Weight Loss Support - Mind Over Matter?




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AJ113
07-04-2008, 09:33 AM
We all know what we should be doing to lose weight, so why don't we do it? It's not like it's a well-guarded secret, I doubt if there is a forum member who doesn't know exactly what to do to lose weight.

So why do we all struggle? Why do we need DVDs, slimming clubs, books and forums like this - and then still fall by the wayside?

My view:

We don't have the ability to value and prioritise long term results over short term impulses that provide a quick "hit".

Instead of excahnging exercise and diet tips, should we be searching for help, methods and techniques for coping with this weakness of pandering to our "want it now" desires?

I believe that if we could defeat this aspect of our behaviour, weight loss would be a facile process limited only by the measure of time it takes to burn off the required excess body fat.

So I would like to ask for contributions from members who can offer tips, advice, support - anything that may go towards easing this destructive habit.

Please, pitch in with your thoughts on this.


srmb60
07-04-2008, 09:43 AM
I think that a lot of the emotional aspects wrt to weight loss are covered in the Chicks in Control threads. You may want to do some reading there to see what's been covered in previous posts.

paris81
07-04-2008, 10:07 AM
Also, it is true that our culture associates food with rewards and with celebration. Since the brain is such a powerful organ, it holds on to these associations that we grew up with, and it's difficult to break the pattern.

I've read a bunch of articles on the struggle with weight loss, and some of them look back at prehistoric humans. The articles point out that there are two things that are normal for our bodies and minds that do not translate into our modern world.

The first is feast-famine--since back in the day, we had to hunt food and food wasn't always accessible, we made sure to eat as much as possible when it was available because we didn't know when we'd be able to eat again. Now food is always accessible to us, but for some reason we may not register that in our minds and bodies.

The second is that we are not programmed to expend "unnecessary" physical energy, since the task of getting food was so exhausting (chasing after animals, etc) that we had to save our energy. Therefore, the idea of going for a run for the sake of going for a run is against human nature.

Now, I don't know if there is any truth to these theories, especially since not everyone struggles with weight, but I think it's interesting to think about, and it might help us recognize our behavior so that we can change it to improve our health.


yoyoma
07-04-2008, 10:27 AM
3fc chicks do have lots of good experience and they have shared many tips along these lines.

But if you like to sit down with a book, it seems like some weight management authors are catching on -- to focus on mindset and behavior modification -- rather than particular diets. Two books I would highly recommend...

The Beck Diet Solution - train your brain to think like a thin person (Beck) -- Not a diet -- supposed to be used with the diet of your choice. Provides a 42 step program based on Cognitive Therapy designed to adjust your mindset about weight management (and behaviors). (3fc has a support thread for followers of this plan, btw.)

The Thin Commandments Diet - the 10 no-fail strategies for permanent weight loss (Gullo) -- This book does contain a diet you can follow (I don't) but can be used with any diet. The body of the book provides lots of good strategies for changing your mindset and targeting problem behaviors. Less formal than Beck (no program) but contains more backstory.

fiberlover
07-04-2008, 10:27 AM
There are also many physiological reasons that make it difficult to lose weight. It isn't just a matter of willpower. Science is starting to disprove the 'lazy' fat person who knows what to do but won't stick to it.

I would suggest reading a few books: Rethinking Thin, The Hungry Gene, and Fighting the Obesity Epidemic. Interesting reads, if not a little depressing.

It's all about learning to work with our bodies and listen to what the body is trying to tell you.

JayEll
07-04-2008, 10:51 AM
Here's an aspect that I don't see mentioned very often. Our culture (in the West) is largely one of vicarious experiences. The reason has to do with media, and I include not only movies and TV but also newspapers and books.

I think it's possible to read something or watch something and actually feel as though you've done something, when you haven't done anything. Because you've seen it, it's as though you've participated in it.

At no other time in history, for example, have masses of people been able to feel upset over, say, an airplane crash in a distant country. Or cheer about a bicycle race in another distant country.

So--I think that reading about losing weight, watching programs about losing weight, thinking about losing weight, discussing losing weight, and theorizing about losing weight are all well and good. They can help point us in a direction. But, sooner or later one has to stop the vicarious distraction and actually do something real in one's daily life. Oh yes, people know what they "should" do... I think it's very hard for many people to make that leap.

The reasons we "can't" are varied and individual. (All reasons are just excuses dressed up as facts.) They include:

1. I have no time. (To get the foods together, to do exercise.)
As one 3FC member once said, we all have exactly the same amount of time. It's still amazing to me that I actually do have time to go to the gym every day. I could have sworn that I didn't.

2. I can't (won't) eat X, Y, Z. (Low carb, low fat, restricted calories, six times a day, every two hours, vegetables, etc.)
OK, I think that's pretty obvious. You'll do what you have to do.

3. I can't afford it. (Weight loss foods, Weight Watchers, a gym membership, an exercise DVD.)
Anyone who can go eat at a fast food place a few times a week can afford all of the above.

4. I'm too tired after all I do to exercise.
Sometimes people think exercise has to be a big deal. It doesn't. Anyone who is reasonably able-bodied can do a little walking to get started.

Well, stuff like that. Our member Meg once said, "If you want it, you'll find a way. If you don't, you'll find an excuse." I think ultimately that's what it comes down to.

OK, getting off my :soap: ;)

Jay

Tomato
07-04-2008, 11:02 AM
I don't think this is an issue with weight only. I believe people, in general, know what they should do in all other aspects of life. Think financial matters for example - do you ever watch "Till Debt Do Us Part" or "Maxed Out"? Shouldn't all people know that they are not supposed to buy stuff if they actually cannot afford (by being able to afford it I DON'T mean having enough credit on a credit card) and yet the amount of consumer debt is mind-blowing. People spend money that they don't have on things they don't need and don't have space for (oh yeah, eventually, they will have to buy a bigger house in order to accommodate all the junk and sink into an even deeper debt). And why? for the same reason - because the purchases fill some emotional voids, satisfy some emotional needs, and so on.

Heather
07-04-2008, 11:50 AM
I feel I discuss the mental aspects of weight loss frequently -- both here and IRL, which I think encompass the immediacy you discuss, but also other issues (just take a look at the body image forum for some other examples of how our mind affects our perceptions).

As a social/cultural psychologist, I'm simply fascinated with how our minds affect this whole process. But that certainly doesn't make me immune to the effects.

I think we as a society overemphasize the physical part of the process, because it's something we can wrap ourselves around easier. When people ask me how I lost weight, the simple answer is the physical one "Eat less, move more." But the real question is how have I been able to finally overcome all my obstacles to both take the weight off and keep it off? I wish I knew, really, because I do agree that knowledge isn't enough.

rockinrobin
07-04-2008, 12:14 PM
But the real question is how have I been able to finally overcome all my obstacles to both take the weight off and keep it off? I wish I knew, really, because I do agree that knowledge isn't enough.

Broken record alert - I've said this SOOOO many times.

I agree that knowledge is not enough. Not even close. I really and truly believe that it all boils down to - you have to want it badly enough. Because when you do, you will find a way, no matter how difficult, to overcome all those other obstacles.

PhotoChick
07-04-2008, 12:37 PM
I would disagree some with the "we all know how" part.

Here and on other boards I read, the sheer number of people - adults, not kids, and not even young adults, but people my age and parents who are feeding kids - who know NOTHING about nutrition makes my mind boggle.

Of the people who lack nutrition knowledge:

Many of them haven't even the vaguest idea what their calorie level should be (is 5000 too much, is 500 too little).

Many of them think that it's ok to eat nothing but junk as long as they stay within a set calorie level.

Many of them don't know what nutrients their body needs or what foods contain those nutrients so they eat whatever is handy.

Most of them have heard either low fat or low carb ... but they dont' really know what that means. So they cut out all fats, not realizing that our bodies need healthy fats to metabolise our food. Or they cut out all carbs mindlessly and not think about the healthy carbs they need to fuel their bodies.

That's one of the reasons that all the diet books that tell you what to eat and when to eat it are so successful, IMO. People are not taught nutrition, they don't understand it, and they just want someone to tell them what to eat, rather than figuring it out for themselves.

Our kids are inundated with advertising that says a McDonalds hamburger is a healthy meal - especially if you have it with a side of mandarin orange wedges instead of fries. We're all told that many restaurants have "healthy" choices on their menus and then are served food swimming in dressing, butter, oil, and cheese.

HOw many of the successful women here on 3FC have come back at one time or another and said that they truly didn't understand that what they were eating was bad until they began to eat well and felt better.

Speaking just for the US, as a nation, we ignore nutrition in favor of processed foods with added vitamins and think that's ok. If we eat fortified cereal ... that's nutrition, isn't it? If we eat diet food that has had the fat removed and vitamins added ... then we'll lose weight, right?

I don't think a lot of people know how to lose weight or eat right. And that's WHY when someone really becomes determined, it's so hard. It's not just becoming committed, many people have to rethink their entire knowledge base about food .. what's healthy, what's good, how to prepare it, how to buy it.

.

yoyoma
07-04-2008, 01:19 PM
Photochick -- those are good points. It's easy to overgeneralize.

But there is still the question of why many people who do have a pretty good grasp of nutrition, mastery of the mechanics of weight loss, knowledge of the health benefits of good nutrition and exercise, etc, etc, STILL fail -- either to lose weight or to maintain weight loss.

I don't think it can be boiled down to one or two phenomena. But I think there is now a wider appreciation for the social and psychological aspects of the problem. With strategies to target individual issues, hopefully more people will succeed in the future (including me!!!).

Glory87
07-04-2008, 01:21 PM
Wow, a lot of great posts in this thread.

In my opinion, it's hard to lose weight and keep it off because we are surrounded by unhealthy food choices, every day, all day. Every commercial, billboard, magazine ad, every social event, dinner out with friends, coffee break at Starbucks - the food choices presented are generally not healthy and the portions are huge.

We are a culture that likes things FAST and not just weight loss, food preparation is also fast fast fast. We revel in convenience, no one has time to cook. Pick up some stuff, order a pizza, throw some frozen food in the microwave.

For me, successful weight loss meant opting out of that lifestyle and it's HARD because it makes me a freak. I'm the person that gets teased (gently) in the break room every day "salad again? you're going to turn green!" I dread company events because I know there the tables will groan under the weight of all the food and the "healthy" choice will be some field greens (nothing else) and some regular full fat dressing.

I made the commitment to me, and my health to never eat fast food again - this is hard (if I need something on the go, my 2 standbys are healthy sushi options and a healthy Chipotle option, a healthy Chipotle option that is loaded with sodium and is 500 calories, but still...leaps healthier than anything else). I made the commitment to cook - which means several trips to the grocery store a week. I made the commitment to make lunches - which means I have to carve out time to do it.

Per Photochick's post, I made the commitment to be informed. Some people don't know that food companies can get away with saying NO TRANSFAT if the product has less than .5 grams per serving. Some people don't know the different between "wheat" bread and "whole wheat" bread. A lot of people don't have any idea the Great Wall of Chocolate cake at P.F. Chang's has 2200 calories or the Bloomin' Onion from Outback has 2200 calories - heck I didn't know. I try to read as much as possible, from "In Defense of Food" to "What to Eat" to "Mindless Eating" - I want to understand my relationship with food.

I made a commitment to stop drinking my calories - no more sugar soda. I allow no sugar added cocoa or a tall skinny latte from Starbucks and the occasional glass of red wine. This is so hard - we live in a culture that drinks so many large cups of soda in the car that cup holders have had to get bigger!

And - I had to commit to all these changes for the rest of my life. Real change is hard, so hard. If you had told me 5 years ago I would be packing a healthy salad with some chicken for lunch almost everyday instead of just wandering into the cafeteria and getting whatever looked good that day, I would have thought you were crazy. If you had told me I would give up venti caramel lattes with whip, scones, yogurt preztels, M&Ms, nachos and pizza, I would have thought "well, what will I eat? those are the foods I love, I can't give them up!" I was wrong, I COULD DO IT and I did do it and I'm STILL doing it.

I definitely don't like being the weird one, the freak who is so picky about food. It hurts in social situations sometimes.

rockinrobin
07-04-2008, 01:32 PM
I definitely don't like being the weird one, the freak who is so picky about food. It hurts in social situations sometimes.

Ahhh, but the alternative to being the weird one - is to be the "normal" one. And as you so beautifully pointed out - being "normal" in this society leads to eating foods that aren't so great for us - and therefore being unhealthy and overweight.

So - weird it is. ;)

Something that I said earlier in this thread, I've actually been thinking about. I really and truly believe that it all boils down to - you have to want it badly enough.

Since I believe it really does boil down, to wanting it badly enough, why is it then we don't want it badly enough? Why are we so willing to settle for second best?

srmb60
07-04-2008, 01:42 PM
Because we are creatures of habit and I'm OK .....???

Apple Cheeks
07-04-2008, 03:04 PM
In reading through these posts, I feel there is an aspect to this that has been overlooked: for me, and for others, food is like a drug.

When I have fatty junk food, I DO get a small "high" from it. It's a momentary feeling of "Ahhhh. Yummy!" and I'm not just talking about taste.

So for me, and others, I know that when I am feeling overly stressed or emotional I will automatically turn to food the same way an alcoholic or drug addict will go back to their drug of choice: Because it's the simplest and easiest way to make ourselves physically feel better.

Of course it only lasts for seconds at most, and after that I beat myself up for making poor choices. I tell myself that I have to stop this unhealthy behavior! Drug addicts do the same, yet the siren call of their drugs lures them back time and again. Some drug addicts can quit cold turkey and be clean the rest of their lives. For most others, it takes several attempts before they get it right. Some never do.

It's the same with me and junk food. As time goes on, though, I AM kicking the habit! I'm just not one of the lucky few who got it right the first time. :^:

AJ113
07-04-2008, 03:22 PM
First, thank you for the input, there seems to be a general move towards the notion that the conventional wisdom of emphasizing the physical actions required to lose weight is of minor importance compared to the necessity of tackling the mental barriers that place themselves on the weight loss road. To summarize what we have so far:

Humans are hard wired to stuff themselves whenever food is available, in case there may be famine ahead.

21st century brains are conditioned to associate food with reward.

Deliberately attempting to lose body fat is alien to our nature, as we expect to burn it off naturally while hunting for food.

It's easier to give an excuse NOT to, rather than to actually do it.

Eating often fills a void created by negative emotion.

Some people DON'T actually know what is good for them. (Fair comment, but my OP was really referring to the peeps on this forum.)

In today's world we are surrounded by unhealthy foods, almost to the point that it has now become ABnormal to eat a healthy diet.

If you aren't succeeding, it's because you don't want it enough.

*********************************************

I identify most with the final point. I have always said throughout my adult life that if you want something badly enough you will end up with it. If you don't end up with it, you don't want it badly enough. To me that is obvious.

Successful people regard failure as simply a stepping stone, part of the learning process that forms the path to success. Others take any form of failure as final, because they don't have their eyes on the prize - which BTW is also one of my favourite mantras - they are not able to envisage how their experiences may ultimately culminate in success.

Please, keep posting, there are some excellent points made so far. Does anyone have techniques or methods for approaching any of the issues listed thus far?

PhotoChick
07-04-2008, 03:27 PM
For me, successful weight loss meant opting out of that lifestyle and it's HARD because it makes me a freak.
Here's another reason I think that we kick against making the right choices: Even those of us who know we're eating the right foods .. EVEN WE ... call ourselves freaks for it.

Glory, I would ask you ... why does it make you a "freak"?

I don't think eating healthy makes me a freak. I don't think that avoiding fast food makes me a freak.

If YOU think it makes you a freak then you are psychologically isolating yourself and that's a form of self-sabotage.

Seriously, my friends eat pizza and hamburgers and want to go to Chili's and get a fried onion and chips and salsa. And I choose not to eat those things. It's not that I don't want them - I do. But I want to be thin and healthy more. And I don't think that makes me a freak.

.

Glory87
07-04-2008, 03:56 PM
I don't necessarily think I'm a freak, but I know other people definitely think I'm a freak. I was just pointing it out since this I think it's a challenge to living a healthy lifestyle. Who wants to feel like they don't fit in? Who wants to turn down a fun night with friends who want to go to a Mexican restaurant becasue they know the endless baskets of chips are hard to resist? Who wants to be the colleague who isn't pleased when management orders a celebration pizza lunch to say "thanks, good job?"

I have made this choice and I am usually 100% okay with it, but I can definitely see how it might be a challenge for someone new to eating right.

CousinRockingChair
07-04-2008, 05:36 PM
Isn't it funny that 90+% of posters on here are women? Not just on here, either, but virtually all diet and eaing disorder boards.

I'd like to chip in with the feminist side of it too. It's odd that so many eating disorder sufferers are women..well no its not really if you consider that since women have obtained more rights in society, more emphasis is placed on *looking good*, ie Being Thin.

At the same time, life is becoming more stressful, many women have families and jobs, for example. And they do, still, most of the domestic work...you don't hear people asking how men manage both, do you? (cheers, Gloria Steinem!). Also, we have more access to junk food than ever before, and a more sedentary lifestyle.

This all combines together to produce ample opportunity to abuse many juky foods in our environment as a result of such stresses ^, an emphasis on DIETING! which is often done impulsively and falls into a yo yo pattern which usually results in weight GAIN overall..basically because to almost EVERY western woman, food is NOT NEUTRAL. And generally, being thin carries connotations of success/sexiness/beating other women, which might not make you comfortable, and subconsiously limit progress in weightloss efforts. Especially since sex, eg used to sell things, has become such a massive business.

This combines with other factors, obviously, but worth mentioning, I think.

Bolshy and cynical for a 20 yr old, arn't I.

Tomato
07-04-2008, 05:38 PM
In reading through these posts, I feel there is an aspect to this that has been overlooked: for me, and for others, food is like a drug.

So for me, and others, I know that when I am feeling overly stressed or emotional I will automatically turn to food the same way an alcoholic or drug addict will go back to their drug of choice: Because it's the simplest and easiest way to make ourselves physically feel better.


You are so right, Apple Cheeks. I am/was an emotional eater, too, the only problem was that I was not seeing myself as such. But I know that whenever I was upset, I would automatically head for McD's and the frustration would diminish (of course, I did not interpret it that way, but looking back, I know that's what was doing). And sometimes, being excited about something or happy would actually trigger the same - another trip to McD's.
And as you can see in my thread that I posted earlier today, I am still not completely immune to it although I am trying very hard.

And just like Glory, I am used to people peeking into my tupperware to see what I have for lunch and often hear comments like 'oh, that looks very healthy' ..... but what they [i.e. my co-workers] are not saying out loud but I think I can finish their sentences for them , is "but boring".
Yah, salad or steamed broccoli is probably more boring than a trip to Wendy's or to Harvey's or what have you. One of my issues with my ex-boyfriend was that he spent a ton of money on lunches because he would never want to eat any leftovers - it's too boring - those were his exact words.

Spoz
07-04-2008, 05:42 PM
Because we're creatures of habit and habits are difficult to break. I truly believe that all things in life that are worthwhile are the most difficult. It's that simple.

WebRover
07-04-2008, 05:48 PM
For me, successful weight loss meant opting out of that lifestyle and it's HARD because it makes me a freak.


This really struck me.

Definition of Freak from allwords.com: (context, of a person) An oddball, especially in physiology; unique in a displeasing way.

