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Changing the 'rules'

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Old 10-01-2009, 03:10 PM   #1
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Something I've realized lately is I've built up various rules for myself that my weight loss revolves around. I think rules are fine and they can be helpful but sometimes the rules need to be changed! Instead of my weight loss revolving around my rules, maybe my rules should revolve around my weight loss.

So here are rules I'm looking at changing/re-evaluating:
1) I eat out once a week
This rule doesn't kill me but it really shouldn't be a rule. It should be something like "I can eat out once a week but I don't have to". This rule was built from habit and also some false pretense that it pleases my husband. To be honest, he likes to eat out to give me a break from cooking. I don't mind cooking though.

2) I eat chocolate every night
Again, this rule doesn't kill me because I had been allotting myself 100 calories of chocolate every day. I don't need chocolate every day and I may even not feel like eating chocolate. My new rule is "I can allot up to 100 calories for chocolate but only if I truly want it"

3) Exercise is regimented
Now what I mean by this is for me exercise is all or nothing. If I can't fit in an official workout, then I don't do anything. I am working on fitting in more exercise whether it is going for a walk during a break at work or doing random exercises at home, I will find ways to fit it in. My new rule is "Exercise can happen any time and I will look for more ways to fit exercise into my life, no matter the duration or intensity"

4) I don't count calories
Now this one is a huge one for me because I lost 150 lbs not counting calories. I just changed the foods I ate and practiced portion control. I knew I'd need structure before I lost any more weight. So my new rule is "I need accountability in how much I eat and calorie counting is a tool I can use for that"

Does any body else have 'rules' that need changing? That they think may be hindering them?
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Old 10-01-2009, 03:20 PM   #2
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I actually have only a couplke rules and they are actually 2 rules you just talked about.

I also eat out once a week. It's my one day to treat myself and not worry about how many "points" are in the food. It's my one day to be free.

I eat desert every day. It may be candy or ice cream, but I always save myself enough points to treat myself at the end of the day.
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Old 10-01-2009, 03:21 PM   #3
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Hmmm... my rules?? I will have to think about them for sure.... but here is an exercise one that has saved me in the past and I'm going back to... I don't watch a lot of tv, Tuesdays is TBL of course and on Wednesdays I have shows I watch... but I would find something to watch and walk in place for at least a half hour of it. I need to get back to doing that.. and someday maybe I will be able to do it on a treadmill
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Old 10-01-2009, 03:23 PM   #4
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Great thought provoking post, Nelie! I like your #3 about exercise. I do my regimented 30 min. minimum 5 day a week treadmill or outdoor run. I like your thoughts on trying to fit in exercise wherever and whenever possible. I'm going to keep that in mind. I think it would help the family, too. Moving more instead of taking the easy way, like stairs instead of elevators. The farther parking space instead of circling the lot until a close spot becomes available. Even five minutes here and there would add up.
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Old 10-01-2009, 06:21 PM   #5
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It's been over two years since my initial weight loss. It's been hard for me to really understand that my body now is not the same as it was when I started weight loss--or even when I finished.

I don't mean being fat vs. less fat. I mean my overall fitness and metabolism seems to have changed in some way, and what worked for me originally, well, it's not working so well now. I've regained some weight, and I'm having a tough time reversing that.

Here are some rules I'm experimenting with:

1) I weigh every day because it keeps me on track.

Well, no, it doesn't. What happens is that if I see a lower number one day, I unconsciously think I can eat more. And then if I see a higher number the next day, it seems like my eating more must have caused it. And so then I try to restrict too much, and end up breaking plan. Rinse, repeat.

So, this week I weighed on Monday, and I won't weigh again until next Monday. I'm just tired of those numbers playing with my head.

2) If I really want to maintain the right way, I need to track my calories so I can see where I'm at.

After this many years, no, I don't. Not when I'm eating the same things I always have. If I'm going out, I can look up calorie counts on a website, but at this point all tracking seems to do for me is keep me thinking all day long about how many calories I've eaten and how many I have left. And sometimes I eat what I have left just because I have them left! How dumb is that! Again, the numbers are playing with my head.

So for some weeks now, I have stopped counting calories. I know what servings are, I've been measuring for years now, so I pretty much know whether I'm overeating or not.

3) I have to exercise 5 or 6 days a week if I want to lose.

This is another one that was true for me when I started and during the 50 pounds I lost. Now what seems to be happening is that if I push exercise that hard in an effort to lower my weight after a few pounds' regain, I end up a) overeating, or b) having physical problems. I've just spent the last few months having to be very careful what I do at the gym, and how often, because I've had an arthritis flare-up in my spine. (Ice packs and anti-inflammatory drugs are my close friends now.) I believe this happened as a direct result of working out too much. And the crazy thing is, I KNOW that it's mostly the food, not the exercise, that leads to weight loss.

So, I am not working out hard 5 or 6 days a week. In fact, I'm taking every other day off from the gym and just walking instead. Oh, and I have some nice new PT spine stretches to do every day...

