Monday, December 8, 2014

What's My Plan?


When I posted last week with my regain pictures, I got some very thoughtful comments: some with support, some with suggestions, some asking what my plan is now. And that is the question that is sticking in my head: what's your plan? And my immediate answer is, I don't know. I am all planned out. I am highly resistant to starting any more plans, diets, regimens, etc. I hesitate to make anymore proclamations about what I am going to do and how determined I am to do it, because I am sick of doing that and then failing. I have spent YEARS now picking a plan, doing the plan... sometimes for a few weeks, sometimes for a few months or even a couple of years... but always, always in the past it has eventually fallen apart and ended in some kind of long, long plateau or regain. And now I am looking at it, wanting to make changes and "fix" this, but I have such a hard time believing anymore: believing it can be done and not end in another regain.

I do not like being this heavy, this big. I do not like lacking the energy to do the things I enjoy, and I know I am not healthy right now. I wake up every morning and pick-a-plan (my go-to's being calorie counting, low carb, AIP, or Medifast) and go at it until about 3pm and then fall apart. It happens every time I try to "start" something. When I say "fall apart" I mean I eat something that puts me into the "off plan" category. Like so:

On a day when I have decided to do AIP, I might have my bacon/avocado/veggies breakfast, some soup and fruit for lunch, and then eat a piece of lasagna in the afternoon.

On a day when I am trying to do Medifast-ish (I have about a month's worth of meal supplements left over from the Packet Days, including Medifast and Wonderslim), I will have my packets at 8, 10, and 12 and then go have a bowl of chili with corn chips, cheese, and sour cream.

On a day when I am calorie counting, I will open Sparkpeople and track my Greek yogurt for breakfast, my banana for a snack, my chicken salad with crackers for lunch, and then eat a dinner of large helpings, unmeasured, with calorie amounts decidedly over my "limit" for the day.

Why? Why the self sabotage? Why do I keep doing these things? I take breaks in between these "diet days" and try to just eat rational amounts of healthy foods but I end up saying yes to the chocolate truffle sample in the mall, and yes to a few slices of cheese in the afternoon, and yes to a nice comforting bowl of pudding before bed. And all of that is enough to make me NOT lose weight... maybe even keep gaining if I am not careful. It's not that ONE chocolate truffle ruins my chances. It's not that a few slices of cheese can't fit into a calorie counting plan. It's that I quit working it after lunch and give up. It's easier to eat what's easy, what's comforting, what I want.

So when you ask what my plan is, I don't know. I guess my plan is to calorie count and try harder to not give up after lunch. It's the least restrictive of my options. My plan is to increase my activity (which has been the plan for a long time... and I get going for a few days or a week and then quit. I haven't been swimming or lifting or biking more than a couple times in... weeks I guess. Just walking, and not often enough) and to eat better. I know what to do. I don't know why I am not doing it.

I had an appointment with my ED counselor, Cloe, last week, but my daughter was sent home from school sick that day just an hour before the appointment and I had to cancel. I tried to call and ask if we could do the appointment over the phone, but never got a call back. I have another appointment next week. I don't know if that is going to be the answer, or if getting more support (which I am looking into) will be the answer, or if the answer is somewhere inside me. None of this makes sense to me. Everything in my brain knows I need to lose weight. I want to. I want to be healthy, and exercise, and eat well, and feel as good as I used to feel. So why am I having a hard time with it? I don't get it. Is it subconscious? Biological? Emotional? Laziness? I wish I knew.

I will keep trying every day. I don't binge, although I overeat and I eat the "wrong" foods for whatever I am trying to do on any given day. There is no way a 500 calorie piece of cheesecake is going to fit into my calorie counting plan when my Metabolic Rate testing said that I have to eat less than 1440 calories/day AND exercise 30 minutes a day AND have an active lifestyle to lose any weight. So what I choose to eat really matters and has to be higher volume, higher nutrition, lower calories.

