|07-27-2012, 10:03 AM||#121|
Senior LCF Member
THanks Speck! I think it is pretty easy (for me) to get into bad habits with the internet and my phone and all the social sites and apps and stuff. Stopping for two weeks and seeing how I had more free time and less anxiety about "checking" stuff was kind of a sign for me that I could really tone it down.
AND I am reading the book "Brain Over Binge", and the author writes about neural networks and bad habits and how we can train our brains to want to do certain things. And if we have bad habits, we can stop ourselves and let those neural pathways wither a bit so we don't feel so compelled to continue our bad habits. I really really really love this book! Highly recommend. The author has a blog too.
The reason I came on LCF today is because it is my four year low carbiversary! Seems like LCF is the place to make a note of that. My life is quite different than it was four years ago. Here are the biggest changes:
Now, I wouldn't say that I am perfect at all this stuff. I do still feel deprived now and then, I eat off plan sometimes, that kind of thing. BUT there have been vast improvements in all these areas. I wanted to lose weight my whole life, so I am happy and proud of my accomplishment!
Ideally, I still want to lose more weight but if I don't, it is still better to have come this far than to have remained at my high weight. Actually, my habits were causing me to GAIN weight every year, so if I hadn't changed, I imagine I would be at least 30 pounds above my high weight.
Anyhoo - Happy Low Carbiversary To Me!
I hope I have an awesome and healthy Year 5.
My new journal!
Last edited by ElizabethLC; 07-27-2012 at 10:09 AM..
|09-23-2012, 06:56 AM||#123|
Senior LCF Member
It's been awhile! There are a couple reasons I haven't been around LCF. The first is that I massively changed my habits of internet use, which has resulted in loads more free time for IRL fun activities and getting things done. I am extremely happy with this choice at the moment.
The second is that I just got burned out on all the LCF drama.. the flailing newbies, the loudmouth gurus, the easily bruised eogs, the snipey backhanded comments, the pages and pages of conflicting advice all stated as THIS IS THE ONLY TRUTH, etc. I realize much of the board is not this, and there are some SUPER cool, SUPER intelligent, emotionally mature people around (thank Jeebus). But I just needed a break. This break will probably continue. I spent the last few months getting my head on straight about what I want, what feels good to me, what's best for me, etc. I realized (and this is probably a no brainer to others) that I should base my eating decisions on what they do to my body and how I feel afterwards, period. They should not be based on some 12 page LCF argument that I spent half an hour reading and getting annoyed by. I mean - duh, right?
Goals for this school year:
And that about wraps up this update!
If you read this - HI SPECK! I think you are my only subscriber. And, I wouldn't be surprised if you have unsubbed, given my complete lack of updates! How's your school year? "Higher Ed Business As Usual" - aka "Way Too Much To Do"?
|09-23-2012, 07:20 AM||#124|
Senior LCF Member
I want to add this:
I have a theory going that after my weight loss phase (65 pounds), I hit a plateau. My body was in a depleted state because of the loss. I then tried too many "dieting" attempts of trying to lose more weight. I tried to grind lower and lower and all I did was hurt myself. I went through a severe depression that lasted 2 years (Spring 2010- Spring 2012). By eating too low in calories/nutrients and running too much (2 rounds of half marathon training), I got stressed, depressed and anxious. I thought I was "being healthy" by tightly controlling my calories and running excessively, but I now see that I was trying to force more weight loss when I needed to be focusing on recovering from my original weight loss.
This spring and summer, through journaling, meditation, yoga, better time management, lots of sun, lots of sleep, lots of free time, fun activities, exercise that I enjoyed (lifting, walking, short runs), bonds with my fellow humans, eating enough/plenty, etc, I came out of my depression. It took around 6-7 months; it was not instant. I could not see results day to day, but month to month I could see progress.
Now that I am out of it, the world is bright and shiny and exciting again. I see potential all over the place. Life does not seem like grinding repetition of pointless activities. I am not just going through the motions. I can see that I had been living at a very "low" level of life.
I am writing this here in case someone else who has lost weight and then gone through a "low" period comes across it. I, personally, have the opinion that there can be a fallout period after weight loss in some people. And then we can make that worse by trying too hard to eat less and less/exercise more and more afterwards. This has been my experience; I realize it is not universal by any means.
