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what is wrong with me that I can't keep my commitment?

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Old 03-07-2009, 10:28 AM   #1
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Default what is wrong with me that I can't keep my commitment?

I have not been doing well for the past few weeks. Some days I start out with the best of intentions, and my OP eating starts to wain as the day goes on. Some days I'm off plan all day. Some days I manage to make it on plan the whole day.

I believe changing your eating habits is a matter of commitment. Motivation ebbs and flows, so I can't really rely on it. I know I have to eat well whether I want to or not, but I really suck at doing things I don't want to. Not just eating, but everything. The only way I really do things I don't want to do is if there's some sort of immediate punishment or if it's connected to something else I want. (For example, I pay my bills because I don't want a mar on my credit score, or my electricity shut off.)

I have a hard time making long term goals where the prize is far off. For me looking good and avoiding health problems are the prize for losing weight. Looking good isn't really that important to me. Health is really important to me, but bad health seems so far away it's not something I can really use to keep myself on track. I'm sure I'm in denial about that one, because in my head I know I certainly don't want to put off weight loss until I'm in bad health, and reap all the consequences of that.

Mostly I eat to sooth or relieve anxiety or boredom, and it works. Yes I feel bad later, but in the moment it works. I don't really get that much benefit from eating well. I feel a bit better, but apparently not enough to keep on track.

I feel like such a dunce posting this. I feel like being committed to losing weight should be a no brainer, what is wrong with me that I can't keep my commitment?

Last edited by thinpossible : 03-07-2009 at 10:30 AM.
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Old 03-07-2009, 10:47 AM   #2
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There isn't anything wrong with you per se, but just the attitude towards a healthy life.
I know I have to eat well whether I want to or not, but I really suck at doing things I don't want to. Not just eating, but everything. The only way I really do things I don't want to do is if there's some sort of immediate punishment or if it's connected to something else I want.
Being healthy and eating foods that are good for you are a joy and a priviledge! Don't ever think of treating your body with respect as a punishment. The punishment is staying fat. What kind of plan are you following? If you hate what you are doing, there is no way you will stick with it. There is no harm in trying different things until you get the perfect fit. Since you are trying to do something you can maintain for life, it has to be something you want to do.

I have a hard time making long term goals where the prize is far off.
A lot of people get stuck here, too. What you need to do is have goal stages. Yes, the long-term goal needs to be there, but also set smaller goals. Even something like "Today I am going to eat 5 servings of fruits and veggies". or "Instead of a getting snack from the vending machine, I am going to eat an apple and take a 10 minute walk".
Small goals that you can attain easily will keep your attitude more positive. Plus you can look back and see all that you have accomplished.

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Old 03-07-2009, 10:53 AM   #3
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Bless your heart. I so relate to your post. I have exactly the same issues. I have much less problems in the mornings than I do the evenings. I always have a ton of coffee and tea and that caffeine problly helps me in the mornings. Then I try to eat a big salad between 11:30am and noon then I try to eat another salad between 3:30 and 4 in the afternoon. If I eat any later than that no matter what it is I just won't loose any weight. Honestly I just haven't figured out exactly how to get this to work on any regular basis for me. And I really understand your motivation coming and going and everything else you said. A guy who is dealing with a drug problem told me that every day he has to make decision after decision off and on to not use. I guess that is the way eating is too but doing it sometimes is just out of the question. I totally relate to your post and you can email me privately and we can keep in touch if you want.

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Old 03-07-2009, 11:28 AM   #4
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I think there are a lot of people in your situation. I know I have been there so many times! This is the first time since I was about 20 years old (I'm 41 now) that I've stuck to my New Year's resolution for more than three days!

I'm definitely in this for the health benefits. My mom was diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer in November, and obesity is a huge risk factor for breast cancer. I don't want my daughter to go through what my sister and I did right after Mom's diagnosis.

Here are some things that have worked for me. Your mileage may vary.

1. Track everything you eat, no matter how small, down to the creamer in your coffee. Note what time of day it was. At the end of the day, look at your list for patterns. I always eat an apple at 3:15-ish to keep me from raiding the fridge when I get home. When I ran out of apples once and had to resort to plums for a few days, my journal gave me the insight that plums really weren't giving me the satiation I needed.

