Thursday, March 10, 2016

Back to Burger King


I am not doing so hot lately. My eating is in a pit right now. I am kind of appalled at the stuff I have been eating when I should be focused on the best possible nutrition to get myself better from this illness. But the fact is, I am eating worse (nutrition-wise) now that I was when I got sick... even worse than I have since last summer. This week when I didn't get better (and just got worse) my eating plummeted to the depths of junky comfort. I'm not proud of it, but I don't know how to fix it, either. Sure, I know logically "how," but that's quite different from having the strength to do it. I mean, I spent *months* letting myself eat whatever I wanted but in very small portions. I got to a point that all foods feel normal and even with all junk on the table (so to speak) I still chose healthy foods the vast majority of the time... and lost weight. But eating whatever you want kind of falls off a cliff or something when you are sick and wanting comfort in any form. At least it has for me.

The first two weeks with what one doctor named "a sinus and a respiratory infection, possibly pneumonia" and the other doctor called "acute bronchitis", I was mainly fed by lots of batches of homemade chicken soup, the baked chicken I made for the soup, plenty of fruit, and honey lemon tea. There was some toast and a couple ginger snaps but nothing out of the ordinary for me. But this week when the coughing/breathing got worse and my energy went to about 2% of normal, I started wanting things like pie. Donuts. Crackers. And there was no vegetable that appealed to me at all. I was too tired to make chicken soup anymore and instead have slept a lot. But when I'm awake I have been doing stupid stuff like stopping at Burger King on the way home from taking my daughter to school and eating a sausage biscuit sandwich with hash browns and orange juice, or swinging through Starbucks on the way to pick her up and getting an iced latte and a donut or a cake pop. These are *not* habits I want sneaking back into my life. I kept telling myself, "you're sick, just have what you want, you can eat something healthy tomorrow." And then I feel incredible guilt for not eating all the healthy vegetables and protein I should eat to help my body get over being sick. All the sugar has just made me feel worse... but every day this week I give in again and have what's easy. When I make myself breakfast at home it's been a couple of scrambled eggs with ham and cheese and buttered toast. I eat a bowl of cereal for a snack. And all the time I am thinking, oh this is bad. This is not even halfway decent enough to fit into my "normalizing food" lifestyle, because I don't want to re-normalize things like fast food and candy bars on a daily basis. The amount of junk is just too much.

I'm still on antibiotics, and I use an inhaler every 4 hours throughout the day to be able to breathe better. I have a never-ending headache from the constant coughing, and nothing is getting rid of the headache so far. I use cough syrup with codeine at night so I can sleep (otherwise, constant coughing keeps me awake all night). The doctor said the next step will be steroids, but only if I get worse or don't improve over the next week or two.

I don't know where I am going to get the energy or "oomph" to pull myself out of the junk food rut, even knowing that the way I ate this past week is not helping me heal. I guess acknowledging it is step 1, and doing a little better tomorrow is step 2. For the first time in 8 months I am going to have to say "no" to myself about some foods... and I hope that doesn't trigger resentment and the obsessive eating behaviors that went away when I finally gave myself the freedom to eat whatever I wanted. Maybe I will have to make a different rule for when I am sick or stressed. I really hope this whole mess doesn't derail me from all the progress I've made.



23 comments:

Susan Calderon said...

I hope you get better soon with out having to use steroids. I think once you are feeling better you will want to eat better your strength to shop and cook will come back. Take care of yourself get well soon!

Karen said...

A lot of people in your situation find abstinence based plans and get a sponsor, coach, another human to be accountable to for out of control eating.

It's very common. Work on the deep, deep why's is required for the symptoms of binge eating, glucose issues, and weight gain. Again, very , very common. The only person who can make the changes and do the work is you, sick or not. It is not the time for head pats or sugar coating or hoping. Plan, do, carry out repeat.

Cyndi and Stumpy said...

2 steps forward, one step back. Sometimes 5 steps back. this is temporary and you'll get back to doing what it takes to be healthy.

Your muscle memory is reaching for comfort foods. Your brain will take over, soon.

Once again, we're in the same place. Burger King (I choose Carl's Jr. or El Pollo Loco) isn't going to kill me and if I feel better for the five minutes it takes to wolf down that meal, I'm going for it.

Hope you're feeling better and stronger with every breath you take. Take deep ones,breathe in the good stuff and exhale the crap. xox

Anonymous said...

I've had the same things happen to me while I was in the midst of an emotional breakup with my partner of 17 years. I gained some weight, but once I recovered emotionally the weight fell back off. You have many months of practice eating well and correctly; as long as you don't let the poor choices turn back into habits (time is of the essence here) you will fall back into your normal eating and the weight will fall off. I pray for a speedy recovery.

