Sunday, March 8, 2009

Speechless. Almost.

How is this even possible? I am just floored.

I got on the scale this morning for the first time all week. What I saw knocked the wind out of me. Would you believe it if I told you I gained eleven pounds this week? Yeah, me neither. But it's true. I couldn't believe it but I got on my *other* scale (powered by Mary Lou) and it confirmed the gain. I weigh 240 pounds.

It's really upsetting. And I didn't want to write about it, either, but here we go again in the interests of honesty... to myself and to anyone who reads this blog.

See, here's what makes me upset. I didn't go nuts and binge. I did not buy chips or Cheetos or oreos. I didn't buy any processed boxes or bags of junk food, and had none in my house. I *tried* this week. Yeah, ok, I didn't make a monumental effort, and I didn't give it my best, but I wasn't a total slob, either.

What I did right:
I got off my butt several times even when I didn't want to and took mile-long walks with my child in a stroller, even in the cold wind (a mile is my current limit with my knee issues).
I biked a couple times.
I ate a healthy, nutritious breakfast every morning.
I drank a ton of water and unsweetened green tea every day.
I ate lots of veggies... broccoli last night, several big spinach salads with chicken breast, no fatty dressings, etc...
I'd say I ate healthy meals and snacks 75% of the time.

What I screwed up:
I didn't weigh daily. Had my head in the sand, against my own advice.
I didn't bike daily. I got "tired" and let it slide several times.
I skipped the weight training completely.
I had a couple of what I call "moments of insanity." I occasionally get that binge-eating-disorder monster sneaking in, and while I am pretty good at stopping binges now, sometimes I eat something bad:
One day, I bought a Big Mac meal for lunch.
Another day, I mixed up a single serving of brownie batter from scratch and ate it. This is an old binge habit... except that I used to make an entire recipe and eat it all. But how helpful is it, really, that I made one serving, used Egg Beaters instead of egg, and had to sub brown sugar because I don't keep white sugar in the house anymore? How is it even possible to be "proud" of being so possessed by brownie cravings that one sits and calculates how to scale the recipe to 2 brownies worth? I don't know. This binge thing is no more about willpower than anorexia is.
One night, I wanted donuts so badly that I mixed a bowl of wheat flour, salt, baking powder, and butter, and dropped balls of dough into a skillet with the last 1/2 cup of my canola oil, fried them and spread them with butter and honey and ate them. That is insanity. I ate, in one sitting, basically a cup of flour and a couple tablespoons of butter. Why? Because my brain was screaming "donuts" and I was fighting not to go to the store and buy them. I absolutely refused to go buy them. And before I knew it, there I was, frying up flattened lumps of dough and scarfing them faster than they could even cool.

That's pretty much it, slacked the exercise, didn't count calories, and 3 food screw-ups in a week = eleven pounds gained. I don't even know what to say.

Last month, look what I did. I gained 7 pounds in the first week, then I lost 8 pounds in the last week of the month, for a net loss of a pound. My weight goes up and down in huge jumps like this. I can't help but wonder what would've happened had I gone completely off and had my pre-weight-loss breakfasts of biscuits and gravy, lunches of 3 chimichangas and a half brick of cheese, dinners of 3/4 of a supreme pizza, and snacks of hunks of chocolate cake, Cadbury eggs, hot dogs, Coke, and Cheetos. Sometimes I think I could gain back ALL of the weight within a month. In fact, I am pretty sure I could. How messed up is that?

I used to go to my doctor, years ago, and tell him about this stuff. They'd weigh me and say, "Gee, you seem to have gained 40 pounds since we saw you 3 months ago." And I would say, "yeah, I try to eat healthy, but I slip up sometimes..." And they would order a bunch of thyroid tests and blood sugar tests and full panel blood work, and it would all come back normal. And they'd say, "Gee, that doesn't make sense." And then they would tell me to try eating more salads and chicken, and go for a little walk everyday. No one really knows how to address this stuff.

