Saturday, May 26, 2012

Spinning My Wheels

I have been spinning my wheels on this weight thing for SO long. It really is like having a car stuck in the mud: give it a rev, wheels spin fast, mud flings up, go nowhere. Sit a while in your spot, think, gear up, and try again.

But the scenery is getting so, so old.

Throw some sand down, try again. Stick a piece of cardboard under the tire, try again. Maybe some cat litter to dry out the mud, try again. Anything to gain some traction and get out of this spot. But it gets deeper and deeper the more you rev. Have a push from some friends, keep trying.

Eventually everyone gets their car out of the rut.

My entire energy has been so distracted from weight loss. I know lots of people claim they just fix their healthy meals and eat them and go for their 5-mile run everyday no matter what. Okay, that is awesome! I wish I was there. I guess we are all different, because it takes quite a bit of focus and mental energy for me to lose weight. It always has. I know others feel this way too. It's not really about the physical work or the time needed to grocery shop, prepare healthy meals, weigh out portions, count calories, and exercise. It is about them mental dedication... the mental resources... that it takes to do those things AND the other important things in life. Yes, if those things become *automatic*, they require far less focus. But until they are, it feels like being so, so torn.

Very few things are more important than my health. And even those things are *dependent* on my health. I mean, what good am I to anyone if I am unwell, hospitalized, or dead? I know I have to put my health first. But on a daily basis, in the nitty gritty of life, that is easier said than done. It is all nice and good to say "put on your own mask first!" and other such (true) sayings, but when it comes down to a child crying in pain, I am not going to leave her crying on the couch while I go off to ride my exercise bike for 20 minutes or make a salad.

And for me, it often *is*a matter of choosing to set my goals aside to put someone else first. I've gotten very good at saying "no" to others who ask for my time and energy; unfortunately this has resulted in some alienation, because when you say "no" to people enough times, they stop asking. They don't always understand how thin you are stretched. They go away. And the circle gets smaller.
Anyway, lately it seems like there is always something. And I am coming to terms with the fact there that will always *be* something. I will always have something else that is "more important" than my own needs, simply because I have five kids. Even when they are adults (and some of them are), they will have medical crises and life events or issues that need my attention. And if I keep throwing my own needs out the window every time they need me, I am just going to deteriorate physically. I need to find a way to balance their needs with mine. Sometimes it is not as simple as it looks.
But I can't keep spinning my wheels. I need to get out of this rut.


Anonymous said...

"It's not really about the physical work or the time needed to grocery shop, prepare healthy meals, weigh out portions, count calories, and exercise."

Perhaps it would be good to focus on one or two of those things and focus less on perfection. I notice you go great lengths to fix healthy meals, but I sometimes wonder if they even end up being low calorie/low carb enough. What if you just focus on either low calorie or low carb, even if that means eating lean cuisines or medifast meals? I eat pre-packaged meals several times a week and maintain a healthy bmi. It takes little time or mental energy.

I know people are going to be annoyed by this post and insist you cook healthy meals from scratch all week, but, for those of us with little time, it's simply not always realistic.

Wishing you all the best.

PaulaMP said...

I'm not a parent, so I'm sure most of you won't take my words too seriously but didn't you say four of your kids are pretty much grown? Even though you would always be there for them it's not the same as caring for a little child. Of course you wouldn't leave her crying on her own but surely she can't cry for 24 hours straight? Drag the bike into the living room where she can still be reassured you are there. Her health will improve, I know right now you feel like it's overwhelming. I'm no role model for the weight loss community but it really does sound like you are grasping for any excuse you can find not to do this. I still think you're making it into a HUGE thing when it doesn't need to be. You would grocery shop and cook anyway, right? Just don't eat sugar or junk food. Three meals a day, lightest at dinner. Ride that bike for as long as you can every day. Believe me, I am still fat, but I have improved a lot. I drag my carcass to the gym four times a week for two hours. I pretty much quit snacking. I may not be thin yet but I'm healthier. I used to be like you I think, it was all or nothing. 100% on plan or off plan. It doesn't have to be this hard.

