Sunday, March 21, 2010

Week 3 Weigh-In, and Distraction By Obsession

This week was week 3 on Medifast for me. This morning, I weighed in at 223 pounds. That's a loss of two pounds this week! At first glance one might think two pounds isn't much, until you realise that this week is my PMS week. Before I started Medifast, I had a pattern: during the first and third weeks of my female cycle, I'd lose weight. During the second and fourth week, I didn't. I have kept track for over two years and it is a rare thing for me to lose weight during PMS week... and unheard of to lose weight every week in a month. I lost 6 pounds the first week, 3 the second week, and 2 this week. I am happy with that! If I lose next week as I think I will, I should have a nice number for myself at the end of the month.

A couple days ago I posted that I didn't have any PMS symptoms except hunger. Well, yesterday that changed. I now feel kind of bloated, tired, and low energy. Not *bad*, but noticeable. I still don't have major cramps, nausea and headaches I used to have.

This past week I stuck to Medifast 100% as I have all month. Five Medifast meals, one "Lean & Green" protein-and-veggie-rich dinner, and an optional snack. No "cheats," no binges, no irresistible cravings. I have a food sanity about me that I have longed for. I keep wondering how long it will last. Eating low carb seems to have a definite effect on my inner tantrum girl (I think she went on vacation this week). I like feeling sane. I don't like not having the raging binge monster and loads of food thoughts to occupy me 24/7. Yeah, that sounds strange. I have so much more mental "free time" now that I find myself thinking about those things I was apparently trying to *avoid* thinking about before by distracting myself with food. All those hours fighting off cravings... battling myself... and actually bingeing... all those hours are now free. In fact I have found myself sitting here thinking, "now what?" I always thought I didn't have enough time in a day to do the things I need to do. In fact, I do. I was avoiding them with the whole Food Obsession issue. I was, on some subconscious level, distracting myself from my reality and responsibilities with food obsession and binge eating. Not purposely, mind you. But still, it was happening.

Such distraction by obsession is not new to me. When I was having babies, I was pretty much obsessed with having babies. I thought about babies, charted my fertility cycle, read baby name books, imagined my next baby, planned, tried, mourned. When I was getting a new puppy, I immersed myself in dog breed message boards, read books, watched shows about dogs, made dog name lists, and occupied my mind with dogs and puppies 24/7 for many weeks. I never thought of myself as an obsessive person; I feel like I am pretty balanced and reasonable. I've maintained a home, raised five kids and helped raise several more, and have a bachelor's degree in a difficult field. I have a balanced life... except, look at the binge eating. It is a mental food obsession that was always lurking in the background of my life, just like baby making did for awhile. Like religion did for a long, long time. And now that the obsession is removed (why? because sugar is removed? carbs are removed?) I find myself observing myself and learning how to balance the reality of my life in a better way. It's slightly uncomfortable, but it feels like I am doing some much-needed growing up.

Finally, I'd like to leave you with a link to a wonderful, thought-provoking post by Chris at her blog, A Deliberate Life. I hope it makes you think.

Because this is serious...


Thrice Blessed said...

I'm glad to hear you are not struggling with cravings anymore, and that your weight is moving down steadily once again, WTG!

Anonymous said...

I always pooh pooh'd the whole carb addiction thing, but it's starting to make a lot of sense to me lately. You have noticed a difference, I have cut them way way down and I finally lost ten pounds. The first ten pounds I have lost in two decades. I think maybe for you and me and a lot of others they really do cause a cycle of making us want to eat constantly. I know, some of you reading this are saying either "she finally gets it" or "what is she going on about, it's just eating less calories!". I don't care what the reason is, if it's working I'm going to try and stick with it.

The blog you commented on is really powerful! Between reading that, and reading Bethany's entire blog yesterday, I am looking at the "pleasure" of eating in a whole new way. Thank you Lyn, you don't know how much you are doing for us by sharing all this with us.


Leslie said...

I'm so happy to hear you are experiencing peace with food and eating, Lyn. What a remarkable gift, and a reward for your relentless consistency and hard work. And congrats on losing 2 pounds during the here-to-fore inevitable gain week.

I also read Chris' blog today, and along with Bethany's untimely passing, am feeling more committed than ever to this pursuit of health and fitness. I think Bethany would be pleased to know the very positive imprint she has left, and how many people she has helped, both before and after her death.

Anonymous said...

