When I woke up this morning it was day 6 and I figured that I would check to see what 5 days of no carbs (no fruit not veggies – nothing) had yielded me.

Stepping on the scale I saw 211.5 lbs. That’s 3 pounds in 5 days. I should be pleased. But I’m not and I know why.

You see, I’ve been here before. Now, by this I don’t mean that I’ve weighed this before so I’m turning up my nose at it. What I mean is this:

When I’m losing weight or trying to maintain a weight loss I weigh myself regularly and make sure my weight stays within a relatively narrow range.

When I’ve abandoned all hope and know that the crazy train has gone off the rails and the scale is climbing I weight myself never.

When I’m contemplating trying to get back on the wagon I weigh myself sporadically in order to get a handle on what’s going on and where things stand.

During this last phase of sporadic weighing I usually have a few pound range that my weight is. In this case, last week I weighed myself and I was 214.5 and that was the day I went back to pure protein. But a couple of weeks before I had weighed myself and was 211.5. Another time within the past month I weighed 212.5 and another time was 210.5… as you can see it was all just bouncing around, as it does.

So now after 5 days of pure protein I find myself back where I was a couple of weeks ago and it doesn’t feel like a “loss” per se, it feels like just another bounce around which doesn’t have to mean anything. It could evaporate up in smoke with one slice of toast for all I know. I’m not going to “believe” my weight is actually going down until I’ve seen it move down twice. I will believe it when I get on the scale a second time and see that the number has gone down again and that number is not part of the range that I was bouncing around in here at the top.

Essentially, this means that I have to keep going on faith for another week or so. Which, I’ll confess, is pretty hard right now. It seems like it would be so easy just to say the hell with it and eat some potato chips or pancakes or a cookie. But I’m going to try to just let go, stick with my plan, and keep putting one foot in front of the other.

Some days, one day at a time, seems to long and too much and I need to shorten it to one meal at a time. Or one hour at a time. I just need to push through.

The only way out is through.

I think what I had yesterday was actually a migraine. After a few more hours I just went back to bed (never did get that walk) and by dinnertime I was feeling better enough to eat something. I had my bowl of oat bran and called it a day.

But at bedtime I couldn’t sleep and I was just so hungry. I don’t mean I wanted to eat. I mean I was actually really very hungry. Stomach growling hunger. I told myself that I would eat tomorrow so just try to hold out. Which I did. And now it’s a quarter past 11 in the morning and I’m eating for the first time today. Whatever.

As I was lying in bed this morning trying to muster the energy to get up and I was thinking about what I can make for dinner for my family. The truth is that with me eating like this the answer is nothing. I can make nothing for my family that resembles an actual meal. It is actually quite frustrating. I think back on being able to just throw together a pasta dish at the last minute and feel like I’ve providing a meal. I hate all these limitations.

I try to tell myself that it’s my disease that is fighting against the limitations and so if it’s screaming at me then that’s at least a sign that it’s flailing right now. If so, then I’m getting somewhere. If not, then I’m just struggling, which is disheartening.

Last night in the middle of the night while lying awake and being hungry I kept trying to talk myself into eating a piece of my son’s leftover birthday cake. I didn’t. It seemed like it wouldn’t be worth it to throw away 4 days of hard work. But my disease was there telling me one piece wouldn’t make a difference and that I could go back to eating no carbs in the morning. I didn’t do it. It wasn’t worth it. This morning I threw the cake out. (With my 7 year old’s blessing.)

But what I’m realizing is that what I really want is vegetables. I think this wouldn’t seem too bad if I could just eat some vegetables. A nice big salad seems like decadence right now and I long for carrots and lettuce to crunch between my teeth.

Maybe tomorrow… Friday at the absolute latest. I know 1 week of no carbs is a solid baseline for me to feel secure moving forward. We’ll see if I can go that long.

I had talked with my husband about the fact that I had originally been considering easing into this by doing a week or two of protein + vegetables before trying a week of pure protein because I felt so shaky and the presence of vegetables would help. But in the end I went with this and I’ve stuck with it. Although the white knuckling is going on much longer than I had expected.