Lyn said...


My meals are definitely not low cal or carb enough. I've been cooking higher fat, higher calorie things for my daughter and one son who both need to put some weight on but don't eat enough. Often I make the Medifast style dinners (lean protein and veggies) with sides for them like brown rice or potatoes. Right now I am cooking more for their medical needs; I have considered eating just Medifast meals and nothing else. I am just too tired to fix a second meal for me.


Two of my kids are college age. Two in high school. One first grader. Three of my kids have serious medical issues, including one who almost certainly will need a transplant. Two are underweight. And yes my daughter has cried for 24 hours straight at times, except when she was asleep in my arms. I think because I do not detail the medical stuff, people assume things are a lot more simple than they are. There can be a lot of pain, time, trips, etc involved when even ONE child has a serious lifelong medical issue. But I chose not to be a Mommy Blogger who writes about her kids' medical issues, even though I definitely could do that with any one of my three.

If people want to judge, so be it. I have a lot I am dealing with alone, here, and the only thing that keeps me going some days is my love for my children. I think it says a lot that I have not given up and have kept off the vast majority of the weight I lost for this long.

Prof. D said...

I totally understand your feelings. When I first started my journey approx. 18 months ago your blog was one of the first weight loss blogs I started to follow. I found you via (3fatchicks). I remembered reading your blog and being most impressed by your "Habit A week " challenge. I believe it is a great idea, maybe you should go back to that challenge. Best wishes and yu will win this struggle.

Anonymous said...

One of the BEST things you can do for your kids is take care of yourself, while taking care of them. Kids form their core values and behaviors on their parents'. So ask yourself what kind of adult you want your kids to be: with a core value of caring for oneself while caring for others, or learning only self-sacrifice?

All the best, sweetie.

Anonymous said...

Awww, Lyn. I hear you loud and clear in this post. Although it is beyond my ability to imagine what it would be like to have THREE children with health issues...I mean, really, just reading that overwhelms me...I do know what it's like to put one's self aside for one's children.

And, at risk of starting a revolt, I think that is what moms should do. Narcissistic moms do more damage than we imagine--no matter how they excuse their self-absorption and neglect. It's not a noble pursuit for health; it is selfishness pure and simple.

There is a need for balance, tho. As you said, you won't be much help from your hospital bed.

Just last night, I was having a little talk with myself about that. About the need to back off as far as my efforts go to support/help/intervene so that my GROWN children and grandchildren don't suffer the consequences of life. I'm working on accepting the fact that it is not irresponsible for me to tend to myself a bit.

It's a tough sell for me--and my children are in their 30s!--so I can only imagine what it must be like for you. Your children, all of them, are still in need of a fully engaged mom.

Thing is, there has to be a way to meet your basic health and emotional needs while being a fully engaged mom. Must be.

Clearly, I can offer no suggestions. I don't know your daily life, and if I still tend to sweep my own need for self-care aside, how could I possibly have a plan to offer?!

Here's what I do know, tho. There are times when the best thing you can do is to just lean back and take a deep breath, (Yes. You can.) and then simply do what is at your hand to do.

Spinning wheels to get ahead while feeling overwhelmed is not helpful and usually produces bad results. Sometimes the best choice is to leave the car at home and just walk. You'll get there slower, but you'll get there and with less stress.

Mother your children as much as they legitimately need that, but no more than is helpful to them, and mother yourself. Do the basics.

This is not time to be a super woman. Actually, in your situation, doing the basics IS being a super woman. So, give yourself some grace, girlfriend.



P.S. Ignore Paula. She is trying to be helpful, but really has no idea what she is talking about.

PaulaMP said...

I was not trying to judge you, just giving you one reader's perspective from your long term blog. I thought you wanted our opinions, if you don't that's fine too. I don't see the point if everybody just tells you want you want to hear. My view is you want to give up and just go back to eating crap, that's fine but not if you are trying to "escape obesity". Nice to meet you Deb, I might not know what I'm talking about but I'm not as rude as you are.

lynna said...

