Sunday, February 26, 2017

Too Fat


I guess it's time for an update. And maybe a little self examination, because while I feel like I have done pretty well getting my food issues under control, all is not well in LynLand.

I lost 7 pounds in January and nothing so far in February. Today I weigh 253, same as I did on February 1. Part of me is starting to panic a little about this; I looked at the calendar this morning and thought, "okay, I have THREE days left until March 1. Surely I can knuckle down and cut carbs more and do some more exercise and get at least a couple of pounds off by then." Somehow, part of me still feels ashamed that I am still so fat. That I did not lose any weight this month. Even though I have found peace about food, my weight still bothers me. I have spent the last year (or so) lowering my stress level around all the weight stuff: food, tracking, calories, junk food, body image, the number on the scale. But what remains is the realty that I AM TOO FAT.

I am too fat for most of my clothing.
I am too fat for my circulatory system. My blood pressure is higher than it was 25 pounds ago.
I am too fat for my knees. They hurt when I walk.
I am too fat for pictures. Once again I find myself avoiding being in photos because I think I look awful, and unhealthy.
I am too fat for my comfort. It is hard to get up and down, I have acid reflux again at night, and my body is just too hard to haul around all the time.
I am too fat, and that makes me sad.

So much of the time I look around and feel thankful for all I have, my kids, my life. I don't want to be a negative Nelly or a complainer. But I also don't look at my body and think it is fine just the way it is. Maybe it is, on a "don't judge", self acceptance, love yourself kind of level. I mean there's no point in loathing myself or being down on how I look. My body has done a lot of great things for me. I love it. But it's too big to be truly healthy! And I haven't been acting like I love it... not really. Not all these years.

When I eat healthy foods it does feel like self care. I don't think I eat that much. But obviously it's too much, right? Or I wouldn't be this fat. Even if you want to put some blame on age, or hormones, or thyroid disease, or slow metabolism... I would NOT weigh 250+ pounds if I was really taking *good enough* care of my body.

Maybe I have been focused too much on my emotional well being (which yeah, it is important) and not on my body. I've said I was eating 90% healthy and maybe 10% carbier, sugary or junky stuff. But when I stopped and thought about that, there's an error in my thinking. It's not that 90% of the FOOD I eat is healthy and 10% is not. It's that 90% of the TIME I eat healthy. Like... there are about 90 meals in a month, right? So for about 9 or 10 of those meals I eat carby stuff. Maybe some pancakes with syrup, sausages and orange juice. Or a bacon cheeseburger with fries dipped in Ranch. Not overboard for a normal person... but HIGH in carbs, fat, and sugar. Same for snacks. Say there are 60 snacks in a month. Then 6 or 7 of those would be carbier. Like maybe popcorn at the movies, or a few cookies and regular hot cocoa, or a bowl of chips and dip. The calories, carbs, sugar and fat in those meals and snacks is SO MUCH higher than the nutrition in a regular meal or snack! So much higher. Like a 50 calorie handful of baby carrots versus a 200 calorie bowl of corn chips and guac. But eating those foods in "normal" portions is what helps me NEVER to feel restricted... because although 9 out of 10 times on "spaghetti night" I go with spaghetti squash, every once in awhile, if I really want it, I have the actual pasta... AND a piece or two of garlic bread. And it is so much easier to eat and be satisfied with small amounts of something like the spaghetti squash, but when I have pasta I want to eat a lot more. More calories, carbs, and fat.

The whole thing sucks because I felt like I have finally found peace with food by eating this way, and I DO NOT want to wreck it. But I am too fat! I am too fat. :(


20 comments:

Deb Willbefree said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joanna said...

I feel for you. My doctor is helping sort this out for me. Is your doctor helpful?

Anonymous said...

Hey, Lyn. I am sorry. I know it does suck. I would try tracking calories and counting/measuring. I know that sucks too, but it gets easier and your stomach will shrink so that the portions will eventually feel very satisfying.
My habit is eat a giant bowl of plain green veggies and non starchy veg every night before dinner. That helps me to limit to one serving of dinner and then if dessert is needed, follow with something manageable like hot chocolate. (Because I could eat a whole box of choc's but I'm not going to drink 10 mugs of hot chocolate)
At work I eat a few pieces from the candy bowl here or there but keep track so I don't eat too much (because I know I don't need to be getting too much of my daily cal's from sweets)
I recommend the USDA/NIH Bodyweight Planner that should tell you how much you need (give or take to lose) https://www.supertracker.usda.gov/bwp/
Also, when you mention bacon cheeseburger and fries dipped in ranch - when I get fast food I typically get a burger with no bacon or cheese (I can barely taste that thin cheese slice anyway) and eat my fries plain with salt. That's how you can save on calories and still have a "normal" life.
And a 200 calories snack of guac and chips, I hope you know that is like a teaspoon of guac with 1 chip :) Exaggerating, but still.
And, don't fetishize or stigmatize different types of food - a piece of bread or a serving of pasta is not 'bad.' There are no bad foods, only bad portions.
I think you rely on the whole 'carby' and 'non-carby' paradigm way too much and then get discouraged because it doesn't work.

