Weight Loss Support - Trying to do to much at once?




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Heffalump
03-01-2008, 03:23 PM
That has always been one of my main problems, I think - trying to go from living in complete denial to 100% perfect eating and exercising. It seems that for me there is nothing at all in between. I'm either perfect or off the wagon. One binge or even a little overindulgence will send me off into months of avoidance.

When I'm on plan, I'm really "on" all the time. Weight loss becomes the dominant theme in my life, and I spend hours calculating food intake, exercise minutes, projected weight loss (my favorite! I don't know whether to laugh or cry when I come across an old weight loss plan that says: "I'll weigh xxx.xx lbs by December 1st!"). I spend even more time researching weight-loss related themes, lurking around in weight-loss forums ;) and analyzing my deeper reasons for gaining and wanting to lose in lengthy essays to myself or my blog.

And then it happens: One false move, and goodbye to all that. For months, I avoid everything related to the topic of weight loss. I don't watch my food intake, I don't exercise, I don't weigh myself. I abandon all research and soul-searching at once. Heffalump's self-control is not at home right now, please leave a message.

How to find a healthy balance? For me, the answer can't be more discipline, more perfection, more weight-loss mentality. Right now, I seem to be stumbling towards a less strenuous path. I try to focus on health and strength instead of on losing pounds. I set my calorie goal for a slow weight loss and monitor myself for over-restriction. And I try to spend less time obsessing by refocusing my attention to other topics, even though this is still one of the hardest things for me to do.

What is the answer for you?


meowee
03-01-2008, 03:49 PM
Sounds like you are moving in the right direction, Chickie . . . we all have to accept the fact that we are human and, as humans, we will have little slips along the path to better health and fitness.

Just keep doing the best you can as much as you can and the rewards will follow.

JayEll
03-01-2008, 04:32 PM
If you really, really get terrifically obsessive about it.... then one strategy you might try is to forego the minute-by-minute tracking and goals. Sometimes this can be the opposite of helpful. A person backs themselves into a terribly tight corner, and then any slip at all becomes "total failure."

By foregoing these, I mean--for example--keep a written list or a mental list of what you eat during the day, but don't assign calories or points to any of it until the next day. Just put that off. That may help avoid the endless battle over 50 calories here, 30 calories there, should I or shouldn't I, let's add it up, can I still eat a little more, :blah:

Or only weigh once a week, not more often.

Or don't have a date goal at all! :cb:

The next day, you can put what you ate the day before into FitDay or The Daily Plate, or you can just put in the calories on paper--so you can see how much you actually did eat. Then you can decide it was not enough, too much, or just right. And proceed with the rest of the day, just keeping your list without the numbers.

Because, see, you already know what you "should" be eating and what you "should not" be eating, right? Been there, done that, paid the price?

So get out of the mental game part of it. Avoid the self-sabotage that says, oh well, I messed up, now I get to eat myself into oblivion (and a weight gain). :yikes:

BTW, rght now I am doing what I've recommended with regard to listing foods--simply because I was driving myself nuts trying to second guess my choices all day long and managing not to lose any weight... :mad:

Jay


Heffalump
03-01-2008, 04:49 PM
@meowee: Just keep doing the best you can as much as you can and the rewards will follow.

Yeah, you're so right - that about sums up the mindset I'm trying get into right now! And also about being human - I guess it's about being patient and kind to oneself even in less than perfect times...

@JayEll:

Thanks so much for the input! I'm really trying to trust myself more instead of monitoring all the time. Funnily enough, this is the first time I'm actually counting and tracking calories! I've counted points and kept very detailed food journals before, but calorie counting always seemed to be a step towards more obsessiveness. For some reason I've yet to find out it feels less restrictive though, especially since my approach right now is to make sure to get *enough* calories.

I do track during the day, though - might be a good idea to set aside a time to track all of it at once. :) This would definitely eliminate some time I spend involved with this process.

As for the weighing, I've found a way to sabotage my perfectionism in that respect by buying a really cheap analog scale that basically only tells me my tendency, not a definite number and decimal, and thus makes a daily weigh-in pretty absurd. My old digital scale used to drive me nuts with all those decimals and body fat % - and then it still wouldn't be accurate most days... :mad:

Catmint
03-01-2008, 06:37 PM
First, congrats on the weight loss so far. You're doing great!

I'm a perfectionist too. I am currently doing a weight-loss program through a clinic that I go to 3 times a week to weigh and monitor my food intake, etc. The first visit I had to fill out a lengthy questionnaire to find out what kind of "dieter" I am. I scored high in only one category. You guessed it: Perfectionism!

