Saturday, August 28, 2010

I Want Everything (but not really)

Okay. So, I did something I said I wasn't going to do anymore, but I think it needed to be done. I took a "day off" yesterday from low carbing and decided to eat what I wanted to eat, nothing off limits *except* binge eating or acting like a total nutjob. Goal was to just enjoy a day at the fair with my kids, not stress out about the food, not weigh my protein and measure my vegetables and all of that. It was sort of a mental health day. I had my usual Medifast breakfast, then baked homemade healthy banana muffins with my daughter and had one of those. At the fair, it got more complicated, but I really, really learned something.

As I walked up and down the food aisles while I was *not* hungry, scoping them out to decide what I'd like to have later, I discovered something. I wanted almost everything. I let myself linger by some of the stands that appealed to me: teriyaki kabobs, sausages with onions and peppers, deep fried zucchini, beer battered corn dogs. And I wanted EVERYTHING. I thought, hmmm, this is the same feeling I had at the bakery or when I used to go through the grocery store getting food for a binge. I used to fill my cart up with more food than any one person could POSSIBLY eat: chips, pizza, ice creams in 3 flavors, candy bars, cookies.... because once I was in binge mindset and "allowed" myself to have ANYTHING I wanted, I wanted everything.

Why do I want everything? Now that I don't binge, it is harder to figure out what to have. I DID tell myself I could have anything I wanted at the fair, but I kind of thought one thing would jump out at me, I'd order that, and be satisfied. But no... I wanted so many things it was ridiculous. But I knew I couldn't eat a fraction of what I wanted, even if I tried.

And then I figured something out. What I *really* want is a TASTE of everything. I had NO desire to eat a whole corn dog, a big plate of fries, or a jumbo burrito. I wanted to TRY them all, so I would not be missing out on the experience. I wanted the memory of the one-bite taste of an elephant ear and a funnel cake. I would have been totally thrilled if I could have gotten a sample bite from 10 different stands... one french fry, one bite of a burger, one piece of kettle korn. But you can't get that. And there is no way I can spend $100 ordering stuff so I can try a bite and throw the rest away.

I am happy with small portions now. But no one at the fair caters to that. When I decided that I wanted a Philly cheese steak for lunch, I asked the guy if he could make me a HALF cheese steak, and he laughed! He said no, I had to get a whole one but he didn't care what I did with the other half. So I told him to wrap half and serve half on a plate. It was so delicious to me! I ate about 75% of my half and was stuffed. I gave the other half to my son later.

At dinner I was facing the same issue. Um, can I have ONE piece of chicken? No, you have to buy a platter with biscuits and fries. Can I get a SMALL fresh squeezed lemonade? Yeah, sure, it is 22 ounces and $4. Everything I'd like to try is too much volume. And then I thought, "I wonder what gastric bypass patients do? They need to eat, and they can only eat a few bites. Do they just buy the giant burrito and take a few bites and throw the rest away? This is ridiculous. Why can't I get small portions anywhere?"

Well, once I knew that I didn't really want all that food, I chose a taco salad for my dinner. It was good! It was huge, too, and I could not finish it. Later, after walking a good 3 miles throughout the exhibits all afternoon, I got an ice cream cone. And on the way out I got a small caramel apple with peanuts on it. It was just heavenly.

It was more indulgence than I have had during the last 3 years of Fair food. The scale is UP five pounds. Five! Crazy.

Back to the grind today. New goal: no more days off plan until I hit my goal.


Anonymous said...

That's got to be water retention surely? I mean, 5 pounds equals 17 500 calories, which you did not eat, so the maths just isn't there. It cannot be true weight. Keep going - you are so inspiring.


Anonymous said...

Yep, carboHYDRATES=hold on to water. No biggie, just back on plan. Isn't it interesting, though, that places serve only HUGE portions? Not like that in France or Japan, for instance. Both places known for their mostly slim population. Hmmmmm....could there be a connection?????

Ah, good old America. It's like we're all still embedded in the Mindset of The Great Depression, and we must eat as much as we can !right now! or it will all be eaten by others! LOL. The problem: it will all still be there tomorrow, and the day after that, and the day after that...

