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How do you keep it up?

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Old 06-01-2010, 01:22 AM   #1
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Unhappy How do you keep it up?

I have begun this long and difficult journey for the third time. I have limited my carbs, am exercising, drinking litres of water and feel much better having lost a good few pounds. However what is beginning to bug me is the length of the road, and my sustainability. I know I have to do this once and for all - at 43 I don't want to carry all this excess weight and be unable to live the kind of life I want. But I'm scared, as I said I've done this twice before and put all the weight back on TWICE! I know it's a question of mental fortitude, and of conquering my fear of food, but today after 7 weeks TOP I'm fearsome of the length of future I have to be so hard on myself for. I'm sure I'm rambling, but I need to get these negative feelings out, as these are what make me fall off , as I have done countless times before. Any advice would be most welcome, I am in awe of those of you who have beaten your relationships with food.
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Old 06-01-2010, 03:11 AM   #2
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I can't offer any perspective on this yet really, but I'd suggest you post your question in the maintainer's forum to find the folks who have really come to grips with this issue over the long run.
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Old 06-01-2010, 06:31 AM   #3
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Remember that suffering doesn't cause weight loss: if you plan is something it takes real endurance to stay on every day, you need a new plan. Endurance runs out.

This may mean you lose weight a more slowly, but you won't hate your life while you are doing it.
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Old 06-01-2010, 06:51 AM   #4
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I think it's a matter of re-wiring and re-training your brain.

Once I made the DECISION to be healthy, fit, trim and THE BEST ME POSSIBLE, I knew I had no other choice but to overhaul and revamp my lifestyle and institute new healthy habits that I would incorporate into my life FOREVER. But I was okay with that. I accepted that that was the way it had to be. It had to be a PERMANENT change. But realizing that it had to be permanent and forever, freed me up to find the joy in this. Not to dread these changes, but to look forward to them. I had to therefore seek out new foods to eat, new recipes to make. I had to find wonderful, delicious foods to eat that just happened to be lower calorie.

I stopped settling for foods that just tasted good. No, taste alone was no longer sufficient for me. The food had to taste good AND be good for me. I raised my standards, started requiring more from and for myself.

The good thing is, is that when you get into this, once you get past the initial temporary discomfort stage - the stage of learning the new habits - it does get easier - and easier - and easier. It becomes second nature to you and automatic. It just becomes who you are what what you do. You don't give it a second thought. I know this sounds amazing and almost unbelievable now, but it's true. Give it time to take hold.

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my life now and that also makes this a LOT easier to do forever. I never want to live another way. You just have to hang on tight for now - any way that you can, and know that it's coming. The rewards are coming, and the automatic-ness is coming too.
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Old 06-01-2010, 08:57 AM   #5
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Hiya Starbright. I was wondering about you, I'm so glad to see that you are still trucking on...even though the trip might be getting a little boring perhaps? I truly believe that we all come to this big fork in the road about the time you have...lets call it the 7 week itch. It's kind of when reality sets in, that this is going to take a LONG time, and heck, we will probably have to do it FOREVER to keep at a heathy weight. You can quit now, and who knows when you will ever finish what you started, or you can just keep going. If you keep going you WILL get there, and let me be the 2nd to tell you it is GREAT to live in a healthy lean body. It is great not to be in a food coma 3/4 of the time. It is great to work and play along side my husband and sons and have more endurance than they do!

Now to answer your original question, "How do you keep it up?" Well, I was bound and determined to NOT be in the grave at 50 like BOTH of my parents. If I kept on the road I was on, I would no doubt be almost there. There is still no guarantee I won't make it to 50, but I have a hellava better chance now, and my quality of life now, even if I die tomorrow, is so much better...

Also, I can say that seer stubbornness has kept me going. Living in a small town and in a mostly obese community, the rumors and gossip mill was running wild for awhile with talk about why, how, how long, & when I would gain it back talk about MY weight loss. I want to prove them all wrong. hehe

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Old 06-01-2010, 09:24 AM   #6
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I'm not nearly as far along as the others who've responded to you question, but I do have some thoughts anyway because I've wanted to give up many, many times.

What I try to think about, and what I eventually am forced to think about if I do slip, is the alternative to healthy eating. Not the food itself, but how I feel. When I don't eat reasonable amounts of healthy foods, I feel gross. I'm bloated, I have heartburn, I can feel my heart beating in my cheast. I feel the dryness in my eyes. And psychologically, I feel like a failure.

I realize that I have a long way to go--the rest of my life in fact, because even when I get to goal (I wrote when naturally, not if!), I'll have to keep up the work. But the alternative to pushing myself to do this is so physically and psychologically painful that it usually keeps me on a healthy track, or gets me back on a healthy track quickly if I've slipped.

