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Why we fall off the wagon

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Old 07-03-2004, 02:21 AM   #1
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Default Why we fall off the wagon

I thought that since several of us have recently come out of hiding recently, maybe we should talk about the kind of pressures that can make us slip.
I know that it my case, my wreight loss began when I got laid off, and after I got through feeling sorry for myself, decided to combine my job hunt with spending time with my daughter, who was just turning into a teenager (ugh!) and starting to eat healthy and exercising would be a good habit and a good example.
I don't know what I weighed when I started, but I wasn't fitting into 26s very well, and had a couple of 28s. When I was got a short term contract, I was in a 24, and weighted about 255.
I should say that I'm a tech writer, and have always worked in high-tech, which must be the most unstable career that any nice girl can ever have.
I loved the project that they gave me and I was so happy to be using my skills again. I was miserable when the contract ended - then they asked me to stay. The job didn't include benefits, but it was better than no income, and we had COBRA. So I said yes.
Then another company that I had interviewed with offered me a job. I liked them ok, and there were benefits. The managers I was working with at the first company were trying to make a counter-offer, but couldn't get a sign-off from the president.
Went to the new company - it seemed like a toxic mine - the place was covered with cookies and pizza, and there were 6 people in a 60 person dept with type II diabetes. Plus, there was a brand-new staff conflict, and people began recruiting me for their team the moment I walked in the door.
After 3 weeks, I called my boss at the old job, and asked if there wasn't any way I could come back - they talked to the recruiter and temp agency, which got me benefits, and they said, we'll see what I can do.
I was scared to death, but went. That was at the end of February.
I got a full-time offer at the company last Monday. The next morning I started South Beach. I'd gained back about 15 lbs.
I suspect that for me, eating has something to do with security
Please God, let this company keep its head above water.
I'd love to hear what others do.

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Old 07-03-2004, 07:37 AM   #2
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Hi Sue

many thanks for starting this thread - I think its really valuable. And thanks for being so brave and sharing your experiences.....sounds like you've been having a horrible time on the job front.....you must feel great now you have some security again!

I have yet to fall off the wagon, but I am worried that I might.....I have a big lifestyle change coming up on 2nd August, when I start a new job - I think it will be a big challenge to keep up with my exercise and healthy eating habits.

Good luck with South Beach!
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Old 07-03-2004, 11:47 AM   #3
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This is going to sound so bad...but the reason Ive been struggling is my DH. He refusesd to make healthy choices with me, and I always end up fixing the foods he likes ( cheesy, greasy, and BIG) Since hes been home on vacation, Ive had a **** of a time watching my food! Well, he goes back to work on Monday, so I'll be OK then.
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Old 07-03-2004, 12:19 PM   #4
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My DH is one of the pickiest eaters on the planet. If he sees a vegetable he runs the other way. After 10 years of taking the easy way out (eating what he does, too much/bad snacking, or prepackaged meals) I've made up my mind to cook for me and eat what I know is right. He can fend for himself. Tonight his dinner was Spaghettios, and thats fine with him - he genuinely likes them. He's a meat, pasta, mexican food type of guy and I like that stuff once in a while but crave a more and healthier variety.
I am determined to succeed in losing this weight once and for all.
Cook healthy for you and your hubby will either learn to like it or make his own. Maybe you could start with small changes he won't notice. Good luck.

