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Wanting instant gratification

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Old 12-29-2004, 07:58 PM   #1
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Today was my first day really OP. I'm not officially starting until Jan.1st (of course!), but I thought I'd use this week to ease into my new lifestyle, see where the pitfalls are, etc. My problem is one that I encounter frequently in the beginning of weight loss attempts-- after one or two days OP, I get impatient and expect to be thin!! I know it's crazy, and irrational, and immature. I know it took a long time to put on the weight (well, maybe not that long ), and I know that this is a long process. But here I am feeling impatient because tomorrow I should be thin since I was so "good" today. Does anyone else suffer from these delusions? And if so, how do you cope? I really want to be in this for the long haul. I REALLY want to be committed to this lifestyle change. Any advice? Thanks!
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Old 12-29-2004, 10:49 PM   #2
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Yes. I suffer from them. I can't tell you how to cope, becuase I haven't figured it out myself. Hahaha. I think maybe the best thing you can do is take a full body shot every month or so. And measurements weekly. You'll see the change, even if it's tiny, it'll be encouraging, probably even moreso than the numbers on the scale.
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Old 12-29-2004, 11:20 PM   #3
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Darlene, Oh my gosh, I am so delusional that I border on being insane about wanting this weight gone now. Really though, I assure you that the "I wanna be thin right now" syndrome does ease up a little bit once you start seeing and feeling results. I'm about the most impatient person I know. I am that way in general. So, I can pretty much assure you that the delusions do ease up. Great post Darlene! You are off to a great start and right now is the hardest part of getting going. Dana and I will be your delusional buddies and be right beside you as you get through the first steps of the process. You are so not alone.
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Old 12-30-2004, 01:54 AM   #4
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I go hot and cold. Some days I realize that I didn't put the weight on all at once and that it will take awhile to get it off. Other days, I just want the weight off now!!!!!!! This usually happens when I am physically challenged (like walking up three flights of stairs) and I get so frustrated when others can accomplish such an easy task much more gracefully. *sigh*

I try to distract myself by doing things I enjoy or even doing things I don't enjoy. Anything to get out of my head for a little while. Also I have become aware that spiritually I am not alone in this journey, that someone (or something) is walking beside me. It sounds crazy, however, when I'm feeling particularly frustrated odd encouraging thoughts will just randomly jump into my head. Or a person, whether it be family or a stranger, will say something nice to me out of the blue. If I am online, I'll happen upon a website that will make me feel better.

The impatience may stem from the frustration that it will take sooooooo long to lose the weight. So one idea is to try to stop looking at the end of the journey and seeing how far away you are but to look at the journey itself and how much you will get to learn and improve while treading it.

Hopefully this helps (and makes sense.) Keep up the good work. I know you will acheive what you have set out to do. Good luck!
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Old 12-30-2004, 07:36 AM   #5
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Thank you, Dana, Tammy, and Dharmaspell (I love that name!). I can already tell that joining here is going to make a big difference. Before, I think I would have been frustrated already, and said "what's the use?" and indulged in some chocolate (there are some chocolate kisses sitting out on a secretary's desk here at work). But I won't! You're right, Dharmaspell--I think the frustration comes from it taking so long. Dana, I'll follow your suggestion and take monthly photos. And Tammy, thanks for the reassurance and support. You are all so great and inspiring!
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Old 12-30-2004, 09:06 AM   #6
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Hi ladies, I wanted to jump in here and say that I struggled with this issue almost daily along the way. I was so impatient and got frustrated with myself easily. I figured, I was finally doing something about my weight, I wanted results NOW! It was hard learning to accept that this was going to be a very long process and that the only way I was going to succeed was to just stick with it, day in and day out. No matter how frustrated you get, just keep reminding yourself that every time you make good choices like exerciseing (even when you don't really feel like it), or opting for a healthy alternative when you really want that chocolate donut, you are making a difference and getting yourself one step closer to your ultimate goal. I know that this is a long hard road, with many emotional ups and downs, but I also know that it really can be done. So when you get into one of those funks about it taking too long, just remember, the only way to get to the end of the road is to just keep going.

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Old 12-30-2004, 09:19 AM   #7
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Thanks, Beverly! I really do need to work on my thinking. I appreciate the advice--and wow! you're weight loss is so impressive! Thanks for the inspiration!
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Old 12-30-2004, 01:40 PM   #8
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After some thought I think what may fill your need for instant gratification is to be rewarded for good behavior.I reward myself by some kind of treat if I've stayed within my cals limits. This also helps to diminish feelings of being deprived.
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Old 12-30-2004, 01:49 PM   #9
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What helped me greatly were two things. First, I finally realized that I wasn't going on a diet to lose weight, but I was adopting a new lifestyle whose SIDE EFFECT would be to lose weight. By really internalizing the idea that I would be eating this way forever, it took away a little of the impatience. I knew that by doing the right things, the weight would come off sooner or later. What mattered was that I was working on the predispositions, attitudes, and habits that had made me overweight, that I was eating healthy fuel, and I was exercising. I began to see that how quickly the weight came off was of minor importance. In a way, you could say I started practicing maintenance from Day One. I was going to be living like this the rest of my life -- I was not in a race to an end goal. There IS no "end goal."

