Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Just Some Rambling Thoughts

Hmmm. I was thinking today. I haven't been on the scale in weeks. My pants still fit but just today felt a little tighter. They are jeans with no stretch to them so they let me know what's going on. I have a feeling I am not exactly 189 pounds anymore.

Anyway, I have so much stuff going on the rest of this week that I barely have time to think. I have been busy all day, and made the mistake of giving my daughter half a gummy worm for a special treat after dinner. She is not accustomed to sugar, and thus was still awake and popping out of bed at 9:15pm (with a 7:45 bedtime). It's past 10 now and I am trying to motivate myself to get up and move furniture and toys and such since I have carpet cleaning people coming at 8am. I'll be up and vacuuming at 7. Not my idea of a fun morning, but hey, I did get a puppy this year and the carpet cleaning is essential. It'll be nice to have fresh clean carpet. I'll have to be gone with the dog for about 4 hours while the carpet dries, though. And then, do I bring back my muddy puppy into the fresh carpet? Probably not. Will need to set up the hose and puppy shampoo in the backyard with some towels (now THAT will be FUN!). I also have volunteering and the usual other stuff. By Saturday I will be so ready for a day to kick back and be home with the kiddos!

Here's something interesting. When I am eating according to some plan, and I *want* some particular food that would not fit my plan that day, that food turns into the most appealing, magical, desirable food ever. I wish and wish for it. And I get a running list in my head of ten or fifteen foods I would really love to eat. I want them and think about how wonderful it would be to eat those things or to eat anything I felt like eating. It seems like it would be the most amazing experience, to be free to eat anything in any amount. I imagine each food to be so delicious, so inviting. There are so many foods I'd like to eat that I imagine how hard it would be to decide which ones to have even if I took an entire week off plan. And then, at whatever point I either *decide* to have that one amazing food, or go completely off plan and eat whatever I want, suddenly it is not so appealing. I eat that ice cream I was dreaming of, or whatever it was, and it is just okay. And then maybe I tell myself I can have anything I want and I will "start over tomorrow" or Monday or whenever. And suddenly, I can't think of anything I really want. Nothing. I have even gone into grocery stores with "permission" from myself to buy junk, and then end up wandering the aisles frustrated because I don't really want anything, and I leave, and go home and eat a chicken breast.

I know it IS the restriction itself... the thought that I can never have xyz again... that makes those off limit foods so desirable. I know that when I let that go and just allow myself to eat whatever, whenever, I no longer really give a darn what I eat. I am just as fine with a chicken breast as a piece of cake. So you might think this is *the answer* to eliminating those cravings. But it isn't. Not for ME. You know why? Because without a plan, without *some kind* of restriction even if it is calorie counting or portion size, I eat way, way too much. I put things in my mouth in the search for fulfillment. I go ahead and eat a peanut butter sandwich because nothing else is terribly appealing, and then when that doesn't satisfy I eat a burger, and then some cheese, then some banana bread. And I am sort of *meh* about all of it. Oh, I do get in a tizzy for a certain food sometimes, but once I get it, *meh*. Without a plan, I overeat, I eat things that are not good for me, I gain weight, I feel like crap. With a plan, I want things that are off plan. If no food is off plan, I want to eat quantities of it that are not conducive to health. And once I get started on certain foods like cake and ice cream, it is very, very difficult for me to stop at all.

So far the only time this cycle has been broken is while on Medifast. Eating that way the cravings and food obsession and desires all go away almost completely. I've written about it before. I am pretty sure it has to do with blood sugar levels being very stable and having most of the guesswork taken out of my eating. I have been doing a 'partial' Medifast plan lately, trying to sort of put my own spin on it and do it my way, but I've come to the conclusion that the doctors who made the plan know better than I do. I am now giving it my all, back to the plan as written because I am tired of the brain battle over food, and I really prefer the peace that comes with eating that particular way.

I guess I better get back on the scale soon.

*FTC-required disclosure: Medifast provided me with its products for my personal use for free. I am not paid or compensated in any other way for mentioning their products. Medifast states an "average weight loss of up to 2 to 5 pounds a week."*


Anonymous said...

