tried OA yesterday

Yesterday afternoon I went to my first Overeaters Anonymous meeting.  I think I liked the vibe better than WW since there is more intense sharing, although I’ll need to get used to the higher power aspect.  I ordered some books and materials to read through and listened to the Step One podcast on the way to work this morning.

I cried a lot listening to other people’s stories and then got two people’s phone numbers at the end for support.  Going to check out another meeting later this week or next.  Interested in using the tools and learning more about the 12 steps and 12 traditions in order to help me learn to recover from binge eating.  I’m a little worried about whether I need to totally eliminate my trigger foods from my food plan, or whether I can ever learn to eat those foods in moderation.

Anybody else out there go to OA?  What worked for you?

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thoughts on “May (or May Not) Cause Weight Gain”

I was just reading this article in the New York Times by Diana Spechler from March about depression, weight, body image, and going off her meds.  Here are some excerpts that resonated with me.

I eat and eat until I’m horrified by all the eating I’ve done. I eat more. I speed-eat. I’m in a Dorito-eating contest with myself…On bupropion, food didn’t hold the appeal it had once held. It became a bit of a chore, chewing food. For the first time in my life, I would forget to have lunch, leave burritos half uneaten, find myself unable to finish dessert. It should be reflexive — to eat when we’re hungry, to stop when we’re satisfied — but this was the first time I could remember my brain receiving those messages. A genie had granted the wish that I had been making since I was a teenager: Release me from my food fixation…I wish that I’d aged out of this. I wish that my feminism protected me from this. But I’ll likely wind up dieting again, doing calorie math in my head, because few things make me feel as hopeful or invigorated.

Over the last few days and weeks I realized that I really hate myself so much.  I’m so ashamed of my life.  But instead of hurting or killing myself I stuff myself with food until I’m numb and high and my record-player thoughts slow down.  But the fix is short-lived and then I hate myself again until my mouth is stuffed again.

It was really rough with my in-laws staying with us.  My mother-in-law criticizes my father-in-law about his eating, which made me feel self-conscious about my own.  She also talked about her grandparents who were survivors of WWII who just kept going despite the trauma, which made me feel bad that my mom committed suicide, and that I have suicidal tendencies.

I don’t think the Viibryd (vilazodone) is helping.  My therapist recommended Lamictal, which is really a mood stabilizer.  Need to meet with my psychiatrist again.  I’m still so unhappy about my weight, our financial situation, our dumpy apartment and long commute, parenting, and my career prospects.  I realized over the last 18 months I spent about $750 on Weight Watchers and didn’t meet any of my goals.  I’m going to try Overeaters Anonymous, tracking food on my FitBit app, which is free.  I asked my husband to do the dishes because when I’m in the kitchen I just binge ridiculously.  I’m going to do my exercises for my hip and core and glutes, and buy a new Just Dance game for the Wii.

ups and downs, but more ups

My hip is feeling much better, which I’m grateful for.  This week I finally started biking again, which feels good.  I also started physical therapy and water aerobics.  My hips feel a little sore but not too bad.  Two weeks ago I was down a pound a half, but I missed WW last week due to work and a family emergency, and this week I was up slightly, which wasn’t really a surprise.

hip injury

I’ve been limping for a week now and it’s very frustrating.  My hips have always been creaky, every since I was a teenage and danced six days a week.  But in 2012 I had serious problems after flying to London with my almost 2-year-old on my lap for 7 hours.  When I finally got up my hips felt like they were burning.  When we got home I went to an orthopaedist who said I had bone spurs on my hips. I started physically therapy for my hip pain–I had already been doing physical therapy for my plantar fasciitis for a few months.  Since the fall of 2012 my hips have felt pretty good.  They didn’t really hurt during or after my second pregnancy.  I do sleep with a pillow between my legs ever since having my first daughter, though, since my hips just feel too far apart for my legs now.Embed from Getty Images

Now the hip pain feels a bit different–sharper and more localized–and my doctor suggested I get an MRI.  I wonder if it’s a labral tear?  I should find out today or Monday.  Until then I’m using a cane to get to and from work on the train and subway!  It’s so frustrating and is making it almost impossible for me to do my usual exercise: stair climbing, yoga, bicycle riding, and my plank challenge.  Yesterday at my WW meeting, some other members suggested I use hand weights or keep myself busy with other hand-related activities to keep myself from eating mindlessly.  Any other tips?  I was up two pounds this week, which puts me over where I started back in December!  Argh!!!

exercising more but still eating like crazy

I’ve been exercising more, but I’m also breastfeeding and pumping less, and I’m still binging.  So I’m back up to my heaviest weight post-baby #2, and only 0.4 pounds less than post-baby #1. 😦   I’m now 1 pound heavier than when I came back to Weight Watchers in December 2013, post-baby #2.