2. Before you eat, ask yourself how hungry you are on a scale of 1-5 (absolutely starving - stuffed like a turkey). Try to never wait so long you're at a 1. The best time to eat is when you're at a 2 or 3. If you want to eat and you're at a 4 or 5, stop and think about why you want to eat. If you still feel like you absolutely have to, then journal it.

3. Remember that you are not perfect. Falling off track does not make you bad, stupid, ugly, fat, a loser, useless, unworthy, unlovable, etc. etc. You are going to stumble from time to time. The point is to learn from it. For the first two weeks or so, I posted an "after action report" after my weekly weigh in. I looked at what I did well, what I didn't do so well, and what changes I planned to make for the next week. It is IMPERATIVE that you do this with an uncritical, matter-of-fact eye. "I noticed that I ate sweets five out of seven days" is acceptable. "I can't believe I am such a loser and have no willpower" is not.

4. Keep your goals small. My doctor cracks me up; he says, "I just want my pound of flesh....a week." So my first goal is 52 pounds in 52 weeks. That is plenty doable and leaves room for a gain here and there. When you're setting a goal, try not to tie it to something else that's rife with emotional attachment/issues, like a birthday, anniversary, wedding, or high school reunion. (All the guys will be bald and all the cheerleaders will be fat, anyway! )

5. Don't feel like you have to be a twice-a-day gym rat to exercise. Walking is one of the best forms of exercise, and anyone can do it.

You can do this. There's a fine line between being realistically accountable to yourself and beating yourself up. Don't cross it.


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52 lbs. in 52 weeks (12/31/2009): Met 10/29/2009
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Old 03-07-2009, 11:34 AM   #5
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[quote=thinpossible;2644216]Mostly I eat to sooth or relieve anxiety or boredom, and it works.[quote]

It's totally understandable you feel that way. Most people do and for most people, food is their drug of choice. But if you look at it as a drug, you also have to look at your need to overeat as an addiction. And just like with any addiction there is a reason behind why you do what you do, a trigger if you will, such as an experience from your childhood you never dealt that is deep seated in your conscious that drives you to deal with your current emotional ups and downs with food. The most important thing to deal with something like that is to go seek out some help and talk to a psychologist about it. A lot of people think the word therapy is a dirty but it's really one of the best ways to get at what drives a person like us with an overeating addiction (and I use the word addiction because it really is just like any other addiction ie alcoholism, drugs, etc) to find out what the root cause is so that we can deal with the issue and make strides so that we can consciously move forward in our lives and not necessarily use food or any other kind of external source of enjoyment to soothe what may be bothering us deep inside.

The other thing you can do to deal with emotionally overeating is to practice a form of Behavioral Cognitive Therapy which is basically a series of actions to prevent against and deal with the overeating:
1. You need to get all the junk and trigger foods out of the house. You can't eat it if it's not there, right?
2. Next you need to put up reminders of what you're doing this for around your house whether it's a motivational quote or just simply writing on a post-it some of your longer term goals so that you have something tangible to identify with.
3. When you find yourself reaching for something in the fridge or the cupboard, ask yourself if you are hungry and check to see how long it's been since you've eaten. If it's been more than 3 hours and your stomach is growling, you're more than likely hungry. However on the flip side if it's only been 20 minutes since you've eaten, you're more than likely trying to deal with an emotion.
4. Next you should start journaling how you're feeling to see if you can identify what it is you're feeling stressed, anxious, angry, etc about. And if you can figure out what's causing it, then you can put the wheels into motion to do something about it. For example, if you're stressed about a deadline at work, plot a timeline for completing the project. That way you'll know what you need to do when and you'll also alleviate some of the stress of worrying how you'll get it done when it's all written out on paper.
5. Develop incompatible behaviors with overeating. For example, when you get stressed, instead of pigging out on a half-gallon of ice cream, go to the gym, take a kickboxing class, take a bubble bath, have a massage, etc. Just choose something that in no way related to food.

