Tuesday, June 18, 2019

The Obesity Journey


I'm having a really hard time getting my eating under control and my exercise habits back since we got home from my daughter's hospitalization. I mean, I did great the first week and dropped 8 pounds, but I know that was because I went from high carb, high volume to the opposite. This week was harder, and though I stuck with the plan and walking for the first few days of the week, I just kind of lost it the last few days. My net loss for this week was 0. Still 210. And then the last two days I really just dove into the "food for comfort" thing and am up a couple pounds overnight. I dunno, does it ever end?

We had a relative pass away unexpectedly and my husband is gone out of state for the week for the funeral. My daughter is starting physical therapy and has doctor's appointments several times a week. My yard is full of weeds and they are pretty darn tall around the driveway, and my dogs think I am being super lazy not even giving them a walk some days. And yet, pasta and ice cream are where I tend to go to deal with the emotions around everything, big and small. When I get into a good habit of intermittent fasting and lower carbing, I feel better and it feels easy. But if I eat one high carb meal I really have a bad time getting back on track now. It didn't use to be that way. Last year I was able to eat anything I wanted in a smaller, moderate portion and be just fine... no cravings, no problems, no gain. I have often said over the years that it seems like I get "one shot" at each method... the first time on anything works amazing. And then if I stop, my body gets wise to it and it never works the same way again. Medifast, calorie counting, South Beach, AIP, Victoza, IF, phentermine... each one worked like a miracle to peel the weight off once. And then if I tried it again, it just didn't work. Phentermine doesn't give me any energy now and doesn't help nearly as much with appetite. So I stopped it. I feel like I am sitting on the ground in a pile of used syringes, empty pill bottles, food scales, FitBits, shake packets and protein bar wrappers wondering what to do.

I know all these gimmicks are just starters for people... a kick start or a way to get motivated or start getting weight off, a method to feel motivated and in control and have a plan. They WORKED but then I didn't. Even the ones I stuck with long term eventually lost steam. People always say things like "just" eat healthy (and then they give their definition of healthy, which varies from no meat to all meat, whole grains to no grains, skipping breakfast to making it the biggest meal of the day... no one agrees on anything) but some of us are just broken in that regard. I don't know why it is, but some of us have to work SO hard to stay on a "healthy" plan for more than a few weeks, months, or years. It's a lifetime change and some people, even those who succeed short term, end up back where they started 5 years down the road. I mean look at the bloggers of the Blogging years. The ones who started out morbidly obese like me, even the huge success stories of almost a decade ago, have almost all gained it back. And yes, I think being 100 pounds overweight is a whole different story than someone who thinks they are massive at well under 200 pounds and gets to a normal weight. It's almost like when you get big enough there is no coming back from some things, I dunno. Does there always have to be surgery to keep 100+ pounds off for 5 or more years?

All of that said, I am not giving up (nor having surgery). I am blessed that my body has a new normal and has NOT gone back to 100 pounds overweight. Being able to stay closer to 200 than 300 is a victory in itself, and 210 is not nearly as debilitating as 280. I still want more. And if I keep working at it, I believe I will slide that new normal back down to 170-180 and can stay there without fighting myself every day. It just takes time.

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

I’ve mentioned this before but it bears repeating. For me the ONLY thing that has worked long term is real therapy with an eating disorder specialist. 2 years in and my world is so different. Yes I struggle with food but I don’t bounce up and down, on and off plan... no binging wayyyy less comfort eating and hardly ever any mental torture anymore. No one is “broken”. You can’t get around this you have to walk right through the goddamn center ... there’s just not another way. By therapy I mean I go every dang week for 2+ years. I do all the exercises even if it takes me a few sessions or more. I’m constantly pushing myself and questioning my thoughts and while I ebb and flow with the difficulty of it... it’s sooooo much nicer over here!!! That’s my 2 cents .. everyone has their own path but I guarantee you that it all begins through some type of internal work - Frenchie

Anonymous said...

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=o9hRhsaopz4
This link is called “how to lose 50 pounds and keep it off” by Dr Sharma (if link doesn’t work)
It spoke to me that we really are suffering from a chronic condition. Thanks for the post.
Theresa in Alberta

LHA said...

Everything you wrote was something I have experienced. A long time ago I reached the stage where I could not eat ANY sugar or high carb foods without it setting off cravings and backsliding. I wish so much it was different! I admired you for being able to eat something small that had a high carb count and still feel you could get right back with the low carb eating. I'm sorry that you are finding this difficult now. I don't have an answer except not to give up. I know you are not, and neither am I. I am still maintaining a large weight loss, but constantly struggling with regaining due to comfort/stress eating. My dream of being someone who could eat one piece of birthday cake and then stay on the straight and narrow right afterward will probably not be achieved. I do want to maintain my weight loss and also lose more so for now I have to stay completely away from the high carb stuff. I sympathize with you!

Megan said...

The stats on the ability to maintain significant weight loss are pretty dismal, I think it's something less than 10% for people who start off in the morbidly obese category. We're fighting an uphill battle, but what's the alternative? I've gone through phases of "giving up", but that doesn't give me any more peace or happiness than does "keeping on fighting". I guess we just keep wandering in the wilderness and hoping to find the right trail for each of us eventually!

