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Is it still success??

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Old 06-30-2009, 06:30 PM   #1
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I had an odd conversation with a friend today. She and I started losing weight at the same time, and i'm down about 85 lbs., and she's up about 15 lbs. We started at basically the same, but I'm about 1 inch taller.

She asked me "what do you think made you successful" and I said "Knowing what I can't have (ie. even low cal ice cream bars in the house is a no no, an ice cream OUT once in a blue moon is ok, but if they're in the house, I'd eat 'em) and no snacking after dinner.

And she said the strangest thing.... "well, if you can't handle food in the house, or snacking after dinner, i guess you've never addressed all your problems so it's not a real victory is it??? it's just staving off the inevitable."

Part of me says WTF?? I think KNOWING what you can and can't handle is worth it's weight in gold, but now I'm thinking is she kind of RIGHT??? I mean, is it a failure that I can't snack at night, or is it common sense if that's what works for me? Do always-skinny people do that? do they KNOW what they can't eat and stay away from it?? SHould we all be working towards incorporating everything back into our lives?? I'm not mad at her, you'd have to know her LOL not a lot of people can handle her, but now i'm curious if she's kinda right...
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Old 06-30-2009, 06:36 PM   #2
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Didn't Robin just say in a post earlier that she can't keep Skinny Cow in the house any more than you or I can? I don't know anyone would would call her a failure around here.

Of course we shouldn't incorporate everything back into our lives! Maybe you'll get to a point where you can have ice cream in your freezer until it gets frostbite, but what's the point? Going out for the good stuff once in awhile seems like a smarter plan to me anyway.

Your friend is just jealous that you've succeeded where she hasn't. I feel for her, but don't let her derail your thinking. You're more than halfway to goal, and I'd say that's pretty successful!
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Old 06-30-2009, 06:39 PM   #3
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Uh, does that make abstinence not a real victory? I mean, "well, if you can't drink a little alcohol when you want it and then stop, i guess you've never addressed all your problems so it's not a real victory is it???"

Now, should you work toward incorporating some of those things back into your life? Well, sure, if you want to and you think it's safe. Otherwise, well, it's just not smart , "failure" or not.
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Old 06-30-2009, 06:40 PM   #4
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Two words - sour grapes! Talk about jealous - that friend doesn't sound very happy for you! I think it's a success and a major victory to not only realize what you can and can't handle, but then to stay within your limits! Just because you know you can't handle having diet ice cream in the house, doesn't mean you have the strength to keep it out. I know I can't have baked goods in my house - but sometimes I buy them anyways and eat them and then suffer from major regret. NOT buying them is a success ! Tell your friend that when she's perfect she can offer her opinion on whether you're successful or not - until then - shhhhhh!
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Old 06-30-2009, 06:41 PM   #5
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I have to say yes and no.
Yes she's right because if you can't even be around something, then that doesn't show self control.
BUT
On the same token, she is VERY wrong. When a person first starts to lose weight and eat healthier, it's common sense to keep any foods you know will cause you to eat and eat out of the house and away from yourself. Once you've gotten used to eating healthily and have the ability to choose fruit instead of an ice cream bar (for instance), then you can slowly reintroduce the bad foods back in... Or maybe you'll never be able to reintroduce them back in. It's completely individual and all of us are different. Besides, once you've lost the weight and are at the maintaining level, you will be able to make choices with food based on how hungry you are and not mainly about what "sounds good" at the time.

So, don't worry, your loss is definitely deserved! You've found a food you can't be around and eliminated it. Good for you! It takes a lot to get rid of it in the first place!!! Congrats on your weight loss! It is absolutely amazing and definitely motivates me to keep going!

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Old 06-30-2009, 06:42 PM   #6
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Of course it's still success. You have addressed it by not having it in the house/eating after dinner. Is an alcoholic a failure because they choose not to keep alcohol in the house? No, they are just choosing not to tempt themselves any more than absolutely necessary. Seems smart to me
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Old 06-30-2009, 06:47 PM   #7
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Of course it's success - isn't success defined by the results, not the method.

It's a bit like saying a recovering alcoholic isn't successful in their recovery unless they have a fully stocked bar in the house, or perhaps even unless they can learn to "drink socially."

Actually, it's more like saying that a book author isn't successful (they haven't "really" written a book, unless the book was completed using a specific tool (whether that be a computer or a pencil). What on earth does the method have to do with the success of the results?

Success is how YOU define it, and sometimes I think it's the definition that gets some of us into trouble in the first place. One of my stumbling points, is repeatedly trying (and failing) to "prove to myself" that I can eat some foods as long as I count and control the calories.

Wouldn't it be a lot more practical for me to just admit that some foods just aren't worth the risk?

If your expectation is to return to pre-diet habits, I think only then could you be "staving off the inevitable." If you do what you always do, you get what you always get.
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Old 06-30-2009, 06:55 PM   #8
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She's totally rationalizing her non-success by trying to find fault with your success! And you asked how always skinny people behave -- how would I know? But, they're all different, too. Some of them pig out and have really high metabolisms through exercise or nature, and some of them have to work for it.

The alcoholism reference is perfect -- recognizing your problem and doing something to fix it is definately success!
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Old 06-30-2009, 06:58 PM   #9
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Of course it's still a success. Success IS KNOWING what you can and cannot handle. Does a meth addict consider it a success if he can avoid the meth sitting on the counter? Why would one even think of torturing oneself that way? I CANNOT HANDLE chips in my house. I'm no more of a success if I can buy them and not eat them then if I don't buy them in the first place. I don't think you would call me a failure... and I certainly wouldn't call you one!

