Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Just the Facts

I got on the scale this morning and I weigh 214 pounds. That means I gained 25 pounds in less than 3 months.

I also took new measurements. From my low weight (175) in October 2010, I gained:
.75" on my neck
.25" on each wrist
1.5" on each upper arm
1.5" on each calf
3.5" on each thigh
3.5" on my bust
6" on my hips
and 7" on my waist.

As you can imagine, I don't like the way I feel. I went from a size 10 jeans to a 16, my knees and feet hurt, and it takes more effort to move. I have less energy and confidence and do not like the sensation of just *being larger* and taking up more space.

That's why I have turned it around, as I posted yesterday. I started this morning as if I were beginning anew, with weights and measures and a completely fresh mindset.

What I am doing now: well, to tell you the truth, I am stressed out and frustrated because I don't know WHAT to do. There have only been three methods in my lifetime of weight loss efforts that resulted in a loss of more than 30 pounds: calorie counting, South Beach diet, and Medifast. I know those three things "work" if I stick with them, and they do not "work" if I go off plan, binge, overeat, etc. Frankly, right now I do not have the brain power, the energy, nor the commitment level to sort out a new plan. I am trying to make it through my least favorite month, get through the holidays and their temptations, get some of this weight off so I feel better and my clothes fit and I can let the success motivate me to keep going. The easiest thing for me to do is Medifast. I already have the foods here (Medifast has continued to send me my food for free, through all my waffling and difficulties, even though I am not exactly a poster girl for Medifast weight loss lately), it is easy to do if you DO it and I have a slew of healthy recipes already figured out for my dinners on the Medifast plan. So I am doing that right now. That said, I have been messing around with Medifast for a loooong time. I started on March 1, 2010. I went off for awhile earlier this year. More than once actually. But really, I look at the calendar and realize that in March it will be two YEARS since I started Medifast. That is just... well, I should be done by now. So I am making a commitment today as part of my new start: if I am not on plan and losing weight ACTIVELY on Medifast, making *real* progress by March 1, 2012, I will quit trying to make Medifast work for me and do something else. I may change plans sooner, but that date is my line in the sand for either giving Medifast 100% or doing something else. I do NOT know what to do. I get a lot of comments telling me to just "eat whole foods" but I have done that, right here on this blog, and gained weight. I think I will need to do some combination of whole foods, calorie counting, and low carb. I definitely need a plan. I can get that plan via Medifast Transition if I can make it that far, but like I said, two years is long enough. If I can't make it work anymore for whatever reason, I will do something else.


Kim said...

Lyn: I feel your pain, and hear you loud and clear. However, its not over don't you dare throw in the towel you have come to far. This is just a slip not a complete downfall you can over come this, also give your self the rest of this month. To review what worked, and what did not work, regroup, and revisit why you started this journey in the first place. Write down the postives to losing weight. And the negatives to weight gain. Your positives will out weigh you negatives every time. You have my support....

Paula said...

Have you thought of developing your own plan? I'm talking digging into some nutrition books, researching fitness materials - and investing the time (if available) to figure out what works for YOU. I, sometimes, think plans/shakes/diets - made by corporations - are meant for us to fail; they'll give us temporary results of weight loss, but do nothing for our underlying comprehension of what it takes to not just lose weight - but to LIVE healthily. They also, if ever, tackle the causes of food addiction, emotional eating and binging. I know that probably comes off as over simplistic, but I'm wishing you well, either way, hon!

Anonymous said...

Have you considered harnessing the support you get online to do an exercise challenge and take the focus off the food for a while? Use the support you do have to work on something hard.
You'll get the feel good factor from the exercise and I know for myself there is no way I could maintain any weight loss without doing a decent amount of exercise.
There's just no way I could eat 'clean' all the time and nor do I want to. Just an idea.

birchgirl said...

Real food in small amounts. I don't really believe you can get away from counting calories, although you can disguise it as something else. Simple, but definitely not easy.
In the end, it is a head game, and you have to have your head in the game. I don't 100% of the time, but I weigh myself frequently so things don't get out of hand.
I don't know. It is really hard, but we are rooting for you.

Beth@WeightMaven said...

