Monday, March 5, 2012

Leap of Faith

Wow, I am really struggling.

It is hard when you're not really sure what your rules are. I think I have gotten so used to bending, and then breaking, whatever self-imposed rules I've had that it has become a habit.

I don't eat bread. But wait, wouldn't a piece of toast be great with these eggs? Hey, it's in my calorie budget. I am not in ketosis, it doesn't matter...

I don't eat sweets. Hey! They have sugar free cupcakes in that bakery! I am sure that would be okay, right?

Hmmm, I am too tired to make a "Lean & Green" dinner. Surely some nice "healthy" chili would be fine just  this once.

It is a constant battle. I got so used to just opening a packet at 8 - 10 - 12 - 3 and 9, with the only food 'thinking' being done for dinner at 6. Everything was decided. Now it's not.

So I say no to a lot of things because I just KNOW they will hurt me. If I eat refined sugar I will HURT. I will be in so much pain from arthritis inflammation that I won't be able to function. I say no to potato chips because my gosh, the acid reflux and sick stomach at night is just not worth it. But it is harder to say no to a bag of pistachios, an avocado, fresh pineapple, and "healthy" stuff like the chili I made for the family. Or a homemade chicken pot pie full of chicken breast and fresh vegetables. Yeah there's a crust. But I sort of block it out and pretend it is okay somehow. And honestly, I am not sure WHAT is okay for me!

I didn't eat any pot pie, by the way, but I ate the chili, I ate some cheese, I ate some "low glycemic index" coconut milk ice cream sweetened with agave.

I read something someone said about "diet fatigue" and I think I am there.

I see the scale tick up, up, up as the weeks go by. As tempted as I am to "crack down" and start super-restricting again to get "results," this time is different. This time, I have to work this through with the foods I am going to eat for the rest of my life. I am finding by trial and error what foods work for me and what foods don't. I am trying to eat sugar free, gluten free. I am trying to get in those 5 veggies and 2 fruits and 5-7 ounces of lean protein and healthy fats every day. I am going to continue doing that and working through this with whole, local, nourishing foods and, frankly, hope the scale eventually starts heading down. Because I am not willing to restrictively diet again in order to move the scale.

I am trying to focus on health and fitness and hoping weight loss follows. It is my leap of faith.


Karen said...

Transition is tricky without solid structue, IMO

Good luck and keep focusing on wheat and grain free. Is there any template of a food plan that looks good to you?

Keepus posted. Karen P

Lyn said...

Thanks Karen,

I really like the whole concept of Transition but find it hard to implement. Meaning, if I eat my Lean for breakfast or lunch, have Medifast meals and fruit earlier in the day, I look and see that what I have left that I am "supposed to eat" is five veggie servings for dinner. And I don't want five veggie servings every day.

I was thinking about the whole chili thing. The only thing not on plan about it was the beans. Those are added in week 4. I seem to be jumping ahead of myself a little. I am too impatient. It's frustrating.

I need a different approach emotionally. Not a new PLAN, a new mental approach.

Bunpoh said...

I understand about the diet fatigue! I am so there. And about transition, too. And the frustration of gaining during the whole process.

I think the best we can do right now is informed trial and error. You are doing it, and you are learning much from it, looks like, to me. I think it's the only way.

Diandra said...

It sounds like part of your brain is constantly looking for ways to cheat... most likely you simply have to find a way of eating that both you and that cheater can live with. Good luck with everything! I am sure you will start to lose weight again, eventually... as soon as body and mind know where they are going (and why) again.

Cathy said...

Lyn, I would like to recommend a book the 4 Day Win by Martha Beck. It can be used in conjunction with any "diet", but focuses alot more on the "mental" stuff, in a non annoying way. And I am easily annoyed.

Jane Cartelli said...

I hate to be the one to say it but agave is sugar. Listen to what doctors who are not selling anything have to say on the subject. It is all sugar, just a different form - and it still messes with the body and mind, especially of the food addict.

