Well, not entirely “done”, just regrouping.

As happy as I am that I have lost 12 pounds there’s been something wrong and I can’t just let it go on anymore. The constant hunger coupled with nausea and inability to eat leading to days upon days of 600 calories leading to exhaustion had to stop. It wasn’t healthy.

So last night I did some research and discovered that the medication I’m on does not go well with a no/low-carb diet in many people. In fact, it forces them into a hypoglycemic state that causes nausea, exhaustion, and dizziness. Sound familiar?

So at 10 pm last night, when I finally felt like I could eat something again I had a couple pieces of gluten free toast and felt “normal” for the first time in a couple of weeks.

So I weighed myself this morning, one day early of my weekly weigh-in, so that I could conduct a reasonable experiment. Basically starving myself out of the utter repulsion of food yielded me a weight loss of 1.5 pounds in six days while feeling like complete hell and dragging myself through each day in misery. Let’s see what eating a few reasonable* carbs each day for six days while continuing the medication yields me in terms of both weight loss and state of being.

If at the end of the next six days I’ve still lost weight of any amount I am going to stick with this new plan.

If at the end of the next six days I’m at the same weight I’ll give it another week to see what happens.

If at the end of the next six days my weight goes up then I will have to stop altogether and regroup… again.

* So, obviously, I need to examine what “reasonable” means. Here’s what I’ve come up with:

Still avoiding:

  • Sweets or sugars like cookies, cakes, etc.
  • Giant meals of pasta or seriously heavy processed carbs.
  • Gluten whenever possible (it messes with my emotions and anxiety).

Adding back in:

  • Whole fruits
  • Small (as in side dish portion – roughly 1/2 cup) rice, potato, sweet potato – ie. whole food starchy vegetables & non gluten grains & beans
  • A couple of slices of GF bread if I want a sandwich or slice of toast with some eggs

My goal will be to shoot for under 100 grams of carbs a day. Way back in the day when I was losing weight after my weight loss surgery I was eating roughly 100-140 grams of carbs a day in the form of whole foods like rice, beans, potato, and fresh fruit. (I rummaged through 10 years of Fitday calendars to find that, but it’s true.) So I know that eating whole food plant based carbs is possible for me on a weight loss plan.

Which brings me to the obvious inevitable… portion control and getting my anxiety and depression under control with coping strategies that don’t involve food.

Bam!

There it is.

Well, at least there it might be… see what happens on that scale in a week.

Sigh. This will never end.

 

 

Last night I made garlicky green beans and my husband put some ribs on the grill. I was so excited for that dinner. Protein and vegetables, just enough fat to be tasty but still pretty lean, flavorful and satisfying. Then, as he brought them in from the grill and placed them on the counter for me to cut into servings the hunger I’d been fighting all day turned into a wave of nausea. I couldn’t shake it.

The punch line? My dinner last night? One rib. One. No green beans. One. Rib. One rib that I forced myself to eat.

The same thing happens over and over again to me nowadays. I’m get hungry, I go to eat, I get nauseated and can’t eat which means I’m hungry again in an hour. Or, if I force myself to eat, because I know I should, the nausea take hours and hours to go away. Sometimes it makes me feel so bad I need to lie down.

What’s the practical outcome here? I am basically hungry all of the time except when I’m nauseated. Lovely.

Food was always something that made me feel good (when I wasn’t binging and abusing it). But sitting down to a nice, on plan, meal was joyful. I could lose weight and still love what I was eating. Obviously you don’t love every meal every day. Breakfast is routine and uninspired most of the time. Lunch is usually just fuel to get through the busy afternoon. But both of them tasted good. Dinner was the place to relax and enjoy myself with something creative and flavorful and enjoyable.

But now, all meals are sort of a challenge that leave me feeling either totally disinterested or totally dissatisfied.

I’m still eating my oat bran at breakfast most days. But fairly often I’m skipping it and eating a low carb, no sugar, gluten free protein bar. Then when lunch rolls around I want to have something off plan but instead I eat another protein bar. Or, more often than not, I just skip lunch altogether and eat that second protein bar in the late afternoon munchie time. Dinner, half the time, is a bust like last night. Blech.

