Monday, October 13, 2014

About The Week

This week has been a tough one for me. Over the past couple of months I have been on and off AIP more times than I can count... which doesn't do anything for the elimination diet part of the equation. I'd need to be solid with the elimination part for a month (again) before I could start reintroducing things again properly (all I've reintroduced successfully so far is cocoa, nutmeg, and cumin.) I do see health benefits from AIP though, even when I am not perfect at it. It's a very natural, healthy, whole foods, anti-inflammatory diet, so I do get some benefits from eating this way for 3 days or a week, or even from eating 1 or 2 meals a day from the AIP template. I just can't get the elimination part going until I do another long stretch without things that are supposed to be removed for 30+ days.

Since I got better from my sinus infection it's been like that: several days perfect, then a few days not. In all honestly I find it hard to stick to a restrictive plan when I am feeling down and struggling with other things. I'm not bingeing, no. I'm not going back to that. But this week has been the worst... letting coffee back in on a regular basis, having some au gratin potatoes with dinner, justifying eating butternut squash flat bread with roasted tomatoes and caramelized sweet onions because it was gluten free. My line in the sand has been gluten, but then when someone offers me a gluten free brownie, I take it. And I don't exactly feel bad about it, either. This week I've eaten soups with beans, pork sirloin roast with roasted sweet potatoes, rotisserie chicken and steamed peas, lots and lots of warm decaf tea with coconut milk and honey, and a piece of gluten free cheesecake with a walnut crust. All of this food was delicious, but at the end of the day some of this stuff is steering me away from my goal (AIP for health). I am being weak and giving in a lot, mainly because I just don't feel motivated and certainly don't feel strong anymore. I also have not been exercising much at all. If I had to guess I'd say I'm maintaining or maybe up 5 pounds but my clothes all fit the same as they did two months ago. I am ambivalent about the scale... or maybe I just don't need one more thing to push me into feeling worse.

The reason I'm writing today, when I don't especially feel like it, is because I want to commit to myself, and put it out there for you as well, that I will do better this week. Not great, maybe, but better. Even just a little bit better. Because week by week I see myself doing a little worse. And I may not be making any progress with health or weight at the moment but I want to turn the downward descent around before winter comes and makes it even harder. So my goal for this week is to do better. Get *some* exercise. Reduce my sugar intake. Lay off the coffee. Try to eat a little more veggies. Just turn it around, so it's a little better next week rather than a little worse. I also committed to myself that I'll get on the scale November 1 even though I don't want to. Enough with the head in the sand thinking... I need to know for sure where I am with my weight.

Thanks for listening and for sticking around for this part of the journey.


Leslie said...

Hang in there, Lyn. This is just never a linear process. I'd done well for many months, then gradually, after my daughter's July wedding, have let bad habits and sugar back into my eating. Broken record! RERUN!

I want to tell you I continue to read my top 4 favorite blogs, of which you of course are one. As others have said, your ability to stay in the game, no matter what, is inspiring and heartening. It helps so many of us know we aren't alone with our struggles to find peace and sanity with food. How can something that sounds so simple and normal be so elusive?

Take care and take one day at a time.
someone told me today to pray for the willingness to do what it takes to foster my recovery, just for this day only.

Anonymous said...

I am almost never able to see what triggers my own downward spirals. I can feel when they're coming, but I rarely, if ever, know why.

I think many of us saw your slide coming(So much easier to see from the outside looking in.), and as a commenter on your last post or so said, many were yelling at you to NOT go up the stairs. Of course, the warnings didn't help you, they never really helped me, either. (Well, this is pretty lame so far, isn't it?)

At any rate, in the name of maybe you can figure out what triggered your slide, let me show you where it was evident that your foot was poised above the banana peeel.

It was here: August 22 Reintroduced Chocolate and then, as tho we needed confirmation, here: Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Chocolate Cake for Dinner? Yep.

Don't get me wrong---I am NOT saying that the chocolate is what caused this slide. I'm not. I am saying that the mental event that compelled you to choose chocolate anf cake, is what also led to this: "Over the past couple of months, I have been on and off AIP more times than I can count..."

The last couple of months--that would be mid-August.

I hope you can figure out what let the gas out of your balloon...then tell me what let it out of my own.

Sliding is more exhausting than non-sliders can imagine.

I'm praying for us both.


Lyn said...

Leslie I appreciate you a lot. Thanks for sticking with me. Do you think you'll ever go back to blogging?

Deb, thank you, that is very interesting and could be part of the picture with me. Maybe I am showing 'signs' on the blog that others can see before I even notice it myself. I appreciate the feedback. I have zero insight into your struggle, sorry :( but I do pray for you also.

