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I don't use my real name or photos of myself here, to comply with anonymity in Overeaters Anonymous.

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My weight and eating history:

In 1999, I lost 50 pounds on Weight Watchers, by monitoring what I ate and taking up lindy hop dancing. I got to a good weight for my height, and my cardiovascular fitness was great. I even joined a lindy hop dance troupe!

But I gained it back when I got serious about my Ph.D. dissertation, quit the dance troupe and Weight Watchers and moved to full-time work. I got older. I had a baby.

When I first joined SparkPeople, in 2006 my first short term goal was to get ready for my husband's 20 year college reunion and my college roommate's wedding in mid-October 2006, by getting down to 183 (from 201). I hit this goal on October 11, 2006, ten days early! Eventually, I got down to 177 that fall.

Then, in November 2006, I found out I was pregnant. This was great news as it took us a year to get pregnant the first time, and then we suffered a miscarriage. I gained about 50 pounds during my pregnancy and our daughter was born in August 2007. I lost much of the baby weight initially because I was nursing, but gained some back when I went back to work (from stress and stress eating!). After four months of being back at work, my weight was up to over 200 pounds. My first short-term goal was to lose 10% of my body weight (i.e. weigh 183.6 pounds) by the end of June, 2008. I achieved this goal on June 13, 2008. My next goal was to get to 177 pounds by August 6, 2008. I achieved this goal on July 27, 2008.

During the summer of 2008, I got caught up with work and got off track, and gained back about 12 or 13 pounds. Over the fall and winter I started meeting with friends to discuss my eating and how it affected my spiritual life. The sharing was helpful, but my weight stayed the same. Then, in the spring, I found myself eating compulsively more and more. I would eat in secret and at night. I found myself stopping for "treats" all the time. I was under a fair amount of stress at work and with the purchase of our first home.

Finally, in April of 2009, my thinking started to change. I was inspired by a friend who had moved away and lost over 100 pounds. I was also inspired by a friend who quit smoking, and it occurred to me that maybe some of my eating behavior was an addiction, like smoking. I'd been talking with my husband about the difficulties my eating and the way I feel about my body has impacted our marriage. And I knew I would rather spend the rest of my thirties feeling good about my body rather than hating it.

In late April I decided to try joining a Spark Team Challenge to bring out my competitive streak. It had worked in the past. But this time I really had trouble getting started. I kept gaining and losing the same pound, week after week. My compulsion to eat was feeling stronger than ever. I finally felt desperate enough to join Overeater's Anonymous. I finally looked up up OA online and looked at their list of compulsive eating behaviors. So many of them fit me! It was frightening, and I decided I had to go to a meeting, or I didn't know what I'd do.

At my first meeting at the very end of May 2009, I felt very welcomed. I decided to try one form of abstinence from compulsive eating, which was to eat just three meals a day with no snacking in between, and to have just one "treat" per week. At meals, I steered toward healthy food but ate as much as I wanted. Over the following three weeks, I lost seven pounds and some of the compulsion to overeat went away. I had a relapse into uncontrolled eating after my second miscarriage, on July 15. After three months of eating compulsively, I had gained 15 pounds. In October, I slowly started crawling my way back to recovery.

In January 2010 we found out that I was pregnant again. I've had two miscarriages, both at 8.5 weeks, so the first trimester was a very difficult time of waiting to find out if the baby would survive. I relapsed into compulsive eating once again. I gained more than I needed to, and my midwife let me know I needed to make changes in my eating. So in April of 2010, I came back to OA once again. My pregnancy resulted in a healthy baby girl in September of 2010. I gained about 27 pounds during the pregnancy, about half of what I gained during my first pregnancy.

I was able to lose the pregnancy weight within a month or two, and held steady at that point for over a year. After I stopped nursing, I was able to get a new food plan and a new sponsor, and lost another 15 pounds.

In October of 2012 I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's thyroiditis, and learned I needed to go on thyroid hormone for my health. Stabilizing my hormone levels also helped with my weight, and I lost another 10 pounds.