And my body, it makes no sense. Yeah, I can see a couple pounds gained from my week, but eleven pounds? I totally feel betrayed by my body. And before you give me "it isn't real weight, it takes 3500 calories to make a pound, etc etc" for the thousandth time, let me assure you that it is, in fact, very real, and if I eat like that again this week the scale will continue to go up, until I am 278 pounds of "not real" weight. Yeah, in fact, I think a lot of people fool themselves into regaining ALL of their lost weight by saying, "I know it can't be real weight because I only ate x calories so it must be bloat. Can't be real weight..." If 3500 extra calories *really* equalled a pound, in every person in every case, then I would not have been able to maintain my 278-pound figure while sitting on my rear all day and eating (easily) and average of 5,000 to 6,000 calories a day (and 8,000+ on some extreme binge days). I've been counting calories for a long time, even when I binged, so I know what I used to eat. It really does not compute.

Whether it computes or not, it's painfully obvious that to lose any weight (and to stop regaining) I have to stick to my plan tenaciously. Yeah, I know, I'll get the emails and comments telling me I am a hypocrite for "preaching diet," that my plan "doesn't work," that I am lazy or dumb or just need willpower... but I understand that people do not *get* what binge eating is about, or how the fat brain works. I get that people want to fix me, or scold me, or whatever, and I also know that my head is in the right place this time. My plan.... simple calorie counting, eating veggies and fruits and not junk, and exercise.... works. I have to stick to it for it to work. Why I don't stick to it? My own issues. And I know I am not alone. A lot of other people suffer this way, cry at night and wonder, "what is wrong with me that I cannot just stick to my plan and lose this weight??" And I blog because I want them to know they're not lazy, they're not dumb, and it's not hopeless. It's not some quick easy thing, losing weight, changing our minds along with our bodies. Not for everyone, at least. It can be a long, painful process with 11-pound gains in one week. But my hope is that if I share the real nuts and bolts of this journey, someone out there will read it and say, hey. She is going through the same thing, and she isn't giving up. And the weight will come off. I am never going to stop. I know... yes I am 100% sure... that this weight is going to come off. I've discovered so much about myself and what works or doesn't. I've learned how to eat healthy and that I enjoy exercise, and how wonderful it feels to be mobile again. And if it takes years, it takes years. Because I am determined, and I'll keep trying. I want it. It's worth it.


L1z4 said...

Wow, I can relate. I've been surprised by sudden large weight gains, interesting to know that I'm not the only one! Have you considered seeing a counsellor who specializes in eating disorders? I'm seeing one, and it's been very helpful. Something I learned, restricting and binging go hand in hand. The "must have donuts" thoughts are due to rigid, black and white thinking.

The best thing I've done for my weightloss journey is meditating 45 minutes everyday. Through meditating I can really tune into my body and generate compassion for it, and feel it, and feel my feelings. At the core, this is what eating issues is about, for me.

Thanks for being so honest and open.

danielle said...


I have been reading your blog for awhile now but never commented, but I wanted to write and say you are clearly an incredible, inspiring person and you CAN DO IT! Everyone has their setbacks and their troubles but the most important thing to overcome them... i am seriously in awe of your bravery in posting such personal things and I am so glad because it inspires me. You are a wonderful writer and (well, as much as I can tell from blog posts) a lovely human being and you will work it out! I have faith in you, girl!!

sonia said...


It's a tough journey with lots of ups and downs.

Continue to be strong. Spring is around the corner - a fresh time for new beginnings : )

Thanks for sharing yourself with us.


kitty said...

Oh God, I hear you. Binge eating is a nightmare to live with, and a nightmare to recover from, and even now, 8 months or so out from my last binge, I struggle, and am constantly afraid I'm one triggering incident from the next big, bad one.

*Kristine* said...

I like how you broke your blog into what you did right and what you didn't do right. I'm going to try that the next time the scale doesn't give me what I want.

Thanks for sharing.


JJS said...

When we jump off the wagon, we just have to get back on.

If losing weight and fixing eating issues were easy, we would all be bikini models! And, I bet the people that "scold you" (and shame on them!) have no idea what it is like to struggle with weight and food.

Again, Lyn, your honesty is helping obese people like myself, look deep inside ourselves and be honest. It is helping me stay accountable for my own weight loss.

I hope next week will be better for you!

Lori said...

I am going through the same thing this week. The scale shows up several pounds and I *know* I did not eat all that extra food.

Obese bodies definitely behave differently than 'normal' persons bodies. We can gain a pound on less than 3500 calories, and it takes less calories to actually maintain the weight. It's a double unfair whammy.

