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Old 10-06-2005, 10:50 AM   #13
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Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 1,123


Originally Posted by LovesBassets
Between my house and the gym there's an ice cream stand that's pretty famous in my area for truly heavenly home-made ice cream. And (obviously) I have to drive by it at least 6 times a week. I haven't been in for probably 2 years, but I STILL congratulate myself every time I drive by -- because I've chosen to drive by. So now that ice cream stand (which COULD have become just another symbol of a food that I can't have, etc.) is instead a constant reminder of how far I've come.

You have to actively seek out opportunities to compliment yourself. Instead of thinking "What a bummer. I really wanted that Twinkie," think "Wow. I can't believe how easy it was to say no to that Twinkie." And the more you do it, the better you'll feel about your food choices. And the better you feel about your food choices, the easier it is to stick to it.
OMG. LOL. I can't tell you how many times I've tried to tell other people those very things.

It IS so very important to remind yourself about your accomplishments, especially those that are behavioral rather than numbers-releated. Success breeds success. What most of us need more than anything is OPTIMISM, a believe that we can get to where we want to be. I think that is much more powerful than "motivation" although they are related. When I feel confident about my progress and potential, I feel jazzed, or at least content, and it's easier to stick to plan. When those doubts start to creep in, that's when I start to lose steam and start to develop that "what the ****, I'll eat what I want!" attitude. The good news is that you can learn to pump yourself up, and learn to NOT do things or pay attention to things that breed those doubts.

That's where positive self-talk is so powerful. Not only do you tell yourself you are worth the effort, that the end result will be worth the (seeming) sacrifice, but you give yourself a pat on the back whenever possible. The pats on the back that have NOTHING to do with the scale are actually the ones that mean the most in the long run. Also, it's so easy to ignore the results we see along the way because we're so glued to that final goal. If you don't stop and take time to notice and acknowledge your progress -- again, those behavioral and non-scale results -- you won't fuel that optimism. You also have to keep a positive attitude about what you're giving up and what your adopting in your new lifestyle.

So, with that in mind, here are the top things I've seen as permanent weight-loss killers:
  • Refusing to see anything but huge leaps of weight loss as progress. If you lose 1/4 pound per week, that's better than standing still or gaining, and it is probably a sign that you're leading an overall healthier lifestyle. Don't wait until you reach your final goal to acknowledge that you've accomplished something. Set small goals and celebrate each milestone along the way.
  • Setting deadlines for losing a certain amount. I know this works for some people, it keeps them focused, but I think for MOST of us, it's just a way to shoot ourselves in the foot. Many times our bodies just don't lose weight according to the schedule we've set, even if it's a reasonable schedule. When we don't meet that deadline, we get demoralized, and that can lead to that downhill spiral.
  • Paying WAY too much attention to the scale in the first place. Losing weight is a BYPRODUCT of getting your life in order and leading a mentally and physically healthy life. The things that matter are the fact that you're treating your body well rather than abusing it, that you are giving yourself health and vitality, and that by having a slimmer body you can lead the life you want to lead. The numbers on the scale will never move as quickly as you want, and they're not a true measure of success.
  • Spending a whole lot of time whining about the food and quantities you miss. Sure, we all go through a mourning period. But, if you don't counter those negative thoughts with some positive spin, they will drag you right back down into the B&J carton. It breaks my heart when I see people going on and on and on about how much they miss the food they used to eat, the amounts they used to eat, the lifestyle of not worrying about what they eat. That is such wasted energy! It would be much better spent developing a positive outlook about those changes, thinking up strategies, planning, visualizing making good choices and being happy about them. Again, we all go through slumps and get hit by cravings and just get tired of the eternal diligence, but if you wallow in them for too long, you will find it really hard to dig your way out. When that whiny fat child's voice says, "I really miss that huge plate of Everything Nachos and the bucket o' beer at Nacho World!" your adult voice should answer, "Yes, but we won't die without them, and avoiding them for now is what's best in the long run." When your brain says, "I hate vegetables!" you say, "But I want to learn to like them, and I'll keep trying them and experimenting and eating them anyway, because I know they are what my body needs." Etc.
  • Getting trapped by ideas of what you SHOULD be able to do. "I should be able to ignore the pastries in the breakroom, the chips in the cupboard, the extra 12 portions this restaurant serves, the hunger I feel between lunch and dinner." Forget about it. Stay out of the breakroom. Don't keep chips in the cupboard. Order an appetizer instead of an entree. Bring a healthy afternoon snack to work.
  • Related to that, paying way too much attention to other people. "Why can't I lose as quickly as Susie? Why is it so much harder for me to stay out of the cookie jar? Why can't I just be normal and slim? What is wrong with me? Wahhh!" You are you. Your body is unique, your experiences and personality are unique. By spending time comparing yourself to others and stomping your feet about the unfairness of it all, you're simply tilting at windmills. It's a waste of energy. It's not helpful, it doesn't change anything. You can only work with the cards you've been dealt.

In the end, I have used one primary mantra to see me through most situations. Whatever works. I don't care what other people do, I don't care what I might think I SHOULD be able to do, I don't care if it takes me out of my comfort zone. I will do whatever it takes to get me to where I want to go.

Last edited by funniegrrl; 10-06-2005 at 10:52 AM.
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