But in another week and a half, at the two week mark of eliminating the carbs, I think I’ll be ok. I know that in the past that is how long it takes for me to get settled and not be fighting the demon every moment.

We’ll see. All I can do is keep putting one foot in front of the other one day at a time.

My first sponsor in OA all those years ago told me to never forget what day it is. No matter what remember what day it is, say it first thing in the morning, say it at night before bed. It makes things solid and real in a way that is harder to destroy.

Today is day 5.

I always forget what the withdrawal from the sugar will be like. The headaches, the brain fog, the exhaustion.

This time there seems to have been a slight delay… or maybe not, I don’t really know any more. It took a couple of days off the sugar for it to kick in. My body myst have been continuing to use whatever was left in my digestive system and now that’s gone because holy shit it hit me at about 5pm yesterday and today I feel as though I can barely function.

Almost 15 years ago when I was cleaning out the sugar I remember telling my husband that there was a reason this was called detox… and a reason why people who are detoxing don’t go to work. Sigh. Why does this disease let me forget this every single time?

So today I am chugging water and dreaming of a Gatorade. I’m munching on almonds when I want to sink my teeth into banana bread. I’m planning to take a walk when all I want to do is go lie down again. Again. I already went back to bed once today. A second time seems like a real failure.

I’m on day 4 of no carbs. It’s been a “modified” Dukan Diet Attack Phase because I’ve had two handfuls of raw almonds (which are too high in fat for Attack) and I had about 1/2 a cup of tomatoes and cucumber and 1/4 cup spinach on Saturday night because we were in a restaurant and I did my best. But it’s really starting to make me jittery. I though the weekend was white knuckling but today is a mess.

I’m going to run some errands and then try to take a walk. The single saving grace is that my daughter’s tennis lesson got canceled for this afternoon so when they come home from school we don’t have to rush out anywhere.

This too shall pass.

I’m done with all of this weight. It’s just so hard to carry it all around.

I thought that accepting myself for who I am and not being hard on myself for how I was eating would somehow provide me with a kindness that would help heal me. It doesn’t.

All my “kindness” and non-judgement has done is allowed my weight to escalate to a point where it is truly alarming for me. 10 years ago when I had my weight loss surgery I thought I was never going to see this part of the scale again.

I was successful in keeping off close to 80 pounds worth of weight loss for nearly 10 years. Yes, I had about 3 years after my son was born when I had 30 extra pounds. But I’ve never been this close to my highest weight and guess what?

I.

Don’t.

Like.

It.

I don’t feel good in my body. Period. That’s it. It’s not about clothes, it’s not about numbers, it’s not about the approval of others. I hate the way my body feels, how it moves, and how I feel in it.

I made a list of the reasons I could think of that I need to lose some of this weight.

  • Buttons cut into my rolls even when the clothes I’m wearing aren’t too tight. My flesh just gives in and the buttons hurt. I’m not going to give up buttons!
  • It’s getting harder to tie my shoelaces. I can still reach, but it’s hard because my stomach hits my thighs and limits my range of movement.
  • The feeling of my skin sticking against other skin (that aren’t supposed to be touching) is awful. And I mean AWFUL!!! When I’m wearing pajamas my the skin of my belly hangs down and presses into my hips. I HATE IT!
  • I can barely do yoga, which I like and want to be able to do because it makes me feel good.
  • I have no energy.
  • My stomach is big enough that I can rest my arm on it when I’m totally relaxed ( like when I was pregnant).
  • In this body I don’t  feel like having sex. But I want to have sex, I like sex, and my husband, and having sex with my husband. But I don’t want to in this body.

These are not about how I “look”. This is about what I don’t like about living in this body.

I guess that means I’m ready to make a change. Finally.

So I weighed myself this morning: 214.5

I’m going for a clean break, a cleansing couple of weeks before we go on vacation for the kids spring break.

