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Ideas I had to let go of to change my weight

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Old 12-23-2009, 05:36 PM   #1
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Default Ideas I had to let go of to change my weight

There's a thread right now over in Maintenace on stomach size/hunger/satiety that got me thinking...

One thing I had noticed about myself is more food (either quantity or calorically) did not stop me from getting hungry. So I decided if I was going to be hungry in 2-3 hours anyway, then no point in eating much at any meal. I started eating what seemed to me at the time to be laughingly small "serving sizes" such as 1 cup of cereal, 1 egg, or 1/2 can of soup. And it worked. I didn't get any hungrier on the smaller meal and had the calories to spare when I did get hungry.

The second talk I had with myself was regarding "resting". When had staying in for the evening reading a book, watching TV, or even going to bed early actually resulted in having more energy the next day? The answer when I got honest with myself was "never". So now I head out for my workout or walk even if I'm walk-into-walls tired. Sometimes this means my workout only lasts 20 minutes but usually once I'm moving I can make it 45-60 minutes even on days I wouldn't have thought that possible.

What thoughts did you have to change to tackle this project of losing 100 lbs?
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Old 12-23-2009, 05:43 PM   #2
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Very good self talk.....I think I'll borrow it for myself!
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Old 12-23-2009, 06:04 PM   #3
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For me it was dropping the notion that losing weight had to include lots of rules and lots of things that I don't like. For example, I hate plain water. It makes me gag unless it's really cold and I don't have to drink a lot. But I can't tell you how many times I've read that drinking water is IMPERATIVE for weight loss. Well, it's not. Yes you need liquids to live, but there are other things that taste much better to me like iced tea, diet coke, diet lemonade, etc. that keep me hydrated. Another example is low calorie salads - they feel like punishment to me, so I don't eat them. There are lots of enjoyable ways for me to get veggies. So why would I eat something I don't care for?

The only rules I live by with regard to weight loss are eat near my calorie count, try to keep those foods nutritional and move around more during the day. And the simplicity of that is so freeing. All that other "do this, not that" stuff I think is meant to fill magazine pages and make people feel like there is some secret formula to losing weight, but there isn't.
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Old 12-23-2009, 06:06 PM   #4
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I've had to tackle, over and over, the idea that I needed to follow someone else's rules. I'm well educated and well read, and I've studied scads of diet theories. Combine them all, and there's a rule for everything! Add this to ingrained perfectionism and I managed to squeeze myself into a relentless, judgmental, no-win box of diet rules and requirements. I finally just gave up, and accepted that I needed to listen to what my body was telling me and make my plan fit it, instead of trying to force my body to fit some random plan.

A corrollary of this is that I've let go of the idea that I'm a "bad" person/dieter/forum member if I don't follow someone else's rules. I keep reading, and am interested in ideas, but I no longer judge myself for not living by them. I tell myself that "my body is my body, and I am in charge" often!

I've ditched the idea that I have to weigh and measure and count everything--it doesn't work for me. I'm still aware of what I eat and I still write it down, but in a "medium banana" sort of way, not a "4.7 oz banana" way.

I'll eat when I'm hungry. What hungry feels like to me. I tend to want a bit of breakfast when I get up...then something about 2 hours later...then something else 2 hours later (if I've gotten up around 5, there's a lot of "every 2 hours" until lunchtime!! )...something else at lunch...then I'm good til a light dinner. No snacks at night. I've always been flabbergasted by people asking for help with eating at night. Really? You eat at night? I've let go of the idea that dinner needs to be a big meal, and I'm far, far more comfortable front-loading my daily calories. Now dinner is a salad, or a small bowl of oatmeal, or a small dish of some sort of protein. It suits me much better.

Oddly, the idea that I had to eat measurable portions was tripping me up. One serving, or half a serving, or a serving-and-a-half, or whatever. I couldn't eat a bite or two of something and then walk away from it. Not because I had problems with the Clean Plate Club, but because I couldn't measure it! I would find myself eating all of a portion because I had measured it, and could therefore keep track of it. Even if I wasn't hungry anymore, I'd still eat it because I had parcelled it out to myself! I've told myself endlessly that it's okay to have one or two bites of something. Serving sizes are arbitrary measurements, and there's absolutely no way that anyone else knows how much food MY body needs. I sound like a broken record to myself, sometimes.