My mental approach:
Cancer patients don't want chemo and radiation. Diabetics don't want to stick themselves with monitors and needles of insulin. Dialysis patients don't want to be tethered to a machine for hours on end. They all do those things to live and become healthy. That is why I eat the veggies and leave the junk. That is why I say no to food that will, in time, kill me.

lindalou said...

how bout just counting calories the old fashioned thing to do.

say 1200-1400 cals/day and stop.

easy, peasy, it doesn't have to be such a puzzle...doesn't have to be so complicated.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lyn,

I love your blog and have been reading it for al long time now. What I would do if I were you is make a list in the weekends of what meals to eat every day. You can have your choice of different foods as you wish and like but you don't make choices on the spot (to tempting) but beforehand. If you really want a certain food and it is not on your plan for that week, put it in your plan for the next week if you really want it en feel you can have it without damage. You can wait a week, The food will still be there. Don't let the food have so much power over you that you have to have it right away. Keep some distance. I know this is very difficult but you are not just trying to loose weight, you are also batteling an eating disorder and that is really difficult. Good luck, you can do it!


Erika said...

I have said this SO many times, over and over, but it really doesn't have to be that complicated!

Ask yourself "Is this healthy? Is this unprocessed? Will this give me energy and be good for my body?". If yes, then eat! If not, step away!

Medifast is not working. Transition is not working. The only thing that works is exercise and proper, REAL nutrition. I hope you find your way, Lyn. You are a really good person and I know that some days it's not easy.

Leslie said...

The mental approach is the key, Lyn. I say this because it is always my #1 battlefield. One thing I have to say is that the coconut ice cream sweetened with agave is probably not the best idea. Sugar is sugar, even when it's 'healthy' agave. It will still start up the whole insulin reaction that makes us crave more - even when we just had a little. Esp. for those of us who've abused our bodies to the point where insulin resistance is, well, resistant. I'm behind you and salute your courage in the venture. It's a tough one!

Kathleen said...

Dear Lyn, I know what you mean about diet fatigue. I have been dieting since 2009, steadily, not cheating, being very strict. Because of me being so rigid, I have met wild success. I am thin and very fit and can wear anything I want and do as much physical activities as I want with ease. However, I find that now, after three solid years of dieting, I am finding it more and more difficult to say ‘no’ to foods I know I need to say ‘no’ to. And, like you, I find the foods that are the most tempting are not ‘junk’ foods, but foods I know are allowed (but in smaller amounts, or different forms). For instance, I usually practice a very low-carb lifestyle, so the foods that are calling out to me now are peanut butter, pumpkin seeds, nuts, eggs, etc. All of those foods are good, whole foods, and are allowed on my ‘plan’. However, I have not been eating them in the moderation my plan calls for. I think I am just tired of having to monitor my intake ALL DAY, EVERY DAY (I am exaggerating a little; my plan does indeed incorporate regular Free Days, where I can eat off-plan and not feel guilty). This plan has served me MORE than excellently for three years. But now I have to think about whether I should change it, or if this is just a rough patch mentally that I have to get through. I can see that by going off my plan, I am regaining the weight slowly. And I do not want this. I do not know what you should try in order to get over this rough period in your dieting life. As for me, I am going to try, after the month of ‘loose’ rules I have just had, to go back and follow the plan, and try to get myself back under control. If this attempt fails, I will have to make a new plan. But I hope it succeeds, because the way I ate for 3 years I know works and keeps the weight off. Wish me luck! I wish you all the luck (and willpower) you need to get through this. – Kathleen
P.S. Giving yourself some time off to eat what you want or loosening the rules does not make you happy and fill you with relief like you think it’s going to. Instead, you have to watch yourself gain weight and feel guilty all the time, even though you have given yourself ‘permission’. I always find it better to stick to my plan, which makes me feel so much better not only physically but also mentally. That is just some advice and warning from my personal experience, in case you were thinking of ‘taking a break’. I am an advocate of small breaks, occasionally (such as a Free Meal, or a Free Day), but not breaks that last longer than 24 hours. That way leads to despair and weight gain.

Shelley said...