Reading back a few posts... you have enough stress in your life that a lesser woman would collapse into a puddle of meltdown on the living room floor. You strike me as one very strong woman... to have all this on your plate AND lose 80 pounds and keep it off. Give yourself some "attagirls". You rock. You will keep moving forward toward a stronger, healthier body, mind and soul. That's just who you are.

Anonymous said...

Lyn, I hope you understand that this is not about judging but about encouraging you to put your future ahead of temporary pain in the present. It's not you vs the kids, it's the kids now vs the kids in the future. Your daughter needs you to be healthy today so you'll be around in 15 years. I can't begin to imagine what it's like to have a child who needs a transplant - I know it's not easy to get an organ and I know people die on waiting lists. But the truth remains that your own health will deteriorate quickly at this weight. Maybe you won't die, you'll lose mobility due to your knees and hips. And lean-protein plus veggies are healthy for everyone. If they need to supplement with chips, bread, sugary drinks just for calories, it's better that you start with a base of highly nutritious foods. The high school and college aged kids should be helping with every household task from grocery shopping, cooking, to watching their sister. No other job, no spending money, no dates, no cars or movies or TV should come before their contribution to putting their own dinner on the table.

Maria O. said...

I'm a long-time reader/lurker, but I wanted to come out of hiding for this one. I think Paula was trying to be helpful--but those rah-rah, pull yourself up by the bootstraps types of speeches are useless when you're dealing with a chronically ill child. And, yes, children can cry for 24 hours straight. Please, ask me how I know! ;)

I get you, Lyn. I really do. I lost 50+ pounds in 6ish months before getting pregnant with my daughter. I did it the old school, diet and exercise way. Lots of cardio, strength training and running. It was hard work and took a lot of effort but I was a work at home wife with no kids so I could make it work.

Then kiddo was born and all hell broke loose. Multiple, severe heart defects they'd somehow missed during all those prenatal ultrasounds. We basically lived in doctors' offices and at Texas Children's for months and months and months. It was...overwhelming but we made it through.

Somehow I maintained that weight loss through two heart surgeries, multiple hospitalizations, etc. I didn't start to pack on the pounds again until we tried for a second child a year after kiddo was born. 26 pounds back on in 6 months. Seriously annoying.

But then kiddo got sick again and I've been basically spinning my wheels. I know exactly what I need to do to get the weight off. It's not rocket science. But you know what? I'm effing tired. I'm TIRED.

After juggling hospital stays, appointments with three different doctors and insurance crap, I've still got to be a good, involved mother who provides love and snuggles and all the mental stimulation I can muster for my toddler. My days are filled with coloring, counting, playing outside, trips to the park and library. Then, there's the housework that has to be done. Even sharing equally with my husband, there's still always something that has to be done, cloth diapers that need to be washed or carpet littered with Cheerio sprinkles that needs to be vacuumed.

And there's the added stress of trying to be a good, supporting wife. I love my husband and he loves me and if I've got an extra 30 minutes to the end of my day, you can bet your britches it's going to be spent with him, connecting in whatever way we can. Those WATP DVDs don't hold a candle to that.

My writing career won't wait either. I've got books and short stories and novellas due on tight deadlines. And, no, I can't ignore those. We NEED that money to pay all the medical bills. Sure, we have insurance but it's high deductible and has a ridiculous out-of-pocket maximum. So, do I sit down and write a chapter or do I put on my tennis shoes and go for a run? I write. Because it pays the bills.

So, yeah, Lyn. I get it. I know what's it's like to *know* you've got to get your crap together and get healthy but to deal with the reality of a tough situation where you have to prioritize other people's needs over your own.

