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Old 09-27-2007, 12:25 PM   #1
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Default When does this become "normal?"

I have finally learned that significant weight loss is possible for me, and that's a huge relief. Now I'm wondering if my life will ever be "normal" again. I've spent some time in the maintainer's forum, and it seems like maintaining is all of the work without any of the glamor of weight loss.

I don't want to spend my life obsessing over calories and exercise. I do it now because I know I will get good feedback from the scale, and I am tired of all of the negatives associated with being obese. But I really just want this to become a routine part of my day rather than an obsession. I worry that once I get to maintenance and don't get my daily fix of a dropping scale needle, I won't have anything to hang my obsession on, and will start to gain the weight back. I also worry that I won't be able to sustain my obsession long enough to get down to my goal weight.

So any thoughts on how to "normalize" the process? Or do I just have to accept that in order for it to work, I need to always make it a major part of my life?
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Old 09-27-2007, 12:37 PM   #2
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I think this is something that has to be done for life, in moderation of course. I have learned over the years, each time I have lost weight, I felt good, stopped exercising and eating right, what happened? I gained the weight back + more. If I do not exercise, watch what I eat ( calorie counting), I just gain.
Now do I forsee me doing this for the rest of my life?? Yes to a point, I think once I loose all the weight I probably will play around with my calories, until I notice that I can eat at a certain # without gaining, or loosing weight, I also think I will have one day a month to treat myself to something, I am not sure what, maybe a slice of pizza, or something I really like, but this is just a thought, I am still loosing. Exercising will need to be part of my life, maybe not 60 minutes a day, maybe 30-45 minutes a day.
Do I get angry at times, because , like you said, this is hard, I miss eating some things. Right now they have pumpkin ice cream, I love pumpkin Ice cream, and I am angry I can't eat any, but I need to face the fact right now I need to be healthy and I can't be eating anything. Maybe in the future I can have a small serving of pumpkin Ice cream, when I am no longer obese, but now I can't. There is nothing I can do, but accept it , and look forward to having a body that I can live with, and enjoy into my old age.

When I am at 196 lbs I will no longer have a BMI of an obese women.
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Old 09-27-2007, 12:50 PM   #3
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I have a lot of the same worries that you do. I will be interested to see what others have to say.

I do think about it a lot. But I also thought about food a lot before also. I was always planning what I was going to eat (gorge on) next. Then I would beat myself up over what I ate. I also always had so much guilt! Almost every day was "the day before I was going to start". So, I don't think about it any more or less, just differently. I feel empowered about it now, because I call the shots, not the food.

But I also know it will be hard when the scale is not rewarding me. So, I know I am not helping you any, but I just wanted you to know your not the only one with these fears. Jelly

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Old 09-27-2007, 01:18 PM   #4
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I"m totally with you all. I have been eating clean for 22 days... I count them every day. My workout buddies, tell me I have to stop looking at it as when you ge to a certain point you get to eat whatever. It's hard for me to think of this way of eating as everyday life.

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Old 09-27-2007, 01:23 PM   #5
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Well, it does kind of become an obsession to make sure that scale stays at the same number. I'm accepting that it will be part of my life.

Although I still want to lose a few pounds, I have started working on fitness goals more than anything. I want to be able to bench press a certain amount, do a pushup (still cannot do even 1!) and until my knee went wonky, run a 5K in a certain time. I don't think you ever need to give up setting health goals--they're just different goals than the one you're focused on now.

The grand essentials of happiness are something to do, something to love and something to hope for - A. K. Chalmers.
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Old 09-27-2007, 01:32 PM   #6
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I don't normally hang out in this forum and just stumbled on this thread because the title really spoke to me. I'm right there with you on when does this become normal because I'm still waiting for that to happen. I lost the weight by replacing my obsession with all things food and munching to exercising and eating right and watching the scale drop, smaller sizes fit, etc. Maintenance isn't nearly as exciting because the scale doesn't drop, you stop getting as many compliments, your clothes fit and you just can't keep buying more and more.
I'm trying to focus on fitness goals, instead of weight loss goals. For example, how many pounds I can lift and how long I can go with my cardio. I'm also trying to experiment with different work out regimes, such as doing really high intensity workouts instead of longer, easier ones. That keep things interesting. I'm also trying new recipes and learning how to cook healthy foods. I think we just have to keep our head in the health and fitness game and not go back to the old ways, which I admit, I sometimes miss. I just have to remember how miserable I was.
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Old 09-27-2007, 01:44 PM   #7
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Default Yeap..it's very hard....

