SOS: I just don't care

Yesterday I was talking to a friend at work. She's someone I've known for over twenty years, in different jobs at the same company. I really like this person. She's funny,  kind, and sweet. She also struggles with her weight, just like me.

About four years ago we did Weight Watchers together at work. It was my first time with WW and the weight fell off. I lost sixty pounds in seven months. The plan works if you work the plan (I know, a very trite but true saying). My friend also lost a lot of weight. When we both stopped Weight Watchers we both quickly gained the weight back.

I went back to Weight Watchers almost three years ago, lost 80 pounds and then gained back 25. I still go to Weight Watchers but I'm sitting  at 180.2 today (I want to be 135). She never went back and has gained a few more pounds.

As we were heating up our lunches in the lunchroom yesterday the topic of weight came up. It always does. She said she can be perfect all day every day until she gets home. Then she doesn't care anymore. She's a single mom, with a young teenager, her job is very stressful. Much more stressful than my own. As we talked she told me when she gets home she's totally exhausted, and at that point, she really just doesn't give a damn about her weight. If she wants white toast with butter on it she's going to have it. If she wants a glass of wine or cookies, well, she's going to have that too. She said at that point she just doesn't care.

I totally feel the same way lately. When 10 p.m. rolls around, honestly, I just don't care. I'm tired, I've eaten healthy all day. I've even tracked my food all day, but at around 10 p.m., my husband is asleep and I'm struggling with sleep. I'm always feeling hungry. A small snack just doesn't cut it. I want volume. That's when I go off my plan and eat.

I eat things like fruit (three bananas or a few pears), another chicken breast, maybe some almonds or pecans (those damn nuts are still on the counter--my husband's food--I have to do something about this). If there are any sugar-free ice cream bars (the only kind I buy now), I'll eat a couple of those (there was a box in the freezer that I found last night). If there's leftover dinner, I'll eat that too.

I had some Pop Chips last night that I was going to try later. I ate a few of those, which by the way are totally gross. All these years I've been reading about them on blogs and people raving about how good they taste. Nasty food. They're made out of potato flakes and chemicals. I'll never buy them again and no chance I'd ever binge on them.

I ate all of this last night and for kicks I added up the calories afterwards. It was over 700 calories. I may as well have eaten cake and I would have if there was any in the house (there never is stuff like that anymore, but if there was I would have eaten it).

My point is that I just can't seem to change this pattern and it's making me crazy. Anyone watching me eat all day and evening, watching me carefully measure and weigh everything, put it all in the online tracker, would wonder what the hell was wrong with me when 10 p.m. rolls around. It's like there are two people living in one body. One that's really concerned about her health and weight and the other one that just doesn't give a damn.

I've been doing this pattern since I came back from vacation and I just can't seem to break it. It's depressing and sad and I'm hating myself because of it. If I could padlock the kitchen and have my husband hold the key, I would do it. He has no idea what's going on with me (he sleeps like a rock). He only knows the woman that goes to the gym every day and works out like crazy, and who eats very carefully because she's on a diet. He's puzzled as to why I'm not losing weight. I know why.

Any ideas on how to fix me?

Comments

If you figure it out please let us know. You are definitely not the only one struggling with this. I read once about adopting a rule that you don't eat unless someone is watching. I think that's great in theory but not practical for me. It might help someone though.
bbubblyb said…
I think we both have this issue Diana and I think what would fix it is going to bed. I'm sure our bodies could use the extra sleep too. I just think it's natural if we have dinner at 6 by 10 we're going to be hungry again. I think the tiredness makes it worse to with our resolve. I of course can't seem to follow my own advice with going to bed earlier but I remember when you talked about doing it and that it was really working for you and you felt so much better. Anyway, hope you can figure something out. *hugs*
~Shannon~ said…
Please..Let me know too if you find the answer..I do the same damn thing!
Anonymous said…
I know when I am eating lower carb, I do not get near as hungry. I never could buy into Atkins though. It just seemed wrong. I always felt great after I was on it a few weeks though. Have you seen this website marksdailyapple.com Keep a open mind, it is not what we have been taught. You might be interested in this thread for some womens perspective http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/showthread.php?20581-Tell-me-about-any-other-obese-middle-aged-women-who-are-addressing-issues-w-Primal
If what you are trying is not working, it might be time to do something completely different. I am 49, lost 22 pounds last year and kept it off easily.
Kelli
Skinny Inside said…
I second Marks Daily Apple...it's a great site. Are you just craving volume, or sweet? You could have a hot cup of (decaf!) tea and read something inspiring while in bed.
Allan said…
Beats me.. Maybe join a challenge, and say, stick to it.. You can do it, you just need to focus..
Barb said…
Hi Diana,

I found your blog through another blog, through another blog . . . you know how that goes!