BB said...

I relate. I gained and lost 100 pounds over and over again. I’ve tried everything also. Finally, I decided to stop trying to figure it out and focus on the two key habits I knew were beneficial to long term HEALTH: cooking my own meals and eating green vegetables. I have lost 40 pounds gradually over the past 1.5 years without restricting a thing. I eat what I want, when I want. I never thought that could or would be me. I thought intuitive eating was for the not-really-fat people. There’s no plan to go off of because the plan is just try to get in as many veggies as I can because they make me have more energy and feel better. Cook my own meals and enjoy pasta, but if that new veggie protein pasta tastes good, why not eat that instead of zoodles and feel satisfied. We all know diets don’t work, so what do you know for sure does? Eating good food makes us feel better. Restricting anything always causes bingeing (eventually)... I’ve seen your food on IG and even when you’re losing there’s a massive lack of nutrition. Your body wants to be nourished. Nourish it and that includes delicious treats and comfort food too.

MaryFran said...

I am right there with you!!!! It is a long never ending surgery. However I also have family members that have had the surgery and while it looks roses and sunshine, they are constantly on a journey also. They have to watch and work just as much as we do. I so wish I had the magic solution...cuz I would be a millionaire!

I do think that the one try and then it never works is due to the fact that something is new and fresh in our minds and therefore we are excited and totally committed. The second time around we are kinda ‘been there done that’ and it doesn’t work because we lose and lack commitment!!!

Keep swimming...we can do this!!

Carole Medley said...

Lyn, blessings to you as you figure this out. I will send you an email in the next couple of days. I made the move to SLC, and now I need to find a place to settle. So I have been incommunicado since May with one thing and another.

Anonymous said...

Surgery is better my dear...

Janet said...

I was listening to a FaceBook live talk by Corrine Crabtree (of the podcast, Phit-n-Phat) 2 weeks ago and she mentioned "The Food & Feelings Workbook" by Karen R. Koenig (the author of "The Rules for Normal Eating"). While I wouldn't pay her or anyone else on the Internet to coach me, I do find Corrine's monthly FB talks and her pod casts terrifically useful/inspiring (explicit language warning). Anyway, I found a copy of this workbook Corrine recommended to a woman who was describing the same eating you're talking about (and that I have lived with, what feels like all my life) via e-Bay for less than $5 and have been reading and working through it all week. It's been amazing for me and drives home perfectly the point we binge eaters have known all along; that our disordered eating stems from our feelings and our unwillingness and/or inability to deal with them.

I highly recommend you locate a copy of this workbook and perhaps even read Koenig's other book. Because until we learn how to cope with our feelings and check-in with ourselves to determine whether it's emotional or physical hunger we're feeling (and then address it appropriately) we are never going to find a way out of or beyond our distructive eating patterns.

PS - Two months ago I sought out a(nother) therapist who, in our first session together handed me a pamphlet saying she believed I might benefit from "brain mapping" through Neurofeedback, a form of biofeedback, a science of cognitive training designed to teach self regulation skills for long-term, successful outcomes for things such as OCD, anxiety and disordered eating.

Of course, it's not covered by any insurance and the initial treatment (to map my brain) costs $350 - with follow-up treatment sessions ranging between $80-100 after that; I was told it could take 10-15 sessions to "retrain" my brain to make other choices besides eat when I am experiencing uncomfortable (or even happy) emotions. Long story short, I dumped the therapist after three sessions when I realized what she was saying to me and gave me (print outs from the CBT handbook) was all stuff I was seeing on Instagram... Nevertheless, I am thinking more about this brain mapping thing and wanted to share it with you. xo

Anonymous said...

My suspicion, and perhaps yours, is that surgery would be another quick fix. Unfortunately, weight control and healthy eating are lifelong endeavors even for those who are "naturally thin"--it takes active work to maintain a healthy weight in our society, and I think it IS way harder if you've been significantly obese. It's probably smart to set a weight goal higher than the BMI range, as it's more sustainable. Yoni Freedhoff would agree. His book, The Diet Fix, is worth (re?)reading specifically because it's diet-agnostic (i.e. he thinks many "diets" can work). There are, beyond "diets," clearly HABITS that you can find that no one will argue with. For example, structured mealtimes and not grazing; portion control; eating adequate protein; and eating whole foods and not processed foods.

Also... exercise is irrelevant for weight LOSS but essential for weight MAINTENANCE, according to the Weight Control Registry. There are many theories on this; one is that movement makes your body aware of its own weight so that it can regulate appetite accordingly. It also obviously burns calories. It seems to me that you can indeed lose weight but not maintain, and it's worth thinking about that exercise/movement would help.

I also think you need to consider what changes you can make that are genuinely permanent/sustainable, not white-knuckling. For me, I felt like I was starving any time I tried to limit calories and "fit in" processed food. Now that I eat all whole foods I can manage the proper calorie count without being hungry all the time. Well, just whole foods, but the right ones--ones I've tested to see what gives me the best satiety. I think it's different for everyone so you need to experiment. I mean, nuts and fruit are whole foods, but they're not filling to me, whereas vegetables (green and otherwise), potatoes, and lean protein are.

