Monday, August 29, 2011

The State of Things

A new dawn, today.

First, the state of things. I have often throughout my journey made a record of my physical state at various weights, so that I can look back and see what has changed. I think that is a helpful exercise and if you've never done it, give it a try! Put it on your blog, or, as I have, just create a text file or an email to yourself where you put the date, your weight, whether you are on any particular eating plan, and any physical symptoms you've noticed. For example, here's one of mine from 275 pounds:

constant headaches
daily heart palpitations
bad skin, face is always red, many pimples
cannot wear my contacts, red itchy eyes with clogged ducts
my teeth hurt (hot/cold sensitive)
bleeding gums
ache all over when I get up in the morning
knees crackle and grind when I sit
going up and down stairs is painful and difficult
cannot walk more than 1/2 block per day
severe joint pain
cannot sleep well
wake up choking on my reflux
eating lots of Tums for heartburn
waking up many times through the night
always tired
sore feet
very bad PMS
back hurts
pains between my shoulder blades
note: size 3X clothes, size 26 jeans are snug.

So, that was then... much of that is resolved. My mobility is a thousand times improved as I can run up and down stairs with no problems, walk 3-4 miles, and the reflux, skin problems, and many of the pains have resolved. In fact, until a month ago I'd say almost everything on that list was resolved. However, with the way I have been eating this last month, I am getting some new symptoms and some old ones have returned:

current weight: 205
more frequent headaches
waking up stiff with sore feet and hands (arthritis flare ups)
joint soreness
lack of concentration
a bit moodier, feeling down more often
my allergies are acting up a TON... constant runny nose
oilier skin

That's about it, I guess, but when you've felt pretty great (except for the fatigue I have fought on and off), this kind of symptom set feels like you're falling apart physically.

I have tried for weeks to implement some sort of "wing it" plan without any counting or logging. Something is triggering this stuff, and I think it's sugar and refined carbs. My cravings have been over the top, too, but I have been eating moderately (granted, not the healthiest choices, a lot of fat and carbs even if it is whole wheat, oatmeal, etc along with the occasional chips, piece of cake, or ice cream cone). I had one binge and it was when I convinced myself to buy a box of ice cream sandwiches "for the family"... a box of 12, but I think I ate 5 of them in one evening myself.

Obviously I am taking in too many calories and the wrong kinds of stuff.

I am tackling this now.

Drinking lots of water
Cutting sugar back OUT
Cutting junky foods back OUT (there is just not a way to lose weight and include these moderately, in my own experience)
Not buying anymore artificially sweetened stuff, but I will use what I have left here which is some Crystal Light and a few diet sodas
Cutting sodas back OUT completely, diet or not, as soon as the few I have here are gone
Going back to Medifast-style/low carb dinners, no grains included, just lean protein, veggies, and healthy fat
Not drinking milk anymore. In fact, stop drinking calories unless it is a breakfast smoothie type thing.
I also have a box of Medifast stuff just sitting here and am going to incorporate it into my eating. It's an easy way to bump up my protein and keep calories low without having to think about it.
I am logging my food again and trying to get numbers like I had before, with 80-100g/protein, under 100g carbs. I hate logging but I hate being fat and feeling like crap more.

I will tweak as necessary but have to get back to weighing and making sure what I am doing is NOT making the scale go UP!

There is much work to be done, but first I am going to cherish and embrace the meadow I am stepping into. I'll take time to breathe in the fresh fall air, brush my hands along the tops of the tall grasses, and lie down in the wildflowers to relax and watch the clouds roll by. The rest and quiet is welcome and the sunshine warms my face. I will care for myself, I will experience life in great detail, I will breathe, and I will get up refreshed to start building a homestead in this meadow. Here we go.


Anonymous said...

Did I read that right - you are 205 NOW??
Great idea!

Dawn said...

I suffered many of those complaints at my biggest (UK size 28) sore feet, sore ankles, red face, unable to walk far, so so SO unhappy.
I credit a lot of my previous binge eating and sugar craving on diet soda. Artificial Sugar gives the body the chemical message sugar is coming and when it doesn't, the body craves the sugar it thought it wanted.We binge. The body is full of insulin from the previous expectation and the binge food quickly gets stored as fat. I haven't touched diet soda or artificial sweeteners since I started this diet and I AM NEVER TOUCHING THEM AGAIN.

