Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Losing it

Yesterday I did not eat well. I had all those good intentions, started out with a Medifast shake and another Medifast meal mid-morning. I thought and planned my loaded baked "potato" soup for dinner, which is low carb and healthy. But somewhere in the hours of holding my little girl's hair and rubbing her back while she threw up in the toilet, I fell apart. It was the stress of that, trying to run up and down stairs doing loads of vomited-on laundry, remaking beds, trying to send my son on an errand only to have the car not start (and be unable to be jumped... apparently it's not the battery), dealing with the pup with a ton of pent-up energy, and having power out in part of the house. I made banana bread for the unsick kids to have as a snack after school and had a slice myself with my coffee. And from there it was downhill.

Have you ever had that feeling when you are way stressed out that what you REALLY need is to cram food in your mouth? There is something about it that is very soothing and calming. I tried, I really did, to talk it out, wait through it, feel the feelings. But the feelings were so overwhelming. I was feeling very alone, overwhelmed, tired of having to do all of this myself. I was wishing I had ONE relative... a parent, a sister, an aunt, a cousin, anything... someone I could call who would care that my daughter is sick and would try to help me somehow. I just wanted to feel supported. How nice would it be to know that when she is feeling better I could leave her at grandma's house for an afternoon so I could go do my Christmas shopping? Or train the dog for awhile? I dunno, I was having a pity party I guess, and dove into the food. I ate two bowls of corn chips and about 4 ounces of cheese. I did not make the soup I'd planned; I roasted a chicken and had maybe 4 ounces of that (which in itself would be fine) but also ate a serving of mashed potatoes and gravy. And I was too wiped out by that time to make a vegetable, even though I looked for canned green beans and couldn't find any.

When my child stopped vomiting around 6:30pm, I had a son watch her while I ran to a nearby store for popsicles and Gatorade for her. She had not had any fluids all day. While I was there, guess what I grabbed?

a package of Skinny Cow ice cream sandwiches
a Lindt chocolate bar
a small bakery coffee cake

I came home, cared for my daughter, and when I finally got her to sleep at 9:15pm, I ate 4 Skinny Cows and one square of chocolate.

All of that might not seem terribly significant, but to me it says that I am still having an issue using food as a comfort. It says I have a hard time controlling myself under stress. It was a binge whether it was as large as I used to binge or not. And you can bet I probably gained 5 pounds of bloat from that. It is scary how fast I gain when I eat sugar. I know I should leave it alone. I didn't care *in that moment* last night. And I am well aware what I really wanted was a hug, someone to talk to, someone to clean the kitchen for me and figure out what was wrong with the car for me and someone to go get the Christmas tree for me. I desperately want to decorate and have the tree up.

The good news is, this morning my daughter (who is home from school again) is not throwing up. She feels much better. Also, last night around 5:30 the electrician came and fixed my power problem so now I have electricity in the whole house again. The car is still not running, but lucky for me, I have another car that IS working. Maybe I can go get that Christmas tree this afternoon with my daughter, if she is feeling up to it.

This morning I had an English muffin with butter, an egg over easy, and 2 cups of coffee with sugar free creamer. I also had a 2" square of that coffee cake.

I need to get a grip. The highest number I have seen on the scale this month was 214. Last time I checked was a couple days ago and I weighed 208. I am *very* nervous that I am gaining very fast. I want to put the brakes on but trying to focus on everything else AND losing weight is very hard for me right now. I hate this. I wish it was easier. I need to get a grip.


Charis said...

Hi from Australia! I've read your blog for the past year and a half. It's the first link I click on each day. You are my hero, no matter this little blip. Just remember there are people out there who gain inspiration from you each day.

Ps I ate 4 skinny cow sandwiches at once last week too, among other things

Bonnie said...

Lyn, you need a friend! Know that we who read your blog care about you and this stress eating was temporary.

Maybe it would be better to concentrate on building supportive relationships for awhile. With your ability to focus on a goal, I bet you'll have the support you seek in no time!

underneath the bunker said...

I'm so sorry. Sometimes I feel like my life is stressful beyond belief, with no kids and a supportive spouse! I can't imagine having even one child, even with a second parent to share the load. You're amazing. No wonder you feel overwhelmed sometimes. Remember, you're doing very difficult things, and doing them pretty darned well.