FrenchyMcFrenchcake said...

I am really baffled why you don't consistently exercise? I get that not everyone loves it but its so easy, free and helps so so much with weight control. It makes a difference if you are eating a 90/10 type plan like you describe if you burn 200 extra calories a day, a 2 mile walk... 30 minutes on a bike, something easy. Even 5 days a week, that is 4000 calories per month! At least a pound. Whether you lose it or it keeps you from gaining, it also helps your heart, mood and joints. The more you do it the more that you burn at rest. So why why why not? You have dogs, just walk them! Every day. Keep working on the food but too, but it's an important piece of a healthy life.

LHA said...

I wish I had some words of wisdom for you. It is HARD to lose weight and maintain the loss, and that's just the truth. All I have learned over decades of dieting is that I do have to restrict my eating and up my exercise considerably to lose the weight and I have to keep doing both of those things to keep it off. Sugar and carbs are hard for me to limit, and it doesn't matter if this is a true "addiction" to them or some kind of psychological dependence or what. It's just the way it is. I try not to let myself dwell on foods or eating or diets. It is hard to stay true to this, and many days I struggle. If there is another way to lose weight and/or maintain weight loss I haven't found it. I wish you all the luck in the world in finding the path that seems right to you and will also allow you to enjoy life.

Anonymous said...

Lyn, at the end of the day, weight loss always comes down to calories in vs. Calories out. You can remain low carb if it's important to you, but if the recipes you posted are any indication, you're likely still taking in too many calories. Why not try sticking to a low carb diet that prioritizes lean protein, healthy fats from oils and nuts in proper portions and green veggies. Don't try to make substitute foods for things like tortillas, just eat the basics in proper amounts in their normal forms and actually track your intake. As far as exercise, there has to be something you enjoy doing! Check YouTube for videos you can experiment with or just resume your "bike trip" but this time push to ride longer each time. I really wish I could give you a comfortable way to reach your goals, but weight loss isn't achieved by being comfortable if your comfortable is eating a lot and being mostly sedentary.

Lyn said...

Deb~

I agree, I still have my youth on my side and now is the time to do something about my health. I hope things go well for you from here on out... glad for the good news and sorry about the stuff you can't really fix. Definitely a wake up call!

Joanna~

no, my primary doctor has nothing for me for weight loss except WL drugs or WLS referral.

Anon~

Thanks for the good tips. I may have to go back to tracking, I guess. I think I'll have to decide between eating that 10% junk and counting the calories, or cutting way back on that junk and seeing if that is enough without counting.

Frenchy~

I do. I am walking about 2 miles a day (walking the dogs) now.

LHA~

thank you. You always leave me supportive comments with good advice and I really appreciate it.

Anon~

after years of carefully tracking my intake (food scales, measuring cups, and online tracker) and also using the FitBit to track calories burned, I don't subscribe to the "calories in, calories out" model of weight loss/gain. I'm not saying I am not eating too many calories... I probably am, not on the meals I share here but on those 10% indulgence meals. Making an enchilada-flavored bake as I did is no less healthy or higher in calories than if I had put all the components on my plate separately: baked chicken, roasted butternut squash, a bit of cheese and tomato/onion sauce with seasonings. I do feel better eating that type of food than when I include things like corn tortillas in my diet.

Deb Willbefree said...

Lyn, Thanks for the kind wishes. I deleted my original comment because I decided it was a bit too much info. :} You read it and that was my goal. Regret is a calorie-free meal, but not very satisfying. You deserve to provide better for yourself than dining on "should've stew".. Deb

Rose Sperlonga said...

Hey Lyn,

I think what concerns me about you is that it seems every time you write about your weight you don't seem happy with who you are. That is concerning. You have to love you. For what you are in the present as well as what you can be in the future. You know you can achieve the goal you want, you were there. And you will get there again.

I see myself in you so much. I lost 71 lbs. Was looking ok and lost my mo jo for lack of better word. Its not an addiction with me with food. For me its the loneliness at night. I can have the most stellar days and then when my husband leaves for work at night all I think about is what can I put in my mouth to make me happy! I know its wrong, but night after night when he is not here I go to the cabinet.
When he is here, I'm fine.
there has to be a happy medium for us... for you!

Still rooting for you!
Rose

MaryFran said...