I go through phases where I don't get a lot of veggies in every day...and then I suddenly can't get enough of them. I think our bodies (and our palates, maybe?) cycle with food. So cut yourself some slack if you don't have all the veggies you're "supposed" to on a particular day.

Also, long ago, before Dr. Oz became kinda strange, he said in his "You on a Diet" book to have some go-to meals - healthy meals that you can prepare and eat without having to think or fuss. For me, that's my Greek yogurt/fruit/granola combo...which I have just about every morning for breakfast, and sometimes for dinner.

You'll figure this out. But I know, always thinking about it gets old.

timothy said...

good luck darlin i know you'll figure it out. i know for me fruit is tricky i simply eat one bannana a day and maybe 2 apples a week any more than that and i get sluggish and the weight creeps. i also only but those little 99 cent bags of nuts otherwise i'll binge and eat a whole large can/bag in a sitting. my willpower's cryptonite is nuts! WHO KNEW? lolol just keep movin forward and do NOT give up or let doubt rule you! YOU HAVE GOT THIS! xoxoxoxoxo

TNTriathlete said...

Since you are experiencing "diet fatigue" which is understandable, why make it more complicated than it is?

Why not set a reasonable calorie goal (say with a 500 calorie deficit per day), use one of the online tools to track your calorie intake, then choose the foods you know are healthy and make you feel good?

You are motivated to make healthy choices because you have to make your calorie "budget" last the whole day. Once you hit your limit, you are done for the day. If you exercise doing this, you will lose even more quickly.

This WILL work. You cannot outwit physics. If you run a calorie deficit consistently you will lose weight. This way you don't have to agonize over what food is "good" or "bad" or "right."

I am doing this and it is working. I am down to 134 and am losing about 2 lbs. per week but I work out a lot, too. (I am eating 1200-1500 calories a day.) If you ate 1500 calories per day consistently you would lose much more quickly than I am.

I eat "clean" 90% of the time but leave room for a treat every day, usually frozen yogurt. This way I don't feel deprived.

Please consider this. The simplicity of it is very freeing, and all of the nutritional knowledge you have acquired will still be invaluable as you apply it to your food choices within your daily calorie budget.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lyn!
My name is Christine. I have been reading your posts since August of 2010. I am very thankful that I found it as it has inspired me on my weight loss journey. You are very honest and that impresses me. I have been obese pretty well my whole life and I reached a high of 290 lbs (when I found your blog) and after many attempts and different diets, I had pretty much given up on ever being a normal size (at 46 years old). On September 1st, 2010, I decided to try one more time at losing the weight and getting out of the hell that obesity had put me in. I did much research and decided to try the hcg diet. I know you have said before that hcg is not for you, but I am hoping you would consider at least looking at it as a tool you could use to release any extra pounds you are not happy with. The hcg diet (I used the homeopathic drops that go under your tongue) has completely changed me. On July 10, 2011 (my 47th birthday) I hit my goal weight of 155 lbs! I have pretty much maintained my loss and I realized that for me the real benefit to this diet was how it ridded my body of sugars, processed foods, etc.. The diet is very restrictive and yet I felt great the whole time I was on it (after a few days of detoxing). As I reflect on the benefits this diet has had for me, I realize that the very limited foods I could eat was what really helped me maintain my weight loss. I had tried many low carb diets before (I love carbs and would gain back all that I had lost plus more eventually after slowly letting the carbs back in) and after 10 months of doing 5 rounds of hcg I now looked at low carb as a feast and I now love eating healthy and low carb foods.
I am not preaching or saying that what worked for me would work for anyone else, I am just saying that I feel a strong connection to you and your weight loss struggles because so often as I have read your posts I have thought "wow this post could have been written by me".
Just fome "food for thought".
If you want any info just read "pounds and inches" or you could email me @ and I could let you know what worked for me. (I do not sell anything, nor am I anyway associated with any company, etc. who does). I am just a person who has found what I consider MY "miracle" and I would like to help anyone else who is interested in this.

TNTriathlete said...

And I actually don't want to lose more than two pounds a week as I don't want to lose the precious muscle I've worked so hard for. This is also another reason to add strength training to your routine. It will help raise your metabolism, too, of course.

