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So lost, need input

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Old 01-25-2008, 03:12 AM   #1
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Default So lost, need input

To start off I'll make a quick sum up of my weight history. I've always been a bit big. When I was a kid I was never "fat" but I matured early and I was a bit chunkier than most other kids. I had the same type of body for many years up till I was about 19. I had weighed around 155-160 lbs for quite a few years (I'm 5'6) and was more curvy than fat. Then I lost some weight, I wasn't trying to, but I kept busy and just ate when I was hungry. I got down to 140 lbs and felt absolutely great. Then I met someone and I moved away from home. My parents were always very strict with sweets when I grew up. We always had nice food and sometimes dessert, but rarely sweets or crisps or things like that. The guy I met was a sweettooth if ever there was one. He ate really poor food and usually went through the day eating sugary stuff and possibly pizza. For me this was completely new and I went crazy, eating all kinds of junk. Needless to say it didn't take long for the weight to start piling on. For a couple of years I fluctuated between 160 - 170 lbs. This was when the dieting began. I tried weight watchers, atkins and all kinds of stuff, but I never stuck to it. Then I started messing up my education. I sat at home with the computer and ate. My highest weight ever was when I was 25 or so, I weighed 234 lbs.
For the last years my weight has been going up and down between 190 and 220 lbs.
Now to my problem.
As you might be able to tell I have a hard time sticking to something. I tried counting calories a few times, and when I have stuck to it it really worked, and I also felt it was a good method since it didnt restrict completely what kinds of foods I could eat. My problem is that now and then I get this thought that I want to do it "just on my own". Go by hunger, make sensible choices - you get the idea. I have done that successfully in the past, but right now I really dont know what to do.
I want to find a method and stick with it.
One complication in the calorie counting is the fact that at this moment me and my boyfriend (who is really supportive, and who met me and fell in love with me when I was 200+ lbs) are living with his parents, and controling the foods we eat is a bit hard. Most likely we will be moving to our own place within the next few weeks, but I really dont want to wait with losing weight. I want to find "my plan" and stick with it. (Can you tell I always find excuses to why my current plan is flawed?)
I know a lot of you ladies (and not just ladies of course) have had great success with calorie counting.
For those of you that do, do you ever feel doubts? Is there anyone who changes plans as often as they change underwear?

Well this turned out to be a longer rant than I had planned.
All done now

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Old 01-25-2008, 05:18 AM   #2
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I also want to lose weight "on my own", but the problem is it just wasn't working. I kept gaining and gaining. The only time I've lost weight is when I counted calories.

Like you, I don't do well with restricting the types of food I can eat. Knowing I can have anything I want as long as I account for it in my food journal helps me keep my cravings under control because I can view it more as a budgeting issue (do I really want to "spend" 250 calories on a candy bar) rather than a freedom issue (I'm not allowed to have candy bars) and that just suits my personality better.

That said, counting calories can also make me feel like I'm being robbed of my freedom. Counting calories can be tedious. I use software kind of like Fit Day, but it's made especially for Switzerland so that it has local foods. But I feel to do it properly I have to weigh everything so that the results are accurate, but even then it isn't always possible to get it exactly right. That's frustrating but even more frustrating is the fact that I let myself get so obsessed with calories. I find myself thinking it isn't "normal" to have to worry about a caloric balance sheet every single day.

But the fact of the matter is, I have to do something because I've proven I can't do it just by my gut feeling. So this time out I've decided to give myself some leeway-- write down everything I eat, but don't get too obsessed with the calorie count. I do know what's healthy and I do know what a healthy portion is, so if I forget to weigh something or if the food isn't in the software and I can't find the nutritional info, then I just go by my gut.

Well, that was long... Best of luck in finding a method that works for you!
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Old 01-25-2008, 06:36 AM   #3
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The test of whether something is working is... do you lose weight when you stick with it?

It can be tedious to count calories, weigh foods, measure portions--but it's not forever, it's while you are losing weight. Yes, once you lose the weight you'll still have to watch portions--that's forever--but by then you'll have learned what half a cup of rice looks like, what 3 oz. of tuna looks like, at least close enough. And the test is--do you start gaining weight again? If so, then it's time to go back to watching more closely.

