Wednesday, February 8, 2012

In Which the Dieting Heroine Discusses Poop -- Proceed with caution

Okay, I'm not really going to talk about poop, well, not explicitly.  But my bowel rumblings will factor into this update so I would proceed with caution if you have a disdain for bodily functions or you have... manners.

My first weight loss update is here.  Here is my progress:

January 6th                                296
January 13th                              291
January 20th                              290
January 27th                              289
February 3rd                              288

I'm losing a healthy pound a week so far with an overall weight loss of 8lbs in a five week period of time.  That's a 1.6lb average!  I weigh in this Friday and hopefully I will have lost another pound.

Okay, on to this week's friend and foe.  

Warning:  A discussion of poo ensues:

Friend: Probiotics 
When I had my sinus infection in late January I was put on antibiotics.  Because I was using Health Services at the university as opposed to going to the doctor, I was only able to get an antibiotic and I couldn't get that lovely little pill that would keep me from getting a yeast infection.  I really didn't want a yeast infection, so in addition to eating a shit-ton of yogurt I started taking a probiotic.  It is the Walgreens' brand and about $20 for a pack of 60 pills.  Not only did I not get a terrible yeast infection, but I also have avoided my terrible stomach issues from eating healthy.

For the past three years -- with the exception of my pregnancy -- I have struggled with eating fruits and vegetables.  I adore vegetables, but the stomach repercussions were awful.  I joined eDiets last year and was following their diet plans for a dairy-free diet.  At the time Atticus still had a dairy problem and I wasn't trying to lose weight as much as I was trying to achieve a balanced diet.  The first two days were fine and then the shit hit the fan... nearly literally.  My stomach was tight and distended.  I had constant gas.  I was pooping 5 to 7 times a day MINIMUM.  I felt sluggish and disgusting.  I kept up with the diet for two weeks thinking that my stomach just needed time to adjust.  Nope.  I was miserable.  And the same thing happened when I was dieting in 2007 and when I made an attempt at being vegetarian in college.  

I've been to doctors for the stomach trouble and it would end in tears and frustration:

Doctor:  "You are fat.  You need to lose weight.  Eat fruits, vegetables, and whole grains."

Me:  "Okay"

Two weeks later:

Doctor:  "Your stomach cannot handle the fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.  Eat something greasy and you will feel better."

Me:  "Okay"

And I did.  Cue Vicious Cycle.  A burger and fries and I felt better, but I was just getting fatter.  WTF?  

Of course, the doctor never did recommend probiotics.  He said there may be a prescription, but with me nursing I didn't want random drugs floating in my body.  I just happened to start taking probiotics a few weeks into my diet this go around.

I feel great.  I had asparagus and mushrooms with lunch and yesterday I had four servings of broccoli with lunch.  No horrible poo-issues.  By golly I'm regular, but I'm going about twice a day as opposed to 6 times a day and I haven't had to pilfer Atticus's diaper rash cream (oh yeah, it was that bad... my ass hurt).

I'm going to keep up taking the probiotic capsule everyday. 

Foe: Secrecy
I'm loving MyFitnessPal, but I can feel myself getting intimidated by the "hardcore" folks on there.  People who don't eat all their calories and their diaries look sparse and militant.  I want to keep my diary public as a form of accountability, but on the other hand I'm afraid of people judging me, that I'm not doing it right, and that maybe I should just throw in the towel.  I have to remember that a pound a week is healthy and it is more likely to stay off.  I will screw myself up if I under eat.  

Because of my fears I find myself wanting to fib on my diary or leave things out all together.  Last night I baked cookies and I had ONE cookie.  It put me nearly 100 calories over my daily calorie goal.  I seriously thought about not recording it so I could get that merry little message at the end of the day:  "Amanda completed her diary for 02/07/12 and was under her calorie goal!"  But it would have been a false pride and I would be paving the path for a compulsive eater's number one foe.  SECRET EATING.  Yes, that morbidly obese girl may be eating a salad and drinking a diet coke, but at night -- when no one is looking -- she is binging on bags of chips and candybars.  I was that girl.  I remember not eating at summer camps as a teenager and then hiding under my sleeping bag at night eating 7 Snicker bars.

