Weight Loss Support - Choosing to take action (long and rambling)




irishharper
04-07-2007, 10:15 PM
Friends,

I just wrote this to myself after avoiding doing so for weeks. It's quite long, I fear, but I'm sharing it here in hopes of finding kindred spirits. Maybe some of you have had some of the same thoughts.
----------------------------

I know what to do.
Iím not doing it.
Iím not even trying to do it.
Iím purposely not trying to do it.
Iíve been observing myself not trying for weeks. Months actually, but thereís been something different in recent weeks.
Maybe because the doc finally mentioned the possibility of blood pressure meds for the first time.
Maybe because my cholesterol is way higher than it used to be.
Maybe because I get out of breath sometimes singing with the kids at school.
Maybe because I had to go to the ER last week with what turned out to be gastritis, and I figured the doc and nurses and techs were thinking that I was fat and I wouldnít even be there if I was of average weight.

So why?
Why am I not doing anything about it?

I donít want to.
Itís not fair that I have to.
Iím embarrassed and ashamed of how I look and that I have no one to blame but myself, so Iím punishing myself.
Food is the most common, easiest way I have of comforting myself, and I donít want to lose it. Oh writing that made me feel anxious; tight in my chest and throat, and the faintest hint of tears on their way.
Is that it?
Is that the main reason Iím just plain not even trying?
I DONíT WANT TO LOSE MY MAIN WAY OF COMFORTING MYSELF.
Because weight loss is hard.
And establishing new habits is hard.
Taking the time for exercise and making meals is hard.
Not eating lounge food is hard.

And I donít want to say that Iím going to change my eating and exercise habits unless Iím motivated enough to actually do it. Iím tired of ďtryingĒ to lose weight. I want to actually do it.

Big sigh.

Itís time.
Iím worth it.
It wonít kill me. The opposite, actually.
I can use the mantra I learned from Kathy S: ďThere will be cookies (or ice cream, or pizza, whatever the temptation is) in my life another day.Ē
Or Kathe M: ďThere is enough sugar in my body.Ē

Bigger sigh.

OK
Tomorrow I will not eat any of what my friend Jim calls ďblatant sugarĒ.
Nothing very salty either.
And I will walk for 30 minutes, at whatever slow, medium, or fast pace feels right. I will not push myself.

This is not punishment because Iím bad and should be ashamed of myself.
This shows how much I love myself.
Except I donít.
So thatís another big reason I havenít been choosing to lose weight.
But buried under 85 extra pounds and a lot of shame is the extremely stubborn voice crying ďbut I COULD love myself! Letís have a go at it!!Ē

So I will. Tomorrow. Easter Sunday.
----------------------------

If you read all the way through this, thank you.

Warm thoughts to all,
Barb


Ready2ShedLBS
04-07-2007, 10:33 PM
I totally understand right where you are coming from, I too have felt this way.. and I really do feel this way lately. I sabatoge myself, and I dont know why sometimes. What I am going through is in the 39 day challenge post. I know from experience though.. dont start tomorrow.. start now.. who cares what you have already had today.. dont wait for tomorrow, start now. If you have eatten a significant amt of calories today, dont have one last hoorah with food... dont have last supper syndrome. Sometimes.. tomorrow never comes. :hug:

JayEll
04-07-2007, 10:34 PM
I read it all the way through, irishharper. Good for you for putting your thoughts out there where YOU can see it, and thank you for sharing your thoughts with us.

Easter is perhaps not the best time, but anytime is possible. Don't be discouraged no matter what. There are many, many ways of finding comfort other than with food, and you will find them. And, it's not like you are swearing off eating--you are simply finding new ways to eat, and better foods to eat.

Don't wait until you "want to," because that day might never come. Take a step, then another. Take care of yourself as though you are a dear friend whom you love. Because you are.

