Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Distressed

Yesterday morning, I got off the scale and I wept. I sat and cried, because the scale reflected back to me the obvious truth that I have a very real problem with food. I felt a desperation I have never felt before about my weight. Sure, people mess up. People lose weight and regain some of it and then keep losing again. Being up ten pounds, I could rationalize. Hey, it's just fluids, right? That's what everyone keeps telling me. "Oh, you couldn't gain ten REAL pounds in a couple of days. It has to be water." Fifteen pounds, it started to scare me a little. My low was 214, and once I hit 229 again last week I thought, "hey, this ain't water. This is real, and this is heading in a very bad direction." So I cracked down and worked hard to get some pounds off. Gained a few back, hit 231 on October 1. But we all know, you work hard, it comes back off. I wouldn't be one of those people who eats her way right back to morbid obesity. I am too smart for that... too dedicated. Too strong, too determined. I would never let that happen to me. So I start biking again, start eating healthy, drop a couple pounds.

I had a few days where my efforts were half hearted. Ate a healthy breakfast but then had Arby's for dinner. Matter of fact, the other day I even bought some donuts. I was just dying for some donuts. I bought a dozen and within 2 days I had eaten 6 of them. One night for dinner I ordered pizza, after a whole day of healthy eating. I had two pieces of that pizza, and I left the crust on my plate. Oh I had a few other things, a scoop of low fat ice cream here, a low fat Starbucks latte there. I had a half of a hot dog for lunch once, with a handful of tater tots. I didn't really exercise much.

I got on the scale after a couple of days like that. In FOUR days I gained SEVEN pounds. SEVEN POUNDS. So yesterday when I saw 236 on the scale, I cried. I cried real tears of despair and desperation. It's my fault, I know it. I feel so out of control sometimes. I had the huge wave of panic come over me and I thought, "Oh my god. I am going to be one of those people!! I am almost halfway back to hugeness! I have gained TWENTY TWO POUNDS in TWO months. I have to stop this!! This CANNOT be happening to me."

I spent half the day on the phone and online trying to find a counselor who deals with eating disorders. I found one lady, only one, but her ad said "one free phone consultation." I took her up on it. It went something like this when she called me back:

Therapist: So what is it you need help with?
Me: I think I have an eating disorder. I was really obese for a long time, and then I started counting calories and exercising and I lost 63 pounds...
Therapist: Excellent.
Me: ...but then I started gaining the weight back. I have gained back 22 pounds already.
Therapist: Oh...
Me: I don't know what's happening to me. I try and eat healthy meals but then I start thinking about food, like donuts or chips, and I just want to eat and eat.
Therapist: *silence*
Me: I feel like I am driven to overeat, like it's some kind of addiction.
Therapist: Maybe you're not getting enough calories.
Me: Oh, I am getting enough calories. Trust me.
Therapist: Sometimes, when people go on diets, they cut back too much and then their bodies keep telling them to eat.
Me: I eat about 1600 calories a day on a good day, but maybe 3000 or 4000 on a bad day. I wonder if there is something psychological going on that is causing me to want to binge.
Therapist: Oh. Hmmmm.
Me: Do you deal with things like that? Can you help me figure out what is driving me to keep eating like this?
Therapist: Maybe you can go to TOPS. Have you heard of them?

That was about it. She couldn't really help me, and besides, she charges $130 per session. And I have no insurance. So I kept calling around. I might have found a counselor who can talk to me about this stuff. But not until next week.

I feel like something is wrong in my head. Why would any sane person eat themselves back to such a miserable state as morbid obesity? It makes no SENSE. Why would anyone be willing to literally die for a donut? I dunno, I am so angry, so desperate. Like a lot of people before me have been. Like the stories I have heard, of people gaining back the weight. I feel as if something has me by the ankles and I am being dragged back to obesity.

I won't let it happen. I will keep fighting. I have been sticking to the Healthy Habit Challenge like superglue... drinking my water, increasing my green tea... and because of that, I was able to eat far less today. I know if I can HANG ON to the good habits I had before, I will lose the weight again, just like I did before.

I am in the middle of a reconciliation attempt with my husband. I haven't seen him in over a month, but he is coming home for a bit. I am hopeful that him being here will allow me the time I need to do more healthy cooking and to ride my bike and strength train more often. He says he is on board with my weight loss now. We'll see. I also had a mini-crisis regarding my daughter's health. I spent this afternoon at the doctor with her, then to 2 pharmacies, and finally home. We will be making a trip to a larger hospital with her next week. She is doing fine for now.

I did get some good news this week. Some of you remember that in May I had a colposcopy and LEEP procedure to remove a large area of precancerous cells. Earlier this month I went in for a recheck. This week I got the pathology results: NO bad cells, everything looks wonderful! I am so relieved. I do have to get checked every 6 months for awhile to make sure it doesn't come back, but I am just so glad they got it all.

I am pulling out all the stops. I am definitely going to counseling ASAP. I am focusing on two things: drinking lots of water, and NOT eating junk. I hope within a few days I will have a better report. Thanks for caring.