Good luck! You've already lost a good amount, congrats!
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Mini-goal #2: 10% of body weight: 4/28/10 (Finally!)
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Old 06-01-2010, 09:24 AM   #7
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At almost 6 weeks in what I do is keep picturing myself as healthy and in shape. I visualize all the things I will do with my kids once the weight is off, I visualize myself wearing the clothes I want to wear and I visualize being off diabetes medication. Each day I worry just about the day I am in and take it one day at a time. It is too easy to get depressed thinking about the big picture and "how long" it will take to reach my goal. I remind myself that I didn't get fat overnight. I have progressively gained 10 pounds a year over the last 14 years with the last two just maintaining a high weight of between 248-258. I am setting mini goals so I can celebrate the accomplishments along the way.

You can do it! Just keep thinking of the things you want and remember that overeating won't get you those things. Overeating/being overweight has been a personal **** for me and I just don't want it anymore. Decide that you want health and not the temporary satisfaction that overeating will give you.
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Old 06-01-2010, 09:41 AM   #8
One day at a time!
 
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How do I keep it up? I have not been doing this as long as some on the board but I have been keeping it up for 21 months. There are some key words that we use here that really do apply, commitment, persistence, and stubbornness are three of them.

I think the key for me is that I accepted that I had to permanently change the way I ate and exercised. I accepted that I will always have to log my food. Then I set out to find a way of eating that I could live with forever. I had to find good healthy foods that I like and even love. I decided that I had to find a way to handle my weaknesses so that I could still lose weight. When I first started, I thought that I had to have junk food so I allowed myself a limited amount. Lo and behold, I learned that I could live without it so I tweaked my plan.

I did the same thing with my exercise. I found something that I could live with long term. At first I thought the only exercise I could do was walk so I walked. Eventually I learned that I can do more, so I added more exercise.

My advice is to find a way of eating and exercising that you can live with long term. If you give up on drastic changes, make slow changes that you can live with. They all add up. I know that you can do this!
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Old 06-01-2010, 10:00 AM   #9
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I second what shmead said - if you can't see doing this forever then find a method you can. Because, ultimately, your changes are for life and not just to goal.

I had to give up candy and chips for me to lose weight and, yeah, that was hard. But once I'd given them up for a month I no longer craved them. It was a true addiction for me and staying clean is proving to be pretty easy but I don't allow myself any cheats for fear of the addiction taking over again. Fortunately I'm not tempted because I've discovered that really I didn't love those things - it was habit and the addiction talking and not a real love. Now, bacon, bacon I love. Good cheese, yeah love that too. But candy bars, it turns out, not so much.

So other than candy bars and chips/cheese doodle type things I haven't given up anything I loved eating so I'm not feeling deprived. Since I don't feel deprived I'm not craving things I can't have. Which makes keeping it up so much easier than any time in the past when I gave up things I loved.
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Old 06-01-2010, 10:24 AM   #10
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Like the previous posters said, I deliberately set out to create a plan that was doable for the long haul. That meant no foods I didn't like, no feeling hungry, I had to be able to order in restaurants, deal with family meals, etc etc.

I made changes as I went along, to come up with something the most sustainable.

Sure, every now and then, the whiny 5 year old inside me does a bit of dramatic foot stomping, but overall I find my lifestyle easy to keep up with. I also remind myself that I had my chance to eat whatever I wanted and that DID NOT MAKE ME HAPPY. Now, I eat mindfully, mostly healthy foods and I feel great and I look great. It's like when I go to the dentist and the guy says "you've been flossing!" and I am so pleased. I hate to floss, but I do it. Because the rewards are awesome.

If it helps, I also think of calories like money. Since I'm not a gazillionaire, I am going to have to carefully budget my money for the rest of my life. I can't just buy whatever I want, whenever I want. Sometimes, I can save up money for a big purchase, though

I don't know if I'd say I've beaten my relationship with food, I slip up sometimes. I know, inside, I am still the same person I have ever been when it comes to food. What helps me is avoiding foods that trigger (what is for me) a helpless feeling of MUST EAT. So, I limit cold cereal, crackers, packaged baked goods, chips. When I don't eat those foods, I don't miss them. When I do eat those foods, I want more and more more and more. Whenever I am confronted with those foods, it's an easy mental equation to think "if I eat those Wheat Thins, I will eat too many, and then I will feel bad and sad" and realize that the taste of a Wheat Thin is not worth how I will feel after. Sometimes, I fail at this mental equation process, but I am successful if I really stop and have an internal dialogue.
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Old 06-01-2010, 11:06 AM   #11
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Just shy of a year ago, I embarked on this journey, and when I started up a fitday account, I put in my then current weight, and my goal weight.

That was when I realized that I could not get to my goal in a year, and that even if I stayed on plan for an entire year, I would "still be fat". I ended up raising my goal weight a little, and extending my time frame from 12 to 14 months. At the time, that was the most I could bear.

Now, I'm almost at the twelve month mark and I'm actually a little behind schedule. I was trying to lose 2 lbs a week, and my rate has ended up closer to 1.5.

Back then, when I started, I could not stand the thought that after a year of staying on plan, I'd still be obese-- right now, my BMI is 30, but that is down from 45.

