Saturday, January 10, 2009

"Okay" is Not Good Enough

It's been a rough week for me, trying to get back to 100% on plan after the holidays, but I have had some really great victories as well. I pulled a typical "head-in-the-sand" tactic of avoiding the scale, though, so I don't know if my efforts were enough to see a loss, but I doubt it. I can tell I am bloated, because when I didn't get to my laundry and was reduced to one last pair of (tight, unforgiving denim) jeans, they were NOT comfortable. They used to have a gap of an inch or so in the waist, and now they fit just right... until I eat all day. After dinner I was walking around with the fly down and my shirt pulled over the gap for decency's sake. That tells me I need to quit messing around.

So let me just do a sort of "pros and cons" for the week, only it is more of a "victories and screw ups" list. I'm doing a lot better than I did BEFORE I lost weight, but not as good as I was when it was actually coming off on a regular basis. I need to get my head back in the game instead of worrying about life's problems all the time.

My husband left this week and I don't know when he is coming back to "visit our daughter." Whenever he leaves, I have a mini-emotional breakdown because frankly I love him and wish things were different. When I went to clean out the cabinets of his junk, I took his case of Heath bars and was putting them in the downstairs freezer (because then they are too hard to get to) but on the way, I flipped out and ate two. HOWEVER, I also threw out a lot of other junk, including an almost-full, 56-ounce XXL bag of M&M's he'd bought for the holidays. I admit that in the split second that I was pouring them into the trash my brain screamed, "NOOOOOOOOOO!! Save them for the kids!!!!!!" but I kept pouring. Out they went. I also dumped the rest of a half gallon of eggnog down the drain. So now my kitchen is relatively safe.

One night, after a day of wonderful healthy on-plan eating, a day before my husband was leaving, I had planned all day for a long hot bath. One of my favorite things in the world is a good soak with some bath salts or other nice smelling stuff. It actually substitutes for comfort eating for me. Something about the sensory input. But it really is a luxury. It's not often I have the time AND someone to hang out in case the toddler decides to get out of bed (can't have her wandering around making herself smoothies in the middle of the night). Anyway, I had gone out and bought myself a bath bomb and couldn't wait for the chance to soak for an hour after dinner. I got the toddler to bed, got the other kids settled down, and waited for the husband to come in the living room so I could ask him to hang out for the toddler. He walked in the room, and I kid you not, AS I was shutting my laptop and opening my mouth to ask, he said, "I'm going to take a bath now" and trundled off for the bathroom. Sooooo. Any mature person would a) do something else, shrug, and have their bath some other time, or b) ask him if he would mind putting off HIS bath for some other time, or c) tackle him to the ground, scramble over his body, bolt to the bathroom and lock the door. Okay, scratch c... But anyway, I didn't feel right asking him to let ME have the bath. He wanted one too. Let him have his bath. But once he got in there, I was kinda pissy. He usually takes 2 to 3 hours in the bath so I couldn't take one AFTER him. I was hungry. I had some calories left. I figured I would have my OTHER favorite indulgence: hot tea. Made the tea, and one piece of cinnamon toast to go with it. Which turned into a toast festival... piece after piece... until I had eaten 4 pieces of toast and before I knew it I was unwrapping an ice cream sandwich and stuffing it in my mouth. However, I had the presence of mind to realize what I was doing as soon as the ice cream hit my mouth, and I whipped around and SPIT IT OUT into the trash, and stuffed the rest of it down under the garbage. I then told myself to knock it off and act like a grown up, and I was fine the rest of the night.

Also, we had a family birthday (actually my son was gone for his birthday so we had it later) with cake and ice cream. His birthday dinner was prime rib and tater tots. So although I ate normal sized portions of these foods, and the ice cream was low fat, I still felt bloated afterward.

I've been biking through most of this. My goal is 6 days per week, and I was doing that, but the pain in my knees started to get unbearable. If you've read much about the issues I have with my knees, you know what I'm talking about here. I've been in pain daily for years, but with the weight loss and exercise it had become minimal. But over the last 2 weeks, oh my goodness. The pain has gotten so much worse. I think I messed something up, or maybe it's just time working against me. After all, the orthopedic surgeon told me I need knee replacements. When I told him that my mother had to use a cane by the time she was 50, his response was, "at the rate you're going, you'll have her beat." He saw a future of complete knee failure within just a few years for me if I stayed at 278 pounds, and losing weight would buy me a few extra years before needing surgery. Well, things are better, but obviously not better enough. I've had to skip biking a few days this week due to the amount of pain I am in. I've been limping again. I don't like it at all. It's become difficult to go up and down stairs again, just because of the knee pain. The only thing I can do is get some more weight off and hope it alleviates the pain a bit more until I have health insurance again. So that has been a bummer. I want to bike MORE. I want to talk long walks. But I can't. If I tried to walk a mile right now, they would have to bring me home on a stretcher. I'll just keep trying to bike when I can.