You are a success. You are successful in losing weight. She's... jealous
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Old 06-30-2009, 07:01 PM   #10
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Heres what I think. I need to completely retrain myself. I am not going to put myself in danger of a food relapse by having food around that I can't eat right now. You have been successful and your friend is still struggeling. Who's program is working? I was told by someone this is not forever, and at some point we will be able to have some of the foods we are forbidden now. Part of the success of this program is behavior modification, and that takes time. Hang in there, try not to second guess yourself and God Bless!
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Old 06-30-2009, 07:01 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stargzr View Post
I have to say yes and no.
Yes she's right because if you can't even be around something, then that doesn't show self control.
I disagree - I strongly believe, that the better part of self-control is very often, not allowing yourself to get into situations in which temptation is present in the first place.

"If you lie down with dogs, you wake up with fleas," and the more you seek out temptation, just to prove you can resist it, the more likely you are to find yourself yielding to temptation. The smart (self-controlled) person exhibits the self-control BEFORE they're in a situation to resist it. They don't put themselves into situations in which the inwanted behavior could even be a temptation.

It would be a bit like encouraging your husband to spend time with and sleep (just sleep) with naked women to prove he has the self-control not to have sex with them.

Or telling your kids to seek out alcohol and drug-using friends, and to go to parties where drugs and alcohol are present in order to "practice" self-control.
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Old 06-30-2009, 07:14 PM   #12
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Think of it this way: There are two people on a busy road, one safely on the sidewalk and the other walking down the middle of the road managing to dodge cars by jumping out of the way at the last minute. Both are currently alive, but who is the smarter person? The one who knows how to ensure safety by staying on the sidewalk? Or the one who is exhibiting risky behavior by playing in traffic? Who will be more successful (i.e. alive) for the long term? Why risk playing in traffic if you know how to keep yourself safe on the sidewalk?

I think there will always be something different in the brain of a person who was once fat and now is not and the brain of a person who was always thin and doesn't have food demons. A person's self is composed of their experiences and being fat and eating like a fat person changes how you see food. You can change your behavior, but your thoughts and feelings you once had about certain foods cannot be erased. Hopefully the thoughts and associations that led to the weight gain will fade over time, but if not, it's your responsibility to control yourself. I can't imagine that there will be a time in my future when I won't remember how sinfully decadent it felt to consume mass quantities of food like ice cream. Knowing that, why torture myself by keeping it in the house?! I have an unhealthy relationship with it and would be drawn to it like a moth to the flame.

So I consider it a success every time I walk past the ice cream aisle at the store and don't buy any. You are successfully controlling your behavior by controlling your environment.
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Old 06-30-2009, 07:20 PM   #13
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Another vote for "She's jealous".

Weight loss is really about behavior modification - modifying your behavior to support healthy habits. Behavior encompasses a lot - what you buy at the store, what you surround yourself with, your behavior at parties/events/etc. All of that is a modification of your BEHAVIOR. Sure, it may eventually cause that change to become a habit, to occur automatically, but first you change the behavior, then let the brain follow as it may.

Look at Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for something like OCD or severe phobias. You start with learning behaviors that help you avoid or manage the panic or obsessive thoughts. Eventually, using those learned tools and behaviors, your thoughts and habits MAY start to shift, and the phobias or obsessive behaviors may occur less frequently or be less severe, but you ALWAYS start with learning coping mechanisms and behaviors, then use those techniques when in the situations that distress you.
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Old 06-30-2009, 07:29 PM   #14
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I agree that figuring out your limits and respecting them is definitely a HUGE success. Expecting perfection (especially right away) is never helpful. And lots of healthy people have the same limitations, often they are just more aware.

For example, I have a very healthy friend who has always been a normal weight. She cannot keep macaroni and cheese in the house or she will eat the entire thing. But she has known this about herself since we were 14 years old and only eats it when out at restaurants. And that is why she has never gained weight-- she accepts her limitations. I think that is something beneficial to everyone, not just people with "food issues."

Ultimately, it is always more of a success to do what WORKS. And this is obviously working for you! If you get to the point where you can have ice cream in the house and not eat it all, that's great! If not, that's fine too! What's important is that you're respecting your body and your health by recognizing that for right now, it's better to keep it away.
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Old 06-30-2009, 08:09 PM   #15
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She is definitely jealous.

Her argument doesn't hold up. Life is always about choices. Those that make wise choices are usually referred to as successful. Colleen is right, Success is defined by results.

As others have stated above, we make choices EVERY day - in a thousand different places and ways. By her definition I am not successful in many areas of my life:

1. Putting money in my savings account so I won't spend it
2. I put exercise equipment front and center in my living room so that I will use it
3. I avoid buying trigger foods
4. I avoid certain stores when sales are going on so that my closet doesn't become overcrowded
5. I don't keep my favorite wine on the counter. I put it in a place where I have to make a conscious decision about whether I want some
6. I wear my skinny jeans when I go out to eat to help remind me about portion control
7. I set a timer when I surf the Internet or call my friends to help me manage my time better
8. I keep my Bible near the coffee pot so that I remember to start my day with scripture.

I could go on. Ironically, each of the above actions help me be successful in an area of my life. The strategies that we use to achieve the desired results are the roadmap on our journey. It is the fact that we reach the destination that counts, not whether or not we used a map to get there.
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