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Old 02-09-2012, 10:40 PM   #1
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Default Birthday weekend...

Anxious about my birthday being this weekend and all of the eating things associated with that - family birthday dinner with extended family tomorrow, dinner out with my husband Saturday night, family dinner out Sunday... I am feeling pretty firmly resolved not to eat out of obligation but hate this feeling of dread - that I'm going to be in eating situations that are pressured.
Tomorrow night is the one I am most dreading, as I feel I have a lot more control at a restaurant and Saturday and Sunday are both restaurants. I feel so good about my eating most of the time, but something about being with my parents, brothers and their families and them bringing/making the food definitely causes me a lot of anxiety. Anyone have a similar family dynamic or response? Kind of mad at myself for feeling so ungracious...
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Old 02-09-2012, 11:23 PM   #2
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First of all, I would say don't stress yourself! It's your birthday - emphasis on "day!" One day isn't going to erase all of your hard work. The best way I've heard it told is "If you run a mile and stumble 3/4ths of the way to the end, you're still 3/4ths of a mile in!" Your progress isn't undone by a single stumble, and it certainly isn't going to help if you stress and stress over situations that you aren't in yet. Try your best not to stumble, but if you do trip a up a little, it's okay! You can pick yourself back up and finish that mile with a smile on your face because you DID finish it.
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Old 02-10-2012, 08:11 AM   #3
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Happy Birthday! Yes - it's one day. Take everything one choice at a time. Look at every choice and decide if it's worth the calories. Decide if it's something you can easily get again. If it is, pass just this time. You might have to make the choice again in 15 minutes, but just take it one at a time. Enjoy your family. Enjoy the time together. You've done so well. One day won't ruin anything.


Life style change started on Jan 13, 2011. I was going to lose 100 pounds by Christmas.
I lost 93 pounds by Oct 1, 2011 and am holding there for now. We'll see what happens.
New goal: To maintain at about 160 Final Goal: To decide if I need to lose more
Just Keep On Keepin' On
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Old 02-10-2012, 09:05 AM   #4
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Happy birthday!

Extended family food culture can certainly be a challenge. Why not make a dish too if everyone's potlucking? Or eat before you go so you aren't tempted by hunger to overdo the party food? Bring games so there's other things to do besides munch?

What causes the anxiety?

We used to do separate bdays but it was getting crazy as the family grew and new kids were born, etc. Then we agreed to just go with a monthly thing and do all the bdays in that month at one gathering. That helped a lot.

And later still we started just doing it on our own sometimes rather than together for the adults and just get together consistantly for the kid bdays. There really is a point in large extended networks where it just HAS to change.

Started Jan 2016:
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Old 02-10-2012, 09:57 AM   #5
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May I first say that you are totally awesome! Your numbers are amazing.

I totally get the anxiety that comes with eating at family gatherings/celebrations! I agree that you should do little tricks like filling up on some zero or low cal foods before you go - maybe have a big salad with dark greens or something similar. Also, drink lots of water before and during the meal - that will fill you up. Beyond that, it IS your special day, so try to plan into your day/week the treats you are going to indulge in. Go into the meal knowing that you will have a reasonable portion of cake, or an appetizer, or main course - whatever your favorites are - you've earned it!

Also, remember that it is easier to indulge at a restaurant or someone else's house than at home. For example, if I really want ice cream, I would rather go to eat it at an ice cream store and get a single portion at the restaurant than buy a gallon at the grocery store to bring home (even though it's so much cheaper!). If I have a tub of ice cream at home, I know I will be stuffing myself with it until it's gone! Buying a single serving at an ice cream shop isn't going to completely derail me.

Happy birthday!
May Day Challenge Progress

My Reboot Journey Weight: 155 - March 6, 2017
My Lowest Journey Weight: 139 - October 2016
Original Journey Starting Weight: 212 - June 2010


Last edited by guacamole; 02-10-2012 at 09:58 AM.
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Old 02-10-2012, 10:29 AM   #6
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I agree with all who posted. Something I'd like to add that helps me in such a situation is to drink lots of water before the meal and take fiber tablets. I use Glocomman fiber capsules (from the Konjak root) which absorbs 50 times it's weight in water, making you feel very full. Make sure to drink a lot of water with it! Then you can put bite-sized portions of whatever you like on your plate and feel satisfied with it.

"If there is no wind...ROW!"
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Old 02-10-2012, 11:33 AM   #7
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First of all HAPPY BIRTHDAY, enjoy yourself. Stressing yourself out is only going to make things harder for you ( since stress causes weight retention/gain on it's own).
One weekend is not going to de-rail all the hard work you have done. I see you have lost a lot of weight so far so what you are doing MUST be working for you!!! I promise you, you will not gain it all back over a few days. Indulge a little, make the best choices you can, portion control is key no matter what you eat! When Monday rolls around back on track and and the weight will keep coming off.
Again have a HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!
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Old 02-10-2012, 11:46 AM   #8
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I was SO good at losing weight when I was losing. I didn't stray, didn't cheat, stayed on track and didn't indulge. Not even on Thanksgiving. Not on my birthday. Not on Christmas. Never.