FWIW I'm making small changes and seeing results, if slowly. I cut out the sodas again and am getting back to my two-week menus planned around the IR diet principles that worked so well for me. I've also convinced my toddler that workout DVDs are dance DVDs so she thinks they're cool and wants to do them with me. Sure, it's going to take me longer than the last time to get the weight off but I will. It's not a perfect balance, and some days are better than others, but I'm trying.

Lyn said...


I do want opinions, which is why your comment is here. You've been around a long time and have had some good things to say. I just wanted to respond because many, many folks make assumptions about what my life is like (because I do keep some personal things private) and I like to respond. Dialogue is good. But I don't know why you say I want to "give up and just go back to eating crap." The day that happens, you will come to read my blog and see a deleted, empty space. I promise. Because on the day I want to give up and go back to eating crap I will do it, without trying to get anyone's approval. I can decide to do that if I want. I have never indicated that was my desire though. Quite the opposite.

Re: the several comments about needing to put me first... yes, I know. That is why I wrote this post. It is a dilemma and as Maria wrote, sometimes you pick what is more urgent or essential at the time. When a person has many, many responsibilities, it is a juggling act. You do what you have to do to keep your home, pay your bills, save your child's life, save your sanity. Honestly if I did have a spare 2 hours by some miracle, I'd sleep. Not bike or make a salad. Because I think my lack of sleep is right now the #1 contrubutor to my sense of always feeling run-down and getting sick often.

Re: the older kids helping... they do. When I was vomiting all day, the older kids took my little one to school and handled everything else as well. My older kids do help a lot, but no, in my eyes it is NOT their job to take over the cooking, cleaning, etc. It is their job to get good grades in school, do a good job at their places of employment, and help with *reasonable* household chores. You and I may have different parenting philosophies, and that's fine! My kids over 18 pay their own bills, buy and maintain their own cars, and work while paying their own way through college. I am proud of them for that. I do not expect them to come home from work and college to babysit, cook, and clean for me.

The nice thing about a 4+ year blog is I can look back and see the stretches of time when things were going smoothly and I was more energized and focused, and I know there will be more good stretches in the future. "This too shall pass."

MargieAnne said...

I agree! You need to get some sleep but the question is how?

You really need a friend in your neighbourhood who will come into the house for a couple of hours now and then and give you time to do what you need to do for yourself.

Do you have such a friend? I know you've said that you had to drop out of things you enjoy and have lost touch with folk as a result.

One thing I do know ... it is very difficult to ask for help but sometimes we must.

Today I'm praying for your greatest need to be met. A trusted person to come and give you the relief you need, even if it's doing one of the household chores while you nurse your sick girl.

A Fairy Godmother would be nice. *smiles*

When I read your blog at times such as this I wish I lived round the corner from you.


Anonymous said...

I don't have kids, so I don't have experience with that. I have been in this weight loss/maintenance thing for a while though and have found what works for me.

I've said most of this before, but it seems like a good time to restate.

Don't buy any trigger foods. Period. Even if they are healthy etc. If you tend to overeat nuts, don't buy nuts. If you eat any entire bin of strawberries in 5 minutes, don't buy the strawberries. Only buy what you know you like and you know can portion-control without problems. Do not buy huge amounts of things, even if it is cost-effective. People with binging/overeating problems tend to not do well with huge sizes.

Exercise whenever you can. There will always be fragments of time, whether it's in the middle of the night when you can't sleep or for a few minutes in the morning. Something, anything. Anything is better than nothing. Commit to a minimum number of days per week and mark them off on a calendar that's in clear view. I keep a print off calendar on the fridge. Start out slow. Something like 10 minutes a day, twice a week. Something doable. Build yourself up over time. Exercise is just as important as anything else, if not more. You will have a hard time staying mobile without exercise. You will be in MORE PAIN if you don't exercise. It is 100% necessary just like taking care of your daughter when she is sick is necessary. You absolutely have to fit it into your life and you don't have any time to spare. I think you have 10 minutes a day.