Colleen said...

Lynn, given that all your hurdles these days seem to be mental (with a dash of hormonal/physiological influence), why not consider talking to an eating disorder specialist? Surely you are not the first person in recovery from BED to struggle with defining what a "normal" healthy diet is for yourself. You are also dealing with a metabolism that is not normally functioning; this is common after a successful major weight loss. There is definitely a "mourning period" while dealing with that reality and there is no need to limit your support through that process to this blog.

You need a doctor who can look over your *entire* history and guide you, not a bunch of blog readers who may not remember your attempts at calorie counting/whole foods, the physical issues that affect your activity level, etc.

Lyn said...


I would love to see an eating disorder specialist. But I cannot drive 3 hours each way several times a month to see one. So until there is such a specialist within about an hour's drive, it's not something I can do.

Anonymous said...

Dear Lyn,
I feel positively guilty! Having read your blog has, literally, changed my life. I've lost a steady one pound a week since September, when I found you on 3fc and started reading your blog. During the holidays I planned to maintain and did so. This is not in any way a reply meant to boast but simply to let you know that your journey and your blogging about it has the potential to drastically impact somebody's life.
It is so difficult to see you struggling. Like most people I am tempted to offer suggestions, as if you don't already know more than most of us put together about the science and behaviors re. wt. loss.
The only thing I can say is that when I've experienced diet fatigue, calorie counting has been the saving grace. Thanks to the emotional changes I've worked through, since I've read your blog, some insights, "aha" experiences and late in life understanding of events, I can now limit almost completely items that are not nourishing my body, akin to the the food that makes you physically sick. I DO try to shoot for selections that will be good for my body, but generally speaking, I do not "ban" anything because it causes food obsessions for me.

By testing a variety of calorie levels for a full two week period, I have found what gives me the average loss of one pound a week. I stick with that most of the time, but I also allow an average, the way you did during a period of time. I ONLY walk for exercise. Granted, it is a 2hr. walk and I use it more for mental health than physical activity, but the rest of my day is spent at a leisurely pace. I am exactly your height but am more than a decade older.

I hope you do not mind my unsolicited impression: I believe that you may have too many rules. I don't know about anybody else, but I find that when I place myself under that kind of stress, breaking ONE rule puts me into the "what the heck, I already messed up so I might as well...." fill in your own break down of ALL good intentions.
I also do not like to eat based on yesterday's or last Monday's preparation, since I don't know what I will feel like eating from hour to hour, I do not know what kind of day I will have or what my body will need. For this reason, I have a general idea of what I want and simply add the calories as I go along, for the items I've ingested. I weigh absolutely everything on a laboratory scale and enter the nr. of calories immediately, on a piece of scrap paper. Easy, not particularly time consuming, never feeling like I "blew it for the day".
I wish you success but most of all I wish you could find some peace.

Anonymous said...

Totally with you re. Lyn's history with all the issues you mentioned. I admit to becoming a bit impatient with those who spout their own brand of "fix" and either did not read or forgot Lyn's specific issues.

Also, if I am going to be a bit catty at this time, I've been stunned by those who were critical of Lyn's low calorie budget but they think nothing of working out for hours on end, creating a deficit, far greater than Lyn's calorie consumption. I also read that she should do exercises that would completely incapacitate her and that she should eat "whole foods", EXCELLENT advice, but coming from some whose consumption of calories originates from simple carbs at best and a good percentage of sugar products, leaves me scratching my head.
Just sayin'

Anonymous said...

Oh Lyn, I so sympathize. I have gained weight in the past month and I canNOT seem to push myself to get it off (but maybe "pushing myself" as if it's is the wrong attitude and I should just do what is healthy like you say?). I'm sick of my clothes feeling uncomfortably tight, and yet I am just stuck in this trap of "hey, almonds are healthy, surely I can eat 10 more?" and "I'm tired, I just want to relax at night and not work out." I am really inspired by this post, so consider me taking a leap of faith with you. :)

Cat said...