I have never written so specifically and publicly about my depression. I don't know why; I think a lot of people go through it. It's kind of a hard beast to describe when one is in the middle of it.
|09-23-2012, 11:18 AM||#125|
Elizabeth!! I'm so glad you posted. I lurk around LCF, not nearly as much as I used to. Like you, I
You always put things so eloquently.
I really connect to what you have written. I think I've had a low-level, baseline depression for most of my life. Everything I do is out of some kind of obligation. I've realized I have an amazing capacity to endure things out of a sense of honor and obligation. But joy? No. There's no joy. My motto tends to be "fake it, until you make it".
The first month of the semester was IN.SANE. but I managed to plow through and meet all my deadlines. Things will be less hectic here on out.
Your posts give me hope. I've been floundering and adrift for the last 6 months. Barely hanging on and keeping my head above water in pretty much every area of my life, not just diet. Diet and exercise have just become part of the blur. Perhaps it is my personality, but if I try to focus on one thing, it is all consuming, and everything else just sort of falls away.
I need to do what you've done. And get my head on straight. I need a more defined action plan.
I like you hypothesis about the post-loss-lull. It seems to be so common. Lose about 40-50% and then it stops. Then we set out tweaking and trying, and maybe just hurting ourselves more in the process.
Anyway, thanks for checking in! I'm really happy for you and more hopeful now. Talk to you later!
|11-25-2012, 01:07 PM||#126|
Senior LCF Member
Late fall update!
I'm plugging along on my merry low carb way. I didn't go off plan for Halloween, my birthday, Thanksgiving, a wedding or a big fancy party I was at. It's been easy for some reason. I've been uninterested in carby foods.
I've been cooking every weekend - making a ton of low carb stuff for the week. Then it is easy to chuck my lunch/dinner in my work bag.
I'm not loving the short days and the grey weather, but still keeping my head above water.
|01-10-2013, 08:09 PM||#127|
Senior LCF Member
I just posted this in another thread and wanted to add it to my journal too.
I have had problems with compulsive overeating on and off since childhood.
I've been doing pretty well lately and feel like I have some good strategies in place.
I read the book Brain over Binge and that helped me immensely.
I had to learn to recognize the feeling of wanting to binge/overeat. For me it is different than the feeling of hunger. For me a binge feels like my brain yelling at me "Eat NOW NOW NOW HURRY HURRY HURRY!! EAT EVERYTHING!!" Or I will get fixated on one specific food and have it pop up in my head over and over and over and over and over.
Hunger feels different - like a feeling in my stomach and maybe getting a little tired.
When I want to compulsively overeat, that message from my brain is very powerful. I hear "Eat now, hurry!" and I think "I have to eat now!" But I can now recognize that it is the binge feeling and not the hunger feeling.
So I have a moment where I recognize "I'm having the binge feeling." At this point I don't care and I still want to just EAT EAT EAT. Logically I know it is the binge feeling, but that doesn't matter.
If I can pause myself here and say "Ok. I am not going to starve to death. I think I will glue myself to the couch for 20 minutes and write in my journal about why I want to eat so much right now." .. then this is the beginning of my path to not bingeing. I promise myself that I will not get up and start eating until I'm done writing in my journal. That act itself is the first thing that helps me see I am not starving to death and having an eating emergency where I need to eat everything.
Then in my notebook I usually write a list of why I want to binge. What am I feeling? It almost always is the same.
I want to.
It would feel good.
It would be fun.
I deserve it.
I'm always so strict on plan and I need to let loose.
Everyone else gets to eat X and I don't.
It's not fair.
As I write these down I can see that they are all terrible reasons to overeat. In some cases they are completely false. "It would feel good?" - actually, a binge feels terrible. Stomach pain, digestive problems, I will sleep bad, feel guilty, etc.
"It would be fun?" For me, a binge is not actually fun. Maybe it is fun for about one minute, but then I feel nervous, anxious, guilty, mad at myself, in pain from putting too much in my stomach, etc.