I've been making my plan work by following a 6.5 days on, .5 days off (it's like my own version of Tim Ferris' slow carb diet).

I wonder if something like that would work for you? I.e., maybe doing Medifast most of the week and having one off-plan meal that shouldn't be a binge, but maybe it could help with the tedium that is the rest of the diet.

LHA said...

I know you will get all kinds of great suggestions from your readers, and I look forward to reading them all. I always learn something from all the comments.

Paula had a good thought....develop your own plan..? I have kind of done that and so far it is working. It is also kind of a work in progress and I am tweaking and adjusting it as I go. I will say that I have learned a lot about myself and what works and what doesn't along the way. Good luck, Lyn, with Medifast or whatever else you choose!

Anonymous said...

When you say you gained weight when you tried eating whole foods, were you counting calories?

N.R.E. said...

I feel for you and applaud you for being honest with yourself - and for not giving up. I weigh much more than you, but have still lost a lot of weight this year (and still have so much to go, but that's another story).

Anyway, what's working best for me is abstinence when it comes to certain foods. I have diabetes so I have to be very careful (almost ended up in the hospital, actually) and know that I just can't have certain foods. So I don't eat any pasta, potatoes, fried foods, cakes or cookies -- not even the sugar free kind. Once in a while, I will treat myself every so often if I'm at a party, but I do not keep any triggers in the house. Cereal is another thing I can't have because I'll eat the entire box.

What I DO eat are lots of lean meats, low-fat cheese, veggies, fruits (sparingly as I have to be cautious with them), whole grains like quinoa, Greek yogurt... I'm definitely not deprived. I always bring food to parties so I'm prepared. Meantime, my fridge is practically empty, save for what i want to eat that day (I live in the city so it's easy to do this).

I know it's hard when you have kids with different eating habits, but I'm finding it easier to stay with a lifestyle if the food isn't in my house. I also saw a nutritionist who specializes in diabetes so she gave me some good tips.

I don't know if abstinence with certain foods would work for you, but you might want to consider seeing a nutritionist, one who specializes in obesity, binge eating, maybe even one who specializes in diabetes. Even if you don't have it, it can't hurt to eat to prevent it.

Lots of luck.

lisa~sunshine said...

Lots of great information in the comments already... Figuring out a plan for life.. for you.. what works with your body.. I couldn't agree with Paula anymore..
ALso with pretty that you are going back to medifast because it feels like this is what you have already been attempting to do for months and it wasn't working..
Real food in small amounts.. and whole foods.. and yeah I would be surprised if you gained on whole foods while counting calories... I think if you keep to the basics for meals like you do with your lean and green.. you can lose.. I think when you add in too many processed items.. too many sugar free items.. and too many complex things is when you run into troubles.. me too..
I agree with everyone else..
I think you should take the time to develop your plan.. even if it means taking some of the transition information from medifast.... but not necessarily feeling like you have to do what others do..

Marilyn said...

The only thing that bugs me about this post is the statement, "I should be done by now". I understand the sentiment: impatience. But just who is making that assumption that you "should be done"?? In my experience, it takes as long as it takes, and to have dropped the amount of weight that you have, Lyn, and not expect some bobbling around on the scale for a while is unrealistic! I have every confidence that you WILL get a handle on your eating and slim down to whatever size feels healthy and right to you - but it doesn't necessarily happen on YOUR time schedule - the body has its own wisdom! Please stop "shoulding" all over yourself! :-) XO - M

Low Carb Daily said...

The only thing that has ever worked for me is low carb... I've gone from 280 to 200 this year... down to a size 12.

Becca said...

I tried Medifast for a couple months, and I did lose weight... but really it's not about just losing weight. I CAN NOT eat their foods for life. So, I am trying calorie counting. And just trying to make good decisions most of the time. If it comes off a pound a month, it's worth it to be able to eat good, whole foods.'ll figure out what works for you, just don't give up!

Anonymous said...

I think eating whole foods could work well for you if you counted calories. That said, good luck with Medifast and I hope you can find peace with all of this.

D.Reeve said...

I could leave some sort of cliche comment about never giving up or forgiving yourself and moving on...but I'm sure you've heard it all before.