The second thing is a strategy that helped me with the first. I am on Jenny Craig, so I have a meeting with a consultant every week, which includes a weigh-in. For the first 6 months of my program -- including my initial weigh-in -- I simply got on the scale backwards and let my consultant write down the number, but I forbade her from telling me what it was or even indicating in any way that I had lost, gained, or whatever. After about 6 weeks I asked how much I had lost to date, and I got an update about every 6 weeks after that. But, it wasn't until I had been on the program for 6 months that I found out how much I had weighed to start with and that I started looking at my weight every week. You would not believe how helpful this strategy was. It COMPLETELY removed the obession I had (that most people have) about the scale, and it freed me to concentrate on the process. My sense of success/failure was not about "how much did I lose this week" but "how did I grow, how did I change, how did I meet challenges?"

Most people would think that it's impossible to keep going without seeing the daily or weekly "motivation" of the scale going down. But, for me, I knew that in the past I NEVER lost as much as I wanted, and that small losses or gains started that "what's the use" feeling which is counter-productive, even when it was the week of my period and I knew it was from hormonal water weight. I needed to have ONLY encouragment, and watching the scale was a guaranteed discouragement sooner or later.

Here it is 3+ years later and I've lost 157, on my way to losing 10 to 20 more. If you had told me to start with that it was going to take this long I would have given up right then and there. But, looking at it from this end, I see that it has only been to my benefit, because the long "practice" has given me more confidence than ever that I can keep up these habits for life. Life goes on whether you lose weight quickly or slowly. It's the life that matters, not the speed of the weight loss.
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Old 12-30-2004, 02:58 PM   #10
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Thank you Pam and funniegrrl for the good advice. Pam, I like the idea of giving myself rewards--I think I'll stick to non-caloric rewards. And funniegrrl, I think your outlook is wonderful. I hope I can adopt some of it. I don't know if I can go without weighing myself. At the beginning, I think that's what is the biggest motivator--the nice losses. Plus I'd like to confirm whether my approach is working. Maybe after 6 weeks or so, when weight loss slows, I'll stop weighing every week. Really, we give so much power to the scale. If it's a loss, we feel great. If it's a gain, we beat ourselves up or say what's the use (at least I do). I'd like to break it's power. My biggest motivation for losing weight this time is my ds. He's 10 1/2 months old and full of energy, and I want to be able to play with him as well as give him healthy eating habits. I need to remember this. I think I'm going to print out this thread and put it on my refrigerator so I remember what's important and all of your good advice!
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Old 12-30-2004, 03:18 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gypsydancer
At the beginning, I think that's what is the biggest motivator--the nice losses.
All I can say is that that is exactly what everyone thinks, what I used to think -- that I had to stay "motivated" to see it through, and that the only way to stay motivated was to see the scale go down. NOT weighing was what cured me of that.

The thing to realize is that motivation comes and goes. You have to make the transition from operating based on emotion (which is what motivation is, an emotion) to operating based on logic. I know it sounds like I'm some sort of automaton, which is far from the case! I DO feel motivated most of the time, and I DO get jazzed when I've lost a lot, etc. What I'm saying, though, is that most people don't realize that motivation DOES NOT LAST, and that when it disappears you have to hang on and do what's right anyway. That was one of the very hardest lessons for me to learn, but I was determined to hang on and grit my teeth and keep going. And, one day I woke up and the gloom had passed. I am convinced that that down period came along much later in my progress than it would have if I had watched the scale -- I would have pouted and second-guessed myself after my first weigh-in during my period, and it would have been downhill from there, which is exactly what happened every other time I tried to lose weight.

So, again, I'm not saying everyone needs to do what I did. It's funny, though, that every time I mention this, the response is, "I see what you mean but I couldn't do that, it's the only thing that keeps me motivated," when that is precisely the pitfall that this strategy can help you avoid.

I can see that you have the right idea, and everyone has to do what works for them. There is some value to tracking losses over time because you can sometimes find patterns about how your body behaves that can be useful info. But, I would just leave you with this thought: When the scale stops motivating you, or it actually discourages you, then it's time to rethink using it. So much of what we take for granted as standard operating procedure in losing weight isn't -- it's just what everybody does because it's what everybody does. Don't hesitate to think outside of the box and use your powers of observation about yourself to notice problems and challenges and find creative solutions. I've been successful precisely because I took nothing for granted and rethought the entire process from top to bottom. My mantra is "Whatever works," so if something's not working, change it!
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Old 12-30-2004, 08:09 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by funniegrrl
When the scale stops motivating you, or it actually discourages you, then it's time to rethink using it. So much of what we take for granted as standard operating procedure in losing weight isn't -- it's just what everybody does because it's what everybody does. Don't hesitate to think outside of the box and use your powers of observation about yourself to notice problems and challenges and find creative solutions. I've been successful precisely because I took nothing for granted and rethought the entire process from top to bottom. My mantra is "Whatever works," so if something's not working, change it!
Amen, sister! I've been thinking about what you wrote, and want to share something with you. As a perpetual student, I spent 2 summers in Europe. Each time I went, I lost a lot of weight. I knew I was losing weight--I could feel it because my clothes got so loose, but I didn't know how much I weighed because I didn't have a scale. Now here's the funny part (not ha-ha funny, but peculiar): each time I eventually got access to a scale, and once I weighed myself and converted from kilos to pounds, my weight loss STOPPED because I began eating more and walking less.

Something happens to me psychologically when I get on the scale. So, after remembering this, actually I agree with you! Why should I let a number on the scale have so much affect on my self-esteem? If weighing myself is a form of sabotage, why should I do it? Won't I benefit from my lifestyle changes regardless of the speed of my weightloss? I'm thinking of trying not to weigh myself until Valentine's Day, if then. You've obviously walked the walk and know what you're talking about, Beverly, and I so appreciate you taking the time to answer my concerns.

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