But, like you say, you just keep going on and moving forward. It's so hard to not feel betrayed by your body, and really - your body isn't betraying you, that's just the way it is. It doesn't know it is supposed to do things like the book.


MackAttack said...

Why does the weight come on SO quickly, but leave SO slowly. The good thing is that you know you can drop the weight. a 1 lbs weight loss is still a loss. You can do it, you've added so many healthy components into your daily life.

Thanks for sharing about the gain, I usually want to hide when I gain it's great that you shared it with us.

♥ Dee ♥ said...

As long as you keep climbing on that wagon and never give up, you are a success story.

Anonymous said...

"This binge thing is no more about willpower than anorexia is."


I hope you are able to work this out for yourself. It took me a very long time before I was able to step back and observe my binge monster, creating a space of a few minutes to look inside and question "what's up that I want those M&Ms so badly?" Because when I get like that, I know it's not about the candy.

bbubblyb said...

I've had times where it seems by magic I gain 5-6 lbs but usually within a few days it goes away or at least most of it. I know how upsetting it is though. Hang in there. Hugs.

HKins said...

I know how devastating the 11 pounds is but it is small compared to what you've lost. It's small because you still have your goals, you're still trying, & most importantly you haven't given up. This is just a lesson that you have to do what you know works.

moonduster said...

I know you can do this! I've been where you are, even spending every day in a week eating an entire cookie dough batter. But I was 272.5 pounds at my highest weight, and I'm now 192 pounds (10 months later) and still losing, so I know you can do this too!

I'm so glad you're not giving up!

Shelley said...

Holy crap, eleven pounds? That scares me - it pretty much confirms my theory that I *could* gain all of my weight back really really quickly, if I let my good eating habits get out of control.

Thanks for the kick in the pants, Lyn, and hang in there. I'm rooting for you!

Meg said...

holy crap. muscle. water. both. you did not gain 11 pounds of fat in a week. a huge hug to you!!

Karyn said...

YOU are worth it, Lyn. You WILL get there.

I'm so sorry about the 11 pounds! I would think, based on your report of what you ate this week that a few pounds (5 at most) would be the most you could expect. guess your body hangs on to those calories more than the average person. That's just what you have to work with.

The fact that you can blog about this set back and end with such positive statements is an example for the rest of us!

You WILL win this war, Lyn.

Mel said...

I know that's a blow to your system to see 11lbs gained.. but do try to be kind to happened..(and there is no way that its all 'fat'... ).. you know what you need to do to get yourself losing weight again.. and you have the strength to get back up, reorganize your self.. and do it.

Thank you for your honesty : )

Winivere said...

Girl, I have been there! It's not what you are doing wrong. It's just that your body has adjusted itself to a different way of eating so anything you do different will add up. Don't worry, just get back on track. LOL @ I should take my own advice! You are still an inspiration. Don't lose hope because I have not lost hope in you.

Chubby Chick said...

I totally get it. I know how easy it is to gain weight. I've done it so many times I can't even count them all. I've come to the realization that I cannot slack up for even one second... or I'll gain weight at an alarming rate.

It sucks... but that's my reality. And sometimes it makes me angry. But I can either be angry and binge... or accept it and literally work my butt off and count every calorie. It's not easy. It's not fun. But... like you said... it is so worth it!

You ARE going to reach your goal. I am, too. We CAN do this. Just keep fighting... and take it one day at a time and do the best that you can every day. All your good choices will add up! :)

Mary said...

Big hugs coming from here, too. You can do it.

I know you probably know this, and I hope it doesn't come across as me trying to "fix" you or anything like that, but are you getting enough sleep? I've been reading articles lately stating how important that is in weight loss/maintenance.

I know things have been very stressful at home for you lately and that can play a part, too.

Good for you for catching this early and creating a plan to work through it. You can do it!

Ria said...

{{Lyn}} I know how frustrated you must be - I'm also a fast regainer, and the wild swings are so hard to deal with. The only good thing is, it seems that us fast regainers can also be fast losers. I'm wishing you a wonderful on-plan week in which most/all of that 11 lbs disappears.

I can relate to the brownie batter story . . . like moonduster, I've made cookie dough with no intention of baking it. I do think you should be proud of yourself for not going completely off - two brownies worth may be an indulgence, but it's certainly much better than a binge.