I feel I NEED to weigh at least three times a week. I look at it as being "accountable" for my actions. If I eat something not so great during the weekend and I go up a couple of pounds..I feel it is important to see that...I think we all know that it is soooo easy to slip back into our old ways of using food for comfort. Knowing when you reach your goal..you MUST keep doing the same thing you did to get there, to stay there.
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I just want to weigh 2 4 9 already?
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Old 09-27-2007, 02:00 PM   #8
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Hmmm... All of you are right, of course. I just have to wrap my mind around it. It's not that I miss my old ways of eating necessarily. As JellyBelly says, I was always thinking about food anyway - how I needed to lose the weight and wondering how much damage this (insert food I don't eat now) would do, or implementing random strategies, etc. So it's not like thinking about it is new. On the other hand, I feel like I have to be responsible almost all of the time. For example, I can't leave it up to chance if we're traveling, because I know I won't succeed if I do. Cheryl, Patty, Sheila, Pam, and Skinny4Baby - y'all are right, though. I do need to accept that I will have to be responsible forever and ever and ever if I want to get to goal weight and stay there. (Although, Pam, looking at your picture gives me tons of motivation to almost accept that - You look AMAZING!) The idea of setting fitness goals is actually a really good one. I do that now, but it's always with the idea of burning the most calories in the time I have available. But I can see myself getting excited about being able to kick some butt at a triathlon or something. That could potentially replace the scale as my mental picture when I just don't feel like doing it on some days. Thanks, everyone, for the food for thought. Weight loss is so mental.
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Old 09-27-2007, 02:04 PM   #9
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The fact is that 95% of ALL people who lose their weight will gain it back. Why is that? Because we live with the illusion and the desire that once we lose our excess weight we can then be like a "normal" person. That will never be the case for those who have spent a great portion of their lives being obese. Obesity changes the body in a way where "normal" just isn't going to happen.

I spend a lot of time in the maintainers forum because the people there are our best source of information on how to lose the weight and keep it off for life. I really recommend that forum for it's amazing wealth of information. To start with I think everyone should read this thread made my Meg, a moderator on 3FC, and who is an incredible inspiration. http://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/showthread.php?t=51478

I miss pumpkin ice cream too!! I don't like that I have to count calories or put my body through at least an hour of exercise 6 days a week. I'm basically lazy and I like to eat!! But, I really like seeing the scale go down, the incredible energy I now have, and my boyfriend's comments on how he can really see my body changing. I could name a dozen more advantages to how I feel now that I have started to really lose this weight. I have a long ways to go to goal and the rest of my life to keep me there!
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Old 09-27-2007, 02:17 PM   #10
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Hey folks,

LaurieDawn, I think what we learn to do, if we stay with this, is to redefine normal. The old "normal" is how I gained weight. It included:

A. Not thinking about what I was eating, except in terms of what really yummy thing I could completely devour.
B. Using pleasure as the yardstick for whether I was "eating right."
C. Eating too much at every meal and in between.
D. Not paying attention to what a whole pint of ice cream means.
E. Not moving enough--sitting on my butt!

When you get to maintenance, you'll find that things ARE more flexible in many ways--and the reasons are first, that you'll have more calories to work with, and second, that you'll have changed your habits. So, if you go on a trip, say, you won't have to be quite as careful about planning every little thing in advance. You'll have practice in figuring out the calorie content of foods, and your changed tastes will mean that you naturally skip some foods. You couldn't pay me to eat a fast-food french fry, for example!

So--think of it as a different normal, if that helps.

