Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Crazy Eating

I have no idea what is going on with me right now. I feel energized and positive. I am eating 100% on plan with no problem. I am not really struggling right now (knock on wood).

But I was. A few days there went by with me feeling just a slightly uncomfortable, edgy feeling about *something.* I talked about it the other day... how hard it was to stay on plan over the holiday weekend. And I have a couple of stressful events coming up over the next two weeks, too. They are a mixture of happy/positive stresses (birthdays/parties) and annoying/negative stresses (having to travel out of town overnight at a bad time for me to be traveling, to take someone for surgery, stay in a hotel, and wait around for recovery. Then travel back, driving several hours each way.) The mixture has been hard for me to handle, because I am both excited and looking forward to next week but also unhappy and dreading it at the same time, which, in turn, annoys me because it would be a purely happy time if I didn't have this negative thing going on. Anyway...

Thirty five days on plan, not a binge or an instance of overeating in sight. And then, it happened. The weirdest of all binges. On the evening of the fourth of July. Yes, I broke my streak with a very strange binge. I am tempted to call it "going off plan," since it was not a full-out, go-shopping, eat-everything binge, but the emotional state and the pressured nature of the eating tell me it was, in fact, a binge.

So what did I eat?

Well, I started out the day just fine, with 'the usual' eating schedule:
7AM: 2 cups of coffee with sugar free creamer
8 AM: Medifast shake cake made with 1/2 Tbsp peanut butter in it

(I have decided to cut the peanut butter out of my meals for now. One Tbsp is allowed as an optional snack on Medifast but it is the only on-plan food that 'bothers' me so I want to cut it out).

10AM: iced mocha made with Medifast hot cocoa and coffee
Noon: a bag of Medifast Parmesan cheese puffs and a diet cherry Pepsi

Now at this point, I was feeling strange about the 4th. Like I said yesterday, it seemed like I was missing out on the festivities (not necessarily the food, but the social occasions). I had gone to the grocery store in the morning and bought extra lean beef to make sloppy Joes for the kids, which are healthy but off plan for me right now since I put beans in them (too high carb at the moment, although I will add them back later). I also bought some "fun" foods for the kids: Sun Chips, ice cream, watermelon, and root beer. This was exciting for them because I cannot tell you the last time I bought them sodas or chips... maybe last year? I didn't think it would bother me at all. I had 5 ounces of delicious planked salmon and 1.5 cups of cauliflower "potato" salad in the fridge for MY dinner, and I love those foods and was looking forward to them. But at my noon meal, I was feeling edgy. It was not for lack of nutrition; the Medifast meals are packed with protein and fiber and all that good, filling stuff. It was emotional/mental. And I gave myself a Kraft 2% Single cheese slice as a "special treat." Hey, only 45 calories and I could count it as 1/6 of my Lean portion, I reasoned. So I had my puffs and cheese and diet Pepsi and felt better. For a few minutes.

I was pacing around, trying to find something to occupy myself. The heat was too oppressive to take the dog out playing at the park or go for a long walk with my daughter. My mouth wanted more entertainment. So I threw together a little Caprese salad:

Small handful of cherry tomatoes, one light string cheese (sliced), basil, drizzle of olive oil, salt, & pepper

Oh it was good! I love Caprese! I thought, "eh, I will eat a little less cauliflower salad and salmon so I don't go over on my protein and veggies." But at this point I was on a roll...

I was full, but not satisfied. I wanted the distraction. I wanted the experience. I wanted the sensation of over-fullness. By this point I realized what was happening, and was sort of trying to mitigate damages by choosing foods that were not going to throw me too badly.

At 2PM I decided to eat PART of my dinner early. I ate half the salmon and half a cup of the cauli salad. I was STUFFED but wanted more. I gave in, chopped up half a pickle spear and threw it in the remaining cauli salad and ate that, along with 7 Splenda-sweetened bread & butter pickle chips, another Kraft 2% single cheese slice, one BITE of regular cheddar, and a diet Coke.

I was using the diet sodas to try and get a grip. They are filling and feel indulgent without doing a lot of caloric/carb damage.

