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Do you ever feel like a fraud?

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Old 03-15-2007, 03:44 PM   #1
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Default Do you ever feel like a fraud?

Sometimes in these threads, I have these ideas on how to help someone else. I am almost always inclined to add a disclaimer at the end: "I know my ticker shows how far I have to go..." I want to help and give support to others, but feel kind of foolish because I'm not that far into this and have a lot to prove for myself.

I'm not looking for positive reinforcement with this question. I know that success will come in time. I'm just curious if anyone else struggles with this. You know, "Do as I say, not as I have done" or "I know what needs to be done, I just haven't done it yet".

There are so many who can truly speak from experience, sometimes I feel that I should just sit back, shut up, and learn.
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Old 03-15-2007, 03:48 PM   #2
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OH Yes! I feel like a fraud right now. I'm struggling to stay focused and on-plan, yet I want to encourage others to stay on their plan. I truly want them to succeed! Yet, I can't seem to get it together myself.
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Old 03-15-2007, 04:04 PM   #3
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I've struggled with that feeling before too. The thing is...most of us pretty much know exactly how to lose weight. We just didn't do it for years and years! The whole time I was morbidly obese, I knew exactly what I should be doing, I knew it would work, and I knew that I looked much more helpless than I actually was. I could've explained the calories-in/calories-out business to people ages ago -- I just couldn't bring myself to work it out in my own life.

When I first joined 3FC, I probably gave advice before my ticker started going down, but I did feel weird about it. I definitely think you should jump right in, though, and say whatever you want to say. We can all learn from each other. The stuff I know now, after losing 79 pounds, is no different from what I knew when I weighed 275. I've learned little things along the way, sure, but I could've given the same advice to people then as I can now, and when I hit goal I won't necessarily be any wiser than I am now, still overweight at 196.

Am I making sense? Probably not. It's been a long day and my students were a nightmare!
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Old 03-15-2007, 04:05 PM   #4
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Don't feel that way!!! I always say to my friends that I could write a book with all of the information I've learned about weight loss, but who would buy it? Knowing and doing are two different things, and that was precisely my issue. But please don't hesitate to share! We all learn from each other. If it's good advice, it's good advice. Period.
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Old 03-15-2007, 04:10 PM   #5
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Diane, sometimes just the comeraderie is enough to make me speak up, you know? I'm certainly not an expert by any means. I still don't know what works, and what works for me might not work for the next person, and so on. But for me it helps SO MUCH to know that other people are in the same position, so even if I can't add anything, I'll try to write something to make the person know that there are people out there who are reading and can relate, etc etc.

Don't think of it as being a fraud, because that's certainly not the case! We all have things to learn from each other, and this is true in general with everyone. You know?
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Old 03-15-2007, 04:11 PM   #6
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Knowledge, experience, and action don't always coincide, you know? And we shouldn't judge ourselves any more harshly than we judge others, and I certainly don't look at the advice giver's ticker before deciding whether the advice sounds like something that would help me. I know I certainly "know" alot more about how I "should" go about this than I am able to put into practice at any given moment. I guess it only makes me a fraud if I imply that my advice (that I'm not following well) is easy to put into practice.

I have a master's degree in developmental psychology (and a bachelor's in behavioral psychology - alot of education and practice in behavior change).

I've been on dozens and dozens of diets since the age of 5 (I'm going to be 41 in a few days), and have read dozens if not hundreds of diet and nutrition books.

I've lost 60 - 75 lbs twice and smaller amounts dozens of times, so I've lost my body weight several times over (just gaining it back and then some each time).

I'm success and failure all wrapped up in a big, complicated bundle. Some of us here, may not have much experience or knowledge, and others of us may "know" more than we've been able to put into practice successfully. I don't think it's hypocritical to offer advice you may not be able to follow very well yourself (though it certainly helps sometimes to admit it in giving it). We all have to acknowledge that actions are much more difficult than words, but all we have to offer each other are our words.

I think we forget how hard weight management is, and feel stupid and "bad," and so alone when we make mistakes. The only difference between long term success and failure is often giving up. If advice is given kindly, I don't think people get upset when it is given by someone, who hasn't always been able to follow it themselves, and as long as it helps keep us connected and involved, I think we're ahead of the game, because it keeps us from giving up.
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Old 03-15-2007, 04:46 PM   #7
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I do feel that way sometimes. But, just because I'm not at the end of my journey yet doesn't mean I don't have knowledge to share - I actually know quite a lot about nutrition, healthy eating, etc. but just took my sweet time applying it to my own life. I remind myself that just because it took some time for me to finally be "ready" doesn't invalidate the knowledge that I have, or the potential words of wisdom I might be able to share with someone else.

