Sunday, January 27, 2013

Letting It Go

This week, I noticed a big change in my feelings about this whole weight loss thing. I guess it actually started longer ago than that... sometime in January. But this week was very pronounced. I felt like "diet" is taking over my life. And I don't like it.

I felt very negative about my eating this week even though it was reasonable. I started feeling angry when I look at the scale, or even worse, when I get on it. There is something about being on Medifast that makes me feel entitled to a big loss every week, or at least every month. And like I said last week, losing two pounds in a month just makes me upset. Should it?

I wasn't consistently losing two pounds a month when I was calorie counting or low carbing earlier this year. Why isn't it "enough"? Is it because I have been at this for so long? Or because "everyone else" who does Medifast loses faster? I was losing 7 pounds a month last time I did Medifast. I guess I expected it to be the same this time around... but it's not. I am not the same. I have been much less active this time around... far more sedentary. I've been more inclined to eat nuts as a snack and use half and half as a condiment rather than choosing celery, sugar free jello or fresh herbs as I did last time. This week I cut out the nuts and half & half and all I got was hungrier. Then I upped my protein, tried going to 4&2 (which is 4 Medifast meals and 2 home cooked meals per day) and lastly, added some olive oil. Obviously, too many not-well-thought-out changes in ONE WEEK! Why? Because I felt desperate.

I started to fume when I'd take a peek at the scale and see no loss. All week... no loss, or down a pound and then back up the next day. As of yesterday I was still 216 for the week, same as last Sunday. And I got so frustrated that thoughts were flying through my head... more ways to change the plan and MAKE the weight come off. And then I thought, "this is so lame. I am done playing this game" and put the scale away.

I did not get on the scale again this morning. I really am done with that game. It used to be that I weighed every day and the numbers didn't affect me. But now, for some reason, it is becoming *too* emotional. I find myself measuring and counting every little thing, looking over all my totals... calories, carbs, fat, protein, fiber... and trying to mess with them to MAKE THIS WORK. And that is just getting to be obsessive. So I am done with that game too.

No more scale. No more tracking calories. I want to get my brain out of DIET mode and put the focus back on living. I really let it get out of hand this week and spent *way* too much time overthinking it. PMS might have had something to do with it, but still.

The thing about Medifast is, it is already pre-calculated. They offer a nutrition tracker program for free that I have been using, but you don't *have* to use it. If you JUST follow the program, the numbers fall into place. Every Medifast food has the same nutritional profile. The only thing you have to measure or weigh is the one home cooked meal a day: weigh the meat, measure the veggies, and measure the fats. That's it. That plus five Medifast meals and a bunch of water IS the plan. I have been trying to CONTROL my body and CONTROL the diet and weight loss. I really need to let it go. I do. I have kids who need that attention. I have dogs who'd rather take a walk with me than have me sitting here adding up numbers for 20 minutes a day. I have joy in my heart and my life that I no longer want to be dampened by a stupid scale number. I am so sick of *expecting* to see a certain number on that scale and then getting all pissed off when I don't see it. So, like I said, I am done playing that game.

I am just going to trust the plan, trust my body, LISTEN to my body and LET GO of this need to control it all. I will weigh on the first of each month, and that is it. I will eat the 5 Medifast meals spaced 2-3 hours apart and my home made meal each day, and that is it. I won't be tracking, and I won't be posting my stats anymore because I won't know what they are.

My goal, here, is to turn my attention back to the things that matter, and spend my time on those things rather than "The Diet."

In other news, my feet are *vastly* improved on this new medication (so far). I am almost nervous to say that, thinking the pain will come back at any moment. But it is SO nice to have so much less pain! I hope it continues; the doctor told me that even if I felt better, not to push it with the activity and to stay very low key with activity as my feet heal.

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


Chanelle said...

I had a feeling something was going on... you seemed to not be posting as often as you usually have.

Honestly, I think you are making the EXACT right decision. As I always say, when people are on their death beds, they seldom hope they could spend more time at work, or doing things that don't bring them joy, and I think the same goes for you with the dieting. You are so rigid all the time and I TOTALLY understand how you feel entitled to losses. I know I would!

Give yourself A BREAK. Enjoy the kids and the dog and being able to walk without wanting to cry.

Revisit when the motivation strikes you and not when it's forced.

Good luck :)

Fair Enough said...

I'm not super familiar with half&half as I don't buy it or use it...but do you really think something so small could be affecting you THAT MUCH? I know you are not very active, and that plays into it, but I highly doubt something like creamer is doing that much unless you're adding huge amounts or going for the Starbucks style dessert drinks that are loaded up with cream and sugar and etc. I just looked up right now that (on average) half and half is about 19 cals/tbsp.

I *know* every little bit counts, but honestly, are you sure you should be shaking your fists at coffee creamer and not other more caloric things? You bring up nuts, and an average serving is generally around 200 calories, so I could see how that really adds up and be a big issue. Especially if you aren't measuring them out and eating them several times a day. That could easily add up to 800 calories throughout the day. But...unless you are literally drinking the entire thing of half and doesn't add up in the grand scheme of things.

