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Old 08-30-2006, 09:50 PM   #1
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Maybe I'm coming down from my initial "I'm going to exercise and lose weight!" high, I'm not sure - but time seems to be slowing down. I've been at this for a month, the number on the scale is at least 6 pounds less than it was a month ago, and these last few days I've been less careful about portion control. So I stepped on the scale at the gym today and it hadn't really changed, maybe 0.25 lb up which is a little laughable to think of. I do check those 0.25 fractions of a pound just because I can, and it helps too... gives me more opportunity for progress in a way, and I record it that way although I don't give it much credit mentally. So anyways, I thought to myself... "I'm okay with not losing anything because I haven't really been working as hard to lose it, and I'm still experimenting with what I need to do to lose weight.. so it's okay." And then I thought of some people here on these forums, and I said to myself, "and you know, there will probably be weeks when the scale won't budge, maybe even months and you will need to continue to motivate yourself to exercise and do your thing despite whatever frustration you may encounter." And then I thought to myself, geez... what a long process!!! I've only been at this a month, and I gave myself at least 2 years to lose this weight... and while I intend to stick with it and not give up, I am sure it will take me longer and there will be weeks when I won't feel as determined. And I thought... "oh my goodness... that's MONTHS!" months of doing what I'm doing and trying and working so hard. And then, maintenance! And all of a sudden, I realized that I'm feeling time slow down.

I'm not feeling down about it. I WANT to do this, I CAN do this. Part of me wishes I could snap my fingers and change it overnight, but (years ago, I would have never believed myself to say this) I actually want to go through this process and learn through and from it as much as I can. I think this challenge, these experiences, these transitions are filled to the brim with potential and I have the opportunity and fortune to turn that potential into inner strength, confidence, knowledge and so much else... all of us do, and share that with others around us and each other here

I am feeling not so much short on patience (a little), but I feel as though I am standing alone at the base of a huge and sprawling mountain with a peak that lies beyond my horizon, knowing that I have to climb it myself And each climb, each step is only one step of a thousand, but takes so much effort in itself.

Time will pass anyways, life will go on... and in two years I will either have lost XX pounds, or I will have the same body I have today, only a little bit more worn out by all the extra work it has to do just to keep up with life. Granted I will be here to feel the passings of time (nothing's certain really), I may as well live my time meaningfully and perservere, and use the progress I am making to motivate my each step, looking forward to the perspective shift I acquire along the way!

That all sounds great and I truly believe it, but when my day starts out before me, this all disintegrates into fragments and I find myself searching for motivation and perserverance to HOLD ON, KEEP GOING... hard as it can get.

Guess I have to remember this is only the beginning.. maybe once I'm four months into it it will be a little different, having four months to look back on. I hope I'm around four months from now for a five-month-eversary.

Okay, I have to change my thinking. It will all be fine this is entirely do-able and worth it! I have to continue to believe that and in time I will see results. One day at a time, and as Gretchen (I think it's Gretchen, forgive me if I'm mistaken) has said, positive thoughts = positive results. I'll check back in four months time, meanwhile I'm back to the gym tomorrow or the day after, to complete my goal of my first month at the gym! And I'm going to search for that little voice inside me.

I know this is long, I hope no one minds. I just wanted to get this all out. I do actually feel much relieved and lighter. Whew! I am so glad I can share this here, I hope someone finds it beneficial aside from me. Cheers!
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Mini-goal 2: Reach 222lbs
Mini-goal 3: Reach 209lbs
Mini-goal 4: Reach 199!
Mini-goal 5: Reach 179 lbs (overweight BMI category!!)
Mini-goal 6: Reach 160lbs
Final goal: Reach 145lbs

Mini exercise goal 1: Begin running September 2012
Mini exercise goal 2: Celebrate graduation with a 5K
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Old 08-31-2006, 12:10 AM   #2
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Dear Beautiful,

Your story sounds so familiar. I'm two weeks in also. What helps me is to do visualization. I do it every morning before I get out of bed. I have a heart to heart with myself and remind myself of my goals, I tell me I love me, and then during the day I taunt the food that taunts me. I actually do this. When I;m walking the grocery aisles I'll pass by the fresh baked cookies and whisper, very quietly, to myself "I am stronger than you... I don't even want to eat you. You're nothing but crap and I deserve better".
I know I sound crazy, but I am a college educated woman and I promise you I am sane and this works for me. Also, in the mornings I lay in bed for a moment before getting up and I picture myself 35, 50, 100 pounds lighter doing some really fun activity and being healthy. I try to do it at night too if I'm not too tired. Putting in one or two minutes of me time is helpful. If I can do everything for everyone else I can surely do this for me. Anyway, give it a try. Good luck!
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Old 08-31-2006, 12:16 AM   #3
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yeah, I know exactly what you mean.