Being consistent in making healthy choices and bringing in your own lunch and snacks does make you an oddball and unique and stand out. :( For me I found that I couldn't be successful long term eating lunch out at work with my group. I had to pack my lunch, eat in, find other like-minded folks who for their own reasons were packing their lunches. I'm out of the loop with my old friends because we now work in different groups and I don't catch up with them at lunch any more. That was a really hard change to make and stick to. But I had to and have to. In the big picture, I'm happy and committed to the change. Does that mean I don't feel like I'm missing out and like an oddball sometimes. No.

Back to the definition - if being an oddball in terms of physiology means I weigh 40 pounds less that I did and how many more than 40 pounds less than I would weigh if I hadn't changed, then I'm OK with being an oddball. Being within a healthy weight range makes me different than a lot of folks I know in a good way.

With the medical industry changing its collective mind and disagreeing among themselves over the past 30 years about how to lose weight but solidly convinced losers are unlikely to keep it off, I don't think it's fair to say that people know exactly what they need to do to get the weight off and keep it off. I think 3FC members on the whole have a better idea than the general public.

And I think we are here seeking the mutual reinforcement that being "freaks" is ok.

Glory87
07-04-2008, 06:12 PM
A little freak story:

Let's go back, oh I don't know, 5-6 years ago. I worked with a woman named Michelle. Michelle was a very slender, toned girl with great natural strawberry blonde hair. She was always working out, studying on the side to get her certification to be a personal trainer. She was on my team at work, but she never ate with us at lunch because she always brought her lunch. I always saw her in the breakroom, nuking a sweet potato, cutting up chicken, stirring fruit into yogurt. Weirdo, I thought.

We had to take a work trip together, we spent about a week traveling together at two different locations (Fargo and Valencia, CA). God, she was such a pain in the ***. When we landed in CA, we couldn't go straight to the hotel, we had to find a grocery store so she could get a salad for dinner (sheesh, I thought, order ROOM SERVICE we get a 75.00 per diem and I always ordered steak and wine and dessert when I traveled because traveling was HARD and I deserved a treat).

Fargo was the toughest, she could never find anyplace to eat. It was a lot of aimless driving to find someplace she could eat. She didn't want the call center provided for lunch, so we had to find some place where she could get a lunch to take with us. We were LATE one morning because she couldn't just eat a donut from the hotel's free continental breakfast, she had to order an omelet and it took FOREVER. She drove me absolutely crazy that trip.

Fast forward to today, I would be the Michelle on a trip, making somebody else crazy.

(this is a 100% true story)

PhotoChick
07-04-2008, 06:26 PM
Ok, see .. hm. Let me preface this by saying that I am not putting anyone down or trying to be mean or ... I dunno ... negative or nasty.

I think all of those examples that you gave are examples of people selfishly pushing their dietary needs on other people ... and possibly being a little "in your face" about it.

I worked with a woman named Michelle. Michelle was a very slender, toned girl with great natural strawberry blonde hair. She was always working out, studying on the side to get her certification to be a personal trainer. She was on my team at work, but she never ate with us at lunch because she always brought her lunch. I always saw her in the breakroom, nuking a sweet potato, cutting up chicken, stirring fruit into yogurt. Weirdo, I thought.
To me (and again, please please understand that I'm not being mean here ... I'm just offering my thoughts) ... to me this says more about YOU than about her. I'm bothered by the fact that you then and still now this of this as "weirdo" or "freak" behavior. To me there is nothing freaky or weird about this any more than it's freaky or weird to get a sandwich from the deli or get a personal pan pizza from Target or whatever. I don't understand why someone who brings lunch and eats healthy is branded "freak" in your mind - even up to including yourself as a "freak".

We had to take a work trip together, we spent about a week traveling together at two different locations (Fargo and Valencia, CA). God, she was such a pain in the ***. When we landed in CA, we couldn't go straight to the hotel, we had to find a grocery store so she could get a salad for dinner (sheesh, I thought, order ROOM SERVICE we get a 75.00 per diem and I always ordered steak and wine and dessert when I traveled because traveling was HARD and I deserved a treat).
Ridiculous. There's no reason she couldn't have ordered a salad from the hotel - w/out dressing or w/ dressing on the side. She could have ordered a plain grilled chicken breast from the hotel. Obviously money was not an issue here as you said you had a food per-diem. And forcing you to spend time driving around *before* you go to the hotel is just selfish and being "in your face" with her diet. Why not go to the hotel and then tell you "hey I'm gonna take the car and go find a grocery store so I can get a salad - do you want anything?" Why force you to participate in her diet in that way?

You don't have to make other people crazy to accommodate you. It is possible to eat healthy w/out making other people crazy or acting like you're doing something better than they are.

Fargo was the toughest, she could never find anyplace to eat. It was a lot of aimless driving to find someplace she could eat. She didn't want the call center provided for lunch, so we had to find some place where she could get a lunch to take with us. We were LATE one morning because she couldn't just eat a donut from the hotel's free continental breakfast, she had to order an omelet and it took FOREVER. She drove me absolutely crazy that trip.
Again, this seems to be awfully selfish and in-your-face motivated here. If there is something I cannot (or don't want to) eat at a party, I don't force everyone else to participate in whatever passive-aggressive form of protest I'm going to throw. I just don't have any patience for this kind of behavior. If knowing that she was going to order an omelette was going to take longer, then it was her responsibility to get up a little earlier, order her omelette a little earlier, so she'd be ready when the rest of the group was. If she didn't want what the call center provided, there's still no need to make the whole group drive around aimlessly. There are plenty of chain restaurants where you can order a plain salad, a plain grilled chicken breast, etc.

And sometimes you just have to suck it up and eat a little bit of something you'd rather not eat and make up for it later, especially when other people are involved.

The "freak" part is when someone makes it impossible for those around her to be comfortable and forces other people to suffer (to be late, to drive around aimlessly, to be uncomfortable) in order to accommodate their eating.

A normal, thoughtful, careful person can eat well and not be a "freak" or totally rude and selfish ... as those people in the examples you gave were.

.

Robsia
07-04-2008, 06:45 PM
Photochick - I think you missed this sentence at the end:

"Fast forward to today, I would be the Michelle on a trip, making somebody else crazy. "

Glory was saying that she thought this woman was a weirdo THEN - but today she is just like her.

Robsia
07-04-2008, 06:52 PM
As for the eating out thing - I have made a decision that the way I eat now is going to be the way I eat for the rest of my life, plus a couple extra hundred calories to make it a maintenance diet rather than a weight loss one.

This does not mean however that I am never going to eat out ever again, or never eat something unhealthy ever again.

If I want to eat out, I will eat out - if I want pizza, I have pizza. I don't feel guilty about it or consider it a failure. The difference is that after I havemy meal out, I just go back to eating heathily again. This is what I intend to do for the rest of my life.

I am going out next Wednesday for our work summer night out - I am having garlic mushrooms, pizza and I'm even having a dessert. During the day I will be very careful, and on Thursday I'll be back on my diet.

I think if I looked to the future and saw a future where I could never have anything like that ever again, I'd be very depressed. But I think it's perfectly possible to have the odd treat and still lose weight or maintain. This is what normal people do. I can be a normal person too.

Glory87
07-04-2008, 07:21 PM
I'm bothered by the fact that you then and still now this of this as "weirdo" or "freak" behavior.

I don't view this as freak behavior now, I realize (due to my own experience) that OTHER PEOPLE may find this freak behavior.

When I was working with Michelle, I had NO IDEA at all about what long term weight loss looked like. Michelle said she used to be heavy, but she was such a slender person, at the time I imagined a 10-15 lb weight loss. Who knows how much she lost and kept off in reality? I never asked her.

I was trying to convey that I didn't understand her, her motivations and at the time BIZARRE food choices were very weird to me. Now, I understand her much better (she could have dropped me off at the hotel before going out to get salad or ordered her omelet earlier), but I understand her motivation to stay healthy even under the difficult circumstances of traveling.

I was a very different person 5-6 years ago, my views of dieting and how to eat were nothing like they are now. I did think she was a freak and all of my coworkers thought she was a freak. Now I don't think she's a freak, but I wonder if my coworkers, friends, family think that I'm a freak. It's a fact that I do make things more complicated for other people sometimes, although I try not to.

I eat differently than I would guess 90% of the American public, I am the one swimming upstream. I know why I do it, I believe in why I do it, but it is very hard to make a decision to be different. It takes a lot more work, coordination, planning - I can't expect work functions to have healthy snacks, I can't expect a vending machine to have an apple, or to find a healthy quick meal on the road.

It's a challenge, but worth it.

Robsia
07-04-2008, 07:28 PM
We can buy apples from vending machines.

I never have though - there is always somewhere to buy an apple.

Robsia
07-04-2008, 07:56 PM
Hmm - just c&p-ing my post here into my blog in case this one goes *poof* too.

I hate that!!

If a thread gets argumentative, lock it, for sure. But to delete a thread for no apparent reason? Bit nanny state!! Mods take note.

PhotoChick
07-04-2008, 08:06 PM
I"m confused .. what went "poof" and when has a thread been deleted? :)

I don't think this one is in any risk of being removed. We're just each presenting different points of view and clarifying communication! :)

.

kaplods
07-04-2008, 08:26 PM
There is no single cause of obesity, and no single effective treatment. For everyone who can identify "why I am/was fat," there are thousands who have no clue. "Everyone knows what they need to do," simply is not true. Not only do many people not know, many people think they know and are wrong.

"Wanting it badly enough," tends to be a circuitous argument, as the only proof of not wanting it badly enough, is having not succeeded. Personally, I have found this untrue in many cases, including my own. No matter how badly you want it, you still may fail if you don't understand some of the pieces to your particular fat puzzle.

In many ways, I wanted to lose weight much more when I was younger, than I do now. My motivation and ability to stick to VERY restrictive or even unpleasant food plans for MONTHS, was a lot stronger in my twenties than it is today. In fact, I was in such a panic to lose weight, that I attempted very risky and unwise (I even knew it at the time) ways to lose weight. But I liken it to being covered in smelly, sticky, itching, burning substance. When you are so disgusted and repelled that you want to get clean (or thin) quickly, the "quickest" way often holds alot more allure than the "best way," especially if the "best way," requires much thought and a large time commitment.

Wanting it badly enough was never my problem. Wanting it too badly was. Again my problem, not necessarily everybody or even anybody else's.

As for knowing what to do: While I thought I knew that eating a varied diet, moderate in calories, low in fat, and high in fiber was the "right" way to lose weight. It turned out that I was actually wrong. I had a very difficult time sticking to what I thought was right, because I was hungry all of the time (and not just a little hungry - on even a moderate calorie plan, headaches, stomache rumbling, light headedness, resulted in an almost pathological obsession with food every moment). Even after I had eaten to the point my stomache hurt, I still had symptoms of genuine hunger. I still felt driven, mentally and physically, to eat. Low calorie diets even as much as 1800 calories a day, were pure torture. (Of course one could say that I didn't "want" to lose weight badly enough to put up with this tortue. And I guess that's true. During my dieting lifetime, since age 5, I have had periods of time in which I had sufficient motivation - for months, and with the help of amphetemine diet pills even for a couple years, but no longer than that.)

PMS and TOM were especially difficult for me. If dieting the rest of the month was torture, those 7 to 10 days were the pits of **** itself. If 24/7 hungry wasn't bad enough during the rest of the month, that hunger to the power of ten with waves of extreme sadness and anger mixed in, sometimes I wonder how I survived it.

A multitude of events and situations initiated a cascade of changes in my life, and none of them had to do with motivation. Ultimately, I learned things about my body that made change finally possible. A woman doctor advised me to try stacking my bc (eliminating my period, by starting a new pack of bc week 4 rather than taking the placebo pills), and she advised South Beach or a "modified Atkins" low carb diet (she and her husband had lost about 200 lbs together. She a little less, and he a little more than 100 lbs each).

And here I am today, 50 lbs lighter, having much less interest and desire to lose weight than almost ever in my life (except for a period of about 2.5 years when I embraced "fat acceptance" and decided never to diet again - and those years were great, my weight neither increasing or decreasing - too bad I didn't try this at age 12). It isn't about the weight anymore, not really. Sure, I love seeing the weight come off, but it's the changes in my life, regaining my health, strength, and adventurous spirit. Eating whole foods in controlled portions, and exercising. Even the exercise, isn't about losing weight, it's about regaining flexibility and strength, and having fun.

I think all too often, overweight people are considered lazy, crazy, or stupid; and rarely is it the case. Some of the causes of a person's obesity may be relatively simple, other's may be very complicated, but nearly everyone is doing the best they can with their entire life (and experiencing the same mixture of success and failure) as they can. Ignorance, impatience, priorities, physiology, psychology, resources (financial, intellectual, social, emotional, psychological, physiological, and even spiritual) ALL play a role in where we are, where we want to be, and if and how we are able to get there.

pinkcarnation
07-04-2008, 08:41 PM
Instead of excahnging exercise and diet tips, should we be searching for help, methods and techniques for coping with this weakness of pandering to our "want it now" desires?

I believe that if we could defeat this aspect of our behaviour, weight loss would be a facile process limited only by the measure of time it takes to burn off the required excess body fat.



Thanks for starting this fascinating thread. In the spirit of feedback, I'd like to tell you that I'm new to weight loss and until I found this forum, I had no idea how many calories a day I need to eat. I didn't have a clue how much I weighed. I didn't know how to eat defensively in a restaurant . Every blooming day I'm truly shocked by the calorie count in something. I wasn't born yesterday, but unless one needs to pay attention, one can be obliviously ignorant of successful weight management. I didn't have a weight problem earlier in life, but things changed in my body and I'm paying attention now.

I personally have kicked some heavy duty addictions in my past (everything from alcohol to bad boyfriends and caffeine recently) and am always interested in discussions of behavior modification or mind control, but I'd just like to say I appreciate the wonderful information provided here on the hard core mechanics of diet and nutrition. It is heavenly to receive answers to basic questions and receive kind support.

kaplods
07-04-2008, 09:02 PM
As with addictions, often "peer pressure," social norms and cues, all of the things we consciously AND subconscously learn about our cultures norms, expectations, and beliefs - they often play a huge role in obesity. Obesity is not just an individual's problem, it is a societal problem. Social factors often (if not always) play a role in the development and in the treatment/recovery of obesity.

It is difficult to be different. When you are overweight, particularly severely overweight or obese, you are often condemned to being considered a freak. When you're trying to lose weight, well, you're still often considered a freak.
Being a freak (for good or bad) isn't the easy path.

I am often told that I am wrong. When I was fat, people told me what I should be eating (ironically, often what I was, at the time, eating). Losing weight, I am often told I am losing it too slowly (when I was younger, I was either told I was losing it too slowly, or too quickly). I get a lot of flack from family and friends about restricting carbs (it's "unhealthy") despite the fact that my health is improving doing so (and at a faster rate than the weight loss alone could account for).

Looking back, I wonder, why I didn't attempt the carb-restriction if not the bc changes (I'd asked about it, but male doctors had warned me not to mess with my cycle. When a female doctor recommended the change, I figured SHE would know more). As for the carb-restriction, the answer is easy. The "common wisdom" said they were bad, and I believed it. Learning to swim upstream is very difficult.

JayEll
07-04-2008, 11:11 PM
Robsia, no post in this thread has been deleted. If you lost something, it wasn't because of any mod or admin action. :dunno:

Just want to add that I've been considered a bit of a "freak" all my life for one reason or another--so to have my good nutrition be considered strange hardly puts me in a new situation. :lol:

Jay

ToniLight
07-05-2008, 12:45 AM
I just wanted to throw the name of another great book out to you. "Fat is a Family Affair" is by Judi Hollis and it has really helped me with the mental battle I have had with food and temptation for many years. I can see hope again.

Pandora123a
07-05-2008, 01:33 AM
Aj, you asked for strategies...here are the ones that are working for me right now...

1) acknowledging when I am upset and trying to deal with the feelings rather than eat my way through it. Alternatively, going for a walk to calm down...again rather than soothing myself with chocolate or bread

2) Following an eating plan that is "inclusive" rather than restrictive. (I call it mindful eating) so that I don't get into the "I'll never have this again I need to eat a lot of it to say goodbye I feel so deprived.) Letting myself enjoy treats in smaller quantities reduces my compulsive overeating of them.

3) Minimizing triggers to eat. Not only the foods that are triggers, but also behaviors that are triggers. Another book that I found fascinating is "Slim Chance in a Fat World" which studied the difference between thin people and fat people as far as behavioral triggers. Their research indicated that people who were externally triggered were more likely to be overweight. (So if you thought that it was dinnertime you ate dinner, where a slim person ate when their body said it was dinnertime.) I don't eat in front of the tv, in my car, or anywhere but at the kitchen or dining room table.

4) Keeping myself busy and out of the kitchen when it isn't mealtime. Eating to address boredom was a big one for me. I'm doing more reading, jigsaw puzzles, handwork...anything to keep the hands from bringing food to mouth.

5) Making sure I eat breakfast...and I hate breakfast foods. I've learned painfully that no breakfast means that I am ravenous at lunch...and ravenous at dinner. I also try to eat something, either lunch or a healthy snack, midday, again it prevents that evening "I can eat everything in sight" experience.

6) Eating slowly and letting my mind catch up with my body.

I'm not sure if this is what you were looking for (although maybe the first is) but this is working for me now, and I'm committed to always.

Robsia
07-05-2008, 05:03 AM
Robsia, no post in this thread has been deleted. If you lost something, it wasn't because of any mod or admin action. :dunno:

Just want to add that I've been considered a bit of a "freak" all my life for one reason or another--so to have my good nutrition be considered strange hardly puts me in a new situation. :lol:

Jay

Sorry - I wasn't clear. It wasn't a post in this thread - it was a thread in this forum - the "overwhealming (sic) urge" one.

I had just received an email about a response, I went to respond to it - and it had vanished. So I was a touch irritated.

But that was last night -I don't tend to stay irritated about these things for long. I'm Ok now - sorry to have brought it up.

AJ113
07-05-2008, 06:48 AM
Some really thought-provoking posts here. The general push of the latest posts seems to be focussing on pressure from society. If we try to eat healthy, others around us regard us as abnormal. But a rather more sinister side of this point is that not only do our peers regard us as abnormal, they feel threatened by this abnormality and actively try to get us to eat the same foods as them. How many times have you been at a restaurant or social gathering and a friend or relative who is scoffing a cream cake cake has said "go on, have some, a little won't hurt you....." or similar?

Pandora has posted some excellent suggestions, all of which I am in agreement with, and have been for some time. Emotional eating is a tough habit to break, but the first step is recognizing that you're doing it in the first place. The way I defeated this habit was; after learning to recognize that I was about to eat purely on emotional grounds, I would tell myself that I could have the item of food without beating myself up about it, as long as I was prepared to wait half an hour before eating it.

During that half hour I have the opportunity to deal with the emotion in other ways, as Pandora says, walking it off really does work, or simply doing nothing else other than acknowledging the emotion, experiencing it and then moving on. Whatever happens during that half hour, by the time it is up I no longer want the food, in fact most times I have forgotton that I was going to eat it in the first place.

This technique worked for me, not only because it deals with the precise moment of crisis, but also because long term it broke the old habit, and developed a new one.