So am I losing weight? Yes. At least I have been up until now, we’ll see what Wednesday’s weigh in has to say on the subject in two days.

But is it sustainable? Hell no.

Or is it? I don’t want to eat so perhaps it is sustainable. Perhaps I’ll go a long time without wanting to eat.

Or, perhaps I’ll miss food so much, the social aspect of eating, the comfort of chewing, the pleasure of tasting something that’s both good and good for me, that I’ll go back to eating crap just to get some tiny part of that back.

I’m fairly confident that most of this experience is coming from the medicine my endocrinologist put me on. My husband has suggested that I stop taking it to see if that helps bring my appetite back. But, “why would I want that?”, I ask myself. If it’s working to help me lose weight don’t I want it to keep going?

For the first time, maybe ever, I’m not really sure. On balance, life’s happier with food.

The real problem is I can’t stay still. My husband pointed that out last night. I’m either losing or gaining at a fairly fast clip… I don’t have much insight on that right now… I suppose that needs to go in the idea incubator and I’ll come back to it in another post.

For today, I’m just trying to hold on.

So it’s been 4 weeks and 5 days and I’ve lost 10.5 pounds. I’m at 204 this morning and I’ve officially switched my weigh in day to Wednesday with today’s weighing.

My husband asked if I am feeling encouraged.

The answer is no. I’m barely eating and even though it’s because I don’t want to eat, don’t feel like eating, food in general seems yucky to me for some bizarre reason, I know this isn’t sustainable.

But for now, I suppose I’ll take it. I’m not going to look a gift horse in the mouth of suffer through the worry of what will happen down the line and whether or not I will regain.

For today I’m just glad the pants that are a size smaller than I’ve been wearing since January can be buttoned again. They aren’t perfect, but I can wear them without being in pain.

It’s a start.

So probably the main struggle that I’m having this time around on the diet is that I have both zero desire to eat anything and I’m constantly hungry. While those two things don’t seem to go with one another they do in so far as I have no appetite for the foods I should be/can be eating on this diet. The result is that I’m barely eating anything and so I’m hungry all the time.

This is not a good combination.

Last time I followed this plan it seemed so sustainable. I keep it up for almost 2 years and I never had cravings or temptations or deprivation. It felt fine to eat that way. But this time around I’m having trouble because all of the foods that were my staples last time seem totally unappealing. Eggs? Blech. Yogurt? Ugh. Deli stuff? Gah. Veggies and dip? No thanks.

I have my oat bran in the morning and then sit around wondering what they heck I’m supposed to eat for the rest of the day so I just don’t. Obviously this is unsustainable. Either I will freak out and start eating carbs or my body will wig out that I am not taking in enough calories and instead of losing weight it’s going to freeze and hold onto every ounce. Either way it’s a loose/loose situation for me.

I just keep plugging away because I have no idea what to do about it. My weight is unacceptable. For me. Not for anyone else. Just for me. I don’t like how it feels, I don’t like how it looks, I don’t like my clothes, I don’t like being out of breath. I just don’t like any part of it. So it has to come off.

But how? I thought I knew, but now I’m just not so sure. I keep coming face to face with this wall of no options.

One of my friends always says that there are three choices in any given situation. Leave it. Change it. Accept it.

Well, I can’t leave this because it’s my body so option ‘A’ is out.

Option ‘C’ doesn’t really work because every time I try to accept it I wind up gaining weight and being more miserable.

So that leaves me with option ‘B’, change it. I want to do this. But everyday it just seems harder than it used to be and less effective. Since I have no other choices at this point I can only think to myself that I need to just keep plugging away even though I don’t really want to.

Then again, they also say in program that the definition of insane is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. But that might not be relevant because I’m doing the same thing I did last time and expecting the same results. Maybe that’s the reason I feel so lost… so insane… because I’m doing the same thing expecting the same results but I’m getting different ones.

I don’t know… for today all I can do is keep putting one foot in front of the other.

We’ll see how long this can last.

So Friday has been my weigh in day this go around and on Friday I weighed 206.5 lbs. Yep, you read that right, that’s  a half pound heavier than on Monday morning.

I was literally confused and it took me a couple of moments to actually read the scale correctly.