At 3PM I was in full binge force and though I was very full I ate my next Medifast meal which I had made by mixing 1 Tbsp peanut butter with some hot cocoa and freezing it. This put me overboard with the peanut butter and I was no longer on plan. And then, when I finished eating that, I felt almost sick from the overfull stomach, but I drank half of a diet grapefruit soda, too.

Then my stomach was in actual pain, so I had to go lie down. Let me reiterate: this was a binge. It was binge behavior, eating my meals too closely together even though *most* of it was on plan or very very low carb/calorie (like the pickles were 5 calories, but the feeling of eating them was the same as eating a candy bar in binge mode). I have often reflected on how, when I would binge at McDonald's, it would make me feel horrible but I'd do it anyway. To me, a binge is like cutting. Lots of teens cut. They say it makes them feel more alive, or that it takes away their 'other' pain. It is a self-harming distraction, and that is, I think, what some of this crazy eating it like.

At 6, I decided to eat my last Medifast meal of the day, which is usually eaten around 9PM. I wanted to eat it for the sake of eating. I made a pudding "frosty" and of course added 1 Tbsp of peanut butter to it. I drank the rest of the diet grapefruit soda. I put an ounce of cream cheese in a bowl with 6 green olives and ate it with a spoon. I dug around in the cabinet and found 3 chocolate covered almonds and 7 M&M's from Easter and ate them. I saw the bag of Sun Chips that was leftover from dinner. I ate, like, 3 chips and put the bag away.

I had a few hours of sanity, but on the way home from the fireworks show (at 11PM!) I thought, "oh, I really want some French fries, I just have to have some, and then I will be done." And in my head I planned it. I do not go to fast food places anymore with ONE exception: Dairy Queen (social reasons). So I was going to drive through and get fries. And maybe a burger? Or a hot dog? Or hey maybe some fried chicken strips! But when I got there they were closed. I briefly considered turning around and going back in town to a fast food place for fries but decided that was over the top, and just went home. However, the pup was not ready for bed and I ended up staying up for another hour. And you know what I did? I ate some more.

I made myself a sloppy Joe (leftover) and had the remaining Sun Chips (one small bowl) and about 6 Ritz crackers. And then I had 5 of those little frosted animal cookies, which I bought "just this once" for a tea party my daughter had, and I ate 2 strawberries. And in a final act of insanity, I ate the last 2 ice cream bars. Tada!

Then I went to bed.

And I got up in the morning, stayed off the scale, drank my water, and had a 100% on plan, healthy, positive, enjoyable day.

I know an accounting of a binge may be uncomfortable to read, but I am being accountable to myself. I had 35 days without a hitch, one evening of binge, and now an back on plan again and not struggling. Let's see if I can make it longer than 35 days this time around!


Anonymous said...

From reading your blog, I've come to understand there's a strong emotional aspect to binge eating.

But I wonder if your reliance on diet sodas may have also triggered this binge you describe. You mention repeatedly that you were hungry and were using diet sodas as a way to cope and indulge. Diet sodas, even though they don't contain sugar, are well known to cause spikes in blood sugar.

When your blood sugar spikes like that, your body reacts the same as if you ate a candy bar. You get a high, then you crash, and you're hungry again. The cycle repeats, you eat more, etc. The diet sodas may be making this process even more extreme, even if they themselves are not technically caloric. It may be causing your body to engage with all food as if it were candy.

The medifast food may be doing something similar as well with it's artificial sweeteners...

In my experience, keeping a fairly constant blood sugar level by eating small, protein filled meals through out the day (not unlike one of the principles of medifast) is extremely effective at weight and hunger management, but diet sodas may be unintentionally derailing your efforts to feel satiated.

Not everything should taste sweet.

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

Face it, Lyn: we're not normal.

I can't for the life of me figure out why a brain in charge of our body's health and well-being would do so much to sabotage our efforts at good health, but I struggle with the same demons you do. My problem is that once I take a step down that slippery slope, my brain shuts down and I start eating for all the wrong reasons. My solution has been to try to keep away from foods I know I can't handle and make those setbacks as short and temporary as possible.