I think the psychology behind this -- at least in my case -- was that I was afraid people were watching me.  God knows I pay attention to what others eat (a similar habit among compulsive eaters and people with anorexia).  If I could just "play along" then people would think that I was an unfortunate victim of genetics and I was simply fat for no reason in particular.  I didn't want someone to make the connection that "those three cheeseburgers are making her fat."  I didn't want to admit to myself that I was the one making myself fat.  I would hide wrappers and trash in trashcans underneath other garbage.  I would eat so quickly I sometimes threw-up.  I wrapped myself in a McDonald's Big Mac Food Wrapper of Shame.  

Being honest with myself about how I eat and what I eat and letting others see me eat is healthy.  It keeps things in perspective by taking away all of the shame.  When I'm not engaging in disordered eating I eat to get full and I enjoy my food, I don't deprive myself to get a societal pat on the back only to feed my deprivation with too much food.  I hate myself after binge eating and I want to avoid it.

So... I will log in my food even if I go over on calories.  I will log in everything and not think about it as good or bad.  And I need to get over the assumption that everyone is paying attention to the food they see me eat.  This week I'm going to be especially conscious of eating slowly, deliberately, and being honest in my food diary.  Healthy eating mindset for the win!


Anna said...

When I was dealing with my Gestational Diabetes diet, I had moments where I really didn't want to deal with recording what I was eating, or where I'd "cheat" on something and hesitate to log it. Or I'd say to myself "that isn't in the database" as an excuse for not logging it (I used Livestrong, but I think it's pretty much the same concept).
I just kept having to tell myself that it was in my best interest to be honest with myself and my healthcare providers. In my case I also had to added motivation of managing the diabetes for the baby, too. But really the concept is the same. You have to be honest with yourself to be good to yourself.

Cassandra said...

Firstlly: Congratulations, you are doing GREAT!
I'm starting to diet tomorrow, but unfortunately that's what I've been telling myself for weeks...
I agree that it's very important to be open, otherwise eating itself gets such a bad taste.

Susan in TX said...

Yay! You are making great progress. So glad you are sticking with it (and wish I would get motivated to join you!).

Amanda said...

A pound a week is great progress to make!

I got my body used to the whole grains and freggies by adding them slowly, and slowly taking away processed stuff, over a whole year. Of course, I still never eat four servings of veggies at a single meal - I rarely get four servings of veggies in a DAY.

I don't use the calorie counter portion of Spark (just like my fitness pal, except with a social networking and teams sort of additional thing to it), but when I did, I never made it public. Even if I wasn't ashamed of what I was eating, it stressed me out to think that people could see it. It changed my eating patterns and made me eat more/worse. I decided it wasn't worth it.

o said...

Well done on the loss!

MFP is quite tricky (aside from the fact that their "calories burned" estimates are so so far out it's morally reprehensible!). There's always someone on there who is going to tell you you're doing it wrong. Not eating enough, not eating enough protein, eating too many carbs, not balanced, "you're kidding yourself" etc etc. There is ALWAYS someone on there who will tell you off. But you have to do what's right for you. For some reason, I gain if I eat the minimum intake they recommend. I don't know why but there it is. So I eat a lot less, but you know what? It works. I have energy, I'm not ill, I get my nutrients, and I'm losing. It works for me. Mightn't work for you, might not work for many on there. But there is the fact. So do what works.

Also, I know the irritation of going over the cal goal, but if you do go over by a wee bit you'll still lose. It's only if you go over your BMR or whatever where you gain. So don't feel bad ever. Do what works.

(Oh, and when you do go over over, it does your body good as well. Metabolism boost or shock to the system or something like that).