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Tough love? Talk me down!


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Y'all, I have been struggling lately. And it's my honeymoon period, so I know I'm not going to see consequences and I'm kicking myself. I have been eating stuff I really really shouldn't. Chips, popsicles made with actual sugar, PB and J sandwiches, the works. Apparently dumping syndrome is not a thing for me. If I eat somewhere around 18-20 grams of sugar or more, I get sleepy. But that's it. My life is crazy stressful right now. My home life is a sh*tshow and there's a big thing about to happen with the homeless population I work with that I can't even talk about, but it's looming. So I just want to EAT. 

For the most part, I'm very very good. I don't go over around 1200 calories a day, even when I'm eating garbage. I think the highest my calories have gotten post-surgery was 1300 (I had eaten a lot of cashews as snacks that day). I get all my protein in. I'm drinking plenty of water. BUT I know these carb/sugar habits are not good ones and I know they'll only get worse if I let them. I noticed slider carbs sneaking back in a couple of months ago and thought a little here and there wouldn't hurt, but it's just gotten worse. 

I'm making an appointment to talk to one of our clinic's dieticians soon just to get a bead on what's appropriate. And on the upside - it's not like I'm eating cake or cookies or whatever (though I have had about 3/4 serving of that lower calorie Ben and Jerry's). And before surgery, it would have been so easy to have a 5000 calorie day - no sweat. That's no longer possible now. So I'm trying to hang onto those positives a little just so I don't fall into a pity spiral. 

My weight loss has stalled a bit, but nothing out of the ordinary. I know I'll keep losing. That's part of the issue - it's easy to get into these crappy habits when there's no immediate feedback. No dumping, no legit weight stalls. 

Go ahead - give me the tough love now. Ha! 

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This is what derails folks after the honeymoon is over and causes regain.  I struggle every single day.  OK, maybe not every day but a lot.  I really wanted to be "normal".   When my weight was normal I wanted my head to be normal too and it just didn't happen.  My head still wants goodies when I'm stressed.  So far, I am able to overrule the "feed-me demon" the majority of the time with reminders of how awesome life is at a healthy weight but man some days it is hard.  Best advice is find what works for you to cope with the stress other than food because life is always gonna have stress.  Here's some things that have worked for me:

Distraction techniques like going for a walk, dancing crazy to very loud music (by myself in my house because I'm talking crazy dancing lol), calling my mother (she keeps me on the phone for at least an hour and you can't eat and talk at the same time, right?), shopping :)

It also helps to know triggers.  Sugar for me triggers cravings for more sugar so I am better off leaving it alone or planning for it to cause major rebound cravings.  I can handle small amounts of dark chocolate, but a snickers bar wakes the demon.  Know thine enemy.

Also celebrate what you do right.  Most of us have spent far too many years hating on ourselves...and we just can't allow our amazing goddess selves to do that ever again, no matter our size.  Nobody ever lost a single pound because they said to themselves "I am fat and stupid" or because someone else said it.  When we hear those things we feel bad; when we feel bad our demon sees that vulnerability and strikes.  Love yourself and your fabulousness!

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You recognize you are struggling and that is 70% of it I think. You are nearly at goal in less than a year. You are doing/having done an excellent job! You know you need to move away from some of the things you've been eating so, in my mind, all you need to do is figure out how to do that.

For me, I plan for sweets, carb heavy snacks and booze. I had company for 4 days a couple of weeks ago. My guest has owned restaurants in the past so he basically wanted to eat and drink his way around San Francisco. I cut way back 2 - 3 days before he arrived. Spinach salads with hard boiled eggs for lunch and dinner. Greek yogurt with a few berries for breakfast and snacks. Boring but low calorie and low carb in prep for my restaurant tour. Before he arrived I decided my splurge would be cocktails. No desserts or ordering anything at restaurants that wasn't on plan. I did have a scoop of ice cream on his last day but overall, I did really well. Then, as soon as he was gone, I was right back on plan. I craved carbs for a day or two after he left and then I was fine again.

