Saturday, November 12, 2011

When Food Interferes with Life

I'm doing it. I'm fighting that sugar battle again, hopefully for the last time.

I totally understand now why people quit blogging. It is a bit embarrassing and frustrating to be fighting the same battle over and over, making public one's struggle with such a seemingly simple issue. It makes us vulnerable. It feels a little ridiculous to be posting again and again about the same battle with something as silly as a candy bar. But I am convinced it is more common than we think. I know others have the same fight. I know it is easier to just give up. But I am not giving up, I am not going to hide just because someone else might think my battle is silly or that I am weak. I am being strong and not giving up for myself and my children. And I know within a few weeks this *big* issue will shrink back down to its true size. It is a tiny thing in the grand scheme of life but is magnified right now. That's because food, addiction, and obsession can get in the way of life.

That's what happens with an alcoholic, or a gambler, or a sex addict, or an Internet addict. Maybe all those things are fine in moderation for most people. A glass of wine, a lottery ticket or night with the slot machines, a sexual experience, some time online or a slice of cheesecake can be a fun, healthy part of life for many people. But for others, *any* of those things can become addictive. And when any of those things begin to interfere with *life,* you know it is a problem. When the gambling or the drinking or the eating starts eclipsing the important things in your life, it is time to stop. If your spouse or children or job or health is suffering... if the housework remains undone or the finances are going south or you are not finding joy in everyday activities anymore because of the growing time spent on those things, that is when you can be sure it is a bigger problem and you have got to do something to break the addiction.

Today I have had two cups of coffee with sugar free creamer, Medifast pancakes, a Medifast shake, and Medifast chili with a half cup of tomatoes added. I will have two more Medifast meals and for dinner will have either taco salad or taco soup, depending on my mood (using the lean taco meat the kids are having in their tacos). I have a migraine with nausea and am taking Excedrin and just trying to get through the pain today of sugar withdrawal. I feel so much better when my blood sugar is stable, when I eat every 2-3 hours, low carb, high protein. I know if I stick this out I will feel so much better in a few days.

24 comments:

Lou Ann said...

Oh Lyn,

Thank you for your honesty and please know that you are NOT alone in this. I struggle daily to make the better choices for myself and it is hard. The "addiction" is real with food and I definetly see it when I neglect things and people because of it. Thanks for you enlightening words....I read your blog daily and appreciate the "realness" of it. We are all human. I am rooting for you and know you are coming out on top!

Lou Ann

Michelle said...

I know I have really started slacking at blogging. I feel like I am running out of things to say. I also feel like no one is reading it:( You have a pretty structured diet that is awesome.

Princess Dieter said...

Your willingness to show us the hard side of things, not just the easy side, is one reason I've read your blog religiously since 2007. You don't sugar-coat how hard this fatfighting is/can be/continues to be, which I agree, mirrors many, if not most hourneys. Forward and back, foreward and back. Not everyone gets it right and keeps going. It's a struggle.

May you really kick this sugar habit to the ground forever starting today.

God bless, babe.

Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree more with Princess Dieter -- I read your blog because you are HONEST. You explain what is going through your mind in good times and bad. You give me insight and compassion for a dear friend who is morbidly obese and seems to be stuck there. I don't know what she is going through and she doesn't tell me, but in reading your blog, I've gained a lot of understanding and am able to love her with a more open heart.

I have to believe that your story is representative of way more dieters than the 'successful' stories (continuous gradual loss until goal weight). Other people just aren't willing to lay it all out there the way you do. Thank you for persevering and for sharing it all on your blog.

Kim said...

You can do it Lyn! I know it! You are not alone I struggle, I fall and like a fighter I get back up. It feels like déjà vu, sadly that is what a diet is a long song that keeps starting from the beginning.
Please keep blogging; you are an inspiration to many.

Becca said...

It is so NOT silly to blog about the same battles over and over again. It is definitely more common than we think, and the more I share my struggle with it, the more people tell me how they have the same issue. And you are not alone. Thank you for sharing the constant struggle, and the cycle. I'm not convinced the war ever ends with this. I know a lot of folks say they have beat it, but I know they are only one slip up from being back in a battle with it. One day at a time Lyn. (PS...dinner sounds good!)

Anonymous said...

Hi Lyn,

I feel like the majority of people who've 'successfully' made it to maintenance mode spent a LOOOOOONG time figuring out how to get there. I really think you're right - most stories begin with the start of a 'successful' strategy, once they'd already figured out what will NOT work for them. I'm somebody who has had a recent streak of gradual weight loss without (much) struggle. BUT...I have been dieting and struggling and yo-yo-ing for 15+ years prior to this, and most things you write about in your blog are things I can absolutely relate to because I've been there, too. Don't know yet if my recent good streak will hold in the long term, but it *feels* different this time because I'm not struggling emotionally or mentally with my daily choices, and my current strategy doesn't *feel* extreme. I feel like the keys for me were figuring out how to plan my meals & snacks with high fiber in mind (though I imagine that everyone needs to figure out their own way.) Even though I credit the fiber for my recent progress, there are also about 8 million other things that needed to fall into place in my life in order for me to be at a point where I was emotionally, financially, and physically secure (enough) to take on this challenge.