The last sentences of your post are so positive and so true . . . you DO know what works for you and how to do it, you ARE incredibly determined and you WILL make it to your goal . . . and we'll all be here cheering for you as you do it.

Anonymous said...

please just keep doing the right things and the scale will catch up. it could be water, inflammation or some other temporary issue. don't let that scale own you!!!

love your blog - keep on keepin' on

Carol said...

You are being very honest with yourself over this. Many (most?)people would try and believe 11 pounds was water or muscle. You learned something important about yourself and this journey, and it cost you 11 pounds for the lesson. Now time to dust off your knees and carry on. I have faith that you will succeed because you learned what many have failed to learn, that it is not a smooth road (and like you said the other day, all the moments - good and bad - add up). Good luck!

Anne said...

Getting there is about determination more than willpower.
And the determination to continue learning more about yourself after your more challenging days will help you in maintaining once you're "there."
The meditation point above is interesting - it reminds me of an article I read recently...
(Personally I find relaxation exercises help me in every area of my life - and helps sway the balance towards staying in touch with what's best for my body in the long it gives me strength to make good choices not relying on willpower.)

I've read you for ages Lyn. I'm often very moved by your posts.

Best to you! x

Crystal said...

I know that the gain is so hard. I'm hard on myself if I gain one. Just keep going, keep your head up, and know it's worth it.

erin said...

That sucks. I could say a bunch of stuff and give you advice, but really, I just wanted to say that I think you are so brave and stronger than you know, and I know you will get past this. I hope this week brings you restored hope and energy and belief in yourself and what you're capable of!

Jinks1 said...

You are an amazing person. I admire your tenacity in this weight loss arena. People that aren't addicted to food and binge eat can never understand. They always think that we are pigs that cannot control themselves, and true part of that is true, but food is my addiction. I love is my friend and always on my mind.

Dieting for me is like losing a friend. I miss it so much and think about it all the time...that sound sick doesn't it! :)

But sometimes I think I AM SICK! The scale and weight loss isn't easy for some of us..I hate hate hate the scale..when I'm doing great it goes up and up..and it is so frustrating ...but I know that if I do not weigh myself everyday that I will gain gain gain..I need the scale and I hate the scale..I just want to be done with it.

You lift me up and your blog is the one I always look's nice to know that someone else understands me and I don't feel like a weirdo! Keep plugging away and you will get there! You are worth it. Just think if you really exercise how much you could lose this week..Biggest Loser style!

Twix said...

(((hugs))) now give yourself one from me, please! ;-)

I agree with you it sucks and it doesn't add up. But it isn't something to give up over(i know you know that). You keep on fighting. I believe that we all will get there if we do!

Tamzin said...

This is me.... "A lot of other people suffer this way, cry at night and wonder, "what is wrong with me that I cannot just stick to my plan and lose this weight??" And I blog because I want them to know they're not lazy, they're not dumb, and it's not hopeless."

I started my blog after reading yours Lynn. I want to thank you, for all your posts - the good and the bad. The gains and the losses.

I really thank you for the last words. It is worth it - and you can do it. And so can I.

Sugar Bush Primitives said...

This may or may not be helpful to you, but I remember reading that sometimes weight gain can be caused by the shrinking fat cells temporarily filling with water in an attempt to maintain themselves. I don't know if that's true or not, but it could explain and 11 pound weight gain after a week that really wasn't all that terrible (except for the appearance of the binge monster which is really scary - he lives in the closet at my house.)

Track your weight very carefully over the next few days and see what happens. You may find yourself running back and forth to the loo and you will have your answer.


VeeGettingHealthy said...

i wish i could offer some astute words of wisdom. something to help you feel better. something to help you not want donuts or brownie batter. i'm so far off that i'm not even close. But I'm rooting for you! Vee at

Cammy said...

I'm glad you're still fighting the good fight!

Vickie said...

I just found your blog this morning. I struggle with the stupid binge monster too and I can sooo relate to what you wrote here. Hang in there. There's a determination in your words that makes me know you're going to make it!

Camevil said...

It seems like you need treatment for your binge eating disorder before you can effectively handle a weight loss program and maintenance. I hope you are successful in finding the help that you need.

chelly said...