It's great to think one can just "do it on one's own," meaning not have to track anything or follow some other plan like WW, and so on. For most people who are overweight, it's unrealistic--in my opinion.

Hang in there! You can do it!
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Old 01-25-2008, 07:40 AM   #4
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There may have been a time in the past when you could just be a little careful, watch what you ate, and done fabulously. If you're having trouble sticking to that now, however, then now is all that matters. Not what once worked.

I know that tracking of any kind can be a pain, but there's no other way to get a more accurate idea of what you're eating & how much of it you're eating.

It is very difficult to watch what you're eating when you're not able to choose the foods that come into the house. However! There are ways around that. Portion sizes are key. Remember to measure out what you eat. Can you go shopping with your boyfriend's parents? "Help out" by going shopping for them? You're in control of what you eat, or don't eat, even if it's been put on your plate.

Best of luck before you move out
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Old 01-25-2008, 07:57 AM   #5
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I've also always had a hard time sticking with anything. But, as the aches and pains got worse over the years....and I felt like an incredibly old woman at the age of 41...I realized that I better make my health a priority or I wouldn't have a very bright future. I really don't like to count calories as it seems so confining and regimented to me. However,going by hunger and just making sensible choices hasn't ever worked well for me, either. I must have a plan. My God given triggers that tell me when its time to eat and when its time to stop just don't work anymore...maybe from all my years of self indulgence? I've managed to lose 30 pounds without counting calories and by following the Southbeach plan....lean meats, lots of veggies, 2-3 fruits a day, healthy fats in moderation and whole grains only. I know that you can't control the foods provided for you right now, but can you pass on any sweets while trying to stick with the meats and vegetables? Also, drink lots of water....no sodas, juices, etc? How about exercise? Can you start walking each day? I've now reached the point where my weight loss has stalled and I am forced to look at my calories counts. I think most of us do have to look at the counts eventually as weight loss is basically an equations of calories in vs calories out.

Please know that you can do this! Losing large amount of weight does take a lot of committment. If you're like me, you might have to re-committment every day. But, it is worth it.
- Rhonda

"Live the life you've always imagined." Henry David Thoreau

Last edited by GirlyGirlSebas : 01-25-2008 at 07:58 AM.
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Old 01-25-2008, 08:30 AM   #6
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I can't tell you lovely people enough how much this helps!
I think I have been clinging on too much to how things have been in the past, just like faerie said. It worked once, but that doesn't mean it works now, years of bad habits and out of control behaviour.
I have had success with fitday (when I managed to stick to it) and I will give that another go - a proper, commited go.
I'm trying to eliminate certain trigger foods, and I'm hoping that will make calorie budgeting a bit easier.
I think its time to own up and take responsibility. I am indeed in charge of what goes in my mouth, and its time to realise that I'm the only one who can do this, it has to be me who is in charge of this.

Once again, thank you so very much!

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Old 01-25-2008, 09:25 AM   #7
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wow, your story is so similar to mine! not being a "fat" kid per se, and gaining weight once you were on your own because sweets & fun food wasn't really allowed at home LOL, that's me bang on!

I tried W.W. and Atkins, each half-heartedly, and had a bit of success but then stopped and gained MORE than I started with.

I'm a control freak to be sure, and can't do things "their" way I guess, and have to do it on my own. I can't be bothered plugging each item into fitday i found it extremely frustrating and time consuming, so i have this cutie little paperback book with calories/fat listed, and of course read labels like crazy and i'm VERY careful to get the right portion size.

you'll get lots of encouragement & support here, so feel free to ask for help! I sure did (and recently enjoyed a lovely arse-kicking )

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 01-25-2008, 09:34 AM   #8
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Lightbulb First of all, you are not your past

....that is the first thing you need to tell yourself until you believe it.

If you are moving out within a few weeks I would just spend this time researching the different food plans that are out there and really take a good look at what they allow, what they don't allow and how realistically you can stay on them. This is what I did and fresh air has been breathed into my old dieting. No plan will work if you are not tempermentally able to work it.

