Monday, January 3, 2011

Another Tough Day

Day two getting back on plan, and what a day it was. I got up with a sugar withdrawal headache, made myself some tea, and sat down to read an email telling me that my puppy is sick. I will have to wait an extra week before getting her while she is on a round of medicine. Nothing serious, just needs to be dealt with before I can have her. But I am *so ready* for my pup and it just set the mood for the day: sad.

I found myself struggling with emotions once again by mid-afternoon, after having my scheduled Medifast meals every 2-3 hours but dealing with several small, stressful incidents one right after the other. Add in the hormones of where I am in my cycle, and the lack of my favorite emotional crutch (food) and you get a lot of emotions overflowing. Funny how we get so used to stuffing our true feelings down with food, so we never have to really deal with the sharpness of certain feelings and the tenderness within. Without being able to eat my feelings, I was left feeling like a puddle of goo, ready to wilt into a heap and cry. In fact, I was on the verge of tears for a good part of the day, feeling them welling up in my eyes every so often but never letting them drop. Nothing major is going on, so I had to take a moment to assess. And what I found was this:

I am just having a hard time getting back to letting my feelings be.
I tend to want to eat cookies when I am *just beginning* to feel upset... no, in fact, I want to eat cookies *before* I get upset. Whenever something that *could be* troublesome arises, my instinct and past habit it to suddenly go "oh! Hey, how about a trip to the grocery store for some crackers and cheese?" and use food thoughts and overeating to distract myself from the stress. It works really well... about as well as doing crossword puzzles every time you think about changing the oil on your car, or laying sheets of construction paper over a rotting floorboard in your house. You don't have to think about it anymore, but that doesn't stop the crisis from building underneath the distraction.

So with no food to distract or soothe me, I was left feeling my feelings today and boy was it tough. I really, really wanted to just GO EAT already, go get some chips and a pack of hot dogs, because then I wouldn't have to think about the stuff that was upsetting me and wouldn't have to feel the disappointment and sadness because I would be too busy thinking about the food and the guilt and the weight gain and how I was going to get back on plan, and too busy feeling the food go down my throat and become part of me and eventually make me feel sick. But today, I just stayed with it, felt it, wanted to cry a lot, and decided to take care of ME.

I compromised. I told myself I could have *one slice* of 40-calorie bacon crumbled into my salad IF and ONLY IF I stayed 100% on plan in every other aspect of my eating. With the emotional state I was in, I just couldn't face a plate of chicken breast and broccoli, so I made something I love... a food I find comforting: spinach salad. My dinner was a huge bowl of baby spinach and sliced mushrooms, sliced hard boiled eggs, low fat blue cheese, and that slice of crumbled bacon. I made a simple apple cider vinegar dressing for it, and enjoyed that salad immensely. Then I took a warm bath, soothed myself a little, and came out to watch mindless TV and eat my Medifast brownie. Another day on plan. Success.

And now I am going to bed.


moonduster said...

Sorry you were feeling down. You are looking terrific and doing a wonderful job with eating healthier!

I'm stressing because my cat has been disappearing for two nights at a time, only coming home for short periods and I think someone else has taken him in. We are about to move. He loses his collar the moment we put it on him, but he us microchipped. I wish whoever it was would just shoo him away instead of letting him in. *sigh* I miss my kitty. We've had him since he was an itty bitty kitten.

Desert Singer said...

Well Done for staying on track!! The salad sounds delicious.

I'm starting Medifast (through one of the weight loss centers/clinics) and have my food. I'm finishing the last of my "sweet & salty" trail mix, and will start tomorrow with Blueberry Oatmeal... a bar... then Vegetable Beef soup, then a shake, then my grilled chicken on a salad, then a chocolate pudding.

I'm excited, scared, nervous, and overwhelmed. Thank You so much for doing what you've done so very publicly!!

Diandra said...