From today until Friday April 3rd I’m just going to eat protein and vegetables (with one daily dose of oat bran). My primary plan is to focus on the following foods that I know are safe for me emotionally, facilitate weight loss for me, and that I enjoy eating:

  1. Oat bran and oat bran muffins (in restricted quantity)
  2. Eggs
  3. Yogurt
  4. SF NF yogurt smoothies
  5. Tuna fish
  6. Fish
  7. Salad
  8. Veggies w/dip
  9. Cheese sticks
  10. Deli meat & Cheese roll-ups
  11. Raw unsalted nuts
  12. Water & tea

It’s not the 100% best diet. But it’s likely to reset my system, which it desperately needs.

I’m also going to work on exercise. Just walking… and yoga, which is painful but I’m doing it.

That might be my motto for a while: painful but I’m doing it.

Actually, my real motto is, “the only way out is through”. My husband and I have been saying this to each other for the past week or so.

The only way out is through.

 

 

My son is sick. This is pretty much all I’ve been thinking about all week.

Coughing, fever, looking like a Halloween mask of white face with dark hollowed eyes. This means I don’t sleep.

Took him to the pediatrician on Saturday but could only get in to see someone who’s never seen him before and doesn’t know his medical history. She told me he was fine, just a virus, no worries, take him home.

Three days later when he still had a fever I took him back and he saw our regular doctor. Guess what? Positive for flu and positive for strep.

Again, no sleep for me.

The anxiety is awful.

But there’s a whole set of other posts here that I would have written assuming I’d had the time/emotional fortitude. And of course, that it was “on topic”.

That’s the briefest explanation I have of where I’ve been all week.

As for today… my weigh in. I lost 1.5 pounds and I feel pretty confident I can attribute it to the medication I started a week and a half ago that my endocrinologist gave me.

Other than terrifying me into thinking that I have thyroid cancer and then not scheduling a biopsy for ages and ages she did give me a medication to take that apparently helps the body’s insulin response.

She actually said to me, “I can tell just by looking at you that you have a problem with your insulin response without needing to run any tests. All obese people have a problem with their insulin.” Holy cow lady, can we say poor bedside manner?

Anyway, I started taking it after I did some thorough research of my own at home. It seems some people lose weight on it like the weight is melting off, some people don’t lose or gain anything, some people gain weight, and some people get weird side effects that make them stop taking it before they can find out if it will help with weight or not. Sounds pretty normal to me. But since the side effects weren’t anything more serious than pooping your brains out I figured I could live with the risk.

I’ve been taking it for a week and a half, with only two and a half days of it on the full dose she prescribed. The thing about it is that I’m just not hungry anymore. It’s not like a Dexatrim (remember that one?) amphetamine not hungry, it’s more like a just, I don’t know, just not hungry .

Apparently high levels of insulin make you hungry. So even when you aren’t stomach-growling-hungry you still feel like eating. With insulin levels at normal levels the idea of eating just doesn’t occur to you. At least, that’s what’s happening with me. I walk past something and have the thought to eat it only I realize I don’t want to. This isn’t like a willpower “don’t want to”. It’s more like a yuck, my stomach won’t like that right now, “don’t want to”.

So, I’ve been eating less without even intending to. I eat breakfast and then I’m not hungry again until 3 o’clock. I don’t really want to eat again until 3 o’clock. I never understood those people. Maybe it’s their insulin levels are normal. I don’t know.

So today I ate my oat bran with some sliced banana and honey for breakfast and that’s been it. I’m thinking about lunch but don’t really want it. I’m sure I’ll have a snack before taking my daughter to her after school activity and I’ll eat something at dinnertime, but honestly, I couldn’t care less right now.

I will say, I’m hoping that doesn’t turn into a thing with me… the not eating… because that turns out badly for me every time. But that could very well be my anxiety talking making something out of nothing.

Right now I’m just trying to enjoy not being obsessed with food.

So, let’s first acknowledge: snow. Snow, snow, snow, snow, snow.

It’s messed up my week terribly and I’m trying to live with it. But between work stuff last week and being away for the weekend and then all the snow… I’ve been absent here. Not a good recipe to keep myself going.

But, on to the point of today’s post.

Every time I’ve gotten on the scale in the past year (plus-a-couple-months) I’ve gained weight. Today I stepped on the scale again and it was the same as it was last week. The. Same.