For those of you that are wondering, yes there have been occasions when I still stuffed myself after the half hour, after all, I had to keep the promise to myself, otherwise the technique had no chance of success, but in reality those occasions were few and far between.

Meg
07-05-2008, 07:03 AM
Robsia, I'm not sure if you're aware of it, but thread starters have the power to delete their own threads. So if you see a thread go *poof*, it's not always because mods or admins have deleted it. Sometimes members just change their minds about threads and posts. ;)

Robsia
07-05-2008, 07:07 AM
Ah - no I didn't know that. I've never been on a forum where that was permitted and I don't allow it on mine.

Apologies in that case. :)

AJ113
07-05-2008, 07:44 AM
.....the only proof of not wanting it badly enough, is having not succeeded.I don't see how that makes it circuitous. In my view lack of success merely proves the point that the desire was never great enough in the first place.
No matter how badly you want it, you still may fail if you don't understand some of the pieces to your particular fat puzzleYou're perhaps missing the point to a degree. If you want it bad enough you will be driven to do whatever is needed to achieve the end result, including learning about what to eat and what not eat. To illustrate my point, from your own post:Ultimately, I learned things about my body that made change finally possible
And here I am today, 50 lbs lighter

Would you have lost 50 pounds if you weren't motivated enough to take the steps that allowed you to get there?

JayEll
07-05-2008, 08:09 AM
I tend to agree that there is a danger of taking a negative result to be the proof of the converse action, which is a logical error.

"If you want it, you will get it" does not necessarily mean "If you didn't get it, then you didn't want it." That is overly simplistic. There are plenty of things beyond our immediate control that influence outcomes.

All things being equal, though, a person does have to put forth some real-world effort to reach any goal.

Jay

rockinrobin
07-05-2008, 11:31 AM
"If you want it, you will get it" does not necessarily mean "If you didn't get it, then you didn't want it." That is overly simplistic. There are plenty of things beyond our immediate control that influence outcomes.



There is PLENTY of which we don't have control over. PLENTY. And that statement "If you didn't get it, then you didn't want it" can not pertain to all things. And IMO, weight loss just ain't one of them. I don't think we have control down to the last itty bitty pound or 5lbs or even 10 or 15. There certainly are factors that people must contend with that would make that impossilbe. But for the most part, when you are morbidly obese, as I was, I did have control over that. I didn't have to be THAT overweight.

Would I like to be a few pounds lighter myself? You betcha. And I know if I tried harder, I could get there. If I put forth some of that "real-world effort" you are speaking about, I could get there. But apparently, I don't want it badly enough.

Ija
07-05-2008, 11:39 AM
I've had a strong desire to lose weight since I was a child, and when I was younger I often went to extreme measures to lose the weight. Even though I wanted it, I couldn't do it. Now that I'm older and wiser and have the knowledge, tools, and context to make it happen, I'm losing the weight. I don't think I necessarily want it more today than ten years ago, because I wanted it just as badly then as I do now. But I'm in a different place in my life now where I can make it happen.

rockinrobin
07-05-2008, 11:44 AM
I've had a strong desire to lose weight since I was a child, and when I was younger I often went to extreme measures to lose the weight. Even though I wanted it, I couldn't do it. Now that I'm older and wiser and have the knowledge, tools, and context to make it happen, I'm losing the weight. I don't think I necessarily want it more today than ten years ago, because I wanted it just as badly then as I do now. But I'm in a different place in my life now where I can make it happen.


That's a GOOD point. I've said this many times to many people. I never could have done this when I was younger. I DO have more knowledge today and I do have more control over my circumstances.

But then it goes back to - if I really wanted it badly enough, even back then, I probably would have found a way. :dunno:

kaplods
07-05-2008, 01:54 PM
If you want to badly enough, you can grow feathers and wings
You don't have feathers or wings
Therefore, you must not want it badly enough
______________

the argument about fat is logically the same. Does that mean that motivation doesn't play a role in weight loss? Certainly, not, but it isn't the ONLY role, and how much of a role it plays varies tremendously from person to person and even situation to situation.

I do not "want it" more than I did when I was younger. I can convince myself that I do, but I would be very wrong. I remember the desperation and the willingness to do "anything." I am much more selective in what I am willing to do, and no longer willing to do "anything."

It was only accidental, not a result of my intense searching and efforts, that I found out the hormonal and carbohydrate link to my ravenous, freakish, appetite. If I had not discovered either, I would still be at least 35 lbs heavier. I say it has taken me three years to lose 50 lbs, but I recently descovered that it was less than a year ago that I saw the doctor who helped me discover both of these factors. So it didn't take me 3 years to lose 50 lbs. It took me two years to lose maybe 12 - 15, and I lost 35 or more in less than a year. It was only the accidental loss of a few pounds (off work because of disability, not sitting next to the vending machine, less stress, more sleep - no effort whatsoever to lose those pounds. No effort whatsoever) that inspired me to suspect I might be able to lose more, and inspired me to consult with the weight loss clinic, even though I knew I couldn't afford it. I didn't have much hope (or even desire) because I was so SURE that I couldn't lose weight, but figured "what the heck." I had no idea it would change my life.

I had asked doctors about the birth control stacking since my early 20's when I first heard you could skip periods. I'd always been told it wasn't something I should mess with (all male doctors), so I didn't try. It wasn't lack of motivation or desire that kept me from doing so, it was respect for my doctors' professional opinions.

It wasn't lack of desire that kept me from trying a low carb diet, it was the "common wisdom," and my doctors' professional opinions that kept me away from such a food plan. That and a couple of VERY bad experiences with very low carb diets (Atkins induction, for example) on those few occasions I was desperate enough to "risk my health" - because that's what I thought I was doing.

It was pure coincidence that I found a doctor I respected highly, because of my contact with her when she was doing walk-in clinic duty (in our hospital, all of the doctors have to periodically do clinic duty), and because she herself had lost almost 100 lbs (and her husband too) on a modified Atkins. It was she who advised me that bc stacking was perfectly safe, and that induction was not necessary to low-carb dieting. That she was the second doctor to suggest to me that I might try low-carb, inspired me to give it a try, even though I didn't have much hope of it working.

My LACK of motivation and desire IS a factor in why I haven't lost more in the last year. Quite frankly, I didn't expect it to work. Despite respecting the doctors who advised it, NOTHING had worked in the past, so I really didn't have much confidence in it.

If anything, the last year HAS been an attempt to prove these doctors wrong, to prove that I COULDN'T lose weight like this, or that I COULD lose weight the way "most" people can. It's almost been against all my efforts to the contrary that I still have lost 50 lbs. Because I keep trying (despite my now knowing that I shouldn't) to return to a calorie counting high carbohydrate diet.

I've only FINALLY completely surrendered. And, I expect my weight loss will speed up, as a result. Yes, desire and motivation play a role, but not the only role, and it is far from fair to say "if you want it badly enough, it is yours." Because for me, that has been so untrue. The more I wanted it, the crazier things I was willing to do - and it still didn't work. Because I had the information all wrong, and I wasn't allowing myself to "think outside" the societal box. I believed that low carb diets were bad. I believed that modifying my menstrual cycle was bad. Why? Because people I respected and "society" as a whole said so.

Did I finally want it badly enough to say "screw society?" NO - it was just an accidental meeting with one doctor? If I had not had that meeting, would I have lose the weight? I'm afraid to say, but I firmly believe, absolutely NOT.

I think the biggest problem with telling people that they "could lose it" if they want it badly enough, is that it says "you just don't want it." "It's all your fault." "You're an idiot." "And Insane as well."

Oh, that's not the way that the people saying it, necessarily "mean" it (though sometimes they do), but that's how it is interpreted. That's how I interpreted it, when people said it to me in the days I couldn't lose weight. And generally, it was far from motivating.

Now, if someone had told me I could lose weight without barely trying, I would have laughed. In a sense, I still laugh because I have had to try, even to lose the 35+ pounds this year, but the amount of effort (and yes, even the amount of desire) is a fraction of the desire in my 20's, and even my 30's. I have an amazing husband, so I am not dieting out of fear of being alone. I have learned to embrace "freakitude" so I'm not dieting to fit in.

It does depress me, if I dwell on it, because I KNOW that if I had discovered the hormone/carbohydrate connection at age 9 or 10 (when I first started menstruating and my weight EXPLODED), I would have escaped obesity, or at least the greater part of it. What would it have been like to have a normal life?

Can't dwell on that, because I woudn't have had MY life, and as painful as it has been, I'm rather attached to it.

rockinrobin
07-05-2008, 05:12 PM
If you want to badly enough, you can grow feathers and wings
You don't have feathers or wings
Therefore, you must not want it badly enough
______________

the argument about fat is logically the same.

I think the biggest problem with telling people that they "could lose it" if they want it badly enough, is that it says "you just don't want it." "It's all your fault." "You're an idiot." "And Insane as well."


Oh, I beg to differ - big time. It is most certainly NOT the same arguement.

I'm sorry, but your analogy makes zero sense to me. Zero.

The fact that others have done something, that is proof that it can indeed be done. That it can happen. Many people have lost weight. So therefore, losing weight is indeed a doable thing. I mean it's been proven.

Ummm, growing feathers and wings - not so much. I can't recall ever hearing of anyone doing this. As far as we know, it's something that can never happen. It hasn't been proven. Anyone that thinks that it can is most likely insane or an idiot. Those are your words, not mine.

I have never, ever said or even intimated that anyone is insane, or an idiot or anything remotely close to that. That would be most hurtful and more importantly, one million percent completely untrue.

PhotoChick
07-05-2008, 05:18 PM
I kind of have to agree with Robin here.

I don't think the feathers and wings analogy is apt. And I do believe that if you want something badly enough you can do it - not as in "miraculously make it happen" but as in "figure out a way to make it happen".

Kaplods, you obviously *wanted* it to happen or you wouldn't have kept on pursuing it - talking to various doctors, seeing the opportunity and taking advantage of it, working to figure out what worked with your body type and how you responded to different foods. You wanted it enough to continue making the effort to figure it out despite multiple past failures.

IN that sense, yes, if you want it badly enough ... you will figure out a way to make it happen.

(And if someone wanted wings and feathers badly enough, they'd find a surgeon willing to do it for them - after all, just do a google search on body modification and you'd be amazed at what's out there! :) )

.

JayEll
07-05-2008, 06:31 PM
And if someone wanted wings and feathers badly enough, they'd find a surgeon willing to do it for them - after all, just do a google search on body modification and you'd be amazed at what's out there!

:rofl:

Let's lighten up, folks. I don't really think we're disagreeing... It's all a matter of degree, and it's a complicated situation.

I also don't think anyone is calling anyone else anything. So, let's keep it respectful and play nice, OK? ;)

Jay

kaplods
07-05-2008, 07:27 PM
The point was not that motivation doesn't play a role. I didn't say that. But saying that a person hasn't lost weight because they just didn't want it badly enough - it can be a damaging argument. And while the person saying it may not be meaning to damage, it is within the "diet culture" for a person to take it that way. "You can do it if you really want to, and that you haven't done so proves you don't really want to," has a way of getting into a person's head in a way that says "you're not good enough, smart enough, motivated enough."

That people have lost weight, does not prove that it was motivation that was singularily or even primarily responsible. Or that if it was, that it is true for all people. Personally, because of my situation, I am actually surprised that motivation and desire had so little to do with my success or failure. If it was primarily motivation and desire, I certainly should have lost weight and maintained it much better during times in my life when my motivation and desire was at it's strongest, not when it was at it's weakest.

I lost weight despite not believing I could, or caring whether I did (at least initially). It's actually been the accidental loss of weight that reinspired me to give a rat's behind, and think it might actually be possible for me.

Of course motivation plays a role, but sometimes things (even weight gain and loss) are outside of our control. There are many times when people unintentionally and even unwillingly gain or lose weight. Sometimes, even often, motivation plays a role in overcoming the gain or loss, if desired.

I think stressing motivation and desire over other factors can be very misleading. "You can do it, if you really want it badly enough," is often accompanied by a similar, and just as misleading argument "any diet will work, if you follow it," which implies that one food plan is as good as another. A theory I have found VERY untrue for myself.

Motivation and desire are very important factors, but concluding that such a complex problem can be reduced simply to desire and motivation is misleading and potentially demotivating. Motivation and desire may be required for most people to lose weight (I would agree with that in most circumstances), but it is not sufficient to lose weight, and that is an important distinction.

I look at myself and think I have all the resources that should have made this process easier. Intelligent, well-educated, with a fair knowledge of health and nutrition (I even taught health and nutrition in a community college). Through most of highschool, I was so "motivated" that took prescription diet pills and only ate on weekends (not smart, and I even knew it at the time, but I was not only wanting to lose weight, I was desperate to lose weight).

You can get to Ireland if you want to, badly enough
You are not in Ireland
Therefore you do not want to get to Ireland badly enough

Maybe that is a better analogy. And there might even be some truth to it. But assuming it is the desire of a person in the US to get to Ireland, if they don't know that Ireland is not on the north american continent, it's going to be pretty difficult to get to Ireland purely on motivation.

Without a good deal of knowledge on my part and the assistance of other people, no amount of motivation is going to get me to Ireland or my ideal weight.

rockinrobin
07-05-2008, 07:56 PM
I am not looking to argue with you.

It is clear to me that our opinions on this matter are completely different. You can not convince me of yours and I can not convince you of mine. And that's okay. There's no need to. Because afterall, we're all entitled to our own opinions.

All the best. Robin :)

rockinrobin
07-06-2008, 09:52 AM
Without a good deal of knowledge on my part and the assistance of other people, no amount of motivation is going to get me to Ireland or my ideal weight.

I'm sorry to dredge this up again. I DO have the habit of beating a dead horse from time to time, don't I? ;) But I was just rereading this post, actually it was my DD who was reading it. And your final thought struck me.

Anyway, I realize that maybe we DO have the same opinion on the matter. I think we may in fact be on the same exact page.

I agree with you completely - motivation alone will absolutely without a doubt NOT get anyone to Ireland or even across the street. And motivation alone is not enough to get someone (or most) to their ideal weight.

There's a lot more required. A lot. :hug:

Robsia
07-06-2008, 10:14 AM
Yes, but without motivation AS WELL - no one would do anything.

It's obviously motivation PLUS action PLUS knowledge.

rockinrobin
07-06-2008, 10:36 AM
Yes, but without motivation AS WELL - no one would do anything.

It's obviously motivation PLUS action PLUS knowledge.

PLUS commitment. PLUS determination. PLUS hard work. PLUS perserverance. PLUS willingness. PLUS dedication. PLUS. PLUS. PLUS....... :dizzy:

KLK
07-06-2008, 11:23 AM
I think discussing the mental aspect of weight loss is incredibly important, because when you lose weight, especially when you've been fat your whole life, were raised fat by fat parents or have gained weight and have been that way for YEARS, you're not just combatting calories in vs. calories out, carbs, fats etc.; you're combatting your whole LIFETIME of choices and habits and inclinations, trying to break these habits and form new ones. It's always hard to break old patterns, ALWAYS, and when it comes to something like eating, which one MUST do to survive, it is extremely hard.

crunchy
07-06-2008, 11:27 AM
This has been an interesting thread to read.
I do not believe that I can do anything I set my mind to. I doubt if I had been born without hands, I could have been a hear surgeon. (Just an example).
I do believe that there are many things I can do if I set my mind to them. But the trick is learning how. Without the correct knowledge I just seem to run around in circles.
Case in point.
I started smoking when I was 13 years old.
I have smoked on and off for 55 years. This is an off time now.
Every time I quit, I gained weight. At first I thought it was my fault. I was just eating too much. Then I thought it was my fault, I was eating the wrong foods. Then I thought it was my body's fault. Something went wacky when I quit smoking.
After quitting and gaining, a few years ago, I joined WW flex and followed the plan to the tee. My leader and the district manager both agreed that my journal was the most complete they had ever seen, and still I could not lose.
I started smoking again, and the weight fell off. (I'm not recommending smoking as a weight control). I stayed under goal for years following the core plan and smoking.
Almost a year ago, I quit smoking again. I thought I knew how to do so without gaining. I thought I knew how to eat, what to eat, how to exercise, etc.
I certainly had the desire to not gain weight. I was willing and able to follow the program as written. But here I am again. 30 lbs overweight.
So for me, mind over matter did not work.

midwife
07-06-2008, 12:10 PM
Hi AJ,

A few weeks ago I attended a conference that reviewed the steps required for people to change behaviors (at least according to some theorists). I posted a synopsis in Maintainers, but I think that it might be a nice review for this thread as well.

My post copied and pasted from Maintainers:

There are five steps to behavioral change:
1) Awareness--How many of us had to have that "aha" moment, that look in the mirror, or a picture, or bad labs, high blood pressure? We cannot address our weight as a problem until we are aware of it.

2) Motivation---we talk a lot about motivation on here, how fleeting and unreliable it can be, but that initial push has to be triggered by a bit of excitement, an "I can do this! I want to do this!"

3)Skills--we all know that we have to learn about food, exercise, our bodies. That is such a barrier for so many. We can know that we need to change, and then we want to change, and then we think "Now what?" Grapefruit diets? 500 calories a day? Running 7 miles right off the bat? So not only the skills to get started, but the skills we learn along the way. How to navigate weddings, in-laws, business trips....Improving our knowledge of physical activities....triathalons, weights, running, bicycling...

4)Trial and error. Who has ever made a misstep on this journey? We all all all have of course. We try and succeed, we try and fail, we keep trying and changing and trying again. And that is the KEY. The willingness to keep going, to keep trying.

5) Maintenance! I almost jumped out of my chair. I think the concept of maintenance in any behavioral change has been overlooked for far too long (of course, maybe it is only now that I have been looking for maintenance info!) We all know what maintenance is....continued awareness and vigilance to keep to our new behaviors.

I think that these steps do indicate a progression of sorts, but I also believe that they are somewhat fluid. I think that we can bop along maintaining for awhile and then we start making some other choices, and we are struck by the awareness step again. Regular weighing, anyone? We need tools to keep each of these steps up front in our consciousness---or at least I do! And I keep moving through and developing these steps daily. With a lot of help from you guys!

One last thought from this guy (again he was discussing adolescents, but I thought--WOW---he really is talking about anyone facing changes and choices), so with credit and apologies to Ken Ginsburg, MD:

"Confidence gets it started. Shame paralyzes all efforts."
End of copy and paste.

So in my opinion there are many factors to behavior change and all are important. Some may wax and wane in importance. For my life right now, the most important factor is creating and practicing skills and tools.

Like Kaplods, I am well versed in nutrition. I've taken graduate level courses and could regurgitate common wisdom and the sacred cows of nutrition. But those sacred cows actually don't work for my life. If you had told me a few years ago that I would be following a lower carb, high protein diet, I would not have believed it.

I am also surprised and delighted how much of a cornerstone weightlifting is to my new lifestyle. One of the "expert" theories floating around out there is that it is hard to gain muscle and lose fat simultaneously. That simply has not been true for my situation. So these tools, this way of eating that is high protein, my new found love and reliance of weightlifting---neither of these were in my graduate level nutrition courses that placed such an emphasis on moderate cardio and at least 50% carbs.

I too use my birth control in a continous fashion. That has made such a difference for me, and I am so glad it has helped Kaplods as well. There is a ton of research supporting continuous cycle birth control, and even a brief perusal of the 20-something thread sheds light on how much premenstrual hormonal fluctuations effect cravings and weight. That was a tool that Kaplods couldn't have possessed ownership of without her physician's assistance.

