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10 day cleanse.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

So, I met with my naturopath this morning. He gave me the 10 day (actually it's only 9 days, but whatever) "fat burning" cleanse. Days 1-4 aren't so bad. Days 5-7 suck the proverbial monkey butt. Day 8 kind of stinks, but is doable. And day 9 is not so bad. Day 10 is supposed to be the "congrats you did it!" day - but I'm planning on repeating Day 1 on Day 10. Just to clean it all up and end it on a happy note.

Day 1 = tomorrow.

I'm trying to tell myself that although Days 5-7 are going to be REALLY difficult - it's only 3 days. And I will survive.

So, here it is. Biggest, scariest, least happy part of this whole thing: no caffeine. Deep breath. I know. It's terrifying. Ten days without caffeine. Oy vey. But, it's ok. My naturopath has given me Lecithin, Liquid B Vitamins, and chamomile tea to help me through the cravings and side effects. I will survive. But - eeeeep!!! that the "scary" part is out...let's move on with the next phases...

Day 1 - no meat, no refined sugars, no caffeine, no artificial colors/flavors/sweets.

Day 2 - same as day 1 plus no dairy and no eggs. Plus 2 scoops powdered cleansing beverage.

Day 3 - same as above plus no wheat, rye, barley, spelt, kamut, and corn. Plus 2 scoops powdered cleansing beverage.

Day 4 - same as above, plus no other grains, no nuts, no seeds, and increase powdered cleansing beverage to 2 scoops 2x day. Meals should consists of fruits, vegetables, and legumes.

Day 5 through 7 - same as above, excluding all legumes, fruits, and vegetables except: cruciferous vegetables, apples, and pears. Increase powdered cleansing beverage 2 scoops 4x day.

Day 8 - Gently add back fruits and veggies. Minimal brown rice, if necessary - but not recommended (due to amount of weight to lose). Powdered cleansing beverage - 2 scoops 3x day.

Day 9 - Add back millet, tapioca, amaranth, buckwheat, quinoa, teff, legumes, nuts, and seeds. Decrease powdered cleansing beverage to 2 scoops 2x day.

Day 10 and beyond - it says to "slowly reintroduce foods". I'm going to repeat day 3 or 2 at this point.

I'm meeting with my naturopath on Day 9, so we can determine what to do on Day 11 and on.

I've already come up with delicious meal plans for all the days' menus. I'm concerned about Days 5-7 though...because that is NOT a lot of option. My plan is an apple for breakfast, with the powdered shake. Lunch will be sauteed broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage, with an apple, and powdered shake. Dinner will be a giant green salad, with an apple, and powdered shake. And my snack will be an apple with the last powdered shake thing.

My main concern with Days 5-7 are as follows:

2 - What if I get hungry?
3 - A girl can only eat so much broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, etc.
4 - Will I be hungry?
5 - Snore.
6 - Have I mentioned my concerns over being hungry?

I have ways to combat hunger. I can drink more water than I normally do. If I keep pumping water into my tummy, I should be ok. Peppermint tea and chamomile tea will be flavorful and help me feel full. I will savor every bite of apple. I will get through it. It's ONLY three days.

I'm feeling GREAT about the other days though - plenty of food choices. So many delicious fruits and veggies!

I'm REALLY excited about tomorrow. The menu: Almond meal pancakes topped with fruit for breakfast. Lunch is a baked potato with fat free cheese and broccoli. Dinner is a black bean burger with grilled onions, mushrooms, sliced avocado, and a side of sweet potato - how yummy!!!! SO excited!!!!

Thursday is going to be yummy too! Steel cut oats with almonds, almond milk, and fresh fruit for breakfast. Leftover black bean burgers with sweet potato fries for lunch. Dinner is a black bean and corn salad with avocado over spring greens. Very excited to explore a semi-vegetarian, almost vegan lifestyle for a few days.

It's going to be a wonderful experiment.

Just have to talk myself through Days 5-7...

Happy 4th of July to all!!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WHITNEYLD 7/7/2012 2:09PM

    Good luck! emoticon

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HOPEFULHIPPO 7/7/2012 1:55PM

    Hey this sounds awesome! I'm curious to see how it goes :o)

Don't worry about days 5-7 until you reach them. A lot of times our minds can build up more anxiety then it's worth. You may get there and be like "gosh, I was so worried, but it went by easy peasy" LOL

Never heard of this...

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SWEDE_SU 7/4/2012 8:45PM

    with your concerns about being hungry, remember that you can eat A LOT of broccoli and cauliflower and cabbage to fill you up - and get a lot of bang for your nutrient buck. one of my favorite ways to have those vegetables is to chop them in the food processor so they look like confetti and then adding lemon juice or a good vinegar - you can eat a huge amount, and it tastes delicious. broccoli is particularly important because it is a good source of protein (surprisingly!) and my experience (as a vegan) is that you need protein (normally legumes, which you are omitting those days) to feel full. otherwise much of what you are doing is the way i eat every day (but including small amounts of nut, seeds and healthy fats), and i can highly recommend it!

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GRANNYSUE9 7/4/2012 2:39PM

    Be careful with your cleanse. Let me know how it works for you and if you lose weight. Have a safe and happy 4th! Stay cool and drink your water!

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TINAJANE76 7/4/2012 5:35AM

    I have to admit I was a bit worried when I saw the title of your blog because I thought you were going to be doing a juice fast. Although you do get to eat different types of food, a few of the days seem to be quite restrictive so please be careful and insist that your naturopath develop a longer-term meal plan that includes a variety of all types of food when you finish with this. These types of programs can be useful in kick-starting a weight loss program but they're not long-term solutions that teach us how to come to terms with our food issues and lead a healthy but balanced lifestyle. Good luck with this and let me know how it goes.

