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Why are we doing this? Is it worth it?

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Old 10-06-2007, 01:12 AM   #1
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Default Why are we doing this? Is it worth it?

I seem to have lost my mojo - AGAIN, so I would love to borrow y'all's until I can find it again.

This can be such a struggle. I seem to do great when I'm severely restricting and exercising tons, but I can't seem to figure out how to eat and exercise moderately. Since I don't know how likely I am to be able to severely restrict for the rest of my life, I've been trying to balance it all out, and I just don't seem to be able to do it. Either I eat just enough nutritious, low-cal foods to satisfy me and end up with fewer than 1000 calories per day, or I eat more food to try to elevate to at least 1200 calories per day, and completely lose control. (And I feel completely energized on fewer than 1000 calories, so long as I'm eating throughout the day.) So now, I am so tempted to just give up. If I can maintain at this weight, I will feel a lot more normal than I have for years, and I am a lot healthier (BP 104/68 with pulse at 58 today). But my patterns don't seem conducive to maintaining, either.

So, is it worth the cost? 'Cuz finding out how to fix my eating issues will continue to cost me a great deal of time, energy, and angst. I would love to be thin, and I just finished a grant application detailing many of the serious obesity-related issues that can completely derail my health, so I am terrified of diabetes now. In fact, I just recently had an uncle lose a leg to diabetes before he finally decided to have weight loss surgery. Still, I just don't know if I can sustain the level of energy it will take before I finally reach a solution to my all-or-nothing eating habits.

So - do we feel like the benefits we're getting out of this is worth the price we're having to pay? I trust that most of the answers will be in the affirmative, which is sort of the reason why I posted this in the first place, but I would be very interested in the thoughts of those who might be questioning as well.
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Old 10-06-2007, 02:12 AM   #2
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I've been on the diet roller coaster for most of my life, and in all that time, it would have depended on when you asked me.

At five, I was promised 2 turtles (just like the ones in my kindergarten classroom) if I lost 8 pounds. After losing 4 lbs, the turtles disappeared from the classroom. They were no longer legal to keep as pets because of the risk of salmonella or something. I'm sure my parents tried to persuade me to accept another reward, but I remember being fed up with the whole process and giving up. I don't think anything short of a puppy or maybe even a pony would have gotten me back on the diet bandwagon (I was old enough to sneak food, even if I had to wait until everyone was asleep to do it).


When I was in 8th grade, I weighed 225 lbs. I sprained my ankle very badly and got an excuse from P.E. for 6 weeks. My pediatrician prescribed diet pills (yeah, the amphetemine kind) and promised me medical excuses from P.E. throughout high school as long as I continued to lose weight. By junior year in high school, the weight was coming off very slowly, but I was nearing my "goal" of 150. When I reached 155, the doctor gave me a new "goal" of 145. I was so discouraged and fed up, and couldn't imagine how I was going to get to this new goal, when I was only really eating on weekends as it was. I decided it wasn't worth it and gave up.

These two stories from my childhood may seem like an odd way to answer your question, but they are typical of the crash diet cycle. A cycle I've experienced dozens and dozens of time. If I give up, I know that I will not only regain everything I've lost, but will end up heavier than I've ever been before.

So, some days it doesn't seem worth it, but I know that there isn't much of an alternative for me. Maintaining a weight loss is just as much work as losing, so what is there to give up?

That may sound discouraging, but I think once you accept that there is no turning back, and there is no "finish line", you start learning to deal with it. On a no-loss week, "at least I didn't gain" isn't something you say half-heartedly as a way to console yourself for your failure, it's something you say to celabrate as a victory itself.
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Old 10-06-2007, 02:16 AM   #3
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Girl I totally feel you. I was SO close to giving up last month...But I've realized it's totally worth the price! I get so excited each couple of months when I go shopping and can fit in smaller sizes. I love not feeling like the biggest person in the room. I love not being out of breath when I am shopping in the mall or going up stairs.

Just love yourself for what you are now. You have to stay positive even in the rough spots. You guys came through for me big time when I was SO close to giving up. I had 2 weeks full of stuffing my face with fast food and I thought this whole journey was over. But it wasn't. I just had to realize how far I have come so far. It must be do-able because I have done it for 6 months and 40 pounds so far. Don't give up now! You have lost 52 pounds! That is incredible and inspiring. Your posts have always been very motivating for me. I know you can do this girl!

And just take baby steps with moderation..That's all I can tell you. If you want to add more calories, maybe add 50 calories per week until you are at the right number of calories for you. Same with exercise..add or subtract a little at a time. The weight hasn't come off all at once, and you don't have to change your habits all at once either. Atleast you know what makes you go out of control with your eating LOL. I seem to go off at random when I have seemingly been doing a good job

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Old 10-06-2007, 06:16 AM   #4
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Oh Laurie Dawn, what are you asking girlfriend? What's this talk about giving up?