Anyway, I feel like there is NO WAY that you should minimize or apologize or feel embarrassed by your struggles - they are very real and intense and relatable. And most people are working at this throughout their lives - I'm sure I will be focused on living the best way I can for the duration. Anybody who says it's easy is probably selling something. I mean, if weight loss were easy, we'd be a country full of sprightly, bright-eyed, model-sized beings without a weight-related health problem in sight!

One of the themes of my favorite tv show is that humans are beautiful because they keep on fighting for what they believe in, and sometimes a fight is harder when it's every day, but they keep showing up and giving what they can, sometimes all that they can.

Keep it up, Lyn! Keep trying and keep blogging. If there's any positive message to take from those who say it's 'easy', perhaps it is that, once you find your way that works for you (or the combination of methods that helps you live your healthiest life), it will feel a little easier than what you're going through now...

Anonymous said...

I think you personally make it maybe a bit more hard/possibly embarrassing by kind Of saying/hinting that you are having little to no problems, you are sooo done with sugar etc, etc etc. & then a few days or so later you post about binging and how hard it all rely has been. Maybe you don't do it as much anymore, but it seemed like for awhile you were "sugarcoating" things. Just be honest when you are struggling and admit that this is all hard...like I said, I think you are more open about this now. It's when you start to sound almost overly confident, saying food is completely boring to you, that makes me kind of feel like you are trying to deny a part of you. I don't know if that makes sense, but just my thoughts. Food addicts and such don't overcome their whole way of thinking easily, you know that, but I think you are making goOd progress. Keep it up and stay honest.

Lyn said...

Anonymous~

That isn't sugar coating; it's my experience. When I am off sugar/eating low carb for a few weeks it *does* get very easy. I have had weeks, even months, where I had zero cravings and nearly no struggle. That, to me, is the amazing part of this way of eating. A stable blood sugar AND staying away from junk makes things so, so much easier. Food WAS boring to me, I didn't even want to eat at one point. It was irritating at the time but I would gladly take that feeling back now.

lisa~sunshine said...

I think your doing a great job.. I don't even have a public blog although I have considered it.. I'm along with the other poster of if anyone will read it anyways.. it's hard to lay it all out there like you do.. i've really given more thought to it that last few days though.. I've been members at different forums and not all my stuff from the last 2+ years of dieting is in one place.. it would be nice to have my journey somewhere.. I may summarize it and begin.. not sure yet..

I've yo-yoed between different dieting plans.. no one plan has worked for me to do the 80+ pounds of weightloss.. Don't feel bad or embarrassed about your journey and path.. it's what makes you.. you and it's why I keep coming back to read..

Kaylen said...

You are amazing just for being so honest with yourself in a public forum. I hardly ever discuss my weight issues on my blog, it's just too depressing when I fail...which I seem to be really good at. Someday I hope to be really good at losing weight, but right now, I'm just not. And though I currently am on a really good exercise plan and eating fairly healthy - I'm not losing a ton. I slipped and have had soda at least every other day. I had chocolate at work. I ate pizza when I could have had salad ----and I can't imagine blogging about that stuff. It's just so personal and hard to admit to myself, much less everyone.
So...you are WINNING just for owning it. And you will do better. You know how and you have a success story that is awesome. Keep up the great work and don't feel bad for slipping up here and there.

othentiq said...

I think that all those who have stopped blogging are quitters! Life, in general, is never easy. We do go through ups and downs and life doesn't have to stop because we've fallen. I, for one, refuse to quit. Every little struggle i'm going through in my weight loss journey, i'm going to blog about it. It's only human to fail sometimes but you still have to get back up else you will live a life full of disappointments, with no-one else to blame but yourself. Keep blogging, i'll be here to support you!

http://othentiq-waterfast.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

In response, I guess what I'm saying is that it obviously is NOT easy to get to that point or stay there. If it was, well, one would never deviate back into old habits, foods...sugar? It's kind of a teeter totter because I do get what you're saying..,bit then I guess what the true question is (you don't have to answer) if it was so easy and you felt so great, no food obsessing, etc...then why didn't it stick? I know the answer isn't one simple thing, but something to think about. There's a difference between slipping up sometimes as opposed to full blown weight gain and not sticking to plan...just be careful. You're at a pretty monumental point in your weight loss, you've lost a lot but still have a ways to go. When you've fully lost this 20ish(?) pounds of regain, please don't let it happen again. :/ I, along with everyone else, really want you to succeed at this.