I think you are over-thinking how difficult/time consuming some food choices are. For example, I'm no fancy cook or anything and I'm not a picky eater-so for me to make a salad is opening pre-chopped greens, adding some grape tomatoes, some dressing, and there's a single-serving salad. I basically add whatever fresh stuff I have and it's nothing elegant. If you have time, chop up other things to add, but if you don't it does not have to be this fancy thing that takes up time. It doesn't take a lot of time to chop up some veggies though, really. Same with lunch. I mix a protein shake with a banana and almond/coconut milk. Fast. There's lots of fast options, TONS. If you don't have the time/option for lots of cooking right now, there's so much you can do with minimal cooking.

The mental attitude that I find works best is just thinking that this is your life now, this isn't a "plan", IT IS JUST LIFE. THAT'S IT. Exercise is what you do, eating healthy and mindfully is what you do, and that's it. It's not something that's up for debate or lots of questioning, it just is.


Anonymous said...

& all the things I mentioned were really simple and not requiring tons of deep thought or dedication. Easy salads, easy 10 minutes of exercise, easy to the point where it really does become automatic in no time. I realize you were talking about the mental difficulties in weight loss-but I think sometimes pointing out how easy some things can be can make you feel much more confident and hopeful.

Lyn said...


Thanks! I think I've made progress on this over the past year. When I was super sick/vomiting, two friends helped me with my daughter. I do have a couple people I can call on but tend to save them for emergencies, mainly because they have small children and I don't want to impose. Hopefully I can do some things for them in return and not feel like I am a 'taker' only. Know what I mean? I was never super social and it's a new skill I am learning (how to build relationships outside of a church structure).


Thanks, it does help to look at them as *simple* things. I do tend to get so overwhelmed and feel alone and tired, and then everything LOOKS bigger. Breaking things down to smaller tasks is a good idea. Smaller chunks of time and simplicity is a good thing for me to focus on.

Lyn said...



I have often thought it would be awesome if a chicken breast and some veggies in the blender tasted decent. A complete meal of whole foods in a drinkable form would suit me fine!

lindalou said...

Watch it PaulaMP, Lyn will eat you alive !!

No negative comments allowed.

Lyn said...


nah, I am pretty tame :) All respectful opinions welcome. I don't agree with every comment, but that's ok. I could be wrong and we can all learn from each other. Paula's been around a long time. I know she has good intentions.

16 blessings'mom said...

Lyn, everything is overwhelming when one is tired! Exercising when you are so busy balancing everything else is also very difficult. And we moms are so full of that Mom Guilt that when we do put ourselves first, ouch! I know what it is like to be so busy that you are ever conscious that for every thing you get done, there is something you won't have time for, the balancing act. Hugs to you as you figure this out and muddle your way through it, 'cause I think I know how you is challenging to have the strong motivation that is needed to stick to seriousness! Try your best to keep things simple, and take things one day at a time. I love your honesty, and how you are such a peaceful person!


Anonymous said...

It might sound weird but I add babyfood to my protein shakes. It's super cheap and adds flavor and texture. Banana works well so maybe chick would too? Haha.

Taryl said...

You're right Lyn. There is always something, and sometimes those things are big and necessarily derail us, because we only have a certain amount of emotional and mental energy for the day. Sometimes the things aren't so big and we need to hang tough through them.

Always be praying, evaluate yourself rightly and no condemnation for things that are not in your direct and immediate control. That is the best advice I can give.

As moms, sometimes we just have to do what the season we're in demands, and I don't think taking breaks and reassessing is akin to failure or giving up. Don't fall into that insidious self talk, if you can!

LHA said...

Lyn, like the post that said "I wish I lived around the corner from you" I wish I was nearby to give you a hand. I have four children, some of whom are grown, and my heart goes out to you as you try to do everything with so little help. I also have a chronically ill child and no one understands what this is like unless they have lived it. With you having three children with medical issues must be just overwhelming.

