You can get your health back. I had many of the same health issues just 22 months ago. I am off of all my medicine now. Don't give up. It is not about willpower - rather it is about a willingness to change. I know - Lord knows I know it is hard. It can be done. It can even be fun doing it. The journey is rewarding. My advise to you is to forget the word diet. You want to change your life long habits. When I started, I made a contract with myself. Here is mine - if it makes sense to you, maybe you could copy it, remove my answers and put in your own. Each of us had to make the decision that it is no longer acceptable to continue the way we were. I wish you the very best, and if I can help in anyway - please let me know.
At the advice of my behaviorist I did a evaluation of where I was at and what I wanted for myself. Here is what motivated me. ( I made notes where some things have changes)
Make sure you goals are:
"Knowledge without action is useless"
My Maintenance Weight Goal is: 220
Make sure that all the goals you set for yourself are SMART ones.
• I don’t go out a lot, so this is not a super concern for me.
• I have a 6 year old daughter. A huge motivator for me is to:
o Get healthy so I will be around for her
o Get fit so that I can be a better father – do more things with Katy and do what I can for her to have a better childhood
o I worry about the bad example that I set for Katy in the weight department. I know the stigma of being over-weight and I really don’t want that for my daughter.
Willingness vs. Excuses (Where are you at?)
• I feel very willing to make this change in my life. I feel stupid for waiting this long to do it. I do beat myself up a good bit over the wasted years of my life. I know that I need to put that baggage down and move on. It bothers me that I left myself go for so long. I need to work on that.
Rate your level of Motivation and Confidence (Scale of 1 to 10…10 being very):
• Most days a 7 or 8. I feel good about the change. I would put higher but I know the statistics are very daunting for long term successful weight loss. Some days, especially if I have a bad day, I give in to a little pity and despair. On those days I would say my motivation goes to about a 3 or 4. Thus far, my good days have far out numbered my bad ones.
Eating Triggers (List……Smell, Sight, Taste, Cravings, Trigger Foods, etc.)
• French Fries
• Fresh baked bread
• Smell of cooking steak
• Potato chips of any kind
Emotional Triggers (List……i.e. Happy, Sad, Bored, etc.)
High Risk Situations (List - Weekends, Parties, Work, etc.)
• Weekends – but only because it gets me out of my routine.
• Very high stress situations make me want to eat.
10 ways to reward myself without food:
1. Quiet time – read a good book (Got my room setup)
2. Go to the movie
3. Purchase next electronic must have LOL
4. Go to a play, concert or museum
5. Join a gym.
6. Buy some new clothes.
7. Go out with friends.
8. Make time to mini-vacation. (Galveston on
weekends, short trips.)
9. Buy some good songs from Napster for my mp3 player.
10. Treat myself to a massage
20 ways to cope without food:
1. Get more active. Join a gym, do more things with Katy
2. Realize that whatever problems I am facing, they will be easier to face if I am healthy and feel good. Nothing that I have to deal with will be easier at 563 pounds. In fact, no matter what the situation it will be easier to deal with at 220-230 because I will have more energy and feel better.
3. Realize that I have a food addiction. Support groups are now going to be a part of my life from now on. It will be a never ending process to get and stay healthy, but one that I know will be worth it for me and for my family.
4. Read as much information as I can about successful strategies for making lifetime behavior changes.
5. If I feel bored, get up and go do something…. Anything but eat. If I feel angry – go take a drive, listen to some music – call someone in my support team. If I feel sad and start in on myself about things that I have not done with my life, remind myself that the past is over and cannot be changed. The only events I have control over are the ones happening right NOW!
6. Join an on-line discussion group with people that have the same problems that I do with food. As I use a computer so much and read a lot of message boards, this might be a good source of additional support to supplement the support groups I am already active in.
7. Schedule some “play” time everyday
8. Don’t be reluctant to say “No”
9. Look for ways to reduce the stress in my life.
10. Try to see problems as challenges that if I plan and work hard on, that I can overcome.
11. Continue to work to find serenity. While some aspects of my life are not great, I need to keep the serenity prayer in mind.
12. Put focus back on being very productive at work. If I excel in that part of my life, it will help to relive some of my stress. Lower stress will help in all aspects of my life.
13. Actively seek out and deal with parts of my life that I tend to suppress and procrastinate on. Pretending the problem is not there will not make it go away. ( damn it to **** )
14. Join Bally's. That will give me a healthy outlet for exercise, social interaction and recreation.
15. Plan, budget for and do activities with Katy to broaden her horizons and be entertaining, fun and educational for the both of us.