Comment edited on: 7/4/2012 5:37:04 AM

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Sunday, July 01, 2012

I have to start somewhere, right?

If I continue to do what I've been doing, I'm going to continue getting the same results. I'll be exactly where I am right now. Which is not acceptable at this point. I need to change. And it needs to start somewhere.

A friend of mine once said "you lose weight in the kitchen, and get fit in the gym". Exercise and Food. Those are the two keys to weight loss. Those are the two keys I need to learn to master. And I have to start somewhere.

I struggle with my nutrition - trying to eat a clean diet, and avoid giving in to temptation. Although I do have cravings, I find that if I am satisfied, or satiated, I can usually deal with the cravings. What eventually does me in are my feelings of deprivation. I can handle a craving or two, but after two weeks of telling myself "you can't have sugar, ever again!", I naturally rebel. And then - BAM! I'm off the wagon in a major way...and have to cajole myself into getting back ON the wagon....which can take days...weeks...sometimes months.

I have gotten some AMAZING and WONDERFUL suggestions from friends on how to get the nutrition aspect under control: 1) ensure I am getting adequate protein (to avoid cravings); 2) allow myself a cheat meal (instead of a cheat day - which I have a hard time controlling, and end up feeling guilty about); and 3) change my perspective.

Allowing a cheat day can help me avoid the feelings of deprivation. I get caught up in "I can't ever have a cupcake, ever again, for the rest of my life"...which leads to "I WANT, no, I NEED a cupcake NOW!" If I just change my approach to "I can have a cupcake...on my free day...and on every free day after that...for the rest of my life", maybe that will prevent me from losing my marbles. Telling myself nothing is "off limits" may help me to enjoy treats in moderation. :) And, I'm also giving myself freedom during vacations (which happen once a year, or every 15 months), or special occasions (like Christmas and Thanksgiving).

I have a black and white attitude. I think "all or nothing". And that is detrimental to getting started on my fitness goals. It's also really hard because I worked VERY hard and trained for a half marathon last October (completed it and got a new PR!!!), and was determined to NOT stop running...only to give in and stop running in November. And I didn't run in December. Or January. Or February. Or March. Or April. And so on. I've signed up for numerous C25K programs, only to not follow through. And I keep beating myself up over my "failures" and my "slacking".

But, once again - I need a change of attitude. As I mentioned before - I have to start somewhere! So, I'm back to square one, fitness wise. So, I can't go out and run 10 miles because I feel like it. So, I can't go out and run even two miles right now! Big deal! I will get there!!! I have to start somewhere. And it means I need to put on my shoes, and I need to go outside, and I need to start moving.

I need to start somewhere! And if I don't change now, then I can't complain about the fact that I'm not running next week....or next month. How can I expect to, unless I actually GO DO IT!

And I want the fitness to be a regular thing. I don't want to dread my runs. I want to enjoy my outside time.

So, my goal is to get outside for at least 20 minutes. M-F, my ultimate goal is to do the C25K program for 20 minutes. At the very least, I am planning on doing the C25K program 3x/week. AND, with the plethora of AMAZING fitness videos and resources on sparkpeople - I am going to try to do 15-30 minutes of cardio/strength training videos 2-3x/week. Lots of goals! I am going to challenge myself to do this!

I have a wonderful starting point and I am excited to challenge myself and look forward to my progress!

So, my dear, wonderful, supportive and loving friends - here is to a wonderful summer! And a wonderful start!

THANK YOU dear friends for all the amazing support and suggestions!

I have to start somewhere, right?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HOPEFULHIPPO 7/3/2012 3:11PM

    Go Dawgs!! emoticon emoticon

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CASSIELU87 7/3/2012 1:45AM

  Super motivating post! I'm so glad you're feeling better and have a great plan! It sounds like you've had a shift in mentality that will = progress! emoticon

AZJOEC73's post today has a little mantra that goes with your new plan and perspective:

Totally feeling the SP community love today :)

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RUFFIT 7/2/2012 3:31PM

    We all start somewhere. I take baby steps. I started with my water - making sure I drank my water and worked on that for a while. Then I started on the fruits and veggies and so on. Baby steps so I would not go into overload and burn-out. Hope that makes sense. You can and will do this!! Hugs, Moni emoticon

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GRANNYSUE9 7/2/2012 3:03PM

    You can do this!! Yes, we have to start somewhere!! One day at a time, one meal at a time. For me a lot of it is mind over matter. emoticon emoticon

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KOFFEENUT 7/2/2012 2:41PM

    You're so right - EVERY small step in the right direction takes you closer to your goals! Getting in SOME kind of fitness every day will give you such a feeling of success, even if it is only 10 minutes. I wasn't able to restrict my nutrition to "cheat" days. I had to find a place in my calories EVERY day for some kind of sweets (my personal Achilles heel!). Find what works for YOU.

Comment edited on: 7/2/2012 2:41:44 PM

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TINAJANE76 7/2/2012 5:12AM

    Sounds like you've got a great, focused plan. I absolutely agree with the cheat meal approach as opposed to the cheat day. You can generally avoid going totally bonkers all day but still have something to look forward to for staying on track the rest of the week. I don't usually set limits for myself for my cheat meal, but try to stop when I start to get that uncomfortable full feeling. I almost always track my cheat meals as best I can and they rarely put me more than 1,000 calories over my usual range--not enough to undo a whole week's progress but definitely enough to keep me satisfied and motivated the rest of the week.

