Wednesday, July 31, 2013

This Sucks

I am just so frustrated. It has happened over and over. I can go weeks, months on plan, and then I slip up and somehow whatever I choose to eat that is off plan snowballs into more. I hate that all the weight I lose in a month on plan can be erased in 2 days off plan. Granted, I don't know if that happened this time, since I haven't weighed. But I got a feeling.

I am wondering if this food-as-drug thing will ever really go away. I mean, there was a point when I felt completely healed of it... over it. Food seemed to have no hold on me. I didn't crave, I could sit by a hot loaf of bread and not want it... once I was "clean" from sugar and carby stuff for a week or so. The only thing that has ever given me food sanity and freedom from the sugar fog is lower carb eating like South Beach, Medifast, and Primal. Yet I can be fine, going along great, and suddenly have a crashing relapse that leaves me emotionally leveled.

Last night I kind of flipped a switch with the food. I was emotional, I had PMS, I *had* to have chocolate. I went to the store and bought a bag of sugar free chocolate. I felt sort of driven... that old familiar losing-control sensation... but I had the presence of mind to know that sugar makes me hurt. I got a soda, too. I don't drink sodas anymore... haven't in many, many months... but I just HAD to have a Coke. Again, I had the sense to get a sugar free one (diet caffeine free Coke) but the emotion of *needing* the food to cope was really depressing. I went home, ate a lot of salted almonds with my diet Coke and ate some of the sugar free chocolates. Then, for a late dinner I fried up a low fat sausage patty with a couple of eggs, low fat cheese, and two pieces of buttered toast. Whole wheat, yes, but I have been avoiding wheat for awhile now.

This morning I felt it. Oh I felt it! My arthritis kicked in and I was in massive amounts of joint pain, especially my knees but also my hips and feet. My feet hurt badly too. I had to rub some magnesium lotion on my feet and take some Aleve to get going this morning. "Back on track," I thought. I had my protein shakes. I went about my busy day. I got a sugar free caramel Americano mid-day and then started feeling like a withdrawing addict and had a piece of pizza for lunch. And in the evening I made my first "junk run" in ages. I drove to 7-11 craving sugar, chocolate, salt, and Coke like I have not craved in months, and came away with a short can of Pringles, a caffeine free diet Coke, and a pint of chocolate ice cream. I sat it next to me in the car and thought about all the crazy junk runs of my past. I muttered a lot to myself and thought about how this was the butt of all fat-lady jokes about how they go to the drive thru and order a supersized Big Mac meal with a hot fudge sundae and a DIET Coke. I rolled my eyes at myself, went home and ate my junk, and now I am wondering... is it ever going to change? Permanently?


Okiebelle said...

Forgive yourself and go on! Don't beat yourself up for a slip-up. You are human. If your kids made a mistake, you wouldn't hold it against them; you would love them and forgive them. How can you do any less for yourself?

Mrs Swan said...


You (as do I) seem to follow a pattern. I would suggest figuring out that pattern so that you can break it. Once I realized what I was doing it was way easier to try and break it/deal with it. Good Luck!

MargieAnne said...

I'm so sorry you went through such a tough time. It always seems so much worse when you think it is all behind you.

I once read something about growing out of difficult/bad behaviour that might ease your current pain. When you make a major change there are echos of past behaviour that resound in much the same way a bell continues to ring after the last deliberate toll, getting slower and slower and increasingly feeble.

Can you think back and see how this was but an echo from the past and pretty feeble one at that? I think you are very close to the end of this type of behaviour forever.

I do hope you can get three clean days in a row and you will begin to feel much better.


Anonymous said...

Sadly no, it will probably be a struggle your entire life. Some days will be much easier than others, but you will be a recovering addict the rest of your life and will need to stand guard.

This is what my 62 years have taught me.

I recommend Made to Crave book. It is a Christian perspective on cravings and really opens your eyes aSadly no, it will probably be a struggle your entire life. Some days will be much easier than others, but you will be a recovering addict the rest of your life and will need to stand guard.

This is what my 62 years have taught me.

I recommend Made to Crave book. It is a Christian perspective on cravings and really opens your eyes and give you power to push through the daily trails.


Leslie said...

Hi Lyn - Your experience totally validates the notion that once an addict, always an addict. In AA you hear about not getting within arm's length of a drink so you can't possibly pick it up.

My thoughts about your most recent frustration (and please know it is true for me as well and I still struggle with it) is that accepting the reality of who we are and what we have (in the way of biological programming) is the only way to find true freedom from it. You know I have read you for years and greatly appreciate and respect you and your journey. Yet when you talk about being cured of binge eating disorder and moving toward a normal relationship with food, I always think, "Well, she's the first one to achieve that status". Like you, just because I am clean with food for long periods of time, occasionally I get off the beam, introduce a substance that ALWAYS causes me trouble, and then I'm off to the races. Maybe, like you, I can reign it in pretty fast and get back on track, but sometimes I can't. And all the insanity is right there waiting for me.