Tiffany said...

My husband works a ton. I have 3 kids under the age of 5. I can so relate to having stress and wanting to just eat and eat because you are stressed out. In fact just a few days ago I had a very stressday and nothing was going right and on top of that the kids were not listening at all. As soon as they went to bed the first thing I did was go to the kitchen and just wanted to eat everything even though I really wasn't that hungry.

Like you I also struggle with binges and I'm really working on controlling them. I am more aware of what triggers them and am able to stop eating during one were before I would eat until I felt sick. Now I just need to learn how to stop them all together.

If you ever need a friend or someone who can relate, don't be afraid to email me (check out my site for the contact page) and I would be glad to help you through and be a friend!

Anonymous said...

Please be kind to yourself. You know you have made so much progress some of us will always turn to food when it gets too much. But the fact that you recognise it and know why is, so much progress. You are doing your best and it's been a stressful time. But this will pass. I would really recommend 'Eating Less' by Gillian Riley a uk author. It's a really good cbt book with dealing with food addiction. It really is a different book. I think you may find it helpful. Take care of yourself and know you are doing a great job of dealing with life with the resources you have at the moment.

Anonymous said...

You mention having a hard time controlling yourself under stress. You also mention feeling some very powerful emotions that seemed overwhelming. Under these circumstances, to me it looks like you did an almost perfect job of staying in control of your painful feelings (with help from an eating disorder); then, you were able to go about your day in a functional manner, without breaking down--without falling apart.

And there was a price to pay for maintaining that control over your feelings.

We learn early in life to be such efficient machines (robots) in this culture (speaking metaphorically). The costs are all around us.

My heart goes out to you.

We all need social support and love from family members, and many of us must learn to "adopt" those family members (for a variety of reasons) by reaching out and slowing learning to trust other people until they become close friends.

That process is very hard to do when an eating disorder repeatedly tells you how unworthy you are, or tells you that your worth is based on your weight or on what you eat. In other words, an eating disorder lies to you. One of the biggest lies it tells: you need the ED to survive (to survive those overwhelming feelings, for instance). Overcoming an eating disorder is a process made easier with caring support of your needs.

Dieting support may help increase your sense of control (over feelings, for instance), but in my experience it mostly supports the ED pathology and is a poor substitute for real, caring relationships.

Be well in peace. <3

Erika said...

I know what you mean. I feel like when I get stressed out, I almost subconsciously seek out food. It takes a lot to say no, and sometimes I just don't say no.

I am really worried about how often your daughter gets sick? I don't have any children of my own though, so maybe kids are just sick all the time? HAHA! I am certainly not trying to worry you by that comment, I'm no professional, I just feel so bad for that little girlie!

I almost wonder if now is not the time for Medifast. It sounds like so much restriction, almost. Maybe Ann is right, maybe now is not the time to focus on "diet". If you want cake, have 2 bites. If you want cheese, 2 bites etc. But I wonder, is it the TASTE you are wanting, or do you just want to feel absolutely stuffed? For me, those two triggers are sort of different...

Lyn said...

Thank you all for the kind words of support. I really don't know what I'd do without you! This is the only positive input I get some days. I am thankful.


I am working on building relationships but I feel like I fail a lot because to have friends, you have to be there for people and do things for them. I have a tough time keeping my own head afloat. But I have made a couple of nice friends through school volunteering and am able to do occasional babysitting trading with one. And am working on building those relationships by being supportive. I had started to buld new friendships through dog sports, but having kids and not being able to go to parties or meetings and missing classes due to sick kids etc has slowed that down too. I am working on it.


I think part of it is just being in school full time this year. Seems every time I turn around, half the class is absent with some sickness they all spread to each other. The other part is that my daughter has health issues since birth, but she sees specialists and is doing better than ever! Thanks for caring about her :)

Anonymous said...