But on a positive note... how much healthier is it for your children to see chips and root beer as a once-in-a-great-while extravagance instead of an everyday treat?

Last thing (and you probably don't want to hear this...): there's some pretty compelling evidence about the link between hunger and diet sodas. I'm three weeks in to cutting them out of my diet (again) and I can really tell a difference already. You may look at it as the lesser of two evils (less evil than binging out)...

Hang in there, my friend.

katie said...

I find doing needlepoint very relaxing and enjoyable and also knitting for has always helped me (since college) refocus away from overeating, eating when outlet for creativity, doing something good for someone else ( prayer shawls, comfort shawls for domestic violence centers..etc etc)

Anonymous said...

With a few changes in details of food choice, I've had binges EXACTLY like this. Even tho they don't meet all of the clinical criteria for a binge (cal count too low), they are a binge!

I know exactly what you mean about the feelings associaited with it. It's that driven need to feed w/out hunger and against all reason that makes it a binge along with the frantic move from one food to another.

Yep. I've had that binge. Oddly--in that you always seem to post exactly what's going on in my dietlife--I just put a ticker on my blog to tally my binge-free days. I've been clean beginning Saturday. :D Friday was one of those binge days.

We're getting there. Used to be, the calories would have been triple--at least--and all of the food unhealthy. We're getting tehre.


Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us.

Diandra said...

Find yourself something to do when you feel about to binge. Exercise. Go for a walk. Clean the windows. Whatever. Do something that uses your concentration and is hard physical work. That way it may distract you, and even if you end up eating something out of the plan afterwards, the damage will be reduced since you had an extra workout.

Every day when I come home from the office, I feel like plopping down on the sofa with a bag of crisps. Instead, I grab my exercise stuff and work out. By the time I am done, it's almost time for making dinner, and usually some fruit or a low-cal snack will keep me satisfied till dinner time.

Anonymous said...

Just a little blip on the screen! Not such a bad binge at all, I'd say. Good recovery!

Theresa said...

JackSh*t, that was an awesome response! I am "using" diet pop to be the lesser of the evils I want to inflict upon myself right now. It's what I need for the moment!!! :)

I was behind reading your posts so I had some days to catch up. It was weird. (not really the right word.... perhaps strangely insightful would be a better word choice). As your days progressed I could FEEL that binge brewing. Can you feel it as it comes or does it strike you fast and hard? I could read it in your words from day to day since I was reading one day after another.
I commend you for making this binge less damaging in two ways.
1 you ate fewer calories
2 you didn't beat yourself up with a scale check. Progress is progress, no matter how you have to spin a bad event into a good choice. :)Oh, and from way back when on the bra issue, don't worry about the size as much as the fit it gives you. I've been measured countless times and it's always been wrong. Try on stuff until you find a good fit then buy 2 or 3 and move along. Good luck!

Lyn said...


I absolutely felt it brewing! Although I was trying to convince myself it was something else going on, I would stay on plan, etc. I am actually glad to read you could see it in my posts. It makes me feel not quite so crazy :)

Lyn said...

oh, and on the sodas, guys...

I know! I agree they are not 'good'. However they do not seem to give me a blood sugar issue, nor do the Medifast sweet meals. They don't FEEL like a candy bar feels, if that makes sense. They don't make me crave. The binge was not the crazy thing where I am just dying for cookies or whatever, triggered by sugar/carbs. It was more emotional... not sure if that makes sense, but it felt different.

Anyway on the sodas and artificial sweeteners. I hate them, but they are a crutch for me right now. Some days I really want something sweet and indulgent and a diet soda can fill that space. In all honesty I would rather have fresh fruit but until I add fruit back in, that is off the table.

Anonymous said...

i think the fact that you ate all of that and u got back up the very next day is great improvement...i also like that the foods u chose to binge on have changed....eating better is soo much a part of you now that u can't binge like u used to

excellent getting back on the wagon....congrats on ur changes

Bunpoh said...

When I was reading your post, I immediately thought "It's the diet soda." I hear you that the diet sodas don't cause the same kind of craving, but I still believe they might be causing the extra hunger and binge behavior, because it raises your blood sugar levels nonetheless. The studies keep coming back positive on that one. The Medifast food is probably fine, because there is some fat and other nutrients slowing the entry of the artificial sweeteners into your system, and giving it something to chew on, but the soda, not so much.

