Monday, April 18, 2011


Oil on Canvas
48" x 24"
Completed in 2003
© Matthew Felix Sun
via Flickr 
I'm having a hard time of it, y'all.  And as I look back and think about it, I've been struggling off-and-on since about mid-February, but it's gotten harder and harder since then.  This weight-loss process since about that time has felt like two steps forward, one and a half steps back.

Overall, I'm still losing, for which I am very thankful.  I weigh less than I did in mid-February.  But damn if it hasn't felt like an uphill struggle.

Until January, I have to say that on the whole, this losing weight business wasn't very difficult.  Sure I had a couple hiccups, but nothing major.  I remember being surprised at how easy it was, to be honest.

But now?  Now, it's difficult.  Now, I feel like every pound I lose is a battle.  Some weeks I win, other weeks I lose.  Some weeks I'm able to feel pretty good about what I've done (despite a gain), other weeks even a loss seems like a failure.

For the past three weeks, my eating has been a constant struggle.  I'm seriously trying to resist the urge to eat stuff in amounts that I haven't eaten since I started this journey.  Temptation is at every turn and the desire to not just indulge but overeat is strong.  WTF?

To be fair though, these have been extraordinary weeks as well.  My schedule has been chaotic, my activities not my normal routine, and emotions have been up and down.  But still....

I looked back through the blog to see if I could pinpoint a change and I wrote this on 13 February:
The changes in my diet are sustainable and something I can easily do for the rest of my life.  There's been nothing drastic and nothing is off limits, but I find that I don't enjoy overeating anymore.  The misery of being too full isn't worth it.  I find that I crave fruit and vegetables (which I never thought I would).  I could easily choose to eat a big bowl of sauteed zucchini/courgette over a plate of greasy pasta any day.  My portion sizes are smaller and I find quite a bit of satisfaction in recognizing when I'm full and able to push my plate away.  And I don't even count calories or keep a food log but just eat intuitively, with awareness in the back of my mind of what my per day caloric intake should be.
Where did that person go?  And in the space of about 8 weeks no less?  To be fair though, I still don't enjoy overeating....but that doesn't seem to stop me or curb the desire to overeat.  Why is that?  I have a few theories, but nothing that seems to pinpoint it exactly where my mind says, "Yep.  That's it.  You've hit the nail on the head."

I started back on depression medication back in January, and after a month I went for a refill and to consult with the doctor about dosage and some side-effects (namely complete loss of libido, which I know is common) that I was experiencing.  He suggested I taper down, to take only half the already small dosage I was on.  In the end, I stopped taking it altogether after a couple weeks of weaning off because the doctor had also basically implied that so little a dosage indicated that I was finding results more out of a placebo effect rather than the actual medication.  Nice.  Since that made me feel like a bit of a hypochondriac, I stopped taking it.  And when did I stop completely?  About the end of February.  Hmmm.....

via Stephen.D.Hammond. on Flickr
I'm also wondering if it's time to bring in outside help, to start seeing a counselor/therapist who is able to observe from the outside and point out things that I am just too close to see.

Am I self-sabotaging as I approach 
the 50 lb lost mark?  

I don't think so, but we all know how the subconscious works and at this stage, I'm willing to concede that anything may be possible.

I'd like to think that I'm pretty self-aware, but this journey has taught me that there are things about which I have huge blindspots and just can't see very well on my own.  I knew at some point seeing a professional would be necessary, but given the cost involved, I wanted to hold off as long as I could.  Maybe the time has come.  So I'm going to start looking around and see if there's anyone in the Belfast-area who specializes in overeating and obesity-related counseling.  Will let you know what I find, or if anyone has any recommendations, email me.

And then, I say to myself:
When you hear hooves pounding, don't suspect zebras.  

Is there anything else going on diet-wise that could be contributing to this?