Remember that your all-or-nothing mentality can affect your diet as well as your exercise program. Although "eating clean" is an admirable and healthy goal, even the most dedicated of people who've been following this approach for a long time don't stick to it 100% of the time. Work on getting there slowly and listen to your body. If your body is going into panic mode because it thinks you're never going to be able to have sweets again, which leads to a binge for you, plan to have a small amount of sweets every day as part of one of your meals. You just might find that 50 calories of chocolate is all it takes to ward off binges and help to make you not feel deprived. That's hardly going to wreck your diet for the day, especially if most of your other choices are good ones. Eating the treat with your meal, NOT as a snack on its own, can also help you from overdoing it. If you've already consumed a few hundred calories and are not feeling famished, you're less likely to eat 500 calories or more of chocolate.

It really sounds like you're in a great place mentally and that's a huge component of focusing yourself on setting and achieving your goals. Keep up the great work and remember to lean on your SparkFriends here when you need to. Many of us have been where you are!

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    sounds like you have a good plan ahead of you!! We're all here to cheer you on and help you when you need it! emoticon

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Hello, my name is Jenn...

Friday, June 29, 2012

…and I am an emotional eater.

What exactly does that mean? It seems to be such a “catchy” weight loss category. But what exactly does it mean?

It means I have an unhealthy relationship with food. It means that I have an addiction to food. It means that eating makes me feel better. Eating soothes my soul. Eating makes me happy.

But, it’s more than that too. It’s not about eating anything – for example, eating a bowl of carrots does not soothe my soul or make me happy. Eating a bowl of popcorn does. Eating a bowl of carrots, and telling me I cannot have the popcorn makes me want to cry. It seriously depresses me.

For the longest time, I would consider the fact that I was an emotional eater, and leave it at that. So what – food makes me feel good. Big deal. I thought my weight loss journey was about eating healthy foods, avoiding the bad, exercising, and voila – I’d be skinny and sexy. I am slowly starting to realize that is NOT the case at all. I know how to make healthy choices. I know that I should have a giant salad with some protein for lunch and/or dinner.

I know that my body needs 8-10 servings of fruit and veggies a day to function appropriately! I know that a glass of juice does not even come close to counting as a serving of fruit. I know that 3500 calories = 1 lb. I know that I should omit the bread at the restaurant, pack up half my meal in a to-go box, and enjoy every bite. I know that the giant scone I am stuffing into my face is full of empty calories and not going to fuel my body with the nutrients it needs.

I know that if I choose healthy items I can eat SO much more than if I chose the peanut butter and jelly sandwich, or the giant bacon, egg, and cheese bagel. I am aware of all of this. Yet, on a continuous basis, I ignore the facts and reach for the cookie…knowing full well as I reach for the cookie/donut/insert whatever non-nutritious item you like, I am going to send myself into a shame spiral where the voice inside my head tells me I’m a failure and a waste of space…but my desire for the cookie/donut/fat laden food is telling the voice that it should shut up, and once I stuff my face with it the voice will quiet down…even for just a second.

And it does quiet down for a second. And then the evil scary voice comes back with a vengeance saying horrible, hateful things to me. Things I would NEVER in a million years even consider saying or thinking about anyone else! Yet, I am fair game, apparently.

A while back I made a promise to myself that I was going to really lose the weight. I was going ot stick to the plan. I was going to be healthy. I was going to stop eating processed foods. I was going to thrive on mainly vegetables, protein, and some fruits. I was going to exercise and I was going to finally learn how to eat to live.

So, I started out, again, on this journey. And after 17 days of sticking to my healthy eating plan, which was admittedly very restrictive, I became extremely depressed. I was highly irritable, and hit a very low place, emotionally. I lost any motivation to do anything. I canceled plans with friends. I isolated myself. I considered suicide. (Yes, seriously. I know – it’s just food, right. But that’s the problem. It’s not just food for me.) I just tried to get through it. And then I hit a breaking point, and I binged. And I felt SO MUCH BETTER. I was happy. I was laughing. I was able to enjoy life again.

Then, it hit me. I really, truly, am an emotional eater. It’s not just a catchy diet thing. It is who I am.

Ok – so I am aware of my disastrous relationship with food. If only being aware were enough to change it. But, it’s not. So, how do I fix it? What do I do to change my relationship with food?

I tried just sticking to a healthy eating plan, thinking that over time, my body would just get used to it and I would forget about the emotional aspect. It didn’t really work. And there could be a million reasons why – maybe I didn’t stick to the plan long enough. I know it takes 21 days to develop a habit. Maybe I needed to give it more time. Maybe it was too restrictive? Maybe I need to allow myself some wiggle room? But doesn’t that defeat the purpose of getting used to eating healthy? Maybe I’m just supposed to be fat and miserable the rest of my life? Maybe this is just who I am and I need to accept it?

Or maybe I need to deal with the emotional aspect first, otherwise I will remain in this yo-yo pattern of self hatred.

So, what’s behind the emotional eating?

Is it because I am a spoiled brat and have an adult version of a temper tantrum (which is sort of what it feels like – “you tell me I can’t eat the cake – screw you, I’m eating the cake!!!!”) at the idea of not having the foods I want and feeling denied?

Is it because my mother breastfed me until I was 2 ½? Is it because I craved her love and affection so much that I associated breastfeeding time with snuggle and love time (she would rock me in a rocking chair). She is a very loving and giving mother – I wasn’t hurting for love and affection – am I just that greedy that I always needed and craved more?