If it is any consolation to you, you have been an inspiration to me and I believe that your efforts have helped me. I just wish you the best of luck and hope that you do find something that you can live with that will do what you need it to do in your life.

Cheering you on,


timothy said...

if you're doing a deadline make sure you give it 100% with no cheating, the medifast worked for you when you stuck with it. as for the whole foods you may simply be carb sensitive which would mean you can NEVER eat a lot of carbs. it makes the journey trickier but definately doable. you're a very smart girl and you'll figure it out!!! xoxoxoxoxo

Mrs. Tracy said...

Hey I know how you feel, why does losing weight have to be so hard. Why do I have to be a lover of food and why do food have to love me. It is like we are fighting this weight loss war on a field filled with food trees and they are forcing our mouth open. But what we have to do is get sick and tired of being fat and stand still and do what we have to do to make sure that we can keep the motivation going. Because in the long run that is what it is all about MOTIVATION.

Anonymous said...

Part of how you feel about your body is probably how you feel IN your body - less than stellar nutrition and weight gain just feels icky, in my experience!
It sounds like you are in crunch time emotionally and doing Medifast for now - dedicated, because you know it works will get you through the holidays and help take some pressure off your body as well as weight. (me no like them either)
And it will give you time to explore and read up about the most livable and effective way to eat for you.
We are all just figuring it out bite by bite, too. You don't have to know what to do... just do something good for you to make this easier right now.
And now I am going to go take my own very wise advice! LOL

Anonymous said...

I am feeling a lot of resignation in your post today :( and no commitment to your own health and fitness. You don't need a specific plan (you can use one to help but thats all it is.. help) but its not the plan that makes you successful. ITS COMMITMENT TO LOOKING AFTER YOURSELF!

Are you willing to give up those foods that seem to pull you down all the time? and not just for today, tomorrow or this month. Are you willing to move more... yet again not just for today, tomorrow or this month.

I was morbidly obese for OVER 10 years! I did medifast, south beath, atkins, slim fast, celebrity slim.... blah blah and blah.. and each time I would lose.. then gain it and more back because I only commited for a few weeks or months, once that commitment is gone there was no hope left. I feel like thats where you are :(

There is hope! but you need to commit, you need to want it and you need to do whats needed to get there. Count calories if it helps, log in a food diary, log in a excercise diary, join a group or challenge where you have to report in. If you want it enough, you can do it, but I am not sure you really want it! prove you do.. and be a star!

Ashley said...

I just read through all the responses and had to chime in. I absolutely, 100%, totally "get you". I'm a carb sensitive, program hopping, all in/all out, food binger.

This year, I just lost the most I've ever lost - 80 lbs and I have 30 back on in the last 3 months. Crazy thing is, I willingly stepped off the program I was instead doing moderation and major exercise (I'm talking running and lifting---ran two 5ks recently, etc). Guess what? Moderation made way for all weekend binges and, even though my working out has been spot on, the 30 lbs flew back on me way too quickly.

I disagree with some posters here...I do believe you need a plan to reset your mind and system. I just now this evening decided I'm going back on my uber strict program (much like Medifast). I'm always creating a new plan, a new scheme. That's why I'm so attracted to your blog. I'm waiting for you to figure it out and tell us that you broke the code. Is that even possible for you, for me?? I have started reading about emotional eating and, though I'm convinced I have an emotional eating and binging problem, I haven't thrown myself 100% in to figuring out how to fix it.

I'm babbling on but I want to encourage you to make your next healthy step. Tighten the reins (like I'm going to do) and decide how to make it work. I'm scared I'll forever need to leave the carbs behind but I need to get there mentally.

All for now. Thanks for reading!

Mandy said...

I admire your honesty and am proud of you for putting your foot down and changing your direction again. I know how hard that is to do. I've been "off plan" for 2 weeks now, and everyday it gets easier to tell myself I'll "start again tomorrow." December is an insane month. You are inspiring me to get it together and stop lying to myself before it gets completely out of control. Thank you.