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Old 07-03-2004, 10:58 PM   #5
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I'm doing ok so far... But as I near my goal, the weight isn't dropping off me like it has been all this time--this is something I haven't experienced yet so I don't know how I will do. I think I have the will power to accept that I may be going into the plateau stage of weight loss and that is a bit scary, but I will keep plugging along. I have lost almost 60 lbs and so I feel really good about how I look. By no means is that "good enough for me-- and it doesn't give me the right to stop now" but it makes the plateau stage all the more "ok" with me for the time being--if that makes any sense. In the past I have fallen off because I did a fad or crash diet which doesn't seem to work for me very well because the variety of food usually isn't there. Now, with counting calories, I can have a lot of variety and eat what I like in moderation, aside from fried greasy "heavy" foods. Right now I am gradually increasing my caloric intake and it is a bit more challenging for me because even adding the 200 extra calories to my day, I feel like I am overdoing it and drop back to the lower level. To this point, this journey is so different from other times. Keeping positive and focused has really been a huge help. I feel like I am babbling!! Oh my. Ok.. there's my 2 cents for the day!
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Old 07-03-2004, 11:30 PM   #6
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I've been heavy all my life but really started gaining weight when I worked at a convenience store full-time (too many tempting chips and chocolate bars) and then again when I went back to college but was still working full-time (take-out!). I gained a lot when I was pregnant but most of the baby fat came off soon after he was born but I gained back some, probably out of stress. It's tough work being a parent! I really want to get the weight off now though so I can be a good role model for him, I cringe at the thought of him going through the problems I did as an obese child and the peer pressure hasn't gotten any better since I was a kid. My downfalls are eating out of boredom, turning to junk food when I am really hungry and relying too much on take out because of me and my husband having weird work schedules.
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Old 07-04-2004, 01:40 AM   #7
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That must be really tough when the husbands want to eat something totally different. That is a whole lot of temptation. I worry that with quitting smoking that I am going to pack back on some pounds. I'm not doing bad so far. I might do ok this time. In the past I probably put on around 15 pounds when I would quit smoking. I did not eat very healthy then. I think after this first week that my food cravings associated with quitting will start to calm down.

I was a chubby kid. If I never hear, "she's just big boned" again in my life I will die happy. 18 years of bad eating habits brought on from my mother are really hard to break. Well, along with tons of emotional issues to go along with it. I hope that I can break the cycle. I am trying my hardest to do so. Hopefully I am teaching my kids good eating habits also so this does not revolve like a viscious cycle. I am breaking the cycle!!
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Old 07-04-2004, 11:37 AM   #8
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For me it always has been and always will be stress that leads to falling off the wagon or a binge. When I'm feeling particularly overwhelmed or frustrated is when my head automatically turns to food. At this point in my journey I can usually recognize those evil thoughts for what they are (a need to chill out) and avoid a disaster. But that's not always the case, by any means. I still let it get the best of me from time to time, which really pisses me off. So what I try to do is stop the cycle right then and there. I may still beat myself up about what I've done but I do not allow myself to say I've blown the day or week or whatever and continue eating badly. It is extremely hard but I am learning to accept my mistakes when I make them and just move on. This is going to happen, no matter what, so the trick (for me anyway) is to deal with it in a healthier way instead of continuing the horrible cycle that we all know so well.

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Old 07-04-2004, 02:21 PM   #9
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For me it is different things different times. Stress sometimes does it. Lonliness, boredom. Sometimes, feeling kind of down ~ I am kind of fighting that today. Holidays are hard ~ I grew up with family all around, and I kind of miss getting together with family. I am trying to think of non food things to keep me busy today.

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Old 07-04-2004, 03:48 PM   #10
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I used to say it was bored or stress but I truly think it's having TOO much to do and then when there is a lull, I don't know what to do with myself. I can't have a moment of peace. I work full time, go to school full time and I have a house to take care of and dogs. It's a full plate. So, when there is the brief moment of nothingness. I eat. And claim it's because I'm bored or stressed out at work.

I need to welcome the brief moments of peacefulness and embrace them with something non-food related. Like meditation or writing. I'm still learning. Sigh!
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Old 07-05-2004, 10:17 AM   #11
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Near as I can recollect here's my weight progression. I think the years and timing are off but this is the basic progression, anyway...

Back in 1998 I weighed about 270 pounds. I had no energy, I was listless, I felt sick, I ate fast food three times a day sometimes, super-sized meals. The big thing, though, was having no energy. It was hard to even keep the house clean and take out the trash, I was so exhausted all the time.