16. Look into taking yoga or a meditation class.
17. Read more books!
18. Spend more time with my friends.
19. Set a goal for myself to coach a FFPS soccer team next fall.
20. Lastly, I resolve to do whatever it takes – therapy, educational classes, support groups and even surgery as a last alternative to achieve my goal of better health by reaching and maintaining for the remainder of my life a healthy weight.
DENIAL MINIMIZATION RATIONALIZATION
(Or as I like to call them, the 3 horsemen of the Apocalypse)
(Some of my best thinking processes about food helped me become overweight)
• My coping mechanism seems to be repression. If I have problems or issues, I just refuse to confront them. I do lots of other stuff not to deal with issues. I think that this is a form of denial. I don’t give into the “oh I eat nothing and the weight just jumps on me” kind of thing. I know that I got the way I am by eating 5000 plus calories a day. At the time, I just did not give a damn.
• Ok, I own up to this one. An extra hash brown and an extra sausage biscuit with cheese is not that bad for you.
• I minimized the harm that I was doing to myself with my over eating. On one level, I knew it was killing me, but I just was not willing to do anything about it – until last May (2004).
• OK, I am the king of this one. I consider myself to be intelligent, so I can rationalize just about anything. You know, I am unhappy so what the ****, lets head to McDonalds on the way home from work. How about well, I don’t drink, I don’t smoke – so what? I over eat – everyone deserves one vice. I can make anything I do seem logical… and often do. It is only when I can step back and really look critically and logically at what I am doing can I see it for the BS that it really is. So what if you are unhappy Charles, how the **** is anything at McDonalds going to fix that??? LOL man it is almost funny if it was not so sad.
My Plan to Battle these three:
These three are killers for sure. My plan is to keep my focus on my objectives. Keep going to group, keep involved in an active weight loss program. That will help me stay vigilant for that kind of thinking. I resolve to be honest with the people in my group and the people that I work with on my weight problem so that they can help let me know if I am slipping into one of the big three deadly sins.
To paraphrase Thomas Jefferson, The price of a healthy weight is eternal vigilance.
• I will never be defeated unless I quit trying.
• If I ever relapse to my old eating patterns, I will immediately seek out help to get back on the path to sanity. I will not let shame, humiliation or pride keep me from looking for the help I need.
• If I ever find that what I am doing is not working, I will work to find what will work. I affirm today that my current condition is no longer acceptable to me.
• I affirm that this is something that I want for me. There may a lot of things in this life that I do not have control over – however, my lifestyle and relationship to food is something that with help, focus and desire - it is a goal that I can reach and maintain.
I make this plan for myself and only myself: Sign below….
Reduction weight goal: Lose a total of 342.3 lbs.
I want to be less than 400lbs by December 1, 2004. To reach that goal; I need to lose 4.2 lbs per week.
I want to be less than 300 lbs by May 28, 2005. To reach that goal; I need to lose 3.8 lbs per week. (Assuming that I hit my prior goal) (I will miss this by about 15 lbs - I was at 331 tonight.)
I want to be at my target weight of 220 lbs by May 1, 2006. To reach that goal; I need to lose 2.3 lbs per week. (Assuming I reach my prior goals) (I think it will take me till December of 2006 to reach my final goal but I am OK with that.)
Exercise Plan: (Days, Length of Time, Types of Exercise, alternatives, Etc.)
This will change over time.
3 Days per week, minimum of 6 hours per week. Swimming and water aerobics. Alternative: walking
I am going to join the Bally's in July. I want to work up to 6 days per week, and a minimum of an hour per day. I want to do cardio vascular exercise at first and build my stamina and endurance. Exercise Bike and water aerobics and swimming. Later, once I am under 400lbs, I want to go to 4 days cardio and 2 days circuit training to tone and help build and keep muscle mass.
My Calorie Range: Current and until I reach ideal weight 1200 – 1600 per day.
My Meal Plan I Intend to use:
I want to eat a balanced diet. Recommended percentages are:
Fat 20-30%, Carbohydrates 50-60%, Protein 10-15%, and Saturated Fats less than 9% I don’t want to eat many carbohydrates so what I want to do is as follows.
Fat 25-35%, Carbohydrates 30-40%, Protein 25-35%
Food Record Maintenance (Method)
I use www.myfooddiary.com
Charles - Houston, TX