58 comments:

Anonymous said...

*hugs* Hang in there. You have more love and support here on the internet than you know!

Fab Kate said...

We have an addiction. There are a number of ways to deal with that, but not every way works for every body. What you're experiencing isn't unusual... we've all gone through it.

The most severe form of behavior modification is weight loss surgery. The least severe is dieting on your own. There are all sorts of things in between... TOPS, WW and other programs.

You're right, a therapist isn't going to get to the root of this, and cognitive therapies don't work with addictions anyway.

Heather said...

Im so sorry to hear you are struggling. I know the feeling and I know what its like to feel out of control. but you are doing the right things....putting yourself out there and asking for help. Im sorry the lady wasnt able to really help, but Im sure you can find something that does. dont give up and or give up hope, I know you can do this and lose this weight. this isnt a failure at all...its making you stronger so that the next time you are in this place, you can make it even further.

Pamela said...

I'm sorry to hear that you are struggling. I've been struggling too, lately, so I understand where you're coming from. I'm also terrified of regaining the weight that I've lost. I've often considered seeking counseling, but don't have the funds right now, so please let us know how it goes. Good luck!

Hang in there. I know you can do this!

Change for Good said...

I am so sorry you are having a rough go of it. You might want to check into an addictions counselor. That is what I finally found to help me out.

Anonymous said...

I am here fore you, friend. I wish there was more I could do. I wish you the best! Ann (momof6under8)

Andrea said...

I'm so sorry you've had such a bad day!! I agree with "change for good" that an addictions counselor might be more help. Food addicitions are just as serious as drugs or alcohol - biggest difference: you can never totally give up eating which makes for a real challenge. A doctor would never tell you, "You want to quit smoking - ok, but you MUST continue to have 2 cigarettes every day." Hope all is ok with your daughter. Know that we're all here for you & at least partly understand your struggles. ((Hugs))

Jackie said...

Hi there Lyn,

I am so sorry to hear things have been so difficult for you. You are definitely in my thoughts. (((lyn)))

You mentioned you would like to get counselling but have no insurance? Have you checked into any therapists who use a sliding-scale? Also, have you called any churches for their recommendations for low-cost counselling? (You don't need to be religious/believer.) Have you Google'd "mental health sliding scale" for your area?

Also, does your town have OA (Overeaters Anonymous)? That is another option for support.

Please take care of yourself, keep believing in yourself, and keep reminding yourself that you are still lighter than you used to be!

All the best,
Jackie

Anonymous said...

Lyn, why not try WW, if you follow the plan you can not NOT lose wt. And the money it costs would not be as much per week as that spent on junk food. Try it, (if you ahven't) there is no way you will not steadily lose weight plus there are others in the same boat and a leader who is a Life member so knows what it is like.

sending positive good wishes to you...Cathleen

Gwynnethe said...

Lyn, I recently found your blog and it has been such an inspiration for me! I am also working to lose about 100 pounds. In my first week, I lost an amazing 7 lbs. This week I haven't been so rigorous in my approach. I don't want to backpedal either, but I know it happens. It is a part of this journey. Changing our mindset and our habits is a tough thing. I have fibromyalgia, a pain disorder, and I turn to food when I am in pain. (Which is most of the time.) I am working towards replacing food with something else that will take my mind off the pain.

Hang in there. You obviously have the support of your readers, the people who are in this with you!

Sherre said...

Your posts scare me. I see so much of myself in you and I (like you) don't have any magic answers relative to the backsliding. It sounds so trite to say "hang in there" when you're obviously struggling, but I'm sending good thoughts your way.

On the counseling, I would recommend negotiating with the counselor re their fees. They negotiate with health plans all the time and I know at least some of them are willing to negotiate with patients.

eyeslikesugar said...

Oh wow... I know how you feel so much. I have overcome my binging (used to be fast food for lunch, snack, and dinner) by making smart swaps. For example, I bought the book Eat this Not That, and now when I get a craving for fast food, I'll grab a bean burrito fresco from Taco Bell. It only has 300some calories.. and lots of protein -- and no cheese which is sososo good. For sweet cravings, I've become obsessed with applesauce.

Good luck!

Tara said...

pick up the book "overcoming binge eating" by dr fairburn. there is a self help program there for people who overeat. the book costs $12 and should be a good replacement for therapy.

Janine Serresseque said...

Lyn, you wrote something a few posts ago about each "good" day being easier than the last. That is so true. Try to remind yourself of that, and look forward to the next good day and the next. Visualize your dream before you go to sleep at night.

I use an online program called My Food Diary. I love it, mostly for the discussion forums. They have been immensely helpful to me. It's a great program and it's inexpensive--only 9 bucks a month!

Good luck, sweetie. Just get back on the horse. You will attain your goal. It is within your reach and your control.

GF said...

I wish I had wonderful words of wisdom. I don't. But I can say, I've been in the same place you find yourself today. I will tell you what my Dad use to tell me: Every day, just GET up and keep TRYING. Keep the FAITH, girl.

Steve and Jamie said...