It's HARD sometimes. That's the truth. I've been doing this over a year now, I've lost over 160 lbs, I love my life now. I love everything I eat now, am totally satisfied, rarely never truly hungry. But yet, I still DO struggle sometimes. Some days the house gets completely cleaned up head to toe, my desk gets completely cleared up (both a bonus). I go through lots of chewing gum and hot tea and all the other distractions that I need to do to get my mind off of the food, so be it. Although this is very hard sometimes, it doesn't even compare a teeny tiny bit to the HARD of being morbidly obese/obese/overweight. This HARD at least has lots and lots and LOTS of amazing benefits. The hard of being morbidly obese - not so much.

Someone's signature here, I'm sorry, I can't recall who, was a great one. It went something like this:

It's hard losing weight.
It's hard maintainig weight loss
It's hard being fat.
Choose your hard


I just copied and pasted this from a thread Trazey started the other day. It was about this journey being fun. Here was part of my reply and just a small sampling of why I think THIS hard, the hard of losing the weight, and then maintaining it FOREVER is worth the struggle. Why I think that losing the weight and then maintaining the loss, is the better of the "HARDS":

Here's just a few things that I have found to be simply fantastic about this journey and oh so much fun. There are literally hundreds of more things:

-Watching my dress size plummet.
-Watching the scale go down, down, down.
-Reporting my weight loss every week.
-Reporting my NSV's
-Changing my avatar.
-Trying on the few pieces of "fat" clothing that I've saved and seeing how enormous they are on me, as I progressed
-Being able to "fit" into places better, the chair at the beauty salon, public transportation, lawn chairs, my club chairs in my living room.
-Finding out that I DO have control.
-All right, the tons and tons of compliments - from the I'm melting away ones, to the I now look like I could be my daughters' sister, to the ones where people literally don't recognize me.
-Buying clothing in smaller sizes. Being able to shop in almost any store, including juniors.
-Having a wardrobe full of incredible, beautiful clothing
-Becoming a full fledged shoe-a-holic/clothes horse.
-Being able to share clothing with my teenaged daughters.
-Getting off my blood pressure medicine.
-Being told that I am an inspiration. Helping others.
-Rediscovering my femininity.
-Having hubby appreciate that I have discovered my femininity.
-Being sooo much more confident in social situations and everyday situations as well.
-Being active and energetic and productive.
-Feeling "normal" and regular.
-Discovering my bones.
-Building muscle and strength and stamina.
-Having my family be so proud of me
-Knowing that I have done all that I can on my end to better my chances at a healthier, more productive and happier life.

FUN - FUN - FUN!!!!!

YES, IT'S WORTH IT, IT'S WORTH IT!!!! And don't ever forget it. It's THEE most worthwhile thing in the world.
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Old 10-06-2007, 08:35 AM   #5
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Folks have given wonderful replies! LaurieDawn, I hope they are helping you to see that it really is worth it.

I'm not sure how it is that you're trying to up your calories--which you say seems to set you off to going over. One strategy is to increase the amounts of what you would normally be eating on your plan, rather than add foods that could trigger you. In other words, you could have two pieces of bread instead of one, or 4 ounces of chicken instead of 3. Or a half a cup of cereal instead of a third. Two eggs instead of one. And so on. I don't know whether you're already doing this or not, though.

No doubt about it, the food thing is a difficult balancing act.

I hope you'll stay with it!

Jay
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Old 10-06-2007, 09:17 AM   #6
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LaurieDawn

I understand your frustration. I started this new plan on July 1st and have been counting my calories and working out and have only lost 12 lbs. It is frustrating!! And even though I have a day here or there that I slip and fall off plan, I have picked myself up and tried to figure out how to do it better. Most days, my calories all come from really healthy food that I love and I just joined a real gym that I know is going to make a huge difference. But, really it's about the attitude. If I get my mind on food and what I want but can't have it's over for me.

I want Robin's list of why it's worth it, so there is no giving up. Not for me and I know you don't want to give up either. You are worth so much more and you can do this!
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Old 10-06-2007, 10:01 AM   #7
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Robin's post pretty much sums it up. I went through those kinds of questions myself along the way and there were plenty of times I wanted to give up. It wasn't that it felt all that hard doing it at the time -- I was just always afraid that I couldn't keep it up. And you know what? I'm still afraid of that. I imagine I'll have that fear the rest of my life. But the difference now is that I completely understand the tradeoff. I know EXACTLY what I'll be giving up if I let my eating get out of control and I stop exercising. I'll be giving up all those wonderful things on Robin's list! And let me tell you, all those experiences are SO worth it. Never doubt that. I was miserable when I was heavy, and I don't want to live a miserable day if I don't HAVE to. Why would I choose that? So many things in life are out of our control -- so many things that can take away our happiness. But this one we can control. You can do this, and you know you can. We all know you can. I've always loved reading your posts because the way you word things often feels like the way I think as well. Like I said in my "goal" post, if I can do this (and if Robin, and Mandalinn, and Meg, and all the other people who've met goal can do this), you can absolutely stick with it and do this too. You already know that, though.

