Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Yesterday's Food and Feelings

Thanks for humoring me while I excitedly post all my food intake this week. I think it will be good to look back and see exactly what I ate and what kind of results I got. This will probably be the last big photo shoot of my foods; after this I may mention what I ate but since most of the bars, shakes, etc look the same I will only post a picture if I try something really new or if I have a dinner that is photo-worthy :)

Here's what I ate yesterday. When I woke up this morning I didn't really feel like eating or drinking anything. But I had my tall glass of water, and at 7:30 I made my Medifast Chai Latte (already reviewed). Around 9, I had to eat again (a little early because I had appointments and errands to run) so I grabbed an Oatmeal Raisin Crunch Bar:

It was good. Very sweet, nice and crispy with a couple of raisins thrown in. I have to say the bars (all flavors) have been tasty so far. They're all the same in texture... just vary in what flavor they are. Great for when I am in a hurry, need to bring something with me, or feel like something sweet.

When I got home at noon it was time for lunch: Cream of Chicken soup. I had put water in it and left it to soak in the fridge since morning, so all I had to do is heat it up. (Again, if you ever make this stuff or any other powder Medifast meals, use a whisk to stir in a little cold water first until it has NO lumps, and then slowly whisk in the rest of the water). I tasted it; it was bland like the other soups have been, so I added a bit of chicken bouillon and some black pepper. I also threw in a half cup of baby spinach leaves and reheated it. (The spinach counts as a half serving of the 3 veggie servings I eat on this plan). I had Soy Ranch Crisps (optional snack, already reviewed) on the side:

I like this soup pretty well. It is just a simple, creamy/slightly thickened broth with no chunks of stuff in it. I think it would make a REALLY good cream of mushroom soup base, so next time I will add a half cup of thinly sliced mushrooms to this soup.

By 2:30 I was getting really hungry so I wanted to choose something filling. I made myself a Dark Chocolate Antioxidant Shake with a few ice cubes added:

Ackkkkkkkkkkk!! Yucky! I totally did not like this. I ended up adding some Torani sugar free caramel syrup (an allowed condiment) just to get it down. I had read that this shake flavor is less sweet than the others which is why I chose it. It is certainly less sweet! And it has a bitter aftertaste similar to the brownies (already reviewed). The antioxidant shakes are made from whey, and the other shakes are soy based. I am really hoping the other shakes I got taste better than this one. I drank it, but will avoid it in the future. If I had to drink it again I think I'd add some decaf instant coffee to try and mask the taste.

By 5 I was hungry again. While my husband decided to fry sausage and melt cheese on corn chips to make NACHOS for an "appetizer" (omg, the smell... ahhh), I was brushing a mixture of olive oil, melted butter, and garlic over some Blue Hake (fish) fillets. I baked them and then weighed out my 7-ounce portion to go with a half cup of steamed broccoli and 3/4 cup of finely shredded cabbage sauteed in sesame oil with salt & pepper:

This was very tasty but it was so much volume that I couldn't finish all the fish. I probably ate 5 ounces of it. I think I am going to do better if I split my protein portion between lunch and dinner like I did yesterday. Eggs for breakfast, yummy.

Around 8, I had a cup of Hot Cocoa:

Good stuff. I liked this enough to drink it even if I was not doing Medifast. Creamy, chocolatey, just right. My son said, "What is that? It smells just like a scratch-and-sniff chocolate sticker." Heh. Anyway it was yummy and I think it would be awesome with a sprinkle of cinnamon or a dash of peppermint extract for variety.

No headache today, feeling good. I was hungrier than the last 2 days but nothing intolerable, and no raging insane desires to binge. Doing just fine.

