Monday, May 2, 2011

What's Going On

I have to clear something up. Just to be fair, and as I always try to be, honest and transparent.

My weight gain over the past 2 weeks (mostly this week) has NOT been from "eating real foods again." It has not been because I was on a low carb low calorie diet (which, by the way, included a lot of "real foods" like fresh veggies, lean meat, eggs, tofu, olive oil, etc) and suddenly added back in 2 servings of fruit and 2 servings of dairy. No.

I can see where you might get that idea. Some who read sporadically may not know I was already out of the "mild ketosis" state that eating 85-100 grams of carbs per day puts you in, which helps with weight loss. I had already been screwing around eating a piece of toast here or a cookie there and so had *already regained* that water weight everyone gains and loses with the start and stop of a low carb diet of any kind. I can also see where you'd assume the rude awakening I got from the scale yesterday was from my body getting used to adding back in more carbs and calories. But it's not.

No. See, and it's my fault you think that because I didn't blog last week. I was too busy flipping out.

If you are easily triggered, stop here and skip down to the next row of asterisks.


Some of the things I ate last week:

pepperoni pizza (2 slices)
a hot dog, Coke, bag of chips
several candy bars at once
a pint of Haagen Dazs ice cream
5 slices of lemon pie (in one day)
3 donuts (at once)
several lattes, frappuccinos, and iced coffees from various coffee houses... most not sugar free
4 or 5 slices of a really *not good* cheapo bakery cake
6 or 7 brownies out of a pan I made
cheeseburger, fries, Pepsi
a large bag of corn chips
another pint of ice cream
a lot of cheese
a lot of nuts and chocolate chips
a chimichanga with meat, beans, cheese, sour cream
raspberry lemonade
French bread with butter
a couple of bratwurst on buns with mustard
a soft serve ice cream cone
a sub with meat, cheese, and mayo with a bag of chips
several servings of greasy mac and cheese
half a bag of Easter candy


and probably some other things I don't even remember. Plus "normal" food and a smattering of Medifast meals during the 2 or 3 hours a day I tried to keep it together.

So, I have been bingeing. Yes, I have to admit that this is not just "a little indulgence" or a "bit off plan." I have been eating a LOT. Not as much as I used to before losing weight. But it is heading that direction. And yes it made me feel sick, and no I did not enjoy much of it. I was sort of going through the motions of eating all this stuff but not really liking it and hating that I was doing it. I have always said it was a form of self abuse and I think that's true.

I also have been thinking about why, how I feel, what's different.

Well, a couple things. I lost 100 pounds and my life is not magically a superlife. Oh, yes, it is far far better in a lot of ways, but some basic stuff that was wrong before and had nothing to do with weight is still sitting there needing to be dealt with. It is very uncomfortable having to deal with that stuff so instead I have been hyperfocused on food. I think about dealing with some uncomfortable thing I'd rather put off, and then suddenly I start obsessing about "hmm what food would I like to eat? ohhh I want a (insert unhealthy yummy food here)" and then I have to spend an hour figuring out what exact type I want, where I will get it, where I will put the kids and the dogs so I can go buy it, where I can eat it without anyone watching me. And then I have to get it, eat it, remorse about it, and as soon as the next thing I need to deal with pops up I can hyperfocus on the next food OR my "diet."

Also, the arm thing. It is insane. I mentioned it before. Last summer I was FINE. In fact all my life, at every weight, I have been FINE about my arms. I have even gone out in public in a swimsuit at 278 pounds. I didn't LIKE how I looked but I didn't really care what anyone else thought either. I am not sure what changed but it is dramatic. Suddenly I am so, so self conscious about my arms. *I* think they look horrible. But still, I always thought parts of me looked horrible in a swim suit but I still went swimming... so I don't know what is going on with me now. It was 70 degrees yesterday and there I was in a long sleeved sweater all day, sweating, very uncomfortable, but I just could not bring myself to wear a tee shirt. I tried putting one on last week, in the bedroom, and I almost felt panicky when I thought about going out in public in it. In my head, I feel like I have a relatively normal looking body and then I have huge, puffy, I mean GIGANTIC arms. The image in my head is a normal body with the arms of a 400 pound person attached. I was never 400 pounds. But the image in my head says my arms look so out of proportion that people will gasp and stare. It's like when I have my arms covered people will not notice me, or just think I am a "normal weight" person... but when I have my arms exposed they will suddenly see that I AM FAT. It's like my arms are a glaring neon sign for the world to see: "I AM FAT, I WAS MORBIDLY OBESE, I HAVE EATING ISSUES." I know it makes no sense but there it is, it's how I feel, I am trying to work through it, maybe gather the courage to wear a tee shirt because there is NO WAY I can go through a 100+ degree summer with long sleeves. Anyway it's been very upsetting and has become another link in the distraction chain...