I thought you said a while ago you loved the taste of plain black coffee and no longer needed to add anything to it? If that's true, why not stick with that? That could take care of things real fast and if the creamer really *is* an issue, then there it goes, out the window.

I'm just saying in my personal opinion you need to take a really serious look at what you're eating and break it all down.

Also, as others have mentioned, why not do upper-body exercises? I've seen that brought up by other people many times and I know I've suggested it myself. Freeweights are super cheap, I got mine at Target. It is something, and it would help.

I've *never* been one for weighing multiple times a day/week. I really think it does more harm than good but that's just me. If someone can do it and stay *sane* about it and not negatively obsess, than more power to em. Your body just fluctuates *so* much, it seems kind of silly to go by that.

Lyn said...

Thanks Chanelle! I think even if I keep on with the 2-3 pounds a month losses, it will be easier to accept and won't negatively upset me all month long if I only weigh once a month :)


I don't do sugary drinks or lattes, but I do like a "dessert" of coffee with half and half and splenda. I like it black msot of the time, though.

The nuts and half and half add up to 150-200 cals/day. That, along with being less active, plus maybe a slowed metabolism, is enough to keep me from that elusive old 7 pounds/month I was losing last time on Medifast.

I do have hand weights and a machine, but for now am spending my "exercise time" on the bike and doing my PT stretches... along with the shortened walks.

Annie said...

This may have no place here, but I was just wondering if you have ever tried the Atkins diet? And what your thoughts on the matter were?

Lyn said...


I did try it, many years ago with a friend. I think it was in the 90's when Atkins was all the rage. I loved it but took it a bit far, eating an awful lot of fatty stuff like cheese and bacon, steaks, burgers, etc and felt horrible on it. I ate very few veggies though. We switched to South Beach and I loved that. I lost close to 40 pounds and felt great on it, so if I were looking at low carb plans I'd take a look at South Beach. I have a Phase 1 food list on my blog somewhere.

Anonymous said...

I don't see how you can tell what your weight loss for the month is; didn't you go off plan and gain four pounds during one week in January? That would completely throw off your average loss figure for the month, making it impossible to calculate what your loss for the month would have been if you hadn't gone off plan.

I think your new philosophy sounds good except I would weigh every week or two rather than once a month. If you go another week or two 100% on plan and don't lose any weight I would think it might be time to reach out to Medifast for help determining what is going wrong.

I wouldn't want to restrict as heavily as you are and have to wait an entire month to know if it was working or not. But that's just me.

Also, I agree with Fair that the nuts are far more likely to be a problem for your weight loss than the half and half.

I hope you find the solution. Very glad to hear your feet are better!

Anonymous said...

I agree with the upper body exercises. You could do some cardio by sitting and boxing with your arms. You could even add that to what your'e doing with the bike/walk; it won't hurt you and can only help you.

Anonymous said...


You never seem to stay 100% on Medifast plan but still expect the results -?
Why not On Plan 100% -no tweaks, snacks treats etc. No excuses.
And then after 10 days weigh yourself .

Tough love :)

kat said...

Ever consider the Wheat Belly way of eating?

LHA said...

Good for you for putting the scale away! I came to that conclusion several years ago. I had reached the point where I lived or died (emotionally) by the numbers posted on that evil mechanism. It often triggered a binge when I didn't lose as much as I thought I should after starving myself for a day or a week.

Now, I weigh about once a month or if I feel I "need" to for some reason. I still consider the number on the scale to be just one measure of my success. For those who can weigh daily or even weekly and not let a stalled scale upset them, then more power to them. For me, it is just counterproductive.

On the food issue, I would say that you are on the right track. Let the Medi-fast do the work for you since that is one of the beauties of that type of food plan. Just speaking for myself, the less I think about my diet, the better I do on losing weight. Good luck!

Lyn said...


nuts and half & half are on plan, but I don't think they work for me. They make me want even more. Extra protein is also technically on plan (up to 2 oz) according to the Medifast dietitian, but I think I can generally do without it.


I haven't read the whole book but was gluten free for a month and a half or so this summer and again in the fall. Right now I am gluten free *most* days, but there are some Medifast meals that contain gluten that I eat on occasion. Not sure if there is more to the Wheat Belly diet or not.

Geeky Goddess said...

I am one that doesn't weigh often either, about once every two weeks or so. I've been reading your blog for a while now and I often think you don't get enough calories. Do you feel that your past dieting has left you basically metabolically "broken?" Because that is the feelings get froma few of your posts. I agree with the comments to increase activity with weights, at least for your upper body. Building muscle will naturally increase your metabolism.

Lyn said...

Geeky Goddess~

I think my past binge behavior and dieting has left me "metabolically efficient", rather than broken :) Meaning, I do think my body adjusts metabolism according to my intake. Otherwise, I don't know how I'd have stayed 260-280 pounds for years when I was eating at LEAST 3000 calories most days, and upwards of 5000 some days. And then I eat 1400 and maintain? Makes little sense to me. Bloodwork is all good, but I really do believe more activity would help rev up metabolism.

