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Struggling to get back to that mindset

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Old 01-26-2010, 05:21 AM   #1
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Unhappy Struggling to get back to that mindset

I think I totally got thrown off track back in December when we drove to California for our Christmas vacation. I don't think I did too bad while we were gone actually, considering our budget, that we were staying with relatives, not to mention there was a total lack of planning on my part. I most certainly did a lot of walking, perhaps had too much hot chocolate the day we hit Universal Studios, but ate a reasonable amount the entire time we were gone and was one pound up when we returned (I had hoped to stay the same so I figured I didn't do too bad).

A few days after returning home and well into the new year, I got sick with the stomach flu. It passed after a few days, but since I couldn't keep anything down but soda (don't you hate it when even plain old water is too harsh on your stomach?) I think my entire body was starving by the time I got out of it. I can't say that I binged, but I certainly felt out of control with my eating once my stomach started feeling better. Not so much with amounts, but choices.

And now I'm facing the fact that I've wasted the entirety of January, as I'm still one pound up (currently at 249) since the beginning of the year. Could be worse though! I'd actually gotten all the way back up to 258 a couple of weeks ago. Probably water-weight/sodium, but still.

So now I'm struggling to get back to the proper mindset I was in before the rush of the holidays. It's silly, but I almost feel I've forgotten how to eat properly! I've slipped back into eating sugary foods again (I think the soda triggered something in me) and have been craving restaurant food (which lucky for me, isn't really an affordable option right now). I've been sleepy and have felt lonely/depressed (the boyfriend is working overnights and I barely get to see him), I haven't felt like going out, I've been skipping out on my aqua fitness class because I'm just so darned sluggish and tired . . . heh, and I'm just not too happy with myself right now.

What I think I need to do is sit down and make a new grocery list and menu plan to work from so I can stick with some healthy choices instead of just letting my mind wander around. I know the sugar's been affecting me in a negative way but at least I managed to quit soda again once my stomach settled. Plus I need to make an effort to get back to doing my class twice a week, I know I'll feel better for it.

But the thing is, I'm really fighting myself right now for a glimmer of motivation. I'm only 14 pounds away from one of my major goals, and another 15 to get down to the lowest point I've been as an adult. I've come so far as it is so I don't know why I can't be just a bit happier right now. I wish I could find a way to get myself excited again whether it be fitting into clothes better, looking better, or just plain old feeling better. But finding motivation isn't effortless; I imagine I'll just have to push myself before I start feeling better.

Any thoughts?

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Old 01-26-2010, 05:49 AM   #2
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Thank you for your post. I don't have any answers, or even any suggestions.

I also wonder - where does the motivation go? Psychological, where does it go and how can we find it again? When I have motivation, it does almost feel like I'm a different person.

Psychologically (according to Freud, for example), when our mental state is in an energy-intensive mode (over-excited), it seeks ways to 'come down' from that mode - to a less-energy-intensive mode.

The more I read posts on hear and analyze how I myself feel, the more I see people immediately drift into this motivated state of mind- they are losing weight and filled with glee and cannot wait to continue losing weight. Also, they cannot see how it could ever be any different - they see themselves in the future as ONLY continuing to lose weight.

Then, it simply stops and we don't feel even a glimmer of what we did feel. we've simply lost our motivation, glee, and energy for losing weight.

And if we apply the psychological theory - perhaps the "motivated state" is a high-energy, intensive state for the mind to be in. We may love the feeling and euphoria we have while in this motivated state of mind, but our mind could seek a way out- simply because it is too taxing, it uses up too much energy.

For Freud (and I'm just using him as the foundational psychologist, a name we all know), our mental state will always try to bring us back to a feeling of "neutrality".

Obviously, there are biological links between the mind and the body (the releasing of hormones and such).

I suppose, I would love to know more about the psychological underpinnings of motivation. Freud does not refer to anything such as "motivation", but does give the example of being in love.

In the beginning, it feels wonderful, its all we think about, it hurts if we cannot be around that person - that mental state requires a large amount of energy.

