Weight Loss Support - Psychological Challenges




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hotmama2b
04-02-2008, 12:16 PM
I wanted to see how everyone dealt with the mental challenges we sometimes face with weight loss. This might sound all too familiar for many, like me, who have been 'heavy' their whole life.

I am 4'11" - small frame, and was never "small". I have the number, 105 pounds stuck in my head. Literally - engrained. The truth of the matter is, that based on my current body fat % and even goals of a very lean, 22+% body fat... I will never weigh that. In fact, I would be closer to 145-153 ish. My nutritionist asked me the other week, "how does that make you feel...' I said, "not good!" and my eyes teared up. Same discussion I had with my trainer. How can one be barely 5 feet tall and weigh 145 lbs. and be healthy? is what goes on in my head..


For the record, I feel great..I have been working out consistently for nearly 2 years, have lost a lot of weight and now feel even better with nutrition in tow. I am 171 lbs. as of this AM.. and my very first thought was - OMG.. I'll be in the 160s soon and this scares me. I don't know why.. Maybe because it puts me closer to goal and I look at me now and think there is "at least 40" to go.. No there isn't 40 to go.. But I self-sabotage.. I don't eat enough and run caloric DEFICITS at the dismay of both my trainer AND nutritionist. Why do I do this to myself?


Heather
04-02-2008, 09:45 PM
I don't know why you do it, but I do it too.

I believe I have sabotaged myself so that I don't go below 170. Given that I started at nearly 300 pounds, I am actually thrilled as punch with my abilities and my life. But I do wonder why it is when the scale hits 173 that my eating just creeps up...

For what it's worth, I think the mental issues we confront with weight loss are as important, if not more important, than the physical issues. Not that we must address them before we succeed -- in fact, many don't arise until we start losing. But I think to be successful with weight loss and maintenance means, for most of us, to confront ourselves on a whole new level and wrestle with how we "got there" in the first place... and how to "never go back again."

Okay, sorry, babbling...!

Lovely
04-02-2008, 10:08 PM
How can one be barely 5 feet tall and weigh 145 lbs. and be healthy? is what goes on in my head..

I'm sure you've heard these things before but... perhaps they bear repeating.

Weight does not equal worth.
The number on the scale does not always correlate to how healthy we are.

You might be shorter than average, and have a smaller frame, but even if we could magically take away all your fat and even all your muscle... maybe your body itself simply weighs more.

Not to mention that weighing 145 doesn't mean you'll look a certain way. Let's pretend that there are 2 people, both the same height. One of them has bones that weigh 20 pounds more than the other. (I don't even know if that's possible, I'm just using it for the argument.) They each wear the same size, do the same exercises, eat the same food. But one of them will always weigh 20 lbs more than the other. That weight ends up having nothing to do with the way that they look. One of them is just denser than the other. (Not in a bad way, either.)

You cannot control the number on the scale. You can control what you do each day to be healthier. You can also control how you react to that number on the scale. :hug:


BlzMaxGnrCCJkMly
04-02-2008, 10:44 PM
i think we all get caught up on the number on the scale and not how we feel and look! I know i do and i am trying to fight that mental demon now! working out has totally changed my body! i am loosing fat in places i never have before i see muscles forming yet when i step on the scale there is little to no change so i get upset and dwell on just that one minor thing! how do we stop and get past it? i wish i knew! good luck to you!

Taylor86
04-02-2008, 11:40 PM
My suggestion is to perhaps get rid of your scale or perhaps only weigh yourself once-a-week.

I know that number is hard to get rid of...but you are more than just a number, a height or a size. Your a human being....and I know that may sound funny..but it's not the number...it's the person.

You have done great so far and it seems as though you are very in touch with the fact you are thinking about the number too much....so get out there and enjoy life...

hotmama2b
04-03-2008, 10:34 AM
My suggestion is to perhaps get rid of your scale or perhaps only weigh yourself once-a-week.

I know that number is hard to get rid of...but you are more than just a number, a height or a size. Your a human being....and I know that may sound funny..but it's not the number...it's the person.

You have done great so far and it seems as though you are very in touch with the fact you are thinking about the number too much....so get out there and enjoy life...

Thanks everyone -- I do actually only weigh myself once a week and i realize as women we have hormonal highs and lows, so I don't get hung up on the number.. I am finally realizng too that my lean body mass (what's that bones, organs, tissue, etc.) is about 119 pounds according to the calculations.

That told me that -- a) there is no way I could way 105 lbs... mathematically impossible.. and b) even at 120 -- i'd be at 0% body fat which is also impossible. Those numbers were very telling to me...

polkadotfever
04-03-2008, 01:23 PM
You know, I was thinking about this very thing the other day. I picked a pretty high goal weight (165). It's the last weight I remember myself looking pretty good at and at the same time not having to worry about gym/food 24/7. Yeah, I could and have weighed 120 pounds but that is a full time job for me and my body. It takes CONSTANT work and obsession. It takes, in all honesty, mental illness. I'd rather have the higher number and my sanity.