So, yeah, I am all about tools and skills right now.

Since we have had some fun analogies on this thread, I will throw in mine. I cannot say which of these 5 steps are the most important any more than I can say which of our 5 senses are the most important. The answer is, it depends. It depends on what a person's needs are. What I need to enjoy raspberries will differ from what I need to enjoy Beethoven, and the importance of these 5 steps will vary depending on where I am in my journey....or even in my day.

Thanks for such an interesting thread. I love all this theory stuff!

kaplods
07-06-2008, 02:13 PM
midwife,

I'm writing down those 5 steps to add to my journal (along with the 7 stages of change at the end of this post).

I can so relate to them (and of course your situation). The sensory analogy, I believe is a very good one. To some degree, a weakness in one sense can be compensated for with strength in another. Animals that have poor eyesight may have excellent hearing or sense of smell. Humans have relatively weak senses (all five), but our intelligence is our sixth sense, an important survival tool, as we can adapt the environment itself to compensate for our weaknesses.

One of the greatest human strengths is our skill in finding ways to do things more easily. In a sense, it's gotten us into this mess (the "epidemic" of obesity), but it also can be used to get us out. Because it's a multi-faceted problem, it will have to be a muti-faceted solution.

My husband (sometimes a rather cynical S.O.B.) often calls people "sheep" (blind followers), not even knowing "why" they are following the herd. My husband and I are "freaks" not only in being fat, but in being a bit on the odd side in other ways as well, so I rather interpreted this as he thinking arrogantly he was not a sheep (and maybe I as well). Then one day we were discussing my reluctance to follow a low carb diet, despite having proved to myself it's the only thing that works. It just goes against everything I was taught was the "right" way to diet, and I was having trouble doing it the "wrong" way. I told him that I was having trouble not being a "sheep," and he said again "people are sheep - we all are."

It hit me like a ton of bricks that he wasn't referring to "everyone else," but to humanity itself, including himself and me in the whole fleecy, sheepy package.

Yes, I can as easily "swayed" by all of the cultural context (media, family, social institutions, cultural norms and values...) as the next person.

Change is difficult, especially if it challenges social norms, values, and ties. The alcoholic may have a family and peer group that misuses alcohol. Some find that they can still socialize with others who are using alcohol around them, others have to break ties with family and friends and try to build a new, supportive social system.

In a real way, overeaters sometimes have to do the same. I do avoid many of the familial "food fests." A good part of the reason we didn't visit my parents at Christmastime was the insane amount of sugar that was going to be in the house (and luckily some bad weather and financial difficulties gave us a great excuse - not only an excuse for the relatives, but an excuse for myself, because it would have otherwise been difficult for me to say no, guilt and all).

I've realized for myself that a strong social support is vital. It's why I spend a good deal of time here. It's priceless to have even a few people who truly understand. It's why I joined TOPS, that weekly weigh-in, the weekly support and fellowship, it keeps me on track, in a way that I can't do alone. Sometimes, when I have no motivation or desire of my own, I can borrow bit of someone else's. When I don't care what I eat, or whether I lose, I might still care about, might still want that round of applause on Monday night. I like the attention. I like being asked "how did you do it?" Sometimes I care about those things MORE than I care about losing weight and getting healthy.

OF COURSE, it's stupid, and of course it's "sheepy," but I've got to use every trick I can to get this done.

__________________________________________________ ___________
Stages of Change

Precontemplation (Not yet acknowledging that there is a problem behavior that needs to be changed)

Contemplation (Acknowledging that there is a problem but not yet ready or sure of wanting to make a change)

Preparation/Determination (Getting ready to change)

Action/Willpower (Changing behavior)

Maintenance (Maintaining the behavior change)

Relapse (Returning to older behaviors and abandoning the new changes)

Transcendence (Eventually, if you “maintain maintenance” you will reach the stage of transcendence, not only is your bad habit no longer an integral part of your life but to return to it would seem atypical, abnormal, completely out of character for the "new" you.)

full of grace
07-06-2008, 03:29 PM
Great lists, Midwife and Kaplods!

I'm copying them too!!

cherrypop
07-06-2008, 06:24 PM
You may want to do some reading there to see what's been covered in previous posts.it helps me for sure

kaplods
07-06-2008, 06:26 PM
Most definitely, the stages of change come up quite frequently here, so a search would bring up very interesting conversations people have had about the matter.

PaulaM
07-06-2008, 06:35 PM
Boy, this has been quite an interesting thread. It just shows that it's definitely not a one size fits all subject. I truly believe some people have overweight in their genes, and not just because they grew up eating a certain way etc. That hasn't really been addressed, for some people it isn't just a matter of eating less and exercising more, unless it's done drastically.

As someone who was thin for years and years and then gained 10 lbs a year for about ten years without taking it off, it's not always a thing of binging or eating massive amounts. Sometimes it's eating just that little bit too much for too long and not dieting. I never struggled to lose weight back in the 70s or 80s and I don't think it's just cause I'm in menopause now.

Anybody who is around my age bracket will realize everything changed from that era. Every restaurant began serving up huge portions of food, instead of a dinner plate everything is a platter. Food was not something to be eaten in the car back then, no cupholders in the cars, not that many fast food drive thru's. You couldn't walk around a shopping center and have food available every few feet like today. Not that many people had microwaves either.

Add all that into people rarely walking anywhere (when is the last time you have seen kids walking to school); many schools eliminating physical ed.; the whole advent of the computer age when people sit in front of a screen for hours and hours every day or videogames, and is it any wonder so many got fat? When we used to go to the movies people didn't sit down with a full course meal and munch throughout the entire movie.

I live in California, where the weather is pretty much perfect every day, and I can count on one hand the number of people I see when I'm out on my daily walk. Most of them are only out to let their dogs do their business too.

Yes, I do think everybody can lose weight, but the real question is how many can maintain it for any length of time. I have been quite impressed with those in here who have managed to do it. I know myself and I will never have the figure I used to have, nor do I want to never eat out in a restaurant or go to a party etc. That is not an option. I just can't get my head round the you have to be so restricted and planning every meal and weighing every day and having the natural way of eating to stay alive be something that is so all consuming. No offense to anybody in here, but that is no way to live. God bless you if you can do it, but I can't. So I just try and cut my food down slowly and have really boosted up my exercise. I know it took at least 15 years to get this big and I'm not going to be able to remove it in six months.

AJ113
07-06-2008, 08:08 PM
Thank you all for the input, there are clearly many differing views, for my own part I have not been swayed from the opinion that if you want something enough your brain will be programmed towards achieving the goal and you will ultimately get what you want. In business we have SMART objectives, which must be:

Specific
Measurable
Achieveable
Realistic
Timebound

It is relatively easy to place losing weight within those parameters, whereas the desire to sprout feathered wings is outside the parameters, because it is not realistic.

And while the person saying it may not be meaning to damage, it is within the "diet culture" for a person to take it that way. "You can do it if you really want to, and that you haven't done so proves you don't really want to," has a way of getting into a person's head in a way that says "you're not good enough, smart enough, motivated enough."Yes, that is a reasonable approximation of what I mean when I say that you don't want it enough. If the objective is SMART, then who else is there to blame for failure? If you dream about an achievable goal without actually achieveing it, IMO you are culpable.

JayEll
07-06-2008, 08:13 PM
Hey PaulaM! :wave: I know just what you mean, being somewhat close to your age. I was not a binge eater, either--I just overate at meals and parties and so on. I didn't gobble down boxes of cookies, but I never passed on the cookies, either.

I, too, am hoping that in time, eating to maintain my weight (when I get there--I don't consider myself done at this point, although I've passed my original goal weight) will be natural enough that I won't have to use a calorie tracker or formally measure foods out. To some extent, after months and months of training, I pretty much don't have to measure or weigh most things anymore. But for me, it was really necessary at first to find out what those portion sizes were, to figure out "a serving" and what it contained, and to know how many calories were in the foods I wanted to eat. Because, I didn't know! I really didn't! I was shocked when I found out how many calories are in a small order of McD's french fries, for example.

I tried just cutting down my food also, but without knowing in a quantified way what I was dealing with, my cutting down just didn't work well. I tried upping my exercise, but I wasn't consistent with it, and I let other things get in the way. Three times a week is enough, right? Well... no. :no:

I hope your plan works for you! Don't get me wrong! You may have skills that I lacked! :broc:

And I do look forward to the TRANSCENDENCE stage, when I no longer have to either be strict and in a state of constant vigilance, or be worried about backsliding into old habits.

Jay

rockinrobin
07-06-2008, 08:19 PM
Kaploids, I thank you for posting those stages. Quite intreresting.

I really don't ever see me being in the TRANSCENDENCE stage. Ever. Or maybe I should say the transcendence stage for me will be different. It won't mean that I can "let up" and "relax". I think (know) I will always have to be super, duper vigilient. I will always have to be on guard. I will always have to want it "badly enough" and therefore make it a TOP PRIORITY in my life. Cause' it's all too easy to head into RELAPSE.

PaulaM
07-06-2008, 09:34 PM
Hey PaulaM! :wave: I know just what you mean, being somewhat close to your age. I was not a binge eater, either--I just overate at meals and parties and so on. I didn't gobble down boxes of cookies, but I never passed on the cookies, either.

I, too, am hoping that in time, eating to maintain my weight (when I get there--I don't consider myself done at this point, although I've passed my original goal weight) will be natural enough that I won't have to use a calorie tracker or formally measure foods out. To some extent, after months and months of training, I pretty much don't have to measure or weigh most things anymore. But for me, it was really necessary at first to find out what those portion sizes were, to figure out "a serving" and what it contained, and to know how many calories were in the foods I wanted to eat. Because, I didn't know! I really didn't! I was shocked when I found out how many calories are in a small order of McD's french fries, for example.

I tried just cutting down my food also, but without knowing in a quantified way what I was dealing with, my cutting down just didn't work well. I tried upping my exercise, but I wasn't consistent with it, and I let other things get in the way. Three times a week is enough, right? Well... no. :no:

I hope your plan works for you! Don't get me wrong! You may have skills that I lacked! :broc:

And I do look forward to the TRANSCENDENCE stage, when I no longer have to either be strict and in a state of constant vigilance, or be worried about backsliding into old habits.

Jay

Well you are at your goal weight and I'm far from it, so maybe I'm just talking out the top of my hat! I do admire all of you who have done it and maintain it too, you are inspirational.

Heather
07-06-2008, 09:44 PM
The SMART objectives may apply well in business, and may also apply to a lot of goal setting and effective weight loss. I don't disagree with most of that.

But I can't help thinking that a lot of weight loss goes beyond the simple formulas we try to force on it. For instance, we say that weight loss is "calories in vs calories out" as if it is a simple formula. And yet, eat too little food and strange things happen in a body that is trying to do its best to keep us alive. If it were just about cutting more calories to lose more weight, we could starve our way to thinness, but it doesn't work that way.

And as a former morbidly obese person, I'm fascinated by the research that indicates that my body is different from the bodies of people who never became morbidly obese. There seem to be a lot of hormones and chemicals that work differently in the bodies of people who have lost a lot of weight, and a lot of those chemicals seem to act to encourage us to gain the weight back!! We are just beginning to identify these systems, we certainly don't seem to understand them.

So in my mind, many of the issues we're discussing have added layers of complications dealing with bodies that seem to have minds of their own, on some level.

How do we account the real complexities of weight loss and weight maintenance with simplified formulas?

thesusanone
07-07-2008, 06:01 AM
Most "fat people" are expert dieters and have lost and regained weight a number of times. I think fat people must actually have a lot more will power than a thin person who never had a weight problem. Will power is not the answer because the will is easily broken or corrupted.

kaplods
07-07-2008, 07:15 AM
Excellent point thesusanone,

I think alot of my failure as a younger person can be directly linked to my thinking (as I'd been taught, directly and indirectly) that "willpower" was they key, and I just had to keep trying HARDER, not understanding the complicated factors that go into weight loss and maintenance.

In many ways, weight loss, for many people, can be like a tar pit, or one of those chinese finger traps, in which the harder you struggle at your bonds, the more tightly bound, you become.

Without knowledge or a strong system of social support, desire often isn't enough. Working as a probation officer, I so often met people who seemed to sincerely want to change, but the concept was so foreign to them, they had no idea where to start. One of the strangest cases was a young man who told me that he thought the judge had "set him up." When I asked what he meant, he said "probation is a setup, NO ONE can be expected to stay out of [legal]trouble for two whole years." Immediately, I was struck by the thought that this had to be the dumbest remark that I had ever heard issue from a human mouth (and as a probation officer, I'd heard alot), but it got me to thinking. I thought it was a crazy statement, because in MY world, I didn't know anyone (amongst my aquaintences, friends and family) who had gotten in trouble with the law in the last two years (and maybe only one or two who had ever). But, in looking at this guy's family, friends, and even aquaintences, it wasn't actually such a stupid statement, as most of his famiily, friends, and even casual aquaintences HAD gotten into some type of trouble in the preceding few years. In HIS world, staying out of legal trouble for two years, didn't seem to be a "reasonable" goal, and many of his peers might have agreed.

Even when working in probation and substance abuse treatment, we emphasized working to make will power less crucial. We told people to do what they could to set up their environment so that on their weakest days, abstainance was "easier" than relapsing. Not easy to do, especially if in their home, work, and leisure times, the people around them were engaging in the behavior they were trying to avoid.

"Peer pressure," is powerful. I remember when I was working with substance abuse and psychiatric patients in a hospital. In a couple of my counseling groups, I asked the patients what was the "normal" direction to stand in an elevatior (generally, facing the doors, everyone facing the same direction. o if it's a two door elevator, generally people will all face the same direction, even if "their" door will open to the other side). Then I told them of a study in which people when encountering people facing the "wrong" way in an elevator, nearly all chose to follow the crowd instead of standing the "correct" way. I was intending this simply as an illustration of peer pressure.

I actually upset the doctors and nurses with this one, because it inspired several groups of the patients to run their own little experiment. Facing the rear of the elevator or the side of an elevator, they watched and found that even the doctors and nurses responded as the study predicted. They did not ever ask "why is everyone standing this way," they just got in, looked a bit confused for a moment, and then got into line facing the direction as the experimentors.

When told of the reason behind the experiment, the doctors and nurses were a bit miffed at me (because it had embarassed them), at first. But later, the treatment staff voted to add it to the official curriculum, because it had been such a positive experience for the patients. Some of them, for the first time, feeling that they could change, ironically from seeing how easily "peer pressure," influences even the "best" of us. Many said something to the effect that they had thought that there was just something fundamentally wrong with them that they were unable to "resist" peer pressure, and now they understood why the counselors were pressing them to change their environment, and surround themselves with people who weren't users.

Weight loss is very similar, though even more difficult to find a positive peer group to "surround ourselves" with. Yet, many of us have found ways to do so (coming here and/or joining other weight loss support groups on and offline).

Complicted problems, complicated solutions, and each component will have a different degree of difficulty and importance for each individual.

rockinrobin
07-07-2008, 07:45 AM
Peer pressure, environment (and oh so many other things) are all obstacles in our way very often. All the time in fact. I mean there will always be obstacles. And they will certainly, CERTAINLY make things more difficult - but not impossible.

At some point, and for everyone that point will be different, you just have to say enough already. It doesn't matter anymore. Nothing matters anymore. And as difficult as it may be, you find a way around those obstacles. And every other one that is thrown at you. Because nothing, nothing matters as much as getting the weight off. Nothing.

It comes to a point where you can't "excuse" it away anymore. Because if you want it, you'll find a way, if not, you'll find an excuse. Thanks Meg. :hug:

Robsia
07-07-2008, 12:24 PM
LOL - interesting about the elevator thing. if I get in a two-door elevator I will nearly always stand side on, with one door on my right and the other on my left. I resist peer pressure whenever possible - I love to go against the flow. Provided it doesn't make me unsociable that is - I don't push to the front in queues or anything like that.

However I am sure there are examples where I unconsciously do do what others are doing.

Ookpik
07-08-2008, 01:34 AM
In my personal experience, a lot of what made me succeed at losing nearly 100 pounds (so far) was changing my attitude (and behaviors) about weight loss. A lot of people I know think they could eat whatever they want if they would just exercise--I thought the same. I thought, when I was very young, that I could lose weight, and then go back to eating the same (high-calorie) food I always ate. I wanted a way to lose weight fast and with minimal discomfort. I heard, too, that the key to losing weight was to lower my calorie and fat intake, and up my activity level. I'd do this for awhile and grow tired of it, for some reason or another, many times. All I could figure, this time around, was that I had to change the way I thought about things...it would take a long time, because I had a lot to lose....I had to reduce my calories and be careful of what I ate....I didn't ban high-calorie favorites, just started eating them as a few-times-a-year treat rather than as a few-times-a-week staple. Exercises and activities I thought were "too hard" and abandoned, I looked at as a challenge and worked my way up to (I certainly couldn't do jumping jacks when I started, but I can now). Walking a few feet used to be hard and got me out of breath; now I'm doing "Couch to 5K" and can run half-an-hour without stopping. I had to change my habits: when I used to watch t.v. at night, I'd often get up during commercials and get something to eat; now, I keep a catalog open and thumb through it during commercials and I admit, looking at clothes in the regular section and realizing they fit now gives me a feeling of pride. As for exercise, I had to make it a habit I followed every day and did it even when all I wanted to do was veg out in front of the t.v.

And of course, being human, I'm far from perfect. Usually I can pass up cookies and pie people offer me, but occasionally I don't. I expect my TOM this week, and find it especially hard. I got home late last night and didn't exercise all day. Happens occasionally, I just pick myself up, dust myself off, and get back on the horse.

Sorry to make this so long, just wanted to get in my two cents. I've been reading this topic and it's been really interesting...everyone has such good points.

thesusanone
07-09-2008, 01:06 AM
In my personal experience, a lot of what made me succeed at losing nearly 100 pounds (so far) was changing my attitude (and behaviors) about weight loss.

Great job! I hope to be able to make the changes you made. They are the key to success because it has to be a lifestyle change. It takes the willingness to get up and persist every day. I see that now. But it's not an easy thing to face. Once you get past that reluctance to change your viewpoint about it...then you can just start doing it every day. I think of it that way now and it helps me to cope with the reality of it. In other words, it is not an easy thing to grasp but once you do, then you are more than half way there. There are also challenges along the way. I have been "dieting" for a few months now and recently I have been feeling hungrier than usual. I'm not letting it stop me. I am just getting back to basics and dealing with it by eating more low calorie foods. But it's hard. There is something very real about the things you go through on a physical level, concerning hunger and energy level.

AJ113
07-09-2008, 09:20 AM
Peer pressure, environment (and oh so many other things) are all obstacles in our way very often. All the time in fact. I mean there will always be obstacles. And they will certainly, CERTAINLY make things more difficult - but not impossible.

At some point, and for everyone that point will be different, you just have to say enough already. It doesn't matter anymore. Nothing matters anymore. And as difficult as it may be, you find a way around those obstacles. And every other one that is thrown at you. Because nothing, nothing matters as much as getting the weight off. Nothing.

