Thursday, March 26, 2009

Try, Try Again

One week ago, I started something different. After a lustful evening with a King Size Reece's Egg in a parking lot, I decided it was time to give up sugar. I went back to something that I'd tried before, back in 2003: cutting out sugars and bad carbs along the guidelines of South Beach diet. When I did it before, it seemed to be working as far as taking away sugar cravings, but I didn't think it was something I could do for the rest of my life. The second I ate a cupcake, I went nuts and binged right back up and over my previous top weight. That's why I've never done anything South Beach diet related again.

People comment and email me all the time telling me "don't keep doing the same thing if it isn't working" or "you are not losing weight, so do something different" or "if something you do fails, don't do it again." I beg to differ. That may be sound advice for some issues, but for weight loss, it's really not true. The reason? Because it is not the *method* or the *diet* that fails. It is me. It is you. My mother went on Weight Watchers for 20 years and never kept the weight off. But you know what? That just means her head wasn't in the right place, or there were other issues, or she wasn't emotionally ready to let her weight go. It doesn't mean Weight Watchers doesn't work... or even that it *couldn't* work for her. She did try other things, too, but she never lost the weight.

I've tried a lot of things in my life to lose weight. And any of the healthy ways would work, if I work them. Counting calories worked, eating more veggies, worked, exercising more worked, portion control worked. And just because *I* was screwing up with my eating doesn't mean I should stop counting calories or focusing on veggies or whatever. It meant I needed to switch things up a bit. And just because South Beach did not, ultimately, "work" for me in 2003, does not mean it cannot help me now.

What I am trying to say is this: just because you "tried" something already, don't write it off as something that could be helpful to you later. Keep trying. Try many things until something feels right to *you.* And when that stops feeling right, do something else. (Of course, I don't mean to try anything and everything... some things are unhealthy or downright dangerous. Do your research, and be sure you're eating healthy foods and not using pills, chemicals, etc as a crutch).

One week ago I decided to give up the sugar and cut out the processed crap and refined carbs. Last Thursday I weighed 236 pounds. Today, I weigh 228. I have *no* sugar cravings, more energy, eat when I am hungry, snack frequently. I'm not counting calories, just eating stuff from the South Beach phase 1 list (mainly). Lots of lean protein, veggies, low fat dairy, nuts, healthy fats. The point of this is to get rid of carb cravings, and it does work. In a week or two I will add back in some healthy whole grains and fruits, but NO JUNK. No 100-calorie packs, no "diet" ice cream bars, no "baked" chips. Healthy stuff.

This might not "work" for me forever, but when it stops "working" I will take the cue to make another change. Maybe I'll go back to calorie counting. Maybe I will find something else completely new. But always, it will be focused on the principles of good nutrition that I know and embrace.

23 comments:

Camevil said...

Lyn, this is not a "you should do this" comment because you've gotten them before, but a genuine question:

Given that you have an admitted binge eating disorder, can you succeed with this diet without first getting treatment for the binge eating?

I'm really rooting for you, but I am also wondering how you'll get through this without treatment. Doing this alone has got to be so difficult for you...

Shelley said...

That's great that you've gone a week without sugar - I'm glad you're feeling so much better, too!

Tony said...

The basis for my diet has always been revision. You have to keep revising your plan given the circumstances you are currently in. Life is constantly changing, so you shouldn't expect a plan to stick forever. It's all about adapting, in order to move forward.

With that being said, I agree with you that what might have not worked in the past, doesn't necessarily mean that it won't work for you now.

Besides, changing things up keeps the weight loss aspect fresh and more "exciting", for lack of a better word.

Jules said...

Congratultions on the weight loss. i'm so glad to hear that cutting the sugar aspect has helped for you. And your right what we fail at isn't because of anything else but ourselves!

HollyALP said...

Hi Lyn!

I can completely relate. I have recently been looking for where to turn next and I love the idea of the South Beach Diet although I've never tried it before. I'm going to buy the book tonight and try it out!

I hate to say it because it sounds rude, but a HUGE petpeeve of mine is when people post "treatment" suggestions on blogs. I congratulate all of your efforts and how far you've come all on your own.

Tina said...

I truly believe that sugar addicts like us have to get rid of the sugar cravings. Even if you "fixed" your binge issues. If you don't have the cravings in the first place you won't be denying yourself anything which is TRULY healthy as far as I'm concerned. It has to be about what you can ultimately do. I take bits and pieces from South Beach and apply it to Weight Watchers and am experimenting with clean eating. All of that together works for me. Sure there will be things that work and things that don't work but you will ultimately find a combination of things that work for you. Sorry for the long comment. I just totally relate to the sugar thing!

Tyson` said...

Its all about not giving up. Try, try, and then try again. I applaud you for giving it another shot. That takes a lot of determination and power. It sounds like you have both. Great work!

Lori said...

Sometimes it is just a matter of getting on the wagon one more time.

There are different points in life where different things work (or don't). They key is what you learn from the process of what is and isn't working and how to tweak it - and that is something never stops :)

lisa said...