should deal with some important thing > omg my arms are so huge omg omg > eat eat eat

See? That way I avoid the important/unpleasant thing and instead get to deal with something I *know* how to deal with. Something more comfortable and familiar. Food issues.

So that's where I've been. Where I am now is trying to put the brakes on the reactive eating and working on healthier ways to cope. And I AM working on it, every day. I also have committed to weighing every day this month because I have really got to stay on top of this before it gets out of control. I still feel like this is something I can fix. I believe it. And writing this post was step one.


401sue said...

This IS something you can fix, you have been fixing for a while and WE will have to fix forever. It is what it is. WE do feel better when our eating is in control. Everything seems better when our eating on track. This is just a speed bump. I have faith in you. You have helped me more than you will ever know. {{hugs}} check in soon...please

Dillypoo said...

Of course you can do it! Remember that "river of life" analogy you once made? Sounds as if you have a few boulders to flow around, but you can do it.

Never go back! And to hell with the arms! They are badges you earned for getting to where you are now.

Hugs to you, Lyn!

Jack Sh*t, Gettin' Fit said...

I feel ya. There's a real out-of-control sensation that can be hard to understand and even harder to keep in check. We KNOW what we need to do and why know WHY we need to do it, and still we find ourselves sliding down that slippery slope. I've been right there with you and can confidently say you probably weren't even hungry when you were gobbling down that crap.

Well, the good news is that you can easily recover from a week or two of that kind of behavior (a month or two... or year or two... not so much).

You've come so freakin' far and have accomplished so much, Lyn. Get back on your horse and LET'S RIDE!

timothy said...

ive been there darlin i hate my neck, at least the area that's supposed to be aneck! i really do have one now and have photographic proof, AS DO YOU! i'm lookin at your pics and your arms look perfectly normal to me, but if they bother you do curls or weights and tone them. you can control this and you know how. while i sympathize my best advice is just do it. sometimes a good swift kick in the butt is what i need to get moving but whatever you need darlin just ask there's lots of us who care and are there for you! xoxoxoxoxoxo

Rhi said...

I've been reading your blog for a long time now Lyn, and I have so much respect for you and your journey. Your need to deal with the reasons *why* is very high, so perhaps it may be worth speaking to a professional counselor about it? As someone who has worked with counselors before, I can tell you that the learning curve is intense and so much growth can be found. Having hit a road block, maybe it is something you could consider?

LaraG said...

I think that your honesty about your bad days as well as your willingness to share your successes and troubles will get you back on the right track. You are doing wonderfully, despite your not so stellar week, and I'm sure you'll get right back on track ASAP.

Anonymous said...

Many women have upper arm issues, even if slender, a woman's upper arms can fail them. My mome loves loves loves 3/4 sleeves on t-shirts for summer. She orders a lot of nice ones from JJill, Coldwater Creek. Some of Coldwater Creek stuff is for mature women, but some is nice for us that are a little younger. It's kind of like "clam diggers" for your arms, still comfortable in warm weather, still hides the waffly upper hips, still kind of fun. Really nice jean jackets, sweaters and such in 3/4 sleeves also. :-)

Leslie said...

Oh Lyn - I feel for you. I'm very self conscious about my arms as well. Also - struggle way too often with full on out of control bingeing - and it's a horrible place to be.

But it sounds to me like there is more going on right now than any one fixation on weight or a body part. For me, eating keeps me numb enough to not really feel the intensity of stressors - old ones as well as new.

