Sunday, June 6, 2010

PMS Breakdown

Second post today. If you're looking for my weigh in, scroll down to the previous post :)

Boy, do I have some MAJOR PMS cravings today! I have to say these are the worst I have had in over 3 months. I woke up feeling a little crampy. I had my tea. I ate my breakfast and my midmorning snack on time and then ALL I could think about was... fried chicken!!

It's kind of scary to me that even after eating mostly healthy, whole foods for the last 2 1/2 years, I still really WANT junk. I don't obsess about it anymore, usually. I am fine on my low carb eating plan and hardly ever have obsessive food thoughts. But the hormones do make it harder for a few days out of the month. And honestly, if I could get away with it (not gain weight) I'd eat an awful lot of junk. In fact, what really scares me is how, when I stop and think about it, I *miss* binge eating. I certainly DO NOT miss the numerous consequences, but I miss throwing everything my little heart desires into my grocery cart and coming home and eating whatever I want. I miss the "high" feeling and the absolute pleasure I got from eating like that. Yes, I get pleasure from my food now, but it is not the same as the barrage of sensations when you sit down and eat a ton of your favorite junky, sugary, salty foods all day long.

I was thinking about how I'd really like to buy a bunch of fried chicken, dip it in ranch and eat it all. And get some of those fried jo jo potatoes, cover them in cheese sauce and eat them all. It felt *really good* eating that stuff before, when it was like an out-of-body experience for me. But that's just it. It WAS like a high, and coming off that high was sheer hell. Living with the results was devastating. It wasn't really living. It was really hellish. I won't go back.

So I told myself no.

You know how I used to cope with PMS? I'd give my kid $10 and sent him to the 7-11 for 2 tins of Pringles, a large Coke, and some donuts. And then I'd eat them all in ONE day. I seriously crave salt when I am PMSing. Once when I was 100% on-plan but PMSing, I actually poured table salt into my hand and licked it until I felt better.

So today I made myself a PMS Platter: a zesty dill pickle spear, an ounce of grated extra sharp low fat cheddar, and a packet of soy Ranch crisps... all on plan. I sat and reveled in the saltiness and flavor of it, and when I was finished I felt a lot better.

*However,* the desire to just inhale stuff had not passed. As I was fixing my daughter's lunch, I saw all the different foods in the fridge and freezer and I had a huge battle in my head... the likes of which I have not had in months:

"I want to binge!"
"No, you do not."
"Yes, I do! I could just do it for ONE DAY. I could go buy all the stuff I want and eat it all today and start over tomorrow!"
"No, you did that for 15 years. You don't have tomorrow. You have NOW."
"I don't care, I am dying here. I want to eat and eat and eat and eat...."
"Knock it off, you're making me hungry."

And with that, I grabbed a chocolate chip cookie off the counter (my son made them. I let him, 2 or 3 times a year) and bit into it. I stared at the chippy cookie and chewed and the SUPER SICKENING SWEET hit me and I whipped around and started spitting furiously into the trash can before I could swallow anything, while tearing the remaining cookie to bits and shoving it into the trash. I rinsed every trace of sugar from my mouth and drank a huge glass of water. I told my son he better move his cookies to another spot or they'd ALL be gone. And then I sat down to get a grip.

Man, I haven't had a struggle like that in a long time. I hate PMS.

I still feel like eating and eating, but I feel FULL from the snack and water. This is the kind of crap that worries me. Will I always want junk? Will I always wish I could binge? Days and weeks go by where I feel completely free, but then I have a moment like this and I think, I really hope I can stay on top of this. I guess you can't binge like a maniac for 15 years and have those feelings disappear in a matter of months. It takes time.

It really is a split second thing. In a split second I can walk OUT of the kitchen and go clean a toilet and get over it, or I can shove food in my mouth that leads to an all-out binge. The farther I get from the binges, the easier it gets most days. Hopefully in a year, the obsessive moments will be a distant memory.


Jamie said...

You can get through it I promise! here is a no carb fried chicken I am not sure if you can eat pork rhinds or not. But it is delicious! I am sure you can prolly bake it too.

Lyn said...


Thank you! I am saving that recipe! It isn't an "on plan" recipe for me but it sure is a far cry better than regular fried chicken. Maybe I will make it for my birthday dinner :)

Anonymous said...