Is it because I am a survivor of childhood sexual trauma and even though I’ve gone through over 5 years of therapy, I haven’t quite dealt with all of it and am stuffing my emotions down with food?

Is it because happy family events always involved food and being part of the events made me feel loved, accepted, and happy? And now I associate those feelings with food? Maybe…

The problem is that none of these reasons ring true to me – nothing is standing out as “Yes!!! That has got to be it!!!” Maybe it’s a little bit of everything.

Earlier this week I went to see a naturopath to help me with my overall health and nutrition. I provided him with my food log from May 14th through June 25th. I explained that I am aware of healthy eating practices, but that I find it so difficult to stick to them. I did not go into details about how eating a very healthy diet makes me a) irritable; and b) depressed, but I told him it was hard for me to stick to a healthy diet.

He, being apparently void of emotion, went on to tell me that grains should not be part of a healthy diet, unless you are doing exceedingly hard physical labor – like an Egyptian building the pyramids, or an African slave stolen from their country and forced into back breaking physical labor, or like a caveman who spent his entire day hunting for food to feed his family.

And since none of those categories applied to me, grains have no place in my diet. He continued to tell me that a healthy diet should consist of plant based foods, and protein – and that was essentially it. I tried to tell him that I understood that, but I am unable to stick to that plan.

He continued to tell me that my being “heavy” as he termed it (and every time he said “heavy” he looked at my protruding belly – not self conscious at all, btw!) was the result of years and years of overconsumption of the “American Diet” which is heavy in carbohydrates, and extremely unhealthy. At this point, I’m thinking “does he think I am not aware of this?”.

And then I realized it. He was not a heavy man. He probably has never had to struggle with his relationship with food. In his mind – we are overweight because we eat too much unhealthy food, and need to eat better healthy food. Simple as that.

But only if it were simple as that!

He is able to unemotionally, and very logically point out that I should be eating vegetables and protein and if I did that, I would lose weight. And since I’m not doing that, I’m “heavy” (i.e. “disgustingly obese and a waste of space”).

Next week he’s putting me on a 10-day cleanse that involves the consumption of shakes, meal replacement, herbs, and who knows what else. Yes, I am going to lose weight on it. And he will say – “see! If you stick to a healthy diet, you’ll lose weight!”. And I will say “yes, I’m aware of this! The key is STICKING TO IT!” And then I’m going to get another lecture about how healthy foods are needed to make our bodies function and carbs are the devil and should not be consumed unless consumed in vegetable/fruit form, blah blah blah.

But I will come back to square one. I cannot follow a 10-day cleanse for the rest of my life. I had a hard time following my 17-Day Diet, Phase I (which is very restrictive – very HEALTHY, but restrictive) – which by the way is what he told me I should be eating for the rest of my life – not just for 17-days.

Square One – yes, I know. Eat healthy = lose weight. Eat like Jenn normally eats = fat ass Jenn. I get it. I’m not an idiot.

But there is something emotionally and logically wrong with me. I cannot seem to stick to the healthy eating. No matter what I tell myself: “this is for your future children – you need to develop healthy eating habits so they can develop healthy eating habits”; “Think of how much better you will feel and look!”; “Finally – you will be able to wear shorts and a bikini!”; “Men will find you attractive!!!”…I continuously fall of the proverbial wagon.

I need to find something I can stick to long term. And I just haven’t found it. And it makes me so sad. I’m a smart woman. Why can’t I get my *^#& together?

Another aspect of it all is the fact that I am constantly comparing myself to other sparkers and their weight loss journeys. I think back to when I first got on this journey and really committed to it – May, 2011.

It took me 5 months to lose 17 pounds. And then I read other sparkers who have lost 50+ pounds in the same amount of time, and I feel like a failure. I try to tell myself – hey – you stuck to something that was DOABLE for FIVE MONTHS (the longest I have ever stuck to a weight loss plan) – and you CONTINUED to stick to it (although not as strictly) through March, 2012 – when I lost another 2 pounds (plus some that I had gained back over the holidays)!!!

So what if it’s going to take you 2-3 years to lose the 50+ pounds you have to lose! YOU CAN DO THIS. The plan I was using was one I thought was doable, long term, for me. I would eat healthily and stick to my calorie range (the low end) through the week. Then, on my weigh-in day, I would allow myself a “cheat” day. I could eat ANYTHING I wanted, all day long. And then, the next day I would get back on the healthy plan. The problem is that the weight loss was slow – too slow for me, after comparing myself to other sparkers, and I decided it wasn’t enough. I needed to be more strict with my plan.

I become so overwhelmed with how far I need to go, that I want to give up. But giving up will only push me further and further away from my goal.

Maybe my goal of eating to live is just never going to happen. Maybe I have to realize that I have an unhealthy relationship with food, and I will have to struggle with it forever…but finding a plan that allows me to not feel deprived, yet allows for weight loss seems almost impossible.

