Thursday, May 10, 2012

So sick and tired of being sick and tired

I'm going to try a pretty modified food plan for a few days, starting today.  I'm going to write about it in a sec, but wanted to come clean (God knows my food hasn't been) first.  Turns out my triumphant "no, thank you," that I wrote about on Tuesday did not immunize me from overeating later in the day.  I thought it might, but as any food addict knows, one tiny step for the woman does not equal a giant leap in the battle against bingeing for humankind.

Here it is:  It's been a bad couple of weeks, and on Tuesday was determined to have a clean food day from start to finish.  Not having the cake and ice cream was great.  I didn't feel particularly deprived.  After I got home I wasn't able to do a long walk because we were in the midst of several days of rain.  Now I could have done any number of the aerobic walking and/or Pilates videos I have, but didn't.  Food thoughts started wafting in, and I was able to identify I wasn't physically hungry.  But I ate a "safe" and "not terrible" snack, and that just opened the flood gates.

You've read this from me before.  I'm sorry to repeat myself, so will do my best not to.  The details aren't important, but I sort of grazed the rest of the evening.  Relatively little junk, but calorie/fat dense stuff like nuts and cheese.  I think butter may have been involved.

Yesterday I was all determined and intentional about eating.  That lasted until about 9:30 am when some very annoying and difficult stuff went down at work that I had to get heavily (no pun intended) involved in, and as the  situation started to settle, my emotions were varying between anger, extreme frustration, resentment, and on to rage.  I maintained my professionalism by keeping it to myself mostly, but the thought came that I wanted to eat to feel better.  I saw it for what it was and did it anyway.  My thought to self and pronouncement to a couple of work friends, "I'm in a mood here."  (So much for not repeating myself as I promised above.)

I've had sporadic days for the aforementioned couple of weeks.  Some pretty good but still containing more food than I was hungry for, and many bad choices.  Other days worse.  With little exercising except for the weekends due to busy-ness laziness.  I knew I was sucking wind, and emotionally spent over any number of NOT catastrophic things.  A major key in all this is not having weighed since (just looked back over my posts to even know when) April 27 when I was "maintaining" at 210.

This morning I got on the scale and it was bad.  I guess I should just fess up and say it was 219.2.  That is no lie.  I wasn't going to add the .2, but there I go again with dishonesty.  I was not surprised, but I was very upset.  I can't keep doing this to myself, yet I do.

When I wrote that 12 step post the other day, it was in part due to wondering if going back is what I need and fervently not wanting to re-enter that arena.  I know the nature of my eating disorder qualifies me as a food addict.  For sure.  Can I do this alone?  I want to think I can, but that may be denial.  I think it is.

While I cogitate all the above, I'm going to return to the food plan given to me by my joyless FAA sponsor when I did that program a few years back.  It works, and I'll write it out here in a minute.  One thing I hated about the program was that each person's food plan was different, according to what their sponsor gave them to eat.  Obviously there were certain taboos - sugar, white flour, wheat products - I don't know what else.  But one person might get one fruit a day (me) and another (of equal or higher weight, btw) might get 3.  Kind of weird.

The broad plan is below.  I'm going to do it today.  To the letter.  I will post tomorrow whether I stayed on it or not.

B:  1 cup plain low fat or non-fat yogurt; 1/2 cup (uncooked oatmeal); 1 fruit (or 1 cup of berries, excluding cherries or bananas).  Artificial sweetener okay, limited to 2 packets, if necessary.  I used and will use Splenda because for now, with plain Greek yogurt, it's necessary.

L:  4 ounces plain lean protein (any beef, poultry, fish, pork) that is baked, dry broiled grilled, roasted; 6 ounces cooked vegetable with no added butter, sauce, or anything - preferably steamed, or if frozen then simply cooked in small amount of water; 8 ounces salad (veggies only, no olives, avocado, etc...) 1 TBS olive oil.

D:  Same as lunch.  Exactly.   Free items include mustard, vinegars, fresh or dried herbs.  No dried beans, grains of any kind (other than morning oatmeal).  When I asked her if there would be brown rice and beans in my future, she said, "not anytime soon".

This is it - obviously one loses weight on this.  When I did this, my sponsor told me that any variation required a phone call to "discuss" and get approved.  For instance, if I was out of plain yogurt, I had to call for her to tell me a substitute that was acceptable - in the case of yogurt, 2 eggs cooked in no oil or butter of any kind.  I won't be doing this kind of phone call stuff, obviously, and it was this approach that helped me to hate both that sponsor and the 12 step program and rendered it unsustainable.  However, I think the basic food plan is sound for a start, if for nothing else than as a detox.  I can keep track of what goes in much more easily that with WW or other plans.  For the short haul only.  In fact, just for today.

Oh- I forgot to add that liquids are water, coffee black (not happening for me - skim or 1% milk "necessary"), tea.  Diet soda and diet drinks (Crystal light) discouraged not prohibited.  It's funny that when my food is in check, I have no desire for carb. diet drinks, and I never drink real soda.

Obviously this is rigid.  But I know I need some thoroughly clean eating for a few days.  I will stay honest and accountable here while I do this, and I'll be talking to my AA sponsor who's done the food stuff many moons ago.  And BTW - I'm interested in opinions on the food plan itself if you have one and have the time to comment.

Talk to you tomorrow.


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  2. Honestly that food plan sounds like many others and their first week of "induction" or whatever you'd like to call it. It's not unhealthy, it's just very low calorie. But sometimes a quick start like that is exacty what's needed to get and STAY on track. Finding what is right is hard but the best you can do is just keep trying.

  3. You probably have already said, but my memory being as bad as it is I will ask... have you ever done Weight Watchers? And I mean the whole "go to meetings for support" thing. As I was reading I wondered if it might be something that would work for you. Just a thought.

    1. Hi Karen - Yes - I've done WW a number of times. It works if you work it, like everything else. Actually it offers a little too much freedom for where I am right now. Sad but true. If something tastes too good, I won't be able to reliably not eat more of it. WW is a great program, but I think for a true food addict prior to much recovery, the focus needs to be less on how to eat healthfully and in moderation, and more on the mechanics of food intake throughout the day. Like no extra "bites" or even a snack that would be healthy and sane for a regular person because just taking in food can set off some addictive mechanism.

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  4. Your program sounds exactly like the one my friend has been doing for almost 18 months now, with great success. I wish that for you - good luck!

  5. I am familiar with this food plan. It is usually used as a 30 day induction type of plan and after 30 days, a starch is added at dinner. I think the yogurt in the morning could also be 2 eggs or 4 oz. of protein. I think it's pretty low calorie for long-term, but with the added starch down the road it could be very doable. I also kick around going back to the 12-step program that but I just can't bring myself to do it. But I understand what you mean when you say that maybe it's what you need. It may be what I need too. Good luck, Leslie!

    1. I'm with you, Jane. I really don't think I can go back to the program. But it's interesting that you recognize this as a sort of induction plan that is generally 30 days. I guess I didn't make the full 30 days last time because I fired the sponsor and then quit the program before I got a coveted starch added in! I continued with the plan for quite awhile after leaving the meetings.

  6. Leslie, just wanted to stop by and give you some virtual hugs. I've been doing my share of emotional eating - I feel like if I don't write about it, it isn't happening, but that's bullshit. I am proud that you have been able to "come clean."

    I actually like your meal plan - I hope you can stick with it - cheese is my downfall too! :D