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Old 07-25-2006, 06:15 PM   #1
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Default To BreakingFree and others who do not count calories

Please look at Wyllenns ~ sick of it all thread. I was trying to make a new thread and ask a question, but messed up and ended up with my question as a response on the end of that thread.

Thank you
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Old 07-25-2006, 06:23 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glynne
Hi,

I was wondering if you could give me guidance as to how you have had success at the weight loss thing. I had read some posts where people had mentioned that they do not count calories. As was mentioned in one post ~ it is stressed that you should pick something you can stick with for the rest of your life.

Back along, I had some success and was about 1/2 way to my goal. I did it by counting calories. Then I "fell off the wagon" ~ I have been struggling ever since. I start with good intentions and last for a time ~ sometimes just a short time, sometimes longer. When I try to imagine myself counting calories for the rest of my life, I just can not see myself doing that. I am not a very disciplined person ~ that is probably part of the problem.

But.....if others out there have had success without the counting, it must be possible ~ please share with me how you go about it.

I need and want to do this, but haven't been able to find a way that works for me so far.

Thank you for your help.
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Old 07-25-2006, 06:29 PM   #3
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Gayle, now let me attempt to answer your question.

While I'm losing, it is nearly impossible for me to lose and NOT count calories. Now I can not count calories and MAINTAIN fabulously, but I'm not at goal yet. I don't remember if I answered that thread, but when I just eat healthy and not count, I don't gain, but I don't lose either. I don't like counting calories, and I don't plan to when I move on to maintenance, but I still will continue eating the foods I eat now and exercising. That's the part of my weight loss plan I will live with for the rest of my life.
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Old 07-25-2006, 09:54 PM   #4
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Sick of it all... hopefully temporary!
I responded on the original thread.
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Old 07-25-2006, 11:11 PM   #5
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All I'm doing is eating reasonable portions. I've stopped counting kcals although I do still check every now and then to see where I'm at. (Okay, I check often because of my OCD, but it's always after the event. ), and what I do instead is eat by portion sizes. E.g., a portion of beans or cottage cheese to me is cup. I also try to limit processed foods, with the exception of tofu. Most of the stuff I eat, I prepare from scratch. That said, I still have daft days when I'll eat chips or biccies. The way I see it, it merely slows down my weight loss. It doesn't halt it completely because for the most part I eat pretty healthily.
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Old 07-26-2006, 09:37 AM   #6
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I count calories every once in a while basically just to gauge where I'm at. Once a month maybe.

How do I do it?

Portion control, eating foods that aren't processed and have high nutritional value for a lower caloric cost. I generally know how many calories are in the things I eat but I don't count every thing up. I know the whole wheat bread I eat has 50 calories/slice. I know that the nuts and nut butters I eat generally have more calories because of their fats (although healthy fats). I know that tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, celery and other veggies generally have very few calories. I know that beans are relatively low calorie but provide good protein and fiber. I also know that fish and white meat poultry are my best choices for meat protein. I also strike a balance between carbs and protein. I try to eat protein whenever I eat carbs and vice versa.

Learning portion control has been a huge step for me. When I first started losing weight, I didn't really control my portions too much, I just ate very filling things that were naturally low calories. I would have a huge spinach salad every day for lunch and I would eat strips of chicken breast along with veggies and hummus. When I stopped losing weight, I figured that one of the reasons was that I needed to learn how to control my portions so that is what I've been doing.

It takes a lot of tweaking not to go the route of the calorie counter but it is possible.
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Old 07-26-2006, 11:25 AM   #7
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Gayle -

I almost fainted when I saw my "name" in the title (right term?) of a thread! First let me say that I am very, very flattered that you asked. Next, I want to say that I am losing my weight very, very sloooowly as compared to most people here. I started my weight loss journey in June 2002, lost a total of 64 lbs, regained ~15 lbs and had been in the low 200's until recently, when I registered here and kick-started the "second half" of my weight loss. While I wish I were further along, I was reassured by both Thin for Life, which says that some people take years to reach their goal, and a post from MrsJim where she cited a book (sorry, don't remember the title or author at the moment plus I think it's out of print) in which the author suggested that, for some people, it works best to lose part of the weight they want to lose, maintain at that weight for awhile, then proceed to losing more weight. Now, I would be lying if I told you that I lost 64 lbs and said "Well, I think I'll just maintain here for a while to see how life @ 189 lbs looks." The truth is I lost motivation, focus and, most of all, stopped using some of the tools and techniques that helped me lose in the first place. BUT, Thin for Life and MrsJim's post made me realize I could lose all the weight I had planned to EVEN IF it took a long time and that there was no shame in losing the weight over an extended period. Because of this, I NEVER lost hope that I would achieve my goal, just knew that it would take me longer than others. And that's OK, because that actually fits my approach to a lot of things in my life - my pace tends to be much slower than that of my peers in general - so why should my weight loss be any different?