I totally understand your concerns here Lynn, I like to think that time heals all wounds, one day you will be able to eat junk, but you won't want to binge on it, so the moderation factor will make eating our favourite 'bad' foods an ok thing, sometimes

Dinah Soar said...

Lyn...sounds like you are craving chicken and ranch.

What about a buffalo chicken sandwich-- or salad?

Rub some low fat deli chicken--or some baked chicken tenders even-- with hot pepper or hot sauce, then if you use bread spread with a Laughing Cow Light cheese wedge,and a drizzle of reduced calorie/fat ranch dressing. Add a side of celery sticks. If you opt out of the bread put everything on a bed of greens.

Anonymous said...

Dude. yes.

(followed you here from Medifast... loving your blog)

Anonymous said...

You have to be proud of yourself, you fight with all your strength against these binges, and you are doing it!


Spaghetti Cat said...

Oh Lyn, good for you for saying no and making an on plan fix!

I still feel like that on occasion. i want to binge, I don't want to be fat, I don't want to go out of ketosis, I don't want to stay the same the rest of my life, so I don't.

I make things work for me and its PAINFUL to say no sometimes, but then its over. This too shall pass!

hang in there!
PS I think a bunch of us in blogger land are on the same cycle lol.

Mom to the Fourth Power said...

It was hard to just read about that fried chicken and jo jo's without wanting them myself. But good for you to resist such great temptation!!

And just for the record, I absolutely LOVE eating my soy crisps with dill pickles! It's strange but I cut the pickle up in little rounds like quarters and make little "sandwiches" using the soys crisps. One of my nighttime fav snacks. So it was fun to read that you ate some with pickles too. :)


Ms. PJ Geek said...

I don't know what a jo jo potatoe is but it's better I not know. I can't binge happily like I used to . The last time I did was about 1 or 2 months ago and I was miserable. I had to climb my way up the slippery slope one inch at a time. The on plan pms snack was genius.

MargieAnne said...

Funny how different we all are.

Your 'binge food' makes me want to p**e.

When I have a hungry, craving, nothing satisfies me, day I want bread. Nice fresh bread, preferably whole grain, Vogel, (only found in New Zealand), with loads of butter and filled with almost anything tasty. I want to eat thickly filled 'Dagwood' sandwiches all day long. Throw in a few cakes, muffins, cookies and that's how I got so fat.

And that's why bread is off my menu. Trouble is it has a sneaky way of finding it's way back in occassionally. I applaud you for your strength of mind.

✯FiTCETERA✯ said...

Accchhhhh ... this is tough stuff. I hate those out of control feelings.

But the PMS bingeing is different from emotional binges in that I think it's our bodies trying to get the calories in that it needs to do it's stuff. I always am hungrier the two days before my period starts. My periods are getting irregular so sometimes I don't realize what's going on until I actually start. Then hindsight kicks in and it makes sense.
For me personally, I think I panic about the extra hunger, thinking I'm the one out of control, and that triggers bingey feelings in me which triggers bingey food cues. Maybe if I just go with the flow (LOL) and give my body the extra food it wants, I can stop this from happening in the future.
That's my theory anyway. (if that made any sense)
What do you think?

Lyn said...

Fitcetera, my pal :)~

I think you have a point. I ended up throwing in a few hundred calories more protein and fat in my day in order to stay low carb and be ok. I feel much better now! Maybe my body needed a little more today. I hope the scale is not too unkind tomorrow (I had a lot of salt!)

Sharon said...

What a timely post for me! Wish I could blame PMS, but I can't. I've been in two of my trigger foods today (chips & Triscuits). Thankfully, there weren't many Triscuits & I read your post with a handful of chips halfway to my mouth. I put em back in the bag and back in the pantry. THANKS!!

Anonymous said...

I haven't binged or overeaten since February 14th. Wanting to binge is never really about the food I imagine eating. Wanting to binge is about wanting to dissociate from my feelings. Wanting to feel in control...control of how I feel, even just for a few minutes. When I binged I did control my feelings for those few minutes. But having that momentary control meant that I would then be drained of my power.

Nowadays I don't try to be *in control*, if that makes sense. I let my emotions be. I don't need to dissociate. This ultimately gives me amazing power in my life. Power is a million times better than control.

Missa said...

Oh, I am on that PMS train with you right now. I am fighting the urge to eat the almond butter out of the can by leaving the house and going to the gym.. Now that I am back, I am too tired to even pick up the can :-)


Anonymous said...