I have to do it but where is the DOING IT going to come from? It has to come from within, somehow, and this time around, I haven't quite figured out how to make that happen.

32 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Lyn,
I'm not sure if I've ever commented before but I've been reading for years. I get the struggle you are going through and I wish I had some words of wisdom or the "answer". All I can tell you is what is helping me and my own experience with binge eating. I've cut out all sugar plain and simple. It was horrible the first 2 weeks and I felt like I wanted to punch a wall, break down and even cry a few times because I didn't realize just how much I equated my happiness to a pint of Ben & Jerry's. But then as the weeks have ticked by, something changed inside me...the addiction to started to subside and lose its hold on me. Desserts suddenly didn't look so tempting anymore (and this is coming from a person who would have something sweet EVERY night without fail). I also started a program called Crossfit. I have 2 slipped and bulging discs in my back and a brain condition called a chiari malformation but they scale the movements and exercises to accommodate the back injury and I watch the movements to not lose my balance (chiari malformation condition). Just giving up the sugar alone has made the weight start to melt off (it has naturally reduced my once embarrassingly HUGE appetite) and my Crossfit program is reshaping my body in an amazing way. Maybe a new plan isn't for you (it wasn't for me, I've tried them all). But maybe giving up sugar is. I've come to realize that sugar is my "cocaine addiction" and that it's looking like I'm probably going to have to go through life without it. That thought used to terrify me (back when I was still consuming it). Now that I'm off of my "drug", it doesn't. Anyway, no matter what you try or do, I hope that you succeed and never give up! :-)

Anonymous said...

Lyn,

I don't know if this will work for you, but it sounds like you have the same issue I do, which is you want to eat later in the day. What finally worked for me, in the long run, was backloading my calories for the later part of the day. I am just not that hungry until late afternoon, so I eat very lightly during the day, and then eat pretty heavily (within my calorie budget, of course!) in the afternoon and evening. I know conventional wisdom says breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but for me, it's the meal that sets me up to fail. It's as if a switch gets flipped, and if I eat breakfast, I am set up to want to keep eating all day long. I simply don't NEED to exercise any of my limited supply of willpower in the first part of the day, and in the evening when I do just want to eat and eat and eat, I'm able to do so, within reasonable limits. So, not exactly freestyle cheesecake eating, or whatever, but I eat a couple of times (a salad, my main meal, a couple of SMALL snacks) between about 5 pm and bedtime.

I figure whatever benefits I may derive from eating at traditional times all day are far outweighed by being able to maintain a 200 lb+ loss by working around my personal weaknesses. And you are obviously free to dismiss my experience because it won't work for you, or you're ideologically committed to the always-eat-breakfast plan (which is fine! we're all different, and what works for me may not be appropriate for you!) but I thought I'd throw it out there. The whole intermittent fasting thing gained prominence after I'd been doing things my way for a few years, and I was actually kind of shocked to find out it was a Thing, you know, but it's a Thing that's worked for me, so I thought I'd bring it up.

Good luck, whatever you decide to do.

CatherineMarie said...

First of all, *hugs*. Ok. Here's my advice. You need emotional support, YOU ARE NOT LAZY! Don't do a "plan", throw them out the window. You have spent years denying yourself, which is why nothing is working. Try the cheesecake or pudding for breakfast. You will burn it off faster throughout the day, and you will have had your "sweet" thing. Try planning some wholesome family meals, and dinner, just eat a well-balanced meal with carbs, veggies, protein. Lasagna isn't a bad meal, and you can make it healthier with whole-grain noodles. Just try to normalize your eating, for right now. Find some kind of exercise activity that is fun and easy for you. For me, I have found that I have to use a yoga ball for a computer chair. Get some strap-on weights to wear around the house... Don't try to lose right now. You are burned out. Go into a maintaining mode. (which will probably result in some weight loss) Throw all the packets away. You lost the majority of your weight eating healthy and simple. Get back to that.