I told you before and will tell you again, forget about losing weight until the end of holiday's season.

from my experience which is ten years dieting and failing, holidays seasons are the worst to think about losing weight or to start any diet.

it is a stressful times and "food" time, so thinking of losing weight or starting losing weight will add more stress.

enjoy your holidays, eat well, try to add vegetables and fruit to your food, drink a lot of water, and feel the Christmas spirit.
i guess by next year you will find yourself in a good mood and will lose weight much easily than now.

about friends: you have many readers, all of us feel what you going through from your words, we can say few words to comfort you because that is all what we can do, sorry that we can't do more for you.

good luck dear, and don't feel any guilty about what you ate last night, because sometimes we need that. just "sometimes" :)

PaulaMP said...

Glad you are finding some friends, sometimes if you are lucky they can be closer than family. You definitely need a break, that's obvious. As for those Skinny Cows, they are the devil. I find that to be true of all of those reduced calories "treats". I don't think I have ever bought a box of them and eaten just one. My guess is if we are eating four of the skinny ones we might as well eat one of the regular ones. I really try to stop myself buying such things, but sometimes we are weak.

Eva said...

I feel as though I am looking in a mirror. Our weights have been about the same this last year! When you were at your lowest, so was I. When you went off plan, I did too! I am also trying to get back on plan and stop the stress eating. I too am an emotional eater and as my stress increases, so does my eating.

I am right there with you, and we will get back to that low weight!

Melanie said...

Hi Lyn,

Just wanted to send a (((((((Hug))))))))). Thanks so much for being so honest and forthcoming.

Anonymous said...

If it's ANY consolation whatsoever, for the record I myself would LOVE to weigh 208 right now -- heck, even 214 (I'm probably around 230-ish right now, down from 250-ish...?). I know it's not where you want to be of course, but it's still so much less than what you were at your highest, and that's still really terrific. I guess I'm just trying to say it could always be worse...? So, as so many here already suggested, just do your best to get through this super stressful time of year, and then start of the new year with a bang, and a whole fresh new outlook....

Leigh C. said...

Your honesty overwhelms me. I don't think I would be able to be as honest as you are in regards to your struggles. That being said, I am in awe of you and your accomplishments. You are an inspiration and I appreciate your struggle. I have been there myself...many times. You have much to be proud of, and this rough spot too shall pass. Keep your head up:)

Anonymous said...

Lyn, so very sorry for your time of stress and difficulty. I hope it will resolve itself so you can find some peace and serenity soon. You have gone through a lot lately and it is understandable that you are feeling vulnerable.
This may not be applicable to you but when I go through a difficult stretch and I feel I simply cannot get a handle on my eating, I set up a period of time when I go into maintenance mode. For me, that means counting calories and eating anything that fits into the numbers. I imagine for you, that might be about 2000 calories per day.
There is a reason I do this and it has to do with the fact that when I hit a rough patch, I already feel out of control in areas of my life that truly may be out of my control (i.e. a family member being ill). If I add the stress of eating everything that crosses my mind or my path, I start to feel desperate. In order to ameliorate this out of control feeling, I limit it to calories.
Is it BETTER to eat at maintenance level but feed my body what it needs nutritionally? Yes, absolutely, but I am already not doing that, so if I am not doing that anyway, I might as well feel in control regarding calories. If I eat 4 Skinny Cows and they fit into my 2000 calories, along with other things, at the end of my day, when all else feels out of control, I can still say that this is one thing I've achieved during that day; I did not go over my calories. If the pressure decreases in a day or two, I can substitute healthier choices and still eat at maintenance level for the period I set for myself.
By the time I return to my plan or program or lifestyle or whatever we call what we do when we eat the way we are supposed to, I have kept a semblance of control, I have not binged because none of the foods I have eaten were eaten for the last time (meaning I can ALSO have them tomorrow) and I have "practiced" maintenance.
As I said, this may not work for everyone and we all have our own way of managing crisis situations. It seems to me that during chaos, when we believe that the hot dog or chips or whatever, makes us feel nurtured so that is what we reach for ANYWAY, we might as well work it into our temporary program and take the focus off the loss until we are ready to return to that phase.
I hope that in addition to the nurturing and support you may get from newfound friends in your community, you can also discover a system that works for you regarding your health and eating regimen. Piggybacking that desperate feeling that you are at the mercy of automatic behavior regarding food, onto the panic of managing life's unexpected emergencies is really tough.

Anonymous said...