I was shocked because Wednesday and Thursday were such high stress days I literally barely ate anything. So how I could not have lost weight, let alone gained weight, was beyond me. My husband pointed out that I do not lose weight when I’m stressed. Maybe that was it.

But then Saturday morning I weighed myself under the exact same conditions and I weighed in at 205 lbs.

So my question: What the hell is going on?

My answer is: Who the hell knows?

I’ve decided to just accept this without over thinking it. I don’t know why that happened but I’m going to consider it a net loss of 1 pound from Monday to Saturday and put it to rest.

Onward.

I prefer having my weigh in days on Wednesdays. It’s easier on my psychologically for it to be removed from the weekend as much as possible. So I’ll weigh in again on Wednesday the 22nd and set that as the new day.

There’s not much to do except keep going.

I have a lot to talk about actually. A lot of feelings both emotional and physical that I’m dealing with that don’t make a ton of sense to me. But tomorrow when my kids are back at school and I have a bit of time to myself I’ll get back into them.

For tonight… onward.

So here I am weighing in this morning at 206 lbs.

We got home from vacation last night and this morning I got on the scale.

Was I surprised to have lost weight on vacation? Yes and no.

Yes, I was surprised I’d lost weight while away because all the restaurant eating we’d been doing made me think that even with sticking to protein and vegetables I would have a hard time dropping any weight because of the amount of added salt and fat that goes into restaurant food.

But, I wasn’t so surprised because I walked upwards of 10,000 steps on half of the days we were away and on the days I didn’t I was still physically active.

Also, the last few days I kind of lost my appetite. I don’t know why, I just got tired of eating. I’d order something that I love and was on plan and after a few bites I just think, “eh, I don’t feel like it” and stop eating. I was hungry a lot during the past two days and although I wanted to eat there just wasn’t anything I wanted to eat.

So here I am again wondering if this is sustainable.

Is it?

Will I find myself hitting a rhythm and falling into step where I was last time…

Or will I find myself using up my willpower in a difficult struggle to stay on plan and crash and burn…

Or will I just find everything I can eat so distasteful that I give up in a unremarkable little “puff” of smoke…

Or will that disinterest just turn me off food in general…

I wish I knew.

All I really know is that I’m down 8.5 pounds and I’ms lightly more than halfway to my first goal: out of the two hundreds! 7 pounds left to 199 pounds.

I know one other thing… for today I’m still trying.

So my comments in last night’s post about how much I have to lose to get back to where I started last time threw me for a loop when I stopped to really think about them.

I needed to go back and look at the numbers to make myself sure I knew what I was talking about for real instead of constantly estimating in my head.

Starting weight 2012: 189 lbs
Starting weight 2015: 214.5 labs
Difference: 25.5 lbs

Ok, so I was wrong last night in my calculations. It’s 25.5 pounds higher than I started last time not 35.5 pounds.

That’s something good.

Lowest weight 2012: 153.5 lbs (after being sick with the flu for a week)
Satablized weight 2013-2014: 158.5 – 165.5 lbs (date range 4/2013 – 1/2014)
Average stabilized weight 2013-2014: 162 lbs

So I should really be using the 189 – 162 = 27 pounds number as the “total” weight lost then since it was what I was able to maintain (relatively easily) last time for close to a year.

Given that I’ve gained 214.5 – 162 = 52.5 lbs since January 2014.

Wow.

I keep saying that I’ve gained 40 pounds. Not so. I gained 52.5 pounds in a year.

Holy cow.

So if this time I lose the 27 pounds I was able to lose and keep off last time that would take me to 187.5 pounds.

Once again putting me right back where I started three years ago.

From this I draw three conclusions:

1. This will take, at best, twice as long to lose twice as much weight. But since I’m losing at a slower rate this time around it will probably take three times as long to lose the weight. That’s 12 months instead of 4 months.

2. It is highly unlikely that I will ever be able to get back to my previous weight range of 158 – 165 pounds.

3. This was not a productive exercise because it has just clarified and concretized for me what a serious uphill battle I have to fight and now I’m feeling even more discouraged.

What is my final “take away” from this? I’d better get used to being happy at 190 pounds because that’s where I’m most likely to land. Cheerful, right? Crap.

 

I’ve not fallen off the wagon… I’m just on spring break with my kids and husband which is why I haven’t written in a while.

