Weight Loss Support - HOW did we get so FAT?

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01-01-2008, 11:23 PM
Yes, I didn't mean it to sound so rude-like!

1. But how in the heck did we get here?
2. How did it seem to happen so slowly, but it happened really fast?
3. How did we LET these lbs creep on?
4. Why did we ignore it?
5. Who were we kidding?
6. Where did we go wrong?
7. What were we thinking?

My motivation in asking this is to keep us motivated, for us to recognize why we gained weight so we (I) don't do it again, and simply because I am nosy (as you should know by now) and am interested in learning.

I will answer in 30 minutes after I work out (living room style baby).:carrot:

01-01-2008, 11:38 PM
How did we get so fat? Most of us ate too much and moved too little.

01-01-2008, 11:45 PM
We overate and under exercised :lol:. What were we thinking? I was thinking where's my next Ben and Jerry's fix? Where did we go wrong? I took a wrong turn in the grocery store and ended up in the ice cream aisle.

Seriously, though, interesting questions. I wasn't kidding anyone, including myself. Actually, I worried about my weight quite a bit even as I was gaining. This last time I regained in record time. It was scary. I think how it happened is that I never learned anything from previous diets, except how to loose weight quickly. I didn't realize that this was going to have to be a life-style change, including a permanent change in eating habits. As much as I like to study whatever I am obsessed with at the moment, I never read one thing that was even remotely helpful about maintenance.

I think that I now have the information I need. I can't promise that I have "got it" for life, but at least I have a chance.

Actually, in a sense, I have maintained for longer this time than I ever did before, because I have been on this journey longer.

I was going to say "good luck", but actually we need to be pro-active, not depending on luck.

01-02-2008, 12:11 AM
Most of my weight came on while pregnant, and then through about 15 years of an undiagnosed thyroid problem. It seemed the harder I tried to lose, the more I gained. It was frustrating and there were big blocks of time (years even) that I just ignored it and hoped the problem would go away. It didn't. It got worse. I am still fighting it, and not making much progress, but at least now I have some hope in that I have been diagnosed and have a good doctor.

01-02-2008, 12:20 AM
Duh- overeating and not exercising--but WHAT caused that?
I was more meaning, were you always overweight? did a change in your life happen (emotionally or physically with health, relationship, job, family, school, enviromnet, how long did it take you to gain etc...)

gail- awesome job on the 39 lbs lost and maintained!!!

1. But how in the heck did we get here?
almost 3 years of kidding myself, went from a fitness job to an office job, started eating meat again-- a lot of fatty meats-- and a lot of it, going out to restaurants w/ my new boyfriend and eating EVERY little bit of food they served me, PLUS desserts! :o
2. How did it seem to happen so slowly, but it happened really fast?
at first it just seemed like a lb or two a month, i guess i was saving becoming fit for later! :dizzy:
3. How did we LET these lbs creep on?
i kept buying a size or too larger clothing every few months, so it sort of crept on over the last 2.5 years:(
4. Why did we ignore it?
i ignored it because i was depressed, and there were plenty of people that were more overweight than me (in my life) so i sort of used that as my excuse:mad:
5. Who were we kidding?
only myself!:o
6. Where did we go wrong?
giving up on fitness:devil:
7. What were we thinking?

01-02-2008, 12:26 AM
Monet- very happy that you found a great doctor, that can make so much of a difference in our health!

01-02-2008, 12:38 AM
I think overeating and underexercising are the most legitimate answers, and the rest often only complicate the issue. There are thousands of "whys" for each and every one of us. I'm not sure listing, or even identifying them all is very productive. Besides, they sound too much like excuses to outsiders, and even often amongst ourselves, and they certainly can become so.

I think that the first thing to stress and acknowledge is that it is NOT because we were crazy, lazy, bad, or stupid - at least not entirely - or at least not any more than any other human being on the planet who has something about themselves or their behavior that they are not completely happy with (which is virtually every self-aware person on the planet).