It comes to a point where you can't "excuse" it away anymore. Because if you want it, you'll find a way, if not, you'll find an excuse. Thanks Meg. :hug:No prizes for guessing that I agree with Meg all the way on this. Great post Meg!

It's interesting to me to note the positivity and determination that shines through Meg's wording and phrasing, it's also particularly interesting to me to note just where Meg's attitude has got her to, i,e, currently maintaining.

I have a somewhat cynical scenario to place before you for discussion. I apologize in advance for any offence I may cause.

Think of the person (or one of them) you love the most in this world: it could be your children, spouse, a parent etc.

Now imagine this:
A crazed gunman captures your loved one and sends you a demand: "Unless you lose 60 pounds in the next six months you will never see [loved one] again. If you can lose 60 pounds in that time, I will return [loved one] unharmed.

Now, honest answers please, who thinks that they would not be able to lose 60 pounds in six months under these circumstances?

JayEll
07-09-2008, 10:21 AM
I could, but I'd have to go to drastic lengths to do it. It would not be healthy, and I'd probably lose muscle and bone density. I might not fully recover from this, and I'd probably gain weight back.

Jay

rockinrobin
07-09-2008, 10:32 AM
AJ buddy, I think now YOU'RE not the one being realistic. I mean, thank G-d scenarios like that just don't happen. No one will EVER be that motivated.

Although, I will say, it came to the point for me, that I DID look at my weight loss as "life or death". And one of the biggest motivators for me was the constant worry about "who would be there for my kids?". Although I certainly worried about that for a long time prior to making the commitment. Guess I had to be worried enough to make the switch.

PhotoChick
07-09-2008, 11:04 AM
At some point, and for everyone that point will be different, you just have to say enough already. It doesn't matter anymore. Nothing matters anymore. And as difficult as it may be, you find a way around those obstacles. And every other one that is thrown at you. Because nothing, nothing matters as much as getting the weight off. Nothing.

It comes to a point where you can't "excuse" it away anymore. Because if you want it, you'll find a way, if not, you'll find an excuse.

I so totally agree with this. We *all* have issues in our lives. We all have busy lives. We all have things that we're dealing with. We all have social lives that involve going out with friends and having to deal with restaurants and eating out. And eventually the "I don't have time to exercise" and "I don't like veggies" and "I don't have time to cook" and every other excuse in the book that's been used ... eventually those excuses just don't cut it any more.

It was the same for me just as for everyone. At some point you decide to stop making excuses and start doing it.

.

Heather
07-09-2008, 11:45 AM
Interesting scenario, AJ, but I have to agree with JayEll. That's a scenario where you might lose the weight, only to gain it back again. And that's not really a success, in my mind.

H8cake
07-09-2008, 02:05 PM
"We all know what we should be doing to lose weight, so why don't we do it? It's not like it's a well-guarded secret, I doubt if there is a forum member who doesn't know exactly what to do to lose weight.

So why do we all struggle?"

I may be the only person that has this problem: Self pity! I spent years feeling sorry for myself because so many of my skinny friends could eat whatever they wanted and not exercise and never have a weight problem. I was convinced that it was in my genes to be fat and there was no way I could overcome that. I thought it was a huge mountain that I could never get over. It just wasn't fair that I would have to starve myself and exercise to such extremes to lose the weight and keep it off. It took a shift in my thinking, no longer feeling sorry for myself and spoiling myself. When I finally got so disgusted with the whole thing, the self-hatred, the not being able to do so many things because of my weight, avoiding so many things in my life because of it. Realizing I will die from this if I don't change. I think I had to get to this age, 44, to have the maturity to deal with it. So what if I can't eat like others. So what if I have to exercise five times a week. It is worth it to be healthy and have a better life. I am the only one that can change this and it is do-able! There is so much more to it than that, but the self-pity was really the big one for me. This forum is a huge help!

AJ113
07-09-2008, 08:40 PM
First Robin may I apologize for calling you Meg in my earlier post, I got myself mixed up with the quote in your sig.

AJ buddy, I think now YOU'RE not the one being realistic. I mean, thank G-d scenarios like that just don't happen. No one will EVER be that motivated.You've missed my point somewhat, Robin. I deliberately exaggerated a scenario in order to illustrate clearly that it really is all down to motivation: Most people would agree that they would lose the required weight in that situation, but what has changed? There are still McDonalds on every street corner, candy bars in every shop and peer pressure wherever you go. NOTHING has changed except one thing - your paradigm.

Of course it's not realistic, but it serves to underline my point.

AJ113
07-09-2008, 08:49 PM
Interesting scenario, AJ, but I have to agree with JayEll. That's a scenario where you might lose the weight, only to gain it back again. And that's not really a success, in my mind.Well, that's one possible outcome, another could be that the weight not only comes off but stays off. The point being - as I highlighted earlier - the only change would be a change of mind, a paradigm shift.

We are probably all agreed that in my earlier nightmare scenario we would lose the weight, so let's lower the bar a little. What if a doctor told you that if you didn't lose 60 pounds in 6 months you would most likely die before the six months was up?

JayEll
07-09-2008, 08:52 PM
I submit that no doctor would tell me that, AJ. Not any doctor that understood what happens when weight is lost that quickly.

If you want to do Socratic questions, they may need to be more reasonable. :)

Jay

walking2lose
07-09-2008, 09:13 PM
This is a very interesting thread. I totally *get* the point AJ is making, even before he had to explain it. Didn't he just say that he was giving a dramatic and exaggerated example deliberately to highlight his point? I didn't read his post as an attempt to be literal or realistic in any way. I also took his 60 lbs. in 6 months as arbitrary, again just used to underscore his point about motivation and weight loss, which I think is the same point Robin has made several times on this thread, using herself as an example. I don't think he meant that a person like you, Jay, at 147 lbs, would ever want or need to lose 60 lbs. in 6 months! Good grief!! :dizzy:

It seems to me he is making the same point Robin is making when he quotes Meg as saying (I'm paraphrasing) that if a person wants it badly enough, weight loss CAN happen. Weight loss is certainly a complicated issue with many factors, emotions, and variables, but I *get* AJ's point (and Robin's).

It's a tough road, and we're all in this together... the fact that we are all here, reading and posting on 3FC, I think, shows that we all believe that we CAN lose weight. And most of us know that it won't be easy; there is no magic bullet, but we must keep trying. I struggle with 10 measly pounds, but the mind over matter issue is huge with me. I know that if I really, really HAD to lose it (for health or because I was at gunpoint or whatever ;)), I COULD. But I go down and up down and up. And that's what we are all talking about... motivation, mind over matter, etc.

Glory87
07-09-2008, 09:41 PM
Personally, I think it's bigger than mind over matter. My mind's will to restrict has never been as strong as my body's will to survive (and rightly so).

For a long time, I pitted my desire to be thin against my body's age-old desire to store fat and my will lost every time.

When I looked at it as "mind over matter" my feelings of failure were huge - why was I such a no will power loser who couldn't stick to a diet? I felt shame and self loathing.

I desperately DID want to be thin and I thought I could do whatever it took (mind over matter), it never worked. I always lost some weight, but invariably, my body's desire to live and protect itself from starvation always forced binges - what literally felt like helpless, out of control episodes.

I WANTED to be thin but I didn't know how. In my opinion, all the wanting in the world won't work unless you know WHAT it is you want (the old answer 42 thing).

This last time, I was able to combine my WANT with KNOWLEDGE and I was successful. I don't think my willpower has changed at all, I am still the same person, it was never my WANTING that was an issue.

I guess I also changed what I wanted - the answer was 42 (to be thin). I thought the question was - how do I lose weight? but I had to change the question "how do lose I lose weight, keep it off and live a slim, healthy person for the rest of my life." Changing the question changed everything for me.

Heather
07-09-2008, 09:45 PM
I don't disagree with what people are saying here: motivation IS important. Wanting it IS important.

But is that all there is?

What about another extreme situation (and perhaps unlikely, but we've been down that road already). Let's say there's someone who IS motivated, who does everything right -- eating and exercise. Regularly. But she doesn't lose weight because her metabolism is really slow, and the leptin in her fat cells urge her to eat, and she's on steroids, which also cause weight gain. Oh, and she finds it hard to exercise because she... has no arms and legs (yes, I'm reaching... )

Perhaps for this person, motivation isn't enough. Perhaps in this extreme case, a mind shift won't do.

I just think boiling successful weight loss down to mind over matter is overly simplistic. Earlier in this thread I raised similar issues, (http://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/showpost.php?p=2257577&postcount=67) by discussing some of the complicating factors but no one picked up on that part of the discussion, so I raise it again: isn't it possible many of the issues we're discussing have added layers of complications dealing with bodies that seem to have minds of their own, on some level?

How do we account the real complexities of weight loss and weight maintenance with simplified formulas?

KrisR
07-09-2008, 09:57 PM
And just to throw a wrench into the equation.....is it really our mind or is it basic science? Is it the foods we put into our bodies that cause us to want to put more food into our bodies and thereby set up a vicious cycle?

The more I read, the more I study, the more I believe it is the type of food that I put into my body that drives my obesity, that drives my desire to overeat, that drives my desire to eat foods that aren't healthy for me. The more I read about insulin and its effect on the body, the more I am less inclined to abuse my body with excess processed carbs.

There are so many complexities to obesity...some of us have abused ourselves for so long that we have metabolic problems that cannot be overcome with 'mind over matter'. I'm not saying that we can't lose weight, I'm just saying that we are all so different that there is no one answer.

Having said that, it's so good to have discussions like this! I think it's very important to be sympathetic to where others are on their journey.

kaplods
07-09-2008, 10:14 PM
Heather this is SO what I've been trying to say. My answer to "is that all there is?" Is a resounding NO!

Even if you do believe that it is always possible, with enough "will," sometimes the question is "at what cost?" And what if the cost is too high? To add an equally extreme and bizarre example, consider that you've reached your goal weight and are very happy and proud of yourself, and doing well at maintaining. Now your child is kidnapped, and the kidnapper promises to torture your child until you GAIN 100 lbs and kill her if you don't accomplish it in six months. Can you do it? Will you do it? And how long will it take you?

___________

How do we account the real complexities of weight loss and weight maintenance with simplified formulas?

My opinion is we can't. The simplified forumal takes as much real meaning out of the problem, as do our ridiculous scenarios.

I was raised with the mentality that ONLY the motivation mattered. How you lost the weight wasn't important, even to my doctor. I was put on my first diet at age 5, and was a diet veteran by the time I was put on prescription stimulant diet pills at age 12 or 13 (in 8th grade). I pretty much ate little to nothing during the week (too weak to exercise), and a little more on the weekend so I could exercise. Honor roll was also important to me, or I might have done a little better at the weight loss if I (or my folks) would have been willing to sacrifice my studies. Even so, losing weight was still "tooth and nail" difficult (can't imagine what it would have been like without the diet pills). I was able to lose 75 lbs and was within 5 lbs of my ideal weight, when my doctor lowered the boom, that he was lowering my goal weight by another 10 lbs (from the "top" of the healthy range chart to the lower middle).

In hindsight, I am horrified that I didn't have the knowledge and strength to tell the doctor to go to H.E.double toothpicks. But losing weight had become so difficult that the idea of having to lose another 15 lbs, just seemed impossible. Instead of being proud of what I'd accomplished, and decide for MYSELF what my goal weight was, I felt crushed. Instead I felt that none of it had counted, that I'd only be "good enough" if I lost the 15 lbs, and since I really felt that I couldn't, I felt none of what I HAD lost had counted. Stupid, of course, but I was only 17, what did I know?

During gradeschool, highschool, and much of college, I "wanted it" badly enough to damage my body to the point that weight loss is less and less possible. Some of my current health problems are probably attributable to simply the excess weight, but some very well may be caused by the repeated stress of dieting on my body, but I guess you could still say I didn't want it badly enough. I didn't want it badly enough to sacrifice my masters' degree, or my desire to teach college (even though it meant working two jobs), or time with my family.

How much was I willing to sacrifice? Well, I definitely DID sacrifice my metabolism. I did sacrifice much of my social life. By college, I knew that there were men who were atracted to fat women, but I didn't want to date anyone who might try to hinder my weight loss or be disappointed when I lost weight. I believe I sacrificed my healthy in many ways beyond that caused by simply the excess weight.

A friend I had in college knew that she could lose the weight she wanted to if she wanted it badly enough, even though everyone else told her she was wrong. I lost contact with her when she sacrificed her education in order to reach her weight loss goal. She was too weak to continue with classes. I don't know if she ever did reach her goal (75 lbs), or what else she sacrificed to do so, very possibly her life.

If I had learned and addressed the connection between hormones and carbs and my insatiable hunger, I would have been able to reach my goal with a lot less motivation, effort, and sacrifice. I wouldn't have NEEDED more desire and motivation.

I think that minimizing the amount of sacrifice that is necessary to lose weight, is hugely valuable. While it may certainly be possible to lose weight with nothing but motivation, it's very possible that for some people, the sacrifices may be too great.

JayEll
07-09-2008, 10:47 PM
Just wanted to say to Claire (walking2lose)--I didn't think AJ113 meant that at my current weight, I'd lose 60 pounds. That would be impossible. I assumed I was starting from my start weight--198.

And, what I said still holds. To lose 60 pounds in 6 months would have been too fast for me, even starting there. Also, the loss would have slowed as I dropped. And finally, I'm older, so I'm working with a slower metabolism.

Could I do it? Sure! Many people have lost weight fast like that. But there is a price to pay for rapid weight loss.

The real challenge is keeping the weight off.

Jay

midwife
07-09-2008, 11:08 PM
I don't disagree with what people are saying here: motivation IS important. Wanting it IS important.

But is that all there is?

I just think boiling successful weight loss down to mind over matter is overly simplistic. Earlier in this thread I raised similar issues, (http://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/showpost.php?p=2257577&postcount=67) by discussing some of the complicating factors but no one picked up on that part of the discussion, so I raise it again: isn't it possible many of the issues we're discussing have added layers of complications dealing with bodies that seem to have minds of their own, on some level?

How do we account the real complexities of weight loss and weight maintenance with simplified formulas?

I agree Heather. I think there are many factors, some of which are recognizable and some of which have yet to be identified. This is my third effort losing weight. Why has it worked this time, but not the others?

Motivation is great, but without knowledge and tools, it won't get a person where they want to go. As far as implying that people who post on this board already have the knowledge for how to lose the weight....I'm not sure I have been reading the same board then. I see on this board all the time people desperate for strategies and knowledge. My own knowledge continues to grow.

So I think motivation is one piece. But I think there are other pieces. I might dare to say that some might feel motivation is enough to lead people to these other pieces---ie with appropriate motivation one will seek out knowledge and tools.

walking2lose
07-09-2008, 11:10 PM
Jay, I still think you are taking his analogy too literally and kinda missing the forest for the trees (NO OFFENSE!! :)) I thought he was being metaphorical, not literal, and not even referring to you at your current or starting weight. He was simply making a point that weight loss IS possible with enough internal motivation, which as I pointed out, is the same thing Robin has been saying on this thread. That is simply her view. I didn't in any way see her post as one that touted rapid weight loss. She and Robin and Glory and many others seem to agree that weight loss is possible with the proper knowledge and motivation. This has worked for them and others. To a point, I agree with their premise, although I acknowledge that I don't have enough education (or even personal experience) to adequately speak to the efficacy of this premise being a viable one.

And, their point is a debatable point and one with which not everyone agrees. Heather and Colleen have raised the issue that there are MANY complexities - physical, emotional, etc. that contribute to a person's ability to lose AND to maintain. I agree with this too! The realm of obesity and weight loss is in the forefront of study by physicians, psychologist, and scientists- we read new articles and studies every day on this topic. I certainly think Heather is right that boiling it all down to a simple formula of mind over matter is way oversimplifying the issue. Many overweight people exhibit tremendous willpower and determination in many areas of their lives - why can't they apply that will to losing weight? Because it is not so simple. And I sure don't have all the answers. I was trying to clarify what I saw as a misreading of AJ's post.

We all have a lot to learn from those who have lost and maintained. They have done battle and won... and continue the battle every day. We must also learn from our own struggles and journeys - each one is different and no one is better nor worse than an other. I again go back to my point that we are all here trying... trying to be healthier, trying to lose or maintain a loss, and these are clearly difficult things to do in the culture in which we live.

JulieJ08
07-09-2008, 11:30 PM
But she doesn't lose weight because her metabolism is really slow, and the leptin in her fat cells urge her to eat, and she's on steroids, which also cause weight gain.

Just an aside, leptin causes satiety not hunger. But your point was still clear.

KLK
07-09-2008, 11:58 PM
Kaplods -- your post was spot-on, I think. I too think that many people, myself included, became overweight not because they didn't desire being thin enough (it was my deepest desire for my whole life), but because bad food choices from childhood (possibly made FOR them by well-meaning people when they were very young) helped them form chemical food "addictions" that perpetuate and cause weight gain. I'm not saying I didn't willingly gorge on doughnuts and cookies, but WHY did I feel I needed them SO badly?

Obviously, it takes some force of will to pick yourself up and decide to get to the bottom of your problem -- be it chemical, emotional, whatever -- but much of it is just plain physical and physiological, imo, for lots of people. Also, as walkingtolose pointed out, lots of overweight people demonstrate great discipline and drive in other areas of life -- getting degrees, performing well at work, being good parents and spouses, etc. Why not apply those skills and that will to the weight problem? When you're chemically addicted, willpower and desire and emotional strength aren't (always) enough.

I remember being like 12 or 13 years old, desperately trying to lose weight so this guy I liked in school would notice me (HA!). Anyway, there I was, sitting on the couch after school, telling myself, CHANTING TO MYSELF, "you will not have a rice krispie treat, you will not have a rice krispie treat..." The spirit was willing but the flesh was weak... I ate something like FIVE (5) rice crispie treats that afternoon (except like an hour later than I would have).

rockinrobin
07-10-2008, 12:10 AM
AJ - no problem. You can confuse me with Meg any time. Any time at all. Works just fine for me. ;)




I might dare to say that some might feel motivation is enough to lead people to these other pieces---ie with appropriate motivation one will seek out knowledge and tools.

That's it. When you want it badly enough, you search and search until you FIND what works for you. Not only that, but you make it work. Whatever it is. If your metabolisim is slow and you lose weight more slowly or even at a snails pace, so be it. It doesn't matter. If you have intense, intense cravings - you ignore them or find ways to deal with them. It doesn't matter. If you are truly addicted to food, you manage it. It doesn't matter. If you are always hungry - you learn to deal with it. It doesn't matter. If your time is limited, if your budget is limited, if you have horrendous stress to deal with, if you are constantly faced with tempation, if you have zero support - it does not matter. You do whatever it takes, no matter what your situation, as hard as that may be. You find a way around it.

This reminds me of what my sister has said to me several times, I've mentioned this in another thread recently. When I've discussed with my sister some of the foods I eat and how I am more then satisfied having the same lunch most days of the week, she answers back, that I was at the point that if I had to eat cardboard for the rest of my life in order to get and then stay thin, that I would do it. I don't believe that to be the case and am darn grateful that it didn't come to that, but you get my point.