I do wish you would try OA again. No in-person meetings required. Online and phone meetings are available 24/7.

Dieting is not the answer to an eating disorder. Surrendering to a fellowship and a meal plan could bring you such liberation.

Using your mind to figure out your disorder simply will not work. It can work on non-eating disorded overweight people, but not those who struggle internally the way I know I did.

I tried for decades to figure out eating but only chaos and weight fluctuations ensued.

When I decided I could not make it happen intellectually, I made it happen spiritually (not religiously) by surrendering the analytical part of this. Instead I rely on the wisdom of those who have come before me.

I eat abundant abstinent meals and have no more food obsession. A miracle for a former bulimic and COE whose world was limited by a constant compulsion to figure out food.

Just a thought. Take care.

Finding Me, One Pound at a Time said...

Another great post! Thank you and best wishes to you!! :-)

Princess Dieter said...

Agave is crap. Stay away.

I'm right with you that I don't want to do restrictive. It's why I'm maintaining rather than losing. Of course, the way I eat is restrictive to many--1400 to 1600 calories, no sugar (rarely, anyway, cause some dark choco sneaks in, but I buy sugar free ones to keep on hand), no gluten, mostly whole/clean foods. I am less strict on starch than I was one year ago, cause I will have a cup of rice pasta or a half cup of rice or a serving of potatoes with some regularity now. (Mostly the taters and rice, less so the pasta, as I really wanna pile up cheese on pasta).

You need to retrain your brain to stop thinking "I can't have". And it will come. You'll learn the "I can have." We're all in some journey to elarning the "I can have". I'm still working on it. I have gotten great at restaurants with the "Don't bring x adn don't include y in any dish" thing. I fill my shopping carts with only the stuff I can eat.

I think that the finding your eats and balance will come, just fight on. And it's fine to purge the house of no-good stuff. Your kids don't need it. Trust me. No child needs sugar or cake or cookies or brownies or a load of pizza or etc. They may not be hefty now, but getting them used to hyperpalatable foods may mean obesity LATER. And no one wants that.

If you eat well, they eat well...what mama eats, they can eat. And everyone stays well. :)

I know you'll find your footing. Just remember to focus on the I CAN while learning the I CANNOT...

Habits are hard to make, easy to break, but we can make them. :)

lisa~sunshine said...

I agree with others about how many rules you put on yourself.. Don't get me wrong.. I have some rules but I don't trap myself into a certain way of eating by saying I"m paleo.. or a clean eater.. Basically I've developed my plan that works for me... it may not be healthy enough for one person or for someone else it may seem like I'm a health nut but regardless it works for me..
I know you want to eat as whole and healthy as you can and I do think those principles are good.. but I also think you need to cut yourself some slack and allow yourself to ENJOY life too..
I count calories.. keep them between certain numbers.. i enjoy a banana with 15 grams of almond butter and a dove dark chocolate square melted on top.. EVERYday that I do a workout..

I know you will figure out your plan.. You are getting a lot of suggestions but I"m going to agree with others on getting your body moving in some way.. maybe even a water class since your knees are bad?

TNTriathlete said...

Anonymous from 9:23 a.m.:

I'm not sure if you were referring to my post or not, but the reason I "think nothing of working out for hours on end" is because I am a competitive athlete, not because I'm trying to create a huge calorie deficit. I train 15-20 hours per wee which actually isn't that much for a competitive triathlete.

In addition, Lyn herself has said she is going to be incorporating some form of strength training back into her routine at some point, so I fail to see how this is recommending an exercise that will "incapacitate" her. Strength training can be done in the water, for example, to minimize stress on the joints.

Anonymous said...

While I'm glad that you are transitioning off of Medifast, I think that there is a solid, stable, SLOW transition for the very reason you stated: you went from set meals with little planning/thought to having a whole world of food open to you, comparatively. It is naturally going to screw you up to go from stringent rules to, really, just a few guidelines.