I was reading Allure yesterday and they've interviewed Mariah Carey. They printed pictures of her through the years at the bottom and have asked for her comments and there's a photo of her at a heavier weight (but still beautiful) in a two piece number at some awards show. She says something like, "I'm heavier here. I'm just a heavier girl, so I don't want to see a scale, ever." Now, I don't think anyone would argue that Mariah Carey is unattractive...she's practically a pin-up for heaven's sake!!!

Anyway, that little remark she made in turn made me feel better because I've always thought the woman had a pretty amazing bod. Some people (myself included!!) just weigh more. It doesn't mean we look worse. :hug: I know it's hard not to attach so much to that number though.

mandalinn82
04-03-2008, 02:04 PM
See line in my signature.

Read out loud to yourself.

Repeat as necessary.

Seriously - the scale is a convenient measure...it takes seconds to hop on and hop off, it can be done daily, you don't have to fast or do anything special...but it is NOT an accurate measure of your progress. After all, are you losing weight so you can have a healthy percentage of body fat, be a smaller size, and be healthier, or are you losing weight SOLELY so you can get on the scale in the morning and see a lower number?

Heather
04-03-2008, 05:56 PM
even at 120 -- i'd be at 0% body fat which is also impossible. Those numbers were very telling to me...

That doesn't sound right. Don't forget that when you lose weight you are not just losing fat, but muscle too, and often quite a bit of it! At 120 you would definitely have some fat left!

hotmama2b
04-04-2008, 11:16 AM
That doesn't sound right. Don't forget that when you lose weight you are not just losing fat, but muscle too, and often quite a bit of it! At 120 you would definitely have some fat left!

Is that really true? my trainer and nutritionist never gave me that impression.. they don't want me to lose muscle at all (?) :?:

JayEll
04-04-2008, 11:26 AM
It's true--when folks lose weight they don't just lose fat, regardless of what your trainer and nutritionist want. ;) They really want you to minimize muscle loss, which you can do with resistance training and other exercise.

My body fat % went from 44% to 33%, so a good part of what I lost was indeed fat--but clearly not all of it. 44% of 198 = 87 pounds fat; 33% of 150 = 49.5 pounds of fat. So of the roughly 48 pounds I lost, about 37.5 pounds was fat loss. The rest was other tissues.

Jay

midwife
04-04-2008, 11:31 AM
A long time ago, some person (probably a guy :) ) decided something that weighed a certain amount is called a pound. Ever since then, a few cultures in the world weigh things according to pounds. Numbers are just numbers. Pounds are just pounds. Convert your weight to kilograms....that's always a fun exercise.

I'm in the mental process of shifting my goals from "pounds" to body fat percentage. I think that percentage points are less wracked with cultural significance. Only people who have a clue get what 19, 20, or 22% body fat (or more or less) means, whereas there are cultural expectations on scale weight.

I did say I am in the process, but it is a paradigm shift. After years of thinking "goal weight" I am having to make little changes. I even got into a discussion about this with my personal trainer the other night. I was talking about a scale spike due to water retention and he said I should ignore the scale. It is about how my clothes fit, and body fat percentages. And in my mind I whined "But you just don't understa-a-a-a-a-nd.....you aren't fat. Have you ever been fat? Don't you get that I want to see a certain number on the scale?"

But he's right. The scale is irrelevant. BMIs are not very helpful. Who walks around with their weight tattooed on their forehead?? No one! (I hope) But how we look, how we feel, how our muscles look under our skin, strength and endurance....THOSE are what are important.

105 pounds is simply a number representing a weight set in motion by some scientist guy years ago....don't give it too much power. I see a LOT of women and their weights and I'll tell you, some of the fittest women I know have a scale weight higher than I would have guessed.

The scale is a tool, but I wonder if it is actually not a good tool after all (says the self-proclaimed daily weigher!!)

But it is a paradigm shift.

Good luck!

PS Wanted to add that it is possible to gain muscle while you lose weight. Last month I lost 7 pounds according to the scale. According to 9 point calipers, I lost 9 pounds of fat and gained 2 pounds of muscle. I eat a lot of protein and am lifting 3 times a week though.

srmb60
04-04-2008, 12:11 PM
Midwife ..... what a fabulously inpired thread!

midwife
04-04-2008, 01:00 PM
Well, thank you Susan! I've always liked you!! Seriously, it's nice to know that my feverish thoughts sometimes resonate with others. :)

hotmama2b
04-04-2008, 01:18 PM
:D thank you everyone! this has been so helpful.

Scarlett
04-04-2008, 01:48 PM
yeah..I'm going to go with everyone here and say put the scale away. If you eat a certain amount of calories every day you WILL loose weight, no need to torture yourself with the daily fluctiations. I personally drop weight weirdly. When I would weigh myself daily I would drop 3 pounds on a morning when I'd had an 'average' day the day before...become motivated and be perfect the next 4 days and only drop .2. I did a very successful 6 week program where I ate within my calorie range, did not weigh myself AT ALL until it was over. It felt so good to see a larger number at the end and not go through the emotions of the number on the scale. I know it's not easy but try and stay off it.