Keep going!
Jay


Ready2ShedLBS
04-07-2007, 10:34 PM
what I mean by " sometimes tomorrow never comes" I mean that as in.. tomorrow becomes tomorrow becomes tomorrow. It sounded a little morbid when I re-read it

Bikini Dreader
04-07-2007, 10:55 PM
Good for you for giving yourself the respect of examining your behaviour! You can do this and you will. I dont know about you, but for me, making these changes an all or nothing things sets me up for failure. Everyone is different but I am a binge and compulsive eater so I have to follow a general "plan" of making good choices (exercising and eating healthy most of the time). I really have to focus on not getting completely discouraged if I have a treat. I dont have trigger foods in my house for the most part so that I dont agonize over them. It's too hard for me to always turn down treats in social situations so I allow myself to have treats at those times. I keep tons of veggies and healthy foods I enjoy in the house (I'm a very frugal person so spending money on healthy food that I would actually want was a big step).

I found that making a clear plan and goals was really helpful. Everyone is different so finding what works for you is important. It's a process, be proud of yourself for the changes you have already made! You are on your way to a happier you!

Mami
04-08-2007, 01:46 AM
what I mean by " sometimes tomorrow never comes" I mean that as in.. tomorrow becomes tomorrow becomes tomorrow. It sounded a little morbid when I re-read it

I thought that was spot on actually ;)

Barb, thanks for sharing and best of luck on your plan.

ellabella
04-08-2007, 07:33 AM
Barb, I read your post all the way through, and I'll bet everyone else did, too. I really feel like I want/have to respond, and I apologize in advance because this may get a little long. :^:
It may feel like you're SO alone in your lack of motivation, and just as alone in not enthusiastically WANTING to start a difficult diet and exercise regime. But you are so NOT alone (especially here on 3FC, even though many of us sound so focused and dedicated and all that good stuff). We've all been...and in some cases, ARE still pretty close to where you are right now. I had to deal with a few double-whammies, because I used to smoke :smoking: , too, which was half-way killing me, and would have, if I hadn't finally stopped for good. Did I WANT to???? Um....nope. I quit a few times, always gained weight, always ended up getting on the scale and running, in tears, to the closest convenience store and buying myself another pack of cigarettes. The irony is that smoking never made me LOSE weight, but quitting made me GAIN. So, every time (@ 4) I quit, I would gain 10 - 12 pounds, then I'd start up again, but wouldn't lose any weight. SO, the weight started to accumulate big-time :sumo: . This last time that I quit smoking, I'd made up my mind that it was going to be the FINAL time, and it was going to stick, because I'd begun to feel short of breath just carrying a few grocery bags up five little stairs into my house, and even was getting short of breath pulling on my darned panty hose, if you can believe that....??? So I quit, I gained the requisite (?) 12 pounds, but THIS time I didn't go running for a pack of cigarettes. I found out that I really like breathing, silly me! So, I carried around that extra weight (@ 50 or so pounds of it by now) started wearing baggy clothes, stopped frosting my hair, (let it go "au naturel" - mud brown - ugh) and just generally schlepped back & forth to work (I'm a federal grantwriter: very sedentery) and came home and cooked gargantuan suppers for DH and I :hungry: (He's gained weight, too) and buried my anxieties all in food. It became QUITE a comfort to me - always has been, frankly, but with the quitting smoking and all, I needed EXTRA comfort, and food provided it. :)
Until it didn't anymore. Until my WEIGHT started to produce more discomfort and anxiety than eating could offset. I'd been avoiding mirrors, telling myself that it was of no consequence how I looked (Getting OLD...what's the difference?) but ultimately, I was just NOT okay with it. I was miserable, but not miserable enough to make my life difficult trying to do anything about it. That lasted for a while, and then, FINALLY, I just got tired of it all. Now, I'm getting used to eating better, I'm getting USED TO exercising with some degree of regularity (walking, mostly - I'm still not enthusiastic about working out at a gym) and I'm okay with all of this - especially since I've started to see a little weight come off. But am I ENTHUSIASTIC???? Do I LOVE the fact that SOME people seem to be able to eat anything they want and never gain an ounce???? Do I LIKE giving up chocolate altogether???? (I HAD to give it up because a little taste was never enough for me: one bite and I was on a week-long regimen of buying great big jumbo-sized chocolate bars at every possible opportunity and practically inhaling them). Um...NO...make that a RESOUNDING "NO". Would I do this if somebody TOLD me I had to do it?? Nope. I'd resist totally :nono: . I am trying my best. I will never manage to brainwash myself into believing that I'd prefer a tossed salad with lo-cal dressing to a big, fat sandwich on fresh focaccia bread, and that danged salad will NEVER comfort me the way that sandwich would have, but I'm NOT going to eat it! I'm not. Because I know I'll be happier with myself once I get down to a "normal" weight again. I KNOW this. And that's why I'm doing it, but I'm not enthusiastic, I'm not gung-ho, and I'm still envious of - and downright annoyed with - people who don't HAVE to do it. And that's why I LOVE it here at 3FC....people share their feelings, some of them feel pretty much like I do (others, bless their hearts, are more enthusiastic, and I love them for it) and some don't, but we're all battling the same thing, and we are doing it together. Hang out with us, Barb....and share how you're feeling anytime you want to. It really, really helps a lot! :hug:

Hope to see you soon,
Happy Easter! :bunny2:
Ella

rockinrobin
04-08-2007, 07:51 AM
Good for you for putting your thoughts down. I can relate to you on just about every single thing that you wrote.

I just want you to know that although it is HARD to change habits, it's a lot easier then you think and very doable. I was the world's worst overeater, binger, out of control, eat all day long person that you can possibly imagine. Sure I used food for comfort. And for anger management and for celebration and for entertainment when I was bored and so on and so on. But then I finally got disgusted. Disgusted with myself beyond belief, a good thing no doubt. I was miserable and realized that I ddin't have to live this way. And neither do you. the first 2 -2 1/2 weeks were really, really hard breaking those habits and then I tell you it became much, much easier. As far as finding comfort in food - well now I find comfort (and quite a bit of it in fact) from doing without the high calorie/high quantity of food.

Good luck to you. I absolutely, positively know that you can do this. It most certainly CAN be done.

Heather
04-08-2007, 08:46 AM
Great post! Print it out or save it somewhere to look at again!!

Just wanted to say that I've felt exactly the same way you did. But I've been surprised at how I've been able to do it this time.

Part of it is framing, which you talked about. I'm not saying "no" to a brownie but "yes" to a healthier me.

And taking baby steps can really help you move forward if you're overwhelmed, as long as you just commit to the process and keep moving forward.

We're here with you, and we understand what you're going through!

Mami
04-08-2007, 09:26 AM
But am I ENTHUSIASTIC???? Do I LOVE the fact that SOME people seem to be able to eat anything they want and never gain an ounce???? Do I LIKE giving up chocolate altogether???? (I HAD to give it up because a little taste was never enough for me: one bite and I was on a week-long regimen of buying great big jumbo-sized chocolate bars at every possible opportunity and practically inhaling them). Um...NO...make that a RESOUNDING "NO". Would I do this if somebody TOLD me I had to do it?? Nope. I'd resist totally :nono: . I am trying my best. I will never manage to brainwash myself into believing that I'd prefer a tossed salad with lo-cal dressing to a big, fat sandwich on fresh focaccia bread, and that danged salad will NEVER comfort me the way that sandwich would have, but I'm NOT going to eat it! I'm not. Because I know I'll be happier with myself once I get down to a "normal" weight again. I KNOW this. And that's why I'm doing it, but I'm not enthusiastic, I'm not gung-ho, and I'm still envious of - and downright annoyed with - people who don't HAVE to do it.

Forgive me, but I must say I find this belief HUGELY ANNOYING. What makes many overweight people think that thin, slim or normal/healthy sized people "eat whatever they want and dont gain an ounce"?

The reality is that normal sized people do NOT "practically inhale..big jumbo-sized chocolate bars at every possible opportunity". They're not smaller because they have these crazy high metabolisms that allow them to just "eat whatever they want when they want", and not exercise, and stay at a moderate weight. That is just impossible from a calories in v. out stand point.