I've been blurking for several months now. I really admire what you have accomplished. I'm so sorry you are having such a rough time right now. I understand that out of control feeling that you have talked about and I'm so impressed that you just keep trying. You have inspired me to keep going many times. Hang in there!!!

Alexia@theonelastthing.com said...

Big hugs. I wish I had easy answers. We just need to keep going and figure out what it is about us that we need to change - the behaviors, not the weight. The answer is different for everyone. Hugs, hugs, hugs.

debbyweighsin said...

Lyn, So sorry to hear of your struggle. That was my biggest fear for a very long time, that it would all go away and I would gain it all back.

But it is good you are actively seeking help. I see that you have gone to W.W. before. I wonder about Overeaters Anonymous? I have never been, but have a friend who found them helpful (just trying to think of something cheaper than a counselor.)

Also, it sounds like you have a high degree of stress in your life right now. Maybe you should give yourself a little grace.

spunkysuzi said...

"hugs" you have a lot of support here ;) Don't be afraid to ask for help when you need it!
Since i'm still dealing with binge eating issues i know where you are coming from. One thing just kind of slides into another.
You are already doing what you need to do by being open to finding help. Good luck and i know you can find your inner strength!

Gena said...

Coupla things. I'm a therapy intern and I read your posts religiously. I beg to differ with the person who said "cognitive therapy doesn't work for addiction." Yes, it can, but should be done in conjunction with several other treatment approaches and not by itself.

Several people have recommended OA. YES! OA is for food compulsion what AA is for alcoholism. This has to be a one day at a time approach with support from others who have been where you are.

The pizza and the Arby's are laden with sodium which only helps your body to hang onto every drop of water and then some. Step away from the salt. Hormonal changes may make you crave it, and they may also be contributing to the amount of water you're holding.

Lynn, I recognize how hard this is and how much you're struggling. Recognize that it took you 30-some years to put this on; it's going to take a while to make changes that stick and take it off. Go back to the things that you know work for you--food journal, fruit, veggies, and whole grains. No donuts, no prepared foods, no Coke. You need a couple of small victories to help you get back on track.

Above all, be kind to yourself. Part of the reason this addiction started was related to food as a love substitute (IMHO). Start with love as a food substitute. You can do this.

All the best...

elife said...

((Big Hug)).

Getting support for addictive behavior is an awesome idea, and is just like you - figuring out what you need help with, and exploring solutions.

But there is another huge component here...you are under a tremendous amount of stress. You've been handling and worrying about so much, I don't know how you do it.

It helps me a lot to think of the biology behind overeating; it reminds me that my head isn't out of control, my body is simply having a biological reaction to circumstances.

From an evolutionary perspective, stress for a long period of time meant a famine was present or on its way. So your body is acting as though such a thing is imminent and is preparing. "Chronic stress triggers an ancient response of calorie accumulation and fat storage". I got this straight out of "You on a Diet" by Michael Roizen/Mehmet Oz. (Highly recommend it, has lots of info on the biology of fat). So yes, you ARE hungrier and you ARE gaining faster than usual.

Stress reducers - therapy, group support (OA), yoga, exercise.

Hang in there, honey.

PaulaM said...

Forgive me for saying this, but I'm sure a huge percentage of your trouble is because of your husband. I would be very resentful that he isn't there to help with your home life, especially if your daughter is ill. I think once that situation resolves things will be a lot easier for you. Hang in there, try not to be so hard on yourself. You will lose again, I know you will.

Dinah Soar said...

It sucks, I know, gaining so much weight in such a short time. And it seems to be going around too, this failure and frustration. Makes me wonder if the desire to eat the carby things is seasonal.

It's not much comfort but I know exactly how you are feeling...I've experienced the same.

I realized the other day--mind you I'm in my 5th decade-- it's likely I'll never ever again be a slim and trim person...not ever. Those days are my past.

Sobering thought...made me wonder momentarily why even bother. But, if for nothing else, health matters, so I keep trudging along.

And so you must too...keep seeking..and you will find. You have many years ahead, so never give up, never give in, so that when you are in your 5th decade you can look back at your past and see a slim and trim woman.

Name: Lynise said...

Lyn, I am certainly no expert on either the subject of food addiction or emotional eating, BUT I have identified that I fall into both categories so I guess you can say that my opinion is also my own personal experience.

First off it sounds like your a food addict like me. Unlike other addictions its impossible to go cold turkey with food as our bodies need it to function, but my first step to over coming my food addiction was a very severe plan where I didn't actually eat anything, but got my nutrition through a clinically recognised source.

Since we need the nutrition side of things I undertook a program that Doctors use to treat people who are obese. The meal replacement is called optifast and basically is a VERY controlled program as I literally ate nothing for 8 whole weeks. (except the shakes and some vitimin pills).

After 8 weeks I was able to add in an optifast bar which is similar to an oat museli type product. This became my dinner, but I still stuck to only a M/R for both breakfast and lunch.

I feel this program was a huge help to me as it was as close to going cold turkey with food as I could get, without scarificing my health with poor nutrition. My body was able to get all the toxins out and while this was talking place I was working on some of the mental issues that were part of my weight problem.