You seem to have the expectation that you mustn't ever even "want" to eat junk - like you're a failure just for wanting it. Honey, we all want to eat that!
You will always have these days - but your tactic of analysing the flavours you crave and giving them to yourself is what will save you. Give up those expectations and accept there will always be battles, of one kind or another, and that you are strong, and clever enough to beat them. Hang in there!

screaming fatgirl said...

I think the desire to binge eat or to extract satisfaction from copious amounts of food relates to psychological issues, and that your desire to do these things will go away once you address the underlying causes. Since the reasons are personal, it is hard for anyone else to direct you.

For me, I derived comfort from the very act of consumption of certain foods regardless of the taste experience. That is, I would eat more than I needed to satisfy either a craving or a need to taste because finishing the entire amount of food and being overfull was gratifying on some level. This is a compulsion. I broke the compulsion by considering a lot of things. One of them was the fact that eating everything in front of me or in the house didn't bring me more pleasure from food nor did it solve any problems I might have.

I do wonder if this need to consume a larger quantity than "necessary" for the pleasure of tasting and experiencing the texture of food is a matter of feeling you deserve to have exactly what you want in the manner in which you want it. That is, you decide you 'want' a big mass of fried chicken and the actual experience of eating it is less important than getting what you want. It may indicate that there are other parts of your life which are unfulfilled, so you fulfill the need to have your desire fully fulfilled with food.

I'm not saying this is the case for you, but I think that you may need to explore your desire for these things deeply and through time if you want to lose these desires. That is what I have been doing for awhile, and the desires have faded aware by and large. Like you, I used to desire an entire bag of something or a large amount, but I haven't really had that experience as often or as strongly.

Good luck.

Anonymous said...

That's a little scary. Sometimes I get a little twinge, like mourning a long passed favorite grandma, but maybe I've been not bingeing for longer than you. I do eat for pms, but it's not severe, not enough to cause weight gain, not so much that I can't exercise it off with a mild effort, or just accept it. I'm so happy for fruit, popcorn, crudites, because sometimes I really just want to eat.

Catherine F. said...

I am absolutely with you one this one - C,C & C! Cravings, crabby and cramps! I've seen a Homoeopath in the last 2 months and for the first time ever I had no cramps and headache 1 month in. For the 2nd round of period time I noticed my cravings really significantly diminished. So, we'll see what it does next week when I'm due. But, I can definitely recommend seeing a Homoeopath. You've got through this time though - just pat yourself on the back any chance you get!

Lisa said...

Well done on getting through such a bad pms craving.
I know just how you feel about the binges, it scares me too. I succumbed to a mini binge on Friday and I really don't know where it came from. Didn't eat anything like I used to, but still felt sick and angry and upset and frustrated with myself, and have spent the last two days trying to repair the damage.
More lessens learned though I guess for the rest of our journey.

Fat Grump said...

That's the part of this that I find SO hard Lyn...avoiding foods I want because my head is nagging me to have them! We have to learn how to incorporate some of the things we like into our diets once the weight is lost I imagine. Can a slimmer be strong forever I wonder? I assume some people just don't want the foods they used to love any more - because their taste-buds and appetites change, but it does take an almighty amount of constant self-discipline and will-power to make ourselves turn away from the foods our body seems to scream out for.

Forget gastric bands. Is having a full frontal lobotomy the answer I ask myself :)

Well done on finding an alternative snack to have, and how exciting that you look like breaking through the 200lb barrier soon! You are doing so well!

Karen said...

Way to go stopping that binge before it started. You made some good choices and didn't send yourself into a sugar spiral of destruction. But I was STUNNED to read that you miss binging. I honestly thought I was the ONLY person who felt that way. If I could get away with it health wise I would eat nothing but chips, ice cream, candy (especially boxed chocolates), and drink gallons of chocolate milk and Hi C orange! When I was at Aldi's yesterday they had two things they usually don't have: Snickers Ice Cream Cones and Ice Cream BonBons. Although I never seriously thought about buying them, I wistfully thought "There was a time I would have bought them both (maybe multiple packages of each) and for sure one package would be empty by the time I got home on the 15 minute drive. Yes, I am relieved to not be dealing with the shame of such gluttonous eating (and hiding it from Ed) but, still a part of me misses that eating anything anytime in any amount. But that is a choice for death and I am choosing life...even if that means logging my food, counting my calories, and testing my blood sugar. Its what we have to do if we want to have any life other than food. Its hard being a grown up...or at least making yourself act like one!