Wow, I so understand! I started Weight Watchers last February - it took me about 8 months to lose 50 pounds . . . then I stopped, I can't even remember why I stopped, but I did. I have gained over 10 pounds of it back since then. It's so hard to get back on track. I vowed I would be under 200 pounds by last Christmas, but it was not to be! Instead I gained. I only had about 20 pounds to lose to get there. Now, I have 30!

I wish I knew what the secret was to stay motivated. I don't work anymore - outside of my home that is, so my hard time is around 3:00 p.m., I could eat the dishes! I know that if I keep my hands busy, I don't get as hungry. Maybe reading a good book, or doing some kind of hand work, like sewing or knitting would be a good thing at night to help keep your mind off of food. You might just be really tired - going to bed and getting good sleep might be the answer too. It is good to know that others struggle with the same issues, maybe we can both find the answer!
Janell said…
I finally had gastric bypass last June after struggling with this same issue for (too many to count) years. I'd watch what I ate all day long and at night, I'd sometimes go nuts. With a smaller stomach/pouch, I can feel like eating but I can't eat. I've lost almost 90lbs and I only thought I needed to lose 60. Go figure. The doctor still wants me to lose another 30lbs.

Lots of people think weight loss surgery is the "easy way out." It was and has been difficult (esp right after surgery). But I wouldn't go back for any donut on the planet. I was tired of struggling against myself night after night, year after year. What's that quote about insanity? Doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results. Insane.

You know one other thing that's great about the weight loss is that I can move. Move in a way I have not moved in 30 years.
Roxie said…
This is exactly my pattern. I can sail through the days, working out, etc. but at night when I am bored, feeling or could potential feel an emtion that I don't want to feel - that is when I want to use food to give myself a "pleasure hit" or to just eat myself into a food coma. I try to schedule something to do to keep me busy during witching hour. Mine comes earlier than 10pm, but I've got no one else in the house with me, so that may be a factor as to when it happens.

I have a much better chance of being successful if I say NO to the first unplanned thing. If I even open the door, well, it's not pretty. I try to use my list of things to do instead to keep me occupied. And sometimes it just comes down to staying out of the house until bedtime.
What if you plan what you will eat during this time? Save up your calories or points or whatever plan you follow and have things ready to eat during this time.
That way you get to eat and stay within your plan.
Honib1 said…
Here is what I say.. take it for what it is worth.

ALL EATING should stop by 8 PM
DRINK WATER.. or have a cup of hot cocoa.. ( that will nail the sweet tooth we have a Keurig Coffee maker and I have a hot cocoa almost every night .. its my dessert.. it takes me a while to drink it.. and I am satisfied and it cost me 60 calories. If it is a sweet tooth I highly reccomend Vitamuffin brownies and muffin tops.. 100 calories and 5-7 grams of fiber per serving.. they are wonderful.. vitamuffin.com .. we get the brownies mostly.. they have lots of flavors we are partial to the chocolate ones... they are filling especially when you drink a glass of water with them.. and satisfing too.. those are my go to things that stop me from late night binges.. I really understand how you feel.. I promise.. and these are the rules that help me.. and foods that help me..wishing you much luck.. just remember you are worth your goals.. and only you can reach them... I vasilate about what works.. some folks swear by low carb.. my nutritionist swears by eating a balanced healthy diet... no more than 1200 calories and no less than 1000 to lose between 1-2 pounds a week.. I have several guides I use... Mayo CLinic -http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/MY00431/DSECTION=healthy%2Ddiets This is not the MAYO CLINIC DIET there is NO MAYO CLINIC DIET.. its just common sense and good advice.. I also use caloriecount.com.. and log my food there..wishing you much luck ...
Diana, you could have been writing about my patterns - this is exactly my struggle. Super healthy eating all day long, and falling apart with bad choices at night. For what it's worth, I am NOT struggling with this at all right now, and here's why:

I am eating lean protein, veggies, and legumes - no dairy, starch, white stuff, sugar, or fruit. It sounds restrictive and it is, but it's been AMAZING in terms of cutting out all cravings.

I have one cheat day per week, after which my weight spikes but a few days later I'm back to where I was and then some. I've lost 4.5 pounds in the last 6 days.

I do not eat after 8pm unless I haven't had dinner, in which case I eat dinner and nothing more.

I think two things have been huge for me. First, when eating just veggies, meat, and legumes, I can eat TONS of food without going crazy calorie wise.