I did want to clarify that there is NOTHING magical about these foods. If I could have someone come in and cook for me with a similar nutritional profile from whole foods, I'd get the same results. But I don't have that option and I am enjoying a break from planning, measuring, logging every meal and snack. Also, every Medifast food you see (except the optional snack) is interchangeable and nutritionally equivalent. So I get the same amount of calories, protein, carbs, fiber, and vitamins from the cup of Cocoa as I do from the bowl of chili or the bag of pretzels. All of them have around 100 calories, 15g carbs, 11-14g protein, 4-5g fiber, and 1g fat (give or take a bit but that is the general profile of EVERY food). So that is why I could not substitute, say, an apple or a piece of toast for a Medifast food. They don't have enough protein to sustain this kind of diet. And no, you don't have to eat any specific food on this diet if you don't like it. I am just sampling things to find out what I DO like and then I will eat those things for my meals and snacks.

There is also a wealth of information in the comments sections on the last couple of Medifast posts. I tried to answer all the questions people asked about transitioning off the plan, what I intend to do, why I think I haven't lost weight lately. So if you are interested or have questions check the comments and I bet what you want to know will be answered! If not, ask away.

*FTC-required disclosure: Medifast provided me with its products for my personal use for free.*


Ex Yo-Yo Dieter Debbie said...

My question to you is this: Do you like being on this plan? I know it is a temporary measure to kick-start your weight loss journey it what you were hoping?

I'm just wondering out of curiosity. No judgements here! Different things work for different people.

Miss Marvelous said...

How do you feel the Medifast portions are compared to what you were eating before? Do they seem smaller at all? One of the things I learned through doing JC was portion sizes, and proportion of foods. I have always eaten relatively healthy (whole grains, veggies, etc), but going on the prepackaged meal thing really helped me shift the proportions around so that I was eating different quantities of certain foods.

dani31608 said...

No judgment here either so please don't take this the wrong way ... but I wonder what your kids think about your new program or what you've done to explain your decision to turn to Medifast for a kick start?

You are one of my daily reads and one of the big things I take away from your blog is how proud you that you've turned your kids on to whole foods. Medifast seems about as processed as they come so it seems an odd fit.

Maybe I missed a post about how your kids fit into this!

Theresa said...

This is a completely random unrelated to MF question.... but I was wondering if you think you'll ever show us your face on your blog? Sometimes I think it would be nice to even see a cartoon version of you. :)
Some of those meals look like they would be a challenge to stick with for more than a couple of months. How long is your free supply to last?

Lyn said...

Ex Yo-Yo Dieter Debbie~

I do like it. Maybe because it is new and seems 'fun' to try new things and see what everything tastes like. I like that I am eating on a very regular schedule. Would I eat this way to MAINTAIN and not lose? No way. I'd go back to my usual way of eating. But if this does help me lose weight it is totally a doable thing. Especially since I DO NOT have to eat/drink any of the Medifast foods that I think taste bad. I wonder if I will get bored and sick of it in a couple of weeks, though. We'll see.

Miss Marvelous~

I think they do seem smaller, yes, some of them anyway. The dinner is actually larger, but I am going to try and move some of the dinner food to lunch to even it out. Since I already spent a couple years working on correct portion sizes I think I am fine in that department, meaning, when I go off Medifast I already know portion sizes, amounts of veggies, etc. I really just need to get my "off" days and binges under control to lose weight.


My kids are generally eating the same dinners I am eating with modifications. For example, last night they ate the same fish, same veggies, but they also got mashed potatoes. A very similar meal to whatw e were eating pre-Medifast. As for the breakfasts and lunches and snacks, all of my kids but one are in school all day so they eat there as they always have.

I still have the same healthy snacks for them as ever: fruits, veggies, nuts, whole grain crackers, hummus, etc.

I have told my kids that if I do not lose weight soon I won't be able to walk without a cane, which is what my orthopedic surgeon told me. My current weight is destroying my knees and sometimes I am unable to exercise due to injury or pain. I told them I am trying something new. They are not eating Medifast foods, they are eating the same as we always have and we still have our same dinners together. I hope that explains better!

Lyn said...