Good job on your choices, Lyn. A little indulgence, combined with a lot of good learning=SMART GIRL!


Vegemommy said...

Lyn, you ROCK. I have always been a fan of yours and amazed by your persistence in losing almost 100 pounds! Good job. That said, it's life... You go to the fair, to the bakery, to a party, to a restaurant. It's ok, or it SHOULD be ok to eat something off-plan at times. However, I just started Weight Watchers last week and I really like the way they have their program set up. You really CAN eat anything, and there are extra points-35-more than my daily allwance that can be used throughout the week or all at once, for indulgences such as what life sends your way. It's meant to be a plan you can live with....forever. Good luck to you:)

Dillypoo said...

During a recent trip to Germany this summer, I was impressed by the portion sizes when we ate out. They were small compared to what we get in American restaurants, yet they were perfectly satisfying.

A scoop of ice cream was about the size of a racquet ball instead of a softball. A sandwich was made on a dinner size roll instead of a foot long loaf. Tomato and cucumbers were served with everything, even breakfast!

We are a culture of over-indulgence, and fair food can really emphasize that. Congratulations on unraveling yet another mystery about cravings and conquering the urge to binge!

I'm Fluffy said...

5 pounds! I hate scales they're stupid. That can't be fat gain. It's not possible.

I wish all restaurants served proper portions. Nobody should have to pay for food they don't want.

-J.Darling said...

Hi Lyn-
Maybe I can share how I did Medifast, lost weight, and didn't feel deprived.
I used the "One Bite Rule" daily. I allowed myself 1 bite of WHATEVER I WANTED that SOMEONE ELSE had. Here was my logic:

1) If it's someone else's, I'm not going to gorge myself or finish it.
2) The first bite really IS the best part of tasting something new. It's all downhill after that.
3) One bite of something I can easily work off in a day.

I LOST on Medifast and had 1 bite of Ben and Jerry's ice cream that my then-husband had for dessert, or one bite of a hamburger (bun, and all).

It was teaching myself that a taste is okay, and it was keeping my binging in control as well (since it wasn't mine- I wouldn't finish it).

Having 1 bite every day or so makes you really pick what that one thing is, and it keeps you away from heavy carb/salt days like you experienced today.

Just some "food" for thought! :)

Mrs. Thighs said...

No way did you really gain five lbs from that amount of food; must be from the salt and water retention. You'll probably hit 185 soon. I agree, the portions many places serve in this country are insane! I've found that a lot of restaurants, at least in NYC, will honor requests for half portions, but I guess at a fair, people are expected to indulge.

Lisa said...

for me, the "days off because i want to be normal" lead to binges. I say good for you for not going there and having that control!

Lanie Painie said...

I think the smells would get me more than anything else. I think sharing was a good solution. I"m going to keep that in mind!

Kelcey said...

As someone who has had lapband surgery: I am the queen of the doggie bag - also with my family - all 4 of us share one serving so that I can have my taste and not waste! Thanks for being an inspiration!

Theresa said...

as you know I've kept up on your blog for quite some time.....

and I know you are a geek when it comes to statistics.......

Have you tracked your "eating off plan" days against your weight chart?

I'm curious if an occasional day off is a help or a hinder to weight loss. Go stat queen go!! Inquiring minds need to know....

take good care Lyn.

Laine said...

Hi Lyn, I love your blog and I love to read about your progress but I was sort of saddened by the post about your hike where you had lost strength and stamina along with your weight.

I wonder if focusing more on moving and not so much on the numbers on the scale would help you be less nervous about not being obese.

And maybe instead of focusing on tastes of food that stress you out - say "I'm just going to have a little taste of that hill. I might not be able to do the whole thing, but I can taste it. And then I'm going to have sample of bike riding, and some paddling appetizers" or something.

I don't know. I just remember how much you like your hike, and it made sad when you couldn't do it as well.

I eventually realized that my scale was measuring the wrong thing. And it wasn't telling me how strong I was, or what height mountain I could climb. It just said how much weight I had to haul up that mountain.

I don't mean to be one of those people, really. It may be that I just got back from hiking so I'm feeling all evangelical about it.