How do you stay motivated? How do you stay on the wagon? How do you fight the urge to give in and give it all up? How do you stick to this?! How do you not compare yourself to others and constantly berate yourself for not being as far along as they are?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SWEDE_SU 6/30/2012 7:15AM

    you have been so open and honest - while not an emotional eater, i am definitely obsessed with food and have triggers that lead to binging. some might say my diet is "restricted" (plant-based vegan), but it really isn't for me. my solution has been to prepare the most delicious food i can, and fill up on it so that there is no need to feel hungry or deprived (with high nutrient value choices, it works). and my plan includes a small treat daily. i've avoided the triggers during this 3-month period on SP, though i have managed to test a few recently, and it seems to have gone well (putting a "portion" of pistachio nuts or chips in a bowl does not lead to refilling it with yet another and another portion, i have been able to accept just one). i think the lack of hunger and the inclusion of a treat has made a difference for me, and the planning and the cooking of deliciousness have contributed to not feeling deprived.

and there is always tomorrow, to start with a clean slate... emoticon emoticon

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TINAJANE76 6/30/2012 4:03AM

    Hi, Jenn! Thanks for writing such an open and candid blog. There are many people here on SparkPeople that share your feelings about food and have had similar experiences. I also have an emotional connection with food and have tried lots of different variations on my diet. Like you, eliminating carbohydrates and being overly restrictive makes me absolutely miserable. I tried doing the low-carb things for one day and nearly had a breakdown over it--it's just not worth it to be that restrictive and take absolutely all of the joy out of eating!

In the past, I was one of those people who could tear through 30 or 40 pounds in three months but I was also a serious binge eater and ALWAYS regained the weight back just as quickly as I would lose it. When I found myself 90 pounds overweight again, I decided that this time was going to be different and permanent. No more quick fix, unhealthy diets, no more eliminating certain types of food and no more restrictive plans that there was no way that I could live with the in the long-term. It took me more than two years to take off the 90 pounds, but I enjoyed my life along the way. Sure, I made sacrifices sometimes, losing weight does involve a certain degree of restriction, but I balanced those sacrifices with regular indulgences--small quantities of my favorite things spaced throughout the week, a weekly indulgence meal where I eat what I want, permission to enjoy myself on vacations and special ocassions (provided they're not every day, of course!) These things have made all the difference for me and I still follow those ideas now, even in maintenance. They've become a permanent part of my life and my relationship with food.

I know that you can be successful with this and work on your trouble areas bit-by-bit and day-by-day. Please don't be afraid to reach out to me or the other people here who have so much great advice and support to give. Many of us have been where you are and are happy to lend a helping hand!

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GRANNYSUE9 6/30/2012 12:30AM

    Hi Jenn! It seems that you do have a lot going on in your mind and that these things are keeping you from making the wrong choices. Of course, you have clearly stated that you already know all of this so I can only encourage you to just take it one day at a time, one meal at a time. It is not easy to not eat in an emotional situation. I do am an emtional eater. I am trying very hard not to be and sometimes I don't succeed, but I pick myself back up and keep on going. I pray that one day it gets a lot easier for you too. In the mean time you have all of us here to help support and motivate you. Don't ever be afraid to ask for help. We all need it from time to time. I know that you can do this!


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MNABOY 6/29/2012 11:14PM

    I eat when I feel blue and got to where 400 would show on the scale. I decided I had eaten myself to a place I didn't wish to continue to live. I still have to fight emotional eating. You will conquer it with time and mind set.

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POLYANNA2 6/29/2012 6:16PM

    Jenn, I don't have great insight into emotional eating. I have many other triggers, but thankfully not that one. I do feel, though, you should take some of that pressure off by accepting that sometimes you're not going to be perfect and allow yourself something that may not be totally healthy but that makes you happy. I think also you might have to schedule that little indiscretion so that it doesn't become the norm.
And you sure don't have to compare yourself to others and how much weight they lose in how much time. They're not living your life and vice versa. You have got to be comfortable with what you're doing in order for it to stick, and if it means going a little more slowly, then so be it.
Focus on the activity-related fun things that you like to do and make them your passion.
I wish you well on the cleanse. Maybe that can give you the fresh start you want in more ways that one, but whatever you do, keep trying, and do it your way.


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MARTHASPARKS 6/29/2012 4:55PM

    Jenn, you are struggling with lots of issues at the same time. I'm not sure that emotional eating covers it. I, too am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse and teen rape. For many years, I felt that if I was big, I was strong and could protect myself. I also knew that I was not as sexually attractive when I was fat. Dealing with those issues doesn't really fall under emotional eating as I understand it. Emotional eating is more of the binging when you are upset, insecure, angry - that type of thing. I'm not an emotional eater but I am a fatigue eater.
On another subject, I don't believe that there are bad foods and unless it is a food that triggers you to eat until there isn't any more (sweets for some, simple carbs for others), you shouldn't deny yourself things. Instead, you should first make sure that you have consumed the healthy foods that your body needs to function. Your body will age better and thank you for that. If you want to plan for a treat, do it, whether it's birthday cake or a glass of wine. BUT you must be willing to limit that to one or two treats a week.
There is a huge movement to eat only vegetables and meat - even fruit is taboo because of its sugar. I think it's just another fad and a path to failure because although it's healthy, it can't be maintained except by a select few people with enormous self control. Another movement is to be very underweight - they've proven that you live a bit longer but who wants to.
Because of medication and health issues, I am very fortunate to lose 2-3 pounds a month, so I have been patiently doing the next right thing for a long time (50 pounds worth over 2 years). If you can, start to focus on health, not weight loss, because if you do, the weight loss follows. Feed yourself right nutritionally and cravings will go away. exercise and you'll start to want to do that more and more. The weight loss will follow.
Most of all, learn to accept yourself as a human being who will make mistakes and will learn from them. Start to identify yourself as a thriver not just s survivor.
You can do this but not if you beat yourself up all of the time. Your attitude determives your success. Start there!

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CASSIELU87 6/29/2012 4:05PM

  Hi Jenn!