You may feel as if you are too fat....but I challenge you to say 'I'm perfect for where I am right now'. Being your current weight is helping you to learn a healthy relationship with food. It's helping you figure out who YOU are! It's part of the process to a fabulous thin YOU that you will actually be able to maintain and enjoy!!!!

Anonymous said...

Lyn, counting calories doesn't have to mean endless measuring and weighing. You have done that enough that you can probably eyeball a plate of food and make a rough guess that would be within ten percent of accurate most of the time. If you are exceeding 500 calories for a meal, or 100-200 for a snack, you are probably in a danger zone. But if you stay under 1600 or so for the day--consistently--you will lose. Your body cannot sustain 250 pounds on 1600 calories a day. That's not a theory--it's a fact.

Anonymous said...

I must respectfully disagree with one of the previous comments about it coming down to Calories in vs Calories out. There is a lot of new science now that completely refutes that hypothesis. Over the past several months I've read all three of Gary Taubes books (Good Calories, Bad Calories, Why we get fat and what to do about it, The Case against Sugar) as well as a book by Stephen Phinney and Jeff Volek (The Art and Science of Low Carb living) What they have to say made so much sense to me. Don't know if you've read any of those books, but if not, you might consider it. I'll warn you, there is a lot of science to wade through, but the science was what I needed to make it click for me. WAY too much to go into in a comment, but again, just a suggestion on something that's helped me.

Amy said...

I get the frustration and how fragile the balance between restricting and food acceptance can be. Sometimes when my resolve is a little too lax its because my brain is busy focusing on other things or I feel too overwhelmed in other areas of my life to also be hyper-focus on food. Sometimes something as simple as putting on nice lip gloss or spending extra time on my hair makes me feel better and makes me focus more on self-care, sometimes agreeing to a challenge gives me enough motivation to help things along. Sometimes just coming up with a plan helps too. I would just be careful with restriction/measuring given your past trouble with triggers. Focus more on level of satisfaction if you can, eat slow and be mindful of how your body feels along the way.

amy said...

Lyn, please ditch the low-carb plan -- it's not working. Your non-triggering approach to food has gotten you almost to your starting weight. You probably aren't being "triggered," because you are eating everything you want! I will guarantee you that if you eat a 1200 calorie balanced diet of lean protein, whole-grain carbohydrates, low carb high-nutrient vegetables, and limited fruit, you will lose weight. If you decide to exercise regularly, up your intake to 1500 cals. Write down every morsel you put in your mouth. You have had your metabolism checked, and it is only slightly below "normal." Let's remember that "normal" is really an average, so there are plenty of people in your category. I don't say this to be mean, but because it is heart-breaking to see you stuck in this cycle of excited new plan/few pounds lost/stall/give-up/new plan/rinse, repeat.

Alexei Antonov said...

My sister had gastric sleeve surgery six weeks ago and has lost nearly 40 pounds while feeling great. I really think you should consider it. You already have many healthy habits that you could maintain once you lost the weight and are no longer binging. It's not a defeat - it's just tremendously hard to lose so much weight once you are older - there is no room for mistakes, as you know well yourself. I wish you the very best - you're a great person!

Anonymous said...

Alexei wrote, "it's just tremendously hard to lose so much weight once you are older." I'm 55, and in the last 20 months I've lost 123 pounds eating exactly what Amy described: "a 1200 calorie balanced diet of lean protein [I'm a vegetarian, quasi-vegan], whole-grain carbohydrates, low carb high-nutrient vegetables, and limited fruit." (I'd have lost a lot faster but I indulge on vacations.) I eat [sprouted whole-wheat] bread every day. And a ton of veggies. And ride an exercise bike 3-5 times each week. And track my calories in My Fitness Pal -- it can be eye-opening to learn how many calories are in perfectly good-for-you foods. I do believe that we're all different and that no one diet plan works for all -- I just want to point out that low-carb/paleo isn't the only option. The issue is you have to WANT IT. At the 50-lbs-lost point of this diet I went on a European vacation that was marred by my aching hips and knees from all the walking. That experience was HIGHLY motivating to keep up the diet, because I don't want to give up traveling. I've lost and regained a large amount of weight a couple of times, and this has been by far the easiest and greatest loss, and I think it's because of the genuine realization that the future is NOW and that the very real consequences (i.e., pain) of lugging around too much excess weight aren't some theoretical future but a reality that is getting in the way of enjoying my life TODAY. I don't know what my point is, it's just that I keep seeing folks post opinions as though they were facts, when they're contrary to my experience. There is no magic answer, no diet secret that needs to be discovered... it's just slogging it out day after day. It's hard to get started, when the pounds-lost column is so much smaller than the pounds-to-be-lost column... but you live your life, focus on something other than food, and keep at it until one day the columns shift, and you've lost more weight than you have to lose, and you're feeling good, and there's a momentum that keeps you going. The desire to lose the weight has to be greater than the desire to eat whatever you want in whatever quantities you want. Sorry for the length, I've started and stopped myself from writing many times, because you get so much conflicting advice and this is just one more post from an anonymous Internet stranger. I hope you find the motivation from within to find a plan that works for you and then stick with it.
~babs

Deb Willbefree said...

