What is/are the most important thing/s you have learned on your journey?
For me, I think most important is that I don't have to be hungry all the time if I make good food choices. I always have had this fear that the trade-off for slimness is eternal, gnawing, hunger. I am beginning to see that it doesn't have to be that way.
Another important thing for me is the realization that if I put a little thought into my eating behavior, I will not have to give up cheescake or peanut butter forever :lol:. I guess I am talking about a bit of moderation and delayed gratification.
I don't know why I have had the attitude that "I want what I want when I want it", with regard to food, when the rest of my life isn't like that.
I am feeling optomistic about maintenance, now. When I lost weight previously, I had not the slightest clue about how to maintain. None of the books or articles I read really addressed the problem. Now, from spending time on 3fc and reading the Ann Fletcher books, I have an idea about how to go about it.
12-10-2007, 05:06 PM
Great thread! :)
1. I actually CAN choose what goes into my mouth, and thus, how I feel about myself, and ultimately, how I look. Imagine that! ;)
2. I will have to be vigilant ABOUT those choices FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE. "So what, you are going to count calories FOREVER?!" Yup. Pretty much. ;-)
12-10-2007, 05:20 PM
1. You can make room for just about anything if you plan well. Dessert, a glass of wine, even one night of indulgence at a holiday party - if you balance everything out, you'll see it on the scale, without having to abstain entirely.
2. Fast isn't better...it can be good, but slow is good too. Slow teaches you that the scale isn't the only thing that matters, which is INVALUABLE when you get to maintenance and don't have downward scale motion. My 6 mo. plateau made me less reliant on the scale to feel successful, which is an important maintenance tool.
3. There is always a way to make it work. There is no situation in which you cannot do SOME movement, in which you cannot make the healthiest choices possible. Sometimes it is harder to do so than other times, but there is always a way.
12-10-2007, 05:27 PM
Wow, it's tough to narrow it down to just one, I feel like I have learned enough to fill the Encyclopedia Britannica. I will cheat and give 5 lessons that were very important to me.
1. I can not expect long term results from short term actions. I can't diet for a short time and then "stop" and expect to keep the weight off. I used to restrict, lose some weight, stop dieting and eat normal again. I would regain all the weight I lost and more. I had to change how I ate normally.
2. Because I had to change how I ate normally, it had to be positive and sustainable. No more starving, no more plain chicken breasts, no more 800 calorie days and deprivation. I had to like what I ate. I made some big changes (no more fast food, sugary soda, packaged baked goods) and small changes (brown rice, whole wheat pasta, more fresh fruits and vegetables). Instead of NOT eating, I switched my focus to eating foods with powerful nutritional properties - my plan was a combination of Whole Foods + calorie counting. Whole foods made me feel good, everything else just kind of fell into place.
3. It is impossible to eat healthy by accident. Knowing that an apple is a good snack is easy, actually having the apple ready for snack time is hard. Planning, shopping, lunch packing, looking up recipes, it's EASY but time consuming. I have to PLAN to be on PLAN. If I get stuck without a healthy sanck when my work brings in a huge plate of tempting pastries, I have contributed to my own temptation.
4. Forgive myself. Life is messy and complicated. The best planning will sometimes fail. I will sometimes eat foods that I didn't plan for. I will sometimes feel bad about it. I don't let it derail me, I just get back on plan at the very next food choice. One afternoon of too many crackers and cheese at a work function did not make me fat.
5. Life time accountability. I accept that I will weigh myself once a week, food plan, food journal and estimate calories everyday for the rest of my life. Sticking my head in the sand and ignore weight gain got me to 200 lbs.
12-10-2007, 05:33 PM
No need to stick to just one thing! The more the better! Thanks for sharing.
12-10-2007, 05:42 PM
After almost a year of successfully changing the way i eat and going from 237 pounds to 185 i think the most important thing i learned was a 2 parter...
1........... every thing You put in Your mouth 'counts'
2............ You do not have to be 'perfect' 100% of the time to see results...just find a good healthy diet and STICK with it 95% of the time. You see results and can still fit 'living' in.
12-10-2007, 05:50 PM
I have learned I can eat. Yes I said eat. I never ate enough. I eat from the time I get up until I go to bed. My body loves food and I love to eat it. I don't do without a thing just make good choices.
12-10-2007, 07:57 PM
What I've learned...
