Saturday, May 15, 2010

Trying to be true to mine own self

Thank you blog friends, for the great encouraging comments yesterday. Man! Some of the best comments I ever had. The catharsis of honestly outing myself for the eating indiscretions of last week rather than fudging my weight to be a few pounds less than it actually was (I can't seem to avoid food metaphors!) helped a lot. I had a good day yesterday, and really upped my water intake. This morning I was a full 3 pounds lower - 206.1 - which wasn't surprising given how many *&#$*# times I was up to the "ladies' room" during the night.

Several people mentioned really accepting the need to manage the addiction, and I know that's true. This can never be like abstaining from alcohol, obviously. I've tried rigid food programs, most notably one where a sponsor gives you a list of what you eat each day: 4 oz protein, 6 oz vegetables plain cooked, 8 ounces of salad with 1 Tbs. dsg for both lunch and dinner every day, plus the prescribed b'fast of 1/2 cup oatmeal, 1 cup plain yogurt and 1 fruit every day, with no variation.

I did one of those programs for 6 weeks, almost 3 summers ago. I had to call a sponsor every morning at 6:45 and "turn my food over to her" by listing it, every single item. Any variation in what I ate vs. what I told her I was going to eat had to be called in prior to the change, or else it was considered a slip. If the apple I said I'd have for breakfast turned out to be rotten and I susbstituted an orange, I had to call to "discuss it". WTF? It was ridiculously rigid, and I knew from day one that I wouldn't last very long with it, not because of the food restrictions but because of the absolute Stepford wife nature of the group members. I confess that I often substituted items without the requisite call because I hated talking to the sponsor. She was joyless and too serious.

I definitely lost weight - 28 lbs in 6 weeks. But for me that kind of plan isn't sustainable. Yet yesterday I was considering that maybe I needed to return to it and accept that this was the only way my life could be free from the pain of food addiction. I almost called an AA friend who goes to that program, but my inner voice said "no". If honestly adhering to that kind of program is what it takes, I can clearly say I'm not willing. I'm willing to exercise, work hard, be honest; even resist foods I know might set me off MOST OF THE TIME. But I know that a program of 100% rigidity will never work for me over the long haul. That isn't denial, it's truth. As Tammy said in her comment, I will strive to do the best I can, given the circumstances, one day at a time.

I have to add that at my 206.1 weight this morning, I'm 6 1/2 pounds higher than the lowest I got on Rigid Eaters Anonymous. I have never gained the weight back that I lost on that program, except for these brief forays after a few days of overeating. I was down to 192.2 at my lowest 2 1/2 years after quitting the program until I had my first knee surgery in early December '09. The decreased exercise has played a big role in my recent struggles, both physically but esp. emotionally. So - in reflecting on all of this information, I know that it is NOT the next right thing to go back to the rigid program.

The biggest thing I realize is that it's vital for me to weigh no less than once a week. It's best for me not weigh more than that either, because I can get into the scale roulette of eating according to what the scale says. If my eating is really clean and I'm getting plenty of exercise, it's okay for me to weigh less than weekly. But this recent episode of knowing I was eating pretty freely for a week or so (though not bingeing as I know I can) illustrates clearly the importance of not letting too much time pass without surveying the scale. Had I not gotten on the scale yesterday, I could have added several more pounds and then really set myself back, which would have emotionally messed with my head more than I care to think about.

I just got back from about a 3 mile walk that felt great, and will be outside doing some planting and gardening this afternoon. I feel some relief that 3 pounds dropped off so fast because they were fluid based. But there is much more to do if I want to move through this almost 6 month period of wavering up and down the same 10 pounds again and again. For today, 206.1 sounds a hell of a lot better than 209.1. And I'll be facing scale reality daily for a few days just to stay alert and accountable. Thank you again, beautiful bloggers, for the support, kindness and acceptance that I didn't feel I deserved yesterday. Today everything feels lighter and much more hopeful.


  1. Leslie, you ALWAYS deserve support, kindness and acceptance. Glad you are feeling much better today - it sure is one heck of a journey, right?

  2. Oh, you sound so much more positive. (Positive that you're happy to have dumped three pounds of water weight, for one thing.)

    It is hard, but you have the strength to conquer this. I believe that to be the absolute truth!

  3. Hi Leslie. Hmmm. Lets see - 28lbs lost in 6 weeks .... and basically maintaining that loss ever since ....

    IMO it IS a good way for you to get the ball rolling again. If I were you I would commit to say 2 or 3 months of REA and then maintain again for a while after that to see where you are.

