Friday, February 5, 2010

A week from H-E- double hockey sticks

Following is my week 5 update of the challenge. Anyone who has read my blog this week knows it's not been my best, to say the least. But it's new behavior to own it, put it out there, and move on. I'm not going to say more or do the quarterbacking interpreting and explaining that bubbles up out of me so automatically. Talk's cheap.

1. Weigh Friday and document here. Today's weight - 200. Last week 194.1.
2. 30 mins cardio 6x a week. Not once. Knee issues suck.
3. 15 minutes meditation/quiet time 5x/week. None.
4. Write down all food. Sporadic. Started most days but as eating unravelled, writing stopped. The last 2 days my food was clean, but I didn't write any of it down.

Whew - glad that's over. Remember the old movie about the Titanic - A Night To Remember? Well, this was a week to forget. Learn from. Circumstances both in and out of my control. Thank God it's over.

This may be a disjointed post, but I have a bunch of thoughts percolating. Maybe I can spare you guys my usual long paragraphs.

-Last dose of Prednisone on board this morning. I've accelerated the taper even more by taking 10 mg this morning, instead of 2nd dose of 20. I'll be fine. I don't recommend playing with medication dosing prescribed by your doctor. This happens to be one of my main areas of expertise as a nurse. And I'm freaking sick and tired of the ravages this drug has wrought on my poor wittle self for the last 12 days.

-I said above that I've had 2 full days of clean eating. Yes, it's true. But it's been torturous. The inner binge-er has been having a field day with my psyche almost continually. While I'm at work I stay mostly distracted enough to tune it out. But once home, and with not being able to exercise (other than wall push ups and other lame attempts), the food thoughts are constantly haranguing me. I've been able to clearly recognize absence of true gnawing hunger. Not physically hungry. But girlfriend wants to eat...for - boredom, comfort, food tastes good, why not?, etc. No reason. Every reason. Any reason. I did not give in, but I'm getting damned tired of the endless obsession that is currently brewing in my head. Not something brilliant brewing these days. Ooops - so much for no long paragraphs.

-I'm currently reading Frances Kuffel's book "Passing for Thin". I learned of this book from this post a while back by Vicky at Baby Steps V when she talked about reading it long ago and recently beginning Frances' recently released book "Angry Fat Girls". Vicky did a wonderful review of the first book and gave a history of Frances' journey, so I'll leave you to check it out if you're so inclined. Immediately upon reading Vicky's post, I ordered both books from Amazon and am 2/3 through the first. Basically it's Frances' account of being overweight for her entire life until her early 40s when she joined a 12 step recovery program and lost about 180 pounds. She is an amazing writer with a remarkable gift for words. And though I haven't gained weight to the point she did, she tells my story in the book. And it's got me torqued, uneasy, even unhappy. As I write here now, I think it's played a role in emotional struggle and depression I've experienced this week.

Frances details what her life was like as a compulsive eater, and then from the "not everything is suddenly alright now that I've lost 180 pounds" perspective after abstaining from compulsive eating long enough to have that incredible weight loss. The more I try to describe it, the more I'll botch the essence of her story. Suffice to say that before and after "recovery", her struggle is mine. When things in her healthy 161 pound gym-rat body went awry and landed her in surgery, ICU, and subsequent months of getting better, her food compulsions were right there waiting for her. As though they'd been doing push-ups in the next room for the years she was abstaining from overeating, waiting for a vulnerable moment to begin their wily ways of luring her back to the kitchen cupboards. Apparently she ultimately does regain a substantial amount of weight, as that is what the 2nd book is about, and written with 4 other women she met in the blogosphere who had similar journeys.

Not sure right now how she'll end up in book one, or what happens in book 2. But here's my thing: This really is my story. A lot of weight loss bloggers likely wouldn't relate to the ugliness of the compulsive overeating Frances endured. Many just need to power down the scale and up the gym and they'll be over this affliction forever. I know that isn't how it will be for me. When I decide to "go off" plan, it's no holds barred and bizarre. I can stay on plan for a long time (though not lately!). But once I give in, my ugliness matches Frances' any day of the week. It would take nothing for me to surpass her high weight of 313 lbs. I'm not going to, but deeply know it's in me to do it.

So again - it's depressing and frustrating to know this truth about myself. I've ragged on about it before - why me? In AA there is a statement about how every alcoholic harbors a fervent wish that he could be "normal", and drink like other people. Now that I'm sober a shitload of time, I wouldn't want that at all. But I sure harbor the wish that I could eat like a normal person. Have a cookie. A piece of cake. A bowl of ice cream. I truly don't believe I'll ever be able to enjoy certain food that way. The screwy metabolism and mental obsession of an alcoholic has rendered me unable to handle certain foods normally. I don't want it to be this way. It is. Nothing new here. Just another post about it.

