I am feeling discouraged. I started out with high hopes here---trying to give myself a new start, but I am struggling. I have several stresses in my life right now, and definitely am a stress-eater---but I still want to be successful. I am looking for work and dealing with some financial pressures, among other things. I am wondering how to stay motivated, even when things get hard. I am starting to get scared I can't do this, which makes me feel sad. I am still writing down everything I eat, drinking my water and exercising. Any ideas will be greatly appreciated. I still feel like I have no real "plan"---but making small changes might be my plan (?). Thank you so much for listening.
I really relate to your next to last sentence " I still feel like I have no real "plan"--- but making small changes might be my plan." It sounds like what I did ... I lost 114 lbs with no real "plan", I just started making small changes by eating less fat and sugar. I didn't do any real exercise for 3-4 months due to partly my attitude and partly family situations that developed. But I did do more housework, and walked more around the aisles of stores, parked further away.. all the little ways to get more movement rather than being a couch or computer potato.
When I started I made no plans for a goal weight, made no plans how long it would take. I actually didn't think I'd get to goal, but thought loosing 20-30 lbs would make life nicer. I didn't focus much on goal weight, just focused on making small changes that I could sustain for 5 years. That way I was thinking about maintaining any weight loss - I was tired of being a 50-80-100+ pound yo-yo. I wanted to do something that would help me stop the yo-yo routine.
I have never done anything like that in the past.... it's always been a "diet" with firm goals with charts and graphs. For me, it relieved a lot of pressure to perform. I didn't tell anyone when I started cuz I didn't want any pressure or expectations. It was just between me and my bad habits. It worked out well for me. I kept goal for 6 months, but gained about 20 after an injury, and have lost about half and am heading back to goal again.
I did get feeling a bit shaky when I'd see the late night info-mercials with all their slick advertising. I'd begin to think that I was doing something wrong, but I was doing what was working for me at the time. As I went along, and as some of the stresses reduced - I began fitness walking. I bought a nice treadmill and worked on increasing my time and speed.
I agree whole heartedly that having no set plan is indeed a workable plan. Most of us dieting folks know healthy food from fattening food, and that we need to move more. When you take out the slick advertising, and complicated food regimes...... all of the diets tell you the same thing.
There's so much less stress when you eat within your food preferrences, and don't focus on some plan's dietary program. For me in a time of stress, it was less stressful to follow my own plan.
I guess my own experiences is my best advice.Before I got started my life was going nowhere. I was trapped by my weight and my inability to walk very far because of Muscular Distrphy. I could only shop at stores who had handicapped carts and I couldn't go places,like amusement parks,with my family.My older sister is a meth addict who is dying of a usally cureable cancer because she ignored the symtoms and advice because treatment may of interfered with her ability to sell and do drugs. Now her life is filled with angony but still she won't give up the drugs.One day I took a vary hard look at her and then a harder look at myself. I realized that I'd been useing food much the same as she had drugs. I hated what drugs had done to her and I began to hate what I'd been doing with food. I got really angry and that motivated me to get started.I understood that my life was not going to get better until I took control of what I could and worked to improve it. I resolved I would NOT end up like my sister. That was almost 50lbs ago. I have 82 lbs left to lose.
Allie is right; build your life around habits, not diets. For me change is SO HARD, but I keep hammering away at my old habits. A few things have helped me:
-getting angry at food commercials, supersize food joints, garbage that passes itself off as food, and our culture of gluttony- look at all of us! how sick are we as a nation?
-like Pam, I look at my eating habits the same way that I would look at a drug addicts habits. Realizing that I love the rush of insulin/adrenalin/whatever happens when I eat sugar has helped me to know in my heart that I do have a food problem, and that's half the battle.
-stress will ALWAYS be with you, if you are not stressed out you are already dead. Find a different way to deal with stress. If you have to chew, get some sugarless gum. You can punch a pillow, do jumping jacks, twist paperclips, take up origami, anything that will keep your mind and hands off of food.
If you think of starting a diet, it's like having a new toy when you are a kid. You are so excited at first, and think of how great it is to have this new thing, and you're going to love it forever and ever.... Then after a few weeks when the excitement wears off, it is in the back of the closet and you're thinking "yeah, someday I'll get back to that..." When you make new habits it is very hard at first, but after awhile it gets to be like brushing your teeth- you just do it, it has nothing to do with motivation. Soon you don't even think about eating veggies and fruits, or doing daily exercise, or drinking water instead of sodas, etc. You do these things because that is what you do, not because you are motivated and excited and hopeful and ready for change. Habits are more boring, but diets don't last a lifetime.
Like the others said, sometimes it's the little things that count. You switch to diet pop, drink a lot more water, get rid of your salt shaker, take the dog around the block for a walk, etc. It all starts to add up to pounds lost.
Sure you're not doing one of the conventional diets but you are changing your lifestyle, which is what you need to do in the first place to keep off the weight you lose.
If you are needing a "plan" to help you boost your weight I know there are several on here who have don Dr. Phil's rapid start weight loss plan for 2 weeks, others go through the phases of South beach, and some just try to cut portions in half. I'm sure there are some other ideas out there that may help you find something to give you a jump start on your way.
Thanks so much, everyone. I appreciate your support and advice so much. I think the less pressure I feel, the better, so I think I need to be nicer to myself and not panic. I KNOW I am going to be healthy and get to my goals (I actually am leaving a lot of room for wiggle on my goals. I'll just see what is realistic and healthy and reasonable.) Thank you so much for the encouragement about doing it my own way. It is just scarey to me after a lifetime of trying to follow someone else's plans---but that usually just created a lot of stress. Thanks for the reminder that stress is always with us. I knew that, but kind of forgot.
Restart July 16, 2011
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