It really may have been partly emotional, but I think it would be a good experiment to try going without them for a while to see if that happens again or not. I wonder if binges are the product of both the emotional longing and the trigger foods/blood sugar issues for most of us.

The only soda I ever drink now is an occasional Zevia, though even the more natural sweeteners in that which are not supposed to affect blood sugar levels seem to do so in me, so I keep it moderate. Water, tea, coffee, sometimes organic water-processed decaf at night if I am DYING for something tasty.

Like everyone said, your binges are so much more moderate now. Great job in changing what "binge" means, and also for bringing it here. I've had some holiday related binges too, but they're getting so much less crazy. I feel like there's progress happening, and you should too.

Yvette said...

Like Megan said, mere blip! You're a rockstar for getting up the next morning with a fresh slate!

Speaking of caprese salad, I love it too, and I saw a recipe called "Watermelon Caprese Salad"!! It sounds weird, but it's got the usual tomatoes, basil, mozz and olive oil but with watermelon and strawberries! (optional: purple onion, red wine vinegar)

How crazy is THAT??

Jill said...

I am sorry! Why do we do it? We know we are doing it- we just don't care in that moment (or hours) I do know I binge less now than ever before and it sounds like you do too. This journey really is a learning process. Sometimes I think we have to have "mistakes" as part of the learning. I try to look at how far I have come after I binge. How much shorter and less food it was than in the past. How quickly I got back on track than in the past. Thank you for being you and for sharing with such honesty and vulnerability. I just want to reach through the screen and give you a hug!

Lyn said...

I am super duper resistant to giving up the sodas!! I know it would be better for me. I just have given up a lot already. Hmmm. I think I will cut back and have no more than one per day, and then perhaps fewer over time. Some days I feel like a Coke Zero is the only thing keeping my sanity!

Undercover Dieting said...

Wow, think of how much better this binge was from what it would have been previously! You can be so proud of yourself for the way you handled it!

I totally agree it's a binge - in my world, a binge is mostly the feeling behind it all and the crazy eating. The fact that it usually means lots of calories is more a biproduct.

About the diet sodas, I used to drink them all the time, up to several large bottles a day. My stomach wasn't liking it, and one day it got so bad that I actually had diarhhea from it.

Then I decided to quit cold turkey, and I've been abstinent for almost a year now. I'm glad I quit, but at the same time, I really can't say I notice much difference, except for my stomach which isn't as gassy.

So while I'm sure it's not good to drink them, I don't think I got any binging from drinking diet pops and I haven't noticed a lot of difference. So it's not all clear-cut, and you might not notice that much difference if you do decide to quit.

Anonymous said...

Hey. Just for clariy's sake--and because I'm sitting in my office rather than on the beach--listed below is the exact wording for what constitues a binge per the DSM-IV. It is this definition of binge that must be met before a diagnosed with "eating disorder NOS" (not otherwise specified) is given. (Binge EAting Disorder does not yet exist on its own.)

"Episodes of eating in a discrete period of time (e.g. during any 2 hour period.)an amount of food that is DEFINITELY LARGER THAN MOST people would eat during a similar period of time and under similar circumstances."

From your description, Lyn, you may not have eaten a sufficiently LARGER amount of food compared to a normal, non-dieting, person's consumption to meet this specific criterion that is necessary to classify your binge as a binge clinically.

Interestinly, if you check out the DSM IV, you will see that you DO meet almost every other item in the list of criteria that's needed to meet the diagnostic standard for this eating disorder.

For all intents and purposes, you had a binge on the order of an eating disordered event, just like you said.

sigh. To all of the experts on the beach--sometimes comments on blogs are written casually and without rigorous specificity. sheesh.


Anonymous said...

Maybe you could explain this since I don't add splenda (or real sugar) to my food, never have, but why splenda on bread and butter pickles? They are already sweet...