I'm going to reiterate the fact that it is a really hard go with things like this and I don't think your commitment is waning in the least. You just may need some help dealing with the issues that are driving you to overeat and if you don't deal with they are going to continually come up and sabotage you over and over again. It's very important to deal with them and learn ways of conteracting it by prevention and putting recovery behaviors in place when you do have a freak out and binge. We're all human and we all go through rough patches. It's a matter of looking at what has gone wrong and learn how to do things better from those mishaps. It's rough but I'm positive you're resilient enough to do it.
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Last edited by gymlee : 03-07-2009 at 11:40 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 03-07-2009, 11:37 AM   #6
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grabec, you probably want to edit out your email addy to avoid spambots.


Sometimes it's just harder than others.

Yesterday I had a stressful experience and had missed my snack. It was lunch time and I was starving. I was thinking about where to stop for lunch and thought about a bunch of fast food options cause I "deserved" it after my stressful experience....

I began talking to myself:

What do I want? I can have whatever I want.

You want to go home and make a turkey sandwich

No I wanna eat fast food.

How will you feel after you eat it? How will you feel after you eat a turkey sandwich? What are your goals? How will this choice fit into them?

But I want it!

You sound like a 3 year old.

So I went home and had a turkey sandwich. And some Doritos. Which was still way better than a choice I would have made at a fast food restaurant.

So I guess my point is that sometimes it is just HARD. And sometimes we have to make ourselves do things we don't want to do. But as an adult, I am in charge of what I put in my mouth and the consequences of those actions. Sometimes I'll even say out loud "I am in charge of this choice. I am choosing to eat XYZ" and then my rule is that I can't whine and complain and feel victimized. It was my decision. I am not a victim of my bad decisions. I am a partner of them. I am a partner of my good decisions too.

I never regret eating on plan. I am not sitting here wishing I would have had a cheeseburger yesterday. I am pleased with the choice I made. I never regret exercising either. Sometimes I put my shoes on and say, just five minutes and then I can stop. I never want to stop, but if I did that would be okay. That would be my decision.

Sometimes I use delaying tactics. I might think "Oh I really want XYZ." And then I'll tell myself I can have it on Saturday if I still want it. It is a good compromise in the moment and then if I still want it on Saturday, I will have it, but it radically reduces the amount of potential junk food during the week.

I agree heartily with Lori that you have to find a plan that you love. I really love protein pancakes, fruit, roasted veggies, shrimp, fish, etc., and the food I eat is both healthy and delicious. I am still a foodie at heart.
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Old 03-07-2009, 11:45 AM   #7
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Hey darling, I know what you mean. I have had a binge eating problem for a year. Its hard to let it go. I mean sometimes the motivation to be healthy is there in your mind and then sometimes food becomes that security blanket from all your problems. The best thing to do, is realise that food is not the answer and change it. Its hard to do, I myself are struggling to change. But it is worth it.

Nothing is wrong you hun, dont think that. Its all in your mind. Your mindset is set so that you eat when your bored, or when something goes wrong so, all you have to do is change that.

For example, where do you normally eat in your house. If its in front of the t.v or by the computer than theres the problem because when your distracted your mind wont recieve the messages from your body telling you your full. The best thing I can tell you is to eat at the kitchen table every time you eat. that way you monitor what you eat, when you eat it, and why your eating. It helps. Trust me.

commimetment is a hard thing to follow through. sometimes motivation comes through encouraging words. So heres some. YOU CAN DO IT. IT will be hard, but its worth it. Try to keep youyour self positive, when your negative toward yourself it might trigger a binge.

Maybe its best to create a short term goal. Say losing 5 pounds in two weeks. Its a short term goal that is reachable.

I hope this helps. And remember stay positive and believe in yourself. Once you give up, you eat. I know!! So say to yourself. I will eat when Im hungry and keep yourself occupied so you dont eat out of boredum. :-)

take care hunnie

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Old 03-07-2009, 11:58 AM   #8
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I've had the same thing going on all week

The day starts out good & ends up OP
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Old 03-07-2009, 12:16 PM   #9
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I think it's always important too to eat FOODS THAT YOU LIKE!!!! So if you hate oranges but you love apples... it's OKAY to eat apples and forgo the oranges... as long as it's still a healthy choice right?

You can't change your eating habits for life if you don't like what you are eating so finding ways to make healthy foods taste yummy is big for me. I don't like steamed frozen green beans but if I toss them in a little evoo and some pepper and then roast them I can eat a whole bag!