Eventually, we come down. By this time, we have created strong emotional ties with our partner, so we stay together for reasons beyond the wonderful feeling of euphoria.

maybe motivation and losing weight is somewhat similar to love.

we stay healthy and make good choices in the long run, despite the fact that that initial wonderful motivated feeling is now lacking.

By the way Sirenity, if you DO get your motivation back, you must promise to tell all of us!
One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well. - Virginia Woolf

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Old 01-26-2010, 05:50 AM   #3
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Hi Sirenity, I'm sorry you're feeling rough, but can I just say - wow! you've come so far! For somebody like me, at the beginning of the journey, your achievements are an inspiration. FWIW I was struggling this weekend, also knocked out with a stomach bug, and also just wanting to eat (in my case bread) so I feel your pain. I read something on here last week (and I wish I could remember who said it ) that I really liked - they said if you wait for motivation to strike, you'll be waiting forever, but if you make a decision to be healthy, you can start right now. Remembering that got me out of the door to the gym last night when I really, really, didn't feel like going. I think your plan to write a grocery list and menu plan is ace. I hope you feel more like yourself soon!
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Old 01-26-2010, 06:08 AM   #4
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Hi, Sirenity. Well I think you pretty much know what you need to do (make a list, shop , dump out the the foods that are causing problems). Now the hard part is determination. You just have to push yourself for a while until the positive changes become real to you again. Once you have a few days back on program...you know...it does get easier.

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Old 01-26-2010, 06:54 AM   #5
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Screw the motivation. It's not enough to get the job done. Commit to do this. Or in your case RE-commit.

And I too think you know what needs to be done.Get rid of the crap - ADD in the good healthy - non bringing on cravings foods. PLAN AHEAD. PLAN AHEAD. and then PLAN AHEAD some more. Go back to dieting one-oh-one. Stop giving yourself permission to eat that stuff. You HAVE come to far and there's more great benefits awaiting you just within your grasp.Go for it. It's yours for the taking.

Just like you easily fell back into the old unhealthy habits - you will easily fall back (onto?) the newer and healthier ones. Give yourself one perfectly on plan day, and than another and than another. And before you know it you will be firmly back in the groove. Back on plan and feeling MARVELOUS with yourself and wonder why you ever left.

Jump back in with both feet. Take the plunge. You have the ability to do this, so why wouldn't you?

I look forward to hearing of your continued success!
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Old 01-26-2010, 07:08 AM   #6
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Gosh, lots of people are unmotivated about one thing or another, day to day. Right now I am really unmotivated about unloading the dishwasher! But I am going to do it anyway because it's one of my household tasks.

Motivation and that feeling of "being on a mission" is wonderful, but we're just not always there. Motivation is a strong feeling of wanting to do something.

When motivation starts to drop, commitment helps. Commitment means deciding to do something--it's not a feeling, it's a decision. (In a sense, I am "committed" to unloading the dishwasher.)

Some days we tend to forget our commitment, though. At that point, discipline comes in handy. Discipline is knowing what you need to do and doing it, almost on automatic pilot. (It's discipline that will really get my dishwasher unloaded! )

So, here's a possible solution.
- Make a list on paper of reasons that you want to lose weight. The reason it's good to put it on paper is to help you remember what the items are.
- Then, review the ways in which you had been working to lose weight--food restriction, exercise, whatever you had been successfully doing. It helps to have this on paper, too. As you do this, your feeling of motivation and sense of commitment may return.
- For the action step, write down what you need--grocery shopping, daily menu, workout schedule, whatever it is, and then go to the store, fix those meals and snacks, and get yourself to the gym. Do these things just as you would brush your teeth and comb your hair--because it's the thing to do!

Good luck! Hang on!
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Old 01-26-2010, 07:09 AM   #7
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I think you just have to fake it for awhile. We've all been there, and the only way to get back on track when you're not feeling it is to put one foot in front of the other, do what you're supposed to do, and eventually it will start to feel right. You'll feel better just by virtue of better nutrition and some exercise, and *that* will give you the motivation to continue.