I admire your honesty and want to thank you for making all of us binge eaters know that we are not alone in this struggle. The worst thing we can do is lie to ourselves.

Thanks for being you!

redballoon said...

lyn, Eleven pounds isn't that much, really. If it came on fast, it can come back off fast. Stop obsessing, just write things down, tally calories but with NO restrictions. Say to yourself, I can eat whatever I want as long as I write it down. It'll save you from being surprised.
But the thing is, it's your body, it's not what should be and what shouldn't be. It just is, Perhaps you CAN gain a pound of fat with 3,000 extra calories instead of 7,000. The 7,000 is a myth anyhow. Fat is ALWAYS accompanied by fluid yet the fluid gain is not calculated in the 7,000 calories and "pound of fat."
But the main thing I read from your blog posts is enormous hard feelings toward yourself. It's like holding your breath and trying to keep holding it and then gasping for air (trying to "be good" and then bingeing). Calm, learning to calm yourself, I think this is the best thing for you.
The word meditation has zero appeal for me, but it may just be the term and what I envision with it. In any case, slowing down your thoughts and feelings and relaxing your breathing can only help. Best of luck to you.

Lucrecia said...

I've always gained weight at an incredible pace too. Its incredibly frustrating. Hang in there!

Super Squared said...

I'm so sorry you had a gain :( Have you ever been evaluated for PCOS? I have that myself and I can gain weight just by looking at the wrong foods sometimes and when it comes to getting it off, it takes forever.

Honestly, it sounds like you are holding on to water as well. I'm so inspired by you though. The fact that you keep right on getting back on that wagon is what I definitely need to see with the long journey I have ahead of me.

Think about your weight like you are looking at a graph over time. If you press your nose right up to it, you may only see this 11 lb gain, but the further away you get, you see there is a long line moving up and down, but overall, it is a continual slope DOWN. Focus on the bigger picture and not the momentary ups and downs and you'll get there.

You have made such amazing progress and will continue to make progress as long as you don't give up. Thanks for being honest about your ups AND your downs!

Anonymous said...


Thanks for your honesty. I too struggle with binge eating disorder. This weekend I found a book called "Crave" about bingeing. Not sure if there's anything in there to help people like us; but it might be worth checking out.

IRJessica said...

You must realize- yes you are too smart and self aware to not know that you need some help. You are well educated, and know the ins and outs of what to eat et. That is not the problem. The help that you need is exactly the same counseling that ANY person with a eating disorder needs, be it binging or anorexia, et.

I love your blog. I would be money that you will achieve your goal someday. Keep it up- and think about letting someone help you!

PS: I've needed help and went to seek it out. I'm a huge fan.

Anonymous said...

Lyn, girl, I'm terribly sorry about the gain--so frustrating! This weight loss is just a nightmare sometimes. I'm struggling badly, too, and you seem to do so many more things right than I do. I admire you. Keep up the fight. I know you will succeed. *Hugs*

Karen in Tennesse said...

Oh Lyn.
This is just so HARD, isn't it? I got a ton of exercise the last few days but I also ate anything I damn well wanted and unlike YOU had nothing healthy. I had an entire half gallon of chocolate milk in less than 24 hours because my mouth is hurting from my dental work and I am having trouble chewing. It IS indeed insanity and I keep allowing myself to go back to those old destructive habits. So, you are NOT alone!!! Let's both have a MUCH BETTER week!!!!

spunkysuzi said...

I definitely relate to the binge eating i have done it for as long as i can remember!
And i can go up or down 5 lbs in a day.
I too, keep going up and down. But i also know that i can and will do it!! Thanks for sharing your journey with us.

Tony said...

Perhaps it's time to dump the scale like others have said. I don't really have anything to add except to maybe try and see if you could get tests done by another doctor. There is no way you could have gained 11 pounds of actual weight in a week if your body is functioning normally, just no way. My guess is water retention. There is another weight loss blogger I follow who can gain lots of weight in short spurts due to it.

Best wishes

Lynne said...

I feel what you are saying... Heck I live it! If I took 1/4 the advice I spew to my friends/relatives, I'd be in awesome shape and a size 6. Yup.