And yes, of COURSE it's worth it.
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Old 10-06-2007, 10:07 AM   #8
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Laurie Dawn,
let me tell you you are in my thoughts frequently because I have seen you struggling lately. I also admire how you exercise, if I could give you a medal for the elliptical trainer I would. I also worry about you because of your low calorie intake , I am not bashing you , or being mean, I just don't think 900-1000 calories is good for any person, health wise, and I worry you are going to make yourself sick, I hope you do not get angry with me because of this , I just would love to see the day you are eating 1200 calories daily.
Now you ask if this is worth it, I think it is, because do you really want to go back to before. When I started posting this spring, I was miserable. I was angry at the world , but really I was angry at myself for being so fat!, and I took it out on the world. I felt tired all the time, I had pains, and lets not even talk about my feet, and trying to walk. Clothes was an issue, because when the 26's got tight, I just wanted to lay in bed and not get up, socks were tight on me, and I avoided mirrors like an expert.
Today I am still considered obese, but I have energy most days so much, I can walk a mountain, I fit into size 18 pants!!! my clothes are loose, and I have bones that can bee seen or touched. I feel happy , and feel that the end result justifies my struggles today, and I do struggle, there are days I want to not exercise, or I want to stop for an ice cream come( they have pumpkin home made ice cream here and I love it), but I know that I can't not do it, because I don't want to go back to who I was.
I am here for you, and I know you can do this!! We can all do this!!!
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Old 10-06-2007, 11:13 AM   #9
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Everyone has said all wonderful and true things.
I only have one thing to say, Please stick with it for me and all the others you have inspired and our lives that you have touched with your journey. I know that is selfish. But I need to be selfish once is awhile. I need you to be here when I need a pep talk.
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Old 10-06-2007, 11:37 AM   #10
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I can now run, continuously for 20 minutes, walk a bit, and keep running.

I can now walk for a survey, on uneven ground, for 9 hours (45 minutes lunch), get home, bathe, and go dancing.

I can do the fast salsa move, even after work.

I can go up and down the stairs without a problem. 2 at a time? Race you up!

I can now chose clothes in colors and cuts that I love, not just whatever is there that doesn't make me look fat.

I can now plop down in those plastic chairs, without a worry.

I can now wear short skirts and my legs look great, and they're going to look better.

I can now say that I am improving myself both inside and outside, and the best part is that improving yourself outside shows.

So, is this worth it? Absolutely.

I can now say that in 40 pounds, my list will be even better!
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Old 10-06-2007, 12:04 PM   #11
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LaurieDawn! No quitting! Look at how much you've lost! Look at how far you have to go! You're over halfway there, hun! That is amazing; you've passed the Wednesday of your weight loss journey and are on the downhill slide to Saturday! (weird analogy I know) 52 pounds is 6.25 gallons of water. 52 pounds is a kindergartener. That is phenominal Laurie! Keep it up.
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Old 10-06-2007, 12:06 PM   #12
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Hey Laurie, I can only share my own experience. I dieted just like you describe for years. Restricting, losing weight, eventually struggling, giving up.

I also share your fear of diabetes, my dad's mother died of complications of diabetes while he was very young. Two of my grandparents died of cancer, the other from complications of alzheimer's - all of them died too young (although one grandfather did live until 87, the others were all gone before 70).

In June 2004, I weighed 200+ lbs (not sure of my highest weight, I was too afraid of the scale and didn't weight myself until 2-3 weeks into my journey). I was wandering around a B&N bookstore and started idly browsing through a book called Super Foods Rx: 14 Foods That Could Save Your Life. The author stated that a lot of foods are good for you, but certain foods are VERY good for you - and then he provided studies to prove how tomatoes protect the skin from sun damage, spinach is good for the eyes, blueberries are good for the brain, yogurt helps the gut and nuts help the heart (for example).

The author, Stephen Pratt, made the science of nutrition completely accessible to me. It made a huge difference, completely changed my entire view of weight loss, dieting, health. Instead of restricting foods to lose weight, I would eat foods to be healthy. I wouldn't take away from my life, I would add to my life. I bought the book (in hardcover, no less!) and changed my life that night, forever.

When I first started, I didn't even count calories. I just made a game to eat as many Super Foods as possible (in the first book, there were 14 super foods and their accompanying "side kicks" - for example, pumpkin was a super food and orange peppers, carrots, butternut squash, sweet potatoes were the sidekicks). My goal was to eat at least 1 food from at least 10 different super food groups a day. If I ate tomatoes and water melon and papaya, that only counted as one super food, since they all are in the same group.