I understand what everyone is saying about weights, but it is really all I can do right now to get the biking, PT, and walking in. Maybe when things settle down (life stuff/family medical stuff) I will be able to add weights to that.

Anonymous said...

Just a thought, but do you think that you're starving yourself? Check out if you've never been there before. Lots of good info.

Margaret said...

There is unfortunate news for the popular dieter's mantra that building muscle makes the body burn more calories naturally.

It turned out (when they tested it) exactly the opposite was true. The more fit you are, the less calories the body burned because muscle is more efficient than fat.

A fit body does more with less. The fitter you are, the fewer calories the body uses (lowers the BMR, not raises it.)

Lyn said...


no, I am not starving myself. Starving people do not generally eat 100 grams of protein a day :) Seriously though, I am under a doctor's care (actually several doctors) and all who have reviewed my blood work say there is no indication of any nutritional deficiencies.

Traveling Light said...

Check out the following post. This blogger it it exactly right.

Take a deep breath, Lyn, and go with your gut.


Geeky Goddess said...

Citation please?

Anonymous said...

Yes, Margaret, please cite your source. It is in direct conflict with much of the research I have carefully reviewed (meaning I've obtained and read rhe peer-reviewed scientific publications, not just some write-ups about them on the internet).

Margaret said...

Hi Geeky Goddess,

Here's just one, but cites several studies. This is well documented now.


Samantha said...

Just adding in my two cents here. I work in an office that is obsessed with being fit, healthy, etc. so I have had no end of "helpful" advice from co-workers once they noticed my Medifast meals.

The most helpful tip of all: Eat your lean and green early in the day. When my weightloss had slowed to 1-2 pound per week, I started to eat egg beaters for breakfast (omlettes and such) or going out to lunch (Panera, McDonalds salad, places like that). It's amazing, but I've been steady at around 3lbs per week for the past two weeks. I attribute it to eating my lean and green earlier in the day.

When I eat dinner with my boyfriend, it is a little odd to just enjoy my medifast meal while he has pasta or something like that. But sitting down at the same time, the conversation and such keeps things going and I don't notice that I'm not eating the same food as him.

As for the whole condiments thing, I can't really comment because I don't use them often (unless it's to account for the spices or seasonings on my lean meal). But I wish you luck with getting condiments to the level that you feel happy with.

As a side note, I love posts like these because they do speak to the feelings that all dieters have, not just the MF folks. I really hate that whole, "You didn't put the weight on instantly, so it won't come off instantly either" train of thought because it makes me feel guilty for my previous lifestyle and I'm trying to move on from that. Thank you for your insights!

Crabby McSlacker said...

Wow, interesting to read all these critiques of your weight loss strategies. My sense is that everyone is different, and it's impossible to tell from an outsider's perspective what the best solution is for anyone else... my sense is that it's all about experimenting with what seems the most sane approachable method at any given time for YOU and not someone else.

Sounds like you feel ready for a change and have chosen something that's worked well before, so just wishing you luck and hope it goes well!

Anonymous said...

When I stick to medifast 100 % I get light headed and brain fog sets in
I eat a few nuts but perhaps I should have some chicken breast stops instead
I seem to need a bit more fat and salt than medifast gives me
But it is fine line too much and I don't lose that week


Lyn said...


I have heard people do feel that way for a few days when they start because of the brain switching from using carbs for fuel to using other fuel sources. It's pretty common in low carb diets. I have read that drinking a cup of chicken or beef broth helps, or eating a pickle spear, because the sodium helps.

Anonymous said...

Margaret, I've read those studies, and they did not present any data indicating that increasing muscle mass makes one a more efficient calorie burner. I think you might be confusing muscle gain with "fitness" or "exercise".

Anonymous said...

Hi Lyn, I don't lose ANY weight no matter what I try, when I'm not sleeping well. Cortisol levels really mess me up. I wonder if that has anything to do with your situation? At any rate, you have to do what makes you happy and if all of this is making you crazy it makes sense to just stop for a while.

Anonymous said...

I don't know. I think this is a big mistake. Isn't this how the lbs creeped on in the first place, by not weighing? Isn't it like being in debt and deciding not to look at the bills because they may upset you and make you spend more? All well and good but it doesn't address the underlying problem. The underlying problem is why aren't you losing. Until you seriously consider that and are willing to take the steps to see results (even if it isn't what the experts say will work) you are just going to stay at this weight and in his purgatory. You admit something has changed in your body and you are metabolically efficient but are not willing to admit that maybe you need to eat differently than everyone else. Medifast only keeps you maintaining anymore. You have the evidence, you just don't want to accept it. You need to eat less. Someone once said F.E.A.R. is false expectations appearing real. Don't let your fear of what might happen if you eat less. Give it a serious try and check it out for yourself. I don't see that you have anything to lose.