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Stages of the Weight Loss Journey

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Old 05-10-2011, 10:35 AM   #1
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Default Stages of the Weight Loss Journey

I've been doing a lot of thinking about the weight loss journey.

I started in June 2009 right after getting a fabulous piece of news, when I was feeling really good about myself. It seems like there are two big triggers for people-- one is "hitting rock bottom." That never worked for me. The other is feeling really terrific-- maybe losing a few pounds by accident, or falling in love, or having some good news.

Here are what I see as the stages:

1. Self-doubt: This is when you don't really believe you can succeed because you never have before. I fell off in this stage millions of times over the course of twenty years. I would lose ten or fifteen pounds, then get off track, then stop, then gain it back. After a while it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

2. Mastery: This is after you lose maybe forty or fifty pounds-- more than you ever dreamed possible. You start to think you've got the hang of it. It seems almost effortless. You wonder why you never did this before.

3. Super-confidence: You've been on a roll for months and months now. You feel like an expert. You are one hundred per cent positive you will NEVER go back. You follow your plan like a champ. You never slip up. You feel like a weight loss goddess.

4. RELAPSE: I think most of us long-termers slip up. A lot of people cope with it pretty well. Some really don't and end up with a big regain.

5. The Long Haul: This is where I am now. This is when you start to realize that your food issues will probably never go away, and that you probably will slip up from time to time, but you are going to have to learn that life at a lower weight is made up of good days and bad days and that NOBODY IS PERFECT.

The weight loss journey is full of highs and lows that have nothing to do with weight.

Talk about a way to really and truly get to know yourself. This is it!
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Old 05-10-2011, 10:50 AM   #2
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Uber, I think that you have nailed the stages. I started stage one because I hit rock bottom. I saw my future if I did not lose weight. I am currently in "stage 4. RELAPSE" which, in some sense, puts me back in "stage 1. Self-doubt". The primary difference in stage one and stage four is that I know that I can do this because I have done it before.

From your mouth to God's ear that I get into "5. The Long Haul"!

Thanks for posting this!
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Old 05-10-2011, 10:55 AM   #3
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such a great post, Uber!!!

for myself, in between #3 & #4 was a "self realization" phase, where i dealt with WHY i was fat, WHY i turned to food ~it wasn't scary or difficult, just eye opening! Not every fat girl was molested and eats icing out of a can in the closet, sorry Hollywood you got that wrong LOL some of us are just spoiled, indulged brats who need to GROW UP, and it took a few therapy sessions to come to that, to go "ohhhh riiiight" and learn new ways to look at the world.

For me, that was the most important and significant change of my life. I'd always stall out at the 40 pound mark, and then gain back 50 because I never really LEARNED anything ~ the will power worked, the good habits lasted for a while, the "I'm never eating XYZ again, EVER!" lasted a while, but the monster hiding behind the wall would POUNCE on me eventually LOL now I can beat him into submission!

That's been worth more to me than losing 160 (HOLY FKK) pounds - that sense of calm around food. No food is off limits to me -- horrible, delicious fattening food is all around us at all times, I can't control that -- I CAN however, control ME and i do I know I CAN have that deep fried sugar fat ball if I want, but I choose not to this day. Maybe tomorrow, maybe never.

I'm in the "long haul" phase now as well, and i have to say that getting to know myself has been awesome, I always had very healthy self-esteem but now I'm downright crazy about myself LOL NOT because I'm thinner, but because I accomplished something - I loosened the stranglehold food has always had over me and came out the other side!

here's to the long haul !!
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Old 05-10-2011, 10:59 AM   #4
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I think I am waffling between four and five. I haven't really relapsednin any significant way, but from January to now it has been a struggle to lose - a constant fight against complacency and too many bad choices to consistently lose. Knock on wood, but the head issues and heart issues are being sorted out and I have a strong peace about the whole thing. I am praying I am ready to finally move further down the scale and stay there, as the five pounds on either side of 200 have been an incredible fight for the better.
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Old 05-10-2011, 11:14 AM   #5
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OMG!!! That is so dead on!!!

I am at #2 right now. Down 53 lbs, don't know why I didn't do this sooner!