At the moment I am re-reading Dr Phils weight loss solution book. He has a great (easy to read) way of writing that really says the same as all the 'experts/councellors' but in very easy to understand every day language.

His book with get you thinking, why do I eat when I am not hungry?
What pay offs am I getting by being overweight, (ie, an excuse to be lazy as people don't expect me, or don't ask me to participate in anything physical like sports teams).
Or, I've had some bad relationships and being overweight means I don't have to worry about meeting another jerk as know guy will be wanting me while I'm overweight.

These are the types of things we program into our mind, often without really realising it.

Or maybe we don't think we really deserve true happines. True happiness is something people get when they are a super nice person, who really puts 100% into everything they do in life. I slack around so don't really deserve the same happiness as the person putting in 100%.

All the experts say that being overweight has an emotional side to it. We may just think we like high fat food, but its NEVER just about the food. Its all the other things relating to our feelings deep inside us.

Do we use food to make us happy. (i'm feeling down, so what can I have to eat that will make me feel good).
Or, I'm bored, I'll eat something because it will give me something to do.

These are all things we often do without even realising it.

Once we tap into how we really feel and whats really going on, then we will be in a position to say, actually, I'm not hungry at the moment, I'm bored, so whats something I can do that I'll enjoy, without it involving food.

Well, as I said, I'm really just talking from experience here, but as i unlock this info I can start to really think about things, rather then stuffing myself with food when I may not even be hungry.

--Michelle said...

I have to break out of lurking to throw you a lifeline. I spent a decade beating myself up over my own compulsive overeating. I searched for what possible reason I could have--why couldn't I stop eating? Was it an addiction? Did I lack willpower? Did I have a repressed childhood trauma?

No. In my case, the compulsion to overeat was a physiological reaction to a food substance my body could not properly digest.

My diagnosis (by doctor number three) was non-Celiac Disease Gluten Intolerance. The fourth day after I stopped eating foods containing gluten (which is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye), the compulsion to overeat stopped.

(And I have to tell you, it is *still* freaky to me to be able to eat a meal of "normal" portion size, and to be satisfied--to not feel starved twenty minutes later and hoover down a second meal. I can eat a single cookie, and not want a second one--as opposed to eating a whole bag or batch at one sitting like I used to. And there is no willpower or discipline involved. I literally no longer have that compulsion.)

So before you go even farther down that road of beating yourself up about willpower and discipline, please consider *physical* reasons for compulsive overeating.

(Not that I am suggesting you are gluten intolerant, but please don't immediately assume you can't stop eating due to lack of willpower or discipline. Anyone who gets out of bed and goes to work or runs a household has plenty of discipline.)

I agree with your first commenter. Hang in there. But also, please consider the physical. (It can be hard to find a doctor willing to work with you, since most doctors want to tell you it's all in your head, or that it's hormones. It very likely is NOT.)

Lauren said...

Ok, yes, this is a problem, the most important thing is that you aren't lying about it. We all go through periods of loss and regain like you said. You dropped a pretty big bombshell in there about your personal life and a possible reconciliation with your husband. Is it possible that emotions surrounding this are triggering you. You aren't alone, and you can find counselors that know how to handle eating disorders. Have you ever tried OA?

Anonymous said...

I just want to remind you to love yourself, and to not beat yourself up. I love what Judith Beck says about this...expect failure, but keep doing it anyway. All of us with food issues have been exactly where you are right now. just keep putting one foot in front of the other, and continue with what you know works...for you. You have a lot of stuff to deal with right now, and food is part of how you deal with what life throws at you. Understand that and move on. Love yourself. "may you be well, may you be happy, may you be free from pain" Rest...and relax. Deep breaths, don't panic. You WILL accomplish what you desire so much. You will. Sending you support and love, Rebecca

Hanlie said...

My heart just goes out to you, my friend. I've been there so many times before.

This is not about the food... It's emotional discomfort of some sort and it's making you want to fall back on your old coping mechanisms. I recently spoke at length to a friend of mine who has lost about 90 pounds and she says that emotionally her weight loss journey was the hardest time she's ever had. She still feels shattered and struggles with facing her emotions instead of stuffing them with food. But she's come a long way and won't allow herself to react in old ways anymore.

It's all part of the journey, Lyn. This is where we feel the fear and face it, instead of reaching for the donuts, etc. It's very scary, but we CAN finally defeat our fear.

I believe in you!

Anonymous said...

hi there,

remember when you said it's not about the food? it's obvious that things going on around you (your husband, daughter) are DEFINETELY somehow/unconsciously/subconsciously? influencing the way you eat and the way you feel. turning to food is just a BAD habit, it doesn't mean ur a bad person. everyone has bad habits, your and MANY MANY MANY ppl (including myself) make them overweight. take it SLOW lyn, very SLOW.

if you really want to learn something, i challenge you to REALLY read this and meditate on it. i'm not some super faithful, self-righteous person (trust me, sometimes I am ENRAGED with god), but i know that if you believe in this, you WON'T need no counselor. and you won't be crying (as much) by your scale. lyn, ur awesome. here's the passage:

Matthew 6:25-40

Do Not Worry
25"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life[a]?