I did eat pretty well most of the week, though. I have been eating lots more produce. I've been eating baby spinach, orange bell peppers, romaine, beets and greens, zucchini, squash, sweet potatoes, black beans, hummus, carrots, celery, apples, strawberries, pineapple, Clementines, grapefruit, pears, and cherries. Lots of green tea. I've recognized that cereals are a trigger for me, so it is pointless to try and eat a bowl of even the healthiest cereal for breakfast or a snack because all I want is another bowl, and another, and another. I'll stick with the oatmeal and cream of wheat, which don't freak out my system the same way.

Next week I am going to cut out sugar from my diet. I've been sneaking some in here and there: in my tea, in my oatmeal, maybe a sweet snack on occasion. I think the sugar makes my joint pain worse, and doesn't help my cravings. So out it goes. I am also going to do better than "just okay" with the rest of my eating. I need to be more serious with myself to see pounds coming off.

Today's plan: oatmeal with berries for breakfast; salad full of veggies and beans for lunch with a side of Clementines and some kefir; lean buffalo chili for dinner, maybe with some low fat corn bread. Snacks will be cherries, pineapple, carrots with hummus, maybe a lite yogurt. Lots of hot green tea in between. And I will make the effort to bike unless the pain prevents me.

Be well and have a great weekend!


Me, Only Better said...

Although it has been a stressful few weeks for you (and having all those tempations in the house!) you have done really well! And you have a plan of how to move forward and do even better! Yay for a plan!

Heather Waghelstein said...

You only ate two? That's great. Sometimes Okay has to be good enough because that is all you have.
I really believe that the key to periods of time like these when things are not all as planned is to observe it, be aware of it, and learn from it. I believe we know what we need, instinctually, in times of stress.


Vickie said...

I don't know if this will help or not - I boil raisins in water to use as sweetener. so, for example, I plop a small amount of raisins in the water and bring it to a boil each morning, before adding the oats for oatmeal.

I also was able to switch to LEMON in my tea and water - it didn't have to be sweetener (I discovered) as long as it was FLAVOR and I can use as much lemon as I want.

I am down to only the raisin water sweetened in my life.

And - I give you credit for not accidentally dropping a (plugged in) radio or hair dryer in the bathtub. . .

Linda said...

My fave way to get my son out of the shower before he can use all the hot water is to turn the hot water on in the kitchen...LOL...he doesn't linger once the water gets cold. Hang in there! You are SO strong.

Sugar Bush Primitives said...

Good grief, I think no one can push our buttons like a spouse. It's like they can read your mind sometimes. I applaud you for nipping that binge in the bud - I'm not sure I could have done it. What on earth does he do in there for 2-3 hours???

Wishing you well on your journey!

Shelley said...

Some days it's baby steps...and that's fine. I predict you will get going strong with your healthy eating now that your husband is gone. Stay strong and know that you have many bloggers rooting for you!

Lyn said...

LOL!! I used to wonder the same thing! But then I started peeking in on him since he doesn't lock the door. He reads, he falls asleep, wakes up, adds more hot water, scrubs, soaks, does crossworks, falls asleep again. I think, in fact, it is more of an avoidance technique than anything. I think I would shrivel up to a raisin if I stayed in a bath that long! said...

It's important not to beat yourself up. Sometimes, it's two steps forward, one back. Just focus on going forward!

- Dave

Joania said...

You'll be back on track in no time at all...just remember, YOU first!! Join me in making 2009, "Two Thousand Mine!!" Good luck, hon!

♥ Dee ♥ said...

Jillian from Biggest Loser recommends that when you have lower body issues, doing punches (like shadow boxing?) is a great cardio workout. Plus you can imagine you are punching someone in the face to get your aggression out.

Sounds like a therapeutic workout to me!

Tamzin said...

Hi Lyn,

I haven't read enough of your older blog posts and comments on them to know if anyone else has ever recommended Gluclosamine?

I have an ankle that was distroyed when I was 16 - there is 1/4 of the cartalidge left in it and very reduce mobility (about 30% or less some days) and cronic pain.

I started taking Gluclosamine and it really REALLY helped. Took about a month of taking it to get into my system, but it helps with joint pain/lubrication and arthitic like situations. I can't go more then 3 days withouth it now or I will start to feel the old pain returning.

Might be worth a shot.

As always, I don't comment too much as so many people here do, but I still read everyday and love your posts. Thanks again for being so honest with your life and struggles/triumphs.

sonia said...

Bengal Spice - decaf herbal tea by Celestial Seasonings is deliciously sweet without sugar : ) I highly recommend it. It's like drinking a comforting desert. It's saved me many times.

OMG - I love bath bombs too, especially the big ones from Lush.

I love that you are pro little luxuries. I've started moisturizing every single day with beautiful lotions, and my skin feels great as I lose weight : )

Christie said...

I. Love. Your. Blog. And you too! We have a lot in common -- my health (and knees) cause me problems and cereal is a trigger food for me as well. I'm proud of your for being honest with yourself and for not giving up. Somedays not giving up is a huge victory.

Ginger and Brent said...