Weight loss, or even just weight maintenance, is a really important part of your life, but it is certainly hard to accomplish when you live in a pressure cooker environment. I do think you are right that you deserve some major kudos for losing and keeping off as much weight as you have! The balancing act you are trying to pull off is an almost impossible one. The one word that always comes to mind when I read posts about your struggles is "alone". You are trying to do all of this by yourself and it is just almost impossible! So, again, I wish I lived nearby and could bring you a home cooked meal or just help by taking care of kids and things in the house while you took a nap. This is the kind of thing a close relative or friend can do when things are their toughest. Since I think I live in the opposite side of the country from you, just accept my good thoughts coming your way and my hopes for improvement in all ways for you. Your blog is real, it is inspirational, and it is a benefit to many people. My fingers are crossed for better days ahead for you and your family.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lyn - I struggle with losing weight too. I have tried everything and I DO MEAN EVRYTHING. Here is what I have discovered. Trying everything for the last 10 years or so has brought my weight down from a high of 330 lbs to a low of 221, but generally hovering between 224 and 230.

This what I have realized about me and the excuses and frustration I feel from never being able to get where I want to be. I AM INCONSISTENT and I HATE EXERCISE!

Having said that, I don't think I will ever get under 200 until I stop rebelling and start excercising. Even saying that makes me tired..LOL Don't get me wrong. I have excercised for long stretches with little results. The fact that I crawled out of bed @ 5:00 am , went to the gym and worked out for an hour every single morning, then drove and hour, worked 8 hours, drove another hour back home. all the while feeling proud of myself, but totally exhausted. I did this for 3 months and lost......3 pounds!!!!! The year prior I had gone to the gym 5/6 times a day for almost the entire year and still never got under 221 AND I was hungry all the time.

I know this is not about me, but I said all that to say this.

I have followed your blog for at least 3 years and I want to give my opinion of part of the issue.
Yes, you don't have time and yes, you have sick children. I have often wondered about all the sickness you talk about, but not my business really. That is very personal and I respect that.
I think you are much like me...INCONSISTENT. I know how hard this is to hear because you try so hard and convince yourself that somehow you are not like others and why can they lise weight and you can't???? It must be something wrong with your body, right? Unfortunately, just like me, you have see doctors, who test your blood and give you a good report, yet the weight just hangs on.

I am an all or nothing person when it comes to my weight. I'm not like that with other things. I have been working on my yard for years now, mulch this time, plant flowers next time, etc. It has taken me several years to get it to look the way I want and I am okay with that. BUT, when it comes to my weight, it is waaayyy different. I have trying to get under 220 for 2 years...yes, 2 years. I even had weight loss surgery and never got lower than 221. That leaves me to believe the issue is not with my body...that was fixed with the surgery. My issue is my head. Head hunger, excuses, fearfulness, stressing over not losing the weight the wya I want to in the time frame I want drives me to frustration that sends me into a binge...that doesn't make me gain a huge amount of weight (thanks to the surgery I can only binge on a tiny amount). but it prevents me from reaching my goal.

I have watched you Lyn and when you are constant with your regimen, you lose weight. When you get derailed for whatever reason, you gain some, lose some and get stuck.

I would suggest taking a hard honest look at whart has worked for you in the past (hint: Medifast) and try it again. Stick with it until you reach your goal. Once you get where you want to be, then slowly, very slowly transition to eating more regular healthy food...but never giving up the medifast. I would substitute some of your meals with medifast meals, just to save on the calories and carbs.

I hope this helps. It's just an honest look from the outside in.

I live it everyday too, so I feel ya!

All the best!

Anonymous said...

Oh Lyn. I hope you find your way in loosing weight. I don't have any advices. I can hardly find my own way to do it. So, I just wish you all the best.

Steelers6 said...

I have so much respect, admiration & really practically awe for single parents. Wow. I know how much is involved in raising (almost as many as Lyn) kids, but that is WITH my husband.


Karen said...

You know what works

Staying away from grains

Staying away from processed sugar

Medifast, when you stay on it

Walks outside in the sun with the dog

The more you can do what works the sooner you can pull your life car out of the ditch.