It sounds as though you're in a negative cycle that may very well have a biochemical component. Not from food and food changes (and thank you so much for your gut level honesty about the TEMPORARY return of some bingeing) but maybe some depression going on. I know Deb mentioned that last week. These feelings, and the difficulty sleeping as well, may fall away quickly. If they don't, it may be wise to talk to someone - a family doc, counselor...about it. Not suggesting medication necessarily, though if it gets too burdensome there is no shame in taking something for a time.

I send you the hugest hug possible.
Oh - one more AA type suggestion - write out a gratitude list for the next week - daily. List 5 things for which you're grateful - (besides family, kids, life...those are easy!), - like how many THOUSANDS of people you help and have helped on your blog over the years. Specific things - just to help shift your thinking - because when we get so negative, we have a thinking problem as much as anything. With genuine appreciation to you -

Lyn said...

Thanks so much you guys. Your support means A LOT to me. I don't know what I'd do if I didn't have this blog to come and talk to you.


Oh I do think counseling would help, I really do! And while I am not a fan of "can't", I just really can't go to a counselor right now. I spent a lot of time trying to find one a year or so ago and ran into 2 issues: cost (outrageous, even the 'sliding fee scale' ones were $40/visit!) and time (I only have 2 hours a day, 3 days a week 'kid free' and I am packing alot of stuff into that time already). In the fall, I will have ALL my kids in school full time, so the counseling may be an option then, if I can swing it financially.

Anonymous said...

Oh God Lynn...I am soooo with you every step of the way...I have absolutely no advice for you but you have no idea how much I learn about myself by reading your are so truthful and real...YOU will get through this...its some sort of cycle that we go through...I so wish I could give you a great answer...You have no idea how much you remind me of me..Hang in there Lynn...God Bless you and give you strength to get through this temporary stumbling and peace
Sylmar Ca

Diandra said...

Tried wild rose oils for your arms? There should be some oil or body lotion in the Mommy aisle at your drug store... my sister swears by it. It may take some time, but I am sure it will help with your arms.

Oookay, and second - you know this. How is your life going to improve if you waste your energy on food orgies instead of fixing stuff? (Same here. Whining because I have to do something usually takes twice as long as simply doing it.) You can fix it, and I am sure you will fix it. This is your chance.

Bunpoh said...

Lyn, I feel you on the arms issue! Mine are awful, as are my thighs and stomach, and now that I've dropped a little more weight, my neck. Somehow, though, I'm wearing the t-shirts. It's all about getting past that "what will other people think" thing, and also focussing on the positive aspects rather than the negative. I am struggling with that, too, but it is beginning to work for me. Up days and down days, but overall, progress.

You've really nailed it, that cycle of upsetting thoughts leading to binge behavior. It's awesome that you can see it so clearly. The only things you're missing now are the tools to short circuit the process. And possibly the brain chemistry is out of balance, which was an issue for me. Keep wrestling with this. We're pulling for you.

Christina S. said...

I believe in you, Lyn. I know you will get back on track and I look for updates from you every single day. You are amazing!!!

Anonymous said...

You have provided an excellent explanation of how food/weight/body obsession helps us cope thru avoidance. I wish I knew that simply from book learning rather than my own experience.

It's a scary place to be when you're using food addictively and know it. Sigh. I know that from experience, too.

Here's what else I know: We are going to do this thing this time! We are.


Anonymous said...

You have been a great 'friend' to me these past few years, and I wish there was something I could do to help you or make you feel better. I'm GRRRR-ing for you!
Kori from Newfoundland.

Lily Fluffbottom said...

I really hope you can find someway to get to the bottom of those issues that you've been avoiding, so you can move past them, and in moving past them, can cling to your new skills of awesomeness and stop sliding back down the slippery mountain.

That was a lot of metaphors for one sentence. Thank you for continuing to share your journey with us, even when it gets hard.

katie said...

It's not about the food, it's not about the's about the trauma and unresolved issues.
It's using an inappropriate substance (here, insert 'food') as a self-soothing technique. Which will always be ineffective and sel-fsestructive.
Good talk therapy - cognitive behavioral therapy can resolve one's issues. Then there's nothing to "eat" over.

Dinahsoar said...

People of all sizes live in denial and avoidance. The small ones seek comfort outside of food--perhaps they smoke, or exercise 2-3 hours a day, or read incessantly. And then others, like myself, and yourself, go to food.