If you truly want to do this and succeed at it then you need to plan and prepare for it otherwise you are just following your whims one more time and you will get tired of it as soon as the bloom goes off the rose, so to speak. Those of us with weight issues have some degree of unmanaged impulse control and you don't want to encourage that if you want to seriously lose weight. Pick your plan carefully and then really commit to it.

There are plans out there that do not count calories BUT almost of all of them do include some kind of portion control within them. For me, I have learned that I need to reeducate myself in what exactly a "normal" portion is. A "normal" portion of pasta is 1/2 c. Have you ever measured what that is? Now, think about the last time you went to a restaurant? My guess, is that the plate arrives with about 10x that much, at least! That is a behavior modification that I believe is absolutely necessary in long term weight lose and weight lose maintenance.

Other aspects of successful weight lose include: not feeding your emotions only your true physical hunger, becoming more active in some form of consistent and regular exercise, eating a well-balanced meal plan day in and day out, learning to deal with highly charged food-related events so you can navigate through them without rebounding and, finally, doing all of this until you acheive the results you want and plan to maintain for the rest of your life.

You are young. Now is the time to develop habits that will see you through the rest of your life.

Good luck
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Old 01-25-2008, 01:01 PM   #9
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Just wanted to address the part where you ask about changing plans as often as changing underwear. Since no one sees my underwear, I only need to change that once or twice a year, so.. (It seemed funnier when I thought of it, but...) I actually do change plans with some degree of frequency, and that works fairly well for me. I've done mostly vegan, high protein (though not with a lot of meat and never without regard to calories) and just plain calorie counting. I've flirted with several formal diet plans as well. Changing plans helps me regain focus, and I've been fairly successful with it. I haven't done as well as many of those who hard-charge through very disciplined aeting approaches, but I'm doing what I think is best for me, and that's really what it's all about, right?

Good luck. You've got a tough situation. When I have stayed with in-laws for holidays, etc., it's helped me to have pre-packaged foods that I could eat without making a big deal of wanting to use their kitchen to prepare "my" meals. Yogurt, fruit, veggies, even protein bars in moderation, have helped me do that.

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Old 01-25-2008, 03:38 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by timkerbelle View Post
I know a lot of you ladies (and not just ladies of course) have had great success with calorie counting.
For those of you that do, do you ever feel doubts? Is there anyone who changes plans as often as they change underwear?
I tried a lot of ways to lose weight - the only thing that ever worked for me long term was a combination of eating whole foods and calorie counting. I have been at my maintenance weight for nearly 3 years and I still eat whole foods and count calories - I made a lot of changes (both big and small) to come up with a plan that I liked enough to stick with for the rest of my life. I think the reason my plan worked so well for me was because I came up with every bit of it, it is tailored specifically to me (my likes, dislikes) and what I am willing and not willing to do. I don't think a cookie cutter one size fits all plan would work for me - I am stubborn and an individual!

God luck!
SIX YEARS at maintenance weight!

My very long weight loss story

"I saw an angel in the marble and I chiseled until I set it free."

Last edited by Glory87 : 01-25-2008 at 03:41 PM.
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Old 01-25-2008, 03:41 PM   #11
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@ LaurieDawn...once a year whether they need it or not!!
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Old 01-25-2008, 03:45 PM   #12
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I agree with Glory. I'm not so sure anyone can maintain a loss (for life) on one specific plan, made by someone else (maybe with the exception of WW).

I believe we all need to find/create a plan that will really work for us...and then really work that plan.
TRYING to leave the batteries out of my scale!!
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Old 01-26-2008, 06:49 AM   #13
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You all confirm what I have been thinking, and I really do feel like I can have focus now on what I want. I have felt very comfortable with calorie counting. Sometimes it feels very restrictive, but if I'm being honest thats only the times when I want to have the freedom to binge, not to choose my foods. I have cut out certain things over time, and I feel totally happy with that. I don't eat meat for instance, and since before newyears I decided on having a year free from sugary treats. I think trying to identify the binge trigger foods will help a lot.
I have fitday and I feel comfortable using it. I think that what might work is to be flexible, but within the frame of counting calories. I mean try different foods that will work and make me feel good, but always monitor my calories.

Off topic - I went running today for the first time since september and it felt great!

I know now what I want to do - now to stick with it!

Thank you all again

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