And so I wonder if I'm not getting enough protein and that's why I've been feeling like I've been starving for the last 3 weeks (I started the pescatarian adventure on 9 March).  I thought I had done pretty well at replacing meat-based proteins for eggs, fish and nuts, but maybe I haven't.  Since I haven't been counting the protein (shame on me), that could very well be the case.  I may need to go get some protein shake mix and supplement my diet for a while.  And be more diligent about taking my vitamins.

So, my plan of action (because I'm tired of this crap):
  • Get a protein supplement and take my vitamins every day for this coming week and see if my appetite and control over food is any better
  • Research a counselor and see what options are available to me here and the cost involved
  • If I don't see any improvement from the protein supplement and vitamins, then I'll seriously consider going back to medication, but I want to exhaust all other possibilities first.
Will keep you updated on how it all goes.

Have you ever struggled with something like this?  
What did you do to overcome it? 


  1. I hit walls like this surprisingly often, and it was definitely hard around 275 - because that was the lowest I'd ever been with my previous attempts to lose weight. I sat down and asked myself, "This is the smallest number you've seen in years - why are you stalling? What are you afraid of?" And you know, I was afraid of a lot of things. Succeeding. The unknown. The new way of life.

    The transition with meds and the stress of school/life are likely culprits for some of the stress and frustration, though the protein may very well be a factor, too. It keeps you feeling fuller longer than carbs. If you need/want some protein bars from the US, let me know, I'd be more than happy to send a care package! ♥

  2. I am in the EXACT SAME BOAT! It was like up until I hit my 50 pound mark, it was pretty smooth sailing and then it was like I hit a wall and everything since has been a struggle to lose. My eating has played the major role in this set back, but its like no matter what I do, I can't seem to stay as strict as I did in the beginning. Maybe I need a little break before I kick it back into high gear, I don't know... All I know is its been hard for about six weeks now.

  3. HI Jayme, this is interesting, now I have a bit of a theory, mostly because it seems to resonate with me. I think the nearer one gets to ones goal, the more change occurs and there is real loss, not just in the weight dept, but also loss of the "fat person", she is slipping away and she has been around for such a long time. Who is going to replace her? Do you know this other peson? I know when I get near my goal, only about 14lbs to go for me, the self sabotage kicks in big time........I do think it has something to do with seeing myself as a size 12 person, while I want it so much, with it comes the loss of so many excuses I have used in the past to "stay safe!". Well done you. x

  4. "Have you ever struggled with something like this? What did you do to overcome it?"

    Yes. It's because I suffered with ED (Eating Distress). I see all of the symptoms in you.

    I could lose weight for a while but ultimately my insatiable hungers were emotional and psychological rather than physical, so I would eat to feel ok again, and then regain. I went to the Marino Therapy Centre in Clontarf, Dublin, where I have begun recovery (and boy is it wonderful).

    Step 1 (particularly important for obese patients): Stop all dieting
    Step 2: Throw out the weighing scales
    Step 3: Get ED-specific help (not just general counselling)
    Step 4: Recover and become slim and free :)

    I swear, it gets better.


  5. I was 2 pounds from hitting 50 pounds and I hit a wall. For three weeks I either maintained or gained weight. I struggled with my food choices and working out was not even in my radar. But after that third negative weigh in, I decided I had enough and went back to basics. I reread some of my WW material and tracked EVERYTHING. I would love to say that I worked out but I didn't. During that week, I lost my job and that could've been my excuse to binge or say "F*ck WW". But I didn't. I kept at it and that next weigh in I lost 5.6 lbs. I needed that so much at that time.

    Maybe you need to take a step back (perhaps read older posts when you first started your weight loss journey) and see what worked for you. You know you can do it.

  6. You know there have been a few times during my life where the going was tough. Seeking out of counselor was one of the best things i did for myself. I encourage you to do it, too. You are making a life style change and a commitment to yourself to be kind to yourself and care for your self. A therapist can help you uncover some of the blindspots (as you noted) above and assist you in really caring for yourself. One of the best parts of this journey is learning more about oneself and why we do (eat) the things we do. Stay strong, michele