I've recently heard of someone with 26 years sober who drank, and can now not get back. 26 years sober and sane, one might think he/she is drunk proof. Not so. It's scary as hell to think about. And I know that in addition to the issues with alcohol, I also have it with certain foods, esp. sugar and its derivatives. And its substitutes...

An alcoholic who doesn't accept the true nature of his/her disease will eventually succumb to booze's siren call. And for me that is true with food, as well. Even if I can handle an indiscretion (birthday cake, for example) okay and not physically get triggered to go on eating crap, the mental torture begins and I am back at war with myself. It's living hell.

Food addiction isn't personal. It's biochemical. We have the wiring that makes us more likely to use food at times for comfort, fun, escape...and if we don't accept the fact and live accordingly, we'll be struggling our whole lives. I speak from experience. Once I have accepted the true nature of my malady(ies), I can make informed choices about what I put in my body and accept responsibility for myself. I'm not a victim of this...I have knowledge, acceptance and tools to use that can optimize my choices and chances for serenity. It's definitely on me to assume responsibility for my actions and choices. And one piece of knowledge I have about my food addictive tendencies is that they aren't curable. But they are treatable and manageable if I choose to treat and manage them.

Hugs to you. I don't comment often, but I read every post, and I'm rooting for you. And me!

Anonymous said...

I had my own slip-up too... this, after four years of maintenance. It happens. But what option do I have other than to pick myself up and keep going?

I hope you're back to 'normal' ASAP ::hugs::

Anonymous said...

Have you read Ditching Diets by Gillian Riley? Even though you're on Medifast, it still could be beneficial. I know you mentioned reading Brain over Binge, and Ditching Diets is also recommended by the author of that.

Lyn said...

Thank you for the kind words.

I feel so broken.

As I was driving to get the junk I was muttering to myself, "this is ridiculous. I am acting like an addict!" but I still was compelled to do it.

I know it is only rarely now... I can do fine for weeks or months. But still I feel so, so broken that junk food still has a hold on me like that, and it scares me to pieces how fast I could regain all the weight...

Karen said...

Yes, it can change. I'm a recovered emotional /binge eater ( 40 years) in remission. I will always have the underlying problem, but I've been able to get to what I consider remission in my mind and my weight.

It's a long road. Listen to the Quit Binge Eating podcast series by Alen Standish. Different tools and strategies over there.

It starts with food & mind.

Anonymous said...

Awwww, Lyn, I hate when that happens. Really. Only someone who's been there knows how it feels, and I have certainly been there. Fregularly.

I thought of you this morning when I weighed in. A three pound gain. I've been on plan for 2 weeks solid, but the last few days I've eaten a lot of salty things. But still....

This weight loss thing is tough. Hormone driven food compulsion is tougher.

I have no words of wisdom, just empathy: groaning, nodding, heartfelt, been there, empathy.


Karen said...

To clarify, I was in the disease for 40 years. Recovered for about 2 years. It's never too late. Also check out heather robinsons Half Size me emotional eating course and tools and pod cast. Alen and Heather really address some key topics.

Candice H. said...

Everyone has slip ups! It's totally normal and human nature. You can't deprive yourself of everything you want all the time. I think the key is just not eating it ALL the time.

Anonymous said...

I really think this junk food episode was caused by your plan to weigh in soon. Because it's been so long since you weighed, there is a lot of pressure put on this weigh in to see if the new plan has worked. Now that you ate the junk food the pressure is gone because there is a built in excuse if you haven't lost weight on the new plan.

This is the best argument I can think of for weighing in more frequently. There is a lot less riding on the results if you are weighing in once a week or once every two weeks.

I think the impending weigh in just freaked you out. The good news is that this is fixable by weighing more often.

JM said...

i AGREE, with many of the comments, part of recovery is acceptance that we will NEVER be like others with food. It is not the worst problem to have, and it is manageable, but if you forget for a second, there it is. Everyone has their thing, their cross to bear, and i believe that in every burden is a gift,
Good luck and hope to you!

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry; I know it's hard. But I don't think urges to overeat and binge ever go away completely, and it's really important to accept that. If your goal is to make urges go away, whenever you're faced with an occasional urge, you'll try to make it go away, and the fastest, easiest way to make an urge go away is to eat.

I think when we go so long eating perfectly, we forget how to deal with these very strong urges to overeat. Don't fight it, don't try to make it go away, just accept that you'll have to deal with urges occasionally and move on.

Mella B. said...

Lyn, I really think this is a rare slip for you - not a relapse. Yes, you are an addict. I am, too. But you have shown through your determination and spirit and just sheer tenacity that you are NOT destined to gain your weight back. I believe in you! I believe you will keep your weight off and keep on losing - yes, slowly, because your body seems pretty determined to fight you for each pound. But you WILL get there.

Reading your words is an inspiration to me and so many others. Keep on going, keep on writing, we are here for you and we're cheering you on :)

Anonymous said...

I have those same addict behaviors and cravings.

