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Do we have to figure out why we are overweight to get to Goal Weight?

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Old 01-15-2010, 10:57 PM   #1
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Question Do we have to figure out why we are overweight to get to Goal Weight?

Do we have to figure out why we are overweight to get to Goal Weight?
Sometimes you hear people talk about it. But how do you figure it out?
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Old 01-15-2010, 11:08 PM   #2
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This is a very good question. I'm an emotional eater. I am also working on the issues that made me overweight. Unstable family life really affected me but I take full responsibility for the mess I got myself into. I am on a good lifestyle plan that's helped me. Journaling my thoughts has also helped me. The easy answer would have been, I stuffed myself, like duh, lol but I gave ur question the respect it deserved.
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Old 01-15-2010, 11:09 PM   #3
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Just my opinion, but it certainly can't hurt to examine how we let ourselves get like that in order to fix the underlying issues so it doesn't happen again. For some, those underlying issues are emotionally based. For others it was just bad habits that they chose to ignore with no emotional ties other than they love food. It could be a mix of the two or, heck, something altogether different.

That quote about those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it is applicable to this too. Personally, I'm an emotional eater and binger. Therapy has helped me to understand why I ate like I ate. Sure, the impulses are still there, but I can recognize them for what they are now and I have new tools to help me find other ways to meet my needs other than abusing food. My hope is understanding how my thought processes work will help me avoid falling into that trap again.
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Old 01-15-2010, 11:13 PM   #4
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My knee jerk response - yes. And here is why I believe that to be true.

Relapse from your eating plan is the norm - although many people do manage to get to goal and stay there, it usually takes many serious tries. (This is based on research and my own experience.) To prevent and/or deal with relapse, it's important to understand what leads each individual person to eat, i.e., what are your triggers? I'm an emotional eater with little stimulus control, so I've really worked hard on how to deal with stress (good and bad) and how to keep me away from temptation, get away from it, or deal with it when I have to face or even choose to eat off plan - such as a special occasions for work or family.

You don't have to do undergo years of psychotherapy searching for deep seated meanings to being overweight. You do need to have some awareness about what makes you grab for those unhealthy foods. The easiest way to do it is by writing down when you are tempted to go off your eating plan or when you do go off plan - What was going on? How were you feeling? Who was around? Were you aware you had eaten the entire box of Oreos before you even felt full? Were you hungry? (Was I?)

Many people do this as part of their daily calorie counting - just a suggestion.

I'll be interested to read what others have to say.
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Old 01-15-2010, 11:17 PM   #5
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I agree to some extent, but I also think that there is something to be said for "fake it 'til you make it" meaning that you can still work on eating like a healthy fit person, while you work on figuring out the other issues. I know for me, just being large and not very active contributed to my feeling bad about myself and just the act of taking control of my food and my activity makes me feel better. so that's been a good headstart on resolving some of the things that make me make the bad choices - it doesn't completely resolve them but it does stop me from thinking I'm not worth the effort of making the good choices for food and activity.
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Old 01-15-2010, 11:32 PM   #6
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For me, definitely. For most people, probably. I was an emotional eater and had (still do to some extent) a whole lot of food issues. When I started I did not try to 'examine' why I was overweight (the thought to look inward didn't really occur to me, lol). But, as I've continued on my journey towards a healthy lifestyle those past issues have popped up here & there. I try to tackle each issue as it arises, but mostly it's about being aware of myself so I can avoid/prevent any self-destructive behaviors.
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Old 01-16-2010, 12:07 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeanutsMom704 View Post
I agree to some extent, but I also think that there is something to be said for "fake it 'til you make it" meaning that you can still work on eating like a healthy fit person, while you work on figuring out the other issues. I know for me, just being large and not very active contributed to my feeling bad about myself and just the act of taking control of my food and my activity makes me feel better. so that's been a good headstart on resolving some of the things that make me make the bad choices - it doesn't completely resolve them but it does stop me from thinking I'm not worth the effort of making the good choices for food and activity.
Yes, I think this is the case for me too. Pretty much word for word
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Old 01-16-2010, 02:00 AM   #8
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Yep--pretty well exactly the way I feel too...
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Old 01-16-2010, 03:42 AM   #9
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I can see how it can be valuable for a lot of people, but honestly, I spent most of my life thinking about why I was so fat. The obvious reason being that I ate too much and didn't move enough, but why I did those things...well, I spent years thinking obsessively about that, and there is absolutely nothing special about my reasons; they're probably the basic laundry list. Thinking about it as long as I did may very well have helped, but I only started to really, seriously lose weight when I just decided to quit agonizing over it and get on with it. I spent too much time waiting for the great EUREKA! moment when I should've been changing my habits.