I'm currently trying to get to my goal weight of 145, in the healthy range for my height, according to the BMI. I'd like it to be lower, but because of my compulsive eating, I have to be careful about not getting obsessed with weight. I let my doctor, nutritionist, and sponsor decide on goal weight that is reasonable for me, because my intuition about my weight is as compulsive as my thinking about food can be. I'm only weighing once a month now, as focusing too much on weight is not recommended in OA. So I weigh on the first of each month now.

I have a food plan from a nutritionist that I follow very closely day to day, including weighing and measuring some foods. You can see the full program in the sidebar to the right, below. One day a time, I refrain from eating sugar and sweeteners like honey, maple syrup, or concentrated fruit juice. This has been a big part of my recovery. I also don't eat white flour or anything made with it, and I don't eat fried foods or things with a fried coating. I avoid most artificial sweeteners as well, although I do add stevia to some foods.

Exercise is also part of my program. I can't run or do plyometric exercises because of problems with my feet, but I do 30 minutes of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) at home twice a week, attend a sixty minute water fitness class (which kicks my butt), and try to get as much walking and gardening in as I can. At least once a week I get a 2.7 mile walk in.

Comments welcome!

Member Since: 7/20/2006

Fitness Minutes: 8,319

My Goals:
1. Recover physically, emotionally, and spiritually from the disease of compulsive overeating.

2. Be a good role model for my daughters in the way I eat and exercise.

3. Bring the message of recovery to other people who are still suffering.

4. Once I make it to my goal weight range (145 pounds), I will stop weighing altogether and let my clothes tell me if I have gained weight.

My Program:
I am abstaining from sugar, white flour, and deep-fried foods like fries, chips, or fried chicken. My nutritionist has tweaked my food plan to reduce my calories a little so that I can take off the last pesky 5-6 pounds, so I'm eating between 1600 and 1800 calories a day. I eat protein and vegetables wit a little fat in the morning, plus espresso and 1 Tbsp half and half. For lunch, I have more vegetables with 1 Tbsp of fat and 3-4 oz of protein. I have a midafternoon snack of 8oz Greek yogurt with cinnamon, stevia, and 2 Tbsp ground flax seed. For dinner, I have another 3-4oz protein with two vegetable sides, and up to 2 Tbsp of fat, and a small serving of whole grains (3/4 cup). For dessert I have 3/4 of berries or a small serving of fruit.

Personal Information:
I'm a follower of Jesus and prayer is one of my tools for maintaining a healthy approach to wellness, especially as part of my 12-step program in Overeaters Anonymous.

Other Information:
BMI Tables for a height of 5'6":
118 and under
118 =19
124 =20
130 =21
136 =22
142 =23 -goal weight
148 =24
-----healthy upper limit-------
155 =25
161 =26
167 =27
173 =28
179 =29
----overweight upper limit---
186 =30
192 =31
198 =32
204 =33
------where I started
210 =34

Read More About LINDYTHALIA - Profile Information moved here. (Updated May 8)

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 current weight: 153.0 
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    I love the shirtless Obama. Thank you! :)
    4168 days ago
  • v KAYMOM
    Welcome to Leaving 170ville! We are just in Maintenance mode for the holidays and will start a new challenge in the new year. Meantime, log your workouts in our gym and keep up with calorie intake in the cafe. See you in the chat lounge! Sharon
    4197 days ago
  • v GGCHET
    I liked it too.
    Thanks for stopping by...
    gail emoticon emoticon emoticon
    4204 days ago
    HI !!!!! Just checking in to see how you're doing. The holidays can be such a tough time of year for us can't they? I know you'll do great! Keep working the program and remember, "easy does it"

    Wish emoticon and NO gobble gobble LOL
    4223 days ago
  • v JLITT62
    Unfortunately, there is no Trader Joes anywhere close by (or even semi-close by). I buy my teas in bulk from Republic of Tea, once I know I like them -- and I'm really picky, too -- so it's not too bad pricewise.
    4228 days ago
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