What I must learn and you must learn is how to cope in healthy and helpful ways. And we must realize some things can't be fixed quickly, or maybe ever.

So we must learn to live in the moments--which make up the hours and days and months and even years-- that we are unable to escape or change.

How does one do that? Consider prisoners of war. The choice is survive or die. Adjust or go under.

We who are not prisoners of war but of the day to day world must learn coping skills.

We must put on our thinking caps and be grown up and figure out a way around what troubles us until such time we can figure a way of escape.

Sometimes we need the help of others--their council, their encouragement. Sometimes we need to borrow their courage.

Sometimes we need to take the next step, scary as it might be.

And sometimes we need to sit tight, knowing that now is not the right time or the best time to upset the apple cart...i.e we must bide our time.

And we must never allow ourselves to panic or give way to fear when we don't know what to do. The way of escape will come to us as the light rises--little by little.

Wait patiently, make plans for someday so that when someday comes you will be ready to take the leap. And keep on believing that all things are possible.

When we quit believing and begin to despair, that is when we will go under and reach for any life line that is available, including food.

You've worked very very hard to lose your excess pounds. Don't let despair or hopelessness or anxiety or whatever the case may be rob you of your victory.

It is always darkest before the dawn, so don't give up. And remember, God is a very present help in the time of trouble, in what troubles you. Pour your heart out to him and believe that he hears your cry and that he will strengthen you, and even carry you when your strength is gone.

All things are possible.

Lynna said...

Check out the first four steps of a 12-step program.
Step 1: We admitted that we are powerless over our addiction and our lives had become unmanageable.
Step 2: Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to santity.
Step 3: Made a decision to turn our lives and our wills over to the care of God, as we understand God.
Step 4: Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

Diets don't work. It's the inner healing that leads to sane eating.
Step 4 is an intensive inner journey, not one i would recommend without the aid of a sponsor or accountability partner, but it can lead to deep and lasting healing, especially when the remaining steps are embraced in order.

For What it's Worth, this might be a great pathway to the serenity you seek and to lasting change.

All my Best,

journeytobehealthy said...

Thanks so much for your honest, candid post. It's so helpful for all of us who completely understands your struggles! I'm sure it was difficult to write, and I appreciate it.

When I was at my heaviest, I very seldom looked in a mirror. Oddly enough, I didn't obsess about my looks or certain body parts. I think that this is probably due to the fact that I subconsciously felt that at that weight, I wasn't going to like anything I saw in the mirror anyway so why be overly concerned.

At one point several years ago, I got down to a "normal" weight. In many ways, I was more self conscious about my body then than I was at my heaviest. Why is that? I'm not sure, but I think it's because there is some hope of looking good, I started paying more attention to my body than I probably ever had before, so it was easy to criticize.

Those are my thoughts anyway. Not sure how to fix it, though!! As with anything, I'm sure the reason for your issue with your arms is multi-faceted, nad isn't the exact same as anyone else's. Just wanted you to know that you are not alone.

Stacy said...

My thoughts? It happens, it happened and you move on. You are now an expert at losing weight. You have the tools to do it. You know how to get it off if you want to. If you want to, you will.

Pandora said...


I'm pretending my arms are hugging you right now. This is so painful. I've been there at the "never again" and then the "omg, I'm putting myself right back where I was."

You are an awesome person. You have helped so many, me included. Please help yourself as well.

We tend to use our fat to explain so much of our lives, there is a fantasy that once the fat is gone, all other problems and issues are gone and life is perfect. As much as we tell ourselves we know it isn't true, so much of our lives get organized around our fat and our eating that it is easy to believe. But, it really isn't true, and gaining the weight back won't make the problems any better either!

Be very gentle with yourself.

Anonymous said...

I have been on my own journey to lose weight. After 8 1/2 months of educating myself,I have finally for the first time in my 46 years of life, learned how to cook and eat properly.
The reason I am commenting to you today is to let you know that I have lost 110 pounds(still have maybe 15-20 to go). I want you to know that I don't remember how I came upon your blog, but I am VERY grateful that I did. I would not have lost this weight without it.