Very wise you are!!!
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Old 05-10-2011, 11:25 AM   #6
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this is great food for thought. i've been thinking about these big patterns in my life as i, at 27, am aaaaagain trying to lose the same i've lost and gained at least 3 times already.

i remember my super-confidence phase so clearly! just about a year ago. i raaaved about weight watchers and yoga to anyone who would listen and felt so happy and proud. i'll be back there once i battle with #4 and #1!

i am a little worried with going forward and...The Long Haul, since this last go-round didn't stick. i'll think it over and post about it soon.

thanks so much for this!
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Old 05-10-2011, 11:29 AM   #7
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PS - I think that we can fluctuate between "Relapse" and "The Long Haul". If you had posted this last summer, I would have said that I was in "The Long Haul" having had one or two minor relapses. For me, I have to realize that the Long Haul will probably involve multiple relapses and I have to learn how to stop them and deal with them. Since I have fought with weight and food issues all of my life, I have accepted that this is a life-long struggle for me.
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Old 05-10-2011, 11:47 AM   #8
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Wow...you hit the nail on the head! I am at Stage 3 and I want to thank you for this post - it makes me realize that slip-ups may still happen! I really and truly want to keep off this weight, it held me back for so long and finally I have good self-esteem, am confident and happy. I guess the same determination that got me this far will have to keep me here.
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Old 05-10-2011, 12:44 PM   #9
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Great post Uber! Being at Stage 1, it's nice to see that "slip ups" are just a part of the process. You'd almost be worried if you hadn't had any.

Trazey -- I always love your posts. They are so honest about weight loss and ring to true for me. I chose this life...the good and the bad. It didn't just "happen" and I'm not a victim. Now I'm choosing a better life. Very liberating!
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Old 05-10-2011, 12:47 PM   #10
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Great post!
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Old 05-10-2011, 01:10 PM   #11
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Wow! Thank you so much for posting this. You are spot-on! I've been lurking around this site for several months and find so much inspiration here.

Thank you!
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Old 05-10-2011, 01:28 PM   #12
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Fantastic post, I think once we get on a roll with the weight loss and it starts coming off, briefly it feels -- dare I say it -- easy??? You read about people losing LOTS of weight only to regain it a short time later and you think - how COULD they -- that will NEVER happen to me. This time last year I was 20 pounds lighter - 20 POUNDS!! and I felt so much better - yet I let myself gain it back. Why? I think until you really deal with the issues deeper than anyone thinks they are its tough to maintain. It will be a battle for the rest of my life.

Thanks again for this post - you are a wise woman and I respect you so much.

Angie
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Old 05-10-2011, 01:38 PM   #13
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I agree I think you've got it - although I'm at stage 3 and am hoping to never get to stage 4, but you know what? It might happen and I can deal with it if it does! I've given myself a little more freedom with food lately because I am playing with maintenance...and some days I can see how easy it would be just to gain some back without too much effort. Truth be told, I am terrified of a relapse...it helps to know others have been through it and come out to #5 on the other side.
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Old 05-10-2011, 04:17 PM   #14
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HAH! I love this post.

I'm nowhere near goal but I'm totally at #5 but float to #1 & #4 depending on what's going on in my life. From the criteria I'm only at #2. I've lost 50 lbs. I've been stuck in nutral this year though. I don't even know why... I know why in March, that was totally #4. But In Feb I joined Farrell's Extreme Bodyshpaing, gave up soda, gave up (for day to day stuff) enriched/bleached/white/flour, and I can do way more pushups than I have ever done in my entire life... buut the scale just kind of laughs at me still. This is the first time I've been stuck for months in nutral, and I gotta tell you I think my transmission needs work.

Never before would I have hit this much of a dead zone and stuck with it. I would ahve given up as "not possible". This time it's 15 months down ? to go. I WILL get there, it's when that seems to be the questionable part.

I also found that since I hit #4 the point of I QUIT back in 2006 (stress won), and this time I've started looking harder at what causes me to get to the I QUIT point to make sure that even if I may float around in 1-4 I stick with #5.

Man I've learned a lot this time around, and I still have a ton to learn.

I'll tell you this though I think I'm in the best shape of my life, even if I'm not at my best weight. lol.

Here's to #5!
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Old 05-10-2011, 05:14 PM   #15
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Your stages seem very accurate for most of us. Thanks for this post,.
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