Friday, November 26, 2010


I haven't been reading any blogs yet today, but I remember last year there were lots of posts after Thanksgiving (usually on the following Monday) about the "damages." As in, how many pounds were gained by eating "too much" of the "wrong stuff." And I used to feel that way too.

Not anymore.

I don't see transitory pounds as "damages." I don't see them as some horrid thing you have to go into overdrive to "fix". I realize this might not be a popular view, but getting less obsessed about weight/pounds/doing it "right" has helped me have a more relaxed and pleasant life. But there is a fine line between being relaxed and ignoring weight gain... which could lead to more and more weight gain.

I also really detest the whole "well it is not real weight, there is no way you ate over 10,000 extra calories to gain 3 pounds" logic. Listen, folks. It is NEVER 100% fat when we are talking about losing or gaining weight. It is *not* a simple calories in, calories out thing. Otherwise, there is no way I could have gained 40 pounds in 3 months back several years ago (which, by the way, was a gain seen by my doctor on HIS scale). There would be no way I could gain 8 or 10 pounds in a week if it was a simple calorie equation and if it was ALL FAT. But I have in the past, verified by 2 different scales at home.

So if you are up 3 or 5 or 8 pounds this week from over-indulging in holiday treats, remember this:
It IS real weight, but it is not all fat.
If you drink a quart of water, and then weigh yourself, you will have "gained" over a pound. But it is just the weight of that water added to your body.
If you eat 2 pounds of food, you will immediately have "gained" two pounds, because it is the weight of your body PLUS two pounds of food in your stomach.
That weight is part of you and your knees have to carry it around... until you pee it out (etc).
Eating sugar and carbs causes water retention. So does high sodium intake. I believe I read that for every one gram of carbs you retain three grams of water in your body to store the carbs. So... for simplicity's sake, if I am storing a pound of (digested) carbs in my body, I am also retaining 3 pounds of water.

Now. I have not talked about my weight for a couple of weeks. I was trying to get my head straight, and the weight thing was annoying me. But in the few days I have been using my light box and taking my supplements, I feel *better enough* that I think my head IS straight, or straight enough to get myself back on plan 100% tomorrow. I have been doing this "eat on plan for 3/4 of the day, and then eat cookies or brownie batter for dinner" thing. It's sort of been an education for me, to not totally "let go" and eat crazy all day or go into the mindset of "oh well, I am not 100% on plan so I may as well eat whatever I want." I still told myself no to Starbucks when I was out yesterday. I still did not make stuffing or yams or a cake for Thanksgiving. I still ate Medifast foods most of the time. But I also ate a few slices of buttered French bread yesterday and a muffin this morning. I still ate too much turkey, although I stuck with breast meat. I ate too much green bean casserole, too. But ya know, I feel like it's a victory that I have made *better* choices and eaten on plan a good part of the time. It's a much better place than I have ever been when I was feeling depressed and eating stuff like brownie batter.

When I post that kind of thing I always get some critics who want to tell me what a moron I am for not panicking or berating myself for eating bread or cookies or whatever. I get people who want to try to make me feel bad for not doing it their way, or doing it "right" or whatever. I get the whole "tough love" approach, almost always from people who forget the "love" part, post as "anonymous" and tell me to buck up/stop making excuses/quit eating crap. But guess what, I have been getting those comments for months... years. And I ignore them. Because I do not need "anonymous" or any negativity to motivate me to lose weight. I lost 100+ pounds, I went up and down here and there, I ate off plan and on plan. But the overall result speaks for itself, and I hope it will continue to do so. I lose weight with positive motivation, not negativity, and it has taken me a long time to *change my mindset* to the positive. If you are angry at *yourself* for going off plan, or if you are angry that you did *not* go off plan but I did, please examine that feeling. I think hostile comments do, in fact, say more about the person leaving them than about anything I am doing. I feel great about my progress, no guilt about my holiday, and not panicked about any weight gain at the moment. I have a plan, I am working it, and this weight is coming off at the rate that is best for *me* and for my long term success.

Anyway, as I said, if you're up a few pounds (as I am) from indulging, just do your thing. Don't feel horrible about yourself. Smile, drink your water, eat your veggies, and do whatever exercise you are committed to. Those pounds will come back off and fast unless you drag out the indulgence for more days or weeks. As soon as I cut back the salt, sugar, and carbs, I drop pounds super fast as the water is released from my body. As soon as my sluggish digestive system speeds back up from the addition of good veggies like cabbage, broccoli, and green beans, those extra pounds of digesting food will be gone. My body is not "damaged" from these days off plan. Neither is yours. But it could be, very easily, if you or I continue indulging right through Christmas. Now's the time to give 100% again. And I am doing just that!