There have been many, many times that I have read one of your posts and felt that it could have been written by me. You have no idea how you have motivated me on this journey.
I have never responded to a post (of any kind) before, but I felt compelled to post this today because you need to know something.
You need to know that although we do not know each other, there have been numerous times that I have found myself proud of you. Today is the day I am the proudest! Your honesty in owning up to your binging is something that I admire immensely. I am not sure that I would ever be able to own up to that. This is what makes you special and this honesty is what I admire most!
Keep it up and good luck finding what will work best for you. Thank you once again for your honesty and inspiration.


I read your blog daily and I often read your older posts. You have inspired me and I thank you.

Anonymous said...

Lynna got it exactly right. Dead on.

Anonymous said...

You know what I a picture of your arms in a tank top. I am willing to bet they are not nearly as bad as you think! You have a tons of friends online and they will affirm that they are not that bad.

That's what I think...when you are ready of course.

Anonymous said...

yummy. thats kinda like me the past few days./:

liz said...

Lynn, I don't know you except through this blog but I care that you are hurting. All last week I check in to see if you had written anything. I was worried. I too have eating "issues" so I have no advice other then you have friends that you have never met who are praying for you. Keep fighting girl, food is crack to us just as hard to kick and just as damaging in the long run.

Anonymous said...

I am sending big hugs with my flappy arms! lol. I love how unflinching you are. This is such a journey, isn't it. Girl, you'll get there. Reading all the comments I feel even more inspired -- both to cheer you on and to continue on my own path.
My arms are slowly beginning to have some MUSCLE. I'm doing upper body every other day and it's taking some time but I see changes. And I am beginning to look at my arms now in a "huh, check that out! I have some muscles!" kinda way. Try it?!

HopefulandFree said...

Wow. That is a great load of honesty you just let go of. Good for you. Also, I hear so much respect and caring from your many readers. They, and I, are cheering for you to find your way to more self love and gentle kindness to the woman you are, inside and out.

I don't know if you can stay on a strict weight loss diet, or not, but I believe you can love yourself. You are worthy of kindness and love. Please take care. Your beautiful heart comes through so clearly in your blog.

Anonymous said...

Hugs. Just hugs. And thank you for being honest.


shay said...

One week of eating crap doesnt undo all the work you have put in. Just forget the bad week ever happened and move on. Everybody does it, but it's just a bump in the road. good for you for being brave enough to share that, your very inspirational to alot of people but your only human and losing weight is hard but keeping it off is harder. as far as arms go, your thin who cares about arms, nobodys 100 percent perfect if it not arms it would be something else, i would kill to be as skinny a u, and i wouldnt give a crap about my arms :)

Anonymous said...

I think it's the carbs. Period. You are very carb sensitive and you increased them too quickly.


CatherineMarie said...


Maybe one thing you can do is instead of eating the "junk" stealthily, you can treat it as a 'treat' and give yourself and the kids each a serving. Give yourself a little, then go on a family walk, or do a family activity.

Good luck! I wish I could help... but being aware of the issue is the best way to fix it...

Theresa said...

Promise me you will try every day. That's all we've got. Trying. There is no perfect, but there is the desire to do what we can to make it a good day. I'm happy you are facing your struggles. Hugs as always.

Anonymous said...

Are you doing the weight lifting? My guess is no. Try it - it does make a difference


crazyjojo said...

When I find myself in a hole such as you are in, I try to remember that it WILL pass. I focus on how good I will feel soon if I just keep on, keeping on.

Take care and I know that you will be back on track soon. Please keep blogging even though you are not always able to post "happy" posts. You are always inspirational.

Karla said...

What?? You mean when you lose weight life isnt somehow transformed into this magical life??? This is what i thought for so so many years!!!

Every day is a struggle, hang in there babe :)

Get back on track, you will feel so much better

Jen said...

I want to say that I love your honesty. I could have written this post myself. I'm semi at the beginning of my journey and I think that this is one of the things that I need to come to terms with the most. My life will still be my life, losing weight will change some things, but other things will still be the same. I have to figure out how to deal with that. Thank you for putting yourself out there because it helps me more than you know.

Susan said...

Congratulations on your honesty! You will get through tjis - it's part of the process!

Debbie said...

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” - Winston Churchill

I know that you will work this out. My heart aches for you because I have been where you are and I probably will be there again. This is a life long journey. Sometimes the potholes we fall into are pretty big. I know that you'll climb out of this one.