"I deserve it?" Well.. it's true that I deserve good stuff and I deserve to feel good. But food is not about "deserve", food is about nutrition and fueling positive energy. I definitely deserve good things but I know a binge is not a good thing. In fact I don't deserve the pain and regret a binge will bring.
"It's not fair?" No.. life is not fair. Not at all. And this is crazy frustrating sometimes. But how does me overfilling my stomach make life more fair? There is no logic in that. If I eat a ton of candy, it will not be some grand "In Your Face" move against thin people who can eat candy. I will just feel bad later. I will never go "WOW, I sure am glad I ate all that candy! I really showed those thin people what's what!"
So as I write down my list, I think each item through and go "is this really a good reason to overeat? Is this really what I want and what's best for me?" And the answer is no. Then by the time I have written down all my reasons to binge and all my reasons not to binge, I realize that I don't want to binge anymore. At this point I lose all the tension that had been building up. It is not a struggle anymore. I just think "yes, actually, I don't want to binge" and then go do something else.
So this is what has helped me this past year... as you can see I am a bit of a nut, but this post is my truth. It helped me so I figure maybe it can help others too.
|01-10-2013, 08:34 PM||#128|
Senior LCF Member
My New Year Update:
I didn't go off plan for Christmas or New Year's. In fact I have not been off plan since August.
I'm doing Atkins OWL. I have my base of low carb foods and then am having some higher rung stuff like 1/4 of a sweet potato now and then. I cook at home way more than eat out. I brown bag it for lunch every day. Some of my coworkers are obsessed with what I eat for lunch because I am so "healthy" .. (or "weird").
country style ribs (current favorite)
coffee (have started having caffeinated again and am monitoring anxiety)
vodka and soda as my drink when out
half and half
sweet potato (small portion, less often)
Fresh raw cranberries - 6 in my lunch for dessert
10 blueberries in my yogurt
raw almond butter
squeeze of lemon
Davinci's SF syrups
Lindt 85% or 90%
LC zucchini muffins
Vitamin D3 because of the wintry sunless tundra I live in
cod liver oil
Current exercise plan is hiking and walking. 2-5x week. I'm going to start lifting weights 2x week once the spring semester schedule settles in a little. Maybe get a regular yoga schedule going too. I use a free yoga website with a ton of videos. Basically my schedule changes every 4 months and I have to re-calibrate exercise times.
Another positive thing has been meeting with a LC group in person once a month. Always fun to talk low carb with like minded people. It is invigorating.
And that is my update!
Speck if you read this - how are things with you?
|01-10-2013, 09:39 PM||#129|
I'm so glad you posted Elizabeth! I was just thinking about you the other day, wondering how you were. Your post on binging is really important. You said some things in it that resonated with me, but instead of "binge" I replaced it with a different activity that impacts me negatively. I'm so impressed with you and all the others who did not go off plan. Me? I tail-spun nearly out of control for the last several months. I gained ten pounds in 2012, most of it since October. I have come back to posting and reading a lot more often here in the New Year. Staying away did not help me like it did you. I need the support I get here. But, I am back on track and feeling much better in just the one week I've been back.
|03-02-2013, 09:08 AM||#130|
Senior LCF Member
Late winter update!
I am in the clutches of winter depression and it sucks monkey butt. Life in January and Feb has been a blur of work, stress, feeling sad and trying to get my head above water. This pretty much happens every year, so I don't know why it surprises me. I think because I feel happy until the holidays and then the decline starts in Jan when it is negative 10 degrees and the sun is setting at 4:30. It gets to be painful to go outside because it is so cold, and then I get cabin fever. And the days are so short; they are over before I know it and I feel like I didn't get anything done. And then work has been somewhat bananas dealing with all the usual work ups and downs plus this one particular massive, overarching institution-wide problem we're dealing with that is nebulous and not solvable in the foreseeable future. It is rather exhausting to face every day. I go to work and put in a lot of my life energy, and then I often come home and just feel empty/flat.
I have continued my strategies of exercise, journaling, cooking (a hobby I enjoy) and hiking outside (when it is not too frigid).