I think the question is often asked differently than for other disfunctional habits and behaviors such as in smoking, drinking, drugs, gambling, sexual addiction, huge debt, habitual job loss, criminal activity, getting involved in abusive relationships.....

I think while some of the answers may be the same, there are also a thousand variations for every person and situation. I also think that many of us will never know all of the reasons for our unwanted behavior and difficulty in changing. The bigger, better, and most important question is how and where we've found success in making the changes we want.

01-02-2008, 12:41 AM
^^ +1

01-02-2008, 12:43 AM
Wow, how come my answers always get shot down?!?! LOL! I guess I just like to analyze things and understand things. I just don't know how people can solve a problem that they can't identify. Anyway, was just interested in hearing people's stories, maybe this isn't the right forum for it.

01-02-2008, 12:59 AM
vixjean -- I don't know if people were shooting you down so much as providing their perspective. I think it's a great question to ask.

I am also very reflective and analytical, but I know I didn't come to any great understanding of my own "whys" before I started... or even today. I am slowly figuring some things out about my "whys" but I may never really know why I thought it was okay to let myself weigh 300 pounds. But I do think that, for me, continuing to reflect about it is an important tool in my maintenance arsenal.

01-02-2008, 04:53 AM
I think the problem with the questions for me, is that on any given day, the answers would be different. I was a slender four year old, and an obese five year old. I don't have a clue what happened in that year to make such a big difference.

I used to say it was because it was when my mom first started letting my brother and I cross the street to walk the block to grandma and grandpa's house after dinner. They'd have a second dinner waiting for us, and even as a very small child I don't think I had an "off" switch when it came to food. I ate until I got sick or was forbidden to eat more (and within a few years, that didn't help any at all, as I'd just wait until everyone went to bed). But that doesn't really make sense, as no one forced me to eat a second dinner, and my brother ate that second dinner and hos food intale was ridiculous yet he never gained an ounce (of course in hindsight, he was also much more athletic, and had undiagnosed ADHD - he was always moving so he had the metabolism and activity level of a hummingbird).

I strongly suspect a genetic component. I was adopted and don't know enough about biological family to know for sure, but my weight and relationship with food is unlike any in my family.

I also think that "dieting" is responsible for much of my weight gain. Being put on a rather strict diet in kindergarten, and being given amphetemine diet pills at 13 or 14 did more harm than good I think. Especially since the traditional concept of dieting was (and to a certain degree still is) that it was for a temporary time period. That once you lost all of the weight, you would eventually get to eat whatever you wanted. I had more reinforcement than discouragement for crazy diet thinking, because that is what books, magazines, telivision and other dieters modeled - crazy beliefs and crazy expectations. I think that's still true today, although there is at least more exposure to "common sense" approaches. Still every women's magazine at the checkout still has a chocolate cake recipe and a crash diet advertised on the cover, and crash diets are as popular as ever.

All in all, there are thousands of choices and experiences and cultural circumstances in the environment that reinforced and sustained skewed behavior (not only when it comes to weight loss). I think I chose to study psychology in part to try and figure myself out. No such luck, exactly. Or rather, understanding all of the reasons (genetics, biochemical, physical, emotional, psychological, habitual, cultural...) didn't help me change. Only change can bring about change, and it's rarely easy no matter what change you're trying to make.

I think it was most clear when I was a probation officer. I had so many people on my caseload that truly wanted to change, but criminal behavior was so natural and ingrained to them, that they really had a very tough time creating a "normal" life for themselves, because criminal behavior was normal to them. Much of what came out of their mouths were identical to things I had thought or said at some point about my weight, and I realized they were the same problem. Change is hard and it sucks. The human body and mind fights change, and disfunctional behavior tends to spiral into more disfunctional behavior. The only thing that works is one step at a time, digging yourself out of the whole you have made for yourself.