OK, this is getting long and I haven't really answered your question, have I? A huge influence on me in my attempts to lose weight has been Geneen Roth's books (When Food is Love, Feeding the Hungry Heart, Breaking Free from Compulsive Eating - ah, do you see where I got my screen name?) These books are geared to the emotional overeater (me!) and I really identified with her message, which is that we eat because that's how we learned to care for ourselves emotionally as children, when the people who were supposed to be taking care of us weren't doing such a great job of it. We did the best we could to meet our emotional needs with the limited tools we as kids had at the time (food) and that way of coping persisted into adulthood but now we need to find new ways of taking care of ourselves WITHOUT blaming or shaming ourselves for having used food to do so in the past. Now, I know not everyone buys into this and not everyone eats for emotional reasons. I'm just explaining the gist of her approach and that it resonates with me.

She goes further to say that we have it within us to enjoy food without overindulging by trusting ourselves, eating mindfully and listening to our bodies ("What do I really want to eat right now?") I know many people here do not agree that intuitive eating is possible for those of us who have been very overweight/obese. They say "I listened to my body and I ended up weighing 250 lbs!" Maybe, but in my case I got up to 253 lbs because I didn't listen to my body and what I was really hungry for, I listened to my emotions and drowned out/overrode my body's mechanism for letting me know when I was full or when I needed a certain type of food. And when I stopped listening to my body and eating mindfully is when I regained 15 lbs and stopped losing.

I don't count calories or log my food because it feels punitive to me. I allow all foods because the minute I start deciding some are "off limits" I feel deprived and binge. I don't set time-related goals for my weight loss because the pressure to "perform" is counterproductive for me. I know it may sound corny to some, but my weight loss is centered on accepting and loving myself as I am (even if I never lose another pound), trusting myself to make the right choices (food, exercise, etc.) for my body and doing it my own way, as one of the ways I take care of myself.

Well, Gayle, I don't know if this is what you were looking for! If nothing else, I recommend checking out Geneen's website (just type her name into your browser) or any of her books. Among many, many others I've read (also good are Overcoming Overeating and When Women Stop Hating Their Bodies), Geneen's books have been revolutionary for me.

Mary
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Last edited by BreakingFree : 08-11-2006 at 10:35 AM.
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Old 07-26-2006, 12:00 PM   #8
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Mary, I did have a similar experience to you where I basically lost motivation after losing 75 lbs. So I maintained and maintained... and maintained for over a year. I had to refocus and find my motivation again. I too realize that it may take years for me to lose weight, but I will continue on my journey until I decide that I am where I can maintain forever.

I bought the book "Thin for Life" as well and I think you can still order it from amazon. It is a really good book.
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Old 07-26-2006, 12:46 PM   #9
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Nelie -

Yup, sounds familiar, and while we'd rather be losing (while we still have weight to lose, that is), maintaining a loss is a MAJOR accomplishment. I just had to get over being complacent so I could move from maintaining to losing again. Re-reading Geneen's books (plus she has at least one new one I haven't read that I may pick up) has been helpful to "prime the pump."

Yes, I bought Thin for Life w/i the past 2 years. It's the other book, the one MrsJim refers to, that I think she says is out of print.

Kudos to us for continuing on the journey!
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Old 07-26-2006, 01:10 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BreakingFree
Yup, sounds familiar, and while we'd rather be losing (while we still have weight to lose, that is), maintaining a loss is a MAJOR accomplishment.
We have to have more messages like this!