Jeanette said...

I wish I had a better answer for you, about where the "doing" actually comes from. I was overweight for a decade before I actually truly did something (not half assed) about it. You know what to do, but you are the only one who can do it, hopefully you can lean on your support system you do have and really do it, if it is what you want. I think simple calorie counting and movement CONSISTENTLY is going to be the answer for you. Consistency is the one piece of this puzzle you've always lacked. I wish you the best.

Connie C. said...

Since it's evening that seems to be your weak spot, I'd focus on that instead of worrying about "all day."

Eat what you want during the day, then focus on eating a reasonably portioned dinner, or not eating after 8:00, or not having second helpings, or whatever you seem to struggle the most with in the evenings.

Once that is under control, you can go back to a plan for the earlier part of the day.

Grace said...

Hi Lyn, I only comment occasionally, so don't know if I've mentioned this to you or not...Intermittent Fasting. Now, I know this may sound radical, but I'm 61 and for the first time in my "dieting" life, I found this works for me long term. You can read my story on my blog. Just a suggestion. Right now I'm on vacation and after more than 2 weeks, my pants still fit fine. IF is easily adaptable to your own schedule, and there is no deprivation involved. It's just a matter of only eating within a certain time period (for me, 6 hours a day, from 1-7 pm, or 2-8 pm). Then I pretty much eat what I want (although I do try to stay away from the junk).
Whatever you do decide to try, GOOD LUCK!

Marianne Molleur said...

Hi Lyn:
Everybody has an plan for you, but only you know the answer. You're so close to a breakthrough. I keep reading because I'm feeling so much empathy for you. Your writing makes me feel it. Hang in there
Regards,
Marianne

Deb Willbefree said...

Such a debilitating place to be. Ha. Don't I know it!

No advice. Just prayers. Daily.

Maria-McNeil said...

Lyn - I have given up on planning for a while - actually rebelled because I was 'tired' of doing it and failing.
Eating meets our primal needs at a HIGH level. When food meets all our needs at a high level, then we continue to do it until it's replaced with something else. I'm going through the same thing, everyone I talk to (or through my blog) give me advice which is so nice because they are being supportive. But honestly, it's not 'tactics', 'strategies' or 'plans' I need right now. I have to get to the root of the issue - Food is being used for comfort (and it is habitual) and I have to find something else that can do it, which there's the usual they teach you in diet plans (walking, reading, etc etc etc), but the bottom line is, those are not cutting it, they don't meet my needs as high as FOOD does...sounds lame I know, but I'm stating the truth (and hopefully it will set me free at some point -lol). Tactics are great, but until I deal with the cause, and it sounds like you're going through the same thing, then I'm not ready for tactics. I was sitting in WW meeting for months, not losing a pound - actually gaining.
I don't want to fail again, be judged again, why bother if I'm going to fail? Unfortunately, that's my psychology that has to change before the tactics will work...

Lyn said...

Yeah, I don't want to fail again. And the thought of dropping almost 70 pounds just to get back to where I WAS is so... overwhelming. I keep thinking I cannot do it again. So I am trying to think it in chunks. I know I felt better than THIS in the 210's... even at 218, much better than this. And I was able to maintain around 218 for a long time. That is 25 pounds away. Do I believe I can lose 25 pounds, and then just maintain there for awhile? Yeah, I think I can. I think it will be hard but doable. So my goal right now is to get to 218 again. So many more clothes will fit, I can move around much better, and I don't have the big bulges under my clothes at that weight. 25 pounds, I have to do this.

I am calorie counting today and have a goal of exercise 5 days this week (bike 15 min, walk 30 min, or go swimming).

Monique Noel said...

Honest question here! When you post, are you seeking suggestions or mostly support? Because my first instinct when I read this post is to offer ideas or strategies that may help you, but perhaps you are overwhelmed by all the suggestions and are mostly looking for prayers, good wishes, etc.