But the thing is "gradual change" is not a popular concept. We expect perfection, not progress, and we consider a "partial-success" as a failure. Experiencing only failure, we give up and go back to old habits.

I think our culture and the dieting/weight loss subculture makes the process more difficult. Crash diets are more popular than common sense, and there are unwritten "dieting rules" that most of us initially follow until we find our own way. I think most of these are complete hogwash, but many of us follow them anyway, because we think we're "supposed to," or because it's the only model we've seen. Very few people are impressed by a one pound loss, and yet most people who will try to lose weight this year will not be able to lose even one pound and keep it off all year, yet alone a consistent one pound per week or even per month.

It isn't that I think understanding our "reasons" is completely pointless, but I think that for most of us the reasons aren't simple, and if we had to understand them before doing something about them, we'd spend our entire life studying ourselves, but never getting around to the changing part. Every question could be answered in a book, not just a sentence.

01-02-2008, 06:13 AM
For me I think I got as fat as I did (on several occasions) due to a lack of control. I am generally a very controlled person but with a responsible job, a home, a husband and two kids and a need to constantly watch what I'm eating needing my attention there been times in my life when the latter seemed to be the least important. During these times I've eaten what is quick and convenient and my health has suffered as a consequence.

I think of it like juggling, I can manage to control 4 balls but add a 5th and I can't keep them all in the air at once. I bet all those curious people out there would like to know which 'ball I've dropped' in order to get my eating back in control? Well earlier last year I failed to gain a promotion I was expected to achieve. Was it the end of the world? No, but it sure made me look at what was important in life. I decided I wasn't going to bust a gut as I had been and do work beyond what I was getting paid to do - I now do what I need to but no more.

I guess I will need to 'shuffle the balls' again in the future if I am to maintain the weightloss and progress in my career but with my children getting older perhaps this may be possible. Who knows?


01-02-2008, 08:06 AM
Hey! :wave:

I'll give you some short answers... :) Well, kinda short...

1. But how in the heck did we get here?
One mouthful at a time! While sitting in a chair all day. Enjoying the bounty that we are allowed in this extravagant culture.

2. How did it seem to happen so slowly, but it happened really fast?
For me it didn't happen fast. It happened over decades.

3. How did we LET these lbs creep on?
In my case it was gradual over years. I didn't see it happening in a day-to-day way. Oh, I would gain, and then one day decide to lose some--and do so! And then stop watching, and gain it back plus a little more... and then decide to lose some. And so on.

4. Why did we ignore it?
Because it seemed so gradual, and therefore it seemed like dealing with it could wait. I had more important things to do!

5. Who were we kidding?
Oh, you know who! ;)

6. Where did we go wrong?
I don't think in that way. I think human beings are naturally drawn to tasty, calorie-laden foods because in prehistoric times, these foods were scarce and hard to come by. Now they can be had on any street corner for very little money. So, easy to gain--not so easy to lose. One requires no thinking at all, the other requires discipline, motivation, awareness...

7. What were we thinking?
We weren't, or not clearly. I don't think anyone sets out to become obese! I told myself I had more important things to do than worry about my weight, and therefore I didn't have time to figure out calories and meal plans, and certainly not enough time to exercise! Of course, none of that was true.


01-02-2008, 09:15 AM
Vixjean, for me it was depression. I was active and fit and able to eat anything I wanted without gaining. But I've used food as a comfort since the onset of my depression at the age of 12, and it's a habit that's hard to break. Particularly as I'm rarely "well" for more than a few months at a time. :shrug:
I know that eating healthy foods and exercising helps me to feel better to an extent, but when I'm in the middle of a major episode, food is my "kindest" friend.