28"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

cindy
-hope it doesn't sound like i'm attacking u/being rude cuz i just want to help u out, hope it helps

u rock!

Anonymous said...

also, lyn, if u start thinking, "but i have an addiction to food, it's not just about worrying"

i know this guy (27 yrs old), who was addicted to cocaine. it was his thing, what he lived for, what took his personal pain away, but things definetely changed when he turned to the bible/god. i didn't know him when he was addicted, but as a christian man, he was calm, nice, sincere, etc. i don't want to make it sound like christian ppl are the best, but i mean, to compare an addict personality during and after.

-cindy

redballoon said...

Lyn,
I have noticed in many of your posts that you casually mention having eaten this food and that food and then some and at the time you mention it with such nonchalance that it sounds like that is part of your plan. And though it adds up, it doesn't sound like crazy bingeing. Oh, no, I've done crazy bingeing.

But, when you talk about the calories you eat, you say 1600 on a good day and then suddenly 3000 or 4000 on others. Well, it sounds to me like you are simply turning away from a "bad day" as if the numbers didn't matter, as if getting back on track was all that mattered.

Of course, getting back on track is very important, but only if you are ready to accept the fact that you either slowed or loss or, like now, actually backtracked and are going to have to cover the same old ground all over again (oh, boy, do I know how that is).

I am VERY similar to you. My beasts are days of ignoring the fact (even though I'm aware of it) that I have easily added an additional 2000 calories of sweets or perhaps 3,000 calories of beer!

And then the next day I'm doing well, exercising and eating in moderation and I bemoan the fact that I haven't lost weight or that I have gained.

But first of all, STOP feeling despearate. That will ONLY make you panic and then you will really binge and maybe for days on end or until you actually see what you fear, a total regain of the weight you've lost...plus some.

I think you should take this whole thing away from the food aspect of it and think of it like a household budget. I don't know if you're good at budgeting or spending money but you would never expect to spend way over your budget for a couple days and then come out on top at the end of the week. There are things you simply have to buy and they can't be scrimped on.

Well, with the calories it's the same concept but reversed. Think of your daily allotment as your spending money WITH the added element that you must spend it that day or lose it. You can't allow yourself to scrimp because that could kick off cravings. Spend wisely. Spend those calories on wholesome foods.

Eat the apple.

Lynnie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jae said...

Sorry, I had to delete the above comment because I'm a goob. Also I haven't read any other comments so if this is a duplicate I appologise for that as well...

Don't give up, HOWEVER, take a breath and focus on YOURSELF!!! I think we get into this Lose Weight Like You Were Or Else! mode and blow it. Since you've got so much going on right now just focus on ONE thing, maybe water drinking, or weight lifting or even just positive thoughts; at least you're taking care of something that you can control that will benifit YOU. You can do it and you're worth it! ~j

Joy's Journey in Weightloss said...

Lyn,
You have a lot going, sweet lady. You are stronger than you know. Every one of the 30+ posts are all from people who have been where you are and struggle like you struggle. You are not alone. My only advice to you is to get off of sugar for once and for all. It will give you a cushion of ease when you would usually go for the crazy junk food carbs. I have carbs surrounding me all of the time at work. I just don't even care about it. I was a HUGE chocoholic. I could not go a meal without some hit of chocolate. Now, they are simply objects like a pencil. I just don't care about it. Email me if you want more info. Either way, you will succeed!

Mrs. Jelly Belly said...

Breaking out of lurkdom to offer you some cyber hugs.

I agree with a lot of the earlier comments, but specifically with these two:

1) You HAVE to get off the sugar. Junk carbs like sugar and white flour products do nothing for you but increase your cravings. The more you have, the more you want. Breaking that awful habit was the best thing I ever did. It makes all the difference.

2) Attending meetings, such as WW, also makes a huge difference. I never thought I was a "meeting person" until doing it on my own led to constant failures. I bit the bullet and went to WW and the weight came off so much easier. I don't know why, but it did.

I wish you the best of luck - hang in there; I know you can do it.

Vickie said...

It is extremely hard to find certified eating disordered therapists. I see one - she is one of TWO in my whole state!

The addictions counselor is a very good suggestion - it might be easier to find that type.

good luck.

Anonymous said...

The best advice I saw on this entire page was from Redballoon. S/he said "STOP feeling desperate".

YES! In fact I would even go further and say just STOP! Period.

The first thing to stop is to stop thinking that what you're doing is wrong. It's not. You're doing nothing but eating. You're doing the equivalent of over-watering a plant. Is that a sin? No. So stop blaming yourself and making yourself wrong. Up until now it's the best way you've had of taking care of yourself. THANK yourself for wanting to preserve yourself. Have you ever taken the time to consider the things you have brought yourself through and been grateful to your physical being for getting you there? Thank your addiction, but then tell it that it's time for it to step aside now and let a new way of being take over.