--cron

Rebecca said...

https://www.facebook.com/groups/250522605493693/
this finally worked for me after all the bullshit....changing my mental stuff.

Rose Sperlonga said...

I think I've said this before and I'm sure you've done all the research on WLS. My sister had it done and hasn't been happy for more than a week, and that was in the beginning when she lost 100 lbs so fast. She looked beautiful, but of course I thought she was beautiful before losing 100 lbs. She was happy, joyful, joked and loved everyone around her. After , she was bla.... worried, worry , worry all the time. The what ifs were incredible. Almost died 2 times, not fun. Cried and cried she regretted every moment she took away from her own life of being miserable.

And fast forward to today she is nearing 55 to 60 lbs heavier. I saw her today and she was laughing and loving her grand daughter and my grand kids! I asked her what her regrets are and she always says , putting her family through the heart ache of her going through this , not being able to be happy with them and almost dying.

The struggle is real of being overweight . We are so judged BECAUSE we are fat. Going through medical issues myself and almost every doctor has blamed my weight. Won't even look at me because I'm fat. I'm so over all of it, over people , doctors and whomever else wants to judge. This has been my conversations of late with docs: ME: Hi doc, I have this problem... Doc: You're FAT! ME: But doc, I haven't told you what it is that is bothering me. Its my pinky! Doc: You're fat!! Look at your wrist , its fat! I swear to you this is what we go through.... over it... what do I do? Go eat!

You are doing what you can do for you. I think its a victory IF you've maintained your weight between 5 and 8 lbs ! You are victorious in doing that! Enjoy your life, enjoy being a grandmother... :)

liz said...

You will overcome, you always do : )
Maybe try one simple change?
Only eat sitting down....

Anonymous said...

What do you think are the habits you have that help and hurt your success?

Deniz said...

Hi Lyn,
Mary Fran makes a really good point about why the first time may be more straightforward than the follow up. It sounds spot on and makes a lot of sense to me.
LHA and Megan said sensible things too - their comments really brought home to me that we are not alone in our struggles, nor in our determination not to give up, despite the trials the world puts in our path.
Zen hugs my dear, and here's to success for us all.

Kristi said...

I think why the first time works is that it is new. Then, when you finally do stop, and start again you see a fast drop so your mind and body sees that it may be fast again. In the back of your mind, you know if you stop and enjoy the cake or pie, you can get back on and lose the 10 lbs you gain. Pretty soon you are pushing the limits, maybe I will eat whatever I’m wanting for one week, then 2 weeks and then it is so hard to get back on. Once you screw up, your body is always trying to push the envelope to see how much it can get away with. I also find myself saying next time I fall off, I’m going to get that pastry from —— or try that new dessert. I don’t do that when I’m starting for the first time. I’m focused and committed.

Amy said...

I can relate! I have contemplated getting hypnotised to not eat when I'm not hungry but I don't know if I can be hypnotised.
When you were regulating foods you seemed so happy, isn't that what we hope weight loss will do? You seemed to find some peace there. It doesn't sound like you are binging but moreso compulsive and emotional eating. Working through that isn't easy but I think that is where we have to start. Figuring what we are hard-wired to believe about ourselves and how to get over that so we can stop using food in the wrong ways. I agree that it is overwhelming when I think about having to be on point all the time, always pushing, I don't have the mental energy much less the physical energy! But it's true what others have said, being on autopilot with food doesn't make me feel good either. Wish this wasn't so hard for all of us!

Anonymous said...

I am going to email you because I have diet shakes and bars I am done using and lost 42 pounds and am done and sick of the taste so changed to another kind but I think you could use them to get a solid start on weight loss again if you wanted to.

16 blessings'mom said...

Oh this journey is SO frustrating! I lost that first seventy pounds and was on top of the world, though I still had another fifty to lose..then, I don't know what happened...I gained almost 30 pounds back...it tricked me, sneaked back on. And now I battle. I deny myself, I say NO, I work my rear end off...and barely lose an ounce. So I'm trying something new: eating mostly Keto, but ONLY two meals a day. No matter how hungry I get, I wait until either brunch, or dinner, nothing outside of those meals. Evenings, hot tea with no sugar, or sparkling water, but no snacks. The idea is to get that insulin down between meals, and burn some fat. We'll see. It's helped so far, but hey, it's only been like five days ha. Best of luck to you, and thank you for sharing. And for being honest.
Della

Anonymous said...

Sure, everyone has different routines that they label as healthy, but all can be. Figure out what routine is your healthy, namely foods you like to buy, cook, and eat. The key is meeting all your nutrient needs for the day, including protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, as much as possible without a supplement. There are online tools that can help you gauge this. Cron-o-meter is one I like. I suspect vegetables, small proteins, small fruits, limited grains but if whole grains fit in your budget go for it. Track calories, one way or another. It seems absurd to say just eat healthy without limiting calories. That's like shopping at safe stores without any limit to how much you spend!