Saturday, March 12, 2011

Cheese FAIL

... but all is not lost.

Sometimes I think I am kidding myself when I try to find the good in a bad situation, but then I think really, that is the nature I want. And I do believe it is possible to *be positive* and look for the good within the bad *without* glossing over the bad. I strive to be realistic and NOT kid myself. So here is my self reflection on yesterday's cheese fail.

I had an excellent, easy, on plan day yesterday. I ate what I planned to eat, I felt satisfied. The kids have been asking for pizza for dinner for some time (and while I personally love the cauliflower pizza, they don't). Finally yesterday was pizza night. I planned ahead for myself... I didn't have the energy/time to make the cauliflower pizza for me, so instead I measured out my Lean & Green portions carefully: lean turkey sausage, 2% reduced fat mozzarella, low carb pizza sauce, all layered on a plate and nuked until hot and melty, with a side of homemade low carb/on plan coleslaw (a little more than a cup). Nice, filling lunch for myself (as I would be busy at dinnertime, I decided to have my "pizza dinner" at lunch instead). Okay, so far so good.

While the kids had their dinner, I was busy with other things. I had a protein-rich Medifast meal around 7. All was well in Lynville. I even still had one Medifast meal left to enjoy last night. I'd gone to the store that evening and bought only *on plan* stuff for myself including lots of veggies and lean meat. No junk whatsoever (a victory). But somewhere in the evening, I lost focus. It went like this:

Went in the kitchen. Saw pizza boxes of leftovers in the fridge. Found myself taking out a piece of cold pepperoni pizza and eating the cheese and pepperoni off it. I wasn't hungry, in fact I didn't obsess about the pizza, I just sort of wandered in there and thought "hey that would be good and if I don't eat the crust I will not go over my carb limit." Which is true. But it was still not on plan and a mistake because that pizza topping was like a "gateway drug" last night. Last night I ingested an awful lot of cheese. And cheese is allowed on Medifast, but NOT full fat cheese and certainly not pepperoni. Over the course of the evening I picked the cheese and pepperonis off four slices of pizza and then, since I was having a cheese festival anyway, I sliced about 2 ounces of cheddar and put it in a bowl with 2 tablespoons of cream cheese and some dill pickle spears. Ate that, and went back for 2 more tablespoons of cream cheese which I mashed with vanilla and Splenda in a bowl.

After that I thought, this is ridiculous! Did I just eat over a thousand calories of CHEESE? Major fail... and I stopped.

I didn't eat it all in one sitting, and there was no frantic "binge" feeling about it. It was, pick toppings off pizza, wait 15 minutes, pick topping off another piece, do some laundry, do something else, have another piece of "toppings", get daughter ready for bed, slice some cheese, etc etc. for maybe 2 hours. I felt really weird when I was stuffing the uneaten crusts down in the trash to "hide the evidence." I didn't like that feeling at all. Reminded me of when I used to binge and then search out creative ways to hide all the boxes and wrappers.

In fact, at one point, I thought, "why am I doing this? What feelings am I trying to cover up?" but there was nothing concrete. Tiredness a bit, slight frustration... wishing there was someone else there, another adult, who could help my put my daughter to bed and take the dog out and clean the kitchen. Nothing huge. I think maybe I just wanted cheese, and was craving salty stuff.

Cheese really has always been an issue for me. When I was a little girl I ate a lot of cheese:

Mother couldn't cook but made "cheese in the oven" for my lunch (cheddar melted on bread).
Father loved variety of cheeses, always had them in our home and had me try different kinds.
Ordered an appetizer of good sharp cheddar and dill pickles with my Dad at a favorite restaurant every time we went there.
Loved the grilled cheese and tomato soup my school served for lunch.
Adored pizza: good New York pizza, Pizza Hut and school lunch pizza.
Often had a snack of cheddar and potato chips or just port wine cheese in a bowl after school.
Lots of lasagna, cheese bread, cheese-laden salads and cheesecakes.

As an adult it is one of my favorite foods. Maybe #1. And the problem is, I can eat a lot of cheese in one sitting, which is very fat and calorie dense. I have in the past eaten close to a pound of cheddar in one day.

If I had my way there would be no cheese except low fat in this house. But I do not have my way. I am not the one buying the cheese, and telling myself "it's not mine" has not worked very well so far since it seems to appear out of nowhere in bulk in the fridge (2 pound blocks at a time). It's a food I need to learn to live with... one of the few protein sources my daughter can/will eat (swallowing issues from being on a ventilator), so I really need to make it mentally off limits for now. I am sure I will enjoy cheese again at some point in moderation, but right now it is just triggering me and I've been using it as an excuse to eat off plan because it has almost no carbs.

Silver lining: I was able to control myself to the point of not eating any sweets or carbs. I didn't add crackers or bread or the other things I like to eat with cheese, and never took one bite of crust. I did not even once think: "well I am already off plan and ate xyz, I may as well have whatever I want and start over tomorrow." As soon as I was able to put on the brakes, I did. Thank goodness.

Scale this morning is the same as it was yesterday: 188. I am sure I'd have had quite a loss had I not eaten all that cheese, which makes me wonder if my body is just trying to hang onto this weight for whatever subconscious reason. Anyway, I am doing just fine today and will keep working at this til I get it right.


LN said...

It sounds like cheese is a comfort food - it reminds you of being loved and eating with loved ones and good meals. I have many foods and memories like that and when I find myself reaching for a favorite food of a loved one no longer with me I know I am wanting comfort and hugs on some level - or just missing them. Wanting another grown up to help with tasks, wanting company - oh, yeah I can relate. Even though I am delighted to be solo - sometimes I would like the company.