To that end, maybe part of your "plan" needs to be a decision about how to utilize your blog, or to shut down the blog if the comments you receive may actually be hindering you (overwhelming you with conflicting ideas, for example).

Alison Calderone said...

Hi Lyn,
Oh my - this might sound so dumb, but do you need a nap in the afternoon? Granted, I don't even know if that is an option for you! But I know that when I'm tired, I'm so much more likely to throw in the towel after lunch. So on days when it's an option, an early afternoon nap is just the thing for me. :-)

Hugs to you!

Lyn said...

Monique~

Usually I am not actively seeking suggestions, but I also don't mind them (unless it is: This is the ONLY thing that will work! You HAVE to do this! kind of thing). I have learned a lot from commenter's suggestions and ideas. I like hearing other people's experiences, too.

Alison~

I probably would benefit from an afternoon nap if I could turn my brain off long enough to fall asleep! Even at night it takes me a good 30-60 minutes to fall asleep. I think all the time and it makes it hard to sleep, know what I mean? So my nap attempts have been rather futile. I do crave sugar for the energy boost in the afternoon and sometimes I wish I didn't have high blood pressure, so I could drink some caffeine at those times!

Anonymous said...

If you have a month of MediFast left, why not do strait MediFast for a month? It will get you started in the right direction and then you can switch to a low carb plan. Plus you wouldn't have to exercise for a month and could start in January. Good luck, you can do it.

Lyn said...

Anonymous~

I can't even get through one day of "just packets" much less a month! I am just using them as an easy, 100-calorie breakfast or a filling high protein snack here and there until they are used up. I am so over the packets... for real.

Anonymous said...

An afternoon walk will always help revive you - and it's perfect in that your brain is too wired to nap (I'm the same way)- its just enough of a pick me up. I usually combine that with a piece of fruit and it gives me an energy boost to hold me until dinner!- BK

LHA said...

First, thank you for putting your struggle out there for all of us to read. It shows a lot of bravery to be so honest. It also helps all of us who are fellow strugglers to rethink things we are doing. I also appreciate all the people who comment, and I have learned so much from them, even the ones who I don't agree with.

As I read your post, it seemed clear to me that you probably somewhere deep inside know what will work best for you. Your comment that you made where you stated that you were concentrating on just losing 25 pounds sounds like a good start. Losing a lot of weight is very daunting and discouraging when it goes slowly or stalls. I agree with you. You can lose 25 pounds and maintain there for a while if that is what you think your best course is.

Good luck, and we are all pulling for you!

David Dane said...

Lyn, I would make a serious effort to eliminate sugar from the diet. This will mean sacrificing those sweets. I know it's hard. I would limit the carbohydrates. Doctor Mercola has a video about over coming a thing called insulin intolerance. It's basically waiting to eat until being awake for a minimum of three hours. And making sure you don't eat for four hours before bed. Try to find the video and see what he says.

Anonymous said...

Like someone said earlier. If you struggle in the afternoon to stay on whatever plan you are on, maybe try to eat tiny amounts in the first half of the day to have a big surplus of calories left for the afternoon and evening. That's what I do first because I'm just not that hungry in the beginning of the day and second I have always been a "night snacker". I always leave my majority of cals for the evening and in the 3 months of my diet I have stayed at or under 1200 cals haven't felt deprived and have lost 21 pounds. I started at 255 at 5'2 and am now at 234 so that big weight has helped the big gain. If I had not planned my days every night before with the majority of my cals for the evening I would have crashed and burned in the first three days alone. That's the one thing that has helped me and just putting it out there not knowing if it would work for you but figured I could share with you my main plan. Goodluck with your goal of losing 25 pounds I wish you all the best. :0)

Karen said...

Dr. Berkeley, author of Refuse to Regain shares her plan.
http://www.refusetoregain.com/2014/12/the-low-carb-new-year-a-better-weight-resolution-.html

Laura said...

