Thursday, September 20, 2018

On Eating "SO MUCH"

Since I posted my list of "how I ate this week" (last week), I have gotten a couple of comments and emails asking me how I could possibly eat "so much" and not gain weight (in fact, down a pound today to 182). I've had people saying it's the phentermine (which I didn't take last week) but obviously if I am eating "so much" then an appetite suppressant sure isn't the cause of my not gaining. I believe my metabolism has been raised so I can now eat moderately without big gains.

Anyway, I wanted to re-frame what I wrote before. What I wrote was a flat list of foods I had eaten in one week. Apparently that looked like a HUGE amount of food to some folks, so let's take a look at it in another way. Here is the same list of food, broken down into seven days.

1 small homemade cinnamon roll, coffee with cream
croissant sandwich with turkey, lettuce and mayo with about 6 chips
small bowl of chili with a little grated cheese, dollop of sour cream, and 4 tortilla chips

crustless vegetable quiche with about 1/2 cup of hash browns and 2 sausages
coffee with half and half
cherry tomatoes and a few chips
a gyro (lamb and vegetables with tzatziki sauce on pita),  some Greek fries, 2 pita triangles dipped in hummus and half a piece of baklava

about 4 oz of orange juice
coffee with cream
1 slice of pepperoni pizza, 1 plate from the salad bar with blue cheese dressing and bacon
an apple
a slice of pot roast, mashed potatoes with gravy, steamed peas
1 slice of homemade pie

coffee with cream x 2
raspberries and a small apple
cucumber slices dipped in Ranch
a Jimmy Johns Italian sandwich (on bread) with chips
1 slice of homemade pie

small pumpkin spice latte
1/4 of a donut
 about 1/2 cup of mashed potatoes with gravy, green beans
1 piece of corn on the cob with cotija cheese and mayo

homemade cinnamon roll, coffee with cream
Dairy Queen cheeseburger, no bun (I forgot this in the other list!)
a wedge of watermelon
1 square of lasagna with Italian sausage, salad, and 1 piece of regular garlic bread

hot cereal made with oat bran, 1 tsp brown sugar, and a pat of butter, topped with half and half
2 slices of cheese and 3 slices of ham and turkey, a handful of cheese puffs, some baby carrots
 about a tablespoon of peanut butter on a banana
1 sugar free Greek yogurt
2 slices of pepperoni pizza

To me, at least, it looks pretty moderate. Are there sweets and chips? Yes. Carby? Yes. But it is in no way a binge, a ton of food, an over-indulgence. Maybe it is not what *you* would choose, or even what *I* would have chosen years ago or on a different week. But it works for me, and I am content, have no restrictions, no compulsions, no food obsession, no white knuckling. It's kind of nice having a week or two of eating things I haven't had in awhile. It feels good to be flexible.

Today I ate a bit less:
coffee with cream
egg whites scrambled with zucchini and spinach, a spoon of hash browns, and 2 sausage links
a sugar free blended decaf mocha
about 5 cheese puffs
a sugar free Greek yogurt
Dinner is going to be a big bowl of the homemade tomato soup I made this morning from tomatoes my neighbor gave us from her garden. I might have a couple of crackers and a slice of cheese with it, and a Clementine for dessert.

The best part of this is that I know I could eat this way for the rest of my life and it would not feel like a diet. I am so glad to be off the diet roller coaster. I am working with my counselor on ways to feel at peace even when stressful things are happening in my life, so that in the future some crisis doesn't throw me back into the old binge habits for comfort. It's like an addict and I know it could happen, so I am doing everything I can to learn and practice healthier ways to cope.


Anonymous said...

Do you write all of this down or remember it? No way I could remember what I ate 2 days ago.

MaryFran said...

Love it!!!! You’ve totally gotten it! You are at a place where you are ‘living’ by eating the ‘good stuff’ (aka what some consider indulgences) but you are being healthy about it by doing it in moderation and coupled with healthier options! Isn’t THAT what healthy living is supposed
to be?