Keep on going!!

Anonymous said...


interested question/food for thought -
if you go off medifast, gain fifty pounds back, and use your lessons to have a healthier, more balanced relationship with food, will it have been worth it to you?

somewhat like yourself, i have been bouncing along this journey - but only downhill for the past couple of years - and i have found that regains happen to me, any time that i do a "i will do X until I reach my goal and then i will maintain, because that will somehow be easier." it's made me truly stop the "process X that will help me get where i want to be," and just keep using the lessons i have. but that's not to say the lessons were NOT invaluable, and what i needed.

Lyn said...


It is all worth it regardless of the outcome. I have become a much more self aware person during this entire process over the last 3 years. Every step I take gives me new insight into my core self. I know myself better every day.

I think that since I know pretty much HOW to eat and exercise and live right, and I am getting the WHYS pretty well, I won't have a huge regain... but if I do, I'll just have to keep working at the issues until I figure it out and get to a weight that works for me, whatever that weight may be.

oh_mg said...

Oh, I know how tough that is! I went to a fair last weekend and tried to stay on plan as much as possible, but you're right - it's all so big and so tempting!

Kathleen said...

For me, just a taste is not OK. Massive servings aren't enough. I'm glad you can take tastes and that you understand your body. I would agree that five pounds has to mean water retention, though.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lyn,

I actually think you are on to something here. Why isn't there a stand with just samples of everything? Why do we have to buy a whole bucket of this or a whole plate of that? Of course we will put on weight if things don't change.
This sounds like a great opp to me.

Kepp going,


Anonymous said...

I really love reading all the comments. Each person adds a little insight into the whole losing weight situation. I don't think there is one correct answer to any question, it's not the same experience for all of us. Lyn, don't take this the wrong way, but I have noticed when you have a "cheat" day, you never just eat one thing off plan but several things. I do the same many times. Why can't we "cheat" (hate that word) and have one sandwich, or one sweet? No, it has to be two desserts and two entrees. I think the key to how thin people eat is they might have that big sandwich but then eat very lightly for the next few days without thinking very much about it. For some of us we have that one sandwich and then keep on eating. It's definitely a lifetime struggle. I do agree with the hiker, more exercise is a huge help in not regaining and mood enhancing too.


Anonymous said...

Nice post, I definitely second the "portions too big!" motion. When I spend my exchange semester in the US (I'm from Germany), you had to buy a meal plan when staying in a dorm. This plan was however way oversized, especially for all the foreign students. In the end, we ended up buying food for everybody in the last week just to get rid of these meal points... That was like institutionalized overeating.

Banded Girl said...

Life post-weight loss surgery is a lesson in coming to terms with throwing food away. Even if I bag or box leftovers and take them home, I end up tossing at lest part of it. It was really hard for a long time--I was used to eating close to everything on my plate. It's much easier now, though I cringe to think about all the waste.

I've found that carrying nuts/LARABARS/pre-made protein shakes while at conventions and the like is much more fulfilling than eating the food served there. And much less expensive.

Anonymous said...

FINALLY with the help of surgery, I am at the point where almost every time I eat I am truely satisfied with small meals.

When eating out it's sometimes VERY hard to find small portions. A big resturant meal or even fast food seems so huge now that I can't believe that's "the standard size".I totally agree with you wanting one taste of a little bit of all the choices; it's so hard to decide one one or two items!

amy_joy81 said...

this is why I am starting to disagree with the day-off or special treat mentality. I am counting calories and to me as long as I'm under my calorie goal each day, I won't deny myself anything - because like you said when you feel like you can't have anything, you want everything.

Cindy said...

yep, me too, wanting just a TASTE of it. which is what our family normally does anyway - when out and about. we split a treat.

even with eating out now and regular meals, not treats, one daughter and I will split a meal -we always talk about how we will feel physically after eating it... if we picked the fried crap we'll feel bloated, etc. but if we pick the veggie sandwich with a salad our tummies will feel good after.

jiesa said...

I like to go down certain aisles and remember the tastes. But I find myself wanting those same tastes less and less as the years go by and I stop buying those foods. I don't even have any interest in walking down my old binge aisles.