Friday, June 5, 2015

Well I Ain't Starving, Yet

This week has been rough. No doubt it's been my worst eating week in months, and although I haven't weighed yet I am pretty sure I'll be up a few pounds when I do.

I guess I have slid back into the mindset of "I'll start tomorrow" and have let junk back into the daily menu in a bigger way. I know it was a reaction to my serious consideration of going back on a liquid diet; ever since that day when I posted about it and pulled out my boxes of protein powder, I guess that bratty part of me that wants to eat everything and not restrict has come out bigger than ever. It's that same old ridiculous feeling of "I'm going to do this (diet, restriction, plan) so I have to eat that (candy, chips, junk) before I start. I will be deprived then, but I don't have to be now." It's that mindset that I lived in for many years before I started blogging, which helped me step right up into the morbidly obese category. I know it's not a healthy mindset, and before this week I've been able to talk myself out of it most days. But this week was full of unhealthy choices.

Today's menu:

green tea with milk and sugar
2 pieces of bacon, slice of avocado
smoothie made from kale, spinach, apples, pears, and chia seeds (from a smoothie stand; no sugar added)
a few pieces of peanut brittle
dish of rice pudding
a large sausage link and some cubed watermelon, unsweetened decaf iced tea
a bowl of potato chips with dip and a coke zero
Dinner is gluten free pasta salad and tuna.

Yesterday was:

Greek yogurt, berries
iced Starbucks matcha latte, no syrup
ham and cheese on gluten free crackers, unsweetened iced tea
bowl of potato chips
2 gluten free cookies
gluten free spaghetti with meatballs and Italian sausage, salad with vinaigrette, and gluten free garlic bread
bowl of blueberry ice cream

I see all the problems and mistakes, I know I do not need sweetened morning tea or a Starbuck's latte. I see the gluten free stuff I am eating and know it is actually displacing healthy, low calorie and low carb vegetables. It used to be I ate my sauce and meat on spaghetti squash, and skipped the garlic bread. Now the gluten free pastas and breads have a place in my meals and I know in my heart those are not a good choice, at least not on a daily basis. In fact, we have a family birthday this week and they made a gluten free cake so I could have some. And I will, even though more and more I am thinking, "this gluten free stuff has to stop." In the past I'd have a bowl of fruit instead of dessert, but lately, not.

I see there is too much sugar, and too many carbs, and too many unhealthy foods. I feel it in my fatigue and lack of stamina when I try to exercise and am exhausted in ten or twenty minutes. At night I think to myself, "tomorrow I will have a protein shake for breakfast and count calories." But then in the morning I am craving my sugary tea and maybe some gluten free English muffins.

It used to be so much easier to "just quit it." But yeah, I have to do that. I just have to make a firm decision and commit to *something*, and stop thinking I'll just starve myself on shakes or go back on some random diet plan.


Anonymous said...

That video on the side keeps knocking me to the bottom of the page when I'm still trying to read the top. Annoying.

Anonymous said...

I feel like you were writing this about me. I can relate to this so much, especially the increase in eating when I'm not on a diet, but I plan to be... any day now... even when "any day now" lasts for weeks or months. Sending you warm wishes, and as always, thanks for sharing your journey with the world, it really helps to know I'm not alone.

Lyn said...


I don't see a video. Can you tell me the company advertising on the video, and I will see if I can block it. Thanks.

CatherineMarie said...


Here's my suggestion. Normalize your eating first. Breakfast, lunch, dinner. If you want rice pudding, have it for breakfast, with brown rice and fruit. Homemade is better, because you can control the sugar. Don't go extreme, don't "diet". You have kids/teenagers, right? Buy potato chips when you know they will be home to finish the bag. Diet soda, for me, triggers cravings for sweets.

Can you reframe it to instead of losing weight, getting healthy? I would honestly get rid of the scale, and start measuring. The more pressure you put on yourself, the harder it gets to get healthy. Maybe cut down the prepared gluten-free carbs to twice a day? And just go with one gf english muffin, or two pieces of toast. The question is, do you feel better off of gluten? It takes a while for it to normalize... I've gotten glutened a couple of times, and can tell..

CatherineMarie said...

More from me, and I hope I don't come off as preachy... here's how I would tweak your menu:
green tea with milk and sugar
2 pieces of bacon, slice of avocado- what about canadian bacon? Or an egg? Or scramble tofu or bake ricotta?
smoothie made from kale, spinach, apples, pears, and chia seeds (from a smoothie stand; no sugar added) not bad, but be careful, you get a huge amount of sugar from the apples and pears in this.
a few pieces of peanut brittle-what about just sugar-glazing some nuts? Almonds or pecans, you will get the sweet and the protein hit.
dish of rice pudding-if you make with brown rice, and milk, and less sugar, its not a bad snack.
a large sausage link and some cubed watermelon, unsweetened decaf iced tea-try cold cuts instead of sausage?
a bowl of potato chips with dip and a coke zero-what kind of dip? You can always mix the dip, if dairy based, with yogurt, to cut the fat/calories
Dinner is gluten free pasta salad and tuna.-Are there veggies in the pasta salad? Is it mayo-based? Again, you can use yogurt to thin out the mayo..

