Sunday, July 22, 2018

Unrestricted


Just a brief update! Since my maintenance chart post on Wednesday, I've been seeing the same number on the scale every day. In fact, all week It's been 185, 185, 185 on the scale every morning. That feels pretty good to see! I am still kind of amazed that I am able to eat the way I do (without restriction, measuring, or counting) and maintain at this weight. In the past, I've restricted a LOT, kept my calories under 1500 or under 1200 or even lower than that for weeks and was not able to lose or maintain at 20, 30, 40 pounds higher than I am right now. And I usually felt pretty stressed and anxious about not being "able" to eat things I wanted to eat. Even when I was losing, I often felt like I was white knuckling it. I had this inner worry about things that might seem stupid to people who've never had an eating disorder, like "will I NEVER be able to eat a sandwich again?? Can I NEVER have a cupcake again?" That kind of thought resulted in a lot of mental pacing around trying to figure out how not to spiral into a desperate need (yes, it felt like a *need*) for chips and dip or pie or pizza. I knew in my mind that was irrational, but there was something deeper going on that felt out of my control. And the only way I got out of that kind of cycle was to stop restricting.

This week I ate:

tacos made with made-from-scratch corn tortillas
roasted chicken thighs with crispy skin, mashed potatoes and gravy, half a dinner roll, corn, and peas
coconut, honey, seed, and nut clusters
a slice of raspberry cheesecake
barbecued ribs, pulled pork, cole slaw
fresh berries, peaches, apples, and cherries
chopped kale and cabbage salad
fresh corn on the cob with butter and salt
a bunless burger with garden tomatoes, pickles, and cheese
chips and dip
yogurt
movie theater popcorn with extra butter
mixed nuts
sugar free brownies with sugar free ice cream
lots and lots of iced decaf coffee with sugar free creamer or half and half
a restaurant bacon cheeseburger (skipped most of the bun) with fries dipped in Ranch
various salads, cheese, watermelon, raw veggies, and half a deviled egg at a potluck
frozen yogurt ("tart" flavor which has less sugar) topped with fruit, walnuts, and honey
and (this is crazy) a deep fried, battered banana with peanut butter dipping sauce

Okay, that's a lot of food, and not exactly "diet" food. A year ago I would have never believed that I could eat these things and not gain weight, even at 250 pounds. Something has truly changed. The biggest change has been my attitude and my sense of inner peace about food and weight. But I also have changed *when* I eat and *how* I eat. Most days I only have coffee in the morning and no actual food until lunch time... and then it is a smallish meal, usually 200 to 400 calories. I might fill in the afternoon with a bit of fruit, nuts, cheese, iced coffee or 1-200 calories of something else, but I try to wait til dinnertime for a big meal. And even then, my "big" meal is a heck of a lot smaller than it was on any given day when I was not restricting years ago (off plan, I called it). I eat much smaller portions; when I say I had "fries" it means I had a few... not a whole plate full. I keep my higher calories in a smaller window... so I am not spreading out extras and sweets during the day. I am eating them within about an hour or two after my dinner. I may eat 800 to 1000 calories some evenings but it is all within a window from about 6pm to 9pm at the latest. That limits just how much volume I can have and keeps me feeling very satisfied. I feel great! I take phentermine, a half dose most days, and that does help me go longer in the mornings before I feel I need to eat. On days I skip it, I get hungry between 10 and 11 and have to eat something. I just keep it to a small portion, like an egg with bacon and fruit, and then skip something else later like dessert or a higher calorie snack.

That's what's working for now. I hope to keep going with this and maintain below 185 (overweight, not obese) forever.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

So basically you're doing intermittent fasting. I've been reading a lot about that lately and the benefits of it. My daughter has lost almost 80 lbs by doing this. She didn't realize what she was doing! She's going through a divorce and a move back to our home state. The first few weeks she would just eat dinner after her daughter got home from school....not as part of any "plan"..just because of the life upheaval. After a month or so she says she realized how good she felt and she weighed for the first time. She was shocked to see how much weight she'd lost. She's continued now for 6 months and she's dropped 78 lbs. She eats something light around noon, then has a normal dinner with her daughter in the evening. She has tried to cut out most sweets, but if it's some special occasion, she doesn't sweat having dessert.

Lyn said...

Anon~

I've had a lot of people recommend IF to me over the years, but I always felt so sick and dizzy if I went too long without eating. That seems to be resolving now, and I generally have no food from 8 or 9pm until noon or 1 the next day... so 15 to 17 hours of not eating. I have read that drinking black coffee doesn't break the fast but I almost always have some half and half or sugar free creamer in mine in the morning. Seems to be working pretty well! I do think some weeks I eat way more sweets than I "need" (well really, no one "needs" sweets) but I have already tried and done the restricted way, so this time I am doing things differently. I figure I have plenty of time to cut those back. No rush.

MaryFran said...

Oh my word! Your plan is almost word for word what I am doing! People have looked at my like I’m weird for this plan....so thank you thank you thank you for this post! I CAN live and manage and find balance! And while we are all individuals and different things work for each of us, I can now see that my plan (your plan also) does work!!!!

I would also like to ask if you would be interested in answering a few questions as a success post for my blog? If so just shoot me hour email. My email is beliefinmyselfmaryfran at gmail dot com

Lyn said...

MaryFran~

Very cool! It does feel good to have another person succeed and validate what is working for us! I'd be happy to answer some questions. Will drop you an email :)

Anonymous said...