Like you, I decided I could Just. Do. It.

Some days my resolve wavers, and I wonder, but most of the time I see the way ahead.... it's just the next step.

I think it helps not to see the huge goal, the mountain, but just keep taking the steps along the way, and you WILL get there!
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Old 08-31-2006, 12:26 AM   #4
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Thanks for the reminder....I'm still struggling with wavering...sorry if that seems like a downer, but it never really ends. Try and enjoy the journey!
reddeborah----I do the same thing of talking to the cookies...sometimes I use a few words...
One day I found myself with my fingers in my ears and my eyes closed saying lalalalala when I found myself in the cookies and chips aisle... DH laughed so hard but it worked dangit.
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Old 08-31-2006, 08:08 AM   #5
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"Don't let the fear of the time it will take to accomplish something stand in the way of your doing it. The time will pass anyway; we might just as well put that passing time to the best possible use."

~ Earl Nightingale
I love this quote. Have a super day everyone!
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Old 08-31-2006, 08:13 AM   #6
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You're right, it's a long, long road. Especially for those in this forum, for we have so much to lose. Again and again I hear people write that they are discouraged by the enormity of the journey, and the amount they have to lose. Here are some things I've heard here and taken to heart in my own journey:

One pound a week may not seem much, but at the end of the year it's over 50 pounds gone. If you set your goal for 2-3 pounds a week, you are more likely to become disappointed during the times when those pounds just won't budge.

Celebrate your successes! Write them down. Journal about them. Then when you are in a slump and feeling completely unmotivated, go back and re-read them. It can be an amazing shot in the arm.

Participate in the community. The more active you are, with reading and posting and helping one another, the more it feeds your own determination and enthusiasm. Over and over again I've seen people who kinda "fade away" from the community, then return six months or a year later and say they stopped posting when they were discouraged, and had regained some of the weight back. Don't let this happen to you! When you are feeling discouraged, and the weight starts creeping back up... that's EXACTLY the right time to be posting and participating here or on other boards. It's a great help.

And lastly, the one that helps me the absolute most when I'm in a plateau-slump... treat a plateau or slump as if it were practice for maintenance. I basically stopped losing weight for six months. I didn't watch my food as closely. I stopped exercising. I had no motivation. But I treated it as if I were already at my goal-weight. I still was aware of what I was eating and the choices I was making. I still weighed myself every week. A few pounds didn't bother me. I had set a concrete goal of 10 pounds gain max. Maybe my body needed a break from losing, to settle into a new shape. Either way, near the end of the "break" when I saw the number creeping back into the 260s (my ten pound limit), I said, "enough of a break." But now I know that when I DO reach my goal, I'll be able to maintain it. Every slump or plateau is just practice for that time.
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Old 08-31-2006, 08:34 AM   #7
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We all go through this at some point in the journey. Beginning, Middle and even end. It's all a part of the process. Regardless of the progress, or setback, there are some days/weeks when you just don't feel like its going your way so what's the point? I'm feeling a little like this today because I don't think the scale is moving enough and I've been exactly on plan. With that said, I know that I want this more than anything and while I may have a day or two here and there, that's not enough to derail me anymore. I fully believe positive thinking=positive results but its for the big picture. I still try to incorporate this in my day to day thinking but sometimes, I just don't want to. I guess my point is, don't let one day of being down turn into one week because then it becomes two weeks, three weeks and so on. Have your not so good day, pick yourself right back up and look ahead.

You can do it.
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Old 08-31-2006, 09:47 AM   #8
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Great post!

When I started down the road of this journey this time I knew I had no other choice. Somehow this time I have managed to change my thinking about how long and what this will take. In some ways it is harder then I thought it would be, but in others it has been much easier. As frustrated as I may get sometimes, overall I am pleasantly surprised to be truly enjoying the journey. I would have never have thought that would be the case.
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Old 08-31-2006, 10:46 AM   #9
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beautifulone -

Thanks for posting your thoughts about this weight loss journey we're all on. One thing that sprang to mind as I was reading it was how many other worthwhile but long and difficult journeys many of us undertake and I wonder if we can use some of the things we use in those journeys to help w/ the weight loss one. Some that came to mind are getting a high school or college diploma, raising a child/children or maintaining a marriage/partnership. All of these can seem overwhelming in terms of how long the process will last, how difficult it will be and that we don't always know what to do to be successful, how it may not work out exactly as we expected and how emotional all of it can be.

reddeborah,

I LOVE your visualization idea! Pro athletes use this kind of thing to bolster their performance. Visualizing ourselves successfuly engaging in various weight loss-enhancing activities (running 3 miles, doing 40 minutes on the elliptical, choosing healthy foods in situations where you're tempted not to, etc.) can all help us achieve our goals .
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Old 08-31-2006, 11:12 AM   #10
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Charles -- that's a great quote, not just for this journey, either! Before I started my Ph.D. program I was acutely aware that it would take at least 5 years and I was already 5 years out of school -- I was scared of the time it would take, and the fact that I'd probably be 32 when I finished. Then someone said, "You'll be 32 anyway, why not have something to show for it!"