Having done that, take time to ask yourself what exactly it is that you're trying to achieve when you eat. What did you desire? Are you trying to avoid responsibility by using food to zone out, for example? For me, the reason I ate was to calm my anxiety. By eating too much I could feel terrible about just one thing, not a myriad of things. Food reduced my angst and worries to just one single point. What's yours?

Now, think of the thing it is that you ACTUALLY desire. What is it? Mental clarity? To always be present and aware in your life? Mine personally was to be able to shop in regular stores. It wasn't to be thin, it was just to be a size that I could walk into any store and buy something. (Stores where I am go up to about American size 16, if you want larger than that, you have to go to a big girl's store)I now live my life to that principle. Will this soda get me to size 16? No. Won't have it, then. Will eating when I'm hungry, fueling my machine with good and tasty foods get me to size 16? Sure will!

The important thing here when swapping short term desires with long term ones is to sit with uncomfortable feelings, a tiny bit of discipline and to SHARE SHARE SHARE SHARE SHARE this goal shift with everyone. Tell your kids. Your husband. Your collegues. Strangers. (Ask first!!)The more you share the more you will realise that the emotions you've been feeling are not relavent, are not real and have no reason to continue.

So - anyhoo. Seriously - this is just my 2 cents worth and it's VERY arrogant of me to push it on you. Use or ignore this at your will. I just hope that because it helps me, it might help you too.

Deniz said...

Lyn, you are one courageous lady!

But you are still beating the c*** out of yourself right now and that will only make things worse.

Please do something good - for yourself - be kind to yourself, buy yourself a 'thank you' present (something beautiful and to keep) to remind yourself what a brilliant lady you are.

Hell, I'd do it for you if I could, but it needs YOU to see and really believe that this is not the end of the road and to start to love yourself again. OK you've gained, it's an obstacle, maybe a big one, but you've overcome so many before... and you WILL DO AGAIN.

You have so much support from so many people out here. All of us have at least some understanding of what you are going through - or we wouldn't keep reading your great blog. But we are not in your skin and can't ever know exactly how you are feeling.

I can see from what you write that you are trying to cling to the good things going on in your life (e.g. health check) as well as deal with the hard stuff. Honey, you are halfway there already when you say "I am pulling out all the stops". Keep hold of those thoughts and you WILL get through this.

Lori said...

:hugs:

Tina said...

Hi Lyn. I hope you are hanging in there. I lost 100 pounds and gained it all back and then some. Trust me in that you don't want to start over. We are so similar it's scary and I've found that Weight Watchers is really working for me. I do it online but am thinking about starting meetings. You can still have that food you crave, just smaller amounts. I'm an addict too but you'll be amazed at how much of a difference it makes to not be told you can't have something. Only that you have to fit it in the plan. Good luck to you. HUGS!

bbubblyb said...

Hi Lyn, I found your website awhile ago and have been following it and loving everything I read from you. Reading through the 40 comments you got from your last post should make you realize that you're thought of and cared about a lot.

I don't want to be someone telling my story to you but I think you might find it worthwhile. I've recently (in the past 15 months) lost 110 lbs. I'm just now down to your weight, 235. So I do know what it means to be big.

My history with weight loss is having my stomach stapled at age 15, weighing in at 345 lbs. Sure I lost weight (about 100 lbs) but I also never fixed myself so the weight came back. In my 20's I lost 100 again but again I wasn't fixing me so the weight came back. My high weight was 378 lbs.

Anyway, my reason for telling you all this is that it all boils down to loving yourself. To working on the inner you that needs healing.

For my journey now (at age 41) losing this weight and learning to love myself is about the people I have put in my life that keep me going, that help me not hurt me. It's about putting myself out there in all ways and having a support system that makes it harder to fail than succeed. I truly don't think I could fail now.

Sure I struggle and have weeks were I gain a lb or two but I always find my way back to what I need to be doing. I think you have a good support group right here with your website which is a huge step in the right direction.

For my support system during these past 15 months, it's changed here and there, I've added more people, etc. But the #1 thing I started with was therapy. I didn't start going for weight loss, my therapist isn't an eating disorder doctor. I started going because my mom had Cancer and my 17 yr old cat was dying and my son wasn't eating. There were lots of "other" reasons for going to therapy just as it sounds like there are for you.

As time went on though as things got better (my mom beat the Cancer, my sweet dear cat passed away, my son got a bit better) I realized that my eating was all a reaction to what was going on inside myself and also my terrible anxiety and stress I seemed to always keep myself under. I eventually learned that exercise helped relieve a lot of that for me. Where before I ate a pint of ice cream a good 30 mins walk could make me feel better.

Anyway, I could go on and on about what I've done in the past 15 months but really I just want to say like so many here have already said, stop beating yourself up. You are a good person. You have issues like every single other person does. But you can figure out the perfect Lyn plan to conquer them all.

That's something else I learned, I CAN DO ANYTHING, and so can you. It's been in every single one of us all along. We just have to figure out how to tap into it and keep it going. Life will always throw things at us so it's about learning to handle them in a different way.