I’ve stuck to the diet the whole time with the exception of on the night of our Passover Seder at my father-in-law’s house. I had some matzoh and some apples in the charoset. I felt weird about it but it was really pretty harmless.

The rest of the time I’ve been sticking with the simplest form of the diet of veggies and protein no carbs (of any non-vegetable kind). It’s been fine. It’s never hard to fulfill those requirements in restaurants as salad is always an option and good ones are really satisfying.

But I’m still struggling. I’m having to use too much willpower to get through each day on plan. Before every meal I think to myself that this one could be the one to fudge a little and that I’ll get back on the plan tomorrow. Then I talk myself out of it. I try to control myself and my willpower pushes me to order a side salad instead of french fries with my chicken at dinner.

I spend two hours thinking non-stop about the cookies I made for the kids and debating eating them or not in my head the entire time I’m laughing and playing board games with my husband and our friends. There’s very little pride or satisfaction in not having eaten any of the cookies at the end of the night because I know it shouldn’t have been taking up so much of my thoughts to begin with. It shouldn’t have led to thoughts of ripping open bags of marshmallows.

This is what I mean when I say that it’s harder than it should be at this point. If I’m counting on willpower I know that I will fail. Willpower is only so strong and even though mine is damn near Herculean at this point it will still fail at some point. Then what?

I went back to look at where my head was three weeks into this diet the first time. That was May 24th, 2012. I thought that maybe I was romanticizing the experience in my memory and that if I re-read it I’d see that it took me longer to get into the groove.

But no such luck. I was so freaking happy in that post. I even talked about how on most diets I usually feel deprived and like I’m struggling so much at this point (which I am RIGHT NOW) yet at that point I wasn’t feeling this way at all. At three weeks in the first time around with this I felt fantastic and was ready to move onwards.

What I wouldn’t give for a touch of that now.

After three weeks the first time around I was down 12 pounds. Granted, I don’t know how much I’m down at this point because I can’t weigh myself, but I am confident it’s not 12 pounds.

After only two weeks the first time around I was down 9 pounds. After two weeks this time I was down 5 pounds.

I don’t know if I am looking to be discouraged or what. But right now I’m feeling frustrated and afraid that I will fail.

I’ve been on vacation for over a week now and we’re getting home in two more days. I haven’t weighed myself at all because I haven’t been able to. I don’t know what to expect from the scale when I get home. On six of the last eight days I’ve walked in excess of 10,000 steps (I know this from my husband’s Fit Bit tracking). But I’ve eaten in restaurants three meals a day for all but three days. Those two things could counteract one another big time.

My head is spinning right now so I’m glad that I wrote this out. I keep telling myself that I just need to make it through until Monday morning and then I’ll see what’s what. Depending on what the scale says then I’ll reflect on where I’m going from here.

On a side note… at three weeks in last time when I had lost 12 pounds I weighed 177 pounds. At last weigh in I was 209.5 pounds. That’s 32.5 pounds less than I weigh now.

I confess that it discouraging that I will have to lose 35.5 pounds to get back to where I started from three years ago before I lost 35 pounds. This always makes me wonder what the hell is wrong with me that I can never be satisfied where I am. I’d kill to weigh 177 pounds again. But who the hell knows what negativity I’ll be hitting myself with when I get to 177 pounds and insist that it’s not good enough.

Sigh… but that’s another post.

I realized that I’m going to be away and not near my scale tomorrow so I decided to weigh myself this morning. As of this morning the scale has moved down again and it read 209.5 lbs.

I should be happy… and I am. Basically. Something is working. I believed that it would and that I just had to give it my all in order to make it succeed. In that I was right. However…

I don’t know how long this is going to work since it was really so much more difficult this time than it was last time and I’ve spent a significant portion of time these past two weeks just plain hungry.

I know that I should have been eating more but there just hasn’t really been anything I was “allowed” to eat that seemed appealing. I know that this is due to the fact that there are so few (if any other than a cheese stick) snacks and “on-the-go” foods that one can grab on this kind of low carb diet. What I need to do is cook and have leftovers of yummy things that I can grab at a moments notice… or in the 2o minutes I have between getting home from work and the kids getting off the bus.

