Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Rambling Thoughts About Progress and Feet

Sometimes I think I am getting somewhere with this whole weight loss thing, even though the scale isn't moving right now. And sometimes I think I am running in place, watching the hamster wheel spinning, getting nowhere.

Realistically, I see the progress. I am more than 60 pounds down from the start. I've made huge changes in my habits, from not drinking soda to quitting fast food and from being a regular customer at the Farmer's Market to being a regular at the gym. I've made big changes. The biggest one... the one I am proudest of... is that I stopped binge eating. Completely. It's been so long I don't even remember the last time I had a frantic eating frenzy like I used to do, consuming thousands of calories at one sitting. I no longer sit stuffed and in shame after that kind of loss of control. It's gone. I did a lot of work to get there... a lot of mental, emotional work... much of it right here on my blog as I processed my thoughts, emotions, and memories. That's a big deal.

But in the day to day life with my size 16 pants and a 40-pound regain in the mirror, I get tired. I see the same things over and over. I count calories, I cook, I exercise, I eat, I write, and yet it feels sometimes like I have gotten nowhere with my weight. I think that's because my new normal is so... normal. Yes, I am eons from the 278 pound binge eater I was five years ago. The distance between us is enormous. Mentally we are not even the same anymore. But the me that has vacillated around 217 pounds for so long seems very familiar. Too familiar, and I want change. I change, but the scale doesn't reflect it. Yet.

I guess this is where a lot of people give up. I've felt like that. Even today, I thought for a fleeting instant about how it would feel to just come and post, "I give up" and be done. But then what would I do? Go back to binge eating? Morbid obesity? No, I am done with that. I've thought many times about just maintaining where I am. I am good at maintaining here. It's not that hard. It's work, but I can do it, as I've shown. But you know, I just don't want to stay here. I personally do not LIKE being this size, I am not willing to give up and be here, I do not like being unable to do the things I want to do.

Enough about that. For more than six months I have been battling plantar fasciitis. The pain in my feet has been disabling at times. I've had to give up walking and some of my dog training due to the pain. I have done everything the doctor said to do. I have done the stretches, rolled my feet on frozen water bottles and golf balls, wore special orthotic inserts, stayed off my feet and never go barefoot. I've taken tons of NSAIDS and then eventually switched to fish oil and turmeric for inflammation control. I'm off sugar and grains. I thought it was on the mend when I went to that specialty store and had my feet scanned and measured for shoes. I have shoes and slippers that should be perfect for my feet, with great arch support, yet I am in extreme pain whenever I walk. My quality of life and activity level have gone way, way down. I think I am about 70% less active now than I was in the spring, all because of the pain. So finally today I was able to find a new specialist, get a referral, and get an appointment for next week. Something has to give. I cannot live like this. It's just too painful and limiting. Hopefully they will figure out what's going on and help me solve the problem so I can get back to the activity level I crave.


Taryl said...

I have no wisdom about your long term and shorter term perspective on weight. Just sympathy!

As for your feet, that is EXCELLENT news that you can get into a specialist sooner than later. Hopefully they have something more useful for you than the therapy you've already had.

Steelers6 said...

Very anxious to hear the report regarding your feet!

Anonymous said...

Please look into active release technique ART practitioners.
That cured my plantar fasciitis quickly, after a year of failed therapy from my doctor.

Anonymous said...

I hope you get the opportunity to have some a stym therapy. It is not an Overnight cure but if you can stay the douse for a couple months I really think you would get some relief. All the best - leslie

Anonymous said...

I"m slighly confused as to why your activity levels are affected - can you not swim at the gym and do strength training there?

Suzanne Bree said...

Hang in there! I think it's a victory that you have maintained where you are rather than gained. Although we all know how nice it is to keep losing, and how frustrating it can be to work so hard and seem to be stuck--I'm just so glad that you have been able stop the regain before it got really bad.

I, too, have stopped the soda and fast food. For almost 2 years, now! Last year at this time I could say that I didn't remember how long it had been since I binged. This year I can't say that anymore. I am encouraged by your blog--because although I have not done well with my eating lately, I have never gone back to the soda and fast food. I want to do the same with binge eating. No good can ever come from it! I've been doing better for the past couple of weeks, and I feel SO much better.

I'm really sorry about your feet, and I hope they can get the situation under control for you.

Thanks for your posts. Good luck!

Jac said...

Have you read about the idea of a "set point"? The place where our body just naturally wants to maintain? Look into it if you haven't, and then read up about Primal/Paleo approaches to changing our set point. Spoiler: Mark Sisson says the most beneficial thing you can do is sprint sessions. Obviously with your foot issues running sprints aren't going to work for you, but there are LOTS of ways to sprint. An all-out, hard-and-fast-as-you-can effort for about 20 seconds, then recover, then go again. You could swim, shadow box, bike, whatever. It all counts. Look it up on Mark's Daily Apple. The best thing about Mark's sprint workout is that it's SHORT. 20 minutes or so once a week.

In the mean time, I think it's so amazing the way you celebrate the enormous successes you've had in spite of your frustration with your set-backs.

Jean said...

I have had great luck with Orthaheel shoes. In April I could hardly walk.
The tendons across the bottom of my feet were so tight and swollen you could see them. I couldn't even touch them with my finger - pain! A friend recommended Orthaheel and I tried them. You can find a discounted pair on 6pm.com for about $50. It took 3 months for the swelling to go down and I still need to be careful but I'm so happy now. It's worth a try. Make sure you read up and get the right size.