One thing I have been not doing well at is social interaction outside of work. The majority of my day at work involves interacting with coworkers, my own students and then students who I don't know personally (probably 60-100 people every day). Those have all been going fine, i.e., I don't find myself avoiding my duties or avoiding talking to people at work. But then when I get home, I feel exhausted and want to isolate myself. I know this is a problem because then the vast majority of my interactions are work-related and relatively few are personal. That makes the work-life balance skew too heavily towards work.
Exercise - I'm going to run a 5K race in April and have been working on getting and staying ready for that. I have also been medium-decent at having a regular weightlifting schedule since January. I do cause myself a certain amount of grief about not exercising enough, but when I step back and look at the big picture, I do have pretty good regular habits.
I am up 4 pounds to 156.5. I am working on that. I haven't had as careful of an eye on my food. It's hard to do when I feel so sad so much of the time.
This last week I tried a new thing where I planned out all my meals in advance for the entire week and did as much prep as possible on Sunday. I.e., if my lunch on Weds included 3oz radishes, I measured them out on Sunday and put them in a little baggie. And my dinner Thurs was 4 oz Polish sausage and 1 c broccoli, so I measured the amounts and stuck them in a Pyrex in the freezer.
Then I pre-tracked the whole thing on a calorie tracking website.
It was novel and kept me on plan/not overeating, and I think I will try it again for this week. I stuck to induction foods and that felt pretty good. I don't know if I will do it every week, because it did take a lot of work on Sunday.
Anyways, that is my update for now. Hanging in there and trying to turn my depression boat around. But it is huge and takes a long time to turn. I'm looking forward to the snow melting, longer days, signs of spring, warmer temps, and being outside more often.
|03-02-2013, 10:48 AM||#131|
Hi Elizabeth! Big about the depression. I'm so sorry. I know what it feels like. Funny, I lived in Montana for a couple years and the days were so crazy short (like sun up at 10am and down at 3pm) in the winter and so cold, but I didn't seem to notice. Now, here in CA, I hate that it's dark at 5... though it's closer to 6 now. And I cannot wait for daylight savings time to start next week!
|04-07-2013, 08:37 PM||#132|
Senior LCF Member
It's April! Speck -- are you done in May? I CAN'T WAIT!! OMG. I love summer.
Exercise: Today I ran 3.6 miles without stopping. I had stopped running completely from about September until Feb, then started Couch to 5k again. I got up to week 5 and then sort of veered off into my own program:
Mon 1 mile, Weds 1 mile, Sat 2 miles
Mon 1 mile, Weds 1 mile, Sat 3 miles
Mon 2 miles, Weds 2 miles, Sat 3 miles
Mon 2 miles, Weds 2 miles, Sat 3 miles
Mon 3 miles, Weds 3 miles, Sat 3 miles
I wanted to start going outside AND I wanted to listen to my own music. So the past couple weekends I still had to take breaks during my runs but today I didn't have to! So that feels like an accomplishment.
Food: I would definitely call myself Moderate Carb. I've been having mod carb items every day, but they are whole foods. I had tabbouli today, and some sweet potato. Had oatmeal a few times the past few weeks. Quinoa once. Hummus once. For now this is still pretty novel. I look forward to my food but haven't been overeating.
Weight: My weight has not gone back down. I kind of think it might not. I think I have regained my water weight now that I am not strict low carb. And I think I have gained some fat too. I'm not thrilled about that or anything. But for now, I am trying to not sink my mental and physical health, so I'm not low carbing or restricting calories. I'm focusing on eating whole foods, exercising, and fueling my health so I can feel positive and have energy.
Mental Health: This has improved in the last month. I had a warm and sunny trip to Mexico and I think the Vitamin D and relaxation did good things for me.
Honestly - I do think that for me, in my body, there is a link between these:
Staying too low in carbs
racing thoughts, insomnia, increased worry
physical manifestations of stress
I think, based on family and personal history, I have always had a brain that is prone to depression and anxiety. For me, keeping carbs low felt great for about the first 2 years. Then it started to feel bad and didn't get any better. I kept at it for 2.5 more years and had a lot of downs and some ups. I currently don't have a steady drip of worry/sadness/anxiety/hypersensitivity. I mean - I am not a doctor. I could be completely off base with this and placebo-effecting the hell out of myself. But when I think about the difference between this year (moderate carbs, whole foods, not counting calories) and last year (low carb, whole foods, counting/restricting calories) I can see that this year, I have not been waking up with an instant drip of dread, whereas last year this was happening to me regularly.