Hi Lyn, I've been following you blog for years and I can't tell you enough how much you inspire me. Even when things aren't going as planned. I am struggling with much of what you described. I do week until dinnertime and then it's every man for himself. But thinking on it reminded me of The Diet Solution by Dr. Judith Beck. It's a cognitive behavior therapy that retains your brain in regards to food and while I only did it for a couple of months, I wad very successful at it. It Gabe me a daily mantra and mental exercise that made me think differently which is what I need again. Something to look into? Best of luck finding what's going to work for you. :)

Anonymous said...

Lyn, I think your plan of exercising 5 days a week will yield you results! It's the consistency, as you so well know. I eat only twice a day, so I know that I can have a nice amount of calories for each meal, about 600 calories or so each time. I just count calories and have whatever I want for those, although I avoid a lot of sweets. I do have a little something sweet each day, so I never really feel like I'm dieting. I lost about 47 pounds last year and have maintained all but 8 pounds as right now I'm not trying as hard as I was, meaning I'm not exercising much. I plan to resume after Christmas, if not before. Best wishes for your success as you strive to exercise consistently. It's not easy, but you will see results if you stay consistent. Even a pound a month would be great. I'm pulling for you! Nan in Phoenix

Mich said...

I don't usually comment on blogs and it's been quite some time since I even checked any of the MF ones I follow but tonight I had a rather disappointing check in and was determined to get back on track. Your blog was my first stop and I'd be lying if I wasn't a little shocked at how incredibly coincidental your post was when I came across "I don't get it. Is it subconscious? Biological? Emotional? Laziness? I wish I knew." because I muttered almost those exact words in my check in just a couple hours ago. Everything in me knows I want it and have the ability to get back to losing as steadily and quickly as I was, but something I cannot put my finger on has stopped me month after month. While I wish like heck I had an answer for you, it's also comforting to know that in the lost of all, I'm not alone. Even more inspiring is seeing your determination to keep moving forward, even while you aren't quite sure where forward may be. We're all still fighting our own personal battles in one way or another - in some weird way, your words and inspiration tonight were a very, very badly needed bright spot in mine.

Thank you for all you share and best of luck in your journey.

- Mich

Deniz said...

Lyn, whatever your plan turns out to be it'll work if it's right for YOU. Don't forget that it doesn't have to be 100% right from the outset - adjustments and tweaking are to be expected. I KNOW you'll figure it out - if anyone can do it, you can.
I do wonder if Alison maybe has a point that you may need to take a break/rest/nap whatever in the afternoon if that's possible. Maybe not every day - maybe it's another thing about listening to your body.
All the best, whichever way you choose to approach things.

liz said...

My gosh Lyn,
Do you live in my head? I am having the exact struggle...I don't know what to do
Somehow I feel like it's a spiritual struggle. I know that I am definitely "addicted" to sugars. I do so much better when I don't eat any at all. Stephen King wrote about his problems with alcohol about how he had to drink it all till it was gone... my ankles ache from all the sugar today cause I can't have just one piece of candy I have to have it all...sick. Is that part of the solution never eat sugar again?
I don't know how realistic that is. I do know there are people who never ever have dessert...
Do I have to be like that I'm I capable of that...
Thank you for being so open and honest
I pray that we can overcome this battle

Joanna said...

