Sunday, June 5, 2016

Why No Weigh In


Last week I got a couple of emails asking about my lack of June 1 weigh in. One asked if I was avoiding weighing because of a possible gain, or if I weighed and got a "bad number" that I don't want to share. Well, it's true I almost always post a weigh in on the first of every month. I used to post a weigh in every Sunday. Let me tell you why I didn't weigh in.

I am afraid that I might have gained. My eating has not been stellar the last couple weeks. Yeah, I have good days, even strings of them, but the bad days are getting more frequent. This week was the worst so far. I found myself saying yes to junk and carbs WAY more often.

I feel like what I had last year, where I could eat a small amount of anything I wanted and didn't have cravings, and didn't want more and more, and felt fine and lost weight because I ate very healthy 90% of the time, is falling apart. It is snowballing into more and more frequent indulgences, bigger servings, and worse choices (i.e., instead of one scoop of healthy-ingredient ice cream, a big hot fudge sundae with nuts and whipped cream; or instead of 5 potato chips with my cut up veggies, a large order of French fries with Ranch to dip them in). I don't know what, if anything, caused things to change. I liked it the way it was. I am feeling VERY uncomfortable and vulnerable about the way it is right now.

Just this week I had my first recurrence of "food obsession." If you've read my blog much, you remember how bad it used to be and know that it pretty much disappeared over the last year. But yes, this week it happened and it was so familiar and scary that it shook me. I was in a room with a bunch of people and several boxes of donuts. People were eating them. I decided I didn't need that. We all walked out of the room. A woman near me held this perfect, beautiful chocolate glazed donut and started eating it, and it somehow was suddenly imprinted on my brain like a big round branding iron seared it there. I kept seeing those donuts for HOURS in my mind. Eventually I drove to the donut shop and bought one. This is bad. This is very bad. That is what I used to do years ago when a food would get stuck in my head and beg me to eat it until I gave in and bought it. This is a rebirth of food obsession. If the food obsession comes back, so will the eating compulsion. And if the compulsive eating comes back, it is a very short walk back to binge eating. I WILL NOT go back there. "There" is a place I never want to be again. Binge eating is the equivalent of me being 280+ pounds. The two are inextricably linked.

So I have been trying to figure out how to make it stop because I feel like I have had such peace with food over the past year, and I want that to continue. Is it something I ate that made the switch flip back the other way? Is it stress? Is it some combination of things in my lifestyle? Maybe I just went too far over on the junk meter lately and it is turning my brain back into the addict brain.

I don't know. It is SCARING me.

My pants are tight. I haven't weighed in, like, 2 weeks (I was 227). I am really afraid. In the past I have gained very rapidly... 10 or 11 pounds in a week... and although I don't THINK I have done that, I don't know. Part of me doesn't *want* to know. Part of me wants to go on some crash diet, only eat vegetables and protein bars until I don't feel bloated anymore, and THEN weigh. It is so stupid.

So that's why no weigh in. I am afraid. I feel fat. I don't want to face it. I'm not sure what to do except go back to saying no to ALL junk and hope that is enough to stop the obsessive thoughts but also not enough to make me feel so restricted that I want to binge. My skin is also the worst it has been, EVER. My rosacea got so bad this week that I went to the doctor and he gave me steroid cream for it. It looks like I got a sunburn and then was slapped in the face several times, and the skin is flaking and peeling. Really bad...

I don't want to be fat.
I don't want to gain weight again.
I don't want to be restricted and trigger binges.
I don't want to have food in control of me, the way it used to be.


26 comments:

JM said...

Lyn
I think maybe stopping the victoza did something? When you were on it the cravings were much less that is one of its side effects and benefits as well as moderate weight loss. If it was helping it's too bad that you can't be back on it?

Lyn said...

JM~

Victoza definitely helps with cravings because it stabilizes blood sugar. But remember, I had lost the cravings and was losing weight slowly before I started Victoza in September, and I lost 4 pounds in April without Victoza. I think it has a lot to do wth the frequency of "junk exposure" I am having. I need to cut back on that, definitely. As for why I can't be back on it, that is because I changed my insurance coverage and it is not covered unless I am diagnosed diabetic. It is a hugely expensive drug (hundreds of dollars per month).

CatherineMarie said...

The steroid cream might also be affecting you. I was recently on Prednisone for Poison Something, and ugh.