Have you ever read The Mood Cure by Julia Ross? Check it out at your library if your not familar with her works. SAVED my life.

Diana said...

Wow, you completely described how I was when I was in Fairbanks, the week after Thanksgiving. I just plain didn't care. I was stressed to the max, I came down with the flu and 101.8 fever, dealing with angry family and my post-stroke sister was just too much. And frankly my dear, I didn't give a damned about my weight or what I ate. I ate for comfort. Plain and simple. And I knew what I was what I was doing, but in that moment (actually - it was ALL freaking week), I just did not care one iota about eating healthy or losing weight or exercising. I was (as my post-stroke sister says, the one word she can pronounce very slowly)M-I-S-E-R-A-B-L-E!

I understand exactly how you felt/feel. And honestly, I think it's okay. There are times that we just can't help it. Life is sometimes just too hard to add on another layer of problems -- dealing with our weight.

I really don't have any words of wisdom or how you can get a grip. I can only tell you I relate.

Oh - and one thing - I really do care about you and about your daughter being sick and everything you're going through. Through this blog I have come to know you and admire you. If we lived closer, I'd watch her for an afternoon. She sounds like a little angel.

Take care Lyn...and I'm thinking of you. :)

LHA said...

Anonymous (m/b), thank you for writing about the "temporary maintenance" idea that has worked for you. I have done something similar when circumstances make it impossible to eat the way I know is the healthiest, but I haven't thought of actually counting the calories to make sure to keep it in check. The way I have handled it is to make sure I am eating small portions of the less healthy foods and concentrating on not eating when I am not really hungry. That is my way of limiting what I am eating, but I will also try counting the calories (and maybe carbs) too. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

My mom didn't really have anyone either, to be honest. You aren't the only one, and I know it is a lot emotionally to handle. But it can be done, and you are in a better boat that many in that you don't have to worry about having enough income or working currently (you did in the past but not NOW) Be thankful for that and maybe try to stop with all the "I wish I had...."-because I know it is hard but you do have a lot, and you are trying (in losing wright, etc) to improve your life.

I struggle with binge eating too, especially when I feel
overwhelmed and scared. I can yell the difference between fleeting moments of "ugh I want to eat____, I am hungry!!!" and the almost magnetic, freightening feeling of feeling mentally off and unable to choose. It is something I've imProved on greatly, but still struggle with. Certain months or times of year etc are very hard for me, and I'm still working on how I cope with unexpected stress. It's all a process, and your blog helps me to really focus on continuing to move forward...because I deserve to rid myself of this pain and sadness.

You do too :) we all deserve it.

Anonymous said...

*losing weight, feeling Overwhelmed, and sorry if I missed any more. :/

Anonymous said...

I also wanted to add as being recovered from an eating disorder the 2 bite rule no way in hell works for me. I wish it did, but it really doesn't. I think I found handle it maybe 8 years ago, before I fell in REALLY deep and basically had to fight to save my life. But maybe all that is just because of my specific circumstances and past. :/ Have you ever personally tried this? I'd be curious to know how it goes for you...maybe with a less emotionally charged food but still one you enjoy nonetheless?

Lyn said...

2 bites of sugary stuff, bready baked stuff, greasy pasta or pizza ends up turning into more bites. I stop but it calls to me and gets in my head. I can do two bites if I am in a social setting. I can do two bites of dark chocolate and some other foods, too, but I have to be careful.

Lyn said...

oh, and yes, I do know I have it better than many. I have it worse than many. I think a lot of us fall into that in between category... not worry free but not dying of cancer/homeless/starving to death either. I always express my feelings, though, especially when I am sad about something. I find it healing and it helps me work through the emotions. Feeling sad about something I wish I had doesn't mean I am not thankful for what I am blessed with. I am very thankful! The bit about the money though? Wrong... I mean, obviously I am not in poverty and am (right now) able to stay home (which is a blessing I got simply because my child was so sick she almost didn't make it, and I had to quit my job to care for her medical needs round the clock). But I do worry about money, I am going to have to do something soon to bring in more income. It's tight. I can't get that car fixed. I am considering all my options.

Anonymous said...