It seems like the really big change this time is that you're on phentermine. In fairness, you won't properly be able to assess the effectiveness of your eating patterns until you've been off the phentermine long enough for it to be out of your system.

Lyn said...

last Anon~

I definitely could not have gotten started on this loss in August without phentermine. It has been an amazing tool for me and I am so thankful for it. I am hopeful that I will do fine without it, since I kept losing when I took over a month off of it. My doctor has me taking periodic breaks from phentermine and so far I have not had any rebound gains when stopping it. It is out of your system fairly quickly; doctor says the half life is 24 hours, so it's totally out by about 4 days.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lyn,
I went to my yearly physical today and was brave enough to ask for phentermine ( truly because of your blog ) and she said yes. And my pill is only 15mg And I cannot split it in half it looks like a capsule . I think I read yours was 37.5 and you could cut yours and half ?
I'm going to start tomorrow morning any tips or advice? I appreciate your blog. Thanks from Florida

Anonymous said...

Half a deviled egg! That takes some willpower when you can eat one in a single bite! At least, I can. I have no self control around those eggs.

Lyn said...

Anon in FL~

Yes, I have the tablets that you can break, and I take half in the morning and sometimes half in the afternoon. I know they do make capsules too with the little balls inside, and you don't break those. I'm glad you have your doctor's support! I don't have much advice, just don't take more than your doctor tells you, and I do think trying to eat lower carb helps a lot! Let me know how it goes!

last Anon~

haha, yes, I used to feel the same way! I am satisfied with a lot less volume now than I used to be. Since I can have anything I want, there's no sense of urgency about eating a lot of anything! But yeah, slow it down and take 3 or 4 bites, and that does make it last longer ;)

Anonymous said...

I am shocked. I haven't read your blog in a very long time (I forgot about it to be honest) but I was a faithful reader back in the day. I remember how frustrating it was for you after Medi-Fast when you could not lose weight no matter what you did (after gaining back most (?) of what you had lost.) Didn't you have a metabolism test and couldn't eat more than like a thousand calories without gaining? I wonder what happened. Coming here after years (I saw you mentioned on an Instagram site I read and it jogged my curiosity) and seeing you almost back to your glory days weight, yet eating all of this, I don't know what to make of it. I cannot imagine how you did it. You didn't have surgery or a lap band did you? I am taking time this weekend to go back and catch up and read everything in the past few years to see for myself. I have had friends who have taken phentermine but they still had to diet. I think it just makes you not feel hunger so you eat less so it makes it easier for people to stick to a diet (usually low calories and it works by helping a person starve themselves from what I have seen, but you are not doing that so I am perplexed what has changed). Thank you for still writing because there are not that many blogs still getting updated for all these years. And it is good to see someone's experience long term with weight, like this. I can't wait to get caught up on you. By the way I had an email conversation with you years ago, very helpful, this is Belinda M.

Anonymous said...

(deviled egg anonymous here) Granted, it's a BIG bite! :-D

Lyn said...

Anon/Belinda~

No surgery or lap band, just a lot of trial and error and mental work on becoming more calm and deliberate about what I eat. No food restrictions, just aiming for lower carbs (like not choosing bread or pasta very often) and smaller portions. The phentermine helps with appetite, but my doctor also says it can help fix a slow metabolism. I went through a few periods of eating fairly high calories, too, when I was 50+ pounds heavier, trying not to restrict and to let my body get used to more calories again. I'm sure there are more factors, but right now I just focused on keeping the sense of peace about my eating, my weight, and my body.

FrenchyMcFrenchcake said...

Phentermine works on the metabolism while you take it, it’s an amphetimine, like speed or caffeine and once you are off the metabolic effects are gone, that’s what my doc told me... so curious about this. We opted not to use it as I have extreme sensitivities and thyroid issues which were contraindicated

Lyn said...

Frenchy~

That's not what my doctor said. I guess it makes sense to me that it does help the metabolism even once you stop taking it, since I kept losing weight when I went off it. I guess as time goes on, I will find out if it has helped my metabolism speed up long term (even when off it). Also, my doctor told me it is not am amphetamine. It has a similar chemical structure to amphetamine, and both are stimulants. Amphetamines are highly addictive, but phentermine is not.

Anonymous said...

I'm curious to know how your current eating plan will work when you're off phentermine. Eating 800-1000 calories at night and not really restricting sweets/desserts seems to be working really well for you now, but how do you plan to maintain/lose when you are off the appetite suppressant and (presumably) will be hungrier earlier in the day? It seems like it might be hard to maintain/lose when you are back to eating breakfast, lunch, and are used to eating a 1000 calorie dinner + dessert (it would be difficult for me!). Just wondering how you plan to address this change!

Lyn said...

last Anon~

I did get hungrier when I weaned off phentermine this spring. Here's a post I wrote about it back in the beginning of April:

http://www.escapefromobesity.net/2018/04/eating-way-way-more.html

As you can see, I did start eating a lot more and the food was spread out over the day. However, I stayed with my "lower carb" way of eating and continued to lose weight, even as I stopped taking it completely. So hopefully I will adapt in the same way when I am not taking phentermine anymore.

Catherine55 said...

Lyn, I haven't read your blog for quite a while, and checked in today! WOW!! I am so impressed with how well you have been doing! 186! That is just amazing, and I'm thrilled for you that all of your hard work and efforts have been paying off. :) Congratulations!!

Lyn said...

Catherine~

Thanks!! I feel great. I'm glad you checked in... nice to see a familiar face :)