Christina said...

Poor thing - I *know* how difficult that is. I've been giving in a little too much lately. I keep wondering why I do this to myself and can't make any sense of it. At all!

Anonymous said...

I went through the same thing last week. PMS crept in, and the cravings began. Mine was a chocolate shake. After battling it for 3 days, what did I do? I made the choice to get myself a small chocolate shake. I sat down, enjoyed it, and went on about my day completely on track with my foods. I didn't punish myself, by adding extra time to my work out either. I was surprised to find that my craving was fulfilled and I didn't want anything more.
I think there will be times in the future such as this, where it's okay to allow myself these small indulgences. When I withhold them completely .... I find that I become angry inside and more resentful. I totally get that out of body experience with food though. I used to sit myself down to a bag of chips ahoy, a whole bag with a 1/2 carton of chocolate milk. Then later, a large chocolate bar from walmart. I have faith and trust in myself now ... to know I can stop at the one small milk shake. Still have to watch it though because PMS used to be binge central in this house.
I think you are doing awesome Lyn and I know it can be really tough.

Anonymous said...


I totally miss binging sometimes. But then i have to talk to myself about it. "Do I want the dozen donuts, or the ability to walk without pain?"

When I start to think through the choices between food and being able to walk, walking wins out every time.

colleenzo said...

Lyn, have you ever considered trying a form of birth control that would help block the PMS symptoms you have? I see how hard you struggle with it every month. Just a thought!

Lyn said...


Yes, I have been put on various medications for PMS/PMDD in the past, including birth control. I am super sensitive to hormones, and got violently ill on hormonal birth control, even mini-pills (vomiting all day). My GYN tried a lot of things. I used to be seriously ill during PMS... nauseous, migraines, pretty much out of commission for a couple of days. What's helped is getting off sugar and refined carbs. My symptoms now are a lot less, and more tolerable (mainly cravings and bloating, and a bit of emotional weirdness).

Rose B. said...

Ooooh, I so understand what you are dealing with. I can be on plan for 3 weeks straight and not struggle so much but as soon as PMS strikes, I am like a pig going to the trough. I also in the past have sent out my kids with money to the corner store when I am PMS, but I don't crave salt but Reese peanut butter cups! That's the only thing I have never lost a craving for!! Grrr....

I am thrilled that you stayed so strong!!! I have realized that I always have to be vigilant and to accept that those treats will always be there as a little devil-serpent. LOL....Adam was tempted by fruit...not me, CHOCOLATE. Sigh...

Also, I am thrilled that you stopped yourself, because if you are like me...often letting myself go 1 day eating bad can lead to a week or even a month of bad eating. CONGRATS!!

Anonymous said...

No bingeing! Let me tell you, this past weekend I binged by eating whatever I wanted at two potluck picnics on Saturday. I didn't even really go that crazy, but after being on Medifast for a couple of months, believe me, your body DOES NOT WANT any kind of binge going on! I felt physically awful the whole next day. Your body couldn't take a binge anymore, dear! Be glad!

SeattleRunnerGirl said...

Just a note to say, great job on making a healthier choice. I don't think that I will EVER be 100% free of the cravings and desire to eat the way I used to eat. But I think it's a MIRACLE that you live MOST of your life without those feelings. I'd rather struggle mightily once/month than give in all the time, which is what I was doing before. So hang in there!

Elizabeth said...

I can totally relate to this post! It is such a struggle for me daily not to binge. I mean nothing even has to be wrong. I just love to eat. I love the taste. I love food...good food. I have been in such a rut recently. I haven't lost any more weight in well over a month. I haven't been working out rightly. I just want to eat. Some days it consumes every corner of my mind! Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings about food. While I am sad that you have these struggles, there is some comfort in knowing that someone else knows exactly how I feel and is battling the inner foodie just like me.

Momma Hunt said...

This is tough. I think that I am always going to struggle with the urge to binge. I think much like someone who gets off drugs/booze/smoking that craving never goes away it is just really dulled most of the time. My father who hasn't smoked in almost 20 years still says he gets random cravings, never enough to give in but he still gets them.