Weight updates will be included on December 1st :)


NAN said...

Right on, Lynne!

Laryssa said...

I like to imagine that those anonymous posters are sitting at their computer, going "tsk! tsk!" because you gained a pound or two, while stuffing their face with cupcakes and potato chips. Usually, like you said, they are angry at themselves for not being able to achieve the goals they set out for themselves so they try to make someone else feel worse in order to make themselves feel better.

So you gained a couple of pounds after yesterday's meal. So did the skinny girl next door, or the thin guy from across the street. And you know what they did this morning? They probably got up late, went for a walk, and ate something healthy for breakfast and lunch. Because they know what it's taken us so long to learn: that it is okay to eat a little off plan every once in awhile as long as you do so smartly (like not having dessert or huge second or third servings) and they go right back to eating right the next meal.

You have done so well the past 6 months that you should continue to ignore any any negativity that comes your way. You've won this battle and, although you know there will be more battles to fight, you are doing what needs to be done to be prepared mentally.

Kudos to you!

Cynthia said...

So glad you are feeling better! Since I started taking a D3 supplement this year when the weather started turning, I feel WAY less depressed than I usually get when the days are dark and overcast and gloomy!

As for weight gain and how to handle holidays, there is no "right". There is only what works for each of us!

I chose to make a couple dishes that both hubby and I love and we enjoyed them totally. But they were also healthy and no problem to incorporate and keep my calorie deficit.

Even so, I have no way to know just how much salt was in the grass fed lamb sausage that was in the recipe I made last night. Enough to put my weight up a single pound today, not that I'm worried over it. As you say, this kind of weight is easily dealt with. So no "damages" here!

My worry is that I'm starting to "jones" for exercise, more than I can accomplish here at home, since I need that lap pool! But I'm not getting out & driving in freezing rain/sleet unless I have to. There's been accidents all over the place up here with the crazy weather.

I'm going to go do a bit on my Nordic track shortly.

Debbie said...

Good for you... I did pretty good on my eating, but I think it was because I have such a terrible cold and nothing taste good to me. I agree with you though your weight goes up and down everytime you eat or drink. Have a great weekend..

J.B. said...

I've recently found your blog, and I'm glad I did. I think it's incredibly inspiring to read that you've lost over one hundred pounds. That's so awesome; keep up the good work! :-)

Anyway, regarding your post, I know exactly what you mean about water weight. I've seen my weight fluctuate over five pounds over the course of a day or two. It's just water, the weight of food, etc. I've never been too concerned about it because I know it doesn't tend to "stick" like fat pounds do, but it can still be kind of alarming to step on the scale and see a significant increase over a few days.

I indulged a bit yesterday, but thankfully, I didn't go overboard. I don't think people should kick themselves for having a little fun on Thanksgiving. I'm all for having a "cheat day" every week or two to prevent burn out.

Susan said...

First of all, I'm glad you're feeling better, I've been following your posts the last few days especially closely and it's good to see.

Secondly, thank you, thank you, thank you for this post! It's exactly what I needed to hear. I'd been struggling for a bit with gains until I finally got the maintenance thing down (about 11 pounds over my goal weight, but the skills were established). Then came Thanksgiving. In my case, 5 days away, a huge family reunion, and not a lot of control of what's being served.
I indulged yesterday, and the first day here, and since then I've tried to pick and choose what was worth it to me and what wasn't, and making the healthiest choices I could. And I've been running for half an hour EVERY morning on the beach (I am not a morning exerciser, but that beach is too much to pass up, I'd never forgive myself for not running on it).
That said, I've still been freaking out over the 5 extra pounds that have shown up, and your post helped me to breathe, remember that I have the tools to get rid of these pounds,and that they are indeed transitory. Bless you for this post!

279 said...

You're doing perfectly! Great post!

Stacy said...

Yay Lyn! I love what you said about the negative anon posters. Ya know what they say "If you can't say something nice..." You do it your way and don't worry about what anybody says.

FatAngryBlog said...

I really like this post because the "tough love" approach as I see it happening in blogland - much of the time (but not ALL of the time) is often an excuse for someone to be an asshat and lord over someone else who isn't doing things according to the plan/diet/belief system the aforementioned hypothetical (or collective) asshat is following.

Anonymous said...

Great post ! I really like your saying not to beat yourself. You enjoyed your Thanksgiving, made good choices (I think) and now you go back to your plan. That´s awesome.

Anonymous said...

Hi, and great post! I totally agree! Nothing ate on Thanksgiving can't be worked off/gotten rid of, one way or another. If we screw up, and feel like hell for doing it, it's just another step in our journey that hopefully we learn from. :)

Anonymous said...