Bingeing/desire to overeat: I have not been struggling with this at all. Last year at this time I was. Last April I was doing the Leptin reset and counting/restricting the heck out of my calories. I think this gave me visits from the hungry monster. But lately, yeah, I haven't felt restricted because of the inclusion of a larger variety of foods. So I haven't had the desire to overeat. I would not be so presumptive as to call myself cured for life, yay or anything like that. I just have been in an upswing lately.
Inspiration: I read a book that I really enjoyed and would recommend. It is called "Start Where You Are" by Pema Chodron. It has nothing to do with food/fitness. It's kind of a philosophy/healthy head space book.
Last edited by ElizabethLC; 04-07-2013 at 08:38 PM..
|05-29-2013, 03:20 PM||#134|
Senior LCF Member
Late Spring Update:
Food: Eating a base of veggies, eggs, coconut oil, butter, half and half, yogurt, fresh herbs. Also including servings of moderate/high carb whole foods like rice, quinoa, beans, sweet potatoes, potatoes, popcorn, oatmeal and fruit. General focus is on "whole foods" and "cooking at home".
Exercise: Working on Hal Higdon's 10-mile training plan. I'm in week 4 and I have built up this flow of energy where I do not dread working out. I wake up excited to work on my training (and then also do other exercisey things like yardwork or nature walks). The plan involves, weekly:
3 runs (2 shorter, 1 longer)
Weight: Have not weighed but I would guess my weight is up from my lowest. I would guess I am around 160.
General plan: For now, I want to focus on being not depressed or stressed. I want to eat enough to fuel health, exercise and adventures but not so much that I gain excess fat. I do not think I am overeating, but I certainly have lied to myself about whether or not I was overeating/gaining weight in the past. I think I have gained some skills about self honesty from journaling about binging last summer. I am continuing to use those skills. I'm going to continue my focus on ...
1. whole foods...for the summer and see where that takes me.
If I feel great and like the way my body looks, I will keep doing the same plan.
If I feel great but don't like the way my body looks (i.e., too much fat), I will modify my food choices and intake amounts.
If I start hating/dreading the amount of exercise, I will tone it down.
|06-29-2013, 05:48 AM||#135|
Senior LCF Member
Summer update! MAN, I LOVE SUMMER!!
My weight is up from my lowest. On the one hand, argh! But on the other hand, I have muscles, my midsection fat (aka stress fat) has reduced, I feel happy, and I have energy. I used to scoff at people who were up in weight but claimed to be happy. I was all about the number and couldn't believe that anyone could be happier at any kind of higher number. Well, lesson learned on that one! Sorry for sending that jerky mental energy out into the world.
Exercise: I'm on Week 8 of training for my 10 mile race. Today I have a 7 mile run scheduled and I feel great/excited about it. Still doing, weekly:
This week looks like this:
Food: Happy to report that I have not been fighting the binge monster .. at all. Still moderate carb. I would put myself in the highest rungs of Atkins OWL. I eat a base of protein/veg and have bits of moderate carb and even high carb foods (more rarely). I don't let the mod carb stuff become a large chunk of the meals. They are more like "sides" or "garnishes".
Obviously I wouldn't have all of that at the same time! I combine those with protein and fat to make a full meal.
Sample menu - Yesterday
Energy and mental health: I really love having a lot of energy each day for exercise, yardwork, house projects, errands, getting things done, having an active social life, etc. When I compare how I felt earlier this year (Jan/Feb/March) to how I feel now, I feel I have much more energy now. Part of this is the weather - I have crazy Seasonal Affective Disorder and feel worse in the winter than the summer. Another part of feeling better was building up my exercise bit by bit. This was hard! But worth it. When I am depressed/low energy, just starting exercise feels like SUCH a chore. My body tells me not to spend energy. It's like, "wouldn't you rather sit still?" So, taking it step by step and building up a base of exercise/energy was very helpful for me.
Sooooooo, that is my latest update. Speck, hope your busy June/July is going as well as possible!
Hi to anyone else who reads this Let's face it, probably no one!!