The beauty of giving up as much sugar as possible is that your cravings will be greatly reduced (therefore eliminating the number of binges). At least, that is what all of the low-carb sites swear by & I believe it is true. I am a bonafide sugar addict & I must say that I have not been strong enough to give it up, but I really do strive to. You are, as always, an inspiration. Good luck!

seesaraheat said...

Lyn - you totally get it. Most people know what they need to do to lose weight (eat healthy, exercise more). Its all about mental preparedness. I agree that everything works its all about how you do things. I have friends that have tried certain things but when THEY failed, they thought it was the method, not them. I'm sure your post will be eye opening to alot of people. Congrats on the loss so far and the elimination of sugar cravings. Keep up that attitude :)

Lyn said...

Camevil~

I am succeeding... not at a "diet"... but at changing my life for the better. Maybe for people without kids, checking in to a binge treatment clinic is an option, but it isn't, for me. If/when I am seeing a counselor and have something to share regarding that, you'll see it posted on my blog. Thanks for cheering me on!

Holly ALP~

I totally agree :)
And thank you for the congrats! It's been quite an effort, and continues to be, but SO worth it!

Chubby Chick said...

I think this is a great plan of attack, Lyn! This could be just what you need right now to shake things up a bit so you begin to see weight loss again... and I believe that it is.

I'll be anxious to read of your progress... because I'm sure you will have much good news to report! :)

Sharon said...

When I renewed my committment Jan 1 (i.e. New Years Resolution) I asked myself - what will be different this time. And the answer is "I" will be different. I liked your use of "I" in this post. After all "I" determine success or failure.

fatfighter said...

So true that you have to find what works for YOU, and there's nothing wrong with changing that up. Congrats on giving up the junk. :)

Anonymous said...

I recommend Jillian Michaels 30 day shred along with a healthy diet. The combination brought me to an entirely new level. And it's only 20 minutes. The workout is tough as nails though, worth it however.

I agree with you, do what works at the time and keep changing it up. I get bored too so I am right there with you.

My Big Fat Super Super Obese Blog said...

Congrats on the weight loss, that must feel amazing. It must be great to be craving free too. I know when I'm low carbing, I feel like a normal person. I only think about eating when I'm hungry and even then, its all about getting rid of the hunger, no obsessing about what my meal will be. I have a feeling I will probably end up going the same route at some point. I'm all for doing what you need to do to get heatlhier, congrats again :)

♥ Dee ♥ said...

Omg, revision has been KEY to my success!! That and eating as clean as possible this last six months.

I do the same thing, Lynn. I cut out the sugar when I find I'm bingeing on it. Then I'm good for three weeks... until PMS time. :) But then I start the cycle over again for anothe three weeks. Three steps forward to each one step back gets you there eventually.

And the good news is, it's a journey, not a race.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a wonderful approach, but I'm biased since it was the approach I took when I changed my life. I react to sugar poorly (understatement). I never thought I could live my life limiting sugar so much, I thought I would be miserable. Instead I am free. 70 lbs lighter, 4 years later, and blissfully free.

clinquant2008 said...

I have been lurking forever but wanted to comment today. Everything we do gives us a little bit more if we are able to learn from it. In the past year I have gone from 290 to 160lbs on one of the soups and shakes diets that I had resisted for so long as unhealthy and extreme. What it allowed me to do was give me the headspace to think about why I ate without the actual food driving me mad. I have done a lot of mental work in the last year but also brought in things I have learned on previous 'failures'. The epiphany you had sat in your car really resonated with me as that is the type of thinking that made things different for me this time. When you get to the right point it is as easy as just deciding not to make the unhealthy choices most of the time. As I first read on here Being fat is hard, losing weight is hard, maintaining weight is hard. Choose your hard. Once we get that you just have to get on with it day to day. Keep trying it is so worth it.

somebodys mother said...

Caring for our overall health is a dynamic process. Our needs change and shift, so we adapt in order to stay/get back to 'healthy'. If I get strep throat I will go to the doctor, get a prescription for antibiotcs, and take them as prescribed. My infection goes away. This does not mean in order to be healthy I should take anitbiotics everyday for the rest of my life in order to be healthy. Why should I look at the weightloss aspect of my health any differently? It's not a choice between if-I-do-this-one-thing-forever-perfectly-I-will-be-thin or this-isn't something-I-can-maintain-forever-so-I-should-never-ever-do-it. In order to stay the weight course, I have to be mindful of what is going on with me and take appropriate action. Middle ground, flexibilty these are things that will keep us plugging along on this journey.

ryry the adventurous said...

YEAH 228!!! You are so AWESOME!! You inspired me to drop 3 pounds this week too... whole foods eating for the win!

antgirl said...

What works is really getting to know ourselves and work with what we're willing to do and what we're not and being honest about it. What works is whatever you can stick to. What that is, is different for everybody. But, it does come down to committing to something, whatever it is we decide to do. :) So keep at it!

Scale Junkie said...

If its any consolation I took a bite of one of those big giant eggs and I spit it out...our taste buds have changed, those things are salty, grainy and disgustingly sweet. If I'm eating chocolate its going to be Belgian or Swiss.