So, give yourself a hug today and realize that you have the power to change your life. Where the weight is concerned, just remember our bodies are for life so don't feel like you have to have the weight off in a split second. I went to therapy almost a full year before I even thought about losing weight. Work on your mind and your body will follow.

Hugs and lots of good vibes.

Sheri said...

We have an addiction, but we have a choice. I'm learning to utilize my choice over my desire. My choice is not to eat the food, and my desire is to eat it. I'm not sure about a psychological issue. If you're like me then you are eating to passify stress in your life, and everything and anything that goes wrong in your live and the lives of those you love, you're taking out on your self, using food as the punishment. After all, what's the fastest way someone trying to loose weight gets upset? Gaining. Lyn, concentrate on finding ways to remain emotionally calm, and be for aware of how you're feeling before eating. Actually, I just blogged about all this before I read this post.

Karen Lauria said...

Awww Lyn! *hug* I, like so many other readers, know exactly the kind of frustration and feeling of hopelessness that you described in your post. There have beeen times when I've exploded in tears because it just feels so hopeless sometimes and I feel so helpless.

I also used to binge eat -- I would say that my level of binge-eating wasn't quite as severe as what you're describing, but still, I was a big binger. I used to believe that it was all emotional -- that I'd eat to dull the pain, to escape what I was feeling, etc. But then I read a wonderful book -- "The Truth about Beauty" by Kat James. She too had a very bad binging problem for much of her life, until she discovered low-carb/higher fat eating. Her binging stopped, she lost weight, she became healthy. I was always suspicious of low-carb plans, but after reading this book, I gave it a shot and like MAGIC -- TRUE MAGIC -- my binging stopped. I could say no to things like cake, cookies, bread, soda, and it didn't feel like a monumental struggle. I could go hours without thinking about food and eating. Nothing about my inner/emotional life changed; my sugar in-take changed. I realized that I didn't have an emotional addiction to food, but a CHEMICAL addiction, to the sugars in bread, waffles, cake, soda, fruit, juices, etc. Even "healthy" foods were setting me off, causing the binges.

I'm not saying this is definitely what's happening with you, but I do think it's worth considering. If you're going to lose weight and keep it off for good, then everyday of your life shouldn't have to be a constant battle between your better judgment and your desire to be thin, happy and healthy, and this nameless beast inside that demands you EAT EAT EAT. You shouldn't have to white-knuckle your way through life and the only way I personally found that liberates me from this constant feeling of "hunger" and desire to eat is to ditch the carbs.

Give it a try; it couldn't hurt.

But no matter what you decide to do -- best of luck. We're all rooting for you.

Jen said...

Today, I woke up and experienced your same situation... "Obvious truth" Last week I was up 2lbs, now I'm up 3lbs more.

Thank you for posting...

"But we all know, you work hard, it comes back off. I wouldn't be one of those people who eats her way right back to morbid obesity. I am too smart for that... too dedicated. Too strong, too determined. I would never let that happen to me."

Jen
www.priorfatgirl.blogspot.com

Twix said...

First off you're not insane! That's the great news!! Take consolance in the fact that I feel your urges too. I'm not sure if it's the counting calories or the reduction in calories that causing the I got to haves. It does feel like your going cuckoo but your not. So breathe deeply! That and along with the water will help. I can't even be nice and say this will go away with time because so far with me it hasn't. In times like those I have to agree it helps having a buddy to talk and walk you out of it. I hate going it alone!! You need someone who can be right there when you call and scream help(!) I'm going nutzo for a box of whatever. It sort of like needing to go to an AA meeting, Snick told me this. Except there's a problem we can't stop eating food altogether....haha, what a cruel joke on us huh?My biggest suggestion woudl be to get an accountabilty buddy or buddies who can be right there with ya when it happens. Of course you have to be the one to call. Sort of like this great place, your blog. It's great to get the support you need and I am happy so many are here to help! But I think we might need someone a step closer, atleast it woudl be much more cheaper than a therapist and it would be more personable too. I care about ya, hang in there!!

Great news on your tests, that way to go AWESOME!! Very happy for you!

Good luck with your reconciliation!

(((hugs))) & a smile :D

Lisa said...

Lyn,

Try this, I swear it works! Every time you order food or get in the car to go and buy food (non-healthy) change your route and go to a store instead and spend that same amount of money you were going to spend on a Christmas present instead or something for yourself. Take your time while your there and walk around and enjoy yourself, get your mind off of things. Then go home and make a healthy dinner/lunch/snack. Before you know it you'll have a great start on your Christmas shopping and you'll be feeling proud. Anyway, it works for me!

Take care,

Lisa

Jessaleigh said...

No brilliant advice here, I just want to say you're an inspiration, you can do this, and I'm listening. We all are.

Ceres said...