I'm sorry that your kids are sick but if you take a quick look , you can choose to do what works. Promise if you don't choose what works and your blood pressure is still high, get on meds until you can get further out of the ditch.

Hugs and the type of foods you choose are 100% under your control. When others health is out of control, it's a bit of a relief to have a smidgen of normal, IMO.

No amount of exercise and fix a poor diet. So start there first.

I agree with others who say you need help for the kids and for you. If not, your health will dictate what you can and can't do. It already has. Whats your plan? Onward.

Margaret said...

Hey Lyn,

I have two ideas...

The first is a book called Willpower. If you don't have time to read, it's also available on if you ever listen to books on tape. My library also has it on the shelf, if you have a library close by.

It has all the new research/data on how willpower works (chapter ten or eleven is entirely devoted to dieting). Turns out willpower is a finite measurable thing based on available glucose to the brain. The way I think of it is that willpower is like money in the bank. So, it turns out that science has demonstrated that if you use all your available funds caring for a first grader, there is no more left. You are now overdrawn. (Or a bad boss, or worrying about bills, etc.) And the account must be replenished before you can make changes to your diet, force yourself onto the bike, resist temptation, etc.

I found this book very helpful and informative. I told my friend that now I understand how the more I worried about my weight, the less mental "funds" I had to do anything about it. The perfect storm. So, I guess what I'm saying is that there is more information out there that could help you understand what is going on in your head during times like these. (And I mean from a physical/biological level...)

So, my second thought is that sleep is the highest priority. As long as you can stay where you are on the scale, you've still lost 60 pounds. That's a five-year-old!!! Just don't go up and get as much sleep as you can. A better time will come to move the numbers. Without enough sleep, you are just increasing your frustration.

God bless your little one and I hope you feel better soon.


Lyn said...

Thank you all for the comments and support. I am feeling a little better today but not sure about my girlie. Need to make some phone calls.


oh, I know I am capable of losing weight, because I have done it successfully. You're right about consistency. I find it hard to stay consistent without the focus/mental energy. Not impossible, but very hard.

I think every day my priorities shift a bit, with kids and sleep generally at the top, nutrition right up there too (because I have to make nutritious foods for my kids and myself to be well). My underweight kids depend on things like nuts, nut butters, cheese, full fat dairy, and carby things like brown rice and whole grain pasta for the bulk of their diet. So I make those things and it is so, so easy to just eat THAT rather than making something else that is low fat/low calorie for myself, too. I can do it... I did it while losing weight before... it just takes energy that I struggle to find right now.

I keep thinking if we can JUST all get well, then things will be so much easier. Until then I am trying to maintain, and GET us well.

Karen said...

Nuts and nut butters will be around 24/7 along with lots of other temping foods.

I manage manage trigger foods. By not eating them.

Best wishes on your attempts to get healthy again. This time is a gift because you are relatively ( compared to recovering from a major cardiovascular event or stroke) well. And you are young, too.I hope you can use this gift of time. Onward

Anonymous said...

I don't want to beat a dead horse or twist your arm, but I think it's an interesting question, what is "reasonable" for an 18 year old to contribute. I can say that my own college experience seemed very reasonable; I went away to a top tier college, took out loans, and worked 20 hours a week to pay for rent, board, utilities, and spending money. I did my own laundry, cooking, plus cleaning chores in my group house. So I convert that to an 18 year old who lives at home can contribute either 15-20 hours a week or $100/week towards the household PLUS take care of his/her own personal needs. If you have the resources to provide more than that, that's great. I'm sure the people without part time jobs had "more fun" at college, but I knew that type in grad school and they were basically learning life skills at age 22 instead of, I don't know, 14? I don't feel like I was given short shrift for having to learn basic maintenance skills.

