Saturday, December 3, 2016

Trying to Fix Disordered Eating Without Triggering and Without Getting Too Fat

Well this is awkward.

I've stayed pretty low sugar all week and am eating pretty regular meals and smaller portions, but wow I got a bit of a surprise on the scale because all this time I have been going up and down the same pound or two around 249-250. I am still not emotionally attached to the number on the scale but do take it as data/fact to help guide my choices (because I know that at 245+ pounds my joints hurt, so I think being lighter is healthier for me). I got 254 though and that was totally not what I would expect from reducing my sugar intake. Maybe I subbed the wrong foods for the sugary ones (stayed too carby) and that's why the gain. Anyway, I am fine with how I look and am NOT going to "diet" but I do need to get ten pounds or so off my knees in order to be functional. I am left asking myself, What to do? How to continue with my disordered eating recovery and calmness about food, while making enough changes to see a healthier weight for my joints? There is a point of restriction that triggers obsessive food thoughts and I won't go there. It feels like a awkward point right now teetering between "stay calm, no restricting, no disordered food thoughts" and "need to get some weight off for my joints, maybe I should restrict something?" Not sure what to do.


Anonymous said...

Medi-Fast didn't trigger you, did it? I admit I have not read your blog for a few years, but I followed when you adhered to Medi-Fast Diet. I remember you saying your cravings left and you had made peace with food. What do you think? Try that again perhaps?

Tina said...

Hm, this is awkward indeed. I have gained recently as well but I know it's because of pizza and ice-cream. Haha. Well, for snacks my therapist recommends to use mostly sliced vegetables and my diabetes coaching said in a similar vein, to always have at least half a plate of veggies for dinner. It does work for me (when I can stay away from the pizza and ice-cream). Perhaps it will work keeping you satiated in a healthy way (that is, obviously supplemented by some fats and proteins). Best wishes for you!

JM said...

I wonder if you are putting the cart before the horse. If you found a good therapist and maybe a support group and started to heal your food issues you could eventually make choices that would naturally lead to weight loss. It seems like you need a bigger band width if tolerance for restriction if you are going to get the results that you want ... maybe people have success with therapy and support groups, so worth a try

Hillary Gras said...

Lynn, congratulations on your progress of coming away without
Eating disordered thoughts. I think the problem here is that you still see making healthier eating choices as a trick her. Or restricting brother. Making healthier food choices, like limiting your sugar, limiting in your carbs and eating less preserve food is something that you should see a self-care !! You are actually indulging in yourself more by making healthier choices. That's not restricting, if you're choosing to feed your body with the right foods. That doesn't mean that you will never eat those more comforting foods, but perhaps your appetite and your cravings will change. It's scientifically proven that you can change your taste buds and your cravings by limiting sugar. It just needs to be on at least a 30 day plan, or at least that is what I have read and successful cases. I'd love to see you making healthier choices, maybe less carbs, because that is better serve in your body right now. It can't be seen as an end-all be-all or something as forever, because it's not! But we all have colds, so you need to do the things to meet your goals. I wish you all the luck!

Lyn said...


I agree, I was not triggered while I was on Medifast, but once I stopped it seemed like a lot of food issues and obsession for all the things I was not eating before, came back. Plus it slowed down my metabolism a lot, so I don't think it would be wise for me to eat a 1,000 calorie a day diet again.


agree on the veggies! I tend to eat more salads and raw veggies in the summer, and more hot soups and baked or steamed veggies in winter. I have included starchy vegetables lately so maybe that is part of the issue (sweet potatoes, winter squash, plus beans and legumes).


I haven't found any more therapists that have any experience with disordered eating, but if one pops up I would consider it. I talked to some weight support group leaders recently (local ones) and the format of their meetings and program sounded very triggering to me.


Well, I do make pretty healthy food choices. This week I had good proteins like fish, lean beef, eggs, chicken and turkey, lots of produce including sweet potatoes, soups, winter squashes, green beans, cabbage, tomatoes, apples, carrots, etc (not a lot of fruit this week). I do eat grains in moderation; I switched to "Ezekiel" bread to see how I like it and it's pretty good. I'm still limiting sugar. Sometimes I have some rice crackers and sliced cheese, or low sugar yogurt, or protein cereal with almond milk. I have pizza or a sandwich on occasion in moderation. My tastes have changed enough that I don't want a lot of junk or processed foods, but this is not enough to reduce my weight. So I am trying to figure out: will cutting carbs lead to obsessive food thoughts? Would a restrictive plan work long term or would it resurrect the ED?

Jean said...