Yes! I think once I am closer to goal weight I will have the confidence to post a picture of ALL of me. I've blogged before about why I don't do that, but mostly it is because:

a)No one in my real life knows I have a binge eating disorder. I have been VERY frank about the volumes of food I have eaten, and it would be embarrassing for people I know to read that.

b)Many of my friends have NO IDEA I am obese. I know that sounds weird. But I have moved around a lot and stayed in very close touch with friends all over the country. Many I have not seen in ten years, so the last time they saw me I was normal weight (or at least under 200 pounds). I don't want them to stumble across a picture of me ay 278 pounds and gasp in shock.

c)my career

I think when I have finally conquered this issue in my life I will feel comfortable showing my face and saying, yes, I was morbidly obese but I was able to fix it.

Seth said...

Keep going!

Lyn said...


sorry, missed your other question! They sent me a month's worth and if I decide to continue they will send me another month's worth. We are playing it by ear to see if/how long it works for me.

chrissie said...

I think it's funny that you feel the need to thank us for "humoring" you while you post about MediaFast. It's what you're doing, of course we'll read it.

And the reviews that you're posting are likely going to help some one down the line who is considering the diet.

-J.Darling said...

Splitting a lean and green up throughout the day is great. I usually do that on the weekends. Also, if you DO ever want to eat out, I'd say aim for breakfast. ;) It's MUCH eaiser to control what's in an omelet than almost anything else. :)

If you want to exchange a bit of your foods you DON'T like for some different stuff, let me know! I have a HUGE variety at home, and haven't tried the dark chocolate shakes. Wouldn't mind sending you some of the other drinks/shakes that you may not have ordered. Shoot me an e-mail. :)

TAMMY said...

You said something in your last post about medifast not wanting you to exercise for the first few weeks. I was just wondering why that is?

Just curious. I am really enjoying reading about your medifast experience. Can't wait to see the results!

Lyn said...


The Medifast guideleine is, if you are not exercising, wait until week 3 on Medifast to start. And if you ARE exercising, cut the intensity and time in half for the first couple of weeks. It's to let your body get used to the lower calories and carbs and to NOT go into starvation mode, which could happen if you were eating on the low end of the calorie scale and exercising a lot, too. So I am just walking for now and will add back in strength training in another week or two.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lyn, you are doing great!! Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions and explain things.

I asked yesterday about the difficulty losing while eating healthy foods in past, did not realize that you were a binge eater. I used to do that as well, all my life in fact until a couple of months ago.

Can I recommend a good book? "Eating the Moment" by Pavel Somov. Discusses mindful eating. I do a lot of biblio-therapy :)
I also read a memior on anorexia and bulima (never had these) just to get a view of the other side of disorders, it was very interesting!

Okay, have you tried OA? It's not for me but wondering if you ever looked into it? I can see the value for some.

I wish there was a way to "seach" prior posts...

Keep going - you are doing such a fantastic job!!

MsMagnetism said...

Another great day. Glad you are doing well with it. Nice to hear no headaches and your feeling good.

Now I know they sent you a month worth of food. What happens since you don't like that one shake and don't want to drink it again. Do they send you something else to replace that because if not won't you be short 6 meals or more if you got more than one box of it?

Autumnforest said...

You are really sticking with it--congrats! Discipline cannot be an issue for you. You're probably like most of us and when faced with a refrigerator and pantry filled with stuff, we just don't know what to make or eat. I usually starve myself until I'm so hungry I have to eat, but my body wants sugar because I can't make it until food digests. I'm starting to learn the signs of hunger now so I can do little things to keep me from eating sugar if I wait too long. I'm sure this plan is managing to give you the right amount of calories for the size you want to be, but as always, that's not enough calories for your body to maintain the size it is now, so you feel rather starved as your body is saying "we require 2500 calories to maintain, please." It's a syndrome we all have to go through to adjust to less calories. I usually fill up with watery veggies and fruits to help out. Good luck--I think you're going to be surprised by your results and greatly rewarded!

Lyn said...