It's so great that you are able to be honest about your emotional eating and the causes behind it. I am also an emotional eater (and an emotional binge-eater at single servings here...) and I have definitely had waves of depression come over me as I'm trying to stick to my diet when I really just want to eat candy. Like you, I had success on SparkPeople before and recently got back "on the wagon" only to feel like it's hard to stick with it.

It sounds like having a cheat day was helping you stick to your plan...I know that it helps me to have one day a week where I can eat those things that send my calorie count over its limit for the day, even though it slows down my progress. Slow progress is better than no progress if it means you stick with it! Have you thought of switching to 1 cheat meal instead of a whole day? Then you make it something that you really really want instead of trying to eat everything you possibly can before the clock runs out and you have to start counting again. I know that definitely helps me stay on track the rest of the week, knowing that I can have those fries I really want on Saturday. It also helps to make sure you get in a good workout on your cheat day :)

Some people are able to have treats in their diets every day...for me, it's easier to not have sweets every day so that I don't automatically crave them or binge on them, but some people can have a 150-calorie snack every day - a small portion of something to keep away the deprivation feeling, but staying within your calorie budget. Self magazine's diet plans always include for treats (they even had one plan several months ago that allowed you something like 150 happy calories every day and you could even accumulate them over 3 days to have a big treat).

Hope this helps! Please don't beat yourself up for slow progress - not everyone can drop weight rapidly and that's ok!

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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

I had a very embarrassing, and very difficult night last night, which I shared on my blog.

And I was so surprised to read all the AMAZING, SUPPORTIVE, LOVING, THOUGHTFUL, ENCOURAGING responses! I cannot even BEGIN to tell you how much everyone's responses meant to me!

I've never felt support like this before and it has brought me to tears. I feel so loved and supported right now - I feel like I can accomplish anything!

I am going to do some research and follow up on some of the suggestions made - SO APPRECIATED!

Cannot even begin to THANK everyone for their support - it's really amazing because you don't realize how much words can affect you until they get to your soul.


emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

I am eternally grateful!!!!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MISS-OVEREATER 6/28/2012 4:39PM

    Wohoo! You can do it!

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POLYANNA2 6/27/2012 11:10PM

    This IS an amazing group of people and you CAN accomplish anything. I can't tell you how happy I am to have landed here with all of you.
Let's make the most of this journey together!!!

emoticon Carol emoticon

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SWEDE_SU 6/27/2012 6:41PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

stay positive - that is what community is all about...

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GOODGETNBETR 6/27/2012 5:54PM

    They say it takes a village right? emoticon

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TINAJANE76 6/27/2012 5:03PM

    This really is a wonderful supportive place and I'm so happy that all of your friends here were able to pick you up when you were feeling down. You're on the right track--keep doing what you're doing and don't be afraid to reach out when you need help.

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CHANGING-TURTLE 6/27/2012 3:29PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticonKeep up the good work and every thing will come out alright emoticon

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HAPPYKITTYNZ 6/27/2012 3:18PM

    Hope you are feeling much better today :D emoticon

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RUFFIT 6/27/2012 3:15PM

    emoticon Moni

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ANGRITTER 6/27/2012 3:01PM

    That's why I come to SP at least once a day. It reminds me that I am not alone, there is great adcice, and there is always someone who has just the right words.

Try not to be so hard on yourself. We're all just human and we are our own worst critics.

Try to think positive things, even when negative things are happening. This is something I am learning to do for myself as well.


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Shame Spiral.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

I am spinning out of control in a shame spiral right now.

I am about to admit a few things that may be upsetting or disturbing to some people - but I feel I need to get this off my chest. I'm hoping by purging my feelings it will help to relieve some of my shame. You have been warned.

I made a commitment to myself this weekend that I would get back on track. I was going to stick to my eating plan, I was going to exercise, and I was going to be good. Healthy. Happy. On the way to thin and fit.

Today, I ate my breakfast. Healthy. On plan. I had meetings and did not get to lunch until after 2:30. I had my snack at 3:30. All healthy - all approximately 500-600 calories, total.

I walked to an appointment at lunch, and walked back. I walked to the bus stop this morning, and back this evening.

And I planned a healthy dinner.

When I got home, walked through the door, I changed my clothes and needed to sit down. I was exhausted. I logged my exercise and checked my email.

I developed an intense craving for carbs. When I say intense - I mean INTENSE. Normally, when I develop a craving, if it's not within arms reach, I can push through the craving. However, this one would NOT go away.

So, I rummaged through my pantry and found a packet of top ramen. I ate it.

And the craving was not gone.

So, I decided to walk up to the store and get junk food. Let me explain something. I hate walking. I hate moving. I hate exercise. I live down the hill from an Albertsons. So, going to the store via foot is work. Which I hate.

Yet, my cravings were so strong that I convinced myself my binge (which I knew I was going to partake in) would be ok considering that I was walking to and from the store. ..carrying junk food and a gallon of milk back to my apartment...where I would proceed to stuff my face.

I also did NOT want to move my car b/c parking at my apartment complex is a privilege (too many residents, not enough spots). My drive for junk food and a binge was so much stronger than my desire to sit on my ass. I have never before experienced this. Normally I am too lazy to do anything about the craving.

I feel weak.

I'm going to partially blame my feminine cycle.

I feel weak that I couldn't control my cravings.

I walked to the store. I purchased my junk food, and a gallon of milk. And I walked back.

And after being in my apartment for less than 30 minutes, I had shoved over 1200 calories into my face. The amount of calories I should be eating in one day...I consumed in 30 minutes.

And I forced myself to post my food.

And then the shame spiral started spinning out of control. All of a sudden I had a strong urge to purge.