And sometimes... you just fake it till you make it. I don't always want to stay on plan. I don't always want to eat my "turkey sandwich" instead of (insert junk here...) but I do. Because I want the end result. Because every time I eat that (insert junk here) it puts me farther from my goals.

You CAN do this. I know you can
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Starting weight 377, Weight in spring of 2010 198, Weight in August 2011? In the 240's.
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Old 03-07-2009, 12:47 PM   #10
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I take a lot of daily pleasure in the small changes that are happening over time. Basically, those little NSVs. Perhaps focusing more each day on how your body is changing in positive ways will help you see that you're not just benefitting long-term, you are also benefitting short-term.
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Old 03-07-2009, 12:55 PM   #11
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For most of us, it takes a lot of tries and failures to get to a point where you can start to have permanent loss. I think that the only reason any of us are able to succeed is because we've failed so many times, and gotten to know what we can do and what we need. All I can say is, never stop trying, no matter how many times you feel like you've failed. It will eventually push you to the right mindset and place in your life that you need to succeed.

Just keep going!

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Old 03-07-2009, 01:04 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by thinpossible View Post
I have a hard time making long term goals where the prize is far off. For me looking good and avoiding health problems are the prize for losing weight.
Maybe you need a new prize system! I agree with other posters' suggestions on how to deal with the emotional aspect of eating, but sometimes a girl needs a treat to look forward to. How about the idea of making a list of fun things to use as prizes every time you lose 5 pounds (or whatever number you choose)? They don't have to be big, just something fun that you would like to have. It can be anything from a bottle of pretty nail polish to a new mp3 player (that was my prize for losing 10 pounds). In the past, I promised myself an expensive (to me!) handbag when I reached a major milestone. I really looked forward to that, and I bought it when I got to my goal.

So absolutely think about the things that the other posters have suggested, but also consider the idea that you're a person who responds better to the carrot than the stick (heh) and give yourself a non-food treat when you reach a tiny mini-goal.

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Old 03-07-2009, 01:12 PM   #13
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Thanks for posting this thread. I'm having a really hard time sticking to my plan. It helps to read all of these posts for inspiration. There are so many factors that go into our overeating that it's no wonder that it's a struggle. There's such an abundance of food in our society. Bad foods make you want more bad foods. Going out with friends for social events.

When I lose sight of my goals, I come here and read. I also keep my mom in mind. She died last summer of a heart attack at age 45. She was about the same size as I am right now. I know that I eat better & exercise, but I don't know if it's still good enough. I don't want to leave my girls without a mom. I don't want to leave this planet when I'm not ready to.
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Old 03-07-2009, 04:53 PM   #14
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I too am in the same boat. My eating is up and down. I'm working really hard at it, it's much more difficult than getting exercise in. Right now I exercise everyday but I'll have good days and good hours and then out of nowhere I want something and I don't know how to talk myself out of it. I've been working on healthy snack options, as this is a big thing for me. In another thread someone said they ate carrots I tried that for four days this week and it worked. I will continue this with other cut up fruits and veggies. Good luck, you can do it!
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Old 03-07-2009, 06:36 PM   #15
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Nothing is wrong with you, it's all part of being entirely human, short term rewards are generally more effective than long term ones. Learning to work towards long term rewards is difficult (and learning one, say saving money - doesn't make learning a second, like dieting much if any less difficult).

Short term rewards are much more effective for me, so I build a lot of them into my plan. I have sticker charts for weight loss, exercise, and (unrelated to weight loss) writing my novel. I have three charts and for weight loss I get a sticker for each lb, and choose a small reward (that I write in advance) for losing 5 lbs (and an occasional bigger reward for milestones - once I write the reward down, the "rule" for myself is that I can't buy that particular thing until I earn it). For exercise, it's the same only 20 minutes of exercise earns me 1 sticker, and for the novel 30 minutes of writing time.

The sticker itself is a reward, even though it's worthless. I get a little boost putting that sticker in the box. I recently got lazy and stopped using my sticker charts (or maybe I stopped using the sticker charts and then got lazy). So, I'm back on my sticker routine.
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