Jennifer said...

Have there been any cases of Whooping cough in your area? I'm mentioning this because whooping cough gets misdiagnosed a lot and you are having trouble breathing and coughing so much you are getting headaches.

Betsey C. said...

I think this illustrates how our compulsive and comfort-eating brains are wired differently from people who are "normal" eaters. I think a normal eater would probably feel a bit queasy at the thought of donuts and pie when they are as sick as you have been. You and I are so used to comforting and soothing ourselves with food. I totally get it. How about picking up a few cans of soup, a healthy brand like Amy's or something else that is easy to prepare? Take care of yourself!

Lyn said...

Thanks all. I know a few days of poor eating choices won't make or break me. Anon, I agree, it's important not to let these few days turn into bad habits. Jennifer, I haven't heard anything about whooping cough in the area. The last Dr I saw said there was a lot of "this" (what I have) going around. Betsey, the cans of soup sound good. I will send my son out after work tonight and have him pick up a few cans for me.

Lee said...

While you recognize the need for health meals, sometimes we indulge in an emotional meal. It is not the end of the world...every day is a do-over...when we are tired, sick, time-challenged, the cure is preparation...lol...this is a concept I understand but a skill I have yet to acquire....Be Well...This will pass...you feel sick enough, do not berate yourself as well..be proud of what you have accomplished...don't feel defeated, you will be there again

Karin said...

Be kind to yourself and stop overthinking it all. You'll get back to it. One day at a time. I hope you feel better soon. My husband is experiencing the same thing....awful coughing and ear ache. He's on antibiotics, snot spray and dayquil/nyquil. He's so fun to be around. I 'm also jamming honey down his throat to help his coughing. (men are the worst patients!)
Take gentle care of yourself and know that a few bad choices aren't the end of the world.

TheAgonyOfBeingFat said...

Girl, I really feel this post. It's a lot easier to talk about good habits than to follow them consistently. Here's hoping we both pick ourselves up again.

LHA said...

It is frightening to feel yourself getting out of control. Sometimes it just kind of creeps up on you, one choice at a time. I totally agree with you that the first step is admitting there is a problem and the second step is starting to correct things tomorrow. I am betting you can do it without much trouble. You have established some very sane new habits regarding food and those will stand you in good stead as you regroup. I hope you feel better soon!

Dee said...

Hi Lyn...I've been reading you for a while and I just wanted to offer a word or two of encouragement - everything seems harder when you feel poorly, I totally get that. And when your feet slip from the sweet spot it's so hard to regain your place, right? I'm sure you will and we're all rooting for you. When I'm struggling myself, reading my way around my favourite blogs really helps me to feel less alone on the journey. You'd be very welcome over at Break Out The Skinny Girl, there are no magic answers but we do laugh a lot and there's a fair few of us on the same journey. Keep on wanting it Lyn and you'll get back on track I feel sure. And I hope you feel better soon :)
Dee

JDET said...

Lyn, you shouldn't beat yourself up, but I know from personal experience how easy it is to let things spiral out of control. You can easily justify eating so-called comfort food, not getting on the scale, wearing the "big" clothes, etc. in your own mind. I did all of those things and I paid the price. My justification was my husband's death followed ten months later by being forced to retire. The ensuing 40-pound weight gain (nearly 30% of my body weight) was bad for my health and my self-esteem. You are too important to your family, friends, and yourself to start down that slippery slope. It's taken me five months of strict dieting to get rid of those 40 pounds. Now I'm also trying to dump the other 12 pounds I'd gained since my last major weight loss. Being sick clearly adds another layer of difficulty right now. Is there any place near you that can deliver "good" food? Even pizza places usually have Italian salads, but that might be a big temptation to add breadsticks. I think you could get takeout soup from places like Olive Garden. You need to find some places to support what you know you need to eat to make it easier to avoid those that don't.

Vickie said...

The kind of (junk) food you mentioned makes me very, very, very sick. If I ate what you described, I would have severe headaches for days on end, terrible breathing problems, hurt all over, just from the (junk) food, regardless of whether or not I had an illness. I realize you have an illness too. But it is possible you are making it worse and lasting longer.

Michelle Himes said...

I could have written this myself. When I started getting over my bronchitis, my willpower went out the window. I just "needed" to eat comfort food. After being at goal weight for a year and a half, I've gained about 10 pounds since December. And I know exactly how to get it off, I just haven't been able to motivate myself to do it consistently enough to make it work. I hope you feel better and get back on track soon. I will work on it too. :)

PamL said...

Can you have your older children shop for you or make you something healthy to eat? Or maybe a neighbor or church friend? It just seems like you need some help. I hope you can find someone to help you. :(

Lyn said...