    It seems to me that you're pretty good at maintaining on your own - you've been doing it quite a while now, and as long as you have a number to work to on the scale *that you will not go above* then you can keep to that number.

    But getting the scale moving down has proved very difficult on your own.

    I agree that REA is not something you would want to stick to forever. But for a set period of time to shift a chunk of weight then I just see it as a great helping hand. EVERYONE has to eat in a restricted way to lose weight - and obviously they will eat differently when they are maintaining. You emphasise you are willing to avoid foods that set you off most of the time. But weight loss requires 100%. Whereas maintaining (as you are) can be a bit of splurging followed by restriction, followed by splurging etc.

    Problem of "most of the time": it only takes a few seconds of eating the wrong food to completely throw a person off course - leading to what might even be just a few minutes of overeating/ bingeing that can wipe out your calorie deficit for the week. Losing weight requires 100%.

    You have the opportunity of being involved in a programme which you know will work. It is not forever - because you are good at maintaining on your own. In fact you only need to commit to a set number of weeks (in your own head) of REA. (I'm saying in your own head as I'm sure they demand lifetime committment!)

    I think you should do it. Stressful, annoying, painful though it will be. The prize is greater than a few weeks of having to phone your po-faced sponsor.

    Bearfriend xx

  4. I'm very glad that you got the support and appreciation that helped you feel better. And also that it was water weight. Here's to getting back on track!

  5. I know exactly what you mean about not weighing more on the scales than once a week. I have to wait two weeks, because if I don't see a weightloss in one week I usually start to over eat again. Good job and be kind to yourself. It is a journey.


  6. My mantra is just don't give up. As I wrote on my blog today, I am in perseverence will make it with out frigid rigid dieting. There is no freedom in will win and become free!

  7. Leslie, we all deserve support. You, me, that's why we are here. That's why I blog/comment - to give and receive support. We are all worthy and worth it - and I contend that doubting that we are worthy and worth it is our core issue.

    I'm glad to see you sounding more positive. And you need to make whatever decision about how to proceed that you feel is best for you. No matter what you decide, losing 28 pounds and KEEPING it off? Awesome. That is quite an accomplishment, Leslie. I hope you know that.

  8. I'm so glad you are feeling better. It's good that you know yourself, and what works for YOU.

    I learned that for me, the all-or-nothing, rigid approaches that were not sustainable for life, simple guaranteed me bombing out. They fed the "diet mentality".

    As I'm sure you already know, a "diet" is a plan you go ON, and eventually you go OFF, whether planned or not.

    I've done that too many times in my life, only to regain all of the weight back, and usually more on top. I knew I needed a "this is for life" plan. So, I ended up with the best one of all... one that I tailored just for me, LOL! No one to rebel against, since I designed it myself. Sounds like that is what you are working on, too.

    I know you will find it... and will tweak it as you go along, and learn. We're getting there, a day at a time.


  9. What a difference a day makes. Blogging is a good way to get out all the feelings and frustrations and to be able to move forward. The community of bloggers are so supportive and that sure helps too.

  10. I just love your blog!! You are so inspiring, honest, open, witty,...all good happy lovely things!! Seriously.

    I could never ever do a food plan where I had to call for a change. The sponsor would probably tell me by about 2pm that they didn't want to speak to me anymore or have their number changed. I'm such a rebellious spirit...I would probably change the food plan just to aggravate. Oh boy...I'm a pain..huh?

    Glad you are down 3 lbs...We're going to get this weight thing figured out. I'm restarting (for the one millionth time) tomorrow...and yes....I'm probably going to have chocolate cake tonight

  11. I have a different approach to the scale than most do. I weigh nearly every day when I am not traveling, but I don't record or report the weigh-ins, except for Sunday. Most of the time this works well for me. It helps me know where I am at day-to-day, whether a Sunday weigh-in is a fluke (whether up or down), and it quickly reminds me of what overeating does for me.

    I am not suggesting you take my approach, I am only saying what works for me.

    Leslie, you are obviously doing something right to have not gained more than a few pounds from the super strict program.

  12. You know what I think you should do??? Start your own challenge!!! I'll join!!!! I've got a family reunion in a month, on June 19th. How much weight can you get off me by then??? lol :) I'm serious, by the way...consider it. :)

  13. OMG, I haven't heard of any program like that before! I wouldn't have lasted one day - I love my cheese too much! :D

    Glad you got your walk in - we are here to give you virtual hugs when you need one! :D

  14. Glad to see you lighter and hopeful. Made me smile :-)