Anonymous (HB)~

Lemme see. I have read A LOT. I really like mindfulness books by Thich Nhat Hanh, such as Peace is Every Step. In fact I'll be reviewing his new book next month on this site. I liked The End of Overeating by David Kessler. Michael Pollan has some interesting books too, like In Defense of Food. And Full Catastrophe Living by Kabat-Zinn. You can read reviews and excerpts of any of these on amazon to see what you might like.

You can search prior posts using the "Search" function in the very top left corner (a box with a little magnifying glass). Also there is a dropdown menu on the left side of my blog for Archives. If you are ever bored, I think I had some pretty interesting posts early on (choose the earliest posts in 2007). HTH

Lyn said...

Oh, and yes, I tried OA (you can search the blog for that also) in real life years ago, and then I did the OA online meetings for quite awhile last year. Helpful, but still missing something for me.

Lyn said...

Ms Magnetism~

If a person were to buy products from Medifast, try something and not like it, you can call and exchange it for something else. You'd have to send the product back and probably pay postage. So a lot of people who don't want to bother with that will make the food into a 'recipe' for something else (you can make muffins out of oatmeal, for example). There is a Medifast support board on their site with tons of recipes.

skinnyhollie said...

Hey, Lyn...

I think I am going to have to split my lean and green meal, too. Right now, I can't eat more than 4 oz of meat at a time, so I can't imagine doing so when I am already eating such small portions.

I got an email from my nutritionist yesterday, and she supports my decision to get started right away! From what I read about your experience, I think I can totally do this while I'm out of town!


Lisa said...

I almost did Medifast, but it came down to price for me. I am still moving forward with the sleeve surgery. I am can't wait to follow how medifast works for you!

- Lisa

M said...

It's great you found a good drink. Good luck with the rest of your day!

Dinah Soar said...

Lyn..I went back and read some of the comments in the previous post and I think some of your readers may not understand how/why this packaged food might work better for you at this phase. Not having seen the nutritional listings I don't know anything for certain, but I'm guessing the products have a specific amount of protein/fat/carbs/fiber/calories/vitamins to meet your minimum daily needs, keep your blood sugar stable to minimize hunger and cravings and are 'bland' so as not to cause you to really want more because it tastes good. It would be next to impossible for you to achieve this on your own using fresh whole foods. And having tried for so long to lose weight with little success this past year you need this break from having to do it all. I do believe at the end of a week you will see a good amount of weight come off your body. This is probably exactly what you need for such a time as this.

Also, while your husband is not very supportive--eating the tempting stuff in front of you--you are still the captain of your ship, the master of your fate. Don't let his lack of support deter your are doing this for you and no one else.

My husband has done similar and I've at least started speaking up. Recently at the grocery store when he was lingering in front of the ice cream--he knowing I was doing something for one month to see if it would help me budge my weight--contemplating buying some I decided to speak up--versus being quiet and inside feeling resentful toward him. I said "oh yeah, that's what I need in the house to tempt me. If you want ice cream why don't we stop on the way home and get you an individual serving so we won't have it in the house". He didn't get the ice cream but he also didn't get any on the way home which makes me wonder. Let me tell you--if I'd have been hungry for ice cream and skipped buying a carton of it, I'd have surely gotten an individual serving on the way home. I used to think this behavior on his part was innocuous, but I'm beginning to think it is deliberate, as in sabotage. I will speak up from now on...why shouldn't I? He may still go ahead and choose to make it harder for me but at least I made the effort. I realize your situation is different than mine and you may not be able to rock the boat by saying anything. But the surest way to keep a husband from manipulating you is to not eat the junk he tempts you with. If his goal is to cause you to fail, you can beat him at his own game by not eating the junk. Think ahead to the day when you will be slim and trim and in a position to not be dependent on a man. That day is a possibilty....dream it, believe it. You will be able to totally take back all of your power, and then lets see how he behaves. As long as as a husband thinks/knows he has power over a wife, he will often/likely abuse that power as long as he thinks the wife is dependent upon him.

Anonymous said...