Another thing. I've heard success and failure thrown around during this conversation. And I hear it quite often hear at 3FC. Please forgive me, but I never understood the thing about feeling that one is a success or a failure if they can't get a handle on their weight issues. I certainly didn't get a handle on it for over 20 years. Heck I'm still trying to. I did feel as if I was a failure AT losing weight, but it didn't mean that *I* was a failure. As heavy as I was, I never considered my entire SELF a failure, just that one aspect of my life. Just like now that I have been successful at weight loss, doesn't mean that *I* am a success. And the truth is I won't consider myself a *true* success at weight loss, until I've kept if off for my entire life. Or at least until my upper 80's. Then we'll see about it. Not sure why I felt the need to mention it just now, but it has been bugging me for a bit.

Oh and Claire, AJ is a guy. Just thought I'd let you know ;). And he started quite the discussion here,much food for thought.

Just one more thing I'd like to add, I hope each and every one of us finds whatever it is that works for each of us. Because it's out there. :hug:

kaplods
07-10-2008, 03:51 AM
I think the problem with reducing weight loss (or any change) to simple motivation, is that it's a lot like the argument sometimes seen for faith healings - if there is no miracle of healing, it's because your faith or mind wasn't strong enough. There are many religions and philosophies that believe this, but I don't think God works that way, and I don't think motivation works that way either. There are many people who do have extremely strong almost super-human motivation, desire, and drive, and yet still do not reach their goals. My brothers dream was to be a Navy Seal, and he worked at the qualifying tests until he passed them all, and then was not accepted because his vision was not good enough (I found it a bit strange that the Navy wouldn't test the vision first, but I guess they want to see what people can do, even if they know from the start, they'll never make it).

I think a better way to look at motivation is to see it as being one leg of a stool (I wish I could take credit for this analogy, but I didn't come up with it. Rather it is one a psychology professors used when teaching us about the resources necessary for successful cognitive-behavior change of things like substance abuse, gambling etc.... though I think weight loss applies equally as well). Depending on how many legs you start with, and the strength of those legs, you can kick out one or even a few and might still have a functional stool, but the fewer legs you start with, or the more unevenly spaced they are, the more important some legs are than others.

I don't think motivation is a leg that you can ever remove and still have a functional stool. However, the stronger the other legs are, the less weight needs to be born by motivation. When the professor used the model in class, he asked us to name some of the legs they thought needed to be under the stool, and I'm sure motivation, desire, commitment were named, but there were also things like social support (inside and outside of the family), intelligence, education, values, stress management, physical and emotional resources....

He drew a lot of weird stools on the board with 1 to 10 legs, of different thickneses and lengths, and spacings. Then he started erasing some of the legs or shortening them and asking us which would still support a person. Sometimes it was obvious, and sometimes we'd laugingly answer that it depended on the person.

"Ah, that's a good point," he said. "Which of these would you let your 95-year old grandmother sit on?" "How about a two year-old child?"


I know when I counseled people, I didn't use the stool analogy per se, but did focus on people making change easier by strengthening the resources they could. As a probation officer, we encouraged probationees (whether it was part of the court order or not), in getting a job, going to church, forming positive relationships, joining support groups, close ties to family (if the family was a positive influence), pursuing education and even things like taking care of their personal hygeine, getting dental and medical care and otherwise improving their health and appearance, as well as things like finding positive hobbies and leisure activities.... because all of these things have been proven to increase a person's chance of staying out of trouble.

It's true for weight loss as well. The tiniest and oddest things can be a great help. I love crafts. There are many that I could easily do while eating and drinking, but the more time I spend on one that I can't eat doing, the better tool the hobby is for my weight. Even my crochet. With dark colored acryclic yarns, it was easy to think "Eh, if I spill something on it, I can just wash it," especially if I was making the item for my husband or I. But, now that I'm choosing to make projects as gifts and consciously choosing lighter and more delicate fibers - I don't eat while crocheting, because I don't want to risk staining the items. The more this became a habit, the less I thought of eating, even when using sturdier, more forgiving fibers.

I don't think motivation is every a strong enough leg to stand on its own. I remember that even in graduate school, we were taught that when a person with a drug or alcohol problem could ONLY identify will-power as their strategy for change, they were least likely to succeed. Desire to change, poorly correlated with actual change. The people with the most desire, were not the most successful, and I think that takes us back to the stool analogy.

Some rather weakly motivated people may still have more success than some highly motivated people, if they have enough support in other areas. An example might be in searching for a job. One not-very motivated person might get a better job faster than a very motivated person can get crappy job, if the less motivated person has a dad who owns the company (another somewhat extreme example).

A person who has a lot of obstacles (termites?) may need a lot more legs on their chair. A person with few obstacles (and very good balance) may even be able to use a chair with only one thin leg.

I think when we rely on only motivation, we're a lot like Goldilocks, breaking a lot of chairs to find the one that's "just right." But, just the act of falling on our butts, can cripple us to the point that we reduce the odds of finding a chair that will work for us (we need more and stronger legs on our chairs than when we first started looking).

I am so grateful that I've finally found my chair, but it has a lot more legs on it, than it would have if I had found two of my legs earlier (the hormonal and carb connections). I could have been sitting comfortably for much of the last 36 years on a much less sturdily built chair (both figuratively and literally).

I think what we do here, is share information on legs. Motivation is a very important one, so we talk about it alot. For many people it IS the strongest leg they have, and the one they want to share with others, but it isn't the only leg and that is very important to share, because a person can compensate for any weak leg, by adding and reinforcing others.

Glory87
07-10-2008, 03:55 AM
That's it. When you want it [B]badly enough, you search and search until you FIND what works for you. Not only that, but you make it work. Whatever it is.

I don't know how I feel about this. Maybe because we had such different experiences with dieting. If I remember correctly (and I might be wrong!) you were heavy and never tried to diet, this was your first weight loss attempt?

I dieted for 20 years, so part of me is just hurt and insulted by the thought you think I (and anyone else like me) just didn't want it badly enough. I can assure you that I DID want it. Maybe it just took me the 20 years to find what worked for me, but it definitely wasn't a lack of wanting and trying.

I painfully, desperately, wanted to be thin. I agonized over my weight. I was in a funk and depression. I didn't shop, I didn't look at myself, I didn't allow pictures - I dreamed/fantasized constantly about losing weight - it's hard to describe in text the depths of my wanting, but it was soul deep - for YEARS.

I wanted it so badly, that I did a lot of unhealthy things - starving myself, dexatrim, slim fast, lost my period once (only time in my life), hair fell out by the handfuls in the shower. I did think it was mind over matter, end justifies the means, lose weight by any way possible, no matter what. That kind of thinking was really really bad for me. I did think if I wanted it badly enough I could lose weight, I thought there was something wrong with me, I was weak, I had no willpower.

It is just hard to describe how I feel when you say "if you want it badly enough, you can lose weight" because it makes me feel like a loser for 20 years - that if only I had wanted it ENOUGH I could have lost weight when I was 20. I just feel that desire was only part of the equation for me (an important part).

rockinrobin
07-10-2008, 07:50 AM
I dieted for 20 years, so part of me is just hurt and insulted by the thought you think I (and anyone else like me) just didn't want it badly enough. I can assure you that I DID want it. Maybe it just took me the 20 years to find what worked for me, but it definitely wasn't a lack of wanting and trying.


Glory, no, no, no. I apologize deeply and sincerely if I've offended you or anyone else. I never, ever meant to imply that anyone is a loser or a failure if they have not gotten off the weight. NEVER. In fact that's why I wrote that I just don't even get that logic. Of thinking of oneself as a loser or a failure if they can't do it. I don't think being overweight means that one is a failure. Or even close. I don't think that one's weight defines one self. There's a lot more going on in a person then their weight.

And yes, I did attempt "dieting" for 20 plus years just like you. But unlike you, I never lost any significant amount of weight. I always say that my attempts were half hearted because I never could/would do it for very long. So therefore, MY take on it, was that it was half hearted. That I didn't put my ALL into it. And I don't "count" it as much. I've obviously given the wrong impression.

But Glory, I think we're basically on the same page here, you just don't care for my wording. I think you're a perfect example. I have no doubt that you did indeed want it badly enough. No doubt at all. So therefore, you DID find a way to make it work. You didn't give up. It may have taken you 20 + years - but you DID it. You kept trying and trying and trying until you discovered what worked for you. My belief is that you wanted it so badly, that you were williing to keep on plugging away and plugging away, even after many so called failed attempts, until you found what worked for you. Sure it took you over 20 years to do so. So be it. That just shows how badly you wanted it. I think it's unheard of that anyone gets it down pat on the first try. Or the second or the third, or the fourth or fifth.... Luckily we're given as many attempts as we need. There is no limit. We can keep trying and trying and trying. And we should.

JayEll
07-10-2008, 08:57 AM
Just a note to walking2lose to say, Yes, I do get the analogy, and no, I am not missing the forest for the trees. :lol:

My point was simply that the numbers were unrealistic to begin with. And, I'd have to acknowledge that when push came to shove, I might not lose 60 pounds in 6 months, and I'd never see my loved one again. ;)

Motivation is not the same as will power, in my way of thinking. Will power has more to do with commitment, which is a different step. Most overweight/obese people can find some motivation to lose weight. But wanting to isn't enough. If it were, the problem would be solved.

Jay

Robsia
07-10-2008, 09:06 AM
I doubt very much that I'd be able to lose 60 lb in 6 months, even with that incentive. And if I did I think I'd probably be dead. 87 lb is not a healthy weight for a 5'5" tall woman.

However I could easily put 60 lb ON in 6 months.

Heather
07-10-2008, 09:21 AM
I dieted for 20 years, so part of me is just hurt and insulted by the thought you think I (and anyone else like me) just didn't want it badly enough. I can assure you that I DID want it. Maybe it just took me the 20 years to find what worked for me, but it definitely wasn't a lack of wanting and trying.


I'm glad Glory brought this up. I toyed with the idea of raising this point the past couple of days, but for time reasons, I didn't.

Regardless of whether anyone intends it, I have a feeling there could be a lot of people reading this thread and feeling just like Glory did. It's sort of a slap in the face to be told you just aren't trying hard enough when you feel like you're giving it your all.

I think a lot of people do want it very badly, but either don't know how to be successful long term. When they are faced with plateaus and/or lapses and collapses, they don't keep fighting and finding new ways to succeed, but they give up. (At least, I did). They give up not because they don't want it, but because they are at a loss. They start to figure they just can't do it (at least, I did!)

As has been raised already, it's not that motivation isn't important, but as Colleen has noted, it's only one leg of the "stool". Knowledge is another important leg. And there are more. So, you can want it all you like, but if you don't have the knowledge of how to lose and maintain successfully for you, you will probably fail. (Again, I think we don't really disagree on much).

And there may be some of us who have situations that are very difficult to find successful solutions for (thyroid issues, etc). We may not yet KNOW these solutions.

It is estimated that 75-95% of people fail to maintain their weight loss. Do they all really not want it enough? It is my hope that as we learn more about successful weight loss and maintenance and find new knowledge about our complex bodies, that the rates of "failure" in weight loss will improve.

PS -- Julie thanks for the clarification on leptin. I had a feeling I was getting it wrong!

Heather
07-10-2008, 09:22 AM
I doubt very much that I'd be able to lose 60 lb in 6 months, even with that incentive. And if I did I think I'd probably be dead. 87 lb is not a healthy weight for a 5'5" tall woman.

However I could easily put 60 lb ON in 6 months.


Hmm... there's an interesting scenario. A loved one is taken hostage, and will only be released if you GAIN 60 pounds in 6 months...

srmb60
07-10-2008, 09:34 AM
I could do that! And I would.

Glory87
07-10-2008, 11:22 AM
I also hate the "hostage, lose 60 lbs scenario." If someone kidnapped a loved one and I had to lose weight - I'd amputate a leg or something. Fast, permanent weight loss. If a mother would die for a child, they would do ANYTHING.

I wanted to respond more, but I'm late for work!

rockinrobin
07-10-2008, 04:57 PM
Regardless of whether anyone intends it, I have a feeling there could be a lot of people reading this thread and feeling just like Glory did. It's sort of a slap in the face to be told you just aren't trying hard enough when you feel like you're giving it your all.



Again, I sincerely apologize if anyone has felt this way even for a teeny, tiny second.

Glory87
07-10-2008, 05:15 PM
Hey :) I just answered a sweet PM from Robin and I want to make sure everyone knows I am not upset with Robin!!! So I will repaste it in all it's rambly glory (hee):

Oh, Robin - you didn't have to apologize! I may not have agreed with your post, but I was never mad at you!

You know how it is, weight loss is just so...fraught with emotion - everything is so huge and personal! I tend to view everything through the lens of my own experience.

And I do try to understand your experience, that you tried a bit, but it didn't click for you until your fear of leaving your kids alone or some of the other things you've shared gave you the impetus you needed to make the huge changes required.

For me, I wanted it, but I never could quite figure out how to do it. And I thought I was finding the right knowledge, but it was a lot different 20 years ago! It was all grapefruit diet and dexatrim and VLC and slim fast and the Rice Diet. I did so much reading, I did try a lot of things - Low Fat - all the conventional wisdom of the time. And I really did try so hard, crazy crazy stuff. That's probably why your comment resonated so much with me, there's no way I could have wanted it more (okay, maybe if I had been diagnosed with diabetes or something like that). I didn't want it more in July 2004 than I wanted it at any other time in my dieting life.

Hmmm, I think it's that I DID think if I wanted it badly enough I could do it, and therefore since I didn't do it, I must not want it badly enough (therefore it was a breakdown in ME, my willpower, my desire). This goes back to those unhealthy thoughts I used to have about being "In control" and feeling "out of control" that always plagued my dieting history. I let my self worth get wrapped up in not only my weight, but my weight loss attempts. Since so many other people were dieting and losing weight (my perception, ignoring the facts/statistics/reality about weight loss and maintenance), since I couldn't do it, something was wrong with me. "Something must be wrong with me, I wanted it so bad!? was how I thought. I thought I was a weak, no will power loser.

Of course, now I know better and I'm in a better, healthier place about me.

I am sorry I made you feel you needed to apologize! I think I just tossed some of my own baggage on you in that thread! I do like this board and the ability for all of us to put our hearts out there, just pour out our souls and history and thoughts and experiences - I definitely think it's okay to come at things from different perspectives!

You are one of my absolute favorite posters and like I posted in your 1 year anniversary thread, you do inspire me every day! I am really sorry I made you think I was truly upset!

STi
07-10-2008, 05:45 PM
**** yea!

rockinrobin
07-10-2008, 07:18 PM
Oh Glory, you did not have to go and publicize your PM to me, silly girl. :hug:

I must say, it sounds to me like you really, REALLY wanted weight loss badly enough. I'm just so thrilled for you that you kept at it and finally hit upon something that you were able to stick with, thus allowing you to lose the weight and then be able to maintain it for so long. And lucky us, we get to benefit from it too with all your sound advice. ;)

And let me just say, that you are indeed one of my (and I'm sure a lot of peoples') very favorite posters, who I think of often. I really do. You not only inspire me daily, but you keep me going and give me much needed confidence. I think that if "Glory can do it, then maybe, just maybe so can I!" I LOVE reading what you have to say, even if every now and then (a rarity) I don't agree with it 100%. Though I will tell you that I definitely see your point here. :hug:

kaplods
07-10-2008, 08:16 PM
I dieted for 20 years, so part of me is just hurt and insulted by the thought you think I (and anyone else like me) just didn't want it badly enough. I can assure you that I DID want it. Maybe it just took me the 20 years to find what worked for me, but it definitely wasn't a lack of wanting and trying.
__________________________________________________ ______

Glory, Your feelings aren't unusual in any way. It's hard not to interpret the well-meaning advice of "if you want it, you can do it" as the criticism "if you haven't done it, you must not want it." You've heard it for 20 years, I've heard it for 36.

I think you and I both know how easy it would have been to just stop trying. For me, every diet brought extra weight and a slower metabolism, so after 35 years of trying, I was very afraid to try again. And if I hadn't found a new tool, honestly I'm not sure I would have. My motivation, like my metabolism waned with each unsuccessful attempt. My resources were whittled, bit by bit until I had nearly nothing left.

I know that I have far fewer resources now than I did when I was younger. I had more strength, more stamina, more desire, more energy, and more optimism than I do now. Because I had to go on disability, I also had more financial resources. I easily could have died without ever having found the tools I needed, and it wouldn't have been from lack of trying.

I could write not just a book, but volumes on all of the crazy things I tried to lose weight. I amaze myself that I was able to do some of the things I did to lose weight. I'm no longer willing to go 6 days without eating, and not just because I know that doing so tends to backfire on a person. I'm just grown less tolerant of inflicting pain upon myself.

I think that's why it's so important to start people off with good information and good tools. Too many of us come into this struggle completely ignorant, and the very process of trial and error, errodes our physical and mental (and often financial) resources. Now, I'm sure trial and error will always be a part of this process to a degree, but the faster we can get people the right tools, the easier and earlier that success can be achieved.

If no one ever listened to "bad" dieting advice, I don't think the failure rate would be 95%. But crash diets not only are still common, they are still very popular, despite well-established data that they just don't work. We all know that eating 2500 calories a WEEK is not healthy, but how many of us here have done it? How many people are still doing it?

Far too many of us.

I think in some ways, there's a common attitude that since "you can do it if you really want to," (assumed) that there's really no need for weight loss research. There's no need to understand which types of interventions work the best for various people, and which are most likely to result in blazing failure. After all, if they want it bad enough, they'll figure it out themselves, somehow.

But, I think every single failure increases the likelihood of the next failure, until a person stops trying. It's called learned helplesness, and basically translates to, if a person never succeeds, they stop expecting to succeed.

Puppies that were kept in a box that shocked the puppies feet learn to jump out of the box. But if the walls are too high, eventually you can remove one of the walls and the puppies still never learn to jump out of the box.

People are more sophisticated than puppies, but learned helplessness still plays a role in people's behaviors. "What's the use, I always... (insert any statement of failure here)." It happens, and it does errode motivation.

When factors such as depression and poor self-esteem are added in, or multiple responsibilities and stressors such as caring for a family, health problems, financial problems, job problems, marital problems.... they all eat a person's ability to live their dreams (or even have them).

All of us have limited resources. How limited, varies tremendously. How likely we are to pick the right tools without outside help, that's going to vary a lot too. Could I have lost the weight and maintained the weight loss if I hadn't found the hormonal and carbohydrate connection? You know, I still can't
answer that, because I just don't know.

Are there people on the planet who desire weight loss and are more motivated than I am, and yet are not succeeding? Oh, most definitely yes. Are there people who have died trying? Most definitely, also. Not everyone reaches their goals, and the reasons are many.

yoyonomoreinvegas
07-10-2008, 08:26 PM
Well, first of all, thanks for saving me from being the "wicked witch" today - because I started reading this thread on my lunch and got so sucked in I did absolutely nothing constructive. As a result, my employees did all the work and had enough to keep them busy so I didn't have to send any of them home :lol:

This whole idea of "wanting it badly enough" (or not) made me think of one of my pet peeves - people saying "If I can do it, anyone can". Doesn't matter if it's weight loss or making millions flipping houses, it just has always made my hackles go up when people say that. Except now, for the first time in my life, I'm almost starting to get it and I'm catching myself having to make a conscious effort not to use some variation of that same phrase - kind of like when you catch yourself using some phrase on your kids that you SWORE you would never say because it sounded so annoying coming from your mother. :D

I think that particular phrase bothered me so much mostly because I never quite believed I could really do it (anything actually). Even when I made myself "scary skinny" in the past, I still never quite believed that it was me who did it or that it was the result of *my* efforts in any way. Of course, I'm certainly a relative newbie to the attitude adjustment that seems to be making things work this time so only time will tell if I'm going to be able to fend off that "you're at goal, you can go off your diet now" voice but, I almost feel as though some sort of switch has been thrown inside my head that has completely changed the way I look at things - like the eye thingy at the optomotrist "is this better or this one" then he flips one lens and suddenly everything is soooo clear - and I just can't see myself going back to the "fat" habits.