Lyn said...


regular bread & butter pickles are sweet because they are soaking in sugar. The splenda-sweetened ones contain splenda instead of sugar. No carbs. (They come in a jar like that; I don't add the splenda to them).

Broz said...

"Some days I really want something sweet and indulgent and a diet soda can fill that space. In all honesty I would rather have fresh fruit but until I add fruit back in, that is off the table."

Lyn...are you honestly saying that soda, the junk food, is superior to fruit for you right now?

Don't you see how messed up that thinking is? How can you reasonably get healthy if you honestly believe processed junk is better for you than a piece of fruit?

This is the dieting industry brainwashing us into eating and buying their junk when real food nourishes us so much better and keeps us slimmer too.

Lyn said...


nope. I am saying that adding in fruit right now would raise my carbs too high. Then I struggle with cravings and hunger. I am keeping my carbs to about 85g/day for weight loss right now.

In no way do I think a diet soda is "good for me." But neither is being overweight. It's a means to an end.

Anonymous said...

Ya know what? That did scare me a little. I was scared for you. I was scared for me. I recognize those thoughts. That... inescapability. I am so incredibly thrilled for you that you were able to get right back on plan. Incredibly thrilled. I wish we had a 12 hour ahead warning bell so we could gird ourselves and build up the bulwark... plug any stray holes.

I wonder. Any changes you want to make for next go round? No sense recounting it if you cannot make sense of things and tweak the method/plan for binge behavior.

Anonymous said...

I LOVED the comment about having the binge "brewing". I can feel the same thing in you and in me, like a pressure cooker building up. What I wonder is, if I can feel it building, can I sidestep it? If I give myself other rewards, maybe nice cuts of steak or fish, or new clothes?

Lyn said...


Yes. I was trying to mitigate the damages by thinking "well if I eat all my allowed meals in a 2 hour span, and then don't eat anything else, I am technically still on plan." I think in retrospect that was a little ridiculous, even if it did keep the calories down. I think if I am feeling the build-up to off plan eating, it might just be better to sit down and think about what, exactly, I'd like to eat. And eat that. Something reasonable though, not sugary stuff.

Anonymous said...

Lyn -
If you do go that route (sitting and thinking about what you want and then having that - I will be very interested in knowing how it went. I have been doing the "good food binge and eating part of my next meal" sort of binge. I am not sure it is the solution. Sometimes I have to yell out loud "Stop it RIGHT NOW!" and then go distract myself like I am some baby. I have a handful of things that I try, but I am always searching for alternatives.

Also, I was reading the other comments after I commented. I think a lot of your commenters have their heart in the right place, but everyone has their own path. I sometimes forget that too.


Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
me said...

Hello! I just happened onto your blog this evening while hunting for some recipes for the MF Southwest scrambled eggs and for the ML vanilla pudding.

I am thrilled to have found your blog. Thank you for your candid and honest look into the world of food addiction. I've learned that for me, that's what it is. Years ago, food became my "acceptable drug". Of course in the long run, it's done as much damage as any other drug of choice.

I want to send you BIG congrats for your weight loss and for the leaning process that you've committed yourself to, as well. Change is slow, which is is in this slow, daily process that new and healthy habits are born. You're obviously doing an excellent job!! I don't know you, you don't know me....but I'm SO proud of you!! :) :)

If you'll allow me to share this thought...

Years ago (over 25 to be exact), I read a small paperback book by Diane Hampton called "Scriptural Eating Habits". Since then, it's been republished and is in print by the name of "The Diet Alternative". I've never forgotten this book, even through the years when overeating was a daily occurrence. The basis for this book is that we turn to food for comfort, or out of anxiety, instead of seeking the Lord as our ultimate source of comfort.

I'm fully aware that some people reading this blog may be of differing faiths, so please allow me this post, or skip to the next. My words are not meant to offend. This is just my life...

Amazingly, I find this concept 100% truth. You mentioned feeling a binge brewing. I've been there many times. It's as if I'm driven to my source of Sometimes, I truly have no clue what is upsetting me, I just feel consumed with generalized tension. Other times, I've recognized that my most difficult times are those in which I'm tossed into situations or life events where I feel like I have no control. I feel caged and edgy.