Obviously, mileage varies.
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Old 01-16-2010, 04:32 AM   #10
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Knowledge is power. I quit smoking by figuring out how to "JUSTIFY" quitting in my own personal economics. Eating behavior is similar. I must change the entire "fishtank" I live in: my eating environment. This means methodically studying the captive animal (me that is). My environment is killing me. I must change my environment. It is all about the management of resources. I am the zookeeper and the zoo animal. I need to figure out how to have a healthy zoo animal-- no overweight, optimum living conditions. I have to see what is being spent on what. I really need to study myself to see the side of me that I ignore, or am blind to.
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Old 01-16-2010, 06:01 AM   #11
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It sounds dumb, but figuring out that the reason I'm large is because I eat too much and move too little was a really big step. I had a whole narrative (inherited from my parents, big like me) that 'I don't know what it is, I eat really healthy stuff' - that narrative of denial has been in my head for so long that getting over it was a real struggle. I'm sure a therapist could come up with deeper issues (****, who doesn't have deeper issues?!), but once I faced up to the fact that no, a healthy person doesn't need those kinds of portions, something clicked in my head. Of course, that was 8 years ago and now I have to figure out why I lost that mindset and fell back into the old one...
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Old 01-16-2010, 06:57 AM   #12
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I agree with the consensus that it's definitely beneficial to figure out why. It could be a simple answer or a complex one, but when you determine what triggers you to make poor choices you can ultimately change your path.
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Old 01-16-2010, 07:04 AM   #13
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I don't believe you have to understand psychologically why we are overweight, but I do believe we must understand and consciously change the behaviors and habits that led us to obesity.

Don't get me wrong, it would be really great to understand the underlying psychology of obesity and I am certainly not against it, but that probably would involve years of psychotherapy for most of us and even then -- if we finally understood -- we still would have to do the "action" part.
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Old 01-16-2010, 08:25 AM   #14
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Interesting topic! My feeling is that there are many parts to the problem...physiological (hormones, glycemic response), emotional (happy, sad, lonely), coping mechanism, socialization, plain old habit, and probably a few more I'm forgetting..
Hard to understand, but when I slip,I try to ask the when and how and where and why of it. How can I want something so badly, and then sabotage my own efforts ?
I think this does help. It gives me the feelingI can do better next time.
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Old 01-16-2010, 10:30 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CJZee View Post
I don't believe you have to understand psychologically why we are overweight, but I do believe we must understand and consciously change the behaviors and habits that led us to obesity.

Don't get me wrong, it would be really great to understand the underlying psychology of obesity and I am certainly not against it, but that probably would involve years of psychotherapy for most of us and even then -- if we finally understood -- we still would have to do the "action" part.
I totally agree. I am a very analytical person by nature and I can navel-gaze an issue to death. And honestly, I don't think the reasons I have been overweight are due to any big, deep, psychological reasons. Once I quit trying to find some deep, underlying reason and just accepted that I was lazy in my eating habits and was acting like an undisciplined child, I was able to turn things around. Obviously this is what is true for ME and not necessarily for anyone else, but I don't think that further analysis would have changed the fact that I needed to quit eating whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted in unlimited quantities. Because THAT is the true reason why I was fat.
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