I'm hesitant to suggest this book again, because I think it's my third time doing so, and it is obviously being ignored, but it's such a great book, and I thought of you the first time I read it. It's everything you say you want in a plan - low carb, low sugar, WHOLE FOODS, easy to prepare, etc, etc. PLEASE just go to a bookstore and leaf through it. I feel like I want to buy one for you and send it to you. I bought mine on amazon. It's "Body Confidence" by Mark Macdonald. I can easily revert back to that way of eating after I've gone off plan, because it's the combination of small amounts of protein and fat and fruits and vegetables, that are really easy to do without counting calories. Breakfast: 1/4 c.oatmeal w/protein powder and teaspoon of nut butter. Snack: deli turkey with Laughing Cow cheese wedge and an apple. Lunch: Salad with grilled chicken and low-fat dressing (Newman's Light Balsamic is my fave.) And on and on.... He suggests you eat all the way up until 9:30 at night, which I love since I don't go to bed hungry.

I used to dread having salads all the time, because I hate chopping everything, and the veggies go bad so quickly, but the grocery store near my house just put in a salad bar and it is DIVINE! They have grilled chicken, and I can get all kinds of varieties of veggies that I normally wouldn't take the time to add if I was chopping it myself. I didn't realize how delicious peas are on a salad! I had a salad almost everyday for the month of November. It was my "fast food" that was completely healthy! I will gladly pay the 5-6 bucks for that if I don't have to prepare it myself. Is there a salad bar near you that you could frequent? It has been so helpful.

Sorry for such a long comment, but I really want you to succeed! I hope you can figure it out. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I think calorie counting is the only way. With natural healthy food. Somewhere in the range of 1200 cal a day. Give it time to work. It will be slower than medi-fast followed strictly but in the end it will be something you can maintain. I feel concerned when I see you post pics of your prepackaged meals.

Claire said...

I think that first it'd help to resolve this dance you do with food. This restriction/binge dance. That's your problem. You are a skilled dieter and will achieve your goal but first need to conquer that.

A few suggestions - and take what you want of them.

- it seems to me you need friends. Real life, can give you a cuddle, friends. Food is your comfort and you know that it is a substitute for human affection. Maybe some of these lovely people who read your blog live nearby to you and could help.
- counselling. Like most overweight people you have an er interesting past - I think we all do. A good emotional clear out could help reduce the emotional pressures and hence desires for food.
- take the pressure off. I've been trying intuitive eating and have found this a revelation (but I think it needs backing up with the things above). Taking away the pressure makes food less emotionally charged and hence less desirable.

My point with the above is that I think your problem isn't food. And I wish I lived nearer to come and give you the hug you really deserve.

pglm said...

okay...quit beating yourself up...
look at your life...I mean your open and honest with us about your weight, your struggle.....
my question....what does food give you? I mean you like me....seem to have a romantic affair with must give you something...
find out what that is....and replace it with is hard work, it doesn't happen is painful...
you can do it............don't give up...just keep going...

Phoenix said...

Honey, give yourself a break. It's the constant calorie counting and general obsession over food (the restricting of it, the counting of it) that triggers off binges later. Just do one thing: Eat ONLY when hungry, stop when full, restrict no foods and see how the pounds melt off!

Diandra said...

Have you checked with a physician for further tips and suggestions?

Chatterbox said...

It is a tough road. I am doing Weight Watchers and it does takes some getting used to but IT DOES WORK. I dont ever feel deprived. I can eat anything I want ...portions is the biggest thing to be aware of. Generally we eat large portions! Whomever told you about whole foods is right on target. It absolutely works. Complex carbs, lots of veggies and at leat two fruits least for me. I feel much fuller for longer. It actually subdues my craving for sweets! That is HUGE! I love sweets like crackheads love crack!! There plan is easy. It just takes getting used to, like anything else new. You have really good support team right here. Lean on us. i would be up for a challenge with y'all.


Anonymous said...

alot of people out there are cheering u on your journey....i just wanted to validate that if u decide to do your own thing and come off medifast, the low carb, calorie counting,whole food thing does work ...use the techniques u learned on medifast....lean and green at night works so stick with that when u prepare your own foods...cut out refined sugars. and work out 5 to 6 days if u has a food tracker and u can watch your carb , fat and protein intake. eat low glycemic foods when u do eat. kashi cereal is carbs but it is a wonderful low glycemic set of carbs and sugar....u cannnn do it once u calorie count..and u can prepare foods that you enjoy eating all day long....