I really do beat myself up inside.  I feel like such a failure.  Though the WW receptionist today was really sweet and helpful.  She reminded me that it happens, I’m thinking about it, trying something new, coming to meetings, and getting support.  Who knows, maybe if I hadn’t been going to meetings since December I would have gained 10 pounds instead of one…

I think what I really need is to find ways to soothe myself without food.  I need to find other things to enjoy.  And to remember that nothing tastes as good as thin feels.  I think I also need to drink more water.  I’m so thirsty all the time.

I’ve been thinking about doing Simply Filling for a few days to kind of reset my mind and hopefully decrease my sweet tooth a bit.  It’s been months since I first thought of it, but I think I’m actually going to do it.

I’m going to try to decrease the negative self-talk and turn it into positive challenges.  Here are some examples from the Mayo Clinic:


  • Practice positive self-talk. Start by following one simple rule: Don’t say anything to yourself that you wouldn’t say to anyone else. Be gentle and encouraging with yourself. If a negative thought enters your mind, evaluate it rationally and respond with affirmations of what is good about you.

Here are some examples of negative self-talk and how you can apply a positive thinking twist to them:

Putting positive thinking into practice

Negative self-talk Positive thinking
I’ve never done it before. It’s an opportunity to learn something new.
It’s too complicated. I’ll tackle it from a different angle.
I don’t have the resources. Necessity is the mother of invention.
I’m too lazy to get this done. I wasn’t able to fit it into my schedule, but I can re-examine some priorities.
There’s no way it will work. I can try to make it work.
It’s too radical a change. Let’s take a chance.
No one bothers to communicate with me. I’ll see if I can open the channels of communication.
I’m not going to get any better at this. I’ll give it another try.


I’ve been depressed that I didn’t meet my 5% goal by my youngest’s first birthday.  So I’m going to set new goals:

  • Lose 5% by Halloween.
  • Lose 10% by New Year’s.
  • Get to my goal weight (-20 pounds) by my birthday (March 1, 2015)

I’ll give it another try!!!


My youngest daughter is about to turn one on Friday.  It’s been tough for me to adjust to being a working mom of two.  I find that I spent so much time this past year just trying to survive and get enough sleep to function the next day that I haven’t had much time to focus on anything just for me. I’m going to try to have more balance this coming year; if I’m happy and feel like I get to do some things that I enjoy, I hope that will rub off on the time that I do spend with my family.

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I took my first non-baby, non-family, non-prenatal, regular adult-only yoga class on Saturday morning, and I loved it! I used muscles I haven’t used in probably two years.  I challenged myself, but didn’t go too crazy.  I’ve been sore for the past two days–even my armpits are sore!  As I pump less and less at work I’m going to try to take a class or two on my lunch break, too.  Maybe Pilates, too.  I’m really looking forward to feeling strong and fit again!  And I just found out my company might start Weigh Watchers at work, which would be convenient and save me money that I could spend on yoga and Pilates classes. 🙂  I do like getting lots of steps on my FitBit walking all the way down to my WW meeting, though…

So, I didn’t reach my goal of losing 5% of my weight by her 1st birthday.  In fact, I’ve almost crept back up (yo-yo-ing) to my return-to-work weight.  On Thursday when I weighed in and saw that I gained back the 1.4 that I’d lost the previous week I was really sad.  I just kept thinking how disappointed I am in myself.  I keep repeating the same negative self-talk in my head: “You were only 7 pounds away from your goal after giving birth, and now you’re 17 pounds away!  What kind of idiot eats so much after having a baby?”  But then Friday I thought, “Enough!” What’s done is done.  I want to reach my goal, and it might take a little more time, but I was busy nurturing my children, returning to work, getting through the baby period, and applying to graduate school, and now I can spend more time on nurturing myself.  I need to stop comparing myself to my sister-in-law and other skinny people at work and on the street.  I am me.  No one else.  I successfully lost weight after my first daughter.  Really it was the most successful I’ve ever been at achieving a healthy weight since college.  I can do it again if I put my mind to it.  There, I said it.  I can do it!

work and school

I found out last week that I got into a graduate program that I applied to.  I’m really happy, but nervous about balancing it with work, my family, and my weight loss and health goals.  I plan on using Citibike to get from work to school (before it starts snowing), so at least I’ll get some exercise in. We’re working on sleep with my youngest, so hopefully come September, I’ll actually have some time in the evenings to study.  And I have my commute time to read.