And speaking of food obession, the forecast of a big weekend snowstorm feeds right into my thoughts - how often have I made a big batch of cookies at the beginning of a storm. Part of the nesting instinct? Or similar to bringing in a few extra bottles of wine and vodka for a long winter confinement? What I HAVE done is get the makings for a great beef stew I'll make tomorrow, and lots of fruit, veggies and salad fixings to hold us through what will probably be just a few hours of being indoors while the snow is falling.

After all this - I'm feeling better and again able to sense my baseline of hope, optimism and determination. They seem a little faded as yet, but will continue to come into focus if I don't sabotage myself. Give peace a chance? Give Leslie a chance!


  1. Last week was last week. Put it behind you and move on. :o) You know I had a couple of weeks like that recently and I've just caught back up with my weightloss, so you can turn it around pretty quickly.

    I have to say, I'm impressed (that's not really a strong enough word!) that you've been able to ignore the binge-voice... I don't think I've ever been able to do that when it's come a-calling and I'm in awe of anyone who can!

    Will check out the books and see if I can find them for sale over here - thank you! :o)

  2. Uh-hmmm. The statement that reading that book may have played a part in the food lust may be an understatement! (Not saying you shouldn't read it--sometimes painful truth holds answers and result in cleansing/healing.) BUT...

    Book + Prednizone = a miracle that you managed to have two binge free days!!!!! Good job, you!

    I am pretty certain that if I read that book, I'd also find myself in it. And although my high weight was just under 255, I have NO doubt that I could have topped 300 pounds. It is only the grace of God that I did not. I know that. (I could share disgusting and shameful food stories to prove that, but I'll spare you.)

    When addiction is part of this process, it is terribly tricky and full of hidden snares--not to mention downright tortuous at times, as you said. It's not as simple as finding a healthy plan and sticking to it. Sometimes I find that hard to remember when I hear some of the weight loss reports. I am proud of us for pushing through.


  3. I completely, totally, 100% relate to this post. I weighed 290 at my highest. I was 130 the summer of 2008. Now, back UP again in the 190's. It's frustrating, infuriating, and debilitating. Hope I spelled all those words right :)

    Anyhow, I'm home with the fridge almost the entire day and it drives me mad sometimes. I can stand in the pantry and just stare at food. I would love to be "normal" with food, but I have a feeling that is not in the cards.

    So I do my best to manage and try not to wind up wearing a size 28 again. I'm an addict...hook, line, and sinker...and I HATE it!!

    Sorry to write so much in one comment...

    Bottom line....I hear you girl!!! I feel the same way....

  4. Sometimes i want to know how someone loses the weight and then gains it all back...but then I think that maybe I don't want to know, because that would be depressing to me. I like to think I'll be invincible if I lose all this weight. I know I won't be, but if I think that once I lose all this weight I'll gain in back, I know I'll trick my mind into thinking "Why bother?" Hang in their my dear blog friend! Weights come on and it goes off again. Like Patsy says Last week is Last week...keep looking forward!

  5. As I mentioned, I was THERE on Amazon - when Frances's first book had just come out - and her story was ALL of our stories - all the bloggers that were together at that time all felt a part of them in that book, in her life, in her words. And we were all different sizes, feeling that way.

    I am sitting here now, at goal, successfully maintaining, and when I just reread Passing for Thin for the many-ith time, I found even more parts of myself that I recognize NOW that I didn't before.

    She saved me from having to get to those greater weights before I understood that I didn't have a simple 'weight problem'. I believed every word she wrote, she wrote plainly enough that I GOT it, and she totally changed my life.

    and darling Leslie -
    If I were eating bits and bites of the non foods that you talked about in your post - I would be have food FITS and WANTS too.

    I spent nearly a year putting myself in 'time out' constantly until I could learn to eat real foods, eat at meal time, eat portions, eat balanced and learn to live within my own reality.

    You don't start over, you start from where you are.

  6. and thanks for including my link - it made me go back and reread my own words. And I do love that post. Frances is a very special person. I did reread both books, just after I wrote that.

  7. As I look at your P10 goals I see that they are quite interwoven. For example, if the knee won't cooperate, then what the h-e double hocky sticks is the use in trying to make the food work - or to meditate. Because who can meditate when they're going crazy! Can you tell I understand? I agree with Vickie. Don't start over, start from where you are. That's a good lesson for us all, whether we binge eat or not.