It was driven into my head (by me, myself and I) that indulging in a piece of REAL cake rather than a tiny little piece of fat-free, sugar free something would totally derail my efforts. That if the scale moved up one iota, I was a failure.

To this very day I find it hard to just let go and ENJOY anything. My birthday was Feb. 2. I really WANTED a good, gooey strawberry cake with cream cheese icing. I asked for a sugar-free angel food cake that I didn't enjoy really.

What I'm saying is don't go overboard and eat everything in sight. But let yourself have a little fun on the important days. Don't beat yourself up over a piece of cake or a serving of something really good. Have fun on special days and don't forget what it's like to just be happy sometimes without feeling guilty or worrying about food.

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Old 02-10-2012, 12:47 PM   #9
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BTW Happy Birthday . Yes, I have that coming up for Valentine's day (we are celebrating it early on Sat.) my husband and I are going out the the movies and then to dinner. I'm just starting to calorie count and from what my goal of calories have been I've been under budget of the calories I have been given so far. Unfortunately, I go a bit wild going out to eat mainly because I do not get a chance to have desserts too often (I stay away from those usually hardly any in the house typically, only for holidays or birthdays) and I always get carried away with coke (it is my weakness seeing that I do not have it at home). I'm both excited to be going out (we very rarely do) and cringing at it. I agree it is tough when holidays or birthdays roll around, it is usually when I and a lot of other get into trouble. But like a few others have said if you stumble and fall pick yourself up off the ground, brush yourself off, and get going again. It is the only thing you can do about mistakes. I know easier said then done but try not to beat yourself up about it, it will only make it worse. Goodluck and please have a good time!

Last edited by Jinxy; 02-10-2012 at 12:47 PM.
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Old 02-11-2012, 07:25 AM   #10
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Thank you all for your insight, advice, ideas and empathy...
I realized reading through these responses that I wasn't afraid of an occasional lapse or treat - I have those and I just build it into my plan. I think I was feeling leftover feelings from my childhood re: my family, food and control. I grew up a chubby kid and was on diets from the time I was little, told all the things I wasn't allowed to eat but that my brothers were...
I stayed on plan last night but it was a challenge. It was supposed to be a birthday dinner for me, but my super health conscious and very aware of my plan parents made mostly things I couldn't eat - right down to a "healthy" option of a cheesy eggplant lasagna when I am (and have always been) allergic to eggplant! And when I didn't eat the brisket that was in a heavy barbecue sauce, my mother asked why and I explained that the sauce was heavy and sugary and would be too carby for me and she started to tell me that the sauce was a no sugar sauce and my father had to stop her and tell me the truth that it wasn't...
The sad part is that I'm in my 40's, and I never fail to feel anxious about it and hurt by it...
Foodwise there was enough there to stay on plan - I ate some shrimp, had a couple of small meatballs, some salmon and some grilled vegetables, avoiding the bread, chips, chopped liver, ribs, brisket, oily salads, etc... It would have been so much easier if the salmon wasn't in oil, the salad wasn't dressed, etc, which is why I think I'm much more comfortable in a restaurant where I can ask for what I want the way I want it that having to eat things I don't want to and put on a grateful face... Don't get me wrong - on one hand I am grateful that they made a beautiful birthday dinner for me - but on the other it was laden with foods they know I can't eat!
By the time they brought out the red velvet cake for dessert I was ready to scream I had a taste and tried to be inobtrusive and play with kids so nobody would notice I wasn't eating it... I have been making a low carb no sugar cheesecake so I went home and had a piece...
Meanwhile, I stayed on plan, had done an extra exercise class in preparation and this morning - up half a lb Never fails! Tonight I'm going to a restaurant with my husband and already scoped out the menu and know what I'm going to order...
Sorry to be so long-winded and childish in my venting...
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Old 02-11-2012, 08:41 AM   #11
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Honestly you did well in the face of adversity, freefall! And Happy Birthday to you!!!!!

Great job planning ahead for your dinner with your husband tonight too. That part is definitely very helpful. And that half a pound will go away in no time. I have no doubt about that!
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Old 02-12-2012, 02:17 PM   #12
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Thanks! Managed to keep things to 1621 calories and 85 grams of carb even with trendy restaurant and cocktails and was down to 205 this morning, so yay! And I just did a 2 hour spinathon so am thinking tonight might be my "treat" night
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