01-02-2008, 11:53 AM
I was heavy because I ate too much of the wrong kinds of foods. I was heavy because I had no problems eating when I wasn't hungry. I was heavy because I was deliberately blind to the calorie count of foods - I really didn't want to know my favorite "all the way nachos" at Qdoba had 1300+ calories. I was heavy because I ate whatever was convenient. I never said no to a free cookie, piece of cake, leftover bagel in the breakroom. I was heavy because I quit getting on the scale and refused to LOOK at myself (not down at myself in the shower, not in a full length mirror, not in photos). I was heavy because I worked a lot of long hours and ate a ton of pizza and fast food. I was heavy because a "serving" of ice cream at home was a heaping full cereal bowl, topped with chocolate syrup. I was heavy because I ate enormous plates of pasta with 5-6 pieces of sourdough bread. I was heavy because I thought losing weight was too hard and I would have to give up the foods I loved.

Now, after 3 years, I am a slim person because:

* I am very aware of the estimated calorie count in all foods.
* I plan for meals, I do a ton of recipe searching, grocery shopping, lunch packing, by Sunday, I know what I'm going to eat for every meal/snack for the entire week
* I carefully measure portion sizes (rice, pasta, nuts, dried fruit, cereal, salad dressing - especially)
* I get on the scale once a week
* I keep a mental calorie count every day of what I eat
* I gave up some foods forever (this is a personal thing, I don't MISS fast food, sugary soda, packaged baked goods)
* I found healthy foods I loved (low fat greek yogurt, Kashi frozen waffles, natural peanut butter, pomegranates, roasted butternut squash, roasted cherry tomatoes, wilted kale with garlic and lemon)
* I am willing to do the hard work it takes to stay thin.

01-02-2008, 12:57 PM
I dont think it is DUH the same for everyone. I ate too much, but I didnt exercise too little, I have always exercised.

I got fat because no matter how often or what I eat, I am hungry all the time. PLUS I am an emotional binge eater. I exercised a lot in the hopes that would combat the food.

01-02-2008, 01:07 PM
For me, i think it was an odd sense of denial and stubborness... when i was in my mid 250's weight wise, and mid 20's age wise, i remember thinking to myself... i am me no matter what i weight, and if people dont like me because im fat... they can kiss my patoot... (mature huh? lol)... but the main reasons i acted and felt that way( as i look back) is i didnt want to have to give up my soda.. i love soda.. i didnt want to have to give up my fast food.. and the really odd part, is i never lacked for male attention no matter what my weight.. so i figured i could eat, drink what i wanted... still be attractive to men.. i had it made... so i thought.........

now im 43.. 297 lbs.. have trouble walking.. i worry about my health... i am married to a wonderful supportive man that now i worry about leaving due to early death from weight issues... i sure wish i could meet my 25 year old self and kick her right in her... well, you get the point... this would have been Soooo much easier to do while younger.... to sum it up i guess STUPIDITY was my downfall lol:dizzy:

01-03-2008, 12:25 AM
WOW! I am really REALLY happy how this thread turned out!!!

I am sorry if I was crabby last night though.
Anyway, I really enjoyed reading all the posts and some of them brought a tear to my eyes.

kaplods-Thanks for coming back and explaining to me more what you were saying. I can understand your view more now. I totally agree about the magazines and the mixed messages, and the portrayals of women and weight. I was reading a fitness magazine the otherday and BAM all of a sudden was a cake add that said, 'everyone needs a cheat day!' ---what is that???
Also, about the 'gradual change,'--I was in denial about how much work it took to lose 1 damn lb! Now that I have lost almost 10, (in 4 months), my that was a lot of work! I just thought I could lose 10 lbs a month or something---reality check! ANYWAY---CONGRATS for real on your awsome weight loss!!!

KforKitty I hear you about the JUGGLING!! I recently was overlooked for a promotion as well, in November, and I am VERY bitter about it. It is totally a painful sore spot for me. 'They' say that when someone dies, they don't wish the worked more!!

Glory87 I know what you mean, I really DON't want to know the calories of some foods. I am doing better now. Congrats to you for doing so well!

01-03-2008, 11:27 AM
vixjean, I think this is a great thread. :D I, too, am a very analytical person and I like to know the "hows" and "whys" of everything. Here go my answers, supposed excuses and all!