At first it felt good.

And then I was annoyed.

What was I expecting? Honestly, I feared that I had gained and then I reminded myself that I’ve genuinely been eating less, I got in several good walks, shoveled for 2 hours straight yesterday and probably hadn’t gained.

But of course, stepping on the scale has a very strong muscle memory for me that screams “I WANT TO LOSE WEIGHT!!!!” Even if it’s got no right to expect it.

That same muscle memory also expects weight gain, for obvious reasons.

So getting on the scale and seeing no change can feel like both an extreme let down and an extreme relief all at the same time. Can we say “emotional roller coaster”? No wonder I hate weighing myself.

But at this point in time no gain is good. It’s something to be pleased about. It’s something to work towards continuing. It means while I haven’t buckled down to getting rid of it I’ve at least stopped things from getting worse. For today at least.

For today, I’m working on the same things I have been for so long now, gentle exercise (it’s bitter cold today so I’m thinking some indoor yoga), drinking water, taking my medicine, and writing when I can.

For today, it’s enough.

Before breakfast, after peeing, naked on the scale: 212.5

I’m not really sure what to do with this information. I suppose I’m just re-acclimating myself to knowing instead of guessing and wondering and pretending I’m not worrying about it.

On one level I’m not worrying about it. It is what it is.

On another level it’s complete panic that I’ve let this happen AGAIN and I’m tired of sabotaging myself over and over again.

On another level I am accepting that it’s been one of the hardest years of my life and the fact that I’m still here and feeling decent about myself is a major accomplishment.

On another level it’s just going to hover there until I am ready to do something about it again.

And on yet another level I wonder if I should bother or just work on being happy and healthy at this weight.

The problem is I don’t want to gain any more weight and I don’t really know how to do that: just not gain.

I remember when I was about 12 or 13 years old. I was 5 ft 4 inches tall and weighed 120 pounds. I was so worried about my weight and so was everyone else. My grandfather told me not to worry about losing weight, that as my body finished growing inside and outside it would all balance out. He suggested that if I was going to focus on something it should simply be on not gaining weight.

At the time I remember thinking that I had no idea how to do that. We’re never taught how to maintain. It’s just an all out take no prisoners dieting to lose weight or saying the hell with it all and giving over to the reality of gaining.

I still think there is something wrong with me. My body shouldn’t require under 1200 calories in order to not gain weight. Even calorie king dot com tells me that at my lowest weight (158) and at that level of exercise in order to maintain my weight I should have been eating between 1800-2000 calories a day. But I know that is absolutely not true because when I counted calories for a two years straight I saw quite plainly: 900-1100 calories a day to lose weight, 1200-1400 to maintain weight, 1500 calories and above and I’m gaining.

Whatever.

I’d like to get back below 200 bs. I feel heavy but still relatively fit below 200. Above 200 is where I start to feel overlarge, cumbersome, and incapable of doing things that should be easy.

But these issues seem too big to struggle with wrapping my head around today. No one day is enough to beat this.

Today I focus on the fact that:

I’ve been writing more than once a week.

I’ve exercised six out of the past eight days and will take a walk today too.

I’m doing better with my water and some days I’m getting to the quota.

I’m adding to this list a weekly weigh in. Not looking for weight loss, just keeping it in the realm of “the known”. We’ll see what that does to my progress.

Well, for the past three days I’ve done three good things for myself.

1. I took a walk each day: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. (And I’m going to take another in about an hour.)

2. I’ve taken my vitamins and probiotics.

3. I haven’t eaten any cake.

I realize that number three seems like a weird thing to consider an accomplishment but given my daughter’s birthday falls during the school winter break and then she has a party the week after it’s at least January 12th before all the celebratory desserts and cake are finally out of the house.

Number two might also not seem like much but when I stopped taking one of the antidepressants I was on I started having some serious withdrawal that I’d never experienced before. So I researched a probiotic, vitamin, and supplement intervention to help with the withdrawal and I’m taking it. It’s helping. It’s also supposed to help with reversing some of the things that contribute to weight gain while on antidepressants.