What a great "inventory" of what went wrong and what went right. Don't focus on the former, and keep on with the latter. You've shown that you can do this and inspired a lot of us who are just getting started.

I like Dee's comment - maybe you could imagine your husbands face, it would serve him right, the little bath stealer!

Anonymous said...

Okay, that was a great way of handling all those temptations! I mean, how many people do you think would have poured those M&Ms in the trash? Or spit out the ice cream? You are catching yourself before you binge. That in itself is an amazing victory! Keep it up, and I hope next week is easier for you.

Ria said...

Good for you for throwing out all that junk! Your list of produce eaten sounds wonderful.

Sorry your knees are limiting your exercise - I can imagine how frustrating it must be. Hope that turns around for you soon!

Danielle said...

I hope everything gets better for you soon!

Lyn said...


Thank you for the recommendation! My ortho actually got me started on glucosamine about a year ago. I have to take vegetarian glucosamine because I have a shellfish allergy. I also take chondroitin, vitamin D, extra calcium, and Turmeric capsules for inflammation. Without those supplements and the weight loss I am quite sure I'd be in a wheelchair by now. When I weighed 278 I could barely walk. And I mean that in the most literal sense. So I am a firm believer in glucosamine as well!

thanks for the raisin sweetener idea. I'll try that!

any reason for me to buy a new tea is a good one! I will get that one the next time I am out! I, uh, have a tea addiction... I have over 50 kinds already but I can't resist a new one :)

Thanks everyone!!

Sabs said...

Tomorrow is another day. Forget about your indulgences and start over!

Anonymous said...

GREAT JOB lyn, considering everything going on in your life. Please do not be so hard on yourself. I am sending you a hug. :)

ani said...

What a tough week, you did amazingly to throw out what you did and stop eating when you did. I doubt I'd have had your strength.

Like Tamzin I'm sorry I haven't read enough of your blog to know if this has been suggested before, but have you had your bike saddle and handlebar position checked out for you by a decent bike shop or trainer? I was doing RPM/Spin classes but had a knee joint issue last year. My bike was at a comfortable position to cycle but a great trainer advised me how to adjust it to take more pressure off of my knees and the difference was incredible. Hope I'm not teaching you to suck eggs.

Hope too you have a better week this week, you deserve it.


Anonymous said...

You should try writing on here or in a journal the second that you feel you are being tempted to eat. If something in your life happens that makes you want to turn to food for comfort go write about it, it really helps. I don't know if you watched the Oprah Best Life special but she said that the first thing you have to do is to learn how to love yourself, how to make time for yourself. You have to learn how to do that if you want to be successful in losing this weight and keeping it off. Dedicate at least an hour a day to doing something for yourself, even if that means waking up earlier then the kids and doing whatever it is that you want to do.

Juice said...

I am so proud of you for taking steps to manage your environment! Throwing out M&Ms would be tough!!! That you persevere through your husband's sabotage is such an inspiration. Keep up the good work. I pray that your knees will feel better.

bbubblyb said...

I feel your pain with the knees, so glad you made the comment about the vegetarian glucosamine, my husband has a shellfish allergy too and I'm always talking about him trying my glucosamine. Always, learning something new.

Way to go on throwing out the candy and spitting out the ice cream.

Glad to hear hubby is gone so you can get back to your normal routine. Hope you can fit in a bath soon too.

Sonya said...

I'm new to your blog and sorry to hear about the stress you're under. I think you are handling yourself very well. Mindful eating is #1 and you did that when you spit out the ice cream bar. Don't feel bad about the toast. I've been there and done that several times...and just that husband is gone, you can all the wonderful baths you want!

Deniz said...

Hi Lynn

You wrote "I'm doing a lot better than I did BEFORE I lost weight, but not as good as I was when it was actually coming off on a regular basis. I need to get my head back in the game instead of worrying about life's problems all the time."

Boy, does that ever sound an echoing chord! That is just where I've been at over the last few weeks and far more energy has been expended on my 'worries' than the weight-loss battle.

I hope your strength will rub off on me and just want to congratulate you again for the amazing way you handle whatever life throws at you.

Keep at it girl!

Jesse said...

Hi Lyn -- Good luck with the sugar! I stopped eating sugar about three weeks ago and it has been amazingly good. Dare I say -- fun? I have never in my life had the experience of walking up to a cookie/cake/candy/etc and saying "meh." I feel like a superstar. I hope it works for you! Watch out for hidden sugars. I feel amazingly calm. I haven't been a perfect saint -- but it's funny how I notice IMMEDIATELY that I'm craving chocolate or sugar, as soon as I've had something sweet. For me, all my other food addiction issues seem to subside as long as I can keep sugar in check. It's been such a blessing.

moonduster said...

You've done really well!

Heath bars used to be a weakness for me (when I lived in California), but they don't sell them in the UK, so I've been safe from them. LOL!

I ran out of Splenda and started using our regular sugar in my coffee again. I HAVE to remember to buy some Splenda next time I go shopping!