I read and appreciate all your comments and suggestions. Too drained to individually respond, but thank you for caring and leaving your thoughts.

Anonymous said...

I've been sick on and off a lot since the fall, and it's terrible! Sorry you're dealing with this. When I'm sick, I totally don't want to spend any time in the kitchen at all, even though I know that cooking my own meals is the best way for me to stay on track towards my goals and better health. Something that has helped me is to have a "Plan B." So if cooking the healthy meal (Plan A) isn't happening, I can stock up my home with meals that are easy to prepare--someone suggested Amy's soup. They also have frozen meals that are reasonably healthy/nutritious, and include options like pizza and burritos, which can add to the comfort factor when you're sick. I also like theprepackaged meat from Omaha Steaks. They're a little pricey, so we don't eat them all the time, but when I don't feel like cooking, I can just take a 4 oz steak or chicken breast out of the freezer and some frozen veggies and cook them up really quick. When I have to be out and about, I don't say a particular place is off limits, but I can try to make more mindful choices while there. I like the bistro box from Starbucks that has the cheese and fruit, and the ones near me usually have kind bars (only 5g sugar) if I'm craving something chocolatey. Also, in my case, the shopping center that has a Burger King also has a panera bread, which has some more nutritious options, so if I'm hungry and I know I'm going to pass that area, I'll try to psych myself up to go to Panera instead by thinking about what I could eat there. Coming up with those Plan B's has helped me even when I'm not sick. I hope you feel better soon!

Steelers6 said...

Aw, Lyn, I'm sorry to hear this. A friend of mine (also named Lyn) has been battling pneumonia and was hospitalized for a week!

I was pleasantly surprised & encouraged as I read each comment above. Each one was so kind and supportive. That blesses me; clearly your straight honesty doesn't need negativity right now.

I pray you feel better soon, dear. And I hope all the love & support here helps you from afar. I was on same page as PamL, though, seems you need some TLC from some of your local friends. Very hard to accept, I know. 💕
Chrissy

Lyn said...

Thanks all. Today is the first day I am starting to feel a little better. Finally! Still using the inhaler a lot and coughing plenty but the headache is fading and I am breathing a little easier.

My local friends have been helping me in other ways, like driving my daughter places, bringing her home, having her over for a few hours. I am so appreciative of that; I have had little energy to go out, and sometimes if I had to drive I'd have to pull over from the coughing being so bad. My older son has been taking over a good bit of the cleaning and the younger one has been entertaining his sister and helping with the dogs. Food is that "final frontier" that I am the most responsible for, I guess :)

iluvmerengue said...

I can honestly say that I can relate, the main reason why I gained my last 20 lbs. was because I had too many bad days that kept me from wanting too cook and if I'd ran out of Progresso soups I'd end up eating fattening sandwiches or crackers and cheese and hardly any fruits or vegetables.

But while I understand why this happens I do have to tell you that by eating any sweets and fast food you are actually feeding the bacteria that made you sick in the first place. You are also fostering an acid state in your body which is the real origin of all illness. Animal and refined foods are very acid and mucus forming so unless you make an effort to cut them out and eat the veggies you may be looking at the steroids up close and another good while of being sick, plus all the extra weight you don't want. I am glad that I stopped all the animal products when I did because I could've developed bronchitis (which I did before from sinusitis) or even pneumonia just like you seem to have. Over 5 years ago I caught the flu and it was a really miserable 2+ weeks for me that I don't ever want to repeat if I can help it.

So, even though I haven't had much energy to do my house cleaning and sometimes postpone doing the dishes till the next day, I've had enough energy to cook at least a few times a week, and I make enough for extra meals so I don't have to fuss over them. I also keep cooked brown rice and 2 or 3 kinds of beans in the freezer so I can make a meal quickly when I don't feel like doing much and that has been a great help.

I pray that you will find the mental strength to decide to not indulge anymore. On the surface it seems harmless but it really isn't, at the cellular level we are doing a lot more damage that we can imagine and it's just not worth it.

With best wishes,

Raquel

Hollie said...

I'm so sorry you're in such a funk. Maybe if you get a good abstinence plan you will feel motivated to 'just do it'. Keto is saving me. It feels so liberating to not obsess and be so compulsive around food.

JDET said...

Well, I feel your pain today. I'd been coughing for a couple of days. Awoke at night with coughing spells, too. This morning it's that, a sore throat, headache, and chills. Fortunately, I have a big stash of fresh fruit in the refrigerator, so I just sliced up a few strawberries and threw on some blueberries and called it breakfast. Not bad--only 50 calories and 10 grams of carbs--and it tasted good. Maybe you could get a family member to go get you some pre-cut fruit or cartons of strawberries and blueberries. Tastes like dessert without the guilt.