1. How did I get there?
I dropped one eating disorder and began another. I decided I was done with starvation, compulsive exercise, and the other tactics I took on to stay "skinny" and therefore started eating the entire world because I "could". My weight remained low when I first started these habits, though once I became stressed out (money problems, bad job, relationship issues), I blew up like a hot air baloon. I only consciously exercised a few times a week and usually for 30 minutes or less. I already messed up my metabolism with all my eating disorder BS and I gained 50 pounds in about 6 months.

2. How did it seem to happen so slowly, but it happened really fast?
It happened SO fast for me. I felt like one day, I was thin, then the next day, I was unable to fit most of my clothes! :o

3. How did we LET these lbs creep on?
I didn't realize the pounds were creeping on until it was too late.

4. Why did we ignore it?
Because I was too depressed to take the initiative to change. There were too many stressful events in my life for me to dedicate the time to lose weight and get healthier. I felt my weight was the least of my concerns.

5. Who were we kidding?
Myself, because everyone around me really thought I was overweight :o

6. Where did we go wrong?
Everywhere :lol: Seriously, I had so many common weight loss misconceptions, like: "As long as I exercise, I will not need to eat healthily."
"As long as I don't eat after 8, I won't get fat."
"One serving means one plateful."

7. What were we thinking?
"MMMMM! This tastes REALLY GOOD!"

01-03-2008, 11:47 AM
1. But how in the heck did we get here?
Well for me it was not because I over ate I rarely did that. For me it was because I did not eat enough. And I did not move around near enough.
2. How did it seem to happen so slowly, but it happened really fast?
It was slowly it took about 4 years or so for me to add the weight on.
3. How did we LET these lbs creep on?
For me it was avoiding the scale. I only stood on a scale once a year. Each time I saw another 10lbs adding on.
4. Why did we ignore it?
Did not always ignore it. A few times I tried to lose it but did not have the motivation to really lose it until now. For the longest time I had said I would not allow myself to hit a certain weight. One day I woke up and saw that weight right around the corner and knew I had to do something. And I did something and lost weight.
5. Who were we kidding?
No one but myself.
6. Where did we go wrong?
I don't have answer for this one.
7. What were we thinking?
Or this one either.

01-03-2008, 03:05 PM
1. But how in the heck did we get here?

I feel like a freak because I got to be a hundred pounds overweight without over eating or binging. However, I did have horrible nutrition. I gained weight by eating one large meal a day. Now as I look back I estimate that I was only eating 800 - 1000 calories of actual food a day. Horrible habit #1 must have slowed my metabolism something awful, but that wasn't my worst habit.

I drank my way to obesity. No, not booze. That would have been a little more interesting. I drank sugary coffee and soda all day long, every day of my life until I was around 25.

2. How did it seem to happen so slowly, but it happened really fast?

I did gain weight slowly during periods with a lot of activity (while I was keeping busy with school, work, friends, etc.) However, I went through a few periods of depression when I was inactive. A couple of times in my life I felt like I woke up after a few months of feeling blue only to find that my clothes didn't fit any more.

3. How did we LET these lbs creep on?

I grew up on the high side of normal weight in California and always believed that I was fat. I had a completely warped sense of body image so I almost always wore baggy clothes. When I was a size 12 (as a six foot tall sixteen year old) I hated my body so much that I bought size sixteen. Eventually I grew into that size and started shopping larger.

I had to gain a lot of weight in order to gain a realistic body image. I didn't start wearing clothes that fit until I filled out a 24 and couldn't endure the thought of going shopping for an even bigger size.

4. Why did we ignore it?

I was in denial to begin with, so that made it easier to ignore. Another factor for me was that, even at my high, I was the skinny one in my family.

5. Who were we kidding?

I wasn't kidding anyone. I was the unjolliest fat girl ever.

