Saturday, July 18, 2009

Crazy Pacing Insanity

There's this thing that happens sometimes. I guess I'd call it restlessness. Other people fidget, or twiddle their thumbs and tap their feet, stuff like that. It's a sense of needing to do *something* but not focusing on what it is. Me, when I get like that, it's usually because I have too many things to do and can't narrow down where to start. And when I get like that, I like to distract myself with food.

Maybe you've felt it too. For whatever reason, you have a sense of just wanting to eat something, but not focusing on just what it is. You pace around, back and forth to the kitchen, going from cabinet to cabinet, standing with the fridge door open and just staring in there hoping something yummy will jump out at you. If you've got junk in the house, this is the point at which it *will* make itself known and give you a battle. If not, it's easier to cope with. The smart thing to do in a situation like this is get out of the house and do something else. Take a walk, do some yard work. But if, for some reason, you cannot go out at the moment, it can be a battle.

Last night after a very good day eating-wise and 30 minutes getting my heart up with my new Wii Fit, I was feeling quite munchy. I wanted to eat, eat, eat. I kept eating healthy things like peaches, cantaloupe, salad, nuts, and carrots but wasn't really satisfied. I had the urge for CARBS! I decided I had enough calories left to have some potatoes for dinner. I'd saute baby red potatoes with onions and green beans, and add a slice of bacon for flavor. Yummy! I couldn't wait. With mostly green beans, I knew I could indulge in a decent volume of food with this dinner. Imagine my disappointment when I opened the bag of baby red potatoes and they were moldy!! They really were not salvageable, so I made the green beans with extra onions, no potatoes. But boy was I annoyed... I really wanted those carbs!!

After the green beans I wanted more. I had a 100-calorie pack of microwave popcorn. Lots of water. I still was pacing the kitchen (and really at this point I *needed* to get out, but was getting a child into bed in the midst of this). I found a teeny 80-calorie Luna bar and made myself a cup of tea to go with it, thinking that sitting down with a treat like that would help. But when it was eaten I wanted MORE to eat. Now you're going to roll your eyes at this, but there was *another* container of frosting left in the fridge (when I threw out that chocolate frosting the other day, I left the 1/3 can of vanilla in the fridge for the kids to use, since it was not "calling" to me). Well, it was calling to me now! Three frosted graham crackers later, I scooped it into the trash where it belonged in the first place! And then, I was able to stop. I counted up my calories for the day including *everything* and was still within my calorie goal: 1200 plus fruits/veggies (there was a *lot* of produce yesterday!)

I realized that my crazy pacing insanity and wanting food was stemming from mild anxiety about my upcoming vacation. I have *so* much to do before I go next week, things to buy, stuff to pack, planning to do. I didn't even know where to start. So last night I sat down and made myself a list of what I would accomplish today. And I slept much better last night! Today I have focus, and I now exactly what I need to do to stay on track getting ready for the trip. There's no more junk in the house at all. And the scale was down another pound this morning.

7/16, babies all flown the coop. Only two weeks ago they were eggs!! Big changes can happen in such a short time :)


Theresa said...

controlled behaviour for an out of control mind........ awesome. :)

Don't kid yourself..... if it was not the frosting something else would have taken it's place. It's not the food, it's the brain!!

Diana said...

hello lyn..
im happy for you, its good to track down the reasons and therefore reach solutions before any harm is done.. im struggling myself with my weight loss after i gave birth a couple of years back, however,no matter what i do my metabolism rate stays really low!! im amazed how u say that when u take care of your calorie count for one day it shows on the scale.. i watch my calorie for more than a week, AND cycle and walk up to together 90 minutes and i barely see a drop of 4 pounds a week ..and i have just started my diet, so its not like im stuck or have been dieting for a long time,. what do u think im doing wrong?

Blue Moon said...

Oh Man , can I ever relate to everything you just wrote! I have been it that same place so many times. The building need and anxiety (wanting to eat) then the added disapointment (moldy potatoes) was just too much to handle! I would have envisioned the eniter meal by the time you saw the potatoes were bad, and I would have lost it! I agree with what Theresa sais about it being "the brain"! I was just writing about that on my blog when I came to check in on you. I was thinking about how we soothe babies when they cry. My mother often tells about how she had to give me a bottle every two hours for me to stop crying.....!!! So, we learn - or are programmed- as infants to soothe the problem by feeding! (often times when hunger is not the problem!!) Can we change the way we are hard wired?

Lyn said...


Four pounds a week is fantastic!! I don't think you're doing anything 'wrong,' every body is different. I don't know what you weigh but I am pretty big, and I have been gaining over the last few months so I think my body is very receptive to loss right now. I know it is going to slow down and stall.

I weigh daily and the scale does seem to reflect fairly soon after I eat a lot of junk or cut the junk, but not always. I will go for weeks working very hard with no loss sometimes. The body does what it's going to do. It's the long term that really matters, so just hang in there. Your efforts will show in time!

Diana said...

Oh NO! The frosting monster got you too? Glad I'm not the only nut that loves frosting out of the can.

But you did really good. You realized what you wanted and ate it and stayed within your calorie range. Excellent!

I know that feeling of so much to do you don't know where to start. On my job we call that "analysis paralysis ". It means you keep looking at all the junk you have to do and trying to figure out how you should go about it, that you never do anything! Been there done that, at work and at home. Kind of that way today.

Take care and you're really making great progress.

BTW - read your post yesterday. It made me cry. I know that feeling, people all around but you feel lonely. All I can say is that it will pass, and someone will come along and be there for you. It'll surprise you and delight you, just be open to that happening and it will.

Rachel said...