I agree with the issues in your post, but the answers seem simpler. It's not about restricting completely or allowing yourself to eat ad libitum, but how much of the junk. On a restrictive diet, i can get as much pleasure out of a tiny square of cheesecake as I would otherwise out of an entire piece. If I get the balance right, I can do this most weeks, that I eat all the good-for-me stuff first and then eat the fun food as dessert or be “on plan” for 20 meals and have one splurge meal. And yeah, the chicken breast can still be all I want for dinner, without the dessert; I've even craved a salad. I don't know if you follow any of the “official” weight loss gurus; Lyle McDonald is the one that I respect as being up to date on scientific findings. His thesis revolves around carb re-loads to reset leptin; he says that at higher weights these are not as important as at lower weights. I don't want to give away all the material in his books, but if you get his book on how to do a protein-sparing modified fast, or his guide to flexible dieting, you might see why Medifast is getting more difficult to stick to and what to do about it.

Diandra said...

I was that way with Snickers bars - the combination of peanuts, caramel and chocolate was perfect, and I hadn't allowed myself any in months. And then two weeks ago I bought one and ate it - and it was way too sweet. For the moment I am cured of my obsession.

You could try making your own food/meal plan - allow yourself to eat X meals per day in intervals of Y hours, and then have one reasonable serving of whatever you want, as long as you include a certain amount of fruit, vegetables and proteins per day. Adding the "usual" health stuff that would probably mean: A reasonable breakfast, a snack, some lunch, one or two more snacks and a "lean and green" dinner.

downsizers said...

We have to know our limitations and it sounds like you do. If you know you can't be moderate it's better not to start. It helps me to remember that the stomach cannot taste. After that food has been eaten I sit there and think that it wasn't worth it. I know people will advise you to work it in to your plan or allow yourself a little but in your heart you know what happens from past experience so why do we put ourselves through it again? It's only food - we give it too much credit don't you think?

Maren said...

I know what you mean by restrictions.. And I'm trying to combat that with thinking that "not today". It's not like I'll stay away from unhealthy foods or sweets FOREVER, but *today* I choose not to eat them.

lisa~sunshine said...

I'm going to type what I think again.. but please don't take offense to it...

I lost a lot of weight using what anonymous said.. Lyle McDonald had a lot of good information and it worked for me.. now i"m modifiying that and still working towards my goals..

I do think that the medifast keeps your blood sugar stable like you say.. but what medifast does is it allows you to have the junkier food options.. like the 100 calorie snack packs.. like cheese puffs and stuff like that.. and I wonder if allowing yourself those snacky type items is what you need.. if it's a mental part to it.. because I get that you want to have a life around whole healthy foods when in maintenance but then when your not on medifast.. you end up going towards those snacky items.. so in a way.. medifast lets you have those.. and if you figured out a way to incorporate them into your plan.. instead of flopping the other way to all HEALTH foods.. maybe that would help.. maybe finding replacements of the medifast foods in the grocery store.. or doing all whole foods but allowing two snacks per day of the medifast foods?

Of coarse I've never been on medifast.. but I did start my journey using WW and those 100 calorie snacks really got me.. I had to find a way to really change my eating patterns and when I had my blood sugar stable.. I didn't crave things..
Just a idea..

Kristi said...

I too have been on medifast and was ready for a change. I have had a very hard time finding that but didn't want to stick to the same foods. I am vegetarian so I was even more limited with my 1 meal of the day and after 8 months, eggs and tofu were getting a bit boring. In the end I looked at Eat to Live by Dr. Fuhrman. He has a website and support (but you do have to pay) but he is way natural and it completely works. You focus on the veggies and fruits (which I sorely missed on medifast) and eat beans of all sorts for the protein (something that I am completely drawn to because I do enjoy those combinations). I get to be as whole and organic as I want to be and still am doing well with my blood surgar spikes. I can also eat as much or as little as I feel I want (I mean how many cucumbers, carrots and strawberries can you eat in one sitting). I have found that I enjoy the change from medifast at least for a while, maybe forever depending on how it works for me, because I get to bring back the variety back into my food that I enjoy and miss and still feel good in the morning when I get up. You can give it a look at drfuhruman.com.

