Thursday, May 20, 2010

Make the Choice

I'm doing pretty good these days. Things now are SO different than they were 3 years ago.

Wake up in pain. Hobble to the bathroom every morning, thinking, "I can't live like this anymore." Brace myself on the vanity or walls just to try and sit on the toilet seat without hurting my knees even more. Hobble to the kitchen with a migraine. Make myself a big cup of coffee with 1/3 cup of sugary flavored creamer. Sit down with the computer for an hour or two wishing things were different.

On a "type 1" day (usual): eat 4 pieces of cold leftover pizza for breakfast. Drink a Coke. Look at recipes online. Bake cookies and eat a dozen or more as dough and a dozen or more as they come out of the oven. Save the rest on a plate for the kids when they get home from school. Sit on the couch as much as possible. Watch my daughter play on the floor. Put movies on for her. Wish I could walk to the park but I can't because of my knees. Make grilled cheese and bacon sandwiches for lunch and eat two with chips and Coke. Decide to go to the store. Exhaust myself getting my daughter dressed and in the car and to the store. Circle the parking lot for 10 minutes until I can get a parking space right by the entrance. Feel wiped out as I cruise the aisles, randomly throwing packages in the cart (little Debbie Cakes, Sodas, bottled Starbucks drinks, bakery cake slices, Oreos, Cheetos, Pringles, pizza rolls, Ranch, supreme french bread pizzas, Snickers bars, M&M's, Hershey kisses, 2 kinds of Ben & Jerry's ice cream, donuts, potato skin appetizers, deli ham, salami, rolls, cheese, and sausage). Get home absolutely drained from the trip. Eat an enormous amount of the above food (usually ALL the donuts and candy immediately, then pizza stuff & chips, then cake). Hide the rest. Kids come home from school. Give them each 3 of the cookies I made and have 3 for myself. Tell kids to bring me the laundry from downstairs because I can't go get it myself. Sit on the couch and watch TV. Use my stomach as a mouse pad. Get up and fix Fettuccine Alfredo and garlic bread for dinner. Eat 3 plates of the stuff. Shout goodnight to the kids as they go downstairs to tuck themselves in since I cannot do stairs. Sit on the couch watching TV and using the laptop and eating more of the junk until 10pm. Have some french bread pizza and a pint of Ben & Jerry's as a bedtime snack. Hobble to bed at midnight, lie down in pain, wish things were different, hate myself a little for being out of control. Drift in and out of troubled sleep with heart palpitations, wondering if I am going to die in my sleep. Wake up in the night choking on my own vomit that keeps coming up my throat. Sleep fitfully, and repeat.

On a "type 2" day (wanting to diet): make myself a healthy smoothie for breakfast. Take vitamins. Drink lots of water. Try not to eat until lunchtime. Then break down at lunch and eat as above.

What a SAD existence I had for SO LONG and I didn't even realize it. Well, I did know I was unhappy but I didn't know (or believe) that I could change it, and that it could be so much different.

Wake up early, open my eyes to the sunshine and hop out of bed to face the day. Walk easily, without pain, without regret, without dread. Cheerfully say good morning to my children and make sure they're up and ready for school. Fix myself a cup of plain hot green tea and sit down to read the news. Have a light breakfast (maybe some scrambled egg beaters and zucchini) and 16oz of water. Go downstairs to rouse the last kid from sleep, and put in a load of wash. Go about my day with ease, doing chores, playing with my daughter, sitting on the floor to help her build a tower, running up and down the stairs for laundry. She asks me to go to the park, and I put on my shoes and we walk there. I enjoy the sunshine and fresh air and playing with my little girl. We walk home and have lunch together. If I need to run errands, I can. I park far from the entrance and walk into the stores. I buy mushrooms and radishes and pork tenderloin. We stop at the library for books. I feel energized and awake. Once home, the other kids start coming home from school. I fix dinner... perhaps a meatloaf made from grass fed beef with some salad and asparagus... and afterwards I clean the kitchen. I tuck my little girl into bed, lying with her in her bed as we talk, not worried in the least that I might break her bed with my weight. I fix myself a light snack and relax, reading, watching some TV, visiting with my kids. Hop on the exercise bike for a half hour while I watch TV. Just before I go to bed, I go downstairs and give each of my kids a hug and kiss goodnight. Maybe we talk a bit while I sit on their bed. They always hear "I love you" before they go to sleep. And then I go to bed and sleep peacefully and get a good night's rest.

