen to this--it makes so much sense, especially in regard to what you just said:
"We all have a sick self and a healthy self. No matter how neurotic or even psychotic we may be, even if we seem to be totally fearful and completely rigid, there is still a part of us, however small, that wants us to grow, that likes change and development, that is attracted to the new and the unknown, and that is willing to do the work and take the risks invovlved in spiritual evolution. And no matter how seemingly healthy and spiritually evolved we are, there is still a part of us, however small, that does not want us to exert ourselves, that clings to the old and familiar, fearful of any change or effort, desiring comfort at any cost and absence of pain at any price, even if the penalty be ineffectiveness, stagnation or regression."
from "The Road Less Traveled" by M. Scott Peck, M.D.
When I read that passage last night it hit me hard--it felt so true in my own life; and then reading your post this morning where you say much the same thing. Thanks for your insights.

Deb said...

I appreciate your honesty. Your honesty with yourself will be your salvation. We all struggle and relapse on this journey. It helps us all to realize the road to success includes some detours.

Best wishes for your daughter.

Shannon (Gale02 on 3FC) said...

Hugs to you and your DD, Lyn. You'll both be in my prayers as you're dealing with the medical stuff coming up.

I know where you're coming from, but you're not a failure. You only become a failure when you don't get back up from a fall. Clearly, that's not your intention (or you wouldn't have written about it!) I fell down too, and started eating my way through everything I could find. TWENTY-FIVE pounds later I came to my senses and realized what I was sabotaging (my 65lb loss last year). Then, I found out I was pregnant - a GREAT thing!:-) - and couldn't lose weight for another 9 months. But you know what? Getting back on my feet has kept my weight gain completely healthy through my pregnancy so far - 12 lbs in 6 months.

You aren't a failure, you are a strong, wise woman. Every journey has missteps, that doesn't mean you're not going in the right direction. It just means you took a small detour for a short period of time.

Anonymous said...

I am going through your blog and reading all your posts, and this one just stopped me. I just read a chapter in a Martha Beck book about this "I'm two people" idea...she calls them the dictator and the wild child. The dictator sets the rules, and makes you follow them (and punishes you when you fail) the wild child takes over (and eats everything in sight) when the dictator turns her back. Martha Beck posits that there is a third person we can choose...the watcher...who sees all this, and if we as the watcher send love and acceptance to both sides of our personalities, we can change our mindset about food. I hope I am explaining this properly, I am in the middle of reading and re-reading the book and I am finding the whole concept of not just changing your mind but CHANGING YOUR MIND fascinating. Her book is explaining WHY we eat the wrong things even though we don't want to, and there are exercises to do along the way that are supposed to help re-wire our brains. Really interesting stuff, and she is fun to read. Anyway, if you have not looked at her books yet (the one I have is called "the four day win") you might find them interesting. And now, I'm going back to your blog to continue reading...

Carly said...

I applaud and am in awe of your honesty.

So many of us fall off and never get back on, and I know that you will. You're going through some tough ones right now, but you'll get there!

Lots of hugs and prayers got out to you!