Just do it, as the slogan goes. Good luck!
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Old 01-26-2010, 08:46 AM   #8
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You most certainly do already know what you need to do. I had this same issue, I went to visit family for the holidays (lots of little kids) and wouldn't you know it, the day after we got back I started getting sick. I was so annoyed because I had just checked the scale to see that I was only up by 6 and figured at least 4 of it was water. I couldn't eat properly because I had to stick to foods that wouldn't make me end up in a coughing fit and would also stay down. For me this meant a lot of bread and bland soups. I went to the doc, got meds, and was finally better (though I'm still not 100%) around the 8th or 9th. Did I go immediately back to plan? Nope. I spent a couple days having a pity party and eating almost whatever I wanted to (even McDonald's breakfast). What helped me to get back to plan was to decide I was going to put one element of my plan back in place at a time. It took me a few days, but of course once I started adding the healthy things back in I started wanting the rest of it faster so it didn't take me as long as I had told myself I was allowed to have. So, you aren't alone and hopefully the one thing at a time might be helpful to you too. You CAN do this, you have proven it quite strongly already.

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Old 01-26-2010, 09:46 AM   #9
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Yep, I totally agree w/ PP's...when I recommited I actually wasn't motivated at all...actually I was the exact opposite, I was DREADING it for some reason...you know what...TOO BAD is what I told myself. I know that doesn't always work, but I just decided what was going to happen and did it. The motivation is coming back now, but I know it will go away again, and when it does...TOO BAD. My Health, Life & Happiness are more important. And I just have to decide that each and every day...Fake it till ya make it...it's what I do

Started 2/5/13
Mini Goals:
Under 300 - 299 lbs - MET 4/20/13 * Lowest in 5 years - 274lbs - MET 6/10/13 * Halfway to Goal - 257 lbs - MET 7/25/13 *
100lbs down - 250 lbs - MET 8/7/13 * Lowest in 10 years - 236 lbs - MET 9/19/13 * 75% to Goal - 211 lbs - MET 12/5/13 *
Onederland! - 199 lbs - MET 12/31/13 * Overweight BMI - 196 lbs - MET 1/11/14 * High School Low - 174 lbs * Healthy BMI Goal - 164 lbs

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Old 01-26-2010, 11:13 AM   #10
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I went through what you are going through last January, and I started out the month this year with the same mentality. I was good over the holidays, allowing myself a few treats here and there, but kept in control and didn't gain, and then BAM-O. For the folks who don't believe in the power of sugar/carb addiction they might say I restricted myself too much over the holidays and gave in because I was too hard on myself, but in my most humble opinion, allowing myself the "treats" only just re-triggered my uncontrollable sugar addiction. The thrill of the holidays were over, the decorations put away, the gifts used, but the urge to consume sugar was not gone...3 days of binging on sugar and I was scared and MAD as ****. It took work, "suffering" through the withdrawal period. It took work...(did I say it took work? ) I made myself get clean again. I'm now on day 12 of clean eating and boy does it feel great to get back to sanity.

Do what ever it takes...clean house non-stop, pray, go out to visit people in the nursing home, take on a few volunteer jobs...do ANYTHING to keep yourself busy and your thoughts away from the junk food. It's the only way to get the craving under control. You do NOT want to start gaining, can you imagine the depression? Especially if you are one of the people who got rid of all your clothes that are too big. Can you afford to go buy new fat clothes? Humiliation, depression, addiction, the list goes on and on. You do NOT want to go back there, No soda pop, no french fry, no candy bar is worth the mental torment.

Last edited by Lori Bell : 01-26-2010 at 11:17 AM.
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Old 01-26-2010, 12:14 PM   #11
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When that happens to me, I have to remind myself what it feels like to be on plan. And I can't do that from memory - for some reason those memories don't stick. I have to actually do it to remember how much better it feels. And to do that, I have to force myself to buy the right things, plan what I'm going to eat, then do it (no matter what) for several days. The feeling kicks back in for me then. Getting to the point where I force myself to do this is the hard part. It's really starting over, but without the extra weight on the scale. And we all know how hard it was to get started when we began this journey!

