Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Where I Have Been

Well, it's been almost 2 weeks since I posted, so I thought I'd get back here with an update.

I was sick for a few days, but it was just a cold. I ate a lot of soup. The soup was not Medifast soup. It had carbs. The soups I ate had beans, butternut squash, and even barley in them... all 'forbidden foods' on Medifast. Heck, I even got so bold as to drink orange juice. And I ate a pear. And shockingly, I even had oatmeal for breakfast.

When I started feeling better and attempted to go back on Medifast again, I didn't want to. The smell of warm soy made me feel ill. The thought of another packet made me sad. Withdrawal from carbs... again... gave me headaches. I guess I am really done with it this time. Nothing against Medifast; it did work really well and I got amazing results the first time around. But I am tired, the merry-go-round is making me dizzy, every time I go off plan for anything (sickness, special occasion, mistake) I get headaches and nausea and then I get them again when I try to get back on plan. I have rotated through a lot of eating plans over the past 3 years and always tried to go back to Medifast because it worked so well for my the first time. But I dunno, something changed, I changed, I can't do it anymore even though part of me wants to. Another part of me is just saying, stop it. Enough. So this time I am listening to that part.

I took some time off from the blog world to ruminate over this, mull it over, see what my heart really wants to do, can do. I did not look at my blog or anyone else's blog, did not check comments, just logged myself out and let it go for awhile. I needed to really take time to reflect on what is going on with me and my diet and my weight, where I want to be, what I can tolerate.

I have kept getting sucked into all the latest, popular trends in eating: all grains are bad. Fruit is wrong. Eat tons of healthy fat. Paleo. Primal. Low carb. Wheat is the devil. Beans are poison. Dairy is harmful. And I was trying to assimilate all of this, trying to be gluten free and sugar free and soy free and dairy free and grain free and legume free and you know what? All those "freedoms" started feeling like chains. Can't do this, can't eat that, shun all the foods you have eaten for 40 years. You know, I'm just not drinking the Kool Aid. I am sure there is some merit to some of it. I know eating this way or that way "works" for some people. And that's great! I am not putting down those ways of eating or saying they are wrong. I am saying I have to find what is right for ME, not only what is healthy for my body but what I can mentally and emotionally tolerate.

There has been too much restriction and look where it has gotten me. Not to a healthy BMI, that's for sure. It's gotten me a lot of angst about my food and a time suck of worry and figuring out what is ok to eat and a lot of sadness because it would be oh-so-wrong for me to EVER have a lick of ice cream or a sliver of my kids' birthday cake again. I am just not going to do this to myself anymore. There has to be a better way, for ME. A more moderate way. A happier way. A packet-free, produce-rich, enjoyable way.

I don't have all the answers, but if I put off blogging until I know what I am doing, you'd never hear from me again. I am just going to wing it. No, I am not binge eating. Yes, I am eating bananas, corn, even beans. And I am okay with this.

In other news, last week I tripped and fell wrong and I am in an air cast boot and on crutches. So yeah, while the pedometer was reading in the 9000's per day until then, now my "steps" are virtually non-existent. Not real happy about that. Not at all.

Anyway, that's where I've been, and yes I weighed on the 1st of October and was up 2 pounds to 210, which is what I weighed on September 1st. Since adding starches back into my diet and increasing my calories (no, I am not counting, but I am quite sure I am eating more than the 900 per day I was eating before) I have gained a few more pounds. I am stable at 212 now and okay with that, as a gain is inevitable when coming off a low carb diet. I am going to get my head calm and really take time to accept that I am NOT going to restrict like that anymore... I eat an orange if I feel like it, I have a slice of toast with my eggs if I want it... and then, when I have gotten back my calmness about food, I will figure out what I am going to do to start losing weight again.


Anonymous said...

I have been on every known diet before. I have tracked points, calories, etc. I cannot live forever keeping track of everything I eat! So right now I am not doing anything. I eat pretty much what I want and try to stay away from processed stuff. I feel for you! I hope you can find some peace in not "following" anything for a while! Hugs:)

Leslie said...

