Friday, January 13, 2012

My Plan B

I am really, reaallllly tired, so please forgive me if this is not the most coherent post you've ever read. But I wanted to share more about what I mentioned earlier this week: my Plan B.

I think I have finally found a key that will help me get through rough patches, holidays, parties, and special occasions without going off plan and spiraling back into binge eating and weight. I have experimented here and there with different things: eating what I want in moderation, calorie counting, having just a *little* of the foods I desire, abstinence, etc. And what I found is that when I have a specific plan with certain strict goals I want to meet each day and I deviate from that plan, I feel guilty/like a failure/frustrated for being "off plan" and then I eat a bunch of crap I never meant to eat. I guess I try to be "too perfect" or something and when I mess up I feel bad and mess up more. My Plan B puts a stop to that.

Right now, my Plan A is Medifast. I stay very consistent, following the guidelines for weighing and measuring the meats or eggs or other proteins I eat as well as the vegetables, fats, and condiments. I eat my 5 Medifast meals a day and my home cooked dinner and I feel good. But some days it is harder to do that. Maybe it's a holiday, a special occasion, a party or event where food is served, or just a super stressful day like the ones I've had this week. Instead of winging it and feeling like I went "off plan," I have finally come up with something that works: Plan B.

My Plan B is sort of an Atkins style of eating. It might include some Medifast meals, but it also allows for more protein, fat, and sodium than Plan A does. On Plan B, I don't go hog wild; it's not a free-for-all of bacon and cheese and sausage. I still count calories and stay under about 1800-1900. And most importantly, I count carbs. I try to stay even lower than Plan A, where I usually average 80-90 grams of carbs per day. On Plan B I am averaging 60 or so. No food is off limits if it fits my calorie and carb budget (which rules out things like cakes and cookies), so I have had things like prime rib, spiral sliced ham, and full fat cheeses. It is a nice break, it works, and it is *very* effective at allowing me to feel successful about a deviation from Plan A. So whether I am on Plan A or Plan B, I am *on plan* and that makes the mental game a lot more successful. I don't gain weight on Plan B either, although I retain water if I eat a lot of salt. It washes back out the next day.

That said, I aim for Plan A 95% of the time. I had a Plan B day on Christmas that I blogged about already, and I also had one yesterday. I truly believe that having an alternate plan of some time for occasional use is a very good idea.

Update on my last couple of days: I have been spending time at vets, at doctors' offices, at schools, running back and forth to finish necessary errands, caring for my elderly dog (who seems a bit improved after starting on Lasix), changing his diapers, carrying him up and down the stairs. I started two new classes with the pup this week, and that requires training time as well. I still volunteer in my daughter's classroom and have been dealing with the other kid related crisis as well. I am getting about 5 hours of sleep (not uninterrupted) per night and feel like I am falling apart because of it. I am exhausted and emotionally drained. I am drinking a LOT of coffee just to make it through a day (which I know is a bad idea, but I feel stuck). I am fighting migraines with nausea and visual disturbances from lack of sleep and stress. Fitness update: Exercise?? What exercise?? No. Nothing. Nothing since Monday. My life got very stressful on Tuesday and new developments have made it so I do not have time to do it. I just don't. And no I could not do it right now instead of blogging. I am so tired it hurts my fingers to type. I am almost falling asleep on the keyboard, slugging back coffee and then have to run 3 kids to appointments and take my daughter to dance. And frankly, if I did somehow find a spare ten minutes, I would not use it to bike. I'd use it to talk to my older son, who I have barely spent 5 minutes a day with this week. And if I found ten more I'd use it to clean my bathroom.

I will be fine, it'll all work out. I am just... drained. I hope that someday soon, the new friendships I am forming with dog sports will allow me to have someone to lean on for some things in times like this. It is hard to carry the burden all alone. At night when I go to bed, I just wish there was someone who shared the burden. I get tired of being strong. I feel 70 years old some days. But I know if I can get one good night's sleep I will feel like a new person. I will make it.


*FTC-required disclosure: Medifast provided me with its products for my personal use for free.*

18 comments:

Alaina said...

I'm so sorry you're going through this difficult time. Praying for you. :)

A journey to LIFE said...

It is great plan, i actually follow such plan on my "open days" which is basically once every week.
and i am losing weight also, so go for it, by now you know your body more than any one else.

regards being busy: you know i envy you, i love to be so busy instead of the opposite!!!

good luck

Deb Willbefree said...

The Plan A and Plan B switch off sounds great.

As for the rest, just reading this left me exhausted! I hope you can get some good sleep.

Deb

Vb said...

I think your plan B is excellent. The best way to get over a sugar/carb craving is to eat fat. And no, contrary to popular misinformation, eatting fat isn't what makes someone fat.

Melanie said...

I really like the idea of a Plan A and Plan B. I hope it works well for you! Keep us posted. I might want to try something similar.

Cindy said...

can you take something to sleep? like maybe 1 advil PM? I usually fall asleep normally with it, but i stay asleep... 1 pill is perfect. I've tried the other regular sleeping pills but for some reason the advil or tylenol ones work the best with no side effects.

I know I couldn't function with the lack of sleep you are getting. :(

Kelly the Happy Texan said...