Yesterday was:

Greek yogurt, berries
iced Starbucks matcha latte, no syrup
ham and cheese on gluten free crackers, unsweetened iced tea-this is not bad, some gf crackers have more fiber than others, read boxes.
bowl of potato chips
2 gluten free cookies
gluten free spaghetti with meatballs and Italian sausage, salad with vinaigrette, and gluten free garlic bread-ok meatballs and Italian sausage both tend to be higher in fat. I would do one or the other in the sauce. And you can add veggies to the meatballs and the sauce.

From my viewpoint, its actually not bad. You just really need to increase the veggies. I'm thinking maybe you start getting hungry by mid-afternoon, maybe dessert for breakfast? Or your big meal at lunch? Consider switching meals around. And add more veggies. (not that I am one to talk, I have been known to snack on dates with cream cheese).

Look, you like food. That isn't a bad thing. I love to cook. Can you get some healthy (NOT DIET) cookbooks from the library and revive your interest in cooking? I just think you need to add more veg, and cut down on the fat.
bowl of blueberry ice cream-yum!

jirons42 said...

That's why I like Weight Watchers. I can have any of those things in moderation so I never feel deprived of anything.

Anonymous said...

The one thing that always stands out to me about your meal lists is how few items on them resemble what Michael Pollan (whose articles and interviews about food and nutrition you should definitely read) would refer to as food, i.e. a minimally-processed traditional food like oatmeal. Instead of potatoes, you eat potato chips. Instead of just eating the kale or the apples or the pears you have them blitzed into a smoothie (and "no added sugar" is kind of meaningless at that point because of the high sugar content of the fruit and the easy-digestible smoothie delivery system). Instead of peanuts, peanut brittle. Instead of blueberries, blueberry ice cream (which contains no actual fruit, just blueberry-flavoured corn syrup). Instead of a mango, mango salsa. I ate a fresh mango today. It was the best thing I've eaten in a long while, and starkly better than the pre-prepared mango chunks I bought on the go the other day.

Instead of this or that diet plan, low carb or low fat, Medifast or Atkins, counting calories, etc. this is probably the first thing you should look it. It's not just the gluten free stuff that's the problem. It's the general highly-processed nature of your diet. Probably the reason you felt so much better on AIP the first time you did it is because it was so restrictive you had no choice but to eat real food chock full of the nutrients your body needs. Probably the best thing you can do for your health (and weight) at the moment is to commit not to eating packaged and processed foods or at least minimising them to 20% of your diet with fresh vegetables, pulses, and fruit making up the majority of what you eat and small portions of lean meats and dairy the remainder.

Anonymous said...

You're brave to write posts like this.

You know how to do this. It will be up to you and only you to decide when you are ready to do it.

Amber said...

What I have found that works is not going on a plan or diet.

Just... eating. I stock my fridge, freezer and cupboards with lower calorie foods and plan a couple of nutritious meals for the week.

Also, I buy protein bars by the box; I keep them in my purse and desk at work. This keeps me from going on a Starbucks run most of the time. They are not whole foods, but whatever. A 230 cal protein bar is far better than a 500 cal S'mores Frappuccino.

If the foods you ideally would like to eat are plentiful around you, and the ones you don't want to eat are sparse, then you will eat the plentiful ones MOST of the time. You are what you do most of the time. A change of environment really helps.

Anonymous said...

Hi lyn
Sharing is so important. Thank you! You cannot do this alone. No one can. It's is a tricky evil disease and you need real and consistent help or you will be saying the same thing in another 10 years with more health issues. No one can live your line or go your journey but many have walked the same path and there is a solution

Anonymous said...

Can you try to give yourself 3 days? 3 days of not eating red meat or drinking alcohol. Then, add to it 3 days of not eating dairy. Then add to it 3 days of not eating sugar (including fruit). Then add 3 days of not eating grains of any type. You will be left with non-red meat proteins and tons of vegetables. I didn't think I could do it, but I did, as 3 day increments are not impossible. You have your first day, then the middle day and the last day - easy for the head to wrap itself around that. You don't feel deprived. At the end of the time, I found myself "cured" of the desire to eat grains and sugar. I was astonished as I basically lived on fruit, dairy, "healthy" crackers and pasta before that. Now, it has been weeks and weeks since I have had any desire to eat those things (except for fruit- I did go back to eating berries because they are lower in sugar and high in vitamins). Once the desire was gone, I didn't even have to worry about willpower. There was just no interest. And you don't have to deal with the starvation/deprivation mental state.

Pol said...

Hey Lyn, thanks for sharing your struggles, that's never an easy matter.

The more I read your blog, the more I'm convinced your best option is seeking therapy. I'm sure I've said this before, but I'll continue to say it because I'm certain that diets just don't work for people like us -who cope so much with food-. They just put us again on the black and white mindset which is diet or not diet. There's no living healthy. But if someone taught you to, you could do it, you could actually normalize food. But you just can't do it on your own sometimes.