Maybe you need to find something else to comfort you instead of food? My "new" crutch is music. I've always loved music, and since I changed my eating habits it has become even more important than before. Actually, I have my MP3 player with a selection of "feel good" music in my purse and will sometimes use it at work now, instead of struggling through the day and going home and emptying the chocolate stash. When I get up in the morning and feel BLERGH, I switch on something loud, and when I need to unwind in the evening, there is music for that as well. And of course the "sing and dance along" selection for the sad days.

I hope your puppy will be fine again soon!

Brighter and Lighter said...

Yep, food sure is a crutch! I am at the very beginning of my battle. It seems like even though you have lost alot of weight you still battle the emotional side of it?!

Hillbilly Betty said...

Just found your blog and I've already found your last few posts to be immensely helpful! It's like you've been listening to my thoughts! Thank you for being so open and honest about your daily struggles. It makes it so much easier to know that it's "not just me"!

PlumpNotFat said...

So you did well under pressure! :) One day at a time.

Stacy said...

Congrats on a great day 2! It is funny how conforting one slice of bacon can be :)

Bonnie said...

Lynn, congrats on fighting the feelings in a good way. Sometimes I think our culture tells us we're suppose to be happy all the time and if not, there's something wrong with us. It's okay to be sad. It's good to feel stress because it encourages us to take action to deal with what is causing the stress.

losing_it said...

good job staying on plan and taking care of yourself! I struggle w/ the same issue of emotional eating, and it's so inspirational to see someone else deal with it and still stay on track

mensa said...

Sometimes we feel weak and defeated when we let our feelings out but we shouldn't. Letting things out is the first step to letting things go. It will get easier. Good luck to you.


NewMe said...

I agree with Diandra. You really need some other focus in your life. It's so easy to spend a lot of time obsessing over food.

Lyn said...


the music is a good example. I used to be the same way with music but got away from it a bit. I think my puppy is going to be an awesome alternative to eating... training, walking, playing and just petting take time! I have other hobbies I should get back into.


Yeah, turning to something else other than food is a good idea, always. The main focus of my life is my five children (#1) and my health (#2) which tends to lead into food obsession as well. Trying to get exercise to be a positive as well but I still am not as "into it" as I'd like.

Future Grown-Up said...

Thank you thank you thank you for posting this timely remark. It helped me avoid a food derailment. Congratulations on staying strong and helping others by sharing the story.

Tammy said...

Good for you Lyn. :)

Leslie said...

Congratulations for making it through the tough day. That's a huge accomplishment.

I was right with your description of eating even before you start feeling upset...absolutely. That's what makes this so thoughts come without emotional content to at least help us understand "why". I know the only way through is through - and you're moving through. I send a huge hug.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry the start of your new years has been such a suck.
I'm sure your puppy will be fine and with you soon. I really like your blog and I'm so inspired by your pics.
Good luck in the New Year.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes the best medicine for me is to have a day so busy with work and deadlines that I forget to eat and don't miss it. The pace is fun and energizing and dinner becomes a great reward for work well done.

It reduces self importance and self reflection a bit...and the team dynamics are energizing. Maybe the new dog will create some of this...maybe there is something even different, a whole new thing you could do.

Mavra said...

Aw well done hun. Sounds like you had a bad day but you got through it, and tomorrow is another day :) keep going! Look forward to your next post.

Mavra xx

Anonymous said...

Hi! I just found your blog!

Well done for staying on track!!

I have to say that the photo on the left of the page about "wearing the weight well" really resonated with me. I get that comment all the time. Anyway, I look forward to reading more of your blog!

Theresa said...

Hi Lyn,
I'm sure tomorrow will be better for you. Stay strong. :)

PS. Yesterday was a day of complete challenge. I ordered a salad and forgot to say dressing on the side. When it came I didn't have the energy to return it and wait for another...... I wish I had. It was full of extra carbs in the dressing and today I'm in PAIN with a horrid headache. We all have those times we don't make the best choice. We're survivors though. :)