At the end of 1999 I was diagnosed with severe anemia, which is why I was so listless. I went to a great nutritionist who had wonderful advice. I got my iron levels up, and learned more about nutrition, and made healthier choices. I also was frustrated with my job at this point and decided to ride the exericse bike whenever I was mad. Boy did I ride a lot! Basically I flipped my life around, ate totally different, exercised, moved to a new city, transferred offices at work, hung out with a new circle of friend.

Toward the end of 2000 I was losing well. I decided to start eating vegetarian, because of my little sister. Things were exciting and new, I was jogging. I got down to about 170 pounds. I was no longer so frustrated at work, my iron levels were up so I had energy, I had a great circle of friends.

Then in 2001 I was stuck. I hovered between 165-175 forever. Things were still going well, but I was getting frustrated. I felt in a rut. Work stress was returning. I went to see a counselor for work stress and depression. It helped -- a little. I went on a big vacation by myself to Europe that was fun. I went to water parks and beaches. However, I'm 5'2", and my ideal weight range was around 120-135 or something, I think. I was still classified as obese. I began to despair that I'd ever be anything but obese. Now, this was even though I was eating healthy, was active outside, could run a 5K (not fast, but I could and did run it), and so on. I was smaller than before, it was better, but all I saw was the failure and I started feeling so big, even at the same weight. Slowly, the weight started coming back on.

2002 the weight started slipping back on quicker. It was a combination, I think, of work stress and frustration, and the feeling that if I was never going to be 'not obese' then oh well, I give up. I have ingrained patterns of eating food for comfort, and so I did. Where I was frustrated and stressed, I found solace in food. It tasted good -- if only briefly. It was my treat to myself.

In 2003 the pounds continued to mount. I was probably up to about 210-220 at the beginning of the year. I was really frustrated at work, which spiralled things. I decided to quit my job. I changed my mind. I took a 3-month sabbatical from work, decided to move cities again back to where I was originally was, and then blew my house down payment to travel around the world in style for 2 months -- business class international, swanky hotels, safaris, etc., etc. I still don't know my budget but it was probably about $13,000-$15,000 when it was all totalled. (And I don't regret the trip, it was amazing, but that's another story). I came back to work in the fall of that year, but by then was up to about 240ish.

After that was a period of rapid weight gain, from the fall of 2003 to the summer of 2004, up to about 280 which is where I ended up. That was me frustrated more with life, and I wasn't taking my iron so my anemia came back full force and I had no energy, I was depressed, I'd eat, I started binging on junk food -- still vegetarian mostly but you can eat a lot of chocolate and jelly beans and cheese and stuff that's mostly vegetarian. Every now and then I'd decide to eat healthier -- this lasted about a week, tops.

So then in summer 2004 -- well, I'm not sure what happened. I finally hopped on a scale in the bathroom at work, one of those sliding weight scales, not to weigh precisely but to check to see if I topped 300 pounds. I didn't. That was my fear, so it was a little better seeing I was at least below that. Size 28 pants were starting to get tight and I always shopped at Lane Bryant, and wasn't sure where to get size 30, so that was a big motivator.

Then I got moved fulltime to this project at work that's based, partially, in Baghdad. People go over there for 1-3 months to work on it. I sort of want to go (just for the adventure mostly -- I do things like skydive and rockclimb and stuff for adrenaline rushes -- and partly to help out with the project), sort of don't (because it's scary), but I didn't really have an option because I'm so big. And external factors are always better, for me, for motivating weight loss and change. It's like I can't just take care of myself for me. It has to tie into something else.

So I'm about 4-5 weeks into things now, which is longer than I stuck with eating healthier for a while. I'm trying to concentrate on little things at first, not everything all at once. I'm not even worrying about exercise, and I might not at all until next year, since I'm not motivated right now and making a ton of changes all at once that I don't absolutely want to do is always a recipe for disaster for me. My goal was to eat healthier, take my iron to get the anemia under control, and try to feel better. To try to break the pattern of my eating before, and help with anemia and other vitamin deficiencies, I started eating meat again. (I love making changes, incidentally, to stir things up in my life -- thus the vegetarian/non-vegetarian swaps, the trips, the moving around and changing offices.) And I do feel better eating healthier. I was literally feeling sick all the time before and I'm probably still depressed, still not entirely happier at work, but it's better and I think the healthy regime has a lot to do with it.