When you feel the need for chocolate or sweets, grab the MF bars. Even if you eat all 7 in one sitting (you prob won't but might) just remember how crummy eating processed sugar makes you feel.

And stay home, don't get in the car and act on it. Sit with the feeling. Grab something else to do. Pace the house if you need to. Drink a big glass of water. Set a timer for 3 minutes and see if you think you need the chocolate. Find ways to distract your mind.

It sounds easier than it is, but you have to know what it'll feel like when you indulge and then the shame you feel afterward. You won't feel bad mentally or physically if you binge on MF.

Anonymous said...

Hey. I just got a notice about a book and went to Amazon to check it out.

I clicked on the little "look inside..." banner above the book's picture and began to read the beginning excerpt.

I just stopped reading it to come here. The book is entitled, "Becoming Myself"_ by Stasi Eldredge. You can find it on Amazon.

You may not want to buy it, but I promise the except will bless you.


Colleen said...

Relapse is part of recovery. I developed binge eating disorder in around 2003-2005, I have been in recovery since about 2006, and it's only since 2011 or so that I have truly stopped bingeing. I can't remember the last junk food run I went on. I will sometimes have 2 snacks instead of one but probably 70% of the time its healthier options like hummus and veggies, or greek yogurt with fruit. Sometimes it's 2 pieces of cake or 2 servings of ice cream or chocolate, but I rarely get to 3 servings, and I never eat mindlessly without control for hours like I used to.

I think the time it takes to recover is often proportional to the time spent being active with the disorder. The pathways get more entrenched over time and therefore take longer to rewire. You had BED for much longer than I so the compulsive overeating is going to take longer to extinguish.

Biz said...

I guess maybe the only difference is that this time you are recognizing it - and it is further and fewer between and not a daily trip to 7-11?

I wish I had the answers for you, but I don't. Just wanted to send some big virtual hugs your way!

Anonymous said...

I encourage you to go to and watch the Extreme Weight Loss episode entitled "Trina." I might be WAY off on this, but I think you and Trina have many parallels. Trina is a born caregiver who gives so much of herself to others. She has an emotionally abusive mother. Trina sabotages her own success again, and again, and again. It was astounding to witness. I wish the show had addressed her emotional issues more in depth, but I kept thinking that, for Trina, there was no hope for her unless she fixed her emotional/psychological world. I don't even think Trina realized what a piece of work her mother was, she kept taking the abuse, as sweet as can be. You wrote a piece recently on your mom. The wounds from our mothers can cut so deep.

Keep doing the head work. You're very smart, you know what to eat, you know what to do to lose weight. Keep at it and best wishes to you!

Anonymous said...

Hi Lynn, I totally get that you're feeling down, I've been in your shoes many, many times. I just want to point out that you should really take comfort and find hope in the fact that although you did go into binge mindset, you still had the strength and knowledge to limit it - small can of chips, not a giant bag, sugar free chocolate. For me, breaking out of a cycle of binging didn't mean waking up on day and saying enough! It was minimizing each binge and spreading them further apart until they were nearly gone. Sort of like if you push a swing and then walk away and it slowly comes to a stop. It's still a struggle, but I know I'm 97% healthier on a regular basis than I was before. Hang in there, minimize the damage.

Bec Z said...

Isn't this what normal healthy people do?...overindulge occasionally? I think sometimes we blow things having to do with food way out of proportion because of our histories but I know many healthy people who overindulge...but rarely...

Lyn said...

Thank you all for the book, video, link suggestions. I will be checking all of them this evening when my daughter's in bed.

I struggle between thinking I am doing so much better, more "normal," the junk episodes are so much fewer and less severe so maybe I should accept it and be okay with it, versus feeling like a hopeless mess who will never get the weight off because for every 2 months of losing, 2 or 3 days of gaining wipes it out and I just keep maintaining. Plus I just hate feeling like an addict.

There was another insightful comment from Kara that I didn't publish because it was a little over the top with the bashing of my meal plan, but I want to thank Kara for the insight that perhaps I really was triggered by the new chewy bars I reviewed a few days ago. They are way, *way* sweeter than any other Medifast meal I have ever had, and that combined with PMS may have just put me over the edge. So thanks for that Kara.

I am not going to order anymore Medifast containing soy anymore... so no more bars of any kind, puffs, brownies, soft bake cookies except the ones I have left in my stash. I just feel better personally eating a lot less soy and using the whey protein products instead.

Anonymous said...

But you DID change permanently! Look at your life now and compare it to the old, morbidly obese, constant binge eating life you had before. You have changed! And, you have been the inspiration for my 45 pound loss. Don't give up. You've come so far!

dlamb said...

Lyn, you have learned so much about yourself, about addiction and what works for you and what doesn't. This process is rarely a straight line. It zigzagz and meanders. You know what to do with these experiences, so they are not wasted: you learn sometimg from each of them and you move forward.
Best wishes as always!

dlamb said...

ugh THAT was supposed to say "zigzagS' Grrrrrr