I would hope that people don't judge the validity of thoughts or information on the basis of tickers - I actually don't have one simply because I never set it up! And really, I don't think I should have to have that information there for someone to decide if what I say has any merit. For myself, I am farther along with my weight loss this time than ever before - ever - and I've learned a lot along the way. I would hate to feel that I couldn't share some of what I've learned just because I hadn't earned the right to yet.

I say - share whatever you can. You never know when someone will take those words to heart and find they make a difference.
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Old 03-15-2007, 05:00 PM   #8
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I was going to respond with the same type of thing, but you've already gotten such great responses in a much more eloquent way than I would have put it. So... to summarize... I agree with everyone. Everyone's opinion matters and you never know when it will be your one bit of knowledge or experience that gives someone else a great idea or that a-ha moment.

Also, I know that for me, coming here and sharing instead of lurking helps keep me on plan.
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Old 03-15-2007, 05:35 PM   #9
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Thank you all!
Those responses are exactly why I posted this today. It was holding me back so I thought I'd put the thought out there. I never look at what someone says and measure the value based on their ticker. But when I have posted before, I have hesitated and scowled because of my own!! I'll work past that!
I also agree with the value (and fun) of talking with people who have the same struggles I have! It continues to amaze me how much I agree with what is said here.
Never have had a problem with talking before even when I didn't know what I was talking about! ha! I guess when it comes to weight, I'm just a little more sensitive!
Thanks again!
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Old 03-15-2007, 05:44 PM   #10
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Hi Diane

I too have felt the way you feel. How can I give advice and support when I don't follow it myself? Judging by the responses you got I would say we are all in the same boat. It's nice to see that there is such a supportive group of people out there.

Post away, I love reading what people have to say. I love feeling like part of a group instead of feeling like I am the only one battling my weight!
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Old 03-15-2007, 05:44 PM   #11
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We've all been judged by our weight and I think we've finally found a place where people don't do that. The funny part is that we keep expecting them to. Anyhow, I think half the time the person asking for advice might know the answer, but is looking for a kind of validation. Something that says "go for it, you're on the right track, etc." That kind of advice is sooo necessary when you're trying to do the things we're trying to do here.

So go on and give your two cents!! For me the support is priceless!!

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Old 03-15-2007, 05:47 PM   #12
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Great post, rings a bell with me. I'm a total fraud! What the heck am I thinking, only 30-odd gone and over 100 to go? Why would anyone trust my ideas or advice?

Yet, I can't resist handing them out anyway, like so much illicit candy.
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Old 03-15-2007, 07:53 PM   #13
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Another reason I like reading and sharing tips that might just be common sense, or that I may have heard or read before is that for most of us who are "self-taught" experts (whether we're practicing our expertise or not), is that you can't keep all of your knowledge in the front of your brain where it's easily accessible, so alot gets "shoved to the back shelves," so to speak.

Writing it, and/or reading it keeps all that knowledge "circulating," and I think easier to use. I might read someone's tip and remember - "hey I used to do that and it really worked for me 10 years ago - I wonder why I never thought to use it again this time" or "I meant to try that, and never got around to it," or "I wondered if that would work."..... It doesn't really matter, it's just that keeping it new and fresh for the long haul, is really important and if we didn't share until we "earned the right to," I don't thing there would be much helpful information, insight, and support here and we'd all stop coming here.
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Old 03-15-2007, 08:30 PM   #14
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Lightbulb One more thing, Diane.

I have noticed that sometimes my fingers sort of take on a life of their own. Especially on the emotional issues, I get surprised by what comes out at times. I learn from my own answers. We know a lot of the technical aspects of losing weight but for me the emotional issues are what has held me back. As we help each other we also help ourselves. What a gift!
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Old 03-15-2007, 09:16 PM   #15
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You guys really hit the nail on the head with this one. I've always said that it's much easier to discipline my child than the discipline myself. When I say no to myself I can almost literally 'see' the kid in me pitching a fit. And it's much easier to give advice than it is to put it into practice myself. But I've really gotten a lot out of the posts on this website. I applaud all of you who keep on keeping on. I hope to be one of you, who persevere.
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