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depression, hormones, and medications affecting weight

Sometimes I wonder how much my hormones and medications I take affect my weight.  I feel so stressed all the time that I wonder if my cortisol levels are high.  I remember my mom pushing me to get my thyroid tested to see if that was leading to my weight gain in college and then graduate school.  I think my results showed that things weren’t quite average, but not so far out of the normal range.  And then I’ve been on SSRIs and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (NRI, NERIs) for almost all of my adult life, and many of them have side effects of weight gain.  Also while breastfeeding I’ve also taken domperidone (DPD) to help with my milk supply, and weight gain is also a side effect.

depression ozanWhen I had success on Weight Watchers in 2011-2012 and hit my lifetime goal I had been off Zoloft for a few months.  All the other times I was unsuccessful at WW and Jenny Craig I was on anti-depressants.  I’m trying to taper off of Zoloft again to see if that helps, but now I’m feeling more depressed again.  My psychiatrist mentioned a few other anti-depressants with no weight gain side effects, but they aren’t compatible with breastfeeding.  I just tapered slowly off of DPD, but I’m still having trouble resisting my urge to binge.  I feel kind of down and wish that I had more time for myself to exercise and prepare healthy foods.  My youngest daughter is almost one, so I plan on gradually weaning soon.  Now that I’m not breastfeeding her and pumping as much I want to start taking yoga classes again.  I think if we can all get some more sleep in our home that will help too.  I wish I had more success at managing my weight when I was single and childless so that I wouldn’t feel so overwhelmed now.

Has anyone else noticed a connection between their depression/medications/hormones and weight? What can we do to still have success at losing weight even with depression?  Sometimes I feel like there are so many things stacked against me, how can I still succeed?  I feel like I can’t talk about all of these things at my WW meetings, so I need to get some advice elsewhere…

Picture via Ozan

disgusted but still not motivated

I’ve been reading about emotional eating in this book, but still do it anyway.  I notice myself craving the numb, mindless feeling I get when scarfing three Quaker Chewy Chocolate Chip bars, or two Yolatos, or half of my daughter’s birthday cake.  Why can’t I have just one thing/bite/piece?  I get so disgusted with myself, but I realize that I really don’t like some things about my life right now.  Feeling like I don’t have time to exercise because of the constant chores, work, pumping, and breastfeeding.  Feeling like my husband and brother are just as overwhelmed as I am.  I think that’s why I crave the happy, numb feeling I get from binging.  I think I’ll have to find a way to make myself feel happier at home (or at least distract myself from high PPV foods and have 0 point options instead!), otherwise I’ll just keep binging like this and make myself more unhappy.

Today at my weigh in I was up 2 pounds.  At least it took me a few days to go through my 49 extra points instead of just one day like the week before.  I went to Century 21 afterwards to get my husband a replacement shoulder bag/briefcase and saw two handbags that just screamed “buy me!”  But instead of getting one, or both, I’m using them as motivation, since my goal of getting back into my 135 lb clothes doesn’t seem to be motivation enough.

I saw a pool blue version of this one from Foley+Corinna and this one from Gryson.  I love getting bags discounted at Century, even if they are from past seasons.  As a reward, I’ll get one if I lose 5% and the other when I lose 10%, which will also bring me to my goal weight.  I find myself getting a little more materialistic as I’m getting older…I wonder why that is.  But, maybe it will motivate me more than just “being healthy” and “being a good role model” will.

What do you do when you’re unhappy but unmotivated?

artificial vs natural

Part of the problem I’ve had with commercial weight loss programs over the years is their emphasis on substituting “light” versions of products to reduce their points or calories.  These products aren’t natural and there was a time when I didn’t want to put anything artificial in my body.  Although both Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig do recommend many naturally light and filling foods, such as broth-based soups, whole grains, and fresh fruits and vegetables, they also sell and recommend a large number of processed foods.

But, I wasn’t successful at losing weight on my own, even when I was eating healthy, organic, whole foods. So now I’m doing a bit of both.  I still like to drink organic milk and use real sugar in my coffee, but I also eat artificially sweetened reduced fat yogurt since I would tend to go overboard on the kind with real sugar and no fillers.  But is this stimulating my sweet tooth and making me want more super-sweet things?  There have been many discussions and research done about whether or not diet soda helps or hinders weight loss.  I strive to eat naturally and belong to a CSA to support local organic farming, but I also drink diet soda at lunch every day and eat too much reduced fat cheese.  But I’d eat too much full fat cheese, too…

I guess until I get to Maintenance I’ll keep it flexible, and then when I get to Lifetime again try to eat fewer artificially sweetened and processed foods.  Or I could try the Simply
Bubblegum Breakfast by J Mark Dodds

Filling technique and just eating Power Foods for a day or a week.  I still haven’t given that a try because I crave snack foods so much right now, and I feel like my family won’t like meals cooked only with Power Foods.

What do you all think about artificial versus natural foods and losing weight?