Anonymous said...

I went low carb a few months ago. The first 3 weeks were hell. I went into a serious depression for about 3 days at the 2 week mark. Then, around week 4, I felt better than I ever had (as a sidenote I was extremely "healthy" before - lots of fruit and veg, lean meat, 1- 2 hours of exercise a day BUT carbs). I now have this amazing ability to concentrate, no cravings (if I do have a craving I have something fatty - rather go over on the calories than over on the carbs). You just have to get past those first few weeks. I now don't touch sugar/carby stuff because I just don't want to backslide (I will have something carby/fruity if I have done intense exercise lasting longer than an hour).

Keep going Lyn - you can get to that magical place again!!! The fight won't go on forever, just a few weeks.

Kristi said...

Thanks for telling the truth! Fighting the sugar battle may be lifelong. But what's the alternative? We can win this!

Diandra said...

Your honesty is so very impressive, and your persistant posting and sticking around. If sugar is your Nemesis, and if blogging helps you, there is nothing weak or ridiculous about it. Go for it, fight the good fight, and I am sure you will come out the winner.

Mrs. Chupchake said...

"That's because food, addiction, and obsession can get in the way of life."

I understand that statement all too well Lyn. For me alcohol dependency got in the way of life. I'm no longer using it as a crutch and as a result have had to change my eating habits. Fighting addiction and obsessions is not easy.

Keep plugging away :)

~Mrs. Chupchake

Wishful Shrinking said...

I appreciate your blog because it show a very clear picture of what sugar addiction is. A 2 fold disease an allergy of the body. All an allergy is is an abnormal reaction to a substance. When we take that first bite it creates a physical craving for more. The 2nd edge of the sword it is we have an obsession of the mind that happens even when the sugar is done. You displayed that to a tee when you talk about the thought in your head about the maple walnut cinnamon roll once the thought took hold your addiction was off to the races.

katie said...

I have taken "Imitrex" for migraines virtually since it was invented in the 1990's...went to an MD headache specialist here in NYC at a major university hospital who did the FDA trials for it. This med was ans is a miracle. I no longer have migraines but I cannot reccomend it highly enough.
Adult NP

PaulaMP said...

Even though I can't relate to a lot of what you post (I have no sugar cravings, don't like it and I was never a binger) most of it is very interesting. I give you huge props for continuing to post through the "bad" times and you're not obnoxious when things are going well. I totally can't relate to those who just decide to do everything cold turkey and lose all their weight in one straight shot. My life doesn't work that way, I am weak at times. You have so much courage to have a blog at all, cause seriously, I couldn't do it. I know I could be a lot stricter with my food but I'm still hanging in here with the tons of exercise and I have cut out a lot of junk. You have helped me when I felt like saying ah the hell with it. Thank you.

Amy Jo said...

Lyn -
The reason you have so many loyal followers is specifically BECAUSE you are so honest and forthcoming about your struggles. We all have them. And it's fun to read foodie blogs where they eat yogurt and brussels sprouts and homemade granola all day long, but we read your blog because it's real. We see your struggles and know that we are not alone. You give us comfort, and you give us strength.
Continue to let us share in your joys, triumphs, and failures. There will always be those who will use negativity towards others as a defense mechanism. Maybe they are failing in their eating habits. Maybe their marriage is falling apart, or they just lost their job. Or maybe they are just bitter because life has treated them bitterly and they haven't learned to move beyond that.
But most of us thrive on the fact that you are an open book when it comes to your eating struggles.
The precise fact that you DO admit weakness is why you have become a role model for so many.

donner said...

i have to agree with what so many of the other commenters here have been saying -

its better to keep struggling than to give up.

Keep going, keep fighting, keep on keeping on. You don't want to get back to 278. 209 isn't the end of the world. Its completely solvable...You will get there. Take deep breaths...and get on that bike in your messy room! :D

Anonymous said...

Seems like you often get headaches....I would recommend you see your doctor for them. There are certain medications (ex - topamax) that are used for PREVENTION of migraines, so you don't need to take over the counter pain relievers for them. In fact, chronic use of pain relievers like excederin, tylenol, advil, etc can actually WORSEN migraines (its a subclass called analgesic-overuse migraines). may help you cope by taking away one problem that interferes with day to day activities :)

thursdays child said...

yes, yes, yes.

I have returned to my blog because I need to face up to my reality, and I need to revisit what I went through. I need to accept this really is for life - I keep saying it is, but I obviously only believed it when it was going well... when things went badly. well who wants to write about that... relive those issues.

thank you for this