I learned early out that what I eat today I will crave tomorrow. And, what is a rare treat can become a regular treat and then something I eat so often it is no longer a treat. Example, a co-worker used to have a bowl of mini candy bars I would pass about 27 times a day. Once or twice a month I would have a mini Twix. Then it became two mini twix a week, then it was every other day. They didn't even seem like a treat at that point! Once I realized what I was doing I was annoyed with myself but I also realized pre-op I would have been eating several day every day! (Full disclosure - I would have eaten one or two from her bowl and wanted more so I would have bought my own bag and eaten the entire thing in a day, maybe two. Then bought another bag and another, etc)

As Mary said distractions are great. I have a long list of thing I can do other than eat. When I was losing I posted signs little signs around my house as reminders of why I had WLS and what I wanted to be able to do in the future. I put one on the fridge that said, "Cravings never last longer than 10 minutes." This would give me pause if I was on the cusp of eating something I didn't need or wasn't on my plan.

You have LOTS of positives! Focus on those and consider this period of struggling an opportunity to learn. I think you are doing fantastic - even with your recent off plan foods!

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@Cardamom77, I’m sorry to hear that you’re struggling right now. Of course the difficult times will happen when life throws other things at you - the majority of us have issues with food providing comfort, so that’s what we turn to. 

@msmarymac has great suggestions, as usual. I feel pretty strongly that’s it’s best to avoid simple carbs to prevent cravings for simple carbs - that’s the most helpful and healthy thing for me. Maybe a carb detox with super strict rules for a week would provide you with the breathing space to help yourself make better choices when you’re feeling like grabbing something you shouldn’t. 

I also engage in a lot of self talk (both inner and outer!) that seems to help. I’ve actually convinced my food-wanting reptile brain that I don’t really like most sweets and snacks just by repeating that in my head and out loud frequently. I tell myself “I don’t really like xyz” instead of “I shouldn’t eat xyz” and “I’m not really a dessert person” instead of “I can’t have that.” It sounds silly, but I feel like I’m re-wiring my self-image a bit. It seems to work both in the moment and accumulatively in the long term.

People are all different, of course, but drawing some hard lines in the sand might be useful to you right now. It’s easier for me to say no to whole categories of food than to have a reasonable serving of something I shouldn’t and stop there.

Relying on dumping from sugar to cause you to avoid sugar is kind of like driving on a twisty mountain road and relying on the guard rails to keep you from going over the edge instead of driving more cautiously around the corners. 

You can do this. We’re here to yell at you when you need it, to hold your hand, or to give you a hug when you need that. 

 

I apparently posted just after @Stephtay so I didn’t see hers - I really like her mantra of “What I eat today, I’ll crave tomorrow.” 

Edited by Jen581791
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Thanks everyone! I really appreciate it. 

I did much better today, though I swear I need to not buy cashews! I eat too many when I have them. Ha! I also forgot to eat lunch today, though, so that's not great. I had a client ask to meet with me as I was going to get lunch and so I got derailed. 

Anyhoo, I've had 825 calories today and might have another 100 or so if I get snacky later, so that's a pretty good day. Got all my protein in. Drank plenty of water. It will be ok. Thanks again!  

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20 hours ago, Cardamom77 said:

 if I get snacky 

Gettin' snacky, lol!

Glad you're feeling better.

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Glad you're doing better, @Cardamom77 -- it's interesting to see how those of us from the November group are now on to our next set of struggles. The honeymoon isn't over, yet, but as we inch ever closer to our 1-year marks, it legit becomes a lot harder! I've been doling out tough love a few times lately here, but I need some of, too. I've had too many days in the past few weeks where I'm at a catered event, and end up indulging far more than I should. I ate two mini scones today. (Although avoided the afternoon cookies/cake, at least? Small victories?) 

I need to revoke the permission I gave myself to step outside the lines at these sorts of things. Just because it's not a "regular" day doesn't mean I'm not responsible for staying on my plan to the best of my ability. 

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I joined a DietBet. I figured it would tamp down the carb eating rebellion a bit. Might be a good way to get the ball rolling on getting back on track. 

Here's the link if anyone else is interested! http://dbet.me/ICBj7N

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