But the single biggest factor for me is not eating sugar or starches. HUGE. Once I cut that stuff out, my cravings disappeared.

You'll have to find what works for you. In the meantime, I hope it helps to know that you are not alone in this struggle!
Brett said…
Diane this syndrom is called - "I worked hard all day, was good all day damn it! I DESERVE A FREAKING SWEET AND SALTY BINGE!"

:-) happens to me all the time. Here is what I have been doing...

Lots if steamed veggies and protein for dinner.

Measure out 100 cals of sunflower or pumpkin seeds.
Cut up a small apple if pear into small chunks.
Get a bottle of water pour some decaf crystal light

TAKE TO YOUR BEDROOM AND LOCK THE DOOR!!!

I'm not kidding - it has been working for me. Of course my kids and husband bang on the door all night, but eventually they go away :-)

Peace.
Carrieheff said…
I agree with some people above. Drink water or tea. Fill yourself up with liquids and see if you're still "hungry." Are you even hungry? Sounds like it might just be habit and if it is, Dr Phil always says you have to replace one habit with another. Find something else to do that you really enjoy besides eating? I'm so lucky I don't have that issue. I consume all my calories during the day and I don't eat at night. If you find the answer please let us know.
Karen said…
I totally get that. There are days when I don't seem to have that problem and days where nothing in the house satisfies me. Unfortunately, that doesn't stop me from eating everything that is tied down. I am not sure how to break out of this habit.
M Pax said…
Hmmm. What about some sort of containment plan?

What if you planned it in - have some sort of mini meal ready that when you eat it satisfies you? That way although you give in, you are still in control?

Maybe knowing it's there and ready will help ease up the 'urge'. I find if I change my habits, my eating habits also change. Make it something fun and relaxing - something you look forward to, to unwind.
Jenny S said…
I do the same thing sometimes. There are some really great ideas here!
Grace said…
Hi Diana
I've never been much of a "night eater" (which I thank my lucky stars for). I wish I could give some advice, but other than..."stay out of the kitchen" or "don't even go in there!"... I'm not going to be much help. All I can say is, I'm sending you big hugs...and try to stay out of that darn kitchen!!! :-)
Rettakat said…
Ha... you described the pattern that did me in for far too many years.

You received lots of advice already... some good, some ???

All I can offer is MY experience, which might help, or not...

It was 3-fold for me:

1. Habit. Alone at night, tired, wanting a break, losing resolve, "felt" like I didn't care (I DID care actually, but at the time I wanted something else MORE, and that was to feel better, to get some of my "drug" into me, food).

So, to break the pattern at first I saved up some calories and ate them at night. Guess what I told the people that harp on the legalistic "don't eat after such and such a time"??! I needed to break a pattern, so this was a temporary tool. This way, at least I didn't go OVER my calories. Later, I started finding ONE treat I really liked (a sugar-free chocolate bar) and hot tea. And homemade sugar free jello, for that "full" feeling. Honestly, this all helped. I still do this most days.

2. Feelings. I was trying to use food to solve a NON-food problem. Well, duh, we all know how that works.

3. Physical hunger. It really IS hard to "just say no" when you are physically hungry. Some days I can say no, and think of all the weight that must be melting off. Other days, forget that noise!

Then I found out the validity to the idea of WHAT we eat makes a difference, not just the calories in/calories out theory. If you like to listen to stuff while driving or exercising, here is a fascinating interview you can download to your ipod. I agreed with some of it, not all... some I'm just not ready for, if ever, like not eating dairy. One size does NOT fit all.

Anyway, I think he mentions the hungry thing.
http://livinlavidalowcarb.com/blog/the-llvlc-show-episode-433-‘encore-week’-2011-interview-with-robb-wolf/9683

Hope you find some answers for yourself. It takes work to find our own answers... I'm working on mine, too. :-)

Loretta
=^..^=
Kelly! said…
First of all, "fixing" is a horrible word to use because you are not broken. You are having struggles and let me tell you, that same demon visits me every night too. I don't know what it is but like you said you can do good all day but sometimes at night is where you fight the war. What i've been doing lately is shoving a bunch of stuff in front of my door so when i get up to go downstairs, i have to move it all and do a lot of work to get to the door. And most of the time I realize "what am i doing? i dont NEED this food". But sometimes, I lose and give in and hate myself afterwards, hell I hate myself during it. But all i can do is try to tell myself why I am trying to lose this weight because we only lose when we lost focus. I hope things are going better for you Diana, I'll be thinking of you.
The Merry said…
I can relate! I wish that I had some wonderful words of wisdom, but all I know is that the only way for me to lose weight is to go to bed hungry.

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