So that's my advice. Start again. No motivation, no right frame of mind, just forcing yourself to do what you know you need to do until those feelings come back and it's not so hard to stay on plan anymore. You're the only one in control, so take the reins and start again.
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Old 01-26-2010, 12:24 PM   #12
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Default Love your advice, Robin.

Originally Posted by rockinrobin View Post
Screw the motivation. It's not enough to get the job done. Commit to do this.

So true about many things in life! Robin, you are a wonderful resource to have here.

Sirenity, here's to hoping you kick it back into gear!

First Mini-Goal: Lose 10 lbs. Met 2/22/2010
Second Mini-Goal: 20 lbs. down Met 4/23/2010
Third Mini-Goal: Lost 10% body weight (27 lbs down) Met 9/13/2010
Fourth Mini-Goal: Lose 8 more lbs to = 40 lbs lost :
Back on track:9/5/2011 First goal: get back to 246
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Old 01-26-2010, 12:43 PM   #13
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This an amazing thread! Serenity, thanks for posting it! Such wonderful advice!

When I am sick, all I want is pop. I know exactly what you mean about the water. But pop is a trigger for me and I can't have it. I figure I'm already suffering through the illness, I'll just suffer with the water too. I can not have pop.

Do you remember what it was like to get on plan that very first time? It was really hard! But within just a few days, it's like you were never off. And the depression you are feeling is likely from eating poorly.

One more thing: Congratulations on maintaining your loss through this period! You've probably done some resetting of your body, and there's something to be said for that, if the theory is true.
Long term goal: To still be calorie counting 11/9/2010
mini goals: ~211-10% lost;12/24/09 ~203 class I obesity 1/28/10; ~199 Onederland/15% 2/19/10; ~188-20%; ~185 half way 5/14/10; 179-bye 180's 6/12/10; ~174 overweight 7/3/2010;169-bye 170's 8/13/10;~164-30% 10/23/2010159-bye 160's~11/1/10; 153-35%~12/23/10; 149-bye 150's~2/11/11; 145 normal~2/14/2011; ~141-40%; 139-bye 140's ~135 GOAL! (129-45%; 117.5-50%)

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Old 01-26-2010, 12:44 PM   #14
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I think sugar and junk food is an evil vortex that sucks you in and clouds your thinking. It's selfish and wants you to stay miserable. Instead of being able to identify what you really want and how attainable it is, you think about wanting more junk and how unattainable your goals are. You aren't thinking straight right now because the "evil" has hold of you. Eat clean for a few days to get your brain back. I bet you'll find you want to stay there!

I know the illustration is silly, but I really feel that my thinking is clouded and that junk makes me feel depressed and addicted to more junk. Clean eating removes that fog and I can be "me" again.

You'll do this. I know you will. Left, right, left, right...

There's no ticker here because I have no idea what I weigh, nor do I have plans to get on the scale anytime soon. My goals are to take care of myself in healthy ways and let the scale fall wherever it will. "It's not about skinny anymore - it's about healthy."
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Old 01-26-2010, 01:39 PM   #15
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I think it's important not to think of January as a waste just because you maintained. Assuming you eventually reach your goal weight, you're going to be in maintenance for most of the rest of your life. You need to know how to live that way. You need to know how to not gain weight when your focus is on other things. Let's face it - this is life and **** happens. There are going to be plenty of times in your life that there are more important things than your weight that you have to put all your attention on - a new stressful job, a sick loved one that you're taking care of, a new baby etc. So, January was proof that you've learned something.

As for motivation. . .I know it waxes and wanes. It's hard. I'm trying to make eating healthfully just something I do, that I don't need to be motivated for. I mean, there are a lot of things I do everyday that I'm not particularly motivated to do. Sometimes I'd rather watch TV or play on the computer or read a book than get up and make my kids dinner - but caring for them is just part of who I am, it's what I do. I'm trying to make eating right just what I do.
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