For a Christian, that's almost laughable. We're supposed to 'know' that 'WE' are never in control. We're supposed to lean on the Lord during those times even more so...but I don' least not easily. Those are the times that I find myself kicking and scratching to "figure it alllll out, alllll by myself!" Oh, the energy that I drain from myself, and the "perfect storm" that begins to brew in my heart, mind and body is the byproduct.The good news is, that after 25 years (!!)of this book being stuck in my head, I'm beginning to understand what makes me tick! WHAT a slow learner!! Thank goodness the Lord is patient!!

I'm thankful that I found you all. If you'll allow me, I'd like to join in the fun and learning. I promise not to post to the length I've done today on a regular basis!

Take good care & good night!


p.s. Sorry for any typos!! I'm too tired to reproof! ;>)

Lyn said...

Thank you, Lillabeth, for the kind and thoughtful comment. Welcome :)

Lillabeth said...

Thank you, Lyn!! :)

Anonymous said...

Ok, makes much more sense about the pickles now. I thought you were literally adding splenda on top of the pickles. Ps-cutting the diet soda will tremendously help you with cravings and bloating, it really is 100% worth it to kick it. If you are reliant on diet pop, it says to me that you still are essentially reliant on sweet things. Basically sugar, without being "true" sugar. I think to find true control over your eating and lifestyle you have to cut the ties with needing that.

Karen said...

Hello Lyn,

In the past, I was recommended a book by a counselor (for non-diet related stuff) called Dieting: A Dry Drunk by Becky Lu Jackson.

I'd recommend it. I'm not so sure it's common enough to find it at Barnes and Nobel and read it there, but on page 73 - Know your relapse indicators- emotional relapse precedes physical really seems to fit.

Anyhoo, I'd recommend that book or at lease a cruise through the TOC might be worth it.

Best of luck and good for you for carrying on. With each trial and error you learn and go forward. That's part of the learning and life.

Good luck, keep looking for the root cause (trigger) of the binges and keep reading and learning.

The answer will come to you at some point. By keeping the faith, you keep the door open for the answer. You are worth it. We are all worth it.


Anonymous said...

It is SO not about the food. A binge eater can be as sick eating 100% vegetables and plain water as they can eating junk food. It's about the why and the how.

LHA said...

What an interesting string of comments. I love to see all the passionate debate and the caring behind the comments, even those that might contain words that could sound critical. We are all on this journey together and all of us are fighting our way toward better health. I truly believe that each person must find his/her own way, often trying things that don't work. Some things might work for one person and not another. I learned a lot from reading what everyone had to say, even though some of the advice and opinions are conflicting.

Lyn, I was struck with the emotional side of the eating and wondering what really triggered it. I often suffer from "holiday mentality" and want to overeat just because it is a holiday and I associate the time period with eating a lot. Do you think this was a factor? My children are also older now and as you mentioned in a previous post, at that age they do not interact and have as much fun on holidays with their family as they used to. Do you think this is part of what threw your eating off? I find that when things are changing in a way that I don't like and are beyond my control I sometimes turn to food for "comfort", which of course it really never brings me! I also find that if I am able to stay really strong and not overindulge during a holiday I sometimes overeat afterward out of feelings of deprivation. The mind works in the oddest ways......

Good luck and thanks for a wonderful blog. Thanks to all the commenters too for sharing their views.

JoJo said...

I quit diet sodas almost 2 years ago. It was very, very hard. I had a headache for more than a month and thought it was probably due to detox.

Not a day goes by that I don't miss Diet Dr. Pepper. However, quitting the diet pop did not cure my obsession with food, my binging and whatever other food problems I am having.

Lyn, I am in awe of your continued success despite bumps in the road. If diet soda is your crutch right be it. You don't owe anyone any explanation or excuses. Thanks for your honest blog. I can identify with almost all of your struggles and it helps to read how you handle crazy eating.

Anonymous said...

"It is SO not about the food." by anon

IMO, sometimes it is just about the food. Ya know like "sometimes a cigar is just a cigar"

Food is like no other addiction. You need to eat to live and it is pleasurable even for the non addict. Sometimes non addicts binge.