Laura Cox said...

So interesting Lyn! For the record, I don't think you need to justify what/how much you're eating, but it definitely brings a lot more clarity seeing the breakdown of when/how much you ate throughout the week. It looks pretty moderate to fact, some days I was thinking you didn't eat much at all! All that matters is what you're doing is working for you. Thank you for always sharing your experience even though you sometimes face a lot of judgement and unsolicited advice for it.

Anonymous said...

There are a few things in your list I really like and a few I wouldn’t touch. The way I see it you are balancing your desirable foods by limiting portions. We have been taught so long to stuff ourselves full with good things. I like your approach to small portions and know over time you will migrate slowly towards healthier choices but still enjoying what you truly want. Good work! Theresa in Alberta

Anonymous said...

This list of foods is scary. Maybe a green vegetable once? Lyn, I am pleading for you to get back on track, this is not sustainable long term. You cant eat JJ sandwiches, pizza and cinnamon rolls, pie etc and not gain, this will change quickly.

Lyn said...

forgetful Anon~

When I eat unusual (for me) foods, I tend to remember them. I did the list from memory and just thought about who I ate with, where, and when. When I am eating generally boring stuff I do tend to forget after a day or two.

scared Anon~

I find it perplexing, in a way, that you describe the foods are "scary." That kind of loaded emotional language gives me the thought that you might be stuck in a space of anxiety about food, seeing it as something to fear or something that triggers you emotionally. I don't know you, so I could be wrong, but that was my first thought. That's where I used to be too, so I understand it. I am choosing not to have that kind of "omg" reaction to food anymore; I am working on that to make it permanent and believe it is the most essential part of what I am doing.

Just to help you feel better, here are the green vegetables I enjoyed from that list: Romaine lettuce (3x), spinach, green beans, peas, and mixed salad greens (2x). Of course that's not counting the iceburg on my burger, and the vegetables that were not green but still full of nutrition: tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, celery, peppers, onions, butternut squash, mushrooms, and corn on the cob. Don't forget the delicious fruits: raspberries, watermelon, apples, and a banana. Isn't it interesting that I posted all of that in the food list, but you didn't see it? You only saw the foods that "scared" you. It might be a good idea to reframe how you "see" food... both in ideas/lists like this and in your own food choices.

Thanks for all of the encouraging comments. I can honestly say that even though there is a lot of stuff going on in my life and it's not all fun, this has been the happiest year I have had in a very long time.

Anonymous said...

I like your approach. You seem to have a bit of everything in moderation. You are definitely on a suitable path for you. I wouldn't rate some comments here as negative. Everybody has its own way to look at things, and I don't think I ever read anything truly offensive. I think people genuinely care about you. At least this type of attitude about food will make it easier for you to manage everyday life. Way to go!


P.S Thanks for sharing with us all these years.

Amy said...

Life is full of magnificent variety, isn't it? I think its fantastic that you have overcome compulsive/binge eating to find this kind of peace with food. Those servings are not wild, looks like you were in control the whole time. As someone who has struggled with compulsive eating, it sounds like you are in a good place!

Lyn said...


I agree, most of the comments here are so supportive, and even ones that don't agree with what I am doing are usually respectful and made out of concern. I appreciate that! I don't publish disrespectul, rude comments. I just delete them :)

Thanks Amy, it is so good not to have those compulsions anymore!

Vickie said...

I think what people are reacting too, is carbs look higher than what we normally think works. Percentage wise. (I haven't calculated. So I don’t know if they are, or not. But I think that might be what people see.)

I realize you are eating lower volume.

I wonder if you were more carb sensitive at higher weights. And if that is sort of going away now at a lower weight. It is interesting to observe.

Anonymous said...

I like seeing you peaceful and calm about eating. I’ve been on that roller roaster for years and understand it all too well. To be off it and find peace with food is healthy and let’s you get on with the rest of your life!