"My religion is kindness." --His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Last edited by JayEll; 09-27-2007 at 02:18 PM.
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Old 09-27-2007, 02:26 PM   #11
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I watched Season Two of "The Biggest Loser" Australia and the winner from Season One came to talk to them all ~ he'd maintained his weight loss for 1 year, and commented that maintenance is so much easier than losing it in the first place. He said "staying on top of 5 pounds is so much easier than tackling 120" It was really cool hearing someone talk about maintaining that huge of a weight loss

On the other hand, a woman I work with has this weird obssession with dieting ~ to the point of gaining/losing/gaining/losing close to 75 pounds over and over and over again! it's insane she's going to have a heart attack, but she says she can't help herself, she's addicted to the "praise" and the "oh my god wendy you've lost so much weight you look fabulous"

Started: 323
Now: 171 - nope, 165 now!
NOPE -- 162 now! Holy crap i've lost a PERSON!
Goal: 160

"People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing - that's why we recommend it daily." - Zig Ziglar
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Old 09-27-2007, 03:42 PM   #12
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Food is my own personal cross to bear so to speak. I may never be "normal" in that way compared to people who don't have to think too much about food, but life isn't fair. I'm hoping that once I get down to a maintaining weight I'll have been working on these new healthy habits for so long that they will stick easier, and it will be second nature to eat healthier. However, I have to be honest with myself that it is quite likely that I will have to be more conscious of food and how much I eat than a person who has been a healthy weight their whole life. Even given that though, it's worth it.
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Old 09-27-2007, 03:55 PM   #13
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I really like Pita's response. I am also spending time in the maintainer's forum and it has been very informative. It was a real eye-opener to learn that research shows formerly obese people have to eat 15-20% fewer calories than others to maintain a normal weight. If we think about this, it is no surprise because most of us see how quickly we can pack on the pounds the minute we take our eyes off the ball. But for me, seeing it in black and white has been amazing...scary...and strangely a relief, in knowing that this is the reality but I can work with it.

I think at this point I am finally coming to terms with the idea that this is the new normal for me. I will never be normal the way many other people are. My weight will always have to be actively managed, and I will not be able to eat with abandon. I'm also inherently lazy and have to work at keeping an exercise program in place. So be it, I now accept that this is the way it will be.

As Faerie says, this is my personal cross to bear. Everyone has at least one. We all have challenges. Some things are hard for us and some things are easy. I am over being resentful and unhappy that this is my cross to bear. Rebelling against it has only made me miserable and unhealthy.

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Old 09-27-2007, 05:44 PM   #14
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You're right. Weight loss is so mental. Thank you for your nice words.That was so sweet, and I'm so jazzed to know that I can be a motivation to someone! You know, if you're interested in running a triathlon someday, start reading about running and immerse yourself in that world. That will really help take the focus off food. When I find myself slipping, I buy a bunch of fitness magazines or buy a new workout outfit. It's materialistic, I know, but gosh, I used to think a lot about food and buy a lot of food. So that's how I rationalize it. I really think that most people are into something to keep their minds active and their lives interesting.

I really enjoy the maintainers forum and think that everyone could benefit from reading about how maintenance works, because that's what we're going to be doing for life. I have to admit that it has been hard to accept at times, and to realize that these changes we've made have got to stay with us for life or we will end up back where we started.

BattleAx, you're so right that most people people have challenges to deal with. It helps to remember that!

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Old 09-27-2007, 06:34 PM   #15
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I want to be normal like Joe. (Joe is and alcoholic people just don't know this)
I want to be normal like Jane ( Jane struggles constantly with thinking she is fat but she only weighs 100 lbs)

I want to be normal...

Who is normal? We all have our demons that we struggle with. So don't think about it as being normal. Just realize this is our life and we need to live it the healthiest way possible. We are who we are and we know how to live a better life. Yes there are some things we will always need to watch but who doesn't have something they have to watch or worry about. So don't think about it to much and just go on doing what you know is right.
Goal of 245 Made 12/21/05 Half the man.
New Goal to regain the above goal.

Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever
you do, do all to the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31

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