I understand that you wanted to be off of Medifast, but by foregoing the training wheels/transition phase I think you have overwhelmed yourself with too many choices, too quickly. Many of the last few posts have been "this was supposed to happen in a week, but I'm doing it early" and yes, a week is not you jumping the gun (I know you've been planning getting off of Medifast for months) but in the context of behaviors and habits a week is a HUGE amount of time- 3 meals a day, 7 days, 21 times to implement new habits/structure.

I would sincerely reconsider your accelerated modifications to transition. You went from extreme restriction to basically none in a much shorter time period than is suggested. I wish you the best of luck!!

The Ousted Princess said...

Diet fatigue is totally real! Hang in there

donner said...

i was having sugar cravings and sneaking (if you can call it that - its not like it doesn't show up on my thighs or butt) chocolate, but now I've been moved to the Daily Nutrition program (its 4 MF meals and two lean and greens) and am now allowed fruits, a small dairy or low-cal bread. I encourage you to try that option, or at least try some fruit to satisfy your sugar desires...I'm enjoying raspberries right now and its like I've died and gone to heaven....wheee....

Anonymous said...

I'm sure it will all work out Lyn.

I have seen that coconut milk ice cream in the store and have always wondered how it tastes?

Neesha said...

First of all, I admire you so much for all your persistence and honesty. You have courage not many of us have in sharing the ups AND down of your story. I completely understand diet fatigue and I believe it is a real thing.

Have you ever thought about getting a fitbit or something? It really helps keep your activity on track and it tracks just about everything. It syncs up with and that just streamlines every thing all the more. It's a great tool to keep you accountable AND take away a lot of the thinking. I'm really enjoying it.


Lindsey said...

I am so grateful for this blog. I am experiencing many of the things you are, but I thought I was the only one. It is so comforting to hear my thoughts come out of your head, too. Knowing this is normal is such a comfort. I went to my counselor today and told me I know I am self-sabotaging myself. I am afraid to get to transition because then I have to make more choices. I can't just follow the instructions. There is more choice and responsbility involved. The weight loss phase is easy. It's afterward that's tough. I know you will work through it. However, don't be afraid to go back to basics if thing start to get crazy. Don't set yourself up to feel like if you go back to 5 and 1 that is failure. That is why transition goes step by step. They tell you which fruits you can eat, which ones are low glycemic. Try new ones, and until you have mastered that step don't go to the next step. Like if you are having trouble controlling your fruit, don't go to grains until you feel ready. The beauty of this program is the step by step. Enjoy the ride. Don't feel like you have to hurry through transition. You seem to keep starting early. Why not wait until your are on schedule? Thanks again, and keep up good work. You have worked hard. You are worth taking care of.

beerab said...

I'm feeling the same way. The past two weeks I have pushed myself to stay on track but I'm CONSTANTLY thinking about food- it sucks!

*hugs* Stay focused!

Anonymous said...

I agree with commenter that basically said to slow down the Transition steps. Don't buy food you 100% don't trust yourself with..that's a big one. If you've been having a hard time limiting yourself with say nuts, and can barely ever stick to a serving, I would stop buying them. Even if it's a healthy food, it can still be too much.

Anonymous said...

"Do or do not, there is no try."

I know you are weary of both good and bad intentions on here, but I do hope you'll consider that finding out what works for your body and what doesn't is sometimes a time-consuming process. I remember seeing a dermatologist for an allergic reaction and he told me it would take several weeks for whatever it was to get out of my system completely. when you do elimination diets for food allergies, you don't get to try something out for one meal or one day and dismiss it; it takes time. Your diet over the past few weeks/months has been the very definition of yo-yo. Be kind to your body! Best of wishes to you and your journey, you have many people rooting for you!


Anonymous said...

TNTriathlete, I was absolutely, definitely, NOT referring to you in any context whatsoever.
As a former athlete myself (at Olympic levels), I am quite aware what is required of somebody who is training with a specific goal in mine.
Lyn has been told, on several occasions, to "just DO IT", by those who were able to "DO IT" themselves, pre-injury and with the type of support from which Lyn does not benefit.
Lyn has said she would incorporate exercise as well as physical therapy into her routine and I believe that is not only to be applauded but will be beneficial to her.
Good luck with training and congratulations!