So, maybe it boils down more to believing rather than wanting - ok, so Jiminey Cricket is singing in the background and the Blue Fairy is wafting around on the computer screen, but maybe old Jiminey had something there.

I bet we all know people who always seem to end up with the cutest dates, the best jobs, the biggest house, tightest abs, coolest car, whatever they want seems to happen for them. If you take a good look at those people's personality, doesn't it seem like they just assume they deserve all those things? Not that they don't do anything proactive to get it to happen - most of them actually work their tails off educating themselves, making contacts, etc., but they set their minds on something and believe they deserve it and they are able to make it happen. And, it's not a rah-rah, gung-ho type of attitude, it's a much quieter "just the way it is" thing.

Maybe I'm just rehashing Glory's idea of the unhealthy thoughts and low self esteem being responsible for holding us back for so long, but to me, this is a whole different mental state than the "aha" moment that got the ball rolling.

EZMONEY
07-10-2008, 11:33 PM
...............

I bet we all know people who always seem to end up with the cutest dates, the best jobs, the biggest house, tightest abs, coolest car, whatever they want seems to happen for them. If you take a good look at those people's personality, doesn't it seem like they just assume they deserve all those things? Not that they don't do anything proactive to get it to happen - most of them actually work their tails off educating themselves, making contacts, etc., but they set their minds on something and believe they deserve it and they are able to make it happen. And, it's not a rah-rah, gung-ho type of attitude, it's a much quieter "just the way it is" thing..........

I agree with you. I also think a lot of what happens to us is on how we look at things. For example my niece and step-daughter went to the same school at the same time, different grades. My sister in law took my niece to school and picked her up....Angie took my step-daughter when her school (she is a teacher) schedule permitted. The routine went about like this....up at 6...leave for school at 7:30....drop off kid...back home until 2:00 then leave to pick up kid....back home at 2:45.....dinner at 5:30-6:00. My sister in law couldn't get anything done on school days..."I can't get anything done...all I do is go back and forth to school picking up daughter, I don't have anytime to prepare dinner before I pick her up and no time after I get back home to cook, dinner is in 2 hours, looks like fast food again." Now Angie looked at it like "Cool, now I have 6 1/2 hours to clean house, walk the dogs, go shopping. laundry and get dinner started. After I pick up the kid I will still have 2 to 3 hours to cook if I need to, and I should have the week-end free!" Same hours...different outlook from the time the alarm clock rang.

AJ113
07-11-2008, 04:20 AM
I'd just like to thank the members for their truly intelligent, intelligible, provocative input thus far. Truly absorbing.

Well, there are probably ten replies I would really like to make, but I don't want to hog the thread.

Walking2lose (Claire) Your assesment of my posts is far more accurate than I could have explained myself, thank you for that.

I appreciate the input regarding my analogies, but can we get away from the specifics please? They're really not important, and they detract from the point. If you wish, insert your own specifics i.e. "the gunman says you must lose X pounds in X months." Also, to argue whether a doctor would or would not say such a thing is detracting from the point too.

If anyone has problems with my analogies, try creating some of your own, and introduce them to the discussion, that would be interesting. The point being that once the motivation - fuelled by desire - is strong enough, things will happen. Whether you agree with that point is another matter.

The analogy by kaplods of the gunman insisting that you GAIN weight was presented - I think - as a counter argument, but as far as I can see, it serves to support my point - i.e., who wouldn't gain weight in those circumstances? I'm sure we would all find a way, due to the dramatic paradigm shift.

The additional analogy of the legs on the stool confused me somewhat. In that scenario I see desire and motivation as the hobnail boot that is kicking out the legs - not a leg itself.

Robin (Now I know why you are Rockin' !!)
I'd like to pick up on your point that some people who fail at a single operation or project then seem to impute failure on to themselves in its entirety, whereas others will compartmentalize success or failure and keep it ringfenced to the appropriate area. Could this difference be synonymous with the difference between people who agree - and put in to practice - the notion that you can get what you want if you want it bad enough, and those who say that motivation is not enough, other factors have an influence too?

Do you think there is a connection?

kaplods
07-11-2008, 05:34 AM
The additional analogy of the legs on the stool confused me somewhat. In that scenario I see desire and motivation as the hobnail boot that is kicking out the legs - not a leg itself.

Robin (Now I know why you are Rockin' !!)
I'd like to pick up on your point that some people who fail at a single operation or project then seem to impute failure on to themselves in its entirety, whereas others will compartmentalize success or failure and keep it ringfenced to the appropriate area. Could this difference be synonymous with the difference between people who agree - and put in to practice - the notion that you can get what you want if you want it bad enough, and those who say that motivation is not enough, other factors have an influence too?

Do you think there is a connection?
________________________________________________

Now, I'm confused. The analogy the professor gave was that you needed a functional stool in order to "support" change. If motivation and desire are kicking out the legs, then motivation and desire would be working AGAINST success and that's not what I was saying, just that motivation is only one component to success.

I disagree about a connection between compartmentalizing success and failure and the belief that motivation is not enough. I've always succeeded at nearly everything I attempted except weight loss. So, I never really felt globally a failure. Although I shouldn't say "never," as I of course had fleeting "poor me, everything in my life sucks" moments, but my overall self-esteem and self-respect have always been pretty much intact. Succeeding in nearly everything I ever attempted, except weight loss, did start me wondering whether my professors were right about motivation not being the only piece of the puzzle. Something about weight loss was different, and in looking at the "multiple components to change" model, I can even indentify many of them.

I've encountered people who have cast me into the role of failure or freak because of my weight, but I never did. I knew THEY were wrong.

Rather, I learned that motivation was not enough. Not just through professors saying so, but seeing it in my own life. Even in the many, many areas that I succeeded and excelled in, there was more than motivation involved.

I was adopted and my parents were told that I was going to be very, very smart (apparently one of my bioparents was a child prodigy or something), and my parents told me they said "how can anyone know that a baby is going to be smart?" and pretty much forgot about the premonition until I began reading before kindergarten. School work was always easy for me, and I never understood why other kids just didn't "get it" the first time. My best friend throughout gradeschool struggled academically. She had to work very hard just to maintain average to slightly above average grades. She put more effort into a lot of her "C's" than I did into most of my "A's". The amount of motivation for each of us was different. I never took notes in class (even in college my notes were horrible except in science classes) because if I understood it, hearing it once was enough for me to remember it forever. Often my version of studying for the lighter subjects (in college as well) was to simple read the chapters the night before a test.

My view on why motivation is not the whole picture, is that I've seen how easily motivation can be misdirected. People who are very motivated to succeed financially (by their definition) focusing their energies into criminal activities rather than legal ones (but them not being good enough at it not to get caught). I once sat down with a guy and showed him that taking into account his prison time, his home burglary "career" was paying him less than minimum wage, when he told me that he couldn't "afford" to take a legal job. For this guy, that was an AHA moment for him. His motivation wasn't working for him, because he was using it to fuel a misguided belief.

In the 70's and early 80's, in my high school, disfunctional anorexic or bulimic eating habits, such as eating a lunch of less than 150 calories, were actually considered "cool." My boyfriend at the time was an insulin dependent type I diabetic (he wasn't fat, but he had been as a little kid and was still self-conscious about it). He would skip lunch and I wouldn't eat all day friday so that we could go out to eat and eat dinner together on our date. I had tons of motivation, but I was channeling it into unhealthy patterns out of ignorance, and that ignorance was costing me dearly in terms of damaging my health and metabolism.

Growing up, I very clearly remember (and believed) that weight loss was simply a matter of motivation. Getting the weight off fast was possible, and that maintaining it was just a matter of will. When you believe both of those things, of course you intend to get the weight off as fast as you can, by any method necessary. Not knowing that crash diets tended to make weight loss MORE difficult, of course those were the methods that everyone tried first. "Sensible, gradual" weight loss was for wimps who didn't think they could do it on their own.

Yeah, that was smart thinkin' but hindsight as they say.... and all that.

Some people learn from their mistakes very easily, others not so much. I always thought I was smarter AND more motivated than the average bear, and yet it took me 36 years to discover and address the hormonal and carb-related part of my problem. The hormonal problem I recognized by age 12, but not just one doctor, but several over my lifetime told me there was nothing I could do about that. The carb issue I believed the common wisdom that low-carb diets were dangerous, unhealthy, and ineffective.

So, more than three decades later, I was still trying to find what worked for me, because I was overlooking what was right under my nose all along (and not for lack of looking). And I think "what do people without MY resources do," and the answer is often they fail.

Motivation is the place to start, but if you don't have anything but motivation, you're going to fail an awful lot before you start succeeding. I'm sure I could eventually figure out how to build a house without help, but if I had to build a house, my first step would not be to start mortaring bricks. I would talk to people who had built houses. I would read books, and I would ask people to help me.

But motivation doesn't make me know that those are steps I should take. If I didn't know that anyone had ever built a house (or if I went to them and asked and they told me all I needed was to want to build a house) or if I didn't know books on the subject existed, or didn't have friends willing or able to help, it could take me an awful long time to build that house, especially if I didn't have easy access to building materials.

rockinrobin
07-11-2008, 06:58 AM
I must say that when I use the phrase, "want it badly enough", I don't necessarily equate that as being motivation. I equate that with extreme, extreme, DESIRE. And they're 2 different things in my (abliet tiny) book.

de·sire /dɪˈzaɪər/ Pronunciation Key - noun
–verb (used with object) 1. to wish or long for; crave; want.
2. to express a wish to obtain; ask for; request: The mayor desires your presence at the next meeting.
–noun 3. a longing or craving, as for something that brings satisfaction or enjoyment:

mo·ti·vate /ˈmoʊtəˌveɪt/ [moh-tuh-veyt] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
–verb (used with object), -vat·ed, -vat·ing. to provide with a motive or motives; incite; impel.

—Related forms
mo·ti·va·tor, noun

—Synonyms induce, move, provoke, prompt, cause.

Pronunciation[moh-tuh-vey-shuhn]
–noun 1. the act or an instance of motivating.
2. the state or condition of being motivated.
3. something that motivates; inducement; incentive

Regardless of what you think the definition is, IMO, motivation and even desire is not nearly, nearly enough to "get the job done." I never insinuated that it was. Hmmm, maybe I did, I don't even know anymore what I insinuated or didn't. ;) I've been often misunderstood on this thread. Which is understandable, this is the internet afterall. It's hard getting across your true feelings. :dizzy:

I think that when you want it "badly enough", you then make a commitment to do, to find, whatever it takes and in however long and since we're talking weight and hence health here, I mean that "whatever" to be healthy measures, to get you there. And then you just can't "do it". You've got to set yourself up for success. That's where looking into your own particular obstacles (no matter what your "stool legs" may or may not be) and finding a way around them comes into play. Always open to fine tuning of course.

I'll be MIA for a few days. Got my swimsuit(s) and suglasses packed and am headed out for a long weekend. Be well all and have a super duper weekend. :smug:

AJ113
07-11-2008, 12:06 PM
Now, I'm confused. The analogy the professor gave was that you needed a functional stool in order to "support" change. If motivation and desire are kicking out the legs, then motivation and desire would be working AGAINST success and that's not what I was saying, just that motivation is only one component to success.Desire and motivation create the forward impetus. Part of this process is to eliminate - usually through experience - useless thougts, traits and actions. The hobnail boot removes the legs from 5 or six-legged stool until all that remains is a solid, stable 3-legged stool. That's how I view it anyway.

I've encountered people who have cast me into the role of failure or freak because of my weight, but I never did. I knew THEY were wrong.Good for you!

Rather, I learned that motivation was not enough.I agree, motivation is fuelled by desire, the question is whether desire is enough.

People who are very motivated to succeed financially (by their definition) focusing their energies into criminal activities rather than legal ones (but them not being good enough at it not to get caught).Are you saying that desire to be financial successful leads to criminal activity?

I once sat down with a guy and showed him that taking into account his prison time, his home burglary "career" was paying him less than minimum wage, when he told me that he couldn't "afford" to take a legal job. For this guy, that was an AHA moment for him. His motivation wasn't working for him, because he was using it to fuel a misguided belief.Au contraire. His motivation led him to the AHA moment.

Some people learn from their mistakes very easily, others not so much.But they do learn - sooner or later.

Motivation is the place to start, but if you don't have anything but motivation, you're going to fail an awful lot before you start succeeding.Precisely my point througout the thread. Many people without motivation would stop at any one of those failures and accept failure as the end result, whereas a motivated individual keeps coming back for more, and then each failure becomes merely a lesson to be learned on the path to ultimate success.

But motivation doesn't make me know that those are steps I should take.It sure doesn't, but then again I don't think anyone is saying that. If you are motivated you will keep coming back for more after each failure, acquiring knowledge on the way.

.... it could take me an awful long time to build that house, especially if I didn't have easy access to building materials.Yes it would, but then the specific goal of building a house would be unrealistic, you can't build a house if there is no chance of obtaining the necessary building materials. There is no point in having goals that cannot actually be achieved, that would be disastrous.

walking2lose
07-11-2008, 01:02 PM
Err... I can't figure out how to 'unbold' the top part of my post. I didn't mean for it to be in bold, so please ignore :)

Wasn't it Glory who said earlier on this thread that for her (and we all know it is different for everyone) that it was the combination of motivation AND knowlege that started her on the road to weight loss success? I believe Glory said she tried (had the desire/motivation) for something like 20 years before the KNOWLEDGE kicked in to combine with her desire, and she began to lose in a healthy way.

I know that is still over simplifying the matter and not taking into account many, many things - physiological and emotional issues DO play a role, and I don't mean to discount those factors in any way.

To me this entire discussion could be boiled down to this:

Do you - or do you not - believe that it is possible for every overweight person to lose weight... and ultimately, keep it off?

I believe that it's going to be a very different journey for all of us, but I also believe that we would not be active members of a weight loss SUPPORT forum (Go 3FC!) if we did not believe it to be true.

It's very similar to the premise that I work under every day as a teacher - "EVERY CHILD CAN LEARN." I apologize for throwing another analogy into the mix. I am an optimist by nature, so of course I want to believe it, and I DO. But I am also enough of a realist to know that MANY, many factors go into a child's success in school, and many of them are beyond our control (and I believe this to be true in weight loss too). While one student can breeze by with A's, another may have to work VERY HARD for C's, ALL students DO learn - but they require different methods of teaching, and they learn to different degrees, but YES, they CAN all learn... of course!

As with weight loss, we must focus on controlling the variables that we can control -- and figuring out what those variables are, is perhaps the most important part of the journey. What are those variables??? Are they different for each of us? To some degree, I think they are the same, but to another degree, I believe they are very different.


This has been an interesting discussion, and I apologize if I am oversimplifying. I don't want to discount the many variables that Colleen and Heather have so eloquently put forth for our discussion. I'm going to be very honest and say that I don't feel that I understand those variables well enough to fully understand or even articulate about them, but I know that many factors are connected to weight gain, weight loss, and maintenance. I also realize that as a naturally average sized person for most of my life, and as a person who has only ever been about 20 lbs. overweight, I cannot possibly have the same insights or struggle that others do who have had much more to lose. So, really maybe my whole opinion is coming from a place of ignorance... I don't know! But I appreciate the fact that we have a chance to share our views and learn from one another.

JayEll
07-11-2008, 02:46 PM
Yes it would, but then the specific goal of building a house would be unrealistic, you can't build a house if there is no chance of obtaining the necessary building materials. There is no point in having goals that cannot actually be achieved, that would be disastrous.

Now hold on a minute. Weren't you the one who just said a bit before this that we should get away from specifics with our analogies? And yet here you are tossing Kaplods' analogy away because it's unrealistic? ;)

My point with your "60 pounds in 6 months or else" analogy is that that goal is unrealistic! That's why the analogy didn't work, in my opinion. You can't have it both ways, AJ--Kaplods' analogy isn't any less valid than yours.

Jay

AJ113
07-13-2008, 07:07 PM
Steady Jay, you're comparing apples and oranges. It's possible to lose weight if you have the desire, because there is nothing stopping you, it is a realistic goal because it is a simple case of eat less energy than you burn. The exact specifics of the goal will vary between individuals, depending on multiple variables.

It's impossible to build a house of you don't have the building materials. It is an unrealitic goal in those circumstances.

Robsia
07-13-2008, 08:18 PM
Is it truly impossible for some people to lose weight?

I have only myself to base any assumptions on, but I know that I can lose weight quite easily when I try hard enough. Not saying it's 'easy' as such, but I know what to do and how to do it and when I do it - it works.

If I really wanted to, and if I put my mind to it and was prepared to put in the hard work necessary, I could also make my body into a muscle-fest and start running marathons! I don't want to do that - I have absolutely no desire or motivation to go that far, but I have the ability to do so.

So for those people who say they really can't lose weight - the question has to be - why? What are they doing wrong?

rockinrobin
07-13-2008, 09:05 PM
So for those people who say they really can't lose weight - the question has to be - why? What are they doing wrong?

I think if you have never lost weight, then you THINK that you really can't. I mean you haven't done it, so therefore it's because you CAN'T. You obiously really, really want to be thin, but you think that it's out of the question for yourself. And just thinking that way, can be very detrimental.

So yup, I always thought that weight loss was just not possible for ME. "I have no control". "My appetite is just too large. It takes too much to satisfy me" "I'm too short, if I were only taller." "I get hungrier quicker then most. I need to eat more often" "I have a slow metabolisim" "I am terrible at sports & I loathe exercise. In fact I'm too heavy to exercise." "I am SUCH an emotional eater, it's all I've never known." "I've been eating for comfort since I'm a kid." "I have too many social obligations." "I have the worst, strongest cravings in the world." "I'm just not capable of sticking to anything for very long." "But I LOVE bread, pizza, rice, cake and ice cream waaay too much". "I can NEVER give up those foods." "TOM is waaaay too hard." "I have too much to lose, so what's the point?" "It's just too hard." "I have no support." I've got kids and a husband at home who don't need to "diet"." "I'm addicted to food." Those were all my reasons for not losing weight. But now when I look at them (hindsight is really something, isn't it?) , they don't seem much like reasons, they seem more like EXCUSES. But at the time, I really, really thought they WERE legitimate reasons.

I did always hold on to the one shred of hope - deep, deep, deep down inside. I knew that there were others who had done it (thanks Oprah and the like for all those weight loss success stories) and I did have in the back of my head that weight loss WAS indeed a doable thing, which is why the feathers and wings analogy really struck me the way it did. Although I did know that it was doable, again, I didn't think it was doable for ME. Until of course I got miserable enough and tired enough, which is of course my experience, everyones' is different. And my way of thinking changed. Weight loss is so much in the mind. Instead of thinking that weight loss was not doable for ME, I started thinking, "Well why NOT me?" But I believe that to be the case because my desire to be thin OUTWEIGHED the desire for the food at this point. So I then devised a plan to combat each and every one of my "reasons/excuses". I was very methodical. But I still don't know if it was "the plan" that worked, or that it didn't matter anymore, and I therefore made the plan work. It's like which came first, the chicken or the egg? But truthfully, I think nothing mattered any more but getting the weight off. Because I wanted to be thin, MORE then I wanted the food. Finally, finally, FINALLY.