6. Where did we go wrong?

I was completely ignorant and powerless.

7. What were we thinking?

I wasn't thinking about my own health at all because I didn't feel like I deserved that consideration. To begin getting healthy I had to over think every detail of my way of life in order to reshape it. As I began reshaping my life, reshaping my body came naturally.

01-03-2008, 03:46 PM
I'm one of those that has been overweight pretty much my whole life. I can't tell you (or myself) why I was obese by the age of 10, why I was over 200 pounds before high school, etc. I was an active kid--I took 5 years of tap dance, played softball from age 6 to 14 (and then off and on in late high school), was a member of my high school drama club (which involved many many long dance rehearsals for our annual spring musicals)...

I like to blame my taste buds :devil: My parents always had healthy foods available, but even as a child, I didn't like them. Most vegetables (and until very recently, most meats) literally make me gag. I remember my mother telling me I had to eat everything on my dinner plate, and she would give me maybe 4-5 little cut up pieces of, say, pork chop. I would put the pork chop pieces in my mouth, chew them slightly, and then excuse myself, go to the bathroom, and spit it all out. I think that's well beyond a typical child's aversion to broccoli or whatever :dizzy:

01-05-2008, 07:54 AM
1. But how in the heck did we get here?
Emotional eating and not loving myself enough. No matter how badly people treat you it's imortant you take care of yourself. For a long time I haven't so now I've started and I'm going to let the past stay in the past.

2. How did it seem to happen so slowly, but it happened really fast?
For me it happene really fast and I mean really fast!! Within 2-3 months I went from 120 to 150 lbs!!

3. How did we LET these lbs creep on?
I'd stuff myself with cookies and anything that was rich and comforting

4. Why did we ignore it?
I honestly believed for a while I did not deserve to lose weight so I continued eating to punish myself.

5. Who were we kidding?

6. Where did we go wrong?
The fact that I let myself gain that much weight in a short amount of time was just wrong itself. It shows just how much I did not care about my own well being. That was a wake up call!!

7. What were we thinking?
Something has to change. I have to lose the weight for myself if I'm not happy. I shouldn't care what others have to say. I want to do this for me and I will!

01-05-2008, 09:46 AM
1. But how in the heck did we get here?
I don't know how exactly. I have memories - of being 11 years old and stealing (I know) money so I could sneak out to the shop and buying sweets. I remember being younger than that and getting caught coming out of the shop by my mum with masses of food - can't remember if I got told off but it wasn't long after that I was 'encouraged' to go on bike rides daily with my dad and had restricted access to food etc. I've come to the realisation after many hours of reading etc that I am a binge eater. Currently I'm not and I hope to control it in the future also but certainly in the past (and even during my relapse a month or so ago) I excessively binge.

2. How did it seem to happen so slowly, but it happened really fast?
Not a clue... depends how you define fast. My mum says it happened when I was six and went to stay with an aunt who gave me sugar etc all summer long and apparently my parents had never given it to me before then. Also the matter that my mother is morbidly obese and my family like to buy into the genetics theory... oh that and the 'oh go on treat yourself you've done this well/x/y/z eat'

3. How did we LET these lbs creep on?
Food is a great friend. No talking back. No effort. Can do it anytime/anywhere.

4. Why did we ignore it?
Why not? I have no social life (working on it) and had to fill my hours somehow! I still struggle with this issue now - I have to hunt down things to do or I'll gravitate towards the kitchen. I seem to have filled my time with an obsession of reading material on weight loss - books/forums/blogs - you name it I'll read it. Immersing myself (at least right now) is the only way.

5. Who were we kidding?
Everyone - I thought. No one - in actuality.

6. Where did we go wrong?
I guess that I've been aware of the NEED to do something for the past few years - going wrong was waiting until now to do something about it.

7. What were we thinking?
I wasn't. Food is the greatest sedative - it makes me happy (no not in the true sense of happy) but it gives you that high (albeit temporarily)