Lyn said...


yes, it is an interesting topic for sure. What drives me crazy is people who buy their kids cars at 16, pay for all their college and do their laundry and let the kids live at home playing videos games into their 20's! My experience was similar to yours. I moved out at 18, worked and paid for all of my own college and cars and housing, etc and I think I appreciated my college education and my car *much* more, as I am sure you did too, having to work for it. My two college boys work 40 hours a week and *do not* live at home; one is in a dorm (out of state) and one just got his own place last month (nearby). They both pay for their own cars, housing, food, clothes, and college with the money they earn working, just like I did at their age.

CatherineMarie said...

Lyn, maybe you could start making lower-cal meals that the kids could then add cheese/sour cream/avocado/etc to? So for instance, you could make a nice stuffed pepper, with brown rice, veggies, and a little bit of ground chicken or something. Then you could have the stuffed pepper with a salad, and they could have it with some cheese grated on top, or ice cream for dessert...

Think meals that they could add cream or cheese to, not that have the fatty stuff already in... Or make more calorific sides for them to have.... But make the main meal lighter.

You could also use some of those Imagine boxed soups for dinner... the kids who need the calories can have them with a dollop of cream or some pasta, or bread...

Even the kids who need to gain weight still need to learn healthy eating habits for the time when they won't need to gain... there is a blog called Chocolate Covered Katie that has healthy foods and desserts written by a young lady who has had underweight might get some ideas from her....

What you need to do is carve out some adult time for yourself. Can the oldest child who is at home babysit? Or park your daughter in her room with some books/toys/etc and have her entertain herself for an hour while you have a bath? I think before worrying about the weight, you need to restore yourself... can you find a fun activity to do without the kid?

Maybe even say "ok, I am going to maintain right now" and just do that. I have decided to start working on one habit a week this summer.... to start the weight loss going again, slowly.

Lyn said...


thanks for the ideas. I need to look around at more healthy cooking blogs and find meals my kids could enjoy and add carbier/higher fat sides to. I do some of that already... like making tacos for them (they add cheese etc) while I put the meat over a salad.

I am hoping to find another mom who would trade babysitting one day a week for a few hours.

paceyourselfgirl said...

Lyn, I've followed your blog for a long time and it has helped me so much in my weight loss efforts. I, like many others who follow you, can SO relate to your struggles. I'm really nervous about coming out of the shadows and posting a comment so i hope you will read my suggestions and look at them in the most positive light. I have three:

1. Go back to October 2010 of your blog and read those posts. To me, it looked like you had the formula down pat and it was working for you!

2. Try the diabetic diet. Its worked for me and after a couple weeks of getting used to the sugar free stuff, I've never felt better.

3. To make time for exercise, have you considered cutting out a few blogging sessions during the week and exercising during that time instead?

Be proud of yourself--you've come a long way and are an inspiration to so many people.

Diandra said...

After all this time, is eating healthy still a struggle? I would have thought by now it would be more of a habit for you.

If you are too tired to fix separate meals, maybe you can just add high-calorie snacks for your kids? Nuts, cheese, a slice of meat, ... ?

Kat said...

There's also this physical component to consider: when we're stressed, our bodies crave high-fat and sometimes high-carb foods to help alleviate the stress. There are different levels. Severe stress cuts appetite but chronic stress increases it. We can still make food choices, but the physically driven appetite makes it that much harder to go for salad over pizza. And personally, stress makes me almost averse to taking care of myself by cooking.

Lyn said...


yes, some days it is. I spent 38 years eating mostly junk. I *do* eat much, much healthier now that I ever have, but still crave the junk sometimes. And even when there is no junk, I crave things like avocado, big warm bowls of oatmeal with walnuts and blueberries, and turkey sandwiches on wheat bread... and those calories add up fast.

Anonymous said...


I have been reading your blogs from the beginning and have been totally inspired by your honesty and awareness of your eating situation...If you havent tried Overeaters Annon then you should look into it...truthfully it was through YOUR blog that I realized I had a problem..I stumbled across a book that was so enlightning, not sure if you have read it yet but if you havent then you should consider it "1 "Food for Thought: Daily Meditations for Overeaters (Hazelden meditation series)"

Prayers for you and your little girl