Right now I'm struggling with frustration. It seems like such a daunting goal, and one I've struggled with before and lost, so why try again. Which is why I'm trying to ignore weight and just eat healthy but I'm competitive, and can't resist the scale like I tried. I love my clothes starting to feel loose, though, and I love the healthier feeling I have from eating more nutritious. I'm hoping a combination of that, and small losses, and the thought of maybe going to Baghdad or else on another international trip where I'm a bit smaller, will be a driving factor. It's just so daunting to thing: "If I lost a pound a week, I'd have to do this for 3 years before I was at my goal weight." Three years is a really long time, a tenth of my life. So it's daunting.

So a long ramble but that's how it happened.
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Last edited by Scuttle : 07-05-2004 at 10:21 AM.
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Old 07-05-2004, 10:22 AM   #12
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Scuttle, think of it this way, in 3 years if you didn't lose the weight you'd be in the same boat as you are right now. To me THAT is a worse thought than having to struggle and work hard to lose the weight. All those trips sound amazing. I wish I had the courage to turn my life upside down like you did.
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Old 07-05-2004, 02:55 PM   #13
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When I fall its starts gradual. One unplanned meal, letting myself have diet pops, skipping a 12-step meeting, or just saying yes to a treat that I know triggers my addiction to food.

This last time it started when I went too long between meals, so then I too much at the next meal. Then I let some ice cream in (major trigger food). The next day I was sneaking candy. There must be some threshold for me and sugar because by the 3rd day I didn't care I was just going to eat whatever I wanted. The 4th day brought rebellion and screaming, demanding that you hand over my addictive substances NOW! Then the lull of denial. The tapes in my head begin to play:

"Your fat"
"Your worthless"
"Your a food failure"
"No one loves you"
"I hate you"
"If you disappeared no one would care"

Then I begin to eat to block out the voices. It doesn't work, because then a new one comes:

"You should be punished for eating this way, you fat, stupid cow" This is my food addiction and it starts to push me into crazy actions.

So when I finally reach out and tell the truth its a relief. No more denial. God takes care of the bad tapes, by sending me people who love me. The people who know that my self torture is banishing the light in my soul. When I accept that I can enter ICU, where my actions began with "Just for today......" In ICU journaling, phone calls, following my food plan, and excercise are like medicine for my soul.

So here I am, today in ICU. And hopefully I will not forget what brought me here.
Chris who gained 10 lbs in less than 2 weeks taking her from 177 lbs to 187 lbs.
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Old 07-05-2004, 05:29 PM   #14
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I was a heavy kid. I lost a bunch of weight in my earlier high school years and looked great. It came back, though, when I was in a pretty bad relationship. the guy tried his hardest to jeopordize everything that was important to me. He'd call me off the hook when I tried to go to the gym- I colud'nt be gone an hour without him needing to know where I was. So I stopped going to the gym, stopped eating healthy, lost all motivation. It's a lot more than that (and more than him) but basically, it was just a slump. Then I went to college and the drinking kept the weight on. It's a vicious cycle- I don't get the results I want and it's hard to stay on track. The weight didn't melt off like it did when I lost so much the last time, and it's darn frustrating.

Le sigh. The guy is out of my life now and I am doing just fine with this healthy lifestyle thing. Hopefully this time the weight will come off and stay off.
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Old 07-05-2004, 06:08 PM   #15
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I wish I could say this as eloquently as the above posts but in short I fall off the wagon because I make the HUGE mistake of telling myself "this little bit doesn't matter". HA! Those little bits have sure added up to some pounds. I'm one of those people you read about who gained weight eating healthy foods--LOTS 'n LOTS of healthy foods. Portion control is my number one issue.
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