Good Luck,

Jesse said...

I read a really thought provoking and compassionate thing about bingeing today and was reminded of you, thought you might like to see it (if you don't already follow Sui's work)...

Lyn said...

I will definitely check out Lyle McDonald, Dr Fuhrman, and Sui... thanks guys.


you have some good points there. I have heard plenty of folks who are on Medifast say they worry about all the "junk food" options like puffs, bars, ice cream, brownies and how we can go back to a whole foods diet if we get used to eating this stuff. And some people do eat 2 Medifast foods per day even in maintenance. I have thought about that myself, and
I like how easy it is to eat on Medifast (tastes pretty good and is stuff I like and am used to) but then I would be better off maybe making something like a whole grain/zucchini brownie in maintenance. Not sure. And I have seen some people use grocery store options instead of Medifast meals too. Sometimes I sub nonfat Greek yogurt for a Medifast meal and that works pretty well. Thanks for your thoughts, it is a lot to figure out. Sometimes I think I am just making it more complicated than it has to be! I am an overthinker!

Lyn said...


I really miss beans and legumes more than any other food on a low carb diet. I will probably base a lot of my meals around those when I start adding them back to my intake.

Lisa said...

Lyn - the thoughts you described go on with 97% of the dieting population so I hope you are not beating yourself up for it etc. We ALL fight those fights everyday and most of us lose more times than not. Hang in there and keep pushing forward!

Andra said...

Everyone who reads this blog NEEDS to get their hands on the Mood Cure and the Diet Cure by Julia Ross. The amino acids protocol has changed my life and the way I think about food and my behavior with food.

The cravings are gone, the anxiety and depression is gone, and while I still take pleasure in watching Cooking Channel and reading recipes, the obsession and NEED TO EAT IT ALL is gone.

When the brain chemicals are in balance, life is a cake walk without needing cake! I feel calm, satisfied and happy with feeding my body nutrition. It has broken my wine, coffee, sugar, wheat and chocolate habit in one fell swoop.

Lori said...

Me too!

Bonnie said...

Just a thought, might food be an allegory for something else? Do you feel restricted from doing something else (other than eat) that you want to do in life? And the Medifast is just a symbol of accepting the restrictions on doing what you really want to do in life?

Lyn said...


absolutely! You're very insightful. I do firmly believe that the whole eating disorder/food issues is tied to two specific, difficult circumstances in my life that I've been dealing with. I haven't blogged about them, but I am working very hard on tackling these tough emotional issues. Yes, I definitely feel restricted from certain things (not eating related), and I think that plays mentally into my eating way more than I'd like to believe.

Dinahsoar said...

There will be days when you crave junk and there will be days when you crave healthier foods.

No food should be off limits.

What must always be limited is the daily total intake--i.e. what you intake foodwise for the day.

If the total for the day is all cake, so be it. Or maybe it is a bunch of different foods that you were craving. Fine. Just as long as you limit the total amount for the day.

That is the trick/key to having your cake and eating it too.

Naturally thin people do this naturally.

The rest of us have to learn this and put it into practice.

Anonymous said...

I really have to question whether a whole grain brownie made with zucchini is a good idea even in after you've lost the weight. I suspect you won't know if that spikes you until you buy a blood glucose meter and test it. My guess is the spike is too much to be preferable to the medifast brownie. I would guess after losing the weight, you would do best with some of the low-carb communities deserts and "breads". Flax seed meal "bread" allows me to eat a sandwich with minimal change in blood sugar. As much as you enjoy baking, I think you would do well to investigate some of those options. :) (A great recipe for the "bread" can be found at http://lowcarbdiets.about.com/od/breads/r/flaxbasicfoc.htm )

You MUST make sure you are using FRESH flaxseal or the bread will taste "off".