Lyn said...

Thank you for the suggestions about my feet. I did check and there is not an ART practitioner nearby, but there is a place that does astym, so I will ask the specialist about that.


my exercise level hasn't really dropped; I do swim and lift. It's my daily *activity* level that has plummetted. Things like walking the dogs, walking my child to school, yard work, shopping, dog training... things that require me to be on my feet. They're all very painful.


thanks, I will look for that on MDA. I can sprint in the pool.

Lyn said...


yes, I have heard great things about Orthaheel too. However they've not made much difference for me. I was fitted for several supportive shoes by a computer scan of my feet and pressure points, but still after about 6 months it is not getting better. I have to wonder what else might be going on. Hope to find out soon!

Anonymous said...

I suffered from plantar facisitis for a year. I finally went on a six week course of prescription level NSAIDs (think it was Celebrex) and that did the trick. I have often heard it takes a year for plantar facisitis to resolve. Hopefully you are almost there. It is incredibly painful! Good Luck!

Anonymous said...

I have also struggled w/ PF and this is what worked for me - https://www.northcoastfootcare.com/pages/Heel-Pain-and-Plantar-Fasciitis.html - see the bottom where they use athletic tape to tape up the foot. I did this for a whole winter - changing the tape 2-3x per week. It gave me my life back! Seriously, PF is awful. Using shoe supports seemed to make it worse and I was desperate and this was cheap - and most importantly, it worked. PF is chronic, so it didn't take PF away, but it healed so much that I'm okay now except from time to time that my foot gets a bit sore, but nothing at all like before. BTW, I find that my foot is worse when I get above 200 lbs. - weight seems to seriously affect it.
Hope it helps. PS McAfee listed this site as "dangerous" but it's been fine - I've gone there many times and I find the warning odd.


I can relate to so much you posted about today. My numbers are very similar and I’m hovering around 217 as well. I lost 50 lbs in one year and have maintained at that level ever since (about 10 more months). I am at once thrilled to not have gained anything back and frustrated with my lack of progress. I lost the weight doing a low carb and then a low carb version of a Paleo diet, which is what I continue to do today. The initial weight came off without tracking calories, just avoiding carby foods – I did not even count carbs, just kept the sources to veggies, nuts, a bit of dark chocolate, and the occasional Paleo-fied baked good :) But at 50 lbs lighter, that approach doesn’t seem to work anymore. I’ve recently started tracking calories and carbs, which got the scale moving a bit. I just go back and forth on whether I want to be doing all this tracking – is it worth it? If my body wanted to release the weight, wouldn’t it adjust my appetite? The main point I hold on to is that regardless of the weight loss outcome, I’m in it for life. I am not going back. I’m happy to know that I can at least maintain without tracking, I just need to decide whether it’s worth it to keep tracking in order to lose the weight in the short term. I don’t feel deprived in the amount of food I “get” to eat when tracking, it’s more like I resent having to do it.

I have also suffered from PF, which is the toughest thing I’ve had to deal with since, like you said, it affects daily life in such a profound way. It started while I was training for a half marathon at about my current weight (although it was back when I hit that number on the way up!) It was just too much stress on my feet. I stopped the running but the damage was done. Doctors did not help at ALL. It wound up just taking time and rest to heal. Now that it has resolved (I occasionally get twinges when I overdo things, but it’s rare), I have abandoned all the orthotics and have gone the minimalist shoe/barefoot route, which I feel has naturally allowed my feet to strengthen and provide their own support. That is not something I would have done while in the throws of the pain, but it is helping at this point.

I hope you get some relief soon and just know that you’re not alone in the limbo-like place of unintended maintenance. We will get there. It just may take longer than we’d like.

LHA said...

Oh, your poor aching feet!! I really feel for you because my feet have hurt for most of my life. Amazingly, I have never had PF but my feet are totally flat, very thin (the ONLY thin thing about me) and fragile. When your feet hurt, you hurt all over. The people I know who have suffered with PF have had a very hard time resolving it so I sure wish you luck. Until then, I am so glad you can swim and do strength training because that will make you feel better without hurting your feet. Wishing you the best on your journey, as always!

Anonymous said...

I suffer from this also.It is one of the most debilitating and painful things! Are you aware that there is a way you can tape the bottom of your foot with sports tape and you will be able to walk with NO or very minimal pain? I do that along with using a Theracane, about $25 bucks (look on youtube for videos of a theracane and how to use it to do a fascia release on your calf muscles)It is the ONLY thing that has saved me. Let me know if you would like more info on the taping if you can't find it by googling it. I would be happy to try and explain it to you. My only advice if you try it, buy GOOD quality athletic sports tape so it stays taut.

Fair Enough said...

Jac-I'm sorry but I highly doubt any woman, and really, not even most men, have a set point of 220ish pounds.

Jac said...

Well, Fair Enough, you'd be surprised at what years of yo-yo dieting and binge eating can do to a person's metabolism. I'm not saying it's her *natural* set point, I'm saying it's where she's at now as a result of what she's been through. I think she *can* change it, which is because it's just a result of years of metabolic derangement. (By conventional wisdom, there's no other reason why she can be eating so few calories and STILL not be losing weight at her current weight.)

Teresa said...

I hope you can resolve you P/F. Sounds like you have lots of lovely, helpful people giving good advice!
Let me just say, I appreciate your being candid about feeling discouraged. I'm gathering so much inspiration from you and even started my own blog. I truly wish you all the joy and strength that you need to keep on your road to health. I'm rooting for ya!