So, I ran to the rest room and forced my body to give up the binge. I don't know what came over me. I don't know what I was thinking. But I felt compelled.

I do not believe I was able to purge everything, and the sad thing is that I feel badly that I was not able to get everything out.

And now my shame spiral has gotten worse.

Why can't I control myself? Why can't I stick to a healthy eating plan? Why do I give in to temptations? Why can't I grasp that being healthy and fit is so much better than 1200 calories in 30 minutes? Why? WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?! I am so upset with myself.

I am trying to be rational.

We all make mistakes. We all have ups and downs on our journeys. This was a down. It's not the end of the world. So, my weight loss has been pushed off a little bit. Not the end of the world. I can do this! I can get back on track tomorrow! I can be proud of my accomplishments today - healthy breakfast, lunch, healthy snacks, more exercise today than I have done all week!!! And tomorrow, I will have a healthy breakfast, lunch, snacks, and a satisfying healthy dinner that will NOT push me into a shame spiral.

And I will be ok. Mistakes are part of the process. I can do this! I WILL DO THIS! I will succeed!!!

A stumble...a fall...are just that - stumbles and falls. They're not failures. Failure is NOT rising every time I stumble...not picking myself up when I fall.

I am picking myself up. And I am heading toward success!

After this post, and the post that followed regarding emotional eating, I was able to identify what caused my binge and shame spiral. I briefly mentioned it in my emotional eating blog, but did not really think about it until I was talking to a friend about it.

The naturopath I went to see did not have the best bed side manner. When he was doing my health intake and asked me about my menstrual cycles, I mentioned I had an IUD. He asked "For birth control?" (Um...why else would any un-married woman with no children of her own insert a foreign object into her body? Why not a simpler form of birth control if simply for menstrual issues?) Anyway... I said yes.

He then questioned "You're sexually active?" His tone was one of semi-disbelief. I said yes, but in my head I was thinking: "Why would he ask that? Am I that disgusting that he's surprised that anyone would be attracted to me sexually? Am I more hideous that I originally believed and it's a completely unfathomable thought that someone would want to come near me with a 10-foot pole, let alone their body?"

His question, although innocent (I'm assuming), really brought up my feelings and thoughts of self hatred: "He's right - I am disgusting. Who would want to touch me. I don't have a husband, and no prospects in the near future. He's exactly right. No one would ever want me. My fat ass is unloveable and undeserving of love. What's the point of even trying to lose weight?"

...And cue binge eating!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DONTGOAWAYMAD 6/28/2012 1:52PM

    Been there, done that. I have had those cravings, and I know all about purging. Honestly, the only thing that keeps me from doing sometimes is that I did it so much in high school that I'd have to stick a butter knife in my throat to make it happen, and that scares me.

Personally, it took a really long time to adjust to eating right. I have my slips still, but usually, I find that when I eat whatever it was I had to have, it tastes nasty now. I know that isn't much help, but please have faith that it gets better with time.

Another thing I've found is that if I give myself 1,200 calories a day, I ALWAYS binge. It isn't enough for me. What I did is increased my calorie allowance by 50 every 4-5 days until I found the right number. I binged at 1,250. When I let myself have 1,300, I could resist the urge to binge most times. At 1,350, I didn't want to binge often, but I would still not feel entirely satisfied with my allowed food intake. It turns out that for me, the magic number is 1,400. I don't get hungry or want junk food unless I skip a meal or snack. And the weight is coming off faster and easier than when I ate less.


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TINAJANE76 6/27/2012 4:58PM

    Hi Jenn! I feel sooo much for you, hon. I've been where you were last night and it's taken me a long time to get over my disordered eating ways and get to a place that's much more balanced. Those of us with a history of disordered eating often have different reasons for the bingeing (and sometimes subsequent purging). It can help to do what you're doing and blog out what's going on during those days. How are you feeling emotionally? Is there a stressor that set you off? Learning to manage those stressors in a more productive way can be a huge help. Instead of reaching for food, try reaching out to some of your SparkFriends or do something that you really enjoy that will take your mind off of your stress and food (if only temporarily). It can also help to have a plan to deal with your cravings BEFORE they set in. I have a few steps that I normally take that work most of the time. First, I have a big glass of water with lemon. If that doesn't help, I have something healthy, even if it's off my plan for the day, like an apple with a bit of peanut butter. If that still doesn't work, I let myself have a reasonable portion of whatever it is that I'm craving. It might put me over 200 or 300 calories for the day but it's better than a 2,000 calorie binge.

I hope that you're feeling better today and that some of this was helpful for you. Stay strong and remember that tomorrow is always another opportunity for a fresh start.

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GRANNYSUE9 6/27/2012 2:57PM

    First of all, you are not alone in this. We are here for you and you blogging about it is good for you. If you don't tell us you need help, we can't help you. I know I have binged before but I have never purged. You recognize that this was a mistake and we all learn from our mistakes. As you said, you can just get back on track and do better. That's what we all have to do from time to time. The important things is to not let it get you down. You can do this! Pick yourself up and make better choices today. We are here for you if you need us. Try not to be too hard on yourself. emoticon emoticon