Which would you choose? Which are you choosing? You choose every time you put something in your mouth. You choose every time you make a purchase at the grocery store. Every bite moves you towards one life or the other. Every step goes somewhere... even the non-steps. Standing still and doing nothing as time passes IS moving you in a direction, whether you like it or not. We all have to workdaily to take *some* steps if we want to have a life that is different from the one we have NOW. But the good news is, you have the power. Your life can change. But only you can do it. And you can. You really can!


that TOPS lady said...

I have a friend who randomly sent me a text that said "choose life"...and is so sad how I often "choose twinkies" instead.

ClistyB said...

I am always fascinated when you write about your bingeing days.

Amy said...

I really enjoyed your post and stumbled upon your blog the other day. Out of curiousity - do you still have binges. Maybe not as bad as before but sometimes?

411 Gurl said...

"Every step goes somewhere..." Love it, couldn't have said it better. Powerful words Lyn.

screwdestiny said...

Wow. I think if more people read the difference, they would be more conscious of what they put in their mouths. Because I don't think anyone realizes how truly bad being obese will feel until they're there. It'd be nice if no one ever got there. If they knew how terrible it was going to make them feel ahead of time and chose not to let it happen.

Laurie said...

That's sooo awesome! What a great transformation you've made to your life. Now you're living!!

Lucy said...

Such a simple way to put it all in perspective. Thank you. This account is a true 'before and after'!

Banded Girl said...

*high five*

That's quite a difference, Lyn. I'm happy for you :)

Lyn said...


I have been binge free for 11 weeks now. The closest I had to a binge was last Thursday when I ate a small amount of dessert at a buffet... you can read about it by scrolling back through older posts. I think I blogged about it last Fri or over the weekend.

Georgia said...

I get this. When I decided to change I told everyone we only have 2 choices: LIVE or die. People thought I was nuts, I would never stick to my guns. Here I am, a year later, some weight lost, new eating habits for me and my family, a changed, maintained lifestyle. I don't want to go back to my worst...I just want to get better, and continue to be able to tell my kids I love them everyday.

Thanks for sharing Lyn!

Anonymous said...

I have a hard time relating to your past eating behaviors. That being said, please don't think I'm criticising or judging. I just find it fascinating that I once weighed 320, was in my 40s, and did not have the severe mobility issues you describe. (Although I could no longer ski or backpack the way I love to do.)

Also, I never ate white flour, sugar, or packaged foods. Instead, I ate whole grain foods, lots of fruit, very low fat or fat-free (dairy), and not enough protein. Once in awhile I would binge by eating a few tablespoons of Adams peanut butter (no sugar added).

But...I tended to graze throughout the day when I was home or to eat large portions, especially carbs, and take second helpings.

Because I ate such "healthy" foods, I easily fooled myself into thinking that I ate healthy!

I lost 35 lbs by eating the same way as I did before, but about HALF as much! Then my weight loss stalled and I felt too hungry, too often, so I switched to low carb. I've since lost 35 more lbs.

Life is great. I feel powerful!

I just wanted to share my story because I think people should know that a person (a 5'6" woman, to be precise) can become morbidly obese by eating 3000-3500 calories a day of whole grain, no-sugar "goodness" while never touching doughnuts, cookies, chips candy, or other kinds of treats. (Even my jam was Simply Fruit!) And all while holding a full time teaching position.

Thank you.

Wendi said...

Your blog is SOOO inspiring!! Keep it up and continue with the motivation & encouragement to others. You are a great writer. Thank you!

Lyn said...


you are so right! Many, many people who are overweight are not junk food junkies or even bingers like I was. And there are actually a lot of people who seem very happy at 300+ pounds, without pain or health issues (at least not anything that makes them miserable). For me, I was eating pure crap. I never drank a glass of water unless I was in "diet" mode. It was awful.

My mobility issues are much more severe than many, simply because I have severe degenerative arthritis. I've been told I need total knee replacements because there are areas of bone on bone, and bone spurring in my knees. I do have relatives with the same issues who are not obese but their pain and problems started much later in life. I think I aggravated a genetic problem by being morbidly obese.

Thank you so much for sharing your story!

spunkysuzi said...

I can really relate to your binge eating days! As you know i have a history of binge eating. I can still remember days where i'm frantically going through every cupboard to see what i can throw in my mouth and most of the the time i didn't even taste it before i was thinking of the next thing to eat.
It's so hard to explain to someone the feelings that go through you when your in the midst of a binge.
I'm so glad that it's been a while since i've done that.

Dinah Soar said...

Did you ride around the grocery store in a motorized cart? I ask that because you said you knees were too bad to walk to the park. Getting all that food into your cart meant you had to cover a lot of territory in the grocery store. Just wondering how you managed that.