I know I'm speaking from my experience, but I tell you, I've been diagnosed with BED and since I started consciously working with my therapists, my life has changed so much, and there IS hope, you just have to look somewhere else...

Kristi said...

I've been reading your blog for a long time. I have tried Medifast with you and had the same results. I've been up and down for many years now. I wanted to really second and third those that say you should really try less processed food. For the last 3 months I've been eating very restrictive almost no processed foods. I brought my kids down to Guatemala for a month to work on our Spanish and we are living in a home stay. I was so worried about going off my diet but what I have learned is that families down here eat a bunch of healthy, fresh local foods. I'm vegetarian but down here most families only eat meat once or twice a week at most. Most of the time there are fruits and veggies and beans and rice. I've really been enjoying eating 3 meals a day only and only veggies, fruits, beans and rice. No store bought dressings, etc. they do enjoy their pan (bread) and tortillas but i just don't go for those. I am not hungry anymore, definitely not full, but don't need anything until the next meal. There is always mangos, pineapple and watermelon to eat at the table to fill up on if the meal wasn't enough. Not sure about actual weight loss because there is no scale but my pants have to have a belt to stay on which is a happy sign for me. I really hope you think about going back to eating healthy fresh food. You already know how Medifast works, if you can get off sugar, then fresh will be easy to sustain forever!

LHA said...

What you are describing has happened to me many times. Just the subconscious threat of "going on a starvation diet" sets off overeating for me. It is as though I know somewhere deep inside the the long cold winter of starvation is coming and I had better eat what I can while I can. This comes from many decades of yo-yo-ing and way too much restriction in my past. For that reason, my best strategy if I start ANY kind of restrictive eating is to slide gently into it. Obviously, a real starvation diet isn't optimal, but even if you were going to do WW or Medifast, or AIP, or whatever, you might find you have less subconscious desire to eat if you don't go too far too fast. I wish I had a more concrete solution to this because I know how it feels to go down this road. At least you are thinking about things, trying to figure them out, and I think you are brave and very honest. I wish you the best! Don't give up!!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Lyn - I really enjoy reading your blog and I think the comments people write are so interesting! I do WW and someone in my meeting said the other day that she had to ask herself what were the benefits she received from being overweight -- because she must be getting some benefit from it or else she wouldn't do it. That really struck a chord with me. I almost am thinking of putting a reminder on my phone to come up periodically that will say "what are the benefits of being overweight". Because there are no benefits. The joy we get from that food or snack is short-term, because ultimately we are left feeling bad again.

Keep fighting - I think it's worth it!


Winner at a Losing Game said...

Sad story true, we as consumers get sold a bill of goods. The latest trend of gluten free replaced the fat free trend. Fat free ended up with a fatter society. In fact, morbid obesity took over the lives of many of us. Now, it is gluten free which has taken a foot hold. In the end, the substitutions are worse than the original food. The mind game we play is far and away at play here.

Nicki Kelly said...

Hello again,

I also think that overall your food choices were not totally crazy during those two days. Yes, I admit, there were some that could have been left off the menu and yet other foods that were rather sensible choices.

What I can see is rather the problem of your emotional pain and utter frustration with the situation of not being in control of your actions.

And looking at your food choices, right now your hunger and craving hormones are out of whack as well, which makes things even more difficult for you. Let me know if you need info in this area of weight loss. Just drop me a line and I can elaborate.

So instead of focusing on which type of eating plan to follow, let us all think of a way to help you reach a more relaxed 'state of being' where you can start to be in better control of your Self.

After that, eating healthy will come to you more naturally.

I am not sure if you have time to read everyone's kind ideas and comments, but I hope you will especially read those that came to the conclusion that it is more a 'head space' situation you are dealing with, not only a diet plan decision.

Perhaps at this moment no regime will work for you until you can choose one with a calm, happy mind instead of being frustrated.

What was the actual trigger that brought on this spiraling into that negative space. Was there a particular bad event in your life?

Lyn said...


oh yes, I read every comment. Usually more than once! I learn so much from others' feedback.

As far as a certain event, I'm not sure if you mean the original spiraling, or most recent. I can say looking back, I was thin and healthy without food issues until certain events that did send me spiraling for a time and led to weight gain... more each time:

1) loss of a baby at age 21
2) bedrest for months with 5th pregnancy
3) divorce and subsequent poverty
4) birth of my daughter who was critically ill and her aftercare
5) daily pain for 2 years, loss of mobility, death of best friend, and kids' health crises

I guess I am now coming back from that last batch of unfortunate stuff. Things are pretty good now in my life, so I feel more able to deal with getting the weight back off now.

Nicki Kelly said...


Oh my dear goodness. You sure had more than your fair share of awful events.

I am totally impressed that you are able to write that 'things are pretty good now in my life'. A lesser person would just carry the grief, frustration and maybe even anger with them, keep focusing on those events and never allow themselves to move on. However, you sound that you can put most off these things "on a shelf" and turn over a new leaf. Good on you.

So let us see lots of positive steps and I look forward to your new after photos :-)