What I can say is that I will NEVER give up and you shouldn't either. For me, in 2003 I weighed 213 lbs, today, 2009 I weigh 182.5 and I am 30 lbs from my goal. It's been a long hard road and I am not there yet.

Look at where you started. Look how far you have come. Add up the months of good eating vs. the months of not so good eating and YOU will see... It really is a journey, and you are not the only kid on the bus!

anastasia said...

11lbs does seem a lot. is it your time of the month by any chance? Cos that could account for a large proportion of that.

whatever the reason, think of it like this. it's over and done with. there's nthing you can do about it now. so pick yourself up and move on. so far, you#ve done amazingly well and dont let one bad scale week defeat that.

Vickie said...

the points of strength that I saw in your writing:

you stated your weight and your gain. I think there is empowerment in that honesty (to yourself) - I worry about the secret scale numbers bloggers. It is none of our business - I get that - but I think that honesty is very important (to yourself) and when you tell us - actually type the numbers for all the world to see - I know that you are really taking them in - acknowedging, accepting, knowing. I think that secret numbers are sort of like secret eating. And they both make me uneasy.

I loved that you SEE the enabler and the codependent THING and told them right up front to just keep their comments to themselves. There are blogs out there that this gets out of control very fast - and becomes a continuous circle of denial.

I love that you made no excuses - the numbers are what the numbers are.

I love that you wrote down the pros and the cons of your week - looking at both sides.

skinnyhollie said...

"She is going through the same thing, and she isn't giving up."

I wrote my blog for today before I read this, but yes, we are going through the same thing. Thank you for sticking with it, because I will, too!

Tina said...

Most people can't comprehend how people can get to the super morbidly obese size like they see on TV shows. I can totally see how they got there and that could easily be me if I let myself go. My coworker cannot fathom the fact that I can gain a months worth of weight loss in a weekend but I can. I've asked my doctor and she has no explanation other than that some of us have to work harder than others. I'm sorry you and I are both those people. Hang in there!

fatfighter said...

Sorry you had an "off" week. Glad you are not giving up.

Sara Cox Landolt said...

I have issues with oreos, cookies and chocolate. Thanks for sharing and writing about all your ups and downs.

Amy said...

Yup, it stinks. It's a constant battle and sometimes ya just want to stop fighting for just a bit. Not totally give up, just take a breather.

Sometimes the battle sneaks in where you least expect it. This weekend, my hubby did a lot of the cooking, involving lots of fat, bacon and potatoes. I entered my calories on the sparkpeople site and got totally mad because I was under my calorie goal! I mean, some days I eat what I think is healthy and then find out I've gone over. Argh!

Keep fighting the good fight in whatever form and know that you are not alone.

Anonymous said...

I am so glad that your're continuing to write. I find you to be such an inspiration, and even more so when you're so honest with us. I am certain that you can gain real weight that fast and that your binge eating isn't a self-control issue in the least. But I was wondering (and I really hope this doesn't come off as "assvice"), but if maybe a small part of the reason you can put on weight so quickly is that you keep your calories so restricted when you aren't dealing with binges. I know you've tried to eat a higher amount and either gained or stayed the same, but I wonder if it was for long enough to get your metabolism used to it and away from starvation mode. I just ask because its something I found I was doing to myself and I wouldn't want anyone else to have to go through it.

You are so worth this. Please keep going.

Lyn said...


ROFL@ your term, "assvice"! Love that!

I settled in at 1700 calories a day on average when I am eating healthy. I average them over at least a week. I really don't think my body could go into starvation mode eating 1700 calories/day (especially since it is a lot of veggies and protein)... what do you think? Anyone? It does seem if I eat more than 1800 a day I stagnate and cannot lose even with exercise.

I would think I'd have to go under 1200 a day to go into starvation mode. I'll have to do a little more research on that.

erin said...

Lyn, from what I've read, going below 1200 calories is rarely recommended because of what you mentioned: the risk of going into starvation mode. I would think you're more than safe from that at 1700 calories. That's about what average per week, with about 5 hours of exercise a week. Just thought I'd throw my 2 cents in on that!

Heather said...

im sorry to hear that you had a bad scale experience! I would try again with another weigh in as well just to make sure that it isnt a fluke. even if its not, you have done some great things this month, and at least you know what you can continue to improve upon.