I was so glad to see a post from you! Been thinking about you, but I figured you were okay. Personally Lyn, I'm glad you're coming off Medifast - it sounds like a depressing way to eat, to me, esp. when you're not getting the results you did in the beginning. As hard as moderation is to master (speaking from experience!), I think it's the key. Of course, when we know which foods for which we will never have moderation, we can avoid them. Most of the time. Each day is a new beginning, but also one little stumble isn't a reason to sacrifice the rest of the day to wanton eating. And I'm saying that for myself as well as to you!!

Anyway - it's good to hear from you, and you'll get where you want to go - slowly but surely, with steady consistent effort. Keep on keepin' on!

LHA said...

I completely understand what you are saying. I came to this decision a few years ago. I had been on a very carb-restrictive way of eating for a couple of years and it was very successful in helping me lose weight and feel healthier. So what was the problem? It was my mind-set. I totally freaked if I ate anything with sugar or many carbs at all. A cracker....blasphemy! A bite of Christmas candy...horrors! Like you, I knew I could not keep that up. Unfortunately, I felt so bad about my decision to go back to eating more normally that I ate my way back up the scale.

My solution was to stay low carb (not no carb) most of the time, making exceptions for some special occasions and seasonal favorite foods. I tried to always stop eating when I was not hungry any longer, and limit big carbs (like cake, candy, bread, pasta) to small amounts. I found it was mostly my mind that was the problem. When I demystified these foods and stopped placing so much importance on them in my mind, they became much less attractive. I still am losing slowly and actually feel like this is something I can do forever. I don't have to be perfect or a slave to any eating plan.

Lyn, I wish you the best of luck in finding the eating style that will result in the long term change you seek. I think you have some great insights gained from experience and you have truly already come a long way!

Megan Reuther said...

Proud of you! I have followed your journey for a long time, and we're in pretty similar spots. Hope the foot heals soon and you're back to enjoying life as fully as you can.

Karen said...

Since you know wheat gives you inflammation and pain, hope that you choose NOT to eat wheat, grains or gluten.

16 blessings'mom said...

Oh I am glad to hear from you, I was getting worried when I checked each day and there was no news from Lyn. I'm glad you are back. Please remember you aren't alone in this struggle!


timothy said...

good luck darling, sending healing prayers your way! xoxoxo

PamL said...

Glad to hear from you again! Oh, I hope your foot heals, that you feel better and that you can find what works for you. It's a long, long journey that we each have to do on our own. But enjoy life and be at peace! You will get where you want--it just might take longer than you had hoped! Good luck!

Anonymous said...

How funny, I just had the same revelation today. I am sick of the restrictions and they make me binge worse. Good luck to you!

Anonymous said...

Good for you for reflecting and being able to conclude that Medifast is not the cure-all you'd maybe hoped. Many of us are in that same place where it feels impossible to come out of, but being honest and open to fresh ideas and change is probably the best thing for us. I've had similar issues with calorie counting, WW, and Intuitive Eating. Nothing really sticks, but it's more about what's going on inside than any one plan being best. I'll continue to follow your journey and wish you the best luck (along with myself!). This struggle Lyn is nothing to be ashamed of - we all take our lumps in life, here and there, and your courage and determination is truly commendable. Glad that you are okay as well.

Anonymous said...

I know now you have the new foot injury issue on top of it, but how is the PF? Did the cortisone shots work?

Christine said...

This seems like a very good idea.

I know moderation is hard for you, but that is the one thing that will get you what you want for yourself. You know you have discipline ... nobody can eat packets of food for years without it. So work on it; exercise that muscle; learn to say "yes" to good food that you like *sometimes*, without guilt, and without overeating it. Once you have that figured out, you can finally integrate *your* eating with *your* life and still hit and maintain a healthy weight.

Good luck.

Steelers6 said...

I'm so sorry about this cast & crutches deal! No good.
I hope you can recover quickly.

Lyn said...

Thanks all for the kind thoughts.


yes, the shots have been working and my other foot is doing well.

MargieAnne said...

Hi Lyn. Oh My! I just looked up to see Women playing American Football and all I could say was..."What a sex fest!" They might be able to play but their bikini gear looks awful. Am I showing my age? Sorry that was off topic for a moment.

I'm sure by now you know I would not deliberately criticize anyone's choice of diet. After all my own looks whacky enough at times. Having said that I am delighted to hear you are moving away from Medfast with it's soy based products.