I was, on some subconscious level, distracting myself from my reality and responsibilities with food obsession and binge eating.

I can identify with this. The healthier I get, both physically and emotionally, the closer I get to dealing with some of the root issues that have made/kept me overweight and obsessed with food. Every time I make some progress like this, I get derailed. I never really thought about why, just saw the pattern. Now I'm realizing that it's probably me, on a subconscious level, not wanting to deal with tough stuff!

I was recently injured and my sister had a baby and life insanely busy. I was using that, and the never-ending cycle of WORK required to live healthily, as an excuse to NOT. Live healthily, that is. No more. No matter how difficult my mental/emotional issues are, they are not worse than being morbidly obese.

Thanks for sharing your insights, Lyn.

Katie said...

Even at first glance, 2 pounds is nothing to sneeze at!! Good for you!

I totally know what you mean about how much mental "free time" we can spend thinking about food & binge eating. I definitely go through periods like that.

Thanks for sharing. :)

Hallie said...

2 pounds is just awesome, PMS or no.

Greta from said...

If you can find a copy of the book "The Diet Cure" by Julia will give you an incredible amount of information about cravings...and why they happen..and how to stop them. (and why what you are doing right now is making such a difference to your brain chemistry)It is scientific, but easy to understand and really remarkable info. I am glad that you are seeing the benefits of low carbs....and hope this TOM cycle is not too horrid for you.

Rebekah said...

Glad you are doing well, I find myself starting to have too much time to think sometimes too. I guess it is good though recognizing and realizing what I was truly trying to avoid.
I am still a huge believer in Dr becks cognitive therapy, but I havent picked up the book in months. The things it has taught me have helped me immensely.

The post you linked hit very close to home, great post as well.

Be well :)

Knitty said...

I tried to read the post you linked, but that journal appears in dark purple that fades to near-black on my monitor. Is it just my computer or is that what her blog looks like? Frustrating.

Lyn said...


it is a little dark on my monitor but if I tip the screen, the background gets lighter. Or you can use your mouse to highlight the text and read it that way.

Ice Queen said...

I read that post last night. It is fabulous and thought provoking.

Congrats on two more pounds! Especially during your PMS week. It has been so long since I had one of those (PMS weeks) that I forget that it can be a time that can really mess with a gal's weight loss efforts.

CJ said...

Congrats on the 2 pond loss. You are doing great!

Anonymous said...

WOW! It so amazes me how the pattern is the same for binge - at least you and I. I have been thinking along the same lines as you this week. You put it in words better than I could have. I have been discussing with my friend how that I am afraid to get below a certain point on the scale because I don't who that person is. And, when I quit obsessing about every bite and every pound on the scale, how it scares me. My exact words to her were "if I am not thinking about food anf losing weight. If it is no longer an issue, then what will I think about?" It is almost terrfying to me.
Like you, I suspect there are things I am avoiding, however deeply subconsious, I am beginning to bump against the tip of the iceberg that has caused me to obsess over food and my weight.
After all, being fat has been a part of my identity for as long as I can remember. Who will I be without that identity?
I suspect a happier, healthier, more energetic person. The huge question is - WHY DOES THAT SCARE ME SO MUCH? If I can find the answer to that question, then maybe I can move forward with less fear.
Thanks for listening - Pamela

Chibi Jeebs said...

Congrats on the loss - that's awesome! :)

Losing the security blanket that has shielded us from the uncomfortable things is never easy. I hope you find a way to handle it all that's good for/to you. <3

Anonymous said...

I appreciate your honesty more than I can say.

My own twisted struggle with overeating is more characteristic of a process addiction (like compulsive exercising or gambling) than a substance addiction (like smoking). I have binged on carb-free foods many times in the past. Sometimes those binges led to carb seeking behaviors.

A couple years ago I watched a movie about a guy who went to live with the grizzly bears--in their territory--and after several years he was attacked and eaten. In the commentary to the film, people kept speculating about why he chose to live such a crazy dangerous existence. Was he seeking the thrill of getting away with something deadly?

Anyway, it dawned on me then that overeating (and, at that time, my problem drinking) was my version of living with the grizzlies. I thought I could make friends with coompulsive overeating, you know, indulge in the danger as long as I stayed aware. HA!

The grizzly (overeating) will get me sooner or later if I don't leave it alone. Even the Grizzly Man knew better than to poke the bear!