Good for accountability, its got to be done hasn't it. However we do it in our own ways, it has to be done. Eating the wrong things just leads to the wrong results

Go for it, you can do this.

liz said...

Good job Lyn! I predict you will be back to your low weight by Christmas :)

Anonymous said...

I've said it before, but it bears repeating: You are a brave woman! You didn't have to state yor weight, but you did.

I took the month off, too. thinking that I could just maintain without counting, measureing. (I was just so burnt out on the diet thing and an ongoing family heartache just did me in.)

On Aug 1st, I weighed 182. This morning--201! 18 pound gain in less than a month. :o

Obviously, that didn't go well. :{

I'm back in the saddle this morning, myself.

We'll get this done, girlfriend, we will.

"KT" said...

I truly think that writing down your physical/mental symptoms at different weights is one of the coolest things I've ever heard for the journey. I never specifically thought to do that, but I have noticed how much different I feel mentally, and that's with a ways to go still. Comparing that would mean as much as looking at pictures as far as realizing how far you've come, I think!

Andra said...

Your symptoms look like you could have a wheat allergy (like me, wheat causes terrible cold/flu like symptoms, especially if I'm wheat free for any length of time and then cave and eat a quarter of a naan bread with my homemade curry, for example.)

A wheat allergy is NOT Celiac, nor is it related to gluten sensitivity. The symptoms include but are not limited to:

Bloated stomach
Chest pains
Depression or mood swings
Feeling dizzy or faint
Joint and muscle aches and pains
Nausea or vomiting
Skin rashes
Suspected irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)/similar effects
Swollen throat or tongue
Tiredness and lethargy
Unexplained cough
Unexplained runny nose
Watery or itchy eyes

I found out through an strict elimination plan and the wheat (in any shape for form) and processed sugar to a lesser degree, is the root of all problems for me. It is good to know and I feel great off wheat (for the most part because one doesn't care to avoid birthday cake forever.)

Lori said...

You can do this. You've tackled tougher monsters. You've taken the first step which is the hardest. You have a plan, now all you have to do is work the plan. You CAN do it!

Elaine said...

Good for you. I've been reading your blog for a couple of months now, and your courage, determination, and analytic skills are so admirable!

I have to put a plug in for drinking soymilk. Just switching to soy from regular milk helped me have fewer headaches, less painful PMS, and better digestion.

Jenna said...

wow, I'm sorry that you gained 30lbs from your low weight, that must seem like a big setback, but i'm sure you'll be on your way down i no time!

lisa~sunshine said...

I agree with others.. you didn't have to show your weight but you did.. you always keep it real and I'm so happy your back to tracking and reconizing what is going on.. I know you will hit your goal and achieve all you want because you always jump back on..

Something to consider.. I don't know much about medifast but it seems to me that allowing yourself to eat the junky food items.. like brownies, cheese puffs, pretzels, bites and soft serve.. would contribute to thinking you can eat those items.. to diet and for a lifestyle.. dont' get me wrong.. I think it's okay to enjoy those things but maybe it would be better to try to MAKE these items using normal ingredients.. For example.. I'm not doing Jamie Eason's 12 week livefit but I will say her pumpkin protein bars are awesome.. they are very low in sugars but even my kids eat them.. Just a thought..

I'm happy to see you back and I"ll be ready to cheer you on..

Anonymous said...

Also VERY useful is writing down a similar WEIGHT GAIN log. Example:

June 13-Aug 4th Weight gained: 26 lbs
Things going on in life: Husband lost job and finances are tight.
Eating plan: Comfort foods, lots of pasta, mashed potatoes, eating meals with the family and having second portions (every meal). Eating desserts every night.
Binges during time period: 2-3 times per week: total 15
Times I weighed myself during this time period: 3X

The gains are as important to document IMO as the losses. It's hard to see when you are in a spiral gain (some of us can gain 30-40lbs FAST), that that is what is happening. It's very easy for me to kid myself about what is going on and documenting them can help you recognize what's happening next time... because for most of us, this is a lifetime of fighting and family drama/stress WILL happen.

Princess Dieter said...