Lyn said...


No, I never used a motorized cart. You don't really have to cover much territory in a small grocery store to get through the junk aisles and the bakery, and leaning on the grocery cart helped. I managed.

The park is about 1/3 to 1/2 mile from my house. It was impossible for me at the time, but now it's a regular part of our day.

Lissa said...

Oh. Wow.

I can't believe you were dying for so long.

I'm so thrilled you're living now.

Jennifer said...

I am so happy to hear how happy you are! keep up the good work and remember this specific post if you ever get the urge to go back to the old you. It was a very moving post Lyn. Thanks for sharing.


Abi said...

Lyn, I'm so inspired by reading how you've changed your eating. I don't ALWAYS have your Type 1 days, but I definitely have them sometimes and they always make me feel like such a piece of sh*t. It means a lot to me to read your posts every day knowing you've made it through another one. You're doing awesome!!

✯FiTCETERA✯ said...

I could almost feel my body bloat up at the description of the binge days. Oh wait ... it IS bloated! :D ... lol
I hope those days are behind me as well. They're very painful to think about. The denial, the madness of planning binges, the loneliness ... all of it. It's so dark there.

I'm so happy, Lyn, that you're out in the light!

Joy said...

Awesome post!! I am so glad you chose the right path!!! Way to go!!! Hugs!!

Laura Pugh said...

I found your blog a couple of weeks ago and I'm so thankful for it! I appreciate how you write about the struggles you've had and the successes you are having now.

I look at your before photos on the left hand side and I know I look just like that. I'm afraid I'm in the mind set that it's too late to do anything about this mess I've gotten myself in. So I'm glad to read your blog and find hope and encouragement. Thank you!

Ex Yo-Yo Dieter Debbie said...

How easily I have forgotten what a chore it was, physically (let alone mentally) to get out of bed in the morning.

When I read your post, all I could think of was your kids...of course I am thrilled for you...that goes without saying!...but how wonderful that your kids have their mom back!!!

The binging days are a black, black hole, and there were countless days that I was in that hole, trying to crawl out.

SO GLAD you have made it out of the nightmare.

Debbie xo

nelson_clan said...

You go girl! Play with your kids play! Give them happy memories of good times with their mama!

Fat Grump said...

You sound like you are really living now Lyn. You also sound in control of your life. It's the all improved Lyn, mark II :) How different your days are!

Being conscious of what we eat and how we move is probably something I'll have to do for the rest of my life sadly. I AM too self-indulgent, but like you said, to make a difference and to change things, we have to exert our own power and practice self-discipline. Once again, that's a timely reminder for thank you! :)

Miz said...

every time I read your posts I think:
lordy I want lyn to do a guest post for me.

pleaseplease (as my four year old now says and which Im kindasorta not a fan of :))?

merely ponder...


JettSetter said...

I have off the Friday before and the Monday after Memorial day. Usually I would drop my son off at Daycare, go home, sit on the couch ALL DAY and eat EVERYTHING in the house. Now I feel like I have no idea what to do with myself if it doesn't involve binge eating and watching TV. Since I've been on Medifast (5 weeks), I can't believe how much "free" time I have on my hands now that my nights aren't about sitting and eating. And my house has never been so clean!

Tabby said...

Everything you wrote! fits what I am going through now.

I was doing laundry last night and my husband gasped loudly when he saw me throw my clothes in the dryer. He knows that #1 rule of laundry, do not dry Tabby's clothes. Ever. But I did last night and I told him, never going back again. Let them shrink. I think I've finally made up my mind and it's feeling real good this morning.

Thanks so much Lyn, for talking about things that really hit home.

Debbie said...

Hey I love the way you did the 2007 and 2010 thing. You have come a long way. How do you handle binges now or do you still have them? Have a great weekend.

Big Momma said...

Your blog is inspiring!

I am and have been fighting with my weight for 12 years now. There are days when I feel like I can tackle my weight then there are other days when I feel like it isn't possible.

I'm dying inside. I know I'm unhealthy but taking that first step is VERY hard!

Bravo to you for coming this far. :)

Teale said...

Isn't it amazing how things that used to be the norm for us we look back on & think "what was I DOING?!!"

Great post, as always :)

The Chubby Girl Diaries said...

Fantastic post!

I agree... it is all about making the choice. Making the choice is well-within our reach. We have the power to choose. Not everyone realizes that...

Have a wonderful day! You sound so empowered! It is inspiring! :)


LA said...

This is an amazing comparison. Isn't it horrible the things we do to our bodies just because something tastes good?

Congratulations on your new life!!