  8. Do you have any plans this weekend to do something nice for yourself? It's been a hard week for you and you could use a little TLC from yourself. Maybe take a nice hot bath, do your nails, read something light (the book you're currently reading sounds interesting, but maybe you could use a respite from such heaviness.) Who is taking care of Leslie?

  9. I'm so sorry you've had such a bad week :( I'm just now catching up. I'm glad things are looking up a little. Optimism is so important and you are so determined. you can do it!

  10. I agree with what Deb said. I said "bingo!" when I read this: "And though I haven't gained weight to the point she did, she tells my story in the book. And it's got me torqued, uneasy, even unhappy. As I write here now, I think it's played a role in emotional struggle and depression I've experienced this week."

    I can't tell you how many times I have sat and watched a show about weight loss, all the while stuffing my face! It would bring feelings to the surface, and I would eat to soothe myself. And then, combine all the feelings that surfaced for you with all the rest you are going thru...and you have the "perfect storm."

    I really do relate to so much of this post... my out of control behavior got me to 460 pounds... need I say more?!

    But the hope we have is that it IS possible to do the inner work, and heal some of that. I am not sure if all the old urges/habits/conditioning totally go away. We may need to be on guard for life, especially during vulnerable times. I guess I'll learn that part as I go.

    You are right: time to MOVE ON from last week. You can make this next week a good one!

  11. Yeah...we're addicts. It sucks ass. We just have to do the best we can to moderate the feelings of insanity with our eating. Dude, I've been thinking about Chinese ALL DAY. I couldn't even allow myself to leave my house to run errands I needed to do today because I knew it would involve swinging through the Chinese buffet. The strength and resolve just aren't there I stayed in and had tuna fish. Yay. lol

  12. Hi Leslie. I started writing a comment to this and it turned into a bloody monologue! I'll send it by email m'dear.

    Bearfriend xx

  13. You describe MY pain so well, only the specifics are different. Thank you for making me feel better: Just knowing that others can also be in the depths of despair even after having "seen the light" makes me feel hopeful. I am obviously not the only one who encounters a "crisis of faith" during the journey.

  14. You are right in the thick of it all. You are dealing with physical issues, emotional eating issues, and it's a hard place to be. I know because I've been right there.

    BUT, you are doing all the right things and that is what will get you where you want to be. It's not about the weekly numbers per se, but about the overall trend.

    Stay strong - you can do this!!!

  15. Starting out at 350 plus... I can say I have had to change some habits for sure. Gaining back weight after my sept 2008 low of 238 to 278 was devastating. I did it by not being mindful of what I ate. I binge when I am not paying attention and other things are out of wack. Working out has become necessary to keep my head clear and I tend to pay more attention to the fuel element of foods and eat with more intention.

    So sorry you have had a sucky week, I am glad you are off the steroids and ready to take care of yourself.

  16. This week has been awful for me too. I been hungry all day. I have been craving soda's . I mean really Soda's of all things. And choc. I won't tell you how bad I have been . But it is over we have a new week coming.Forget last week and lets look forward to the weekend.

  17. you're doing great - hang in there. Maybe search the net for a healthy new cookie recipe that will help kill those cravings :)

  18. Leslie, what is done is done. You seem to be thinking right in that it is time to move on past last week and on to next week. I hope it is a much better week for you too!

    Don't forget to give us a "secret" about yourself.

  19. The steroids are hell on weight and hunger. Hope you are done with them soon!

  20. well...good thing it's over. right?
    Next week is a new week.
    I don't think I believe in starting over...I think I believe in moving on...So, now your moving on.
    You can do this.

  21. Here's my new url:


  22. Hey, Leslie --

    If it's any help at all, we're ALL in this TOGETHER. That's what was so magical about the Amazon blog & the subsequent group blog, Angry Fat Girls.

    I don't know if it's a good thing or bad that you & others take PFT & AFG so personally, but you aren't the first person to be triggered toward food while reading them. Remember that PFT is MY story. Much of it is idiosyncratic to me alone. & AFG poses questions about what we need to know about ourselves in order to maintain weight loss. There is so much work involved in this journey.

    I have a severely sprained ankle & am abt half way through a month in a cast. It's harder to binge (I have to limp out to get stuff) but my times & hunger are all whacked because of being pretty much confined to quarters. So tell your poor knees you want them to feel better & will leave off the cardio so they can mend.

    And -- God bless us all.