I started a thread a few months ago.. trying to make this point. plateau

Though my goal of course like anyone else is to continue this journey by losing fat I really really am comfortable with just maintaining. Because there are only 3 directions....

down
here
up

And I will be darned if I will go up! It seems like when people are unhappy with not being able to go "down" they become just as unhappy with staying "here".. so what the heck do they think will happen.. There is only one more direction.. and for me it would be "up" in a heartbeat if I were not satisfied with the here and now. Thank you very much but I prefer maintainance!
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Old 07-26-2006, 02:04 PM   #11
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I don't really count calories properly. I use them as a guide for choosing between options (recently I've been having an ice cream every now and then - I look at the packets and I'm more likely to choose the one that's under 100 calories than the one that's nearer 300), but I never add them up.

For me the key is making sure that I don't eat junk (OK, not much junk, taking into account the ice cream comment...) and that I watch my portions. Any fruit and veg is pretty much unlimited, carbs and dairy are measured out, as are pulses etc, but to a lesser degree (I'm veggie at the moment, so no meat).

I also do a LOT of exercise which pretty much lets me eat according to how hungry I am rather than how many calories I've got written down. My exercise gives me a decent margin of error to play with, and I realised that trying to limit what I eat wasn't helping because I need the fuel (especially carbs).
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Old 07-26-2006, 02:50 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jayde
We have to have more messages like this!

I started a thread a few months ago.. trying to make this point. plateau

Though my goal of course like anyone else is to continue this journey by losing fat I really really am comfortable with just maintaining. Because there are only 3 directions....

down
here
up

And I will be darned if I will go up! It seems like when people are unhappy with not being able to go "down" they become just as unhappy with staying "here".. so what the heck do they think will happen.. There is only one more direction.. and for me it would be "up" in a heartbeat if I were not satisfied with the here and now. Thank you very much but I prefer maintainance!
I have been wondering how far I'll get before I go into maintenance mode, so this is very relevant. While I am still obese and not at a "healthy" weight, I also know that losing nearly 100 pounds in a year is a big feat in and of itself and something to celebrate. I would rather maintain the loss I have (where I can now do so many of things that were getting limiting at a higher weight) than burn myself out and gain.

Course, I've been wondering this since the beginning. At this point, I am just going to keep doing what I've been doing and see where it takes me.
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Old 07-26-2006, 03:02 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wyllenn
While I am still obese and not at a "healthy" weight, I also know that losing nearly 100 pounds in a year is a big feat in and of itself and something to celebrate. I would rather maintain the loss I have (where I can now do so many of things that were getting limiting at a higher weight) than burn myself out and gain.
Absolutely! As Mary so wonderfully stated:

Quote:
Originally Posted by BreakingFree
While I wish I were further along, I was reassured by both Thin for Life, which says that some people take years to reach their goal, and a post from MrsJim where she cited a book ..... in which the author suggested that, for some people, it works best to lose part of the weight they want to lose, maintain at that weight for awhile, then proceed to losing more weight.
Maintainance... keeping the healthy habits one step at a time. Starting TODAY with were we are NOW.
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I didn't lose weight. I burned up stored calories.
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Old 07-26-2006, 03:09 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jayde
Maintainance... keeping the healthy habits one step at a time. Starting TODAY with were we are NOW.
Exactly. If you think about it that way, we are ALL maintaining a weight loss. Even more reason to poke into the heads of the maintainers and find out what they do and how and what the issues are.

I would encourage everyone to hang out on the maintainers' forum -- there is so much valuable info that. And you can post too, even if you aren't at goal! In fact, they encourage posting! And they are great!!!!
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Old 07-26-2006, 03:41 PM   #15
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I've been pretty much maintaining since February. Not a tick in the ticker since then (I don't record ups until they're 10 pounds). That's one of the reasons I haven't been posting as often lately. But something someone said on another board has REALLY helped me deal with the frustration of being "here" rather than "going down".

Treat any "plateau", "stall", or "holding pattern" in your weight-loss journey as if it were practice for maintenance.

Think about it. Eventually, some time, in the fantastic far future, I will be At Goal, and will need to maintain. This is a perfect time for me to practice. So I've been trying to see what I am comfortable eating and not eating when i'm not watching every morsel like a hawk. I watch how my weight goes up and down a few pounds here and there, and if I gain more than five I "get serious" again.

And now, six months into practice-maintaining, I think I'm ready to "go down" again. But I needed this time. My body needed this time. I needed to work through some stresses and confusions in my life, and NOT deal with food day in and day out. Some choices were not very healthy (two slices of pecan pie does NOT make a good dinner choice), and some were. I still like veggies, and fruit, and whole grains. I still can eyeball portion size better than I did a year ago. So here we go again!
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