I remember doing Atkins in my twenties (when I had no kids, was single, and lived alone) and making meatloaves that lasted all week and crustless mini quiches to snack on and oven roasted chicken wings to tear into. Sticking with it was easy then.

I remember doing Dukan 3 years ago and eating broiled pork chops and rotisserie chicken and beautiful roasted vegetables and salads. Sticking with this type of food was easy for almost 2 years.

But this time around I seem to just be eating a lot of yogurt, eggs, and deli meats. Blech, that gets boring pretty fast.

Cooking… I have to cook to make this work.

We’re going away for ten days for Passover with my in-laws, sightseeing with the kids in three different cities in six days, and then three days at the beach at the end. We’re staying in hotels half the time and will spend at least four days eating three meals a day in restaurants.

My goal is to not have gained any weight by the time we return. I plan to wing it at the Seder. See what I can or can’t get away with avoiding and just generally doing my best without going too far off plan. The rest of the time I’m hoping to stick to salads and foods that are as unprocessed as possible.

I’m kicking off the trip with an appointment with the doctor that I hate this morning before we leave. She’s supposed to give me the results from the biopsy I had last week. I’m not nervous. I’m just thinking that no matter what she says I’m going to ask for all of my records and get a second opinion. I don’t trust her based on the way she’s dealt with me so far and no matter if the news is “good” or “bad” I’m going to want someone else to look at them. My only real concern at this point is being able to get home from there in time to get a couple of prescriptions filled before the kids get off the bus and we leave.

Life, as always, goes on.

The only way out, is through.

Keep on pushing through.

This morning is my “official” weigh-in. My most immediate goal is to get on the scale twice and see loss twice. This is twice. Drumroll please…

No loss. Steady at 211.5 which is what I was at on Wednesday. Which is, I’ll be honest, a blow at this particular point in time. This needs to feel worth it in order for me to be able to stick with it and I need to see that scale move twice for me to feel I’m making progress.

This is the part about trying to lose weight that I really hate. I didn’t eat any dinner last night until about 9pm when I finally got the kids to bed. I had a bowl of chicken broth with some slices of cooked chicken in it with parmesan cheese sprinkled on top. I knew when I was eating it that it was on plan but high in salt. This morning when I woke up I stayed lying in bed and kept worrying that I would be retaining water and it would mess up my weigh in.

I hate that. Hate it. I hate having to feel as though I am constantly worrying about things like this. Staying on plan should be my only concern and it messes with my head when I start second guessing my on plan choices.

Anyway… my first goal has not been met… yet. I still need to get on that scale a second time and see a second loss. Perhaps, I’ll get lucky and that will be next week. Sigh.

After that my goal is to get to “onederland” again. I think over 200 lbs is a critical threshold for me. There are stopping points on this journey, both up and down the scale, and from my past experience they are 216, 199, 189, 175, 165, 158.5. They come out to be roughly every ten pounds or so. These are going to me by intermediary goals.

Small increments one stage at a time. Sometimes not seeing the forest for the trees is helpful because if I told myself I had to lose 56.5 pound (which is my ultimate goal) I’d give up right now. But 10 pounds at a time seems possible and it gives lots of opportunity to celebrate my successes on the way down.

My goal date is going to be 1 year from last week’s weigh-in. If I can be back to 158.5 pounds by March 20th 2016 I will be happy. Like with the weight increments I think a longer time horizon is going to be more emotionally stabilizing for me. My hope is that this will mean two things:

  1. When I go on vacation, or have to go into a maintenance mode for a while, or hit a plateau I won’t panic. As long as I keep plugging away at it I’ll get there.
  2. I want to make this eating change as close to permanent as I can once I’ve reached my goal.

The cruise phase with it’s alternating pure protein days vs. protein + veggie days got me to my goal last time. I have to believe they will get me there again. Afterwards I spent close to a year and a half mostly stabilized and eating well. I know now that I can’t move into the maintenance phase. I can’t reintroduce bread, and potatoes, and things like that. I know now that the rest of my life will have to be protein, vegetables, and limited fruit. Making my time frame long will hopefully reinforce that for me.

But I’m getting ahead of myself… again… especially since I haven’t hit that first goal yet. Yikes.

For today the reminder remains the same: The only way out is through.

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