Could it not be what you are eating but how much? My son eats only healthy things but he can still gain weight by either grazing and eating too much or having big meals of the healthy stuff. Maybe cut everything you eat in half for a month and see how it goes. I know you don't want to measure, but eyeballing a half might save yourself from hitting 278 pretty quickly.

nic0ll3tt3 said...

Said it before and I'll stick to my story: I think you need a low-carb, higher fat diet. Doesn't have to be perfectly ketogenic, but does have to be one that reduces the amount of insulin response.

I know there is concern about obsessive food thoughts by cutting out a whole group. But, your weight is driven primarily by your hormones and endocrine system. You have to address THAT before you will see good progress. This is what Medifast did, just in a way that was unsustainable.

A low-carb, high fat (LCHF) diet does not feel restrictive once you've been on it for a couple of weeks. Because, once you fix the underlying hormonal problems, your body will naturally self-correct. And then all you'll have to do is keep saying no to carby garbage (which will be easy because you won't be hungry).

TBH, I've been reading your blog for a very long time. Like, a LONG time (five or six years). And, it's painful to read of your struggles. The up and down cycle. I wish you stillness and peace with food and with your weight and I'd give anything to help you achieve that. Just my opinion, but I think that the only way that you will ever achieve that is thru LCHF. To address the underlying endocrine problems and create a hormonal profile that wants to lose weight.

Wishing you all the best,

Lissa said...

I'm with Nikki - everything from having read your blog for years, to my guess at your best long-term diet, to hoping you find the lifestyle that works for you. I do understand that you're afraid of restricting, but as I always tell my wonderful Nana when she worries I'm losing too much weight - you can't call it a diet if you're eating steak with butter ;-)

Lyn said...

Oh you guys are so right! I always have felt very good eating low carb (but not TOO low... I felt worse when I was eating under about 60 grams a day). I don't want to count carbs but I know enough about the nutritional value of food to know what works for me and what doesn't when trying to stay relatively lower carb. I just feel so happy and content and am making any changes very cautiously so as to not upset the balance here. And Lissa you're right, low carb eating is such a treat that it doesn't generally feel like restricting. I think that's the path I will head down now, thanks!!

Roxanne said...

Okay, so I think I'm really not going to add any more advice in here since it seems you've now the right advice that you should follow. But I am just here to drop by and say best of luck to your new path. And that please update us in your developments :)

LHA said...

Two things that people have mentioned in the comments have worked for me. One is eating less in general. I really try to limit my eating to only when I am really hungry, and to stop eating when I am no longer hungry. For many years I didn't really know what being hungry felt like because I was pretty much grazing all day, if not outright bingeing. The other thing that has worked for me is lower carb or controlled carb eating and giving up sugar almost entirely. Like you, I am triggered by counting carbs, calories or points and I just obsess about food all the time and end up eating way more. So, I just cut way, way back on what I know are big carbs like bread, potatoes, pasta and rice. If and when I eat them, I eat a very small amount. Other mid-range carbs like carrots or strawberries I eat more often but still kind of watch it. I eat what I want in the very low carb foods, but always remembering to not eat unless I am hungry and that prevents me from sitting down and eating two pounds of steak just because I can. I still struggle with the issue of occasional sugary or carby things, as we have discussed in your blog and comments before. For me, no food can be totally off limits or that is the biggest trigger of all. I keep those indulgences extremely rare and I am still struggling with how to manage this and the increased appetite that comes with it. I do have a nutritionist who is a big help as we work thought this. I think your approach is very thoughtful and careful and I hope you come up with the very best plan for life that suits your lifestyle and your needs!

Parveen said...

I have loved reading your blog over the years and can connect with the diet and weight woes. I never comment on blogs, but just wanted to suggest you look at the Fast Metabolism Diet. It is not a diet, however, it has most of the elements you are looking to remove from your diet and the Whole food eating concept. I think it will have the structure you are looking for and I think matches the way you are eating now. I am only suggesting it since i light came on it my head when I read your post this morning.

Amy said...

Relax! It's only one week, one weigh in. Our bodies do weird things. I would never judge it on one weigh-in, keep your eye on it for the next few weeks, if it is still not going the direction you want, then make some sort of plan. I would do it in small steps so as not to trigger anything. Hormones at our age can be a mess!Maybe you should just throw your scale away and base it on how you feel. You are still in charge of making yourself feel good, vital, energetic,so there is accountability, it just doesn't have the same negative downside of looking at a dead number on a scale which can be so different for so many reasons.

nic0ll3tt3 said...

Fast Metabolism Diet?

Just looked that up and I would not recommend that... The diet doesn't show a fundamental understanding of how the body actually uses and stores food, and really comes across as someone's "get rich quick" scheme.