A typical day
1 cup kashi for breakfast with 1 cup low fat milk

snack on some strawberries or a piece of chicken breast

lunch can be chicken with salad and one serving of rice

evening snack can be plain yogurt

then walk for 45 mintues

go home and do a lean and green for dinner

eat like that consistently and it will come off...and don't go below 1200 calories a day

this is just my suggestion.

Bzybee said...

I have not read enough of your diet and plans to understand.. but I don't believe that any 'plan' works in the long term. Sure, it can get you down to an ideal weight, but it is not substainable. Join something like or fitnesspal and record everything you eat. Look at the numbers, count the calories and replace the bad stuff with healthier options.

Before long, it becomes a lifestyle change and automatic. It is the only way to make a life long change imho.

Anonymous said...

first let me say congrats for taking the first and the hardest step.
when you tried whole food and gained weight were you counting calories???

if i were you i would start with medifast and would stuck with it until i can figure out what to do, and because first 2 weeks are the hardest ones, that is what i found through ten years experience.

then you should figure out a new plan for your self, and it should be a lifetime plan, i know you heard that million times before but losing weight is a lifetime "job" or "effort".

for me I am starting by counting cals and cutting a lot of bad food, then i will try healthy recipes, and maybe later after losing weight i will cut junk for good or make it once a month.

when i feel depressed and need food for comfort i ate real food but half the amount i used to ate before dieting, with time i learned that food is not the cure and at the same time don't re-gain weight.

this is not easy at all, it is like trial and error experiment, but the winner who finally could maintain the new weight.

i hope all of us will be winners one day.

good luck.

CatherineMarie said...

Lyn, can I suggest, if you are going to do Medifast, at LEAST keep it savory? I suspect that all the sweet snacks are sabotaging you.

there's a woman named Kathleen Daelemans who had a cooking show, on Food Network, called Cooking Thin. She is a chef who lost a tremendous amount of weight. She has two cookbooks, and they are aimed at the average American. There's Jane Brody, who has some great cookbooks...

There's a woman named Terry Walters, who has a 'Clean Food' cookbook. You can develop your own eating plan that works for you. Maybe take a look at why Medifast has and hasn't been working for you. Are you using it because they are sending the products for free? Remember, they have a vested interest in having people regain the weight, because "Medifast worked before"... Yes, they want a poster girl, but they want to be able to say "Lyn lost 100 lbs on Medifast!" not the whole truth, "Lyn lost 100 lbs and then regained".
I think you need to go back to the farmer's market. That gave you the human interaction, the joy... and there are some great healthy cookbooks out there. Maybe you pick a few things from a raw cookbook, maybe you get a CSA share next summer?
You've got to find your own path, and maybe that means you go on transition from Medifast in January, to a whole foods, healthy plan.

Can I ask you to write down, just for yourself, without any self-recrimination, what you are eating every day? Maybe you aren't getting enough vitamins? Maybe you have too many sweet things in the Medifast? I know I can't use artificial sweetener because it starts me craving stuff....

I do applaud you trying to get off on the right foot again, and good luck. Maybe you can at least tweak the Medifast plan so its not so sugary... or do some more replacements so you are using Medifast as snacks or treats.

Anonymous said...


I have been reading your blog for years. I truly believe that you have an eating disorder, not a "weight problem." Food isn't the issue--you have shown that you can be successful losing weight. You are extremely knowledgable about healthy food, and what you need to do in the "food" department. All of this focus on dieting is distracting you from addressing the real problem. I think that you are insightful enough that you WILL be successful. But only when you try to address what causes you to continuously eat more than your body requires. I definitely believe that you will get there eventually--but you must be willing to shift your focus to your emotional/psychological well being to treat an eating disorder.

SG said...

wow. who knew 25 lb made such a difference. i have been there. its not a good feeling. took me forever to find a plan i was really happy with. i love Body For Life.

Lori said...