In your position I would be looking at my own version of Paleo or no processed foods. Vegetables and proteins and home cooked meals. You are a good cook so perhaps it's time to put the love back into cooking good healthy, balanced meals. Make your own soup or stew with loads of low starch Veggies and meaty bones. Eat real eggs. Enjoy a little cheese if you like it.

I had to come to a place where I decided what foods or meals are my favourites. The ones that were sugar and starch loaded I eliminated or modified. I do have a little sugar now and then. Sometimes I feel like a cocoa drink and it just doesn't work without sweetening. I would rather have 1 teaspoon of sugar than an artificial sweetener.

If you do want to read some good info for women you'll find some at http://www.thepaleomom.com/ I enjoy the podcasts too.

Losing weight is not as important as being healthy. Take care and let that leg heal up too.


Zan said...

Ouch on the crutches, I hope you heal up soon. One of the biggest mistakes I make whenever I restart healthy eating is to assume that something that worked before will be right for me now. It leads to a lot of self abuse where I berate myself for not doing something well enough, when the fact is whatever I'm doing is just not right for me right now.

Anonymous said...

So glad you are (finally?) off the Medifast. Take some time and feed yourself good healthy food, you'll feel so much better, I'm sure. (Julie from Australia)

Betsey C. said...

Lyn, I am so happy to hear this! You are going to find a more normal and enjoyable way of eating without demonizing any food groups. A balanced diet with proper portions.

This is exactly what I am attempting to do, as well. Eat healthy, whole, fresh foods every day, and limit the junk to the occasional treat (i.e., birthday cake).

I am trying not to binge, overeat, or use food as a diversion or a comforting mechanism. We can do this! Good luck, and so sorry about your accident. Hope you heal up quickly!

Anonymous said...

I'm glad that you're off Medifast. I've been following you for a couple of years and while I know you had success *losing* on it the first time I think you've always known it wasn't a sustainable longterm lifestyle (in fact, if I'm not wrong it was transitioning off Medifast which precipitated the regain, which I think kind of shows that it's just setting you up for failure even if you can stick to and lose on it) -- and it seems to have really got inside your head this time in an unproductive, unhealthy way which is just making you miserable. A lot of people have suggested figuring out how you want to eat/your activity level at maintenance and start doing it now and I feel like that's a good plan. Nourish and look after your body ... don't make it (or food) the enemy. You're not waging a war against your body, you're working with it as a team to figure out what's best for your longterm health and wellbeing. I'm truly rooting for you and I hope that five years from now sees a stronger, calmer, happier Lyn.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, real food. Traditionally made is best. Artificial and natural flavorings are definitely health hazards. Yes. Change in eating will give your body cause to adjust. Eat clean in amounts to support your bodily function and ease back
Into gentle exercise when you can. Get good sleep and that is a recipe for better health. Do glad to see you get off of pseudo estrogen packets renamed as food.
Think organic and whole when you eat that is far better. Also is you grind your own organic wheat berries and make your own bread you will also see a huge difference, especially if you soak or sprout or make a resl sourdough bread. One other thing, if you do dairy... go raw. Dairy from the store is a major health issue. Search it out. I think you made a grest decision!

Anonymous said...

I understand. I have 3 cases of Medifast and Wonderslim stacked in my bedroom right now. I'm trying to eat them as snacks to use them up.

Now I'm back to doing Atkins. I found another Frankenfood that really helps, called Carbquik and Carbalose. I've been making brownies and pizza and still losing weight.

So I just wanted to tell you about another option, I know it's another restrictive diet, but not so bad as it used to be. The brownies aren't great but I think the pizza is.

I have my own recipe, just 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon of beer mixed with 2 cups of Carbquik. Precook the crust according to the carbalose website.

dlamb said...

Lyn, since you are on a new path, why not use this period of time to collect some info. and put it to use in your next stage? You always said that you enjoy the research aspect of eating and health.

You need not do anything different than what you are planning, but keep track of your food for a certain period of time. Since it sounds like you cannot be particularly active for a while (so sorry about that), if you keep track of what you are eating for two weeks or so, then weigh yourself, you'll have some good info re. the level at which you can eat, in order to lose at a reasonable rate, by eating whatever you think is right.
It seems like such a shame to miss this opportunity to get a baseline but as you know...I think people are going to do what they're going to do.
I wish you success, as always.

Sara said...

Chiming in with the others that I thought about you during your absence, and I'm so glad to hear from you again!