Interesting question!
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Old 12-23-2009, 06:14 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sidhe View Post
I've had to tackle, over and over, the idea that I needed to follow someone else's rules. I'm well educated and well read, and I've studied scads of diet theories. Combine them all, and there's a rule for everything! Add this to ingrained perfectionism and I managed to squeeze myself into a relentless, judgmental, no-win box of diet rules and requirements.
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Old 12-23-2009, 06:17 PM   #6
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For me, my weight issues centered around food and emotion. I was an emotional eater and I overate to pretty much any and all emotions. Needless to say I had a very unhealthy relationship with food. I had to learn to listen to my body so I could tell the difference between physical hunger and emotional hunger. Like caryesings, I had to recognize the problem and make a very determined effort to change my behaviors.

One thing I learned pretty darn quickly was that I had no self-control when it came to food. Letting go of the junk food was one of the most difficult mental challenges I've ever experienced. I basically decided to go cold-turkey and cut out all the junk food, soda/juice, processed foods, and the like from my diet. After a few weeks I stopped craving those foods (for the most part) and after eating healthy (good food and proper portions) for the first time I was able to feel full after a meal.

The BIG talk I had to have with myself was my fear of losing the weight. All my life I felt 'fat' (even when I was in a healthy weight range) and for years I used my weight as a safety blanket protecting me from the world. As much as I hated being 300+ lbs, part of me embraced it because the weight was my scape-goat. One of my favorite sayings was "If it wasn't for the weight...". This fear is the reason why I never even tried to diet, I was the person that was always "going to start a diet tomorrow." Earlier this year something inside me just clicked and I was able to start letting go of the weight. It's still a struggle (I freely admit that I'm scared to be 'thin') but it's something I'm actively working on, not avoiding like I was before.

For me, my weight loss journey has really been about the mental barriers. Eating healthy and exercise is fairly simple, but it's hard not to fall back into those self-destructive behaviors. I think for most all of us, in order to lose weight we have to change our thoughts first. If being healthy was strictly about diet/exercise no one would be overweight, it's those darn mental issues that mess with us, lol.
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Old 12-23-2009, 06:29 PM   #7
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I had to let go of the idea that I would be "missing out" by staying away from stuff that was detrimental to my weight loss and health.

It wasn't any way to live, I discovered.
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Old 12-23-2009, 06:35 PM   #8
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I let go of the notion that "we're all basically the same on the inside." I spent 6 months on a calorie-restricted diet. I was meticulous. I weighed, measured, read, compared, researched, exercised, habit-changed. End result? 3 pounds. Ultimately, I had to face the unfortunate reality that - for some reason - my body chemistry was different and calorie counting didn't work any more.

Also, as an above poster mentioned not following other people's "rules," I had to accept that the current medical establishment offers its best guess. Isolating a single from the whole isn't the key to health. I stopped listening to the "fat makes you gain" or "fiber makes you lose" or "you can't lose without 64+ ounces of water per day." These little things did nothing more than drive me insane. Now, I focus on eating REAL food and avoiding foods that I know will make me stall or gain.
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Old 12-23-2009, 07:15 PM   #9
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I think the biggest idea I had to let go of to lose weight was my all-or-nothing mentality--the idea that if I was not 100% perfect with whatever diet plan I had made for myself, then I was a failure.

Another big one was thinking I was somehow getting ripped off if I did not get the biggest size of everything at fast food places/restaurants/coffee shops, and also that I could never really be satisfied with smaller items. That was so huge for me--LOL! Now I always get a small or medium and I never feel deprived.
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Old 12-23-2009, 08:21 PM   #10
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There were lots of things for me, but one example is not eating to be social. I used to think that I have to eat in order to not offend anyone or make anyone feel uncomfortable. Now, I almost don't do this at all. I'm still a work in progress.
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Old 12-23-2009, 08:24 PM   #11
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Oh my, what a wonderful thread!

Everyone has said everything I think! I had to give up the notion that I could eat what I wanted when I wanted. Well I can if I want to continue to be obese and have my health go down the toilet.