I could have written almost the exact same post only with hcg. I'm giving it until Valentine's day or I run out whichever comes first.

Oddly, though because of you, I'm thinking of medifast as an alternative if I need to switch.

Good luck. If you can lose weight during the next two weeks, you're home free.

dsbride said...

I am much in the same boat as you are. I lost 77 lbs and regained a lot of it. I'm frustrated and disappointed in myself and no where near my goal. I feel like I wasted a whole year now. I read your blog all the time and it helps but what has really helped me is an on line free site called "Spark People". The group of people there are fantastic. There are nutrition and exercise journals to fill out, blogs you can do, interesting articles and lots of posts you can either write or comment on. I learned a lot from them and am still learning. No they didn't set me up or pay me to promote or encourage use of this site but I thought it might be helpful to you or anyone reading this. Just a thought.

Colleen said...

Lynn, I'm a long time blog reader and basically have identical issues to yours but less severe. My weight fluctuations even track with yours quite a bit, although in a range 20-30 lbs. lower (currently 180ish up from a low of 160ish).

I have seriously considered therapy for my eating issues and hope you will do the same. At this point, I eat pretty "normally" and have maintained in the same range for over a year. I am about 5 lbs. overweight according to my doctor despite my high BMI. My regains always top out at the same place, and I'm mostly fighting to readjust my body's "set point" to a lower weight where I feel better about myself. I feel better as soon as I get into a range of 170-175, and right now I don't need a therapist to help me do that.

But if I were in your shoes, regaining 30 or 40 lbs. from my lowest in a rapid, unpredictable manner, I would be in therapy and/or OA right quick. There is way more than biology and nutrition at play here.

You seem incredibly socially isolated on a day to day basis and I feel like the lack of warmth and care you receive drives you to food. I don't think this will change until you are willing to take a hard look at the logistics of your situation, particularly your real life support network. IMO a therapist is the first step towards building that network.

You may disagree with me but I think if you found a therapist specializing in BED you might be amazed at the insight it might provide you.

Being self aware is not enough, it's having the direction to make meaningful change that matters.

Anonymous said...

I offer you a big ole simple hug. Thru the internet I am here on the other side as a fellow fat-fighter...just a hug. Always here whenever you need/want. (((((LYN)))))
from Allyson

Anonymous said...

I've been up and down the scales all my life. One thing I think might be helpful is if you publish your gain and picture of the gain. It then becomes reality. I mean under the section where you show your losses and pictures. Please don't let 30 or so pounds let you feel you are back at the beginning again. I did that twice and ended up gaining the 100 pounds back twice. By not posting the pics I think it might kind of be misleading to you and to readers as to reality...we do gain. It is part of the weight loss endless journey. I'm in my 50's now and the journey never ends. The way we can lose changes because our bodies change. This time around I am doing gluten-free, no sugar, no processed foods and it is working! Medifast did not work longterm for me.

bbubblyb said...

Lyn I feel for you as I have struggled plenty myself. I know I've suggested it before but I just know that it all starts and continues in our minds. It's about really loving ourselves and though we say we do it's not an all the time thing, sometimes we seem to and sometimes we don't. I think we have to fix ourselves by working on the root causes. I know you're in touch with your inner self and your issues but maybe it's time to give therapy a try. I can't remember what you've said about insurance and maybe that is the reason you haven't but I really do think it could benefit you in the long run. It just really isn't about the food.

donner said...


in my opinion, take it for what it's worth...its not the FOOD that is the problem. Is the REASON you are running to food to soothe yourself. I think you need to find a resource to help you with your emotions. Once you figure out why you are using food to comfort you, you will break this cycle. Its not easy, but obviously what you've been doing isn't working for you. I hate to see you go in circles...
its exhausting and demoralizing for you...and you should have the chance to live and enjoy your life!!!

susan said...

I'm so sorry you're feeling down, Lyn.
I wholeheartedly agree with the other commenters about working on the SOURCE of the problem, not just losing weight.
From what I have read over the years and have come to understand, you are emotionally attached to food. Until you can heal this dysfunctional relationship, you will keep finding yourself back at square one, I fear.
I recommend reading any book by Geneen Roth. She deals with food relationships.