Since then I've been doing great on my plan. Granted, it helps to know I have to go see the nutritionist every couple days, that helps me stay on track. But more importantly, I'm glad to know that I'm a perfectionist when it comes to eating right and like you if I made one little error, it was all over! Now that I understand this character trait, I can get myself back on track immediately.

I think for you, since you have recognized this in yourself, it's equally enlightening and helpful. Half the battle is knowing who you are.

You'll do great. Best of luck to you!

Kery
03-02-2008, 01:32 AM
Whatever works for you, I say. If calories counting and keeping lists and all that stuff clearly isn't working, and sends you into black-and-white thinking, maybe it's indeed time to trust yourself more. I ran into the same problem--lost weight quietly by intuitive eating, started counting, then everything went down the drain. Some people need the structure; some others need some space to breathe in, and counting/logging all the time doesn't do it for some (you know there's a problem when you feel guilty about having eaten an apple because "OMG it's 90 calories!" Heh...).

Weighing in my case went this way: stuff scales in the wardrobe, under a pile of clothes. Now it's not in my way anymore every time I go to the bathroom, but if I can be bothered to dig it up, I can still weigh. ;)

Heffalump
03-02-2008, 08:29 AM
@catmint: Thank you! And you're doing so great too - I'm glad the plan is working so well. You're completely right, I think: knowing yourself and your tendencies is half the battle. We can do this! And (as my thesis advisor used to say) - done is better than perfect. :)

@Kery: Salut, my fellow European (I relocated last year) - wow, you did a great job so far! I've tried intuitive eating before, and its principles make perfect sense to me. My ultimate goal is indeed to eat like that and in some respects I already do.

However, completely letting go of tracking and weighing is not (yet) for me. If I don't log anything or don't have a plan, it just turns my self-monitoring into a free-floating mess that clogs up my thought processes even more. My next step right now is to make these numbers less important... :)

LisaMarie71
03-02-2008, 09:23 AM
However, completely letting go of tracking and weighing is not (yet) for me. If I don't log anything or don't have a plan, it just turns my self-monitoring into a free-floating mess that clogs up my thought processes even more. My next step right now is to make these numbers less important... :)

I think you've got the right idea. I rode that same roller coaster for years. I would obsess about it for a few weeks and then mess up and avoid anything to do with weight loss for months and months. It was always all or nothing. When I let go of the all-or-nothing mentality, I finally lost the weight. This time, when I messed up, I just picked myself back up and started counting again the next day. And I never EVER told myself any food was off limits. That was what killed my plan every time before. If a food was "forbidden" and I ate it, then I would think I'd ruined everything, and that's what kept me obese for years and years. When I decided to just LIVE (which includes eating "forbidden" foods, at least for me), I finally got it together. But you're right -- planning and counting is still important in order to keep track. You just can't pin all your hopes on the numbers being perfect every day. The good news is -- they don't have to be perfect, and you can still lose the weight! :)

Heather
03-02-2008, 09:48 AM
I don't have much to add, but I do think that being able to recognize the problem you're having is SUCH a boon!

I count calories, and find that if I don't I am simply not as successful and accountable to myself. You will have to find the right middle ground for you!

Good luck!

Heffalump
03-03-2008, 08:22 AM
@LisaMarie: your story sounds so much like mine - and your fantastic loss is such a huge encouragement! Thanks for showing that it's possible. :hug:

@Heather: You are such an inspiration, too. I'm so glad that people like you and LisaMarie stick around and encourage those of us who still have a ways to go, whether in terms of pounds or insight. :hug:

Lovely
03-03-2008, 08:33 AM
How to find a healthy balance? For me, the answer can't be more discipline, more perfection, more weight-loss mentality. Right now, I seem to be stumbling towards a less strenuous path. I try to focus on health and strength instead of on losing pounds. I set my calorie goal for a slow weight loss and monitor myself for over-restriction. And I try to spend less time obsessing by refocusing my attention to other topics, even though this is still one of the hardest things for me to do.

Definitely sounds like you've got this down now. Focusing on whatever will keep you going, regardless of stumbles along the way, is the right path.

What is the answer for you?

The answer for me is the same as it usually is for most things in my life. Tackling one thing at a time until I've got it under a reasonable amount of control. First the points, then the water, then the exercise, now the fruits, veg & what foods I'm eating. I've just passed 10 months since my first change... and I've got a lifetime more to go. If I didn't do this one thing at a time, I'd have quit a day after I began.

Also, the ability to say "It's okay... just keep going." And I've truly internalized this feeling by reading 3FC. It's the most sound advice, and the most practical that is truly universal (in my eyes). Don't let some poor choices keep you from getting up and getting back to it. :yes: I've made many a poor choice, and unless I have will power of steel (I don't) I'll be making some in the future, too. I have to acknowledge this, but I also have to move on. Head back in the game :)