In defense of husbands everywhere:

I USED to think that my husband was sabotaging me as well. I have come to realize that he likes to have me eat "fun" things, because it definately makes me in a better mood. I've been using food as an emotional crutch/best friend for years and his subconsious is probably pretty darn aware that I am more fun to be around when I am eating nachoes, brownies, and ding dongs. He has suffered through so many started and failed diet attempts that he gets tired of going without.

If you have ever suffered through a spouse who quits smoking and then restarts again and again... you know what I am talking about.

Anyway, every relationship is different. Hopefully looking at it from the other person's point of view can prevent resentment though.

Amanda's Home said...

I'm so proud of you! Stick with it girl!!

Christina@Health Foodie said...

Hi there! I just stumbled across your blog. I think what you are doing is so impressive and you have already made big steps! I can only congratulate you!

Thank you so much for letting others in on your journey.

Maybe you would like my blog for some tips/strategies/information. It does not have many posts yet, but I think it might have some valuable information.

Keep it up! I am cheering for you!

- Christina

Lyn said...

Dinah (my dear ol' friend!)~

You pegged it about the food! People see a brownie on my menu and think HUH?? A BROWNIE?? But really it is a "nutritional packet" of protein, fiber, vitamins, etc DISGUISED as a brownie :)

skinnyhollie said...

I am LOVIN' Dinah's comment, too!

jordan said...

Do your kids know you have this blog? Just curious.

Lyn said...


My kids know I write. They know that sometimes I review products. They know I take pictures of my food, lol. They know I post recipes.

However they do not know the name of my blog or anything else about it.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I have a question, from one (hopefully soon ex-) binge eater to another (hopefully soon ex-) binge eater...

I understand your reasons for doing Medifast and also the urgency of the situation because of your knees. My question stems from your response above to Ms. Marvelous, where you said "I really just need to get my "off" days and binges under control to lose weight."

My question is how much programs like Medifast, Slim Fast, etc. help to eliminate emotional eating/binging. For me, personally, I think it would help keep the binge part of me active because if I were having a rough day, on this plan I would know that I could reach for a sweet-tasting brownie, shake, candy or granola bar-like treat, cocoa, pudding or maybe a few of these back-to-back to soothe my nerves and still stay within the plan's daily calorie allotment.
While this would be passable on the plan and may not trip up weight loss in the short-term, what happens when a person goes back to preparing their own food (I mean using products and eating meals that are not part of the Medifast or Slimfast or JC etc. line)? Why would they suddenly *then* be able to resist reaching for chocolate pudding or brownies or whatever when the urge hits?

I know these products contain less sugar than a regular brownie or pudding cup or whatever, and they are also high in protein. Nutritionally, they are different than the average treat. What about the behavioral/psychological aspect of it, though? The bottom line is that these meal replacement programs don't force--don't even really encourage!--a disordered eater to stop that chain of "feel bad/restless/empty/anxious/sad and reach for a sweet-tasting treat."

What is your take on this? I'm curious as to what you have experienced so far, and what you are anticipating down the road. Do Medifast nutritionists discuss such issues as eating disorders with their clients?


Marcia said...

I totally understand the need for a "jump start". A lot of the time, if I gain a few pounds back I can just be careful and lose them again.

But post baby, and after a vacation, or an extended period of too much chocolate/wine/avocados... I have to go back to weight watchers and specifically measure everything that I eat. Sucks in the short term but worth it in the end.

Lyn said...

Anonymous (R)~

On Medifast, you're supposed to eat only 5 of those items per day and they need to be spaced 2-3 hours apart to maintain blood sugar. That sort of eliminates the back-to-back eating. If I ate 3 bars in a row I would be off plan (and probably sick). Also, since this stuff is low carb, low sodium, low fat... well, honestly, I have zero desire to overeat them.

My binges were triggered by emotions, and drove me to very high sugar, high fat, high salt foods which act as a drug in the brain (this is interesting to read up on if you have time... The End of Overeating is a good book). I don't have that option here without screwing up my Medifast plan. I can't pretend it is okay like I can when I am calorie counting, thinking, "oh I will have 3 donuts now and then skip dinner." And then losing control.