The person having the binge knows the character and substance.

Anonymous said...

I think if a person didn't have a big past issues with sugar/sweets, then diet soda wouldn't be much if an issue. However, when you struggle with that, i think the diet soda hurts more than helps. It vaguely mimicks the general taste of just what used to set you over the edge. Just my opinion.

Anonymous said...

Ps-jojo-you genuinely crave the taste of chemicals? That's just sad to me, and I mean that in a non offensive way. At least miss something with some substance, or some real chocolate in it. :) diet dr pepper tastes bitter/sickingly sweet/ to me....very unappealing...and I am not a very picky person.

Lyn said...


Yes, I think the holiday, the feeling alone, the "other people enjoying special foods," and some other stresses in my life all sort of built it up. And the anniversary of my mother's death, 10 years ago this week.

Thankfully I am feeling pretty steady today.

About the sodas. It isn't so much about the sweet, for me. It is about feeling like I am having a special treat, something I enjoy that is not "necessary", something extra, AND to me soda is very filling. I can get the same feeling having an iced coffee but I put half and half in it so it depends on how many calories I want to spend on that.

I do intend to go back to the "no soda" state when I add fruit back in.

MichelleinSanDiego said...

Medifast has saved my life and I am so thankful for it and people like you who talk about it and share recipes for healthy eating! Thanks!!

Lyn said...

oh... someone mentioned singles. BTW, Kraft 2% singles' main ingredient is milk. One slice has 4 grams of protein and is considered an acceptable protein source on Medifast, although not ideal due to the sodium content. It is not considered a fat as it only has 2.5 g fat/slice. One slice also has 20% of your RDA of calcium for the day, and only 45 calories. I know they are "processed" but so are most cheeses, and they are not full of chemicals, dyes, etc. I like them :)

Thomas S. Moore said...

I don't know but for some reason we can do great things it seems and then the brain is like ok enough do something different. For me its like if a see it I want it even if I am hungry. And there is no such thing as just a little piece or slice. I guess thats why I chose to stay away from my weaknesses.

I don't binge but I realize that sometimes once we give in a little it turns in to one big mess.

Waist Hips & Thighs

Anonymous said...

Can you try plain mineral (fizzy/sparkling) water instead of diet coke? A squeeze of lemon or lime adds a little flavour! That is what I reach for now instead of a diet coke- think I like the fizz factor and it may sound weird but I don't feel like I'm "missing out" on a diet coke when I have this! All it is is sparkly water so no calories!

All the very best to you xx

Catherine in Australia xx

Debbie said...

I have had those feelings and responded in a similar way. It is so frustrating, I know even as I tell myself, "I'll just have this last thing to eat, and then I'll be satisfied and done with it" that it is a flat out lie. I know that once I take the first bite, I'm in big trouble.

Bravo for getting back on plan and for acknowledging the behavior. Also, the decision not to weigh in, very wise. I pray that you are able to handle the stress of the next week and overcome any dangerous temptations that come at you.

Debby said...

Lyn I can so relate. Have you read part 5 of Kessler's book? I have read to there and plan to read some more tonight. I have also just stated Dr A's book. Sounds more like automatic eating and triggers which of course turn into a binge. *SIGH* this isn't easy. I do know after reading the how and why from The End of Overeating I am able to better cope and stick to eating my "spacefood" and L&G. Which are Dr recommended for a carb sensitive girl like me (called hypo/hyperglycemia) I am hypoglycemic. My father is hyperglycemic(adult onset diabetic) :)

Anonymous said...

I know many of you defend Medifast vehemently, but seriously, look at what a typical meal is, no wonder it isn't satisfying in any way. Your day consisted of several coffees/hot chocolates, a fake cake, cheese puffs? I know for myself none of that would even make me feel like I'd eaten, just had a bunch of junk food. If I tried to follow that plan I would be bingeing daily.


JK said...

There is an old article about diet sodas here the time it created a bit of a flurry as it was so non intuitive.