I hope you're giving yourself lots of pats on the back for walking yourself through a hard moment without getting off plan. :)

Jack Sh*t, Gettin' Fit said...

I'll be going along thinking I've got this stuff down cold and all of a sudden I'll start thinking crazy food thoughts. But you were right about where the frosting belonged in the first place. ;)

anne h said...

YES INDEED! The craving is for *something else* sometimes. It won't be satisfied - with food, or more food!
Excellent, learning the difference.

Rachel said...

You know, I have sympathized with your descriptions of the feelings that go along with binge eating, but never been able to identify completely, since I am (thankfully, gratefully) not struggling w/ that particular issue. But the pacing, wanting thing? Man, you hit the nail on the head for me. Wonderful description and writing about something not-so-great.

As always, best of luck!

Diana said...

lyn, thanks for taking the time out to reply to me,.. it makes me feel heard.. i weigh a lot!!! im starting at 211 pounds and 5 feet, so that is a lot.. ill keep trying..thinking of starting my own blog.. made me feel great to feel heard. maybe that will encourage me to keep going!

Lisa said...

Good job throwing out the leftover frosting and thinking about what was really causing you to want to pace. Congrats on how GREAT you are doing!

- Lisa

NewMe said...


If you're like most people, the faster you lose, the faster you'll gain back and more!

Aim for slow weight loss, expect plateaus, work toward healthy eating and reasonable portions. Try to exercise regularly and reasonably. Don't expect physical or psychological change overnight.

The hardest part about weight loss is the patience and consistency required.

Merry said...

I can relate... some days I'll chomp vegetables until my jaw muscles are sore, but my body still craves Something Else. Sometimes it's better to satisfy the craving, so long as it's in a small dose and not a binge. Good for you for throwing away the frosting!

Anonymous said...

Congrats on figuring out what was driving your pacing insanity. I completely identify. I'll be cruising along in a great place with food and then, boom! Out comes the urge to eat everything in my house until I find the treat I want. But you're right, it's usually about something else.

moonduster said...

That's exactly the key! Finding a way to control your eating, and YOU'RE DOING IT!


Tammy said...

Lyn....congrats to you for staying within your limit....eating tons of veggies before the "frosting incident"...and HUGE congrats for throwing that crap away!!!! I know you're trying not to deprive your kids of "kid" stuff..but give that a lot of thought...seriously. There will always be "kid junk food" away from their friend's houses, at birthday parties they go to, etc. It really doesn't have to be in your own home, and especially if it's going to sabotage all Momma's hard work. I read a lady's blog who has 2 small children under the age of 6. Neither one of those kids will touch a cheeseburger, chicken nugget or french fry because they don't like them (they weren't raised with that stuff in their house)....but they LOVE hummus. Think about it girl...I want the best for you AND your children. :)

Diana - starting your own blog is a wonderful has helped me worlds over with keeping my mind in the right place. You get great tips from people for eating and fitness as well as inspiration...and it feels great to cheer other people on as well. We're all in this together!

For a couple of tips on the metabolism (mine has always been in the toilet)....

NEVER skip breakfast

Eat every 3-4 hours

Set a consistent calorie amount for the day/week, budget your calories to last you through the whole day, and stick to it NO MATTER WHAT (I do 1550 a day).

Drink at LEAST 8 glasses of water a day without fail.

Do some sort of cardio exercise daily if you don't have some serious health issue that keeps you from it. (Walk, bike,etc.) A nurse told me that in order for exercise to really, truly benefit you in losing, you need to do at least 20 continuous minutes with an elevated heart rate.

I don't know everything...I'm still learning myself and just started my own blog 5 weeks ago. But these are some things that I've picked up so far and I'm happy to share them with you. :)

Crystal said...

I do the same thing sometimes..bounce from cupboards to fridge and back again. It's like a little dance.

Hope said...

I can totally relate to this post. I do the same thing, except it's almost every weekend, because I run out of things to do. Usually, if I get too figety around the fridge, I just decide to go shopping and try on clothes, and remind myself why it's not so great to go to the fridge.

My main point is, is that I can TOTALLY relate.


Lesley said...

You are spot on diagnosing the reason behind your anxiety induced desire to eat. The trick must be to try and get rid of the anxiety BEFORE you feel the need to eat to assuage it! The list-making is a brilliant way to help you feel in control and therefore decrease the lieklihood of getting anxious. Maybe try doing it more, especially when you know you've got a lot on??

Just a thought.

Well done for resisting as far as you did.

Lesley x

Anonymous said...

Lyn, let me point one thing out: assuming that the 80-cal Luna bar and the frosted graham crackers and the microwave popcorn totaled something in the range of 350-500 calories, that means that before that, you were at around 700-950 calories (plus produce) for the day. That is not enough food. Any nutritionist (mine included) will tell you that getting too few calories will induce "a sense of just wanting to eat something." With the guidance of an eating-disorders nutritionist, eating more than I think I "should" has been really good for me and resulted in both a much-improved sense of well-being and some significant weight loss (50 lbs.), so I can vouch personally that listening carefully to my hunger and eating "more" (especially, in my case, eating more fat) has actually decreased and improved the quality of my overall intake.

Lyn said...


You're totally right! After I logged my graham cracker calories, I noticed how low my day was prior to that and I thought, hmmm. I think I didn't eat enough. I would have been better off eating a chicken breast or a can of tuna. I'm going to try and pay more attention to this in the future. I am just so used to trying *not* to eat too much that I *never* think about trying to eat more!

Thanks for your insight!

fatgirlslimm said...

I had read this post the day that you posted it & then today I was having stomach cramps & I immediately went for ice cream. I've been doing so good. Afterwards it was so frustrating that I did that on an impulse. its so hard to "re program" your mind! Good Luck!