Course, it took 7 years in all, but it really was a good choice for me in the end!

Nice to be reminded that in some ways, I've been on this kind of daunting journey before and made it out just fine...
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Old 08-31-2006, 11:50 AM   #11
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Your post really resonates with me. I too, am at the month point, and sometimes I can't believe how insurmountable this whole journey feels. And the fact that it will never really be "over" is a bit daunting too! But I just keep thinking, no matter what I do, the time is going to pass, so why not make it worthwhile? I try not to dwell on all the time I've had to do something and done nothing, I can only move forward and love myself and do what's best for myself.

Sort of a silly way to look at it, but I think about my dog. I buy her the best all natural dog food, she gets taken for daily walks and goes to the park to chase after her favourite ball for exercise all the time. She's in perfect physical condition (according to our vet). So, if I care enough about my dog to keep her healthy, why not myself??!

We are worth it!
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Old 08-31-2006, 05:51 PM   #12
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Thinking about the prospect of a 2 year+ journey for me was daunting (I have been at this for 2yrs and a week now and I am still going) but you just have to not focus on that. This needs to be a change in lifestyle, or at least eating habits, and therefore, really, it will be for the rest of your life. And that is how you have to look at it. Not "I am dieting today" but "I am living life today." It isn't even about one day at a time, it is about changing your habits and just continuing the rest of one's life as normal, only slowly shrinking day by day. As a result, I am not dieting, nor consider myself to be doing such, I am just eating a bit differently than I was 2 yrs ago. And the time will pass whether or not you are eating/exercising smartly and becoming a slimmer you, so you might as well make the most of it.
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Old 08-31-2006, 10:33 PM   #13
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Beautifulone,

I have felt the way you are feeling now. I can only tell you what has worked for me.

I cannot maintain my motivation if I rely on the scale to gauge my progress. It's just not an accurate measure of what is going on in your body, because of the density of muscle vs. fat, plus things like temporary water weight gain. Also, even when the scale shows you lost a pound or two, it's just not a very rewarding kind of feedback. You're watching a little pointer move a fraction more to the left on a dial (if you have an analog scale) or a different combination of light emitting diodes lighting up (if you have a digital scale). Oh boy! Hold me back! Now I'm full of enthusiasm for staying on my weight loss plan! Not!!!!

What I had to do was shelve the scale and start relying on my own body for feedback. I can tell whether I'm making progress by how my clothes fit and by my measurements when I have them taken every couple of weeks. I have been steadily making progress according to these markers, and I know for a fact that the scale would have shown stalls or even gains at times during the same period. Now that I have stopped ignoring my body in favor of consulting the scale, I can see lots of little changes--rolls and creases are disappearing, the shape of my face, neck and shoulders is different, and there is hope that someday I will actually have wrists and ankles. THIS is what keeps me motivated, because every day when I look at myself in the mirror things are a little better-looking than the day before, and I know that tomorrow they will be better still, if I just have faith and stick to what I know will work.
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Old 09-01-2006, 05:37 AM   #14
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I would say we ALL have this moment and it pops up various times on the journey. For me it pops up as "I AM SO $*!% TIRED OF BEING FAT FOR THE LOVE OF GODDDDDDDDDD" which occurs about once a month. I think I've been on my weight loss journey for 3 years now. While I've probably had over a year of plateau in there (combining all my plateaus together) I've spend like 2 years losing this weight. Its long and boring and I want to be normal. I don't want to be skinny I just want to be normal.

The best we can do is keep on going. just keep going.
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Old 09-02-2006, 12:59 PM   #15
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Thanks very much everyone, your adivce and support is truly invaluable and inspiring. I will keep working step by step and try not to get ahead of myself, remembering that this IS possible, and day by day I will see different types of results.

I'm downing water to hydrate my body out of its dehydrated state, and then I'll be off to the gym. Thanks you all
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Mini-goal 1: Reach 257lbs
Mini-goal 2: Reach 222lbs
Mini-goal 3: Reach 209lbs
Mini-goal 4: Reach 199!
Mini-goal 5: Reach 179 lbs (overweight BMI category!!)
Mini-goal 6: Reach 160lbs
Final goal: Reach 145lbs

Mini exercise goal 1: Begin running September 2012
Mini exercise goal 2: Celebrate graduation with a 5K
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