'The Happiness Project' is a book I read and enjoyed - basically a glimpse into how a woman chose to holistically 'engineer' more happiness into her life. She chose 1 thing to work on each month to build more happiness into her days, then kept up habits that she developed in previous months so that her work snowballed into a happier life. Don't know if this idea would help you, but it seems like you've got a lot going on in many different categories of your life and responsibilities. Perhaps it would be a good idea to compartmentalize your goals a bit - if you plan to work on something at a given time, when you suspect you'll be able to seriously cope with it, perhaps you'll feel more in control and less overwhelmed?

I know I've been doing something like this for years - my life is a constant work-in-progress. I focus on one life-related goal at a time, and try to keep previous work going as best as I can while I move onto the next thing. (Currently, I'm focusing on rehabbing my knee after surgery as my 'extra focus project' du jour. While I can't exercise as much as I'd like and my weight-loss journey has transitioned into a weight-maintain journey for the time being, I haven't thrown out the window my good eating habits, so it seems to be working out ok and the scale is still creeping down - maybe just loss of muscle tone, but at least it's not going up!). Good luck, Lyn!

Karen said...

Hang in there. The disease, it's the disease, IMO.

anyhoo, a cognitive behavior therapy specialist can help you work through what you're going through right now, someone to talk to, assess the eating, assess depression, whatever.etc.

And your friends, you can call on them too. Someone will step up. It's Christmas, you are in need. They will help you.

Good luck and no going it alone! One step at at time.

And, since I consider wheat and processed sugar an "allergy" a bite or two does trigger the disease for me. I know this is not right for everyone, but if a bite or two triggers, consider it. Stinks, but I can live without either item in trade for health and being food sober.

Take care and safe travels. You will make it through. We will make it through. And you are worth it! We are worth the work it takes.

The Girl From Back Then said...

It's so hard to stop the landslide. Routine, habits can help, so can someone supportive on speed dial. Sometimes nothing can really break your fall.

Dust yourself off, and try again. It's all you can do.

CatherineMarie said...


I've found I cannot have "diet" stuff in the house, or "snack-size" things. It actually encourages me to eat more of it. Maybe if you have a craving for something, go out and buy one ice-cream sandwich, or one good cookie. We all stress, we all overeat, it happens. And certainly, with all the food around this holiday season, and everything you do, you have a right to feel stressed!
I certainly understand the feeling lonely part. Feeling overwhelmed. Its not a society where people go out of their way to be helpful...

Can you figure out some other thing you can do if you are feeling stressed? For comfort? sometimes a cup of chai tea helps me. Or a hot bath, or building a fire...or maybe a game night with the kids?

Can you buy some frozen veggies to keep on hand? They are healthier than the canned, and easy to throw into things.

One way to meet people might be through the Library, if they have programs that interest you.

I also think you need to "can" Medifast, more and more. Its triggering you. Just start thinking "whole" foods again, since I think, from reading past posts, that is when you were feeling good.

I do think you are doing an amazing job. I have enough trouble just dealing with my own life and house...I can't imagine throwing kids into the mix.

The thing that I have noticed is that you are doing a lot of "low-carb" versions of high-fat things...maybe get a couple of cookbooks from the library to inspire you..Chez Panisse Vegetables, Deborah Madison's Greens cookbook, Jane Brody's Good Food cookbook, Greene on Greens (this one could use a little tweaking, the recipes are a little high in fat), all have some wonderful recipes.

So maybe work on building friendships and eating "Whole Foods". I'm right there with you.

Jenny said...


My heart really goes out to you. Feeling lonely is one of the worst things someone can feel. It must be so hard for you, not having someone to lean on when times are tough. Luckily I have my husband, and a few in-laws that are close to us in case of an emergency. As for close friends though, all of my best friends are in other states. That is hard!

I see a lot of women who have a ton of close support, people just milling around them, pretty much begging to let them cater to the women, to do things for them, to just 'be there'. Do I get jealous? Sometimes. Then again, it's my own doing in some ways; I am very picky about who I 'let in', because I've been burned by a lot of women in the past...and I think you may feel similar as well. You are, in a lot of ways, a private person, I think. Funny, because you have this blog which you open up in. However, I think that you hold a lot in, and only trust people in real life to a certain degree; they have to earn your trust. Nothing wrong with that! Like I said though, it makes things rough when you just need someone to lighten the load, to get some support from, to hang out with, to get a hug from even. I am very lucky I have my husband, as he's my true best friend; but sometimes I wish my BFF's were in the same town, so we can just hang out and be goofballs, let loose, have some girl time.