I'm on Plan B. Wishing you the best of luck. Remember that plan B is actually high fat and moderate protein. But you probably already know that. Just an FYI: Atkins is giving away starter kits. You don't even have to pay shipping. It's at their web site.

Hope you're able to rest soon. Hang in there!

timothy said...

having a plan b is a good idea that way there's accountability and you keep in control. good luck sweetie. xoxoxoxoxo

Kim said...

Lyn,
Rather it be plan *A* or *B* you have a plan.. Look sometimes just having a plan is good if you have to pull plan * C* out. Do it. Even if you have to creat it as you go do what works for you.... Its your body you kno it best.. Best of luck with everything else and please try to get some rest.

Deb Willbefree said...

Lyn, I don't see anywhere on here, or in past posts for that matter, where you made excuses.

I see you describing circumstances & emotions, reviewing choices made and the outcomes of those choices, and, then, working to develop a strategy for success that considers all of the above.

And you, also, use this blog for what most use their blog for--to bounce ideas off of people, to clarify things for yourself in the process, to receive some support in the journey...well, and more. The list of things for which people use blogs is pretty long.

(Some abnormal people use blogs for perverted or unhealthy things, of course, but I definitely don't see you doing that. I'm talking normal pruposes here for my list.)

At any rate, I don't hear you making excuses. I hear you working it out.

Lyn, I have considered unfollowing your blog several timies because of some of the comments you receive, they trouble me so.

Granted, that is probably because I'm a counselor who has worked primarily in the field of women's issues for a couplel of decades and may, therefore, be a little more sensitive to demeaning and abusive intent than others, but some of these comments are simply mean-spirited, at best. Some are, quite frankly, indicative of an underlying mental health issue.

I'd rather not stop reading your blog, but I don't read blogs to be irritated, either--so, what I've decided to do is to stop reading your comments. So, if you have a response to something I say, I want you to realize that I won't see it. Sorry.

Deb

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with Deb! Some of the comments here are so demeaning and self-righteous.

You rock, Lyn!!! I can only imagine what you are going through now. Prayers.

Lyn said...

Deb (whether you're here or not)~

I am sick of them too, which is why I have been deleting them. The vast majority of the comments have been so helpful and supportive to me, and I am thankful for that. When it gets too much, I occasionally turn on comment moderation.

Thank you and others for your kindness. The energy you send out, positive or negative, will come back to you. I believe it.

Lyn said...

Cindy~

Thanks for the suggestion. I may try that. I have not been one to take any kinds of sleep aids, because I worry whether I would be impaired if, say, one of the kids was sick or if something bad happened in the night that I needed to deal with. I don't want to sleep through anything that is urgent. But I bet an Advil PM or similar would not be impairing. I will try it. I was awake before 5 again today when I really could have slept in. Wish I could stay asleep longer!

Lyn said...

Courtney~

I surely could get rid of my puppy, I could put my old dog to sleep. I could tell my daughter she cannot go to dance class because Mommy needs ten minutes on the bike. Dog sports IS part of my health plan, as it is the ONLY outlet I have for stress and the only social activity I have for building that critical support system that has been so lacking in the past. I do have my priorities, and the gym or the bike does NOT, and never will, come ahead of living people or creatures. But that's just me, and we all have to decide what's most important to us.

Priorities does not equal excuses.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand why you deleted my comment, I've never been downright nasty to you AT ALL.I just HONESTLY WONDER how the Medifast people that give you tons of free food feel about this plan b? It's an honest question, and it's not sugar coated. If you like Medifast, then why a plan b? If plan b is more sustainable for you, why Medifast? I am a person that wants to know and I'm not being "horrible, mean, abusive" etc.

Lyn said...

Anonymous~

Thank you for stating your question more respectfully.

The Medifast rep who I usually correspond with has been very supportive. Back some months ago, they set me up with a dietician who helped me formulate a different "plan B" of sorts, which included Medifast food but also some other things not on the 5 & 1 Plan. Medifast has several plans available which you can choose depending on your activity level, your health issues, and other factors, so the 5 & 1 Plan I am doing (as my Plan A) is not the only thing they recommend. They have always been supportive as I try to tweak things and they want me to succeed in my weight loss.

I like Medifast, but as I have said, Plan B is for times when I prefer to do something different without gaining weight. If you go back and read about my Christmas dinner plan and our family traditions, I explained there why I chose to eat differently on that day. I think I explained it in this post as well; there are times when a different plan can be helpful.

Anonymous said...

I greatly enjoy reading your blog. You put yourself out there honestly. We all have struggles some of us just choose to not be honest about them. I too am on a restrictive plan a with my dr, but have set up a plan b. it feeds the need in me for something a little bit different from plan a, but keeps me within some guidelines so I don't go crazy.

Keep up your chin and keep moving forward. We all get handed some more stressful times than others. To handle the stress of a more difficult time a plan b may help to elevate that additional stress of staying on such a restrictive plan. I know it is working for me.

I wish you well and continued growth with yourself and family.

Amy said...

I am exhausted listening to all you do in a day! I imagine working out on top of all of that might tax an already stressed immune system. I don't know how you do it! I hope you find someone to share the burden soon.
FYI-there are natural helpers for sleep issues, like melatonin. Also, blood sugars affect ability to sleep well, are you keeping yourself full enough?