1. It's okay to eat. I remeber back in high school I would starve myself all day unil I got home and usually just eat dinner. Only to pig out on the weekends. Obviously that got me nowhere.
2 You can't just eat one healthy item and then eat whatever the rest of the day. Yeah, I used to think that a sald for lunch and take out for dinner would be okay.
3. Healthy food actually taste better than junk. The more I learn to eat healthy and make smarter choices the more I find myself not liking fatty foods as much.
4 Pasta everyday is not good. ...Well, it's not, plus it gets boring.
5. Exercise can be fun especially when you begin noticing positive changes in your body and it actually makes you feel better and puts you in a better mood.
6. It takes time, no one is going to lose 20+ pounds in a few short weeks. Don't be in such a rush. There's a choice you can either take your time and get the weight off at a fair and healthy speed or you can drop most of it quickly and then gain it all back making it take twice as long as the healthy way.
12-10-2007, 08:10 PM
I learned that...
*MY opinion is what counts in my life. I've been given so much advice on this journey, and I've had so many people tell me "you need to stop losing weight" and things like that. It's all about how I feel in my body, and I honestly stopped caring what anyone thought a long time ago. This also applies to running -- I used to be afraid to run because I didn't want people to see me running. I was embarrassed. Now I just think -- how silly. Who cares what anyone thinks of me running? I'm doing it for me.
*I really can do anything if I put my mind to it. I'm not just talking about losing 115 pounds, though that's a biggie. I'm talking about the running. A former obese couch potato who has NEVER been an athlete has turned into a person who now coaches running and has finished a half marathon. I'll probably run a marathon next year. I never would've thought that could be a possibility.
*I don't have to give up any foods. I know this varies for some people, because they can't eat "trigger" foods, but I'm a moderation kind of girl. If it fits in my calories for the day and I want it, I'm probably going to eat it. It never slowed me down.
12-10-2007, 08:37 PM
The most important things I've learned...
That there are some foods I simply cannot eat in moderation, so I don't eat them at all. (sugar and refined flour) Definitely not the answer I was looking for. I'm so grateful to be getting my life back from my compulsive overeating!!!
Protein really puts an end to cravings. It makes all the difference. I eat some kind of protein at each meal.
Go 3 fat chicks!
12-10-2007, 09:43 PM
Oh gosh. I've learned so very much. A few things that come to mind:
-I've learned that healthy foods are just as delicious (and most often MORE so) and satisfying as unhealthy ones.
-I've learned that I really DO have control. And that I am way stronger then I ever knew.
-I've learned that there are just some foods I am better not having in my home at all. And that I should probably throw away my Kitchen Aid mixer. Me and home made baked goods are a major no-no. Always will be I'm afraid.
-I've learned that I must, must, MUST plan to eat healthy foods, and map out my menu on a daily basis. Without fail. I absolutely can not have it any other way. Eating healthy does NOT happen by chance.
-I've learned that protein and fiber are very filling and great aids in weight loss.
-I've learned that underneath the lazy, sedentary person, there was a productive, energetic, active and very, very lively person.
-I've learned that doing without some high calorie, high quanty food is a small price to pay for being fit, thin and healthy.
12-10-2007, 09:53 PM
I've learned that I will be doing this for the rest of my life. There is no diet. There is only a new lifestyle that often takes effort to maintain.
12-10-2007, 10:07 PM
When eating out - split everything. (If eating alone, ask for a carryout container when you order your meal)
Breakfast REALLY IS important.
Eating regularly (every 2.5 - 3 hours) is the key to success. Skipping meals is a recipe for disaster
Eliminating highly processed foods and simple sugars from my diet was not as hard as I thought it would be and makes me feel soooo much better!
Exercise is not a 4 letter word. Variety is the spice of life - keep trying new things and repeat what you enjoy.
Daily scale fluctuations are normal and not cause for kicking the dog, cat or mistreating any living creature ;)
And most importantly - this is a lifestyle change. Keep living life. Do not put life on hold during this process. Life is precious and every moment is meant to be lived and enjoyed. Do not miss any opportunities or experiences because you have not yet achieved "perfection". Enjoy being you - now - just as you are - you are wonderful!!!!!
12-10-2007, 11:44 PM
Whodathunk I'd get addicted to exercising? Sure as :censored: not me. But there ya go. :carrot: :cb:
12-11-2007, 12:14 AM
I wish I had known all along how valuable weightlifting is. I am much smaller now than I was a couple of years ago when I was lighter. Who knew you could be flabby at 119 lbs?