Look at the positive, you only bought one doughnut. you wanted one, you drove to the store and bought ONE. You did not buy twenty.

Maybe time to use something other than a weigh-in? Or work towards mini rewards? (non-food rewards)

Anonymous said...

I'm so so sorry. But I greatly appreciate your honesty. I, too, feel vulnerable and scared of my lack of control over the past month. And it plays out in how I treat those I love. When I feel this way, im short with my kids and act as though I don't want affection from my partner. Last night I sat on the couch, cuddling with my family, looking at my lower abdomen and how I wanted to adjust my shirt so that it better covered my belly. But I couldn't because my arms were around my family. And instead of enjoying and living in that beautiful moment, I instead focused on my abdomen and how if it got any larger, I would be less lovable. WTF??
In short, I can relate. And thank you for continuing to share your vulnerability.

Anonymous said...

I have a tendency to get exactly where you are. Was doing really well, with occasional pizza/fries/chips, and it only took a week or so to flip: too much carbs/fat too close together + stress and 10-15 pounds gained in a few weeks. Now doing a round of HCG diet for that weight, yes, but also to clear the mind from food obsession. It's not a permanent fix (I don't think that anything is; it all requires vigilance) but I've found it helpful to get a break from the carb/stress eating cycle.

Lori said...

Lyn,
I understand why you did not weigh. It was the right choice for you. You know that your eating has slipped and your clothes are tighter. Why torture yourself with the scales?

You are doing the hard work of sorting out the 'why' of eating. You already know the 'how' so once you figure out the 'why' you'll be golden.
Lori

Lyn said...

Thanks so much you guys. This is why I love this blog. I share, and people share back and your words really encourage me to work harder. Your words buoy me up SO much from a place of wavering between wanting to give up and wanting to dig in my heels and work harder! I so appreciate your kind encouragement and insights. I won't give up!

Lyn said...

p.s...

CatherineMarie~

you are so right. There is a HUGE difference between my buying one donut versus buying a dozen and going nuts. It was that one specific donut that was "bothering" me. I had a picture of it stuck in my head, so that is the one donut I went and bought. I actually felt so relieved after the first 2 bites that I considered throwing out the rest, but didn't. I wish I had. This is the exact same thing I was doing years ago where I would get a certain food in my head and could not get relief until I went and bought it... and then suddenly the obsession would be gone! I will remember that and if there IS a next time, first try not to give in at all, but if I DO go and buy something, if one bite is enough the rest can go in the trash.

Janet said...

My dearest Lyn -

It's okay! This is YOUR journey, not mine, theirs or anyone else's. That someone would actually ask you, "why no weigh-in" or assume the lack thereof is because you gained/were afraid/etc., disgusts me!

All that being said, I have read your blog from the beginning - Found Pie-near women when you mentioned her (seemingly) perfect life; that's how long! :)

Anyway, as I read this latest post the FIRST thing that came to my mind was, "Okay, Lyn's blog has been jacked because this is NOT HER talking to me... Who is this person who is so ashamed and afraid and, what have then done to my Lyn?!" Seriously!

So the last couple of weeks have been tough... So what?! No one died, no one has cancer, your kids are still breathing, the sun is still high and bright in the sky. This will pass and you know it will!

I was talking with my therapist (while off work on medical leave) about how afraid I was about gaining during the break and how embarrassed I felt about going back and how I suspected I wouldn't even fit in the clothes I was wearing when I was last at work... And, you know what she said to me? She said, "Well, suck it up; go buy yourself some new pants, hold your head up high and get your ass back to work!" (And, I paid her $188 for that 50-minute session to say it too!)

And, you know what? She was right. What the hell was I afraid of? There are people at my company that weigh over 500 pounds and, there are others that barely outweigh a bowling ball. I'm in the middle somewhere and I have fluctuated 100-125 pounds several times in the 13 years I've worked there. SO F'ing WHAT! Am I paid more when I weigh less or paid less when I weigh more? NO!

As it turned out, I LOST 11 pounds during my medical leave so my old pants fit better than they had before. My point is, you and I... We, the overweight, all people burdened by weight issues live mostly in our heads and not in the reality of what we weigh or who we are.