Keep your chin up. You have come so far and this is just another bump on your journey. :)

Anonymous said...

i love reading your blog... maybe less concentrating on food, weight would help in the new year. sometimes when i focus 24/7 on those 2 things i end up gaining... I know this is your weight loss blog but don't you ever get tired of worrying about it 24/7? i'm sorry... Patty

Sarah from Onmyweightohappiness said...

Granted I had weight loss surgery but for myself personally what keeps me accountable is logging my food intake daily on It was a pain in the tush at first but now its become habit and I like to see where I sit everyday, even on my bad days, those bad days of logging gives me a swift kick in the rear to know I can't do that all the time or the weight will come back on. I wish you nothing but the best Lyn!

Anonymous said...

I love reading your blog. I am sure you figure it out somehow. You know best what works for you !!!

LHA said...

I am so grateful for each person who has written their opinion, advice and their own results. I think Phoenix had a very succinct response that I would echo. I did just want to add, Lyn, two things in response to what others have posted:

1. I know absolutely that any strict "program" or diet will NOT work for me. Sadly, I have lost on all of them and regained every time. It took me a long time to accept that it wasn't the way to permanent weight loss for me. You might be different, but I wanted to give you the benefit of my 40+years of dieting----have been dieting since I was 6 years old!

2. There is so much written about whether to totally restrict sugar/flour/carbs and this has been one of the toughest questions for me. Through trial and error (lots of error!) what works for me is not totally restricting any food. I was AFRAID of some foods...totally afraid of setting off a binge with one bite of sugar. Sometimes a binge was set off by NOT eating sugar and then feeling deprived after a party or gathering. I make no food off limits, but I eat sugar/flour/pasta VERY sparingly. When I eat it, I thoroughly enjoy it! I eat a normal or small portion, usually in a social setting. I make sure to eat plenty of protein at the same meal and drink lots of water. My urge to binge is gone because I haven't deprived myself of that type of food.

I do work with a therapist and a nutritionist and it is a big help. My therapist helps with psychological issues not directly related to food, as several people have suggested to you. I know this is a personal decision.

My biggest revelation in the two years I have been reorganizing my eating and losing weight is that DEPRIVATION was the biggest cause of my weight gain. The more starvation/crash diets I lost weight on, the more I gained. Wow, wish I had known this sooner!

Wishing you the best luck on Medifast or whatever path you take. Thanks for providing an excellent forum for the exchange of ideas.

Lyn said...

I don't really have time to do a post right now, but wanted to pop in and thank each and every one of you for your offerings and suggestions. As you can see by the variety of comments, there are SO MANY ways to tackle weight loss/health that work for different people. Some of the things suggested, I have done in the past (OA, therapist, WW, Geneen Roth books) and some I have not.

It is interesting, the variety of opinions, from no food should be off limits/you can never eat sugar again/take two bites/never take a bite/no grains or dairy/eat whole grains in moderation. So many things, and each works for many people. The hardest part is sorting out what will work for me.

A couple things:

I do not for a second believe Medifast wants people to regain weight. In the long term that only hurts their business. If everyone who did Medifast regained it, people would tell friends, people would find that out, people would stop buying it. It is in their best interests to have people succeed and then their friends and family see the success; that is what sells. And the PR folks there have gone far above and beyond and gone out of their way to do things to help me be successful. The problem here isn't the program. It's my food issues.

Yes, I believe I have an eating disorder. Yes, I would go to an eating disorder specialist if there was on in my area. I cannot drive 3 hours each way to a therapit each week, so that is not going to happen. The counselors I have seen were helpful in a limited way, even though they did not specialize in eating disorders. I was told by 2 counselors that I really no longer needed counseling. That said, I'd go to a new one anyway if I found one that was a good fit and had a sliding fee scale for $30 per visit. No luck so far, but I just wanted you all to know I agree counseling can be effective, and share my experience with it.

Lyn said...

Oh... one more thing. A few people commented that I seemed down on myself or that I'm giving up. I am actually in the opposite mindset... that is why I made this post. A fresh start, a new determination, believing in myself that I CAN do this. Doing very well so far :)

Colleen said...