This is a fantastic blog as it shows what it really takes...effort. I suppose the thing to realise is that weight gain happens slowly and one day you look in a mirror and wonder what the heck happened...for me its those late night ice cream treats...the extra slice of pizza...the 2 potatoes not one...the 1/2 bag of chips...etc etc etc

Lyn said...

Anonymous (PaulaM)~

I know you mean well, and I thought the same thing when I considered doing Medifast. But the food is not junk. I am pretty sure that by midday I have had better nutrition than most people have. Do you get 55-60 grams of protein before you even have dinner? I always get over 100g protein/day, more than the RDA of fiber, about 20% of my calories from fat, and about 85g carbs. I was starving before. I was not getting enough protein before. Now, I have finally gotten my used-to-be-weekly binges under control. I am not haunted by food all the time anymore. I am satisfied, I feel good, and I even went and had a complete physical after a few months of Medifast including blood draws and a complete metabolic panel. I posted the dramatic results on my blog, how absolutely great all my numbers are, and how my doctor told me he is very pleased and hopes I continue Medifast. There is far more to Medifast than what it looks like on the surface.

Anonymous said...

Ah, that's good then, I've been away for a month, just catching up now. That's great about your test results.


Anonymous said...

You can eat well, get enough protein, and lose weight not on Medifast! By lunch I've typicallyhqdbhard boiled eggs and yogurt, no cheese puffs or hot cocoa! Just saying, it can be done eating whole foods! You can do it, you have done it, and I hope to see you doing it SOON because I think relearning those "normal" eating habits will help you soooo much with maintaining for life. From what I've learned in my experience of losing a lot of weight is that maintenance really ISN'T that different than losing, which is a harsh reality for many. You end up not really eating THAT differently, save for x greater amount of calories. Your weight loss "plan" tends to be the basis of your life it's really important to have your plan down pat. Just speaking from experience, because when I initially lost 50+ lbs I had NO idea how exactly to maintain, and it took a lot of trial and error to figure it out. At 6+ years now I've maintained and learned. :)

Erika said...

I understand what you mean about "not wanting to cut out one more thing". I lost 50 pounds on weight watchers over the last year and am at a healthy weight now. I would like to lose 7 more pounds to really feel my best. But even after eating real foods for a year and making exercise a priority, I've also been cutting back on spending because I just purchased a house, and I am also cutting back on alcohol intake. So I get it, cutting out your vices sucks big time.

I am tackling my diet soda addiction as well (because it is an addiction like anything else can be). I know that this, like every other unhealthy thing I cut out in my life, will be frustrating at first but is better for me in the long run.

I am certainly no nutritionist or dietician so I won't tell anyone what to eat or not, but as long as you get lots of veggies in I don't think you can go wrong :-).

Anonymous said...

I don't think it looked like the worst binge. At least it wasn't what you've binged on in the past, that's great!

I agree with everyone about how horrible soda (diet or otherwise) AND Medifast is for you. Here's an article to chew on about all that extra "fiber" in these highly processed foods:

One of the biggest problems I see with the use of the Medifast diet is directly related to what PaulaM said. Your days on plan consist of many kinds of junk, no matter how they have been formulated to be "complete meals"--pancakes, brownies, shakes, crisps and puffs, with a really healthy meal at the end. It seems to me that once you decide to wean yourself off of Medifast, you'll either replace those things with the REAL stuff, (and we all know it's unhealthy to eat junk all day long), or you will feel so deprived because you can't have them, that you'll binge. You'd be better off eating meals like your last meal of the day all day long! I'd hate to see your hard work go to waste. Good luck.

Lyn said...


that is a good article, but it is about cellulose (wood pulp). I just checked the labels and Medifast foods get their added fiber (in addition to the fiber in the veggies, small amounts of dried fruit/nuts, and oats) from added inulin (from chicory root, a plant) and oat fiber (very healthy).

I would never claim that eating a protein bar or shake is healthier than eating 'real food.' However this program WAS designed by cardiologists and is not meant to be a lifelong food plan... only a way to get weight off while getting decent nutrition. Also please refer back to the posts I have done explaining the Transition and maintenance program to move from Medifast to whole, healthy, real foods.

Anonymous said...

You are so good at writing. I'd love to read a book of yours some day. :)