12-11-2007, 06:57 AM
I've learned that I will be doing this for the rest of my life. There is no diet. There is only a new lifestyle that often takes effort to maintain.
Took the words right outta my mouth! In 2003 I lost 30 lbs, and I've been maintaining, more or less, ever since. I've had slip ups, I've gained 10 lbs back and lost it again. Life is stressful, and I can't let a bad day at work make me turn to a bottle of wine and a cheesecake to make myself feel better. This is the rest of my life, and I can never let my guard down again.
12-11-2007, 08:08 AM
Like CountingDown said, I learned that eating frequent, small meals is a very good idea!
I learned that I don't HAVE to always hate my body. Sure, there are things I am not fond of, and I am sure there always will be, but for the most part, I actually like the way I look.
I learned the importance of counting calories and that I can't personally lose weight on solely diet or exercise - it has to be both.
I learned that diets are bad, but lifestyle changes are good. Diet pills are generally uneffective, too.
I learned that I no longer have my teenage metabolism :lol:
I learned that alcohol has an INCREDIBLY IMMENSE amount of calories.
I learned the importance of protein in developing lean muscle.
I learned that I can look just as lean (and maybe even more so) at 135 as I did at 125. Like Susan, I learned the value of weight training!
I learned that not all healthy foods taste like butt!
I learned that eating healthy at restaurants is like finding a living fish in the desert.
I learned that exercise is actually really fun. For the longest time, I hated all physical activity. AND I learned that I actually like dancing now that I'm smaller - I hated it while fat because I thought I was too jiggly to try to look sexy AND I hated it while thin because no one taught me how to dance without looking like an idiot.
12-11-2007, 08:29 AM
I've learned that I like good food - that one piece of good dark chocolate satisfies me more than a stack of Hersey milk chocolate bars.
I've learned that exercise is not satanic.; it's OK to feel a little vain about being firm.
I've learned that three snacks between my three meals means I NEVER have to eat offered food because I'm hungry.
*I am different. I don't fit a one-size-fits-all diet, not does my body respond the way "diet professionals" and nutritionists and trainers and other experts say it should. To have any kind of success, I have to work with MY body. This means that FOR ME I can't do 6 mini meals a day: I have to stick to 3 meals a day. I can't bulk up my food with veggies: I have to have controlled portions of everything. I CANNOT tolerate sugar or white flour foods: moderation just DOESN'T work for my body. The "food guide pyramid" for my body is a death sentence: I need far more protein and far fewer carbs. It took me a long, long, long time to learn and accept these differences. Once I did, though, I stopped struggling and started making progress.
*If hunger isn't the problem, food isn't the answer. Period. FOOD IS NOT THE ANSWER. Figure out what the problem is, then deal with that problem. Food won't help most problems, and will probably make me feel even worse.
12-11-2007, 12:47 PM
I've learned that nothing beats the sense of control that I now have. No food feels that good.
I always had the sense that life was just about to spin completely out of control. So I controlled the crap out of everything in my world except the one area where it really mattered, my diet. Now that I have a greater sense of calm about what I eat, the rest seems less overwhelming and I can relax more.
I think the big drop in my blood pressure is only partly about the weight loss. The rest is the result of how much more relaxed I am everyday.
12-13-2007, 12:07 PM
So far, I have learned...
1. it is a slippery slope to eat unhealthy for more than 1 day. Everytime I make it more than one day, it turns into a 2 week stint.
2. I don't have to have seconds to feel full. Along with that, I don't have to feel "buffet full" to be satisfied.
3. Speaking of buffets, I've learned that I cannot control myself at buffets. I am fooling myself if I say that I can eat one plate, or that I will eat the most healthy things at the buffet. btw, what healthy things???
4. If I mess up for one meal, the day isn't blown. I just have to pick myself up and get back on track.
5. I will probably have to use Fitday for the rest of my life, or at least it feels that way for now. I tend to fool myself if I am not tracking calories. What I don't know won't hurt me, right? ;)
6. I may not be the fastest loser, but I will lose my weight eventually. I am doing the right things, I just need to tweak a few things. Patience, trooworld.
7. Once I lose my weight, I am not "immune" to gaining weight.
8. Visiting 3FC motivates me, keeps me focused on weight loss and I learn a ton of things!