Lyn,

I think this is the most honest blog that I read. I could never have been as honest as you are. Our dieting lives have been parallel. Before now (and my now is only seven months long), I had gained everything back only to be stuck in the doldrums; right now, I am sort of happy with myself after the last seven months of deprivation and I do mean deprivation. It infuriates me when someone on MFP says: calories in, calories out. Maybe for them that is true but it is not for me. I know I was (am) a binge eater but I didn't just eat because I was of poor moral fiber. I ate because it was my best stress reducer plus I was always hungry. I went to a weight doctor who confirmed it is not CI/CO but rather what is triggering the eating. Here is where you are changing my life: I have lost a great deal of weight before only to have it come back on to the pound. I look to you to point me in a direction so as to never have that happen again. I know that sounds weird because of your struggle but I think your struggle is now and is just sooner than my struggle would inevitably be--without you sharing your frustrations and experiences. So I have to thank you profusely. Someone on MFP said something that resonated with me: the way you eat to lose weight is basically the amount you need to eat forever to maintain the loss. What an eye opener. This has not been easy for the last seven months and I figured out that it will never be easy, I guess. My set point is 243--to the pound. Always that number unless I hit it hard. Right now, I am 197. Something you wrote just helped me so much. When you reached a wonderful number, you weren't happy because you wanted a different wonderful number. That is the first lesson you taught me. Maybe I should be happy with myself today and not wait until I reach the mythical weight I will never get to. So I wish you success and much support. My doctor was really low key but the weigh-ins kept me on track. I wish I could have done it by myself. In fact, I wish a whole lot of other things that will never be true for me. Just know that your struggle represents so many of us.

Lyn said...

Wow, thank you so much. Your comments mean so much to me and help me not to throw in the towel. I am glad we can help each other.

Betsey C. said...

Dear sweet Lyn, I love and admire your writing so very much. You can put into words the challenges of the compulsive overeater. Some day they will discover why we, and our close relatives, alcoholics and addicts, have to battle these almost overwhelming compulsions.

In the meantime, I get up every morning with hopes of an abstinant day -- sometimes I win and sometimes I lose, but I always try. Cheers and good luck to you and to all of us.

Anonymous said...

Hi there - I just came across your blog and I'm so glad I did. I rejoined WW about 18 months ago with a 30 lb gain and today I'm just about the same weight as when I rejoined. I know it's my own doing. For me it's generally the weekend trap and not staying consistent. It's the restaurant eating. Eating the pizza crusts off my son's plate. For whatever reason that switch in my head hasn't gone off. Big event is 2015 that I was hoping to lose the weight for, but here we are 2 months away and that didn't happen. Good luck to you, thank you for sharing your journey.
-Beth

Anonymous said...

my approach is to make a baseline food and exercise plan, including fruits, veg,protein, milk. If I do it right, then I can generate about 800 calorie deficit on that baseline. Most days I will eat 300 calories of "fun", I.e. carb/ junk. One day a week I won't use those extra calories, one day I'll eat double the fun for whatever reason. Overall this is a one pound loss per week, and it feels like something I can do forever. Another trick is that my fun calories don't change every day. This week I have a cinnamon bread with lemon curd which I will eat for about a week. That way I don't need to eat the entire loaf today, because I ate it yesterday ans I'll have it again tomorrow. Also by the week is over, I'm done with lemon curd for awhile. One time I was eating pesto bread, so good, and still craved it when the bread was finished. So I got more pesto bread. Eventually I got to the point of craving variety and then I knew it was time to move on.

julia.angelina said...

For activity that you won't quit, might I suggest a good quality rebounder? I have fibromyalgia-esque pain from a bout with adrenal fatigue and permanent damage to my knee and femur from a car accident. I got a Jumpsport rebounder (mini trampoline) and it's the greatest thing ever. I highly recommend looking into their benefits--- and they are really really really fun. And not hard on your joints. I've had it a month and have done nothing different besides a max of fifteen minutes per day on it and I am less bloated, have better posture, more stamina, energy..i may have lost weight but I have no idea as I haven't weighed myself in years. Cheers!

Lala said...

Lyn,
I have been needing to get on track and lose some weight, and I checked in with your blog because you are such an inspiration to me. Not because you do everything perfectly, but because you are so honest about your struggles and you never give up. Honestly, I think most people who struggle with weight loss have similar stories but you never see them because they drop the blogs when things aren't going well. I absolutely believe in you. You are an amazing and strong women. I have faith in you!