I think that this month will be pivotal for me, because I have made a commitment to do this plan 100% for a month, and I am not sure how I am going to handle it if/when I have some kind of emotional issue and drive to binge. I won't binge on Medifast food, that's for sure. But maybe because this is giving me a dissassociation from food (in a way), it will teach me HOW to handle things differently and NOT reach for junk in the future. And while I *am* having some sweet and snacky foods on medifast, I have not once used them as a comfort or anything. It is just fuel to me.

(and FTR I was eating the occasional pudding cup or piece of low fat pumpkin pie while I was on plan and those things didn't trigger me to binge. Some things I can have as treats and am ok with. Others? No way.)

This will definitely be an educational experience for me as time goes on this month.

Lauren said...

One thing I'm confused about--I haven't seen you eat any fruit since being on this plan. Is fruit not allowed?

All Women Stalker said...

I'm glad it's going well for you so far. How did you manage to stay on this plan and resist the temptation of wonderful, wonderful food?

Lyn said...


The only foods allowed on this plan are 5 of the Medifast foods, 5-7 oz lean protein, and 3 servings of fruit & veggies per day (plus 2 condiments and up to 2 fats from a list) and an optional snack from a list.

Fruit is not allowed (except for small things like apple pieces in the Medifast oatmeal) because this is a low sugar, low carb plan and fruit are high in natural sugars.

That said, fruits are definitely not BAD. They are GOOD for us! And when a person transitions off Medifast they are told to include fruits. But for weight loss and cutting out the cravings, no fruit for now. I tell you what... I will appreciate a fresh apple or peach 1000 times more when I am done with this!

All Women Stalker~

Well, it's a combinations of things. I stay on this plan for the same reasons I (tried to) stay on the healthy eating track for the last 2.5 years: because I am determined to lose weight and get healthier. But I think cutting way down on sugar and carbs does make it easier. I thought South Beach Diet was SO easy when I did it years back. I easily dropped 40 pounds. But way back then, I had not addressed my eating issues, figured out portion control and what to eat and how to avoid binges. So I regained all the weight. This time I am much more informed (and much more in pain, which is a great motivator).

Simmy said...

I really like how you jazz up your MF foods. Like who would have thought to throw in some spinach leaves to the soup? Or to put add tomatoes to the chili? I'm back on MF today. I need to stick with it. Just booked a cruise to caribbean for July 10 and I have to lose 30 pounds.

screwdestiny said...

You're doing great, Lyn! Keep it up.

It sucks that you had another "acckkkk!" food today. Hopefully there won't be too many more of those. :)

-J.Darling said...

On the subject of sabotaging lovers - I'm going to throw this out there. MANY couples are based on a DEPENDENCE rather than an INTERDEPENDECE. It's NOT UNCOMMON for one partner to lose weight, gain confidence, and the other partner to FEAR that and have trouble coping. It's VITAL that everything possible be done to stay bonded to your partner (assuming this is someone you want to keep in your life).

I'm an example of that as well (and NEVER dreamed I would be). I met my ex husband while I was overweight. He was great to me, and helped me truly believe I was beautiful. After a couple years, I started to lose the weight for me. I wasn't neglecting him, but we did drift apart - and he drifted towards women (co-workers) who were less confident, more needy, etc. He felt I didn't "need" him anymore (because I finally believed him when he said I am beautiful, and these girls had HORRIBLE self-esteem, which I think is indicative of a lot of women who get involved w/ married men, but that's another topic). In the end, unable to express these things to me, he took what I consider the final step that he could not come back from.

It changed me, and in the end, I am SO GRATEFUL for the confidence I gained in being forced to step out on my own. Granted - I miss the companionship (though I've dated) and the feeling of security that marriage provides.

So stay strong, speak up, but let your men be men and let 'em know you still need them. ;) In fact, the more weight you lose, the more you may desire their "attentions"! :) Remember that sometimes their "sabotaging" is all about fear of being disposed themselves. ;)