Sorry to hear about your struggles... I wish I had something really smart to say, some kind of ground-breaking advice, but I don't. Just please don't think that you're a failure, not for a split second. You have inspired so many people, you have lost so much weight, you have struggled with family issues, and are still a wonderful mother! In my eyes, you're still a big hero.
I don't know why you're turning to food right now, but it's got to be a comfort of sorts. Perhaps you should focus on why you feel so desperate for food at the particular times that you have the need.
Another idea is to make yourself work every time that you get a craving. So, for example, next time you feel like pizza, you can tell yourself: "I'll exercise for half an hour, and then I'll call the delivery guys.", or "I'll speed-walk around the neighborhood for 30 minutes, and then I'll come back home and order pizza."

Caroline said...

Look, I am not trying to long distance diagnose you or anything, but it sounds to me (having been there myself) like you're dealing with some pretty hardcore depression. It's so hard to lose weight when you're depressed, and your brain chemicals are all messed up so trying to be rational about food is nigh impossible.

Talk to the counselor. Hopefully you will get a good one right away who can help you with some anti-depressants and a plan of attack. I know what you're going through, and I wish you well.

Roder said...

Lyn,
I've been reading your blog for awhile now, and I'm touched with how open and honest you are with both your struggles and successes.

I hope you and your husband find happiness again, and I hope that you find balance in your life.

PrincessDieter said...

First, I want to say Thanks to God that your medical report is good. That's important new.

Second, you pretty much described ME lately. Start out healthy, hit the junk food for dinner or just too much food. Been making me depressed.

I am convinced I need cognitive therapy--but I haven't found someone advertising themselves as such dealing with weight issues. I may just have to call the pysch assoc locallya nd see. I've done oodles of web searches and phone book and specialty brochures. Sigh.

I think for me this is going to be THE avenue that gives me a new open door.

I hope that we both find what we need. It's so saddening to lose ground.

I do think my tendency toward depression works against me. I came out of a years-long depression in January, and I've felt pretty hopeful and good since. This month, the mood has been less snappy. I don't want to fall in the black hole again, but that economic news will make anyone's blue cloud black!

Aside from that, You have my best wishes in the reconciliation process. A united family that works through issues can end up even stronger. Happens. And it's good in a bad economy to work together. Pragmatic. So, may all good things come to you in all areas as we go through a shadowed time.


God bless you, Lyn,
The P

Kathy Ungren said...

I know how you feel ... a little success, a lot of failure, and a lot of self-sabotage. The only thing that works for me consistently (and I still have a lot to lose) is avoiding sugar completely and exercising daily.

I know it yet don't always do it.

TOPS helps me to have accountability except sometimes I don't go if I think I've gained.

I just started reading your blog and am glad to have found it.

Pubsgal said...

(((hug))) Hang in there, Lyn! Like Ceres, I wish I could think of something to write that would make it all better. You're a hero to so many of us on the internet. You're not alone, although I know it probably feels like it, because I've felt that way myself with health challenges lately.

I'd also gently suggest what Joy and others have suggested: clean diet. Try going sugar free/refined flour free for awhile. I felt crummy for a couple of weeks when I did it, and the cravings were strong, but afterwards I felt cleansed. I don't crave the things I used to anymore, although once in awhile when I get down that someone is eating something tasty, I'll take one bite to keep me out of going into the deprivation spiral. (Actually, the other day I did this with the kids' ice cream, just the store-brand stuff, and it tasted too chemical for me...which begs the question, why am I letting my kids eat it?!?!?)

Anyhow, I wish you ALL the best: health, happiness, and healing. You're a wonderful person and mom, and you deserve it!

Alexia@theonelastthing.com said...

Thinking of you bunches today. You know, what has made a difference for me -- because I totally have been in the food situation you describe -- has been to focus on eliminating things that were stressing me or converting them to more manageable situations or changing the way I react to them -- rather than focusing on food. Maybe just focus on exercise and stress relief for a bit?

More hugs today.

MB said...

Sugar is definitely addictive. I have the same problem craving the sugar and carbs even though I know I'll feel awful about eating it. Hang in there. You'll get back into the grove again. You have been such an inspiration, I know you can turn things around and get the scale moving downward again. Take care of yourself and if you HAVE to have a donut, buy one and enjoy it, don't bring a whole box into your house - that is just asking for trouble.

I'm glad you got good news on the test results. Good luck with the husband's visit.

WendyB said...

Ooh, I really feel for you. There have to be therapy programs that could let you pay on a sliding scale. Maybe at a hospital? I know you'll be able to get back down there. You've done it before and you'll do it again!

Teale said...

Oh man, I feel like a horrible friend to be out of touch for so long & have you be going through a lot of things. I know, there are other friends to lean on and support you, but I started my journey about the same time as you, and I felt like you were always there for me, and I havent been doing the same lately for all my blogging buddies.

I, too, have wondered about needing a therapist for the mental aspect of weight loss (and gain). In the last year, I have lost 50 pounds, then gained about 40 back, and now lost about 15 again... in a YEAR! So I know I'm capable, there is just some kind of road block that gets in my way of my success that I think MUST be mental. I hope you can find someone to help you more than phone consultation lady did!

Pohed said...

I'm really enjoying your blog. At 270 lbs I share some of the same daily struggles. Thanks for sharing your life with us.

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