The first thing on the list is probably the most important. I like to take walks. It’s just that part of depression is not being interested in things that you like. So for a long time I didn’t. Last week one day I climbed into bed to take a nap only to discover that I didn’t really feel the need to take a nap. It was kind of surprising after almost a year of just wanting to pack it in everyday by noon.

It seems walking is legitimately back on the docket…

I had set some very modest and reasonable goals for myself after my doctor’s appointment: 64 oz of water a day and walking when the weather allows. I’m getting the walking back into the routine but I’m still struggling with the water. I do well in the morning, usually getting in 16-28 oz in the morning around breakfast, but then it drops off as the day progresses.

I’m working on it.

I’m also working trying to focus on just these two things: water and walking. I’m trying to remind myself that I’m not throwing out my whole food plan and starting over. I’m not making a ton of abrupt changes. I’m just continuing to eat, basically, as I was before and starting with one small thing at a time.

See, it occurs to me that my life has been a series of cycles of losing and gaining weight. Ever since I was 8 I’ve been on this yo-yo ride. I’ve always thought I would lose weight and, someday, be able to stay there. But that has never happened. This thought made me feel pretty helpless, like, what the hell is the point if I can never stay at my goal… if I’ll just gain weight. I always do.

But then it made me feel less hopeless about being overweight again. Because I guess this means I’ll lose at least some of it again. I always do.

I’m tired of focusing on a number on the scale. I no longer care about weighing what I did before getting pregnant with my son. I no longer care about fitting into those jeans again. I just want to not see my body as the enemy. I’m realizing that no matter what my weight I’ve always seen my body as the enemy. I don’t want to do that anymore.

So today my hopeful thought is this: I will never stay thin. I will never stay fat. I will always have to think about this. But it means that nothing has to feel like a prison. Life will change and so will I.

For today I’m going to just let go of comparisons to my past self and let go of fantasies of who I’ll be in the future.

For today, I’m just here, taking a walk, and drinking more water.

For today I’m just looking to feel better in my clothes and not having to struggle to get up from having been sitting on the floor.

Modest goals = Increased chance of success = Greater hope.

That’s something I can live with.

So yesterday turned out to be something of an emotional disaster.

After three months of test I went back to the endocrinologist. She started off by telling me that the ultrasound of my thyroid was abnormal and that she wants me to have it biopsied. She thinks that it’s most likely nothing but before deciding on that she wants to “see the cells” to determine for certain that it doesn’t need to be removed.

Ok, so obviously something is wrong with my thyroid.

Right?

Then she went on to tell me that there is nothing out of the range of normal on any of the blood work regarding my thyroid functioning and no diagnosis is warranted.

Hmm, what?

She then went on to focus ONLY on my weight. Not the depression or excessive fatigue which is actually why I went into see her in the first place. She gave me an elimination diet that is, frankly, absurd and impractical. I know what works and doesn’t work for my body in terms of food plans. I’ve been at this for more than 30 years now. It’s not a question of knowing of not, it’s a question of how to get it done.

Then she talked to me about exercise and told me that despite the injury to my hip that makes exercising more difficult that I “have to do it anyway regardless”.

Can we say, “not helpful”?

I couldn’t help myself, I started to cry. I told her that it is all very well and good to give me advice to change my diet and exercise but that I’ve been on this hamster wheel of weight gain, depression, and fatigue for more than 30 years and telling me things I’ve known since I was a kid isn’t going to help me.

Do I know that I’ve been making bad food choices recently? Yes.

But I also know that this is NOT about only the weight. Plus, I also I know there has got to be something not normal about my body.

It shouldn’t take 3 different anti-depressants to make me able to get out of bed in the morning and function.

I shouldn’t wake up after 7 hours of sleep and feel as though I am not rested at all.

It shouldn’t require that I eat fewer than 1,100 calories a day everyday for the rest of my life in order to be at a normal weight.

This is not normal. All I wanted was to hear that something could be done to help. Not to fix everything. I’m not looking to have some magic wand waved and all my problems disappear. I’m willing to work to help myself. God knows I’ve worked harder at this than anything in my life. But I wanted to find something that would help, give me a little leg up, something that would make my efforts seem worthwhile and sustainable.