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KATYMS 6/27/2012 2:20PM

    I have been where you are at (right down to the rationalizing the binge with a walk to get the offending foods, followed by a purge). I have only purged a handful of times in my life, which sad to say was mostly out of vanity due to whenever I 'chunder' I bust capillaries in my face and have to walk around with purple dots for weeks after. Don't be mad at yourself, just learn from it, and move on. That is all you or any of us can do.
Everyone's suggestions are awesome, I would like to add one though. I tend to do good all day and blow it in the evening so now I save a snack to eat in my car on the way home from work so I walk in the door feeling full. It is usually something short term filling that won't spoil my dinner it just buys me some time till dinner. Like cucumber slices, melon balls, apple slices, carrots, celery etc. I make myself eat it even when I don't feel like it, because when I don't I start thinking about what I can munch when I get home. Low cal. high water volume and, of course, easy to eat while driving;) This has helped me tremendously. Maybe it can work for you too.
We can do this!!! emoticon emoticon

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PHOENIX43 6/27/2012 11:09AM

    For years I would get the most intense cravings - like, "I'll sell my soul for carbs!" cravings.
I finally discovered that my cravings were directly linked to my insulin levels.
It was chemistry, not a lack of will power that powered the madness.
I've been consciously trying to add some protein to each meal/snack and I'm only trying to eat slow release types of carbs (fruit/oats) and I swear my cravings have diminished because my insulin levels are more stable. Also, I cut out all artificial sweeteners which stimulate hunger. Who knew?
I only wish I had figured this out years ago. I hope this helps.
Please don't punish yourself - you CAN do this!


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CRZYHKR81 6/27/2012 10:33AM

    I could have written your blog :( I do the same thing...i can tell when TOM is on his way because I eat anything that isn't nailed down it is horrible! I have also had the same feelings and talks with myself. All you can do is take it one day at a time. I created a category on my food tracker called uh oh emoticon so when I do have a snack atack I know exactly where to track it

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RUFFIT 6/27/2012 9:57AM

    We all make mistakes but we recognize them learn from them and move step forward at a time. I am on a weight loss JOURNEY. No quick fix for me because they don't work!! Take care and don't beat yourself up. Love yourself and move forward which I read you are doing!! Keep up the awesome work!! Hugs, Moni emoticon emoticon

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RUNNER12COM 6/27/2012 9:55AM

    Beating yourself up isn't cardio and shame doesn't burn calories.

Forgive yourself. You're human.

Keep moving in the right direction. It's all any of us can do.

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CHOCOHOLIC2276 6/27/2012 7:47AM

    First off huge hug.

It's ok, I have been through every part of your process. Yup, every part. The craving being so strong you don't listen to reason and only the junk food will do. The weight loss you are trying to accomplish becomes secondary.

I've also dealt with eating disorders. Yours may be a one time thing- please take care of yourself and don't let it develop. You do feel worse afterwards.

Not knowing how restricted your eating is....Are you eating enough throughout the day? Are you allowing yourself to have a cheat day or a special treat once in a while? Please consider adding these into your regime:) Also I am a big believer in swapping- craving ice cream? Get the single serve cup and fit it into your meals. I cannot trust myself with a full carton so I get the single serve. Find what works for you emoticon emoticon

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HAPPYKITTYNZ 6/27/2012 4:35AM

    Aww, poor girl...
It sounds like it was a really strong craving. *hug* I would probably advise to try and forget it even happened and just go on with the next day. Because it seems to be really upsetting you, Which can't help to think about - Everyone makes mistakes, that's why pencils have erasers :)

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SWEDE_SU 6/27/2012 4:17AM

    you say it all at the end of your blog - pick yourself up and move on, tomorrow will be better - make it a new today! emoticon

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GOODGETNBETR 6/27/2012 2:38AM

    I like your last lines. Looking towards future successes is more important that staring in the rear view. I have no experience in purging so I'm not going to speak to that (besides I think I'm too cheap to let go of all that delicious junk food). But we've all been there as far as "Wow! Can't believe I ate a whole large pizza by myself." This health journey, and changing how we look at food and exercise, is like unlocking a door in bad's gonna take some time. There are many keys we must find and hold onto to open the many locks. Even if you kept in the 1200 and you ended your day at say 2500, so what. Tomorrow you'd balance it out with 1500 or so. Sounds like you may not be eating enough and when you're body needs quick fuel of course it's gonna go to carbs. Check out They have great active metabolic calcs for you figure out how much you should be eating. You can do this! emoticon

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WUBBY82 6/27/2012 1:40AM

    I've done the binge and purge before. Sometimes I purge because my stomach feels so heavy after a binge and it's hard to breathe, sometimes just to make myself feel better about the binge. It's not healthy, but it is what it is.

Fall down seven times, get up eight and you will succeed. *hugs*

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2ABBYNORMAL 6/27/2012 12:52AM

    I've had cravings for certain foods that I can't control. All of a certain I'll start eating something, like a box of Cinnamon Wheat Chex, and I've eaten half to three-quarters of the box. This always happens at night. I've never entertained the idea of purging food, but suddenly it sounds like something I should try. Okay, forget it, I don't think I could do it. I always comfort myself with the thought that we all have our ups and downs and soon this cycle will be over.

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STIXXY 6/27/2012 12:40AM

  Good post and you're right it isn't the end of the world, you can be proud of what you accomplished today and what you accomplished tomorrow. Just a thought on the intense craving, is it possible that there is something you are not getting in your diet that you need? Recently I've read some stuff that suggested that when you crave certain sweets or junk food it is because you need certain nutrients. It's very brave of you to force yourself to post those points and to purge your feelings. emoticon

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TELFERS01 6/27/2012 12:37AM

  You go!

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EATVEGAN 6/27/2012 12:34AM

    Let me quote something to you: Our greatest glory consists not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall. Sound familiar? Well, you did that. I think you did great. At times I have had a fall, and gone for months without getting back up. But no more, with help from friends like you on SparkPeople, I'm getting a handle on this. So are you. emoticon

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