Couple of months... I guess I misspoke. It seems like it's been forever and I was thinking "couple" meaning Sept/Oct...but when I looked back over my planner I see I was 100% AIP until I'd been sick a week. Went off plan Sept 7.

What I see as my trigger (which could be just a bigger, later manifestation of what you saw coming on the blog) was 1) getting sick with a sinus infection and feeling lousy, and 2) the anniversary of my best friend's death. I also think the shortening days and less daylight had some impact on it. I don't think I felt depressed and unhappy with AIP until those things happened.

Hopefully I'll get it together and start feeling better soon. And you too! And if you see me poised again, do comment and let me know what you see so I can be watchful. Thanks.

Amy said...

What I am slowly learning is that while foods can have a chemical trigger, it isn't about the food at all. When your mind is healthy and strong, you are UNSTOPPABLE! But, events that happen to us day-to-day cause us to react emotionally, based on beliefs we believe about ourselves. Many times, those beliefs are outdated memories from our childhood that simply don't apply to our adult lives, but because they were handed to us by people we looked up to and wanted to please (parents) we believe it still.
Are you still meditating? I am all for exercise if it is growing you as a person, but if it is too much right now, meditation is such a good substitute. Your mind is what is stopping you. When I am in a meditative state, I focus on what is bothering me, from as early back as I can remember and ask what it is that is holding me back. The answer is never food, it is always one of those negative beliefs I have about myself (I'm not strong enough, I want too much, I don't deserve this, etc). Comfort food is the tool you are using to cope with the stress of your life. I agree that it is OK to use it that way, as long as you are aware of what you are doing and try to figure out what is behind it. Eventually the more you become aware not of the act itself but by what is driving it (what you believe about yourself) you will be able to discern which beliefs are true and which are someone else's opinion.

JM said...

I heard something awesome a few months ago that really stuck with me. It was "Life is overwhelming. Period. You cant wait for it to change, YOU have to change. Until you can swallow that pill, you will NEVER reach your goals." This is so true for me! There will never be a time and place where things are all calm, perfect and non stressful LIFE IS STRESSFUL> We all need to find what works for us and do it. The tracking, whatever type, is so key for me. Without it, it s so easy to tell ourselves its just a little this or that, or whatever. Measurements/ Weight gains/ losses dont lie and they are a good gauge. Also good are less headaches, body pain etc. But I really feel like its helpful to track something for a period of time.. like 6 months to see what is working, and what is not. Everyone has stresses, and medical issues, and kids, and dogs, etc. Its very easy to let LIFE get in the way of what we know we need to do. Congrats for catching it in the beginning and getting back on track, its really the only way. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Hi Lyn, Try not to be hard on yourself. You are so wonderfully candid about not being perfect. Most of us, if not all of us, are exactly the same, so don't feel bad about not being perfect in following your food plan. As Leslie said, take one day at a time. I don't like exercise and I can get out of the habit very easily. I printed out a calendar to track any type of exercise I do and it helps to have it there in writing so I can see what days I exercise and what days I don't. It helps to see it in writing and gives me a sense of accomplishment. I weigh once or twice a month to keep track of it unless my clothes start feeling tight. I'm finding that doing the machines with weights at the gym helps with the clothing fit, even if I don't lose weight.

Hey, just be kind to yourself and don't worry so much (although I'm pretty good at worrying myself, so I shouldn't advise you on that - ha ha!). Diets of any kind are hard. I decided for now just to count calories and not worry so much about what they are. Of course they can't be all sugar, but a balance of food choices seems to satisfy me the most and I try to stay at 1200 calories or so a day. On that I am maintaining the 45 pounds I lost last year, pretty well.

Hang in there and think positive! :)

Nan in Phoenix

heidi said...

Something that has helped me over time, is to wrap my mind around the fact that the compulsion to eat junk is physiologically based. The obese person is walking around in a chronically energy deprived state. And the body's drive to get to a energy abundant state is STRONG and never ending.

I remind myself that dieting is akin to breathing just a little less than you would naturally like to ALL THE TIME. You could do it, but you would have to consciously make that effort and any time that you didn't devote energy and thought toward that goal, you would naturally breath how ever much felt "right". There is no morality to eating. There is the body's strong natural drive to eat how much it thinks it needs. To do anything other than that takes a tremendous amount of effort and willpower. Naturally thin people don't understand that they are eating how much their body drives them to eat, just as they are breathing as much as their body drives them to breath. They don't realize that for some of us, to maintain a healthy weight, we have to walk around in a deprived state... just as if we didn't get to breathe as much as we want to. When I think of dieting in that regard, it removes the shame. There is NOTHING shameful about wanting to eat, sleep or breath.