Nelie, I think what's interesting is that my rules that I'm changing are sort of at the other end of the rules that you're changing. Huh.

I've also started reading some books on the more psychological aspects of weight loss and maintenance, to see if I can get some new ideas.

Jay
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Old 10-01-2009, 08:48 PM   #6
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I have recently changed a couple of my "rules".
~ After I have had my 64 oz. of water or crystal light I will have one diet mountain dew. It is now I CAN have one diet mountain dew.
~ I will have a bit of dark chocolate each day is now I CAN have a bit of dark chocolate.

There are some rules that I try to keep to and have become lax with that I need to get back to also:
~ I will have veggies with EVERY meal.
~ I will take 1 day off from strenuous exercise each week.
~ I will not eat after 8:30 unless I have to for my blood sugar.
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Old 10-01-2009, 10:03 PM   #7
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Um, am I nuts because I have no rules?
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Old 10-01-2009, 10:47 PM   #8
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Jay, we definitely all have our own journey I'd also say my weight loss has morphed over the years but I've been stuck for 2 years so I am trying to figure out how to get unstuck. I used to think I needed to go to the gym but I stopped going to the gym a few years ago. I'm also reading books about psychological factors of weight loss because it isn't the food that is keeping me back, it isn't the exercise, it is how my mind is going.

Alana, my rules aren't formal rules but they are more mental rules and I didn't even realize they were rules until I started thinking about it. I'm not saying you don't have rules but you may and really just not realize it, who knows?
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Old 10-01-2009, 11:47 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by findingfawn View Post
Hmmm... my rules?? I will have to think about them for sure.... but here is an exercise one that has saved me in the past and I'm going back to... I don't watch a lot of tv, Tuesdays is TBL of course and on Wednesdays I have shows I watch... but I would find something to watch and walk in place for at least a half hour of it. I need to get back to doing that.. and someday maybe I will be able to do it on a treadmill
What a great idea! Then you know you are getting at least 30 minutes of walking per day. The winters here are bitter cold and a person would be a fool to go outside for a walk on most days. This is the perfect solution for me. I can't really seem to get into the canned workout DVDs - even the walking ones. Thank you!

Nelie - this is a great post. I have some mental "rules" but right now I don't think they are hindering me? One thing I have learned since I started, though, is that this is a journey that changes and evolves over time. Little adjustments here & there are helping me to find what *I* like and can do for life, instead of following some sort of pre-planned program that feels more like a diet to me than a lifestyle change. Don't get me wrong, those do work for a lot of people, I am just not one of them. Took me years and years to figure that out.

The only real "rules" I have right now are that I need 5 small meals per day & a lean protein with each meal. But even then, I don't get mad at myself if it doesn't work out that way, as long as I am in my calorie range. I guess I think of them more as daily goals rather than rules?

Anyway, great post!
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Old 10-02-2009, 12:31 AM   #10
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I don't know if I'd call it a rule, or if it's more of just a mind set change. I used to convince myself that if i couldn't do this on my own then there's no point in trying to change, because a support group can't always be there.

But now i realize that a support group doesn't always have to be there. Above all else i am accountable for calories in and calories out, and that will always be MY responsibility. Having a support group is just a way to share the burden a little, not to be the only thing dragging me along. It's all about balance.

And that led me here! so YAY! for changing rules and mind sets.
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Old 10-02-2009, 02:05 AM   #11
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Before I went to visit my son over last winter I had a rule about swimming. I swam 20 laps 3X a week without fail. If I didn't do 20 laps or I missed a day I was very tense and I couldn't stop thinking about it. When I came back home I decided that holding to that rule was not working for me so now I made a new rule to swim (keep moving) for 45 minutes doing various exercises and strokes. I used to drive myself crazy trying to develop a system for keeping track of the laps, eventually buying one of those things that golfers use to keep track of strokes. That's how anal I was about it. Now I'm much more relaxed. As others have said, you don't lose weight from exercise but do it for strength and flexibility. And it's supposed to be fun!
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Old 10-02-2009, 08:24 AM   #12
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hmm...definitely need to think about these.

Jay, I am like you with rule #2. I suffer from the exact same problem. Let me know when you find an answer to this

My rules or what I've been thinking lately:

(1) I can go out to eat without panicking and stressing. I don't eat out every day or every week but going out once or twice a month (planned) is ok. I cannot be afraid. I just have to remember to order smarter and not feel guilty about eating out.

(2) I need to learn to let things go! Things I cannot change or have control over are not worth stressing about.

(3) I need to move (walk around) more often at work rather than sit for 8 hours at my desk with moving only for brief piss breaks.

(4) TBD
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Old 10-02-2009, 03:28 PM   #13
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My rules... are working for me! So I think I'll stick with most of them! The only "rule" that needs revising is the "no eating out" rule. I've been going out a bit more lately and I find with careful planning it's NOT a big deal. I could not have done that 153 pounds ago though... no way.
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