The thing I have to let go of is the amounts. I am 5 foot tall. I can not eat a lot of food and be at a healthy weight. Period. This is a big one... cuz for a long time...I ate what I wanted.

Thank you all for sharing! What an awesome thread!!
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Old 12-23-2009, 08:46 PM   #12
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I had to give up the thought that I was in an eating race with my husband. The notion of "well, he got that so I can too" gave me about 50 pounds. He requires many more calories than I do.

The other notion that I didn't necessairaly give up, but realized is that a person that weighs what I want to weigh ate less than I did. Even this far into it and losing this weight for the third time now, I don't think it ever really sunk in that I can't eat whatever I want when I get to my goal weight. I will always have to think about every thing that goes into my mouth.

The sad part is that my mother is 5'9" and 145 lbs and has been telling me this my entire life. I guess I just don't listen very well (or is that all daughters...)
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Old 12-23-2009, 09:33 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cathydoe View Post
Oh my, what a wonderful thread!

Everyone has said everything I think! I had to give up the notion that I could eat what I wanted when I wanted. Well I can if I want to continue to be obese and have my health go down the toilet.

The thing I have to let go of is the amounts. I am 5 foot tall. I can not eat a lot of food and be at a healthy weight. Period. This is a big one... cuz for a long time...I ate what I wanted.

Thank you all for sharing! What an awesome thread!!
This is related, but I'm at the other end of the spectrum. Kind of.

I had to accept that I am just a big person. I've been 5'9 since I was 13 years old. I wore size 10 women's shoes when I was 13. The second time I bought bras (6 months after the first time, when I was 13) I needed a 36D. Middle school was fun, NOT. But anyway. I am a big person. I am never going to weigh what the charts say I should weigh. For my height the range is 125-169 pounds. Are you kidding me?? When I was at 180 I was a size 10-12. At 125 I'd be skeletal.

So anyway. I had to give up the idea that I was striving toward a commercially accepted definition of beauty, if you will. I had to give up the idea that I was working toward looking socially "skinny" or thin. I would get so discouraged by the results I was seeing that I would just give up. Duh. So I set my goal on being thinner, and set some physical goals around biking, hiking, and running.

Basically I let go of the cosmetic goals, and set goals for performance, fitness, and health. Surprisingly, it took a lot of effort to give up those dreams! Accepting that I was never, because of my body type, going to be a sporty, lean, waif-ish person was really hard. We're innundated with the idea that if we work hard enough our bodies can be changed, that we are malleable creatures. To a certain point yes, but after that point you just are what you are. That was really hard for me to accept.
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Last edited by sidhe : 12-23-2009 at 09:41 PM.
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Old 12-23-2009, 09:39 PM   #14
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Oh, so many things!

Emily, I struggle with feeling ripped off at fast places too. I hate that you have to get a soda with a value meal. I just want water, but there's no deal for that. But now, I'm way too conscious of my calories to eat any kind of value meal.

I've had to give up the notion that because I have PCOS, I can't lose weight. It's the poor me mentality.

I've had to give up guilt eating. My mother in law may spend hours in the kitchen creating lavish meals, but I didn't ask her to, and I don't have to eat it all.

I had to give up the notion that I have to eat a full serving of everything at a meal. That's huge at the holidays! A tiny portion of everything offered allows me to eat everything, but I don't have to have normal size portions of everything.
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Old 12-24-2009, 02:57 AM   #15
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I had to give up the idea that I could eat like I did when I was 15 or 16 years old. I really didn't eat THAT much then, and I was really, really active just with day to day activities; hauling sprinkler pipe, feeding and caring for the horses, mowing, cheerleading...I was a busy kid. So being 40-something with a desk job and thinking I can still eat whatever I want, whenever I want-- I had to change that mindset!

I also had to change the mindset that passing something up was deprivation, that it was somehow "unfair" that I couldn't eat <insert treat here>. I stubbornly stuck to my ways for a long time, eating whatever I wanted all the time and that got be to be many, many pounds overweight. So instead of indulging, I started to realize that my appetite is like a bratty 2 year old, and she can't always have what she wants no matter how many fits she throws. It's a lot easier now!
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