ABOUT EFFING TIME!!!! I've watched with a pain in my heart watching you let the crap and /sugar/carbs that affect you BADLY, and YOU KNOW affect you badly, YOU KNOW, back in. I kept going, "Why is she in denial? Why is she letting that shit in that makes her sick. MAKES HER HAVE CRAVINGS AND GET SICK???"""

I am so relieved you're focusing on protein/veggies/fruit/healthy fat. There is no going wrong there. You will get micronutrients. You will eventually calm the appetite beast that sugar/refined carbs/starches set off. For now, if I were you, I'd even watch the tubers/starchy veggies, and for at least a couple weeks, stick to non-starchy to calm the appetite. Then let the tubers back in gradually, as tolerated.

You can do this. You will feel better. You'll drop the weight again. The joints will ease up. The skin will calm down. YOU WILL REVIVE.

Totally happy to see you back on it.

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

I didn't even realize how much worse I felt at my heaviest weight until I read back through daily journal. It was constant gripe-fest, one ailment after another. I would creak and groan every morning when I got out of bed and simply chalked it up to getting older; turns out that it was (almost) all due to too much weight. Being fit and lighter doesn't make all of the world's problems go away, but it's surprising how many of them go bye-bye with the pounds.

Anonymous said...


Setbacks are mandatory when life includes change, and you've experienced some setbacks so you must be changing! I love your honesty and that's why you have so many people interested in your blog. Obviously.

However, I do notice some key issues that I think are important. First, I'm concerned that your feelings of occasional and moderate are skewed by your long-term binge eating. I'm not heavy but I do watch my weight (without the scale!) and exercise. (I'm 125 lbs and 5 foot 7 inches tall.) Moderate, to me, is once every 1-2 weeks. Occasional, to me, is every 3-5 months. If I have cake, it's because of a serious craving, and I only eat half. Please, Lyn, don't eat cake for every birthday occasion, or you'll make more friends to eat more cake, "occasionally." A birthday is an occasion. Right? I politely say, "I'd love to have some cake but I'm watching my sugar intake. Is there coffee brewing?" Most people will understand. Trust me.

You are the strong one! GO Lyn!


beerab said...

*hugs* Nip it in the bud girl!

When my weight started climbing back up (and got back to 208) my dandruff came back (among other things) and only till I started going back down did the symptoms end.

I know you can do this :)

Lyn said...


Yep, sadly. But not for long :)

Thanks guys for the very helpful and thought provoking comments! You always give me new ways to look at things. The weight gain log is a good idea. I am doing well so far... just ate some hard boiled eggs.

Marilyn said...

Thanks for this update, Lyn - I can empathize completely! My husband and I just completed a 3-day "load" for our next round of hHCG shedding and we both revisited MOST of our aches-&-pains from the sugar and starches we consumed... in THREE DAYS!! Our toes got numb! We got painful zits! We got constipated! We felt bloated and had sleepless nights, indigestion, creaky knees, painful varicose veins, dizziness upon standing, back pains, trouble bending over... practically ALL the stuff that had hurt and bothered us before we'd each dropped 80+ pounds! Mark even had nightmares that someone had been poisoning him!! (guess who???)

The good news is that in 36 hours of getting back "on the wagon", we already feel SO much better! Cutting out sugar and starch and drinking TONS of water is SO helpful! You can do this, Lyn, and I know you will! Your plan sounds like a great one to me, and I agree with Liz - you'll be back to your low weight and maybe even lower by Christmas!! :-)

timothy said...

glad you're tracking this sweetie. as for the allergies and arthritus while losing weight will ease the stress on the joints you may actually need to take something for those. if you have an herbalist in your area it would be worth the cost to get a consult. you can drink teas or make your own capsules of herbal/organic meds to treat those specific ills. good luck sweetie sending healing energy your way. xoxoxoxoxoxo

Deniz said...

A new dawn? Good for you. Way to go, Lyn!
You've got the mindset back and I just KNOW you'll be losing those gained lbs very soon. As that happens, I hope you'll feel fitter and healthier and happier with it.
Hugs, and nil desperandum!

Diana said...

Lyn, as usual, we always seem to be either a step behind or a step ahead of each other. 5 weeks ago I was 199.8 (today 182.4).

It was rather horrifying to see that 199.8 number since it was up from my low of 152 about a year and a half ago. I know that sinking feeling of gaining weight you recently lost. It hurts mentally probably more than physically.