Like the other commenters, I'm proud of you for making the decision to move away from using Medifast. I currently use MF as a tool to get the weight off, and I know all too well how many of us who use MF fall into a trap and start thinking that it is the ONLY way that we can lose weight because many people have an initial experience with MF where their weight just falls off them. However, my personal experience with MF has been that (after being on it since Feb. 2013, so, roughly 6.5 months) it has resulted in extreme weight loss but has been detrimental to my overall health to use MF for this long. Like others (and you) have pointed out, it's just not a sustainable way of eating for the rest of your life.

I think you are making a flying leap towards health and well-being when you choose to eat real foods. Taking this time to listen to your body about what foods make you feel good and what foods damage your physical and emotional health is something that I truly think will make you feel healthier, even if it does not result in fast weight loss.

I also cringe when I see people imply that a person should "never" eat certain things. If I could never have a slice of homemade birthday cake or a bite of buttered popcorn again, let's face it, my life would have less JOY in it. I understand that there are some people who can't "just have one slice." But it's a priority for me to BECOME a person who CAN just have one slice, enjoy that slice, and move on with life without feeling any emotional attachment connected to that slice of cake.

You're in my thoughts and I wish you the absolute best in whatever you try to pursue. Feeling like you are stagnating with no results is a terrible feeling, and I am so glad you are moving away from that towards an eating plan that will make you happy!

Christine said...

And ignore the "food groupers" if you can. Your body is healthy and responds to food in a normal way -- your issue isn't what types of food you eat, but how much you eat.

Find a plan -- any plan -- that is based on portion sizes (amount of food rather than type of food). Doesn't matter if it's calories, points, or some other method of (1) understanding how much you are eating, and then (2) habituating yourself to moderation. Then stick to the recommended portions/calories/points/etc. You will lose weight and not have to mold yourself into some new "lifestyle" for the sake of your food -- which should be, after all, a very small part of your life.

Anonymous said...

I can just picture you opening a packet, smelling the soy and going "Um, no." I don't know if you can afford the whey-based protein supplements, but I find them much more tolerable. For cost reasons, I eat a lot of chicken breast and eggs but there are places where you want the protein boost without the meaty flavor. So, anyway, I encourage you to keep the protein high. Did you talk to the Medifast folks? maybe you could keep eating the snack type foods, anything cold, and make chili, stir-fry, etc. for main meals. At least before you lose their sponsorship see if you can find a middle ground?

CatherineMarie said...

Lyn, I am so glad you decided no more Medifast. You are doing a great thing, and I am proud of you.

Just do what you know is right. For me, that seems to be gluten-free (but without the crappy prepared breads and such) and lots of veg and fruit, carbs and a small/moderate amount of protein.

My sister does better on a diet with lots of lean protein.

We are all different. But it sounds like you are getting your joy back. :)

Lyn said...

Again, thank you all for the comments and support.

To be clear, I really do think Medifast is a good plan. I know many people who have lost a lot of weight and kept it off, and the Transition program is a good one. I think my own 'food issues' are the culprit in the regain... plus, Medifast really isn't meant to be used for years. They've been more than kind to me with their full support and it was really hard for me to let them know I was moving on, because I do like the people I've worked with. And I do still believe in the product. I still don't know what will give me, personally, lasting results, but I do know I need to stop having emotional reactions and ties to certain foods. And I needed to be able to eat the healthy things I want, like winter squash, Clementines, and pomegranates. I am tired of restriction and think my body is, too.

Pj said...

Hi there

I read your blog today I was looking for a recipe and just happened upon it:-) You hve done awesome and come so far :-) everything is a mindset. I think now it may be time to think about food differently and look at how you eat as a lifestyle rather than feel shackeled by food:-) I firmly believe the saying you are what you eat:-) we have been so indoctrinated in society to believe what is supposed to be good for us:-)its amazing how we have actually got this far :-)

I live a low carb lifestyle with no wheat :-)I changed our eating habits due to genetics with celiac and also my dear spouse having genetic type two dabetes:-) this has been great for both of us:-)

I urge you to not give up but read read and research and you will find the right lifestyle choices for both you and your family, this is a change that will benefit all of you for years to come:-)

Good luck I Iook forward to reading your progress please take care without health there really is nothing:-):-)

Tea said...

Glad you're okay! :)