Lynn, any chance you could find someone to do phone or skype counseling?

I think it's notable that the one consistent theme in the advice you're getting seems to be that that is a mental component that isn't being adequately addressed for you. People talk about motivation but I think you are highly motivated, just very inconsistent. Just because the nutritional advice is all over the place, don't use that to discount the fact that there is near unanimous agreement that your headspace is an important component of why things are how they are.

I should also add that I only seem to lose weight successfully when most of the rest of my life is fairly calm or under control. I tend to regain during times of upheaval, or at best maintain. I feel like with your daughter's recent illness and the resulting binges, the same is true of you. Keep in mind also that stress raises cortisol which can increase water retention - making the number on the scale even more dramatic, which can reinforce the downward spiral of binging.

LisaMHP78 said...

I'm wishing you the best of luck. This weight loss thing SUCKS! Hang in there. Work hard to figure out something that works for you long term and run with it. It will come to you.

Anonymous said...

Lyn, I was about to suggest the same thing, but Colleen beat me to it. There are some therapists who are willing to counsel by phone. In my opinion it is good to meet a potential therapist first and then continue by phone or skype if need be. I also agree that it would be helpful to interview several and make sure that they specialize in eating disorders. Simply working with somebody who is an addiction specialist may not be enough. As you know, though there might be some overlap, eating disorders have their own unique challenges that are not part of other addictions.
Re. fees, you may wish to contact some teaching hospitals or Universities and see if you may be seen by graduate students specializing in eating disorders. You may not need long term therapy so the turnover may not become a problem as it might for people dealing with other issues.
Wishing you success and a joyous continuation of your work in achieving your desired level of health.

Anonymous said...

I fear I would feel like a THING or a commodity, rather than an actual human being, if I posted my food intake and/or measurements and/or weight habitually, as if those numbers or food choices said anything at all of real significance about me or about my perspective on the world. Focusing on those things cannot connect me to myself or to other people in ways that nourish either of us on a deep level.

I was treated like a thing as a child, a thing whose feelings and perspectives were largely shamed and held up for ridicule. My value (as an object) consisted of actions I took to entertain the grown ups, to impress them, and to help them feel better about themselves. I disconnected from my inner self as a means of survival. Disordered eating (restricting and/or bingeing: to gain a sense of control over unbearable feelings, and to provide a sense of security/nurturing) played a major role in keeping me disconnected from the pain, which as you can imagine was deep and severe.

I don't know if any of this applies to YOUR life experiences. I do know this: your feelings matter, your views matter, your existence matters--completely apart from anything related to dieting or weight.

(((Hugs))) -- hopefulandfree

Anonymous said...

What if you transition now? I know it's not your goal weight yet. But maybe if you learn how to maintain using a calorie amount for a healthy you (say 1700 cal to 1900 cal), maybei your metabolism can recover and you can focus on exercise to do some of this lifting for you.

Anonymous said...

Lyn, I'm glad you're able to accept the fact that you likely have a genuine clinical disorder. I hope you also realize that all the diet advice in the world (LOW CARB! WHOLE FOODS! 1200 CALORIES! COMMITMENT! This book! That book! This plan! No plan! etc., etc.) isn't going to help you keep your weight off even if you manage to lose a few pounds in the coming months through strict adherence to a diet approach.

The disorder will eventually disrupt any diet plan (or "lifestyle" for those of you who like to play with semantics) that you try. Please Lyn, ignore the diet "experts" on this comment thread and get the help you need. You can find it somehow.

CatherineMarie said...

I'd like to add something here. The books that I suggested are books I have used to cook healthy, whole meals. They are not "diet" books.

Lyn, I am concerned for you. You seem to be stuck in the idea that Medifast is the only thing that will work for you. And you lost the great majority of your weight eating whole foods, not Medifast.

Maybe the best thing to do is to go back to taking baby steps. a walk a day, replace one medifast meal with fruit or yogurt or soup...

Remember, exercise does not have to be "sweating and panting on a treadmill" I know a lot of older people who stay fit by mall walking. Or by taking a walk every day. maybe make it a family walk, instill good habits in the whole family.