This thinking leads to the "woe is me" attitude, that the person is ENTITLED to eat whatever she wants because the thin people seem to, that its "not fair" as Barb says, that one has to watch what one eats. Not to be unsympathetic, but reality check needed! Most smaller people simply control their appetites, not always because they want to. Most of my life as a normal sized person I had to order the more moderate dishes at restaurants, watch what I eat, etc. I ALWAYS thought of the calories when ordering food, VERY RARELY ate with abandon and without any thought about the calories at all..and if I overate, which I tended to do on weekends, I'd make it up during the week by eating less purposely. Nor do smaller people love exercising necessarily, but they do it regularly because they must to keep their weight down.

And you may notice the REALLY thin ones just dont have big appetites, and they often just arent hungry all day and eat one or two large meals with no snacking in between so you may see them with a Big Mac and large fries, but that's all they've probably had all day.

AND WHEN YOU LADIES LOSE YOUR WEIGHT, YOU'LL BE ONE OF THE "THINNIES" WHO "SEEM" LIKE THEY CAN EAT WHATEVER THEY WANT WHEN THEY WANT. Not. You know that aint the truth! :)

rockinrobin
04-08-2007, 09:49 AM
AND WHEN YOU LADIES LOSE YOUR WEIGHT, YOU'LL BE ONE OF THE "THINNIES" WHO "SEEM" LIKE THEY CAN EAT WHATEVER THEY WANT WHEN THEY WANT. Not. You know that aint the truth! :)

;) ;) ;) YES, in fact I WILL be one of those "thinnies". Uh huh. I WILL be able to eat whatever I want, all the time in fact and never, ever gain an ounce of weight back. Yup, that's gonna be me all right. Ummm hmmm. Absolutely. ;) ;) ;)

ellabella
04-08-2007, 09:58 AM
Ouch! Okay, Claudia. Point conceded. Sort of. But, there ARE - as I think you said - people who just aren't hungry all the time. People who have smaller appetites, people who are NOT binge eaters. My SISTER is one. She eats a drib of this and a drab of that, and she's full. I'm NOT saying "woe is me" and I am, I think, being pretty realistic about what I have to do about the goals I want to reach. And, there really are people with faster metabolisms - or faster *somethings* who really DO eat quite a bit of food and burn it all off without adhering to a strict exercise regimen or anything else. That's reality. There are several in my family alone. AND I know them well enough and intimately enough to KNOW what they eat and how much they eat, and KNOW that if I ate that much, I'd weigh far more than I already do. On the other hand, there ARE people - people like me - who DO have to watch their weight carefully, who DO have to exercise, who DO have to re-educate themselves, if you will, about their love/hate relationship with food. I really am sorry if I came across like I was feeling sorry for myself or engaging in a one-woman pity-party. I was trying, simply, to articulate what's true for me, and MAY be true for some others. I don't suggest that it's true for everybody, any more than YOUR reality (that everybody WORKS at staying thin) is true for everybody. I'm one who HAS to, and apparently you are, too. So be it. We are in good company here on 3FC. But no, I'm not going to concede that it's a universal problem, because it isn't. It's no more universal that skin color, hair color, eye color or body shape. Our bodies all process what we eat and how much exercise we need to get thin and stay there at different rates. Some people aren't that crazy about their hair color, and change it. Well, I'm not that happy about how my body processes food, so I, obviously, have to change how I eat. Big deal. I don't have to pretend that I LIKE it - I just have to accept what's real (for me) and deal with it. I am Never, ever, going to be able to eat ONE little piece of chocolate, ONE cookie, or ONE thin slice of cake. So, I'm not going to eat any at all. I think of it as being similar to alcoholism - an alcoholic KNOWS that he/she can't have ONE drink. I know I can't have ONE chocolate, etc. It's okay. I can live with it. I have to live with it. Some people CAN eat one little tidbit of something and be perfectly satisfied, lucky them.
So, again, I'm sorry if I somehow offended you or gave the impression that I'm assuming that EVERYBODY who's thin got that way without any effort. I know better. But I don't assume that everybody who's thin had to diet to get that way, either. It's just not the case.