I didn't start out eating "perfectly," one of the super foods is yogurt, so I was eating 100 calorie yoplait (my days of stirring freshly cut fruit into organic non fat plain yogurt came later), but I was eating extremely well - tons of vegetables, fruit, low fat dairy, lean protein, very little processed foods, no fast food, booze, and very little white flour products.

The biggest and most noticeable change was my energy levels just skyrocketed. I went from being logey and depressed and sleepy in the afternoons to feeling like currents of electricity were dancing under my skin. I got up earlier in the mornings, I was never sleepy in the afternoons. My skin looked gorgeous.

This was never a way of eating I started with the intention to stop. From day 1, this was how I wanted to eat forever. I wanted to use food as disease fighters, cancer preventers, youth extenders. My three yearly health screenings since I started have been in a word - stellar. Good blood pressure, excellent cholesterol, great glucose, triglycerides, etc etc.

It is hard sometimes - I miss out on a lot of American conveniences (fast food, pizza, frozen meals, packaged stuff) and I have to go to the store 2-3 times a week. I spend a lot of time in the kitchen, I cook, I pack lunches, I plan ahead, I bag up veggies for snacks on Sundays. But the rewards are huge, I am fit, I am healthy, I look gorgeous in size 6 clothes, I have energy, I like pictures of myself, I can take off my clothes in front of my boyfriend with confidence. I eat healthy 90% of the time, but I still have treats, I don't feel deprived. I love the healthy foods I do eat - cutting out most sugar and processed foods woke my tongue up from its sugar coma. Natural foods taste sweet and wonderful.

Why am I doing this? I don't want to be dead by the time I'm 70. I don't want to spend one more second wishing and praying and hoping to magically be thin. I don't want to fall asleep in my office at 2 everyday. I don't want to see pictures from the company picnic posted online and cringe when I see myself and wish I could beg someone to take them down. I don't want to worry about seat belt extenders, or if I can walk around on a summer day in a dress without my thighs chafing until they bleed. I don't want to fall to the back when my friends are walking up a hill, I don't want to breathe so hard I can't talk when my friends are laughing and chatting. I want to be able to bend over to cut my toenails without getting painfully cut in half and red in the face.

"Is it worth it?" is a very individual question. It is definitely, 100% worth it to me. For my health, for my vanity, for my mental well being.
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Old 10-06-2007, 12:29 PM   #13
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LaurieDawn, I understand. Like I've said many times, I have to recommit to doing this every single day. This is the hardest thing I've ever done. You should see my weight loss graph....its up and down and up and down! But, my current point is much lower than the starting point.

Is it worth it?......My dad is 63 years old. He speed walks for 4 miles every other day, he can run up a flight of stairs and not get winded, he can run around with the grandkids for hours. He has never had a weight problem. He has always been interested in health issues and takes a handful of vitamins and supplements everyday. His doctor said that he has the constitution of a 40 year old man. My Dad is a senior citizen, but he enjoys an active life. I want to be like him. Don't you? Mine and Hubby's dream is to travel one day. How much easier will that be if I'm healthy and fit? How many obese seniors do you see enjoying an active life? I havent seen many.

Yes, this is hard. Sometimes, the struggle is harder and sometimes we seem to be in a "honeymoon" phase when this seems to be simple. Thank God for the honeymoon phases! I understand the "all or nothing" mentality. I struggle with being a perfectionist. If I can't do it perfectly, I quit until I can start all over. But, we are creating a new lifestyle. It is impossible to live our whole lives without ever going a bit over on our calories or missing a day of exercise. We have to decide what we can live with for the rest of our lives. Because, LaurieDawn, this is for life. Right? You can do this! Come on, lets do this together!
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Old 10-06-2007, 02:45 PM   #14
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I think it might be more the case of NOT doing it ISN'T worth stopping for..if that makes sense LOL...yes, we all miss the old life if we're honest - miss eating whatever and whenever it took your fancy, not having the same expectations put on you as other people, and a million other things -- but LIVING LONGER is well worth it to me, and more and most importantly GETTING OFF THE DIETING CYCLE FOR LIFE is the biggest bad-*** awesome liberating mojo-enhancing experience of my life LOL. I'll never diet again. The way I eat now causes some poundage to fall off, then so be it. But it is NOT a diet. Chocolate cake - to say "never again" for me is an absolute disaster waiting to happen! Chocolate cake - once in a while a yummy big mouthful if it's fabulous cake, sure!

I know you're filld with frustrations and doubts, and i see your high weight there was 241 -- please please please take it from someone 41 years of age, and 241 was 15 years ago for me, jump off that crazy cycle and come on over to EATING!
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Old 10-06-2007, 03:32 PM   #15
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Trazey34,

Jay
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