Hmmm, that didn't really do much to answer your question, now did it Robsia? But like you said, I've only got me, myself and I that I can speak for. I wonder then, is it truly, truly possible that some people can't lose weight, or is it truly, truly possible that some people can't STICK to something, so hence they can't lose weight? Or is it that they don't stick to something, so hence they don't lose the weight? :shrug:

junebug41
07-13-2008, 09:08 PM
Bravo, Robin

ETA: I hit send before I finished my post :lol:

Continued:

I agree with every word of your post, Robin. I truly believed I would never be able to lose weight. I had never in my entire life experienced a normal weight. iw ished and wanted SO MUCH to be thin and never got anywhere. I had a million reasons, but mostly I just couldn't believe it. And like you, I woke up one day and had ENOUGH.

I can't really add much more because you said it so well!

kaplods
07-13-2008, 10:08 PM
Quote:
People who are very motivated to succeed financially (by their definition) focusing their energies into criminal activities rather than legal ones (but them not being good enough at it not to get caught).

Are you saying that desire to be financial successful leads to criminal activity?
__________________________________________________ _

Nope, just saying that the motivation for obtaining money could be channeled into different directions.

For most people crime doesn't pay (at least in my experience - because those REALLY good at it may not be getting caught).

Just like finding fires exciting could lead one to be an arsonist or a fireman.

____________________

Maybe a good deal of the difficulties in the discussion here is on different definitions of desire and motivation, and that's very possible.

As to everyone knowing and having the resource to lose weight. I don't buy it. If I had had the resources when I was younger I would have done it. If I had stacked the bc and followed a low carb diet I know that I would have lost weight and kept it off. I know it because I have always known my enemy, hunger. I just never knew how to control it and prevent it from controlling me.

I had desire when I was younger, and it was often enough a powerful enough weapon to help me win battles with Hunger, but never the war. I had lost most of my desire and most of my hope that it was possible by the time I found the weapons I'm now using, and I think it is reflected in how quickly I am losing. If I ate what I am eating now when I was 20, I would probably be underweight. My metabolism, through aging and dieting is ridiculously low. Twenty, even ten years ago, I would have told you it was impossible for a person my size to eat what I do and not lose weight. What did I know?

After 50 lbs, I'm just starting to get enough hope and desire back to the point that I feel I can trust them again as weapons in my fight.

My concern is that with enough failure, desire and motivation can be easily trampled. I'd like to get to people while their motivation and desire is strongest, because the information part can be easily shared. the desire and motivation, that's up to each of us individually. We've got to get to kids early, before they try their first crash diet. Because I truly believe the crash diet does more to fuel obesity than it does to weight control.

rockinrobin
07-13-2008, 10:29 PM
As to everyone knowing and having the resource to lose weight. I don't buy it. If I had had the resources when I was younger I would have done it. If I had stacked the bc and followed a low carb diet I know that I would have lost weight and kept it off. I know it because I have always known my enemy, hunger. I just never knew how to control it and prevent it from controlling me.

I had desire when I was younger, and it was often enough a powerful enough weapon to help me win battles with Hunger, but never the war. I had lost most of my desire and most of my hope that it was possible by the time I found the weapons I'm now using, and I think it is reflected in how quickly I am losing. If I ate what I am eating now when I was 20, I would probably be underweight. My metabolism, through aging and dieting is ridiculously low. Twenty, even ten years ago, I would have told you it was impossible for a person my size to eat what I do and not lose weight. What did I know?

My concern is that with enough failure, desire and motivation can be easily trampled. I'd like to get to people while their motivation and desire is strongest, because the infomormation part can be easily shared. the desire and motivation, that's up to each of us individually. We've got to get to kids early, before they try their first crash diet. Because I truly believe the crash diet does more to fuel obesity than it does to weight control.

So, I think that you are saying, and please forgive me if I'm wrong, that the reason you could not lose weight, is because of your extreme hunger, correct? Not that your body was simply incapable of shedding pounds. But because of your extreme hunger, you ate more calories then your body burned and therefore you couldn't lose the weight? So for you, it boiled down to finding something to curb the hunger? Am I correct? That's interesting. For me, that was not the case. Well, helloooo, we're all different. I ate even when I WASN'T hungry. But that's a whole other thread...... ;). Finding something to curb my hunger was just the tip of the iceberg.

Anyway, I see you once again talking about desire and motivation. And I agree with you 100%, you're so right, it CAN easily get trampled. So they're STILL not enough. And that's why I believe commitment plays a huge role in weight loss too. HUGE. IMO, commitment takes one a lot further then motivaton and desire. A lot. Because once you make that commitment, that pledge , that vow, THAT'S what ensures you, that gives you that "no matter what attitude". You've made the lasting commitment, you no longer rely on the motivation or even the desire.

So many factors. So, so many. :dizzy:

AJ113
07-14-2008, 03:32 AM
.......Anyway, I see you once again talking about desire and motivation. And I agree with you 100%, you're so right, it CAN easily get trampled. So they're STILL not enough.But isn't that the point of the discussion? If your desire and motivation crumble at the first hurdle then surely you didn't "want it bad enough" in the first place? And that's why I believe commitment plays a huge role in weight loss too.I agree, but the commitment comes after the "want it it bad enough" stage, it is one of the ensuing processes that are fuelled by the initial desire.

rockinrobin
07-14-2008, 08:06 AM
But isn't that the point of the discussion? If your desire and motivation crumble at the first hurdle then surely you didn't "want it bad enough" in the first place? I agree, but the commitment comes after the "want it it bad enough" stage, it is one of the ensuing processes that are fuelled by the initial desire.

Oh I agree. Surely. For me anyway, the "want it bad enough" stage DID happen first. Upon hitting THAT stage though a few things happened. The first being that I made a binding commitment to do whatever it takes (using healthy measures) to get me there.

I still hold that motivation alone is most definitely NOT enough to "get you there". Motivation peaks and wanes and is not always around when there's chocolate and cheesecake around. So you need something to fall back on. That's where the commitment comes into play. Because when you want that fill in the blank so badly, but you've made yourself a promise not to, well then it doesn't matter that you want it. Because you've commited to a better, healthier life. You've commited to get the weight off. And eating that so and so at that particular time won't get you to your goals, hopes and dreams.

Another thing happened for me. I made the decison to lose the weight. Okay. Now what? I got a little panicky. How was I going to GET what I so badly wanted, what I so badly desired? I needed to figure out an intelligent way to get me there. So that's when I went over my obstacles and devised a plan to follow. A food plan first and foremost, a way of dealing with social occasions, weekends, emotional eating, the whole kit and caboodle. I told you, I was very methodical. I couldn't just say -BOOM- I want to be thin so badly and it would happen. Lord knows I had tried that in the past and lo and behold, duh it DIDN'T. I had to make it happen.

And then I got incredibly, incredibly EXCITED. I didn't plan it that way obviously, but that's what happened. I was EXCITED because I knew, I knew deep down that if I STUCK with my plan, that an end to my misery WAS indeed in sight.

Robsia
07-14-2008, 08:13 AM
. . . my desire to be thin OUTWEIGHED the desire for the food at this point.

This is EXACTLY, word for word, what I tell people when they ask me what the 'secret' is to my weight loss.

The desire to be thin has to outweigh the desire to eat the bad stuff. Without that, there is no hope, because you will never stick to it.

rockinrobin
07-14-2008, 08:26 AM
This is EXACTLY, word for word, what I tell people when they ask me what the 'secret' is to my weight loss.

The desire to be thin has to outweigh the desire to eat the bad stuff. Without that, there is no hope, because you will never stick to it.

Oh Rosbia, that's why I LOVE this site! So many people who we can relate to.

I thank AJ for starting this. He made me think about this long and hard and those words came to mind.

I think that line may now be my "definitive line" to use as well. It used to be the "want it badly enough" line, but I think this one might describe it better and hopefully without hurting anyones' feelings.

I'll tell you though, I really, really used food for soooo long in so many wrong ways that when I finally got to the "my desire to be thin OUTWEIGHED the desire for the food at this point" stage, I had to really, really, REALLY DESIRE to be thin. So yup, oh G-d, I gotta say it - I really wanted it, to be thin, badlly enough. Oh gosh, I may have to use the combination of the 2. Yikes.

Another thing, I don't think I would have known this, had I NOT lost the weight. The "wanting it badly enough", and the "desiring to be thin outweighing the desire for food" stage. Or rather I should say, that I didn't know that that was the "secret" until I actually got to that stage. That's a big thing right there, if you ask me.

AJ113
07-14-2008, 12:45 PM
....... A food plan first and foremost, a way of dealing with social occasions, weekends, emotional eating, the whole kit and caboodle. I told you, I was very methodical. .........That's precisely how I did it too.my desire to be thin OUTWEIGHED the desire for the food at this point......and that's precisely what I say when people ask me how I did it. It all boils down to this one crux: as you are about to devour that candy bar, pause for a moment just before eating, and ask yourself what you want more - the candy or the slimmer figure. At that point, there can be no excuses, because if you go for the candy, it will be a conscious sentient decision, preferring candy over weight loss, and in that case................you can't want it bad enough.

Robsia
07-14-2008, 01:27 PM
It is possible to lose weight and still have some treats though.

Last Wednesday was our works summer night out to celebrate the end of term. I went there in a new floaty shorty summer dress and collected lots of compliments.

However I ate garlic mushrooms for starter, pizza for my main course, AND tiramisu for dessert. With cream. And chocolate sauce.

I made the decision that I was going to enjoy my night out and enjoy my food - and I did. It doesn't mean that I don't still want to be slim - but I wanted to enjoy my meal.

Next day - yes I was up a bit (not as much as I expected however) and the day after I was back down again - and I still lost a pound for the week!

So it is completely possible to have treats and nights out so long as you think of the bigger picture. Don't think of the odd candy bar or 3-course meal as a failure - it's just a sidetrack on the road to being slim and healthy. It takes a tiny bit longer if you choose to take that sidetrack and look at the scenary. But so long as you don't turn around and start going back the way you came, you'll still get there in the end.

LOL - I wonder how many more analogies we can fit into this thread.

kaplods
07-14-2008, 05:32 PM
Quote by rockinrobin:

So, I think that you are saying, and please forgive me if I'm wrong, that the reason you could not lose weight, is because of your extreme hunger, correct? Not that your body was simply incapable of shedding pounds. But because of your extreme hunger, you ate more calories then your body burned and therefore you couldn't lose the weight? So for you, it boiled down to finding something to curb the hunger? Am I correct? That's interesting. For me, that was not the case. Well, helloooo, we're all different. I ate even when I WASN'T hungry. But that's a whole other thread...... . Finding something to curb my hunger was just the tip of the iceberg.....

So many factors. So, so many.
__________________________________________________ ______________
SO many factors. And that's what constantly amazes me, is how DIFFERENT many of our circumstances are, and yet most of the dieting and weight loss research spends little time investigating those differences, instead trying to find some universal diet that is "best" for everyone. I think because of the factors of obesity are so diverse, the treatments have to be as well.

All those factors could be used as excuses, and I'm not meaning to go there. I'm not saying that I couldn't have lost weight AND maintained it if I had more rigorously endured "tooth and nail" dieting and might have been able to achieve a normal weight, if I had been willing to give up my masters' degree or time with my family or any of a thousand things that competed for my time and attention.

I've many times felt that "if I had nothing else to do," I could lose weight more succesfully. And as far as it goes, that's probably true. We all have limited resources and many things pulling at us for our attention, but it is our choice as to which get the attention. And my career and education had more pull than weight loss. I don't even completely regret that, as I can't say that I would trade my education and job experiences for weight loss. If I had done so, I would be a different person than I am today, so how can I regret that.

As for hunger being my largest obstacle, I would definitely say, yes. Curbing the crazy hunger for me was the largest obstacle. I've known since I was small that I was VERY different from everyone in my family and everyone else I knew. I was ALWAYS thinking about food, almost every waking minute, and often waking in the middle of the night as well.

I've always liked low calorie, healthy food (very few foods I didn't like). When I was younger, I was fairly active (not as active as I needed to be, but not a complete couch potato either). Portion control has always been my problem, because of my hunger having had no "off" switch.

I've always had better luck with fasting (no food at all) than with portion control. Mindful eating doesn't work for me, because my hunger signals don't work right. Full is my stomache hurting (and sometimes still then I felt an indescribably "urge" to eat). Well "fasting" doesn't work for the long haul, because at some point you have to start eating again.

Looking back, I think it was my response to high carbohydrate food (even healthy carbs).

I cannot describe how differently I felt since changing the bc and the carb content of my diet. I feel like I've been let out of food jail. I can go about my day and forget about food for hours. I've never, never, never been able to do that. I'm not sure if I ever went more than a single waking hour in which the thought of food did not at least cross my mind, and while dieting, it was probably more like 5 minutes.

Even as a kid, I knew that I was even different from most other fat people. My mom and grandma were fat (as adults, they had not been during childhood) yet I was the only one OBSESSED with food.

When I was in college and first read of the genetic condition of Prader Willi Syndrome, I thought that except for the mental ******ation, it sounded so much like me (these kids are so obsessed with food that they will become extremely obese if the food in the house is not locked up). I wondered whether there was a similar genetic condition that occurred without the ******ation (I still wonder, as I was adopted, and don't know much about bio-parents).

I can't tell you how much my life would be different if I hadn't been constantly obsessed with food. Or even how much it has changed since I found out. It's only been a year since I started the bc and carb changes. I need to be alot more committed than I have been. But to be honest, it has been such a liberation to NOT have to think about food in order to maintain my weight that it is hard for me to get the motivation to pay attention to it in order to lose weight. That probably makes no sense at all to anyone who hasn't been through it.

I really do feel like I had a lion with me (like those lap band ads, where the lady has a big lion wandering the house with a chain around its neck labeled hunger - after her surgery it turned into a kitten). Well, my lion wasn't just calmly wandering around my house (or my head), it was a rabid, angry lion roaring in my ear during most of my waking hours (and often even my dreams). The lion is pretty much not only tamed, but in a coma, unfortunately if I eat too many carbs he comes out of the coma and rears his ugly head, but at least I now have power over him.

I watched an Intervention program last night. One guy, Ben was addicted to DXM (OTC cough medicine) and another Josh, weighed 576 lbs. - both "legal" addictions. The intervention guy said that food addiction was similar to heroine addiction, in that many people used food to "numb" themselves.

I'm not sure that I really used food intentionally that way, but after having experienced the effects of narcotic pain medication, I can say that there are some similarities.

I've found that on a reasonably low carbohydrate's I definitely feel more alert and more in control of my behavior, more "sober" if you will. In many ways, I feel like a completely different person. I can't believe that food controlled mostof my life during the last 35 years. The time I didn't spend eating, I spent thinking about eating, whether I was dieting or not.

I think for most people, desire, commitment, motivation, and hope/belief are probably what they had to change in order to lose weight, so naturally what they would think most important. For me, it wasn't any of those things that I had to change, it was two very tangible, physical changes. Birth control hormones and carbohydrates. Who would ever guess it could be so simple? Certainly, not me!

Too bad I destroyed my metabolism looking for what was right under my nose.

Hindsight and all that. I'm not blaming doctors, or anyone else on my obesity. But, I'm not really blaming myself either. And maybe a large part of that has to do with how real that "lion" of hunger was to me. I knew him, and I knew I wasn't imagining him (or if I did, I had one heck of an imagination). With the low carb dieting and bc change it's literally what I would imagine a schizophrenic would feel like if the voices or hallucinations suddenly disappeared. "Poof" you're now a different person.

I do feel like Cinderella, poofed into glass slippers. And all of the health benefits that losing the 50 lbs have initiated, well the "ball" hasn't ended yet.

Ookpik
07-15-2008, 02:17 AM
Just getting caught up on some of the posts. Interesting input!

Thesusanone - good for you! Hope you are having some success! I know I had to change my attitude and adjust my behavior to get to where I am. Good luck.

I think it is possible to want something so bad, you do anything to get it. Unfortunately, some of the paths we choose to get something have dire consequences - starving ourselves to be thin, stealing, wanting companionship so badly we nearly go bankrupt buying a person's affection. In the past, I have made many attempts to lose weight. I barely ate, and exercised strenuously, to the point I felt weak. Did I want to lose weight? Yes, but I decided the path I chose to get there wasn't worth it, and always gave up. Maybe I just bought into the hype that if I ate a little and exercised a lot, I would get thin, not taking into account emotional eating, etc.

I think motivation is what gets you started, then you have to actually do the work. People ask me all the time how I'm losing weight, then make excuses why they can't do the same thing. I just found what works for me - I count calories (too bothersome, they say), weigh myself every day because it keeps me accountable (too "obsessive"), walk or jog every day, exercise to DVDs when the weather's not nice (no time, too boring, or they have to have a buddy to do it with). I am single, so they assume it must be easier for me because I don't have to cook for a family. They think I have more time to exercise because I don't have a man or kids - I have one full-time job, one part-time job and meanwhile I'm trying to have some kind of life and my time's limited too. I can go on and on, but my point...do they want it any less than me? I don't know, but they may not be ready to make the changes needed to get the outcome they want.

As for wanting something badly enough, I know I've mentioned before that I decided at 290 pounds to become a cop. The motivation - the reason for losing weight - was there. This was something I thought of doing on and off for years...but I don't think I was ready as I was in January of '07 when I started to do the work to get there. I started exploring strategies to see what would work - counting calories, exercising every day (whether I felt like it or not - except when I was sick or in pain), lifting weights. Two years ago, I could barely walk...now I can jog 30 minutes without stopping (thanks, "Couch to 5K"!) and can lift 50 pounds to my chest. Still a long way to go but I'm getting there. I started doing volunteer work (with Citizens on Patrol), paying close attention to how I conduct myself (gotta have a good rep!), because I want this badly. I may never get in, but I'm trying. My point here is that I'm motivated, and now, as opposed to my twenties, I'm at a time in my life where I'm ready to do the work to get there. I've tried many times to lose weight, but it seems like now, I am ready I had to give myself pep talks. I've had to physically get up from a table and go somewhere else because I was too tempted by what was being passed around. I've counted down the minutes to the end of an exercise video I was doing because I just wanted to get it over with, but I had to get my exercise in for the day. I had to change my thinking...if I had a bad situation, I'd reach for comfort food, I had to learn to take my aggression out by speed walking or something. And I'm not perfect...I had my TOM this past weekend, and I couldn't shovel enough food in my mouth. Or so it seemed. I had to tell myself that I just have to get back on track.

Now, I don't want to offend anyone or anything, or imply that they're not "ready" if they haven't lost weight. I've been there...I'm 37 now and if I had the same mindset when I was younger as I do now, I would never have been overweight. It's hard. I don't know what got me to change. I have a co-worker who's also trying to lose weight, with little success. We started around the same time, with about the same amount to lose. I just tell her not to give up. It's hard. You may not always win the battle, but eventually, you can win the war.