The thing to remember, is that eating low sugar, non-gluten, non-processed, etc.. are TOOLS to naturally reduce how much you need to eat. (Lowering insulin, lowering chemical responses to gluten, lowering MSG, etc). So, by not adhering to a lower sugar, less processed, non-gluten diet, you are going to experience an even stronger hunger. ---- Again, no shame in that... just basic physiology.

So when I eat my junk (which for me is fairly similar to what you consider junk), I remind myself that it in turn is making it that much harder. But that it is a physical process within the body. My personality isn't weak. It's just REALLY HARD to walk around all day every day breathing less than you would naturally like to breath. And it is really hard to walk around eating less than I would like to eat (because even eating low carb, non-processed, I have to restrict calories to keep my weight under 200 lbs).

Eating low sugar, non-gluten, non processed, no MSG, no JUNK decreases your appetite. It makes it easier. But getting to that point, from the eating junk point, requires a period of strong deprivation. (I call it a white-knuckling period). For me, it is usually about 5-7 days. After which it becomes a LOT easier. I often fail at day 4 and have to start from scratch again and again, trying to string a week of good days in a row.

Anyway, I know you know all of this. I just want to remind you that it is natural to feel this strong desire to eat more sugar, etc. The ONLY time I feel 100% energy full is immediately after eating a bunch of bread/pasta/potatoes. And to be honest, that feels GOOD. And I don't feel ashamed of that anymore. I just realize that it led to me being over 260 lbs and would have led to me being over 300 lbs rather quickly, if I hadn't tried to change my ways.

For ME, working hard to understand what is happening in my body after eating restaurant pork lo mein (added sugar, gluten, MSG, food dyes, and who knows what else) versus what is happening in my body after eating a homemade stir-fry with pork, veggies, coconut oil, real garlic and ginger.... has really changed my thinking about what I am really trying to do. The need to eat 30 minutes after the restaurant meal is strong and real for me. Even though it would have been 2X-4X the calories.

Anyway, no shame. Those are strong forces that you are fighting against. The fact that so many people are fighting the same fight and losing it, shows how tough it is. But it IS worth it. Fight on Lyn!

Lyn said...


no, actually I have not been meditating. Thanks for the reminder. I am getting back to that right now, today. I like how you described it and your focus during meditation; I'll try that. I pretty much lost all my focus and many good habits while I was sick. Time to restore them.


good points. I was tracking everything I ate in a notebook until about mid-Sept, then it became *very* sporadic. I will restart that today. I don't measure or count calories or carbs, just list each food I ate and my symptoms or improvements and that helps me a lot. Thank you.


you have always been so supportive and give me good reminders, thank you for that. I will also note my exercise in my notebook along with my food. Congrats on maintaining :)


Good to hear from you again (assuming you are the same heidi!) and as always a very interesting comment with lots to think about. It is SO apparent when you start eating 'clean' homemade foods how differently the body feels about them, so true. AIP was so much easier because I just felt good. And most of the time I didn't mind the restriction because it was great to have a plate of real food of my choice whenever I wanted it! It's only when I eat 'junk' that I want more and more junk and yet feel so much worse. And I totally get the 5-7 day 'white knuckling.' That is what I am trying to do now. Tough, but will feel so much better when it's done.

LHA said...

What you are writing is somewhat like the story of my life! When I am eating in a way that I know is right for me....and that means NO sugar and restricted carbs.....I feel good. I also feel in control, more optimistic and think more rationally. The problem comes when I inevitably stray from what I know is right for me. And I do mean inevitably, because it is absolutely impossible for me to stay on that eating plan indefinitely! So, I am trying to plan for those events that lead me to stray and be aware BEFORE I get into trouble. I wish you luck, Lyn, on figuring this out and I look forward to reading about it. Many of us will be fighting the same fight and I hope we all come out winners!

Connie C. said...

I certainly understand how easy it is to start letting things slip in. I'm thinking about trying Whole30 in a couple of months, and part of what is making me hesitate is knowing that if I slip up, I'd have to start all over.

I remember way back in the beginning days of your blog you were eating tons of veggies from the farmers market. It seemed like they made up the larger portion of your diet. I still go back and look at some of the beautiful pictures you posted and some of your menu items are family favorites (like the leeks and asparagus).

You sounded like you felt so much better with that way of eating. Have you thought about going back to that?

Lyn said...


yes, that's my preferred way to eat, really. I was eating a lot of produce but still *some* pizza, cheesey stuff, etc. but in moderation. I've reverted to that 'easy for me' plan many times... and I like it, but the problem is I wasn't losing weight on it anymore. I maintain between 210 and 230. I think my diet will eventually look a lot like that, but with adjustments based on AIP.