Happy Easter! :easter:

Ella

JayEll
04-08-2007, 10:27 AM
I have found that as I've stayed on my program, I am less hungry. Also, my capacity for eating large amounts has changed. I am comfortable eating less, and if I eat too much I am UNcomfortable. I've learned what "full" means. My plate when I'm done with eating at a restaurant looks like the plate of a "naturally thin" person--namely, I need a take-out box.

So take heart! You will not have to feel hungry all the time to stay at a normal weight.

Jay

ellabella
04-08-2007, 10:57 AM
Thanks, Jay. I think you're absolutely right. I've seen a difference in my own appetite, as well. I am doing much better with that. I think, at this point, I really WOULD be sick if I ate one of those jumbo chocolate bars that I mentioned earlier. But is IS a momentum thing. It's taken some work to get here.

TTFN,

Ella :)

maegdaeien
04-08-2007, 11:23 AM
Hi Barb,

I think it's very brave of you to face up to all of these things and put them out there like this. And now that you've identified the enemy, you can take it down! I was actually thinking something very similar today: I was doing some lifting at the gym and I had the thought, "This is hard!" And then I thought, "Of course it's hard! It wouldn't be working if it wasn't."

I really believe that once you really get going with this, you'll learn to love yourself more. You'll see what you're capable of, and have more self respect. Not to mention the fact that you'll be looking and feeling much better!

nicolbw
04-08-2007, 12:11 PM
Why am I not doing anything about it?

I donít want to.
Itís not fair that I have to.
Iím embarrassed and ashamed of how I look and that I have no one to blame but myself, so Iím punishing myself.
Food is the most common, easiest way I have of comforting myself, and I donít want to lose it. Oh writing that made me feel anxious; tight in my chest and throat, and the faintest hint of tears on their way.
Is that it?
Is that the main reason Iím just plain not even trying?
I DONíT WANT TO LOSE MY MAIN WAY OF COMFORTING MYSELF.
Because weight loss is hard.
And establishing new habits is hard.
Taking the time for exercise and making meals is hard.
Not eating lounge food is hard.


This is exactly how I've lived the past 20 years of my life in my head. It's been really hard trying to change that thinking. So I decided that my problem isn't so much the food I eat (although that is a problem), it's more about my mental attitude and self esteem. I started to write in a notebook. You can call it a journal instead. Every day I start out my day with the words, "I AM BEAUTIFUL!" Then I start writing all the good things that I am. I focus on changing my self talk to positive things. I tell myself that I am worthy of change and changing things for the better. I know if I don't change this attitude I have then I'll have the same problems at 130 lbs that I have now at 190 lbs. I figured out that most of my problems are mental. That is all that was holding me back from my goals. And not just weight loss and exercise goals. It's also holding me back from career goals and social goals as well.

As for the eating part of this... I made a plan of what to eat each day. I figured out the calories ahead of time and so I know what I get to eat and what I don't. I included things I enjoy eating so I'm not feeling deprived. For example, I prefer a breakfast that is easy to make so I picked cereal. I choose one with high fiber and lower calories so I can have a big bowl of it. I prefer quantity over quality for breakfast. For lunch I like sandwiches. So I picked out a good healthy bread that I like the taste of. I add to it a small salad. I add in my salad some sort of topping like bacon bits, nuts, or french fried onions. Of course I only add about a Tbsp so I don't add many calories, but it still seems like I'm treating myself. For my snacks I bought a bunch of different things (cookies, crackers, pretzels, etc.) I then put 100 calories worth in little snack size bags. I threw them all in a box so they are easy to contain and get to. Now when I want a snack I know it's 100 calories so it's easy to count and I have many to choose from. For dinner I know what I'm going to eat is going to be a protein, carb, and veggie. I've planned for 500 calories. If it isn't as much as that, then I use what's left over for the day for my evening snack. I know I can't go without some sort of snack at night. So I plan for it. I bought the 100 calorie bags of popcorn since that's my snack of choice at night. I eat pretty much the same thing for breakfast and lunch every day. The only thing that is different from day to day is dinner. This works best for me and helps to keep me in line for my calories.