I hate tracking my food. I hate weighing and measuring my food. I hate the constant babble going on in my head: Should I eat that? How much does it weigh? How many calories? Do I have enough calories left? Is it time to eat yet? Am I going to make my 1,000 calories deficit today so I will lose 2 pounds this week? It never stops.

On the other hand, I really hate being fat more.

So I've decided this is my lot in life. There are many things a lot worse. Being born to a poor family in a third world country with no opportunities in life and struggling to get anything to eat each day, always comes to mind as something much worse than the hand I've been dealt. I have an abundance of food and have to control my gluttony. Poor me, right?

So if you look at the big picture, tracking your food, every bite, really isn't so bad. :)

I agree with you 100% on the sugar and refined carbs. They're like crack for me and I had to give them up completely. Not even one cookie because it will lead to a bag of cookies, and then that's just the start of out of control eating.

I know you, and now that your head is back in the game, you'll drop this weight quickly. You always do.

It would be really cool if we both got to goal at the same time. That would make me very happy. :)

Anonymous said...

also: some of your past posts from recently really got me thinking. when someone that has a past/present of major issues with food/emotional eating/etc, and then starts REALLY boo-hooing about how they need a BREAK from structure, it really sets off alarms in my head. because i've done the same thing. i have a very structured eating plan, i tend to eat pretty much the exact same things from breakfast and lunch for months, sometimes years at a time, with only a little variation. i find what works for me and stick with it. dinner is a little bit more variation, but not much. i've found what works for me, and i've managed to stay slim&healthy for many years now. when i start feeling really down about how it is so unfair that i have to eat so structured, that i can't enjoy little cupcakes and sweet treats here and there like the other people i see...that i want to be able to have pizza, salty snacks, i want to be like them. that's when i have big problems. yes, it is unfair to an extent. but i guess really it's all about what you want. look at the people that get that "luxury" of eating whatever they want, when they want...the great majority of them are overweight and unhappy with themselves. i don't think a drug addict can take a "break" from not doing drugs, so why should it be any different for us? of course i'm not saying never have a piece of cake (or more than just a piece, haha). What i'm saying is those full-fledged "breaks", of stopping what we KNOW WORKS FOR US...that is self-destructive and a warning sign that we really need to STOP and think about the consequences. for me, any sort of little break will end it weight gain. and a lot of ground lost, a lot of extra exercising and having to be extra careful with eating. it is DOUBLE strictness, which really isn't fun. i'm comfortable in my normal, day-to-day ways. i have to think about that, and i think you do too. i think you have also realized it. significant weight gain is not worth it, emotionally or physically, just because you don't feel like doing the work anymore. if we were "normal" people with no past issues, than maybe some sort of delay would be ok. but we have way too much baggage and past issues to just hop off the train like it's not big deal., whether we feel burnt out on it all or not. this has been my life for many, many years now-always watching what i eat, etc, but i know it's what i need to feel confident and keep my weight down. do i get burnt out and annoyed with it all? yes, of course, especially around the holidays when my job is full of sweets and chocolates to the brim, and i see people eating them nonstop. but i've been chubby in the past, i remember what i felt like, it's not worth it to go back there. i also know that i GAIN WEIGHT EASILY, ever since puberty. some people do, some people don't. it's just life, if you know this about yourself, you can't ignore it and pretend you're like other people. whew, this got long winded, but i really had to get that all out. :) hope it helps at least a bit to know you aren't the only one out there who has those types of feelings. i deal with them all the time, but it's about knowing who you are sticking to what you KNOW will make you happy.

Flabby McGee said...

Wow, looking at your list from 275 pounds...I feel like that's me. I think I get to the point where all the issues and pain feels like a "normal" part of life. Then I looked at your 205 list...and remembered what that felt like. I miss it. There's such an obvious contrast...thanks for helping me see it. I'd forgotten.

Anonymous said...

Lyn, I meant your "after" pics on the side? You look great. I can't see that as being I wrong??

Lyn said...


oh, I see what you're looking at. No, actually those are my 100 pounds gone pics (178) which are labeled in all the progress pics but I see not labeled there. Guess I better get myself back to 178 for accuracy's sake! :)