I must admit that at first, I felt a little panic rise as you stated your relaxed feelings about indulging and gaining, but the lines that followed allowed me to stop holding my breath and relax along with you.

It sounds to me like you've got this. That may only be because my own experience has brought me the exact same conclusions, but let's assume that we've come to the same conclusions because we're both right. :D

While I'm not feeling quite as accepting and relaxed about my struggles over the past few months as you are, I am confident that this is NOT the beginning of the end that the flashing red light in my brain wants me to think that it is.

I think your common sense approach is perfect. Thanks for sharing this in such a complete and thoughtful way.


Anonymous said...

Girl you are doing fabulous. You are good to ignore the haters. I think overall this thanksgiving I did great! I let myself have a slic of pie and eat a spoonful of stuffing. I have not checked my weight mainly because I know that I probably gained a pound or maintained last weeks loss but I am fine with that.
Sarah Lownsbery

Diandra said...

Geez, eating healthy most of the time is more than most people do. Besides, living and eating should be fun, even when trying to lose weight. After all, I don't think it's too healthy to obsess about one topic all the time... and we all need to find ways to live once we've reached our goals. For many people I know, this "I will totally obsess about it until I weigh 13 pounds and then I can forget everything I learned about food" does not work too well.

I think you have done a great job, losing this much weight and working through all the issues. I have seen my mother loose almost 200 pounds (gastric surgery, followed by huge complications) and it has given me a different perspective on stuff.

Go for it!

CJ said...

Rightly said! I SAY HEAR HEAR!

Anonymous said...

Lynne, I'm glad you're feeling better and glad you're getting some help with your knees.

This may not be the best place for this comment, but I was out of town and just caught up on a couple of pages of your blog. One of your comments resonated - about being on plan in the morning and then opening the fridge, seeing the chicken and veggies and picking something offplan. I know you commented that it was related to allowing yourself choices. If it were me, it could have something to do with the fact that off plan foods are often something that you can just pick up and eat. "I'm hungry, here's some ready to eat food, here's some food where I have to do work and wait. Easy food wins." Would it help any if earlier in the day or even the evening before all the prep work and perhaps even the cooking of the on plan food were complete. That way it would either be a matter of serving up the on plan food (plated salad, from the crockpot) or heating it up (microwaving already cooked fill-in-the blank) or everything cut up and ready for a stir-fry or Foreman grill?
Anyway, it's just the thought that hit me for me. It may not be the same for you.

Congratulations on continuing to maintain your 100 pounds!


Val N. said...

I have seen in the past, that if I do not enjoy Thanksgiving and other holidays, by denying myself all of the tradional goods of the day, I end up overeating the next few days. If I enjoy the day, and all that comes with it, but only eat until I am full, I am able to get right back on track the next day. I feel life is to be enjoyed. And that means eating a piece of homemade cheesecake every now and again. I had one piece Thursday, and then packed the rest up and put it into the freezer. It will stay there til Christmas. No guilt, no binging, and I enjoyed my day.

Karla said...

carbs and sugar make me feel yucky!!! right back on track!!

amazing how there is such a change in attitude, a year ago we would have thrown in the towel, "oh, what is the use??!!"

Theresa said...


Rettakat said...

Ha! I loved this post. I almost quit reading some blogs around Thanksgiving... all the angst and self-berating... it was depressing!

But I can relate to your approach. I kind of feel that way, too. I am learning as I go, and I might try this or that. Or go through a phase where I am not interested in veggies... or whatever. But I don't get all torqued over it anymore. I learn from it.

I'm glad to hear the light therapy is working for you. I have lights that are supposed to simulate daylight at noon. I dunno if they really do... but I like them anyway. : -)

Jennifer said...

I cant thank you enough for this post today. I just got on the scale and after losing 67 lbs and being this new person that I really enjoy much better, I let myself go over the holiday and the scale just read an increase of 9 4 days???????
So, thanks for this post. You dont even know how much I needed it.


The Captain's Daughter said...

I weighed in this morning after the Thanksgiving holiday and I am up 1 pound.

Not terrible, but not the loss I should/could have had since I've been losing every week since June 1st when I began this journey (with you.)

However, instead of feeling horrible about the lack or loss and the 1 pound gain I am just going to remember that I AM DOWN 80 pounds since 6/1 and be happy with that! I indulged only on Thursday and Friday last week - I was in the water at the YMCA for aerobics at 9AM on Saturday morning. The key to success (for me) this time versus other times I've lost weight is that after a misstep I get RIGHT back on plan the next day. I'm working on getting back on plan the next meal, but for now, getting back on plan the next day is a victory - and I'll take it!

I still think it sucks that two days of off-plan eating wipes out five days of on-plan eating!

Any way... Thank you for everything you share... I hope you know how much you inspire me!