What I did not know was how HUGE the payoff would be just for losing part of my weight. I KNEW the weight was debilitating me, but I did not realize HOW MUCH. I did not miss exercising or running or any of the things I do now, because I never did them.

I was morbidly obese for almost twenty years, and in the beginning, it was not as debilitating, but by the end, at age 47, I was feeling my health deteriorating. Now, I feel like I've gotten my youth back.

Right now, I've been stalled out for an entire month, and even gained a little in spite of being scrupulously on plan. In the past, I could NEVER have managed that-- but now, I just keep plugging on....

The goal is not only to make it to goal or to get skinny. The goal is to improve life IN THE PRESENT. Every day you make a choice to eat healthy, every pound you lose makes your life BETTER TODAY.
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Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.--Winston Churchill

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met 7/25/14
Second Mini-goal 240.5 Half of regain gone.
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Old 06-01-2010, 11:24 AM   #12
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Lori and RockinRobin - I am so inspired by the tremendous success you achieved in approximately one year. My weight loss journey is going much slower due to a back injury. It's been nearly a year, and I've lost just over 20 lbs. Admittedly, my eating is not 100% on plan, but it's close.

I often wonder how I will keep this up. How I will stay on this healthy lifestyle path for the rest of my life...because I know that if I go back to how I used to eat and the sedentary lifestyle. I will quickly gain all the weight back and more, and I will not feel as youthful or energetic or happy as I do now. That being said, I wish the pounds would drop off more quickly, and I'm having one of those frustrated/depressed days.

I won't give up or give in though...for the reasons stated above. I simply can't. I may slip up, but I can't fall off the wagon. It would just lead to me being miserable, not being able to do the things I enjoy and quite possibly dead.

Starbrite - I really appreciate your posting this, as I often wonder the same things.

And I very much appreciate everyone on here. I don't post often...but I get so much inspiration and motivation from your posts.
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Old 06-01-2010, 11:51 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vladadog View Post
I second what shmead said - if you can't see doing this forever then find a method you can. Because, ultimately, your changes are for life and not just to goal.
.
I kinda disagree with this. You're really not certain how you're going to feel in a year. Your tastes change, which is miraculous. Your desires for the *bad* stuff dies down, which is miraculous. You can't possibly know this from day one. You just can't. You will grow and change and strengthen as you progress along this journey. I'm not sure if I KNEW for certain that I COULD eat *this way* forever. I mean how was I to know just how fabulous I would feel not only being slim, but that eating this way all by it's lonesome, without being slim would feel so phenomenal? How was I to know that I COULD socialize without overfeeding myself? How was I to know that I would gladly pass up the fried chicken and greasy foods in favor of lighter fare.


So, I don't think you have to have everything all figured out from day one. I don't think you have to know for certain if you could do this forever. You have to kind of fake it till you make it. But as long as you keep striving and pushing forward - you will make. You will.
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Old 06-01-2010, 12:14 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockinrobin View Post
So, I don't think you have to have everything all figured out from day one. I don't think you have to know for certain if you could do this forever. You have to kind of fake it till you make it. But as long as you keep striving and pushing forward - you will make. You will.
Oh yes, yes, yes. I totally agree with this. If I had continued to do the same things I did on day one of this journey, I would never be were I am now. (Mostly with food choices and getting the best value out of my calories.) I have learned a lot in the last couple years and tweak my plan when necessary. Nothing is set in stone. There are many successful losers on this board who start with one program, switch to another and continue with another. The important thing is to just get started...and keep going, all the while learning what is best for you.

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Old 06-01-2010, 12:16 PM   #15
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I agree with so many of you. For me, the light switched on when I began to focus on all of the positives. Look at this lovely food I eat now! Real food has so much more flavor than processed food. I am excited to plan my meals because they taste so good. Grilled chicken with pineapple and cilantro are a treat. I love taking the time to feed myself and my family good quality food. Junk just looks so unappealing now. Restaurant food is too greasy, heavy and salty. It makes me feel queasy thinking about all of that in my stomach. I love feeling satisfied instead of tired and sluggish all the time. I have so much energy. With that energy, I do things that make me feel proud of my body. I like to walk with my husband and friends. I like to play badmitton in the backyard with my girls in the evenings. I like to lift weights and love how my body is changing.

There is nothing negative in this. It's all great. I honestly am not even tempted with junk anymore. It just doesn't make sense to me to eat something that makes me tired and groggy when I could spend my evening eating food that I like better that gives me energy to have fun.

Like others said - I didn't have to get to goal to get this. I am not even halfway to goal. But, I have so many positive changes in my life. Once we choose to give our focus on positive things that we want, they come into our lives. I truly believe this. Focus on the negative things (I hate my thighs, dieting is so hard, I hate salads, how can I give up pizza forever, etc.) and guess what - you bring all of those things that you don't like right to you like a magnet. Just relax and have fun with it. Find foods you like, activities that make you feel good about your body and with others and just go out there and live that great life you have!
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