After getting zero real support from the doctor or her staff I left and sat in my car and cried and called my husband.

Then I went home and on my way stopped at the grocery store. This is where things could have gone in a bunch of different directions. All sorts of crazy could have happened.

But what did happen?

In addition to the mushrooms, gluten free crackers, and Parmesan cheese I had to pick up for dinner that night I bought two packages of no sugar added Klondike bars. That’s 12 Klondike bars. What happened next?

I ate one.

And then I took a walk. I walked for 49 minutes, covered 2.85 miles, walked 5,859 steps, and burned 203 calories.

Then, I got my kids from the bus and spent the rest of the day dealing with them.

In some ways that felt like a success in so far as:

A. I ate only one Klondike bar and that could have been a lot worse

B. I didn’t go to bed and pull the covers over my head

Today, I’m getting ready to go to the mall to take a walk. It’s so darn cold here that even though the sun is shining I just know that if I have to walk in those temperatures I won’t do it.

Baby steps.

 

Why is it so hard to make my best intentions stick? I set some very reasonable goals for myself for the new year: drinking more water, taking more walks, writing more. What have I done in the past 10 days? Basically none of it.

i’m sitting in the endocrinologist’s office right now waiting to be seen. My appointment was for 9:30. I got here at 9:10. It’s 10:30 as I type these words and I still haven’t been seen. Don’t me started on this. Frustration doesn’t begin to cover it. (They didn’t have 2 of the three sets of bloodwork or the sleep study they ordered me to do before this appointment. Luckily, I brought copies with me of the results. WTF?)

Anyway, they weighed me. First time since my appointment in October. I was 199 pounds then.

Today, fully dressed, after breakfast, I weighed 212 pounds.

This is what I know about this situation:

I know I haven’t weighed this much since my weight loss surgery almost 10 years ago.

I know I’ve gained 46.5 pounds in one year.

I know that stress has contributed to the gain.

I know that my antidepressants have contributed to the gain.

I know I’m here at the endocrinologist’s office to see if there is anything else contributing that can be treated.

I know I’ve recovered from this level of gain before.

I know I have more energy to combat this than I have in the past year.

I know that I need to be gentle with myself while I attempt change.

I know I need to be really ready in order to make meaningful change.

I know I don’t want this to get worse.

I know it’s better for me to start to work on losing this now rather than wait too much longer.

So what am I doing about it? Well, I’m at the endocrinologist’s office looking for answers.

I stopped taking the one antidepressant that is known to cause weight gain and I’m continuing to take the one that doesn’t.

I’ve started a regimen of pro-biotics and vitamins that are recommended by doctors for addressing weight gain associated with antidepressants.

I’ve thrown away the remains of my daughter’s birthday cakes.

I’ve also decided that I’m not going to take any guff from this doctor I’m (still) waiting to see. I came here really expecting that she would understand how demoralizing it is to go to a doctor to get help with fatigue and weight and to be told by that doctor that you need to lose weight.

I mean, “Duh,” right? Who doesn’t know that? But when it’s been chronic and coupled with fatigue and depression you’d think an endocrinologist would get that it’s more complicated than that, right?

Wrong. She told me fat I should try to lose weight because it will help. Are you kidding me? I was too much in shock (and still too heavily depressed) to respond effectively. But not today. I have no intention to be rude or aggressive however, I do plan on being clear that I’ve come here for help and do not wish to hear things I’ve known since I was 13 years old. Help me, or move out of the way km for someone whoi can, or is at least willing to try.

If I sound grouchy it’s just that I’ve well into my second your of waiting and can’t stand the disregard that is implicit in this behavior.

But I will be polite none the less. I remain hopeful that she will have something to offer that will be helpful to me in reading this cycle of depression, fatigue, and weight gain I’ve struggled with for probably 40 years.

I’ll update later on the “doctor” part of today but for now I need to start making some pledges to myself:

64 oz of water or tea each day

A walk any day the winter weather allows regardless of my schedule and without worrying about “how long” or “how far”.

And hope. Just keep trying to hope.

 

 

 

 

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