I know you know this but I'm going to say it anyway... What you and I weigh has NOTHING to do with who we are as mothers, wives, daughters, sisters, aunts, employees or whatever else we're expected to be.. We are Janet and Lyn and by God, it's high time you and I start loving ourselves just the way we are RIGHT NOW.

If we do a little better this week than we did last week, great! If we do a little worse, so what! There's always next week until we die! Life is so damn short and getting shorter.

For all the days you cannot love yourself... I'm loving you a little extra until you can.

xo

Amy said...

I think last time when you went dark you learned to love life from the joy that is already all around you and that probably helped heal some food issues. It's not uncommon to try to use food and weight control/struggles to try and compensate for what we feel there's not enough of in life. Maybe when you start focusing on all the amazingly joyful things already in your life the food will have less of a draw. Breathe and reflect on your blessings, it'll help center you.

Lyn said...

Janet~

What a powerful message to my heart. Thank you so much for writing that. I needed to hear it! Hugs to you and thank you, truly.

Lyn said...

Amy~

so very true. When I totally let go of the food worry, it made life brighter. I will adjust my thinking... thank you.

Oh also Janet, after pondering and re-reading your comment something else dawned on me about WHY my eating has been rough. Two weeks ago one of my closest friends was diagnosed with cancer. I was transportation to and from the hospital several times and have been helping a bit with things at their house. Lots of worry. Looks like the surgery got it all, but still... I was very stressed about not wanting to lose another friend. I think I've been eating my feelings.

Anonymous said...

I am you, Lyn. I am at your weight (although I am a few years older than you). I have issues with my feet and joints. Every day I try to eat right and exercise, and in so many ways I succeed. But I also fail. And it seems like just one small, momentary lapse wipes out DAYS of doing well! It's so unfair. It's such a struggle. And the scale keeps going up and down the same 5 pounds. Except when it goes up 5 pounds and stays there. :^(

I am so tired of this battle.

Yet every day I wake up and tell myself that I will eat lots of wholesome veggies, good protein, a couple tablespoons of healthy fats, 1 small piece of fruit, and only 1/2 cup of starchy plant-based carbs. Every day I try to choke down half my weight in water. Every day I wear my fitbit and MOVE my body towards that goal of 10K steps. Every day, begin again. I try anew.

But 4 days of successful clean eating seems to mean nothing. One day of humid, hot weather means the scale goes up 3 pounds despite all the water and strict intake. It is beyond discouraging. I am so tired of a body that won't cooperate.

Yet what are we to do but continue the struggle? To start over each day?
I wish I could be more positive, but all I can say is that I know your struggle. I wish someone had some answers for us.

I wish us both the success that seems to elude us no matter what we do.

Anon

JDET said...

Lyn,
You've got a huge emotional strain right now with your friend. This is not the time to beat yourself up over weight loss/gain. You've done so well recently. You should be proud of that and just try to hold the line while dealing with the stress. I just got back from my late husband's granddaughter's high school graduation. It was emotional for me, not because she graduated, but rather because Frank wasn't here to see it. I was gone three nights and gained a little, but I'm trying to accept that I have to live in the real world and that occasional indescretions are ok. You just need to give yourself a break. Tomorrow is a new day, and you can conquer it! You're really amazing. Don't lose sight of that!

Seren_Sighs said...

Lyn I'm a long time reader, never commenter. But you need to relax and stay calm. You will only get worse if you keep stressing over this issue. And remind yourself that your worth is not tied to a few pounds gained or lost. The people that care about you and love you - your kids, your friends, really won't think less of you for this. There is a reason we eat our feelings, fat and thin people: it soothes us. You're stressed and scared, and eating makes you feel better. It's part of taking care of yourself. Now you can take care of yourself and your friend in other ways, when you're ready.

Anonymous said...

There is hope and help with over eaters anonymous. Phone meetings for me since I'm housebound

16 blessings'mom said...

Lyn, thank you so much for your total honesty. I get scared sometimes too, because no matter what, I love food. Donuts are beautiful and it's ice cream season here in the lovely Northeast. Every.Single.Day. I am tempted. Multiple times every day. I find that the less sugar I eat, the less I crave, but I still always want it, and I am one temptation away from a total binge at any given moment. My head is full of all the right knowledge, how losing weight is healthy and that I have a long way to go, and to not give up...but when the kids are having chocolate vanilla soft twists, I have every excuse in the book why I should have one too. Day in day out, there is suffering. I am so sorry you are struggling right now, it's exhausting, and I know how you feel. I just want you to know you aren't alone.