Hey. This is in response to Babs'(Anon) comment. I make this response because she said some of what I often think when I read the comments you receive or read your various ideas about low carb. And it is this: Not every body benefits from the same food plan.

For instance, I KNOW that I need a low carb plan. Both experience and medical diagnoses tell me that. I have insulin-dependent diabetes & am medically confirmed gluten intolerant. Diabetes requires less insulin if processed, sugary or starchy carbs are severely limited. Gluten intolerance, by virtue of eliminating wheat, barley, and rye, lends itself to low carb eating (tho many gluten-free amp up the sugar, etc, but that's another story.) And when I do low carb, I DO lose weight...and feel better in the process & long before enough pounds have fallen off to achieve that result.

But. Two tings. The original "low carb" was not high fat. It was high protein. As the years have gone on, low carb had become LCHF. Low carb/high fat. In the last few years, it seems like it's become "barely enough protein/no carb/monstrous amounts of fat. And people swear by...and lose weight.

As well as I do on low carb (For me that's about 60 grams a day), I don't do well on high fat. When I eat, I don't have to count my fat grams, worring about if I'm getting too many, but I can't load fat. I don't feel well when I do. And I have proof (Don't you love proof?_ I had my DNA analyzed a couple of years ago and it not only confirmed the whole gluten intolerance thing )proof I did NOT want), but it also clearly said that I don't metabolize fat well and should avoid "high fat diets". Hah! I'd been trying to convince myself that I'd just had low fat PR brainwashing. My diet is NOT low fat by any means and low fat people would probably be aghast, but is way below high fat. And it's working for me. (I've lost 17 pounds in the past 6 weeks) And it has worked for me several times. :} (Lack of maintenance is my fault, not the plans.)


So that's 1--high fat ain't for every one. Now, 2. While doing research a few years ago, I came across several articles (Sorry, too long ago to site) that reported evidence regarding macronutrient ratios in food plans. It said that the majority of people benefit from a moderately low (Not freakishly extreme VERY low) diet, BUT about 1/3 of people did NOT. They benefit from a moderately high consumption of HEALTHY (Healthy, Lyn) carbohydrates, moderately low fat, and moderate protein. You may be in that group. I remember previous low carb attempst that left you feeling unwell.

So, while low carb, moderate-at-most fat, moderate-at-least protein works for me--it may not work for you. You may be one of the lucky third who can actually eat the balanced diet recommended above.

Just my two cents worth and a vote for finding what works best for you.

Deb

Joanna said...

The part of your plan that would not work for me is the 90/10 component of your eating plan. My body craves goodies if I have any goodies. For me, I am either all in or all out.

I have been impacted by a comment I read here earlier. I was whining to my doctor this week that my appetite is always working against me. I am hungry just hours after I eat. I was trying to get him to give me that medicine (off-label) that is used for diabetes that can reduce hunger. The commenter said that she needs to be hungry at least four hours a day to lose weight. I think I have always avoided being in a hungry state but since I read her point of view, I am trying to think that the hunger is just what I need at this point in my weight loss. My doctor put me on intermittent fasting which is really difficult but he is trying to alter my hunger patterns and see if I can get over this crazy appetite of mine. Unlike you, portion control is every bit of my problem. It sounds like portion control works for you. How often do you eat? He said that food is digested for 8-10 hours and it affects the way the food is metabolized if you eat before you need to eat (or at least I think he said that.) So now I just have lunch and dinner and frankly, I am really hungry, but oh well. Overall, I am really careful about what I eat (no gluten, no added sugar, very little fruit, etc.) but I still eat too much so intermittent fasting is what I am trying. Not pleasant but we will see what happens

Lori said...

Just sending you positive thoughts and a big hug!

Anonymous said...

@Joanna, "Hunger is not an emergency." Part of my success this time around has come from learning to be OK with being hungry by the time the next meal comes around. The Japanese have a saying: hunger is the best sauce. My dinner of steamed veggies and tofu with a tiny drizzle of olive oil and salt and pepper tastes like a gourmet meal to me if it's been 7 hours since lunch. ; )

Like you, I'm better off avoiding a bite of some sugary refined food... don't wake the demon.

~babs