Contessa Kris said...

Ahhh, I understand completely. Cheese is a big thing with me as well. I love cheese. I try to work some into my breakfast and sometimes lunch so I won't snack on it at night. I can eat too much of it as well, especially when its mixed with the splenda, etc... Great job on stopping. Just move forward, don't look backward any longer.

Anonymous said...

Lyn, I just recently found your blog, and want to first say that I love reading your posts. You have come such a long way, and it's very inspirational.

When I was reading this blog, it was honestly like I had written it myself. I can relate more than you can imagine to this. I have an entire 'cheese drawer' in my fridge...I am working on modifying what is in there since I'm now trying to lose weight, but it is by far my biggest temptation.

Today is a new day, good luck moving forward.

Ice Queen said...

Yeah... Cheese. Boy, can I ever eat some cheese. I only buy low fat cheese and then only on occasion because I tend to eat measured portions at. every. meal. Not good for my calorie counts or my bowels. ;)

Calories can add up fast when you are grazing. Mindless picking here and there has completely sunk my ship on more than one occasion. lol

LHA said...

Lyn, like so many others I have issues with certain foods and have a hard time staying away from them or stopping once I start to eat them. For the past year I have been working on that one issue. What I am trying to do is to recognize that some foods that I love are not good for me and so they must be severely limited if I am to attain/maintain a normal weight and good health. So, when I think about those foods...personal favorite, lasagna... I say "Yes, that is really delicious. I am going to plan to cook that and eat it on my birthday this year." When the birthday comes, I do that, I eat it with friends or family, I enjoy it, I savor it, and when I feel satisfied (not stuffed, but satisfied) and have enjoyed it to the fullest, I am done. I send the leftovers home with someone or put them down the disposal.

I have done this with a certain Christmas cookie or candy, jellybeans, Girl Scout cookies and another favorite pasta dish. So far, it is keeping me from bingeing on any of these things. Sometimes the next day will be harder for me to eat properly, but I just remind myself that I really enjoyed eating that "special" food and next year (or whenever appropriate) I will enjoy it again. For me, I have to know that no food is forever off limits because it makes me crave it more. I believe that the reason I crave these foods so badly is that I have sat and felt deprived while others ate and enjoyed them, which only led to very bad emotional responses and bingeing, followed by the guilt and shame.

Good luck with this issue. I am older than you are and am still struggling to find that balance that is so elusive to many of us. Thanks for a great blog.

Lyn said...


that is a really good idea. I have been obsessed with cupcakes for some reason and I think it would truly help me if I PLANNED to have one on my birthday in July. It does help knowing it is in the plans and not off limits forever. Thanks, I will try that with other things as well :)

Theresa said...

"but all is not lost". This dear Lyn is one of the MOST powerful things you have written for yourself!!!

Anonymous said...

It's not your body sabotaging you and making you repeatedly visit the fridge for cheese. It's not your body subconsciously trying to hang on to 188. It's your brain. Your brain is a notorious liar. Your body will always tell you the truth. That is what I have learned on my journey. Your brain says quit. Your brain says I can't do this. Your brain says I deserve this junk food. Your body can always do more than you expect. Your body can keep going. Your body tells you this is a "want" or this is a "need"...

Big White Granny Panties said...

Lyn, you are two pounds down from THURSDAY. That's only two days! You were 190 on Thursday and 188 today. So, apparently despite the Cheese Extravaganza, you are still doing OK. I am happy about the avoidance of all of the crusts and crackers, because if I eat cheese, that's the very next thing I want.

I too am a Dairy Princess. And given that I am allergic to everything, the last thing I need is more snot, which apparently is enhanced by Dairy. But oh well. Baby steps, eh?

We are the same weight today. I feel like we're holding hands~!

xoxo GP

Bee said...

that post alone is going to ruin my diet. Mmmm Cheese.. The reason that although i have been a vegetarian for 9 years i just can't bring myself to go vegan.

Journey To Weight Loss said...

I could eat a whole block of cheese if I didn't measure it out, and put it away before I begin to eat it. Even then I still think I need to remove cheese from my diet completely. I tend to add it on salads instead of eating it alone. I find if i snack on just the cheese i am more likely to start a binge, so i never eat it by itself. Same goes for bread, if its in the form of toast, or bread with cheese, spreads and whatnot it is a killer.

Anonymous said...

Get some Miralax in, LOL! Cheese binds me up like nothing else!

Diandra said...

Put the cheese somewhere you won't immediately see it when you open the fridge. The BF insists on always having cookies and chocolate and stuff there "in case we have visitors", and I put it in places where I don't have to see it (lowest shelf behind the kitchen door, bedcloth shelf in the livingroom). Really helps.

Vickie said...

"I am sure I'd have had quite a loss had I not eaten all that cheese, which makes me wonder if my BODY is just trying to hang onto this weight for whatever subconscious reason."

It is the MIND that is related to the subconscious not the BODY.

I know a lot of people write about their body wanting to stay at a certain weight. But it is the HABITS which hold us at certain places, not the body (talking about healthy weights, NOT below normal weights).

Kelly @ Structure House said...

I definitely agree with others who mentioned that cheese is a source of comfort for you. I smiled when reading about how your mom would prepare cheese in the oven for you-my own mom would do the same, calling it cheese toast, so I definitely understand all the good things that you associate with it! Having this blog and vocalizing these things is so great, because it will help you recognize how you use food outside of just nutrition, and hopefully next time you can plan on using something else if what you are really craving is comfort, or something to combat boredom, or whatever it is that makes you turn to food even though you're full.