Della

Lyn said...

Anon~

So familiar. And you're right, all we can do is keep trying. The alternative is to give up and get a lot bigger... and that means a shorter life with a lot more pain and limitations. So we have to keep trying.

JDET~

Thank you, and I'm so sorry he wasn't there to see it too. You are doing your best, we aren't perfect but we are still good people, still trying to be as healthy as we can and cope with stress the best we know how.

Seren_Sighs~

I remember you! I am pretty sure you did used to comment a looong time ago, like 2009-10. Your name is familiar. Thank you for the kind words and I know you're right. Doing better today with a nice iced coffee with cream, booking a cabin for a summer getaway. I need some time away to just be.

Della~

Thank you. I could have written so much of that myself! It's nice to know you relate and I am not a total weirdo, lol. It does get tiring... I do better when I make limits with exceptions like I have in the past: can't have cookies but can have one scoop of ice cream... that kind of thing. I like both things equally but cookies are very addictive to me while ice cream (without toppings) is not. I hope you find your peace with food too. I believe we both will... I just don't know when.

Tyler Read said...

Hi Lyn,

We still believe in you! If you continue to believe it will happen, it will manifest.

We trust in your success so much, your blog made our list of thetop weight loss blogs (http://www.ptpioneer.com/top-50-weight-loss-blogs/) and I refer your blog to many of my personal training clients.

Keep the faith, You've got this!

Cheers,
Tyler

LHA said...

Lyn, I really feel for you! Your story is a familiar one with many, many people. I agree with you that eating small amounts of unhealthy foods and not obsessing about them is the ideal. I also try to practice this and have had varying amounts of success. Here are a few things I have learned along the way. First, I have to keep my indulgences very small and very rare. I can't eat sugar and high carb foods every day or it escalates quickly. Also, there is no way that I will ever be able to eliminate all sugar or junk foods. I know there will always be occasions where I want to join in the fun of eating birthday cake or some other treat. I guess the bottom line is that I have to be extremely careful about how many unhealthy foods I allow myself and the demarcation between "okay to eat without setting off cravings" and "if I eat this it is going to set off a big episode of overeating" is very thin. One thing I know for sure....all you have to do is just start over again tomorrow and don't judge yourself harshly for stepping over the line somewhat. To me, those food cravings are never really gone, they are lurking out there just waiting to welcome you back. Good for you for recognizing that you have slipped into a dangerous area and for your determination to do something about it.

Unknown said...

I don't have any advice because your journey is your journey. But I just wanted to say you are brave for writing this and putting it out there. I hope you know that even just your honesty about your struggles helps people.

Rachel rbs said...

I can totally relate to avoiding the scale when you know it wasn't a good week. Best of luck to you.

Janet said...

Thank you for your reply, Lyn.

I encourage you to check out
https://geneenroth.com/

Especially her book, Women Food and God. Powerful stuff! Geneen (Roth) talks a lot about listening to our bodies and focusing on what is ALREADY good in our lives - versus wasting energy fretting over things that we cannot control or may never happen.

I am truly sorry about your friend and the cancer diagnosis. Even more reason for us to be grateful for our good health and to savor every moment.

xo

Stephanie said...

I have read your blog for a very long time,and I want you to know that I am saying this in hope that you will look at the big picture. I cannot agree that your food obsession ended.

There is a cycle (repeated over the years) with your posts which I've observed: You feel down, you start a new plan or way of eating, then you post 'I've got this', then something happens to break your stride.

Have you noticed this when you re-read your old blog posts?

Stephanie

JDET said...

Lyn,
I'm really bummed out by some of the comments here. I want you to know that I and many others admire you and your honesty. You are amazing. Please don't give up on your fight against obesity and you blog. People can be insensitive. When my husband died, I had all sorts of people tell me that they knew how I felt because they lost a parent or friend, or gotten divorced. They have no clue. Every death is different, but I've lost friends and a parent, and been divorced, and it's nothing like the death of a spouse. Your fight against obesity is the same -- your fight is unique and no one knows what you deal with every day. Hang in there!

h2oratt said...

I have been searching for a way to get rid of my obsessing food thoughts. I listen to podcasts. I feel so much better when I don't eat sugar.