I am not dead set on my meals so I do tweak them each week. I want this to be something I am comfortable with and can live with for the rest of my life. So I have to fit the foods I eat around my tastes and style. I also need to learn to choose healthier options of these foods. Instead of regular dressing I choose low fat or fat free. Instead of any old cereal I choose one with higher fiber (to help keep me full) and lower calories so I can eat more of it. Instead of having crackers or cookies for my afternoon snack I choose veggies and dip. I usually pick cauliflower or carrots. My dip is normally low fat, but taste is the biggest factor in which one I choose.

I've also learned that there are certain foods I just can't have in the house and have to treat them like drugs. Ice cream sandwiches are evil. I'll eat a whole box in one sitting whether I'm hungry or not. Rice Krispie treats are evil. I used to make a whole batch of peanut butter ones and eat the whole batch in one day because I could control myself. Basically anything that is mainly sugar is no longer allowed in my house. I've realized that my happiness with myself and my body is more important than any food. That is where it got easier. I had to make that decision and feel good about it.

Sorry so long. Your post really struck a cord with me. It really was like reading my thoughts. I've been there, am still struggling to get out of there, but it's getting easier since I'm focusing on what is good about me instead of what is wrong.

:hug: Brandi

Janie Canuck
04-08-2007, 02:12 PM
Barb, it sounds like you might have hit your "rock bottom". And you've realized that (at least for you, I know not everyone agrees) as Oprah likes to say, "It's not about the food". The good thing about rock bottom is, things can only improve. Decide on your plan, and take it one day at a time. And come here a lot for inspiration and encouragement. Like any change in habits, it does get easier, bit by bit, over time, so stick with it. Good luck!

irishharper
04-08-2007, 10:31 PM
Friends,

I appreciate your responses so much! I sort of knew I wasn't the only one with some of those thoughts and feelings, but it helps to have it confirmed that I'm not alone.

As far as how today went, I did follow through on all 3 of my goals. I even threw away the little chocolate Easter egg I got at church. They passed them out during the service, and I just couldn't say no to the cute little 3-yr-old helping to pass them out. I looked at it sitting there on the piano (I was playing hymns and other misc. today) and thought it would be OK to eat it, it was small, there was only one, I got it as part of the church service . . . . , but feared that if I ate it, it would start me down a bad path, and I would just make a bee-line for the bake sale tables between services. I was ticked off for a while between services when I kept having to remind myself that I had committed to no really blatant sugar today (like why on earth did I DO that?), but once the second service started, I was fine with it, and glad I hadn't eaten anything.

In all, I still overate today, but less than usual, and the sugar content was WAY down. And I walked for 40 minutes (I used to make that same walk at a much faster pace, but hey - this is how it is right now.)

I've started reading "The Four Day Win", by Martha Beck, and in it she talks about how there's some evidence that sticking with any kind of change in behavior (and this book is about eating habits in particular) for just 4 days creates pretty strong momentum, and that a person's thought process goes something like. Four days doesn't sound all that threatening, like of course I can manage it for just 4 days. And then at the end of the 4 days, people have seen that they can in fact do the thing they're working on, and they continue to do it. I haven't read the whole book yet, but so far it's pretty interesting. Food for thought, so to speak.

So I'm going to continue my 3 goals for 3 more days.

Thanks for reading,
Barb

Heather
04-08-2007, 10:38 PM
Great start, Barb!! So much of this journey IS mental, and finding ways to kickstart ourselves through all of it is important!

Keep posting here, too!

sirak
04-09-2007, 01:16 PM
WTG Barb ! Think of that little innocent egg as the tip of a giant iceberg. I think you might have made it through the hardest of the four days already !