I'm rambling, but my point is this, you're never truly alone. You have so many people rooting for you, wishing you only the best. I know that you'll meet someone in real life that will deserve your friendship; your loveliness no doubt shines through in person as it does on your blog. Hang in there, and vent all you want...it is your blog!! xoxo

To the person who said 'others have it worse'...everyone is allowed to express themselves, so why should they have to always feel gratitude when sometimes they just need to feel like crap to get it over with?? It's OKAY to feel lousy sometimes. You cannot be happy 100% of the time; and I think it is very healthy of Lyn to vent, to purge those feelings. I think Lyn is probably one of the kindest people I've seen on the Internet; she is not full of herself, she admits her 'faults', she always has a sweet tone in her writing...so let her have ONE freakin' moment of sadness, will ya?

Lyn said...

Thank you so much. I feel lifted up and reading these comments first thing in the morning helped me so much. Hugs back!

Anonymous said...

I never said lyn didn't deserve to feel sad or lonely, or shouldn't talk about it. I'm just saying others are in the same situation, many in much WORSE ones. & they would love to have some of the small things that she has, like being able to regularily have the free time to help out at school and spend valuable time with her daughter so often.

Anonymous said...

LHA, I am delighted when we get ideas from each other, courtesy of Lyn's blog.
The reason I set a limit for myself is twofold. First, I read that people practice intuitive eating. Oh, how I wish I could do that. My experiments with such an approach have failed miserably. I can honestly say and some may not believe it, that if I were to eat ONLY when I am hungry and until I am full, not eat "unhealthy" food and nourish my body only when I experience physical hunger, my calories would settle somewhere around 3000 a day. Clearly I cannot do that on a regular basis, which is why a 2000 calorie limit is what I need for maint.
Secondly and perhaps more importantly, I do the limit thing for emotional reasons. As I mentioned in the original post, I resort to this approach when I feel completely out of control in other areas of my life. KNOWING that I am achieving some modicum of control in (at least) the nr. of calories I have allotted myself is important. Intellectually I know that no matter what else happens on that particular day, this one thing is the way I need it to be.
In an awkward segue and a complete change of subject, I believe that comparing ourselves or the circumstances of a blogger to those of other people does not achieve much, nor is it empathic. I am sorry to use this forum to make a point and I apologize to Lyn for doing it here, but it is something that is bothersome to me. When we are offered the privilege of reading somebody else's travails and especially allowed to comment, it would be courteous to refrain from critiquing the content of the blog, unless specifically invited or requested to do so. It seems to me that commenting in a manner that is counterproductive to the blogger's goal is unnecessary and downright cruel. A person who comments in this manner may wish to examine the motive behind the message. Is the intention to uplift? To bring joy? To comfort? If not, what is the motivation?
We may all be in a position to look at others and see that some of their circumstances are "better" than somebody else's. What is the point of raising this issue when a blogger is feeling dejected? Would one point out to the parents standing by their child's grave that at least they have 2 more children at home? Would it be comforting for the 80 year old widower to hear that at least he had his wife by his side for 60 years?
This topic is not about weight loss but it is about the way in which we treat each other as human beings. Some bloggers have made their blog private. No matter how many people may have benefitted from the content, we all stop having access to the words of wisdom, trauma, success, life lessons, the roller coaster that is another human being's life.
Personally, I would never want my life to be exposed in the manner in which some of the brave bloggers have done. Making a blog public is not an open invitation to throw daggers, jabs, punches and insults. In fact, it is not even an invitation to give unsolicited advice, though we all do it. The grace with which some of our HOSTS respond to such experiences amazes me! Most of the comments are exactly what one would hope and expect of civilized GUESTS. Some, however, speak volumes about the person from whom the venom is spewed.
I am sorry for the diatribe and I apologize again to Lyn for hijacking her blog but I hope it will be fodder for some self examination and hopefully decrease the frequency and vitriolic level of critical and hurtful comments presented under the guise of "caring".