40-Somethings - I can't stay focused long enough

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01-28-2009, 01:29 PM

I'm Niki, I'm from Greece and I've only been here for a few days.

My main problem with dieting is that I can't keep my motivation for a long time. I can usually stay on track for two or three months, but then it becomes more and more difficult. I seem to forget what my goal was. And there I find myself falling into that abyss again.

So, this is my question to all of you who seem to be doing so well, or to have reached goal already: how do you manage to remain focused? How do you overcome oblivion?


01-28-2009, 01:36 PM
I find setting mini goals and non food rewards helped me. When I hit 10% I got a facial, when I reached my goal I got a new MP3. It can be a new toy or clothing goals, get something you want to be able to wear that you can't now. Just make sure that they are realistic. Set yourself up to win not fail :carrot:

01-28-2009, 01:55 PM
What works for me is to not put pressure on myself. I remember I am human. I tend to be an all or nothing, so if I pressure myself, I give up rather than keep going.

I allow myself a cheat day once a week where I get wine, or pizza or something, so that I do not obsess with what I can't have, and focus on what I can have for the rest of the week.

I do not starve myself. I aim for 1600 calories a day. I recognize what are trigger foods..ones that once I start I can't stop.

I have no set day to end this journey. I will get there when I get there!:^:

01-28-2009, 03:07 PM
I agree with alot of what has already been said. I have never said that I can't have anything. I can have whatever I choose to eat, I just know that if I indulge in something sinful, I need to allow for it in my day. If I'm going out for dinner, I try to eat a lighter lunch to save some of my calories for dining out.

I have added daily exercise to my routine. I spend at least 30-40 minutes everyday doing some kind of exercise.

I also realize that my journey has no end, it's a change for the rest of my life.

Good luck!

01-28-2009, 03:24 PM
I have lost weight in the past where I totally obsessed about food all day. This time I am like Onmyway in that I know I am going to do this for the rest of my life so obsessing had to change. I used to starve myself to lose so that is why I would obsess because I was hungry. I eat very well now and am never very hungry except when I should be. I have found so many new foods that are healthy and taste very good that I had never tried before. I am actually having the most fun I have ever had while losing weight with trying new foods. My husband brought home papaya last night. I can't wait to try it! I started running at 40 and am loving that too. I feel very alive right now after living in a funk eating terrible foods. My biggest motivator in all of this is how I feel. I eat junk, I feel like junk. I eat well, I feel well. Good luck and welcome!!

Sarah C0nn0r
01-28-2009, 08:18 PM
You simply have to gear yourself up for the long haul.
Tell yourself you are going to do this no matter how long it takes.

It also REALLY helps to log on here every day to keep focused and motivated.
Read the success stories. Look at the before and after pics. What an awesome motivator! We're all real people who will say "If I can do it, anyone can!" So stick with your plan and hang in there!

01-29-2009, 08:31 AM
Hello, Nikki! I have been on and off diets ever since I remember (maybe school years), and I have had this insecurity about weight since I was 4 or 5 years old. Considering now I am 45, it makes for a venerable record - sad eh?
I have never had motivation or will-power (stubbornness) problem; but I used to give up when the diet doesn't seem to work AND when I am emotionally distressed. So for myself - and for this time, as I have been sticking with the Dukan regime for 14 months now - I am trying to avoid the emotional hurdles because at least the other factor, a plan that does work for me, is a fact.
In your case I would suggest pinpointing your own weaknesses and strong points. As a start, try the diet personality test, it is free (I can't post the link as I am under 25 posts but if you google "diet personality quiz" the test will come up - it is at diet com)
My Diet Personality:
Eating: Nighttime Nibbler
Excersise: All-or-Nothing Doer
Coping: Emotional Eater
I am sorry to say that I have to add "and emotional drinker", which is a surefire way to kill any diet. But that is a different problem altogether.
Every time you start feeling demotivated, give yourself what I call "the 24 hour break" - like, say to yourself, "OK, I can give up this diet any time; and I wil take 24 hours to think over it:. Make the best of the 24 hours and stay on plan but write down all the reasons that you remember that got you started in the first place; write down all the "grievances" that the diet causes you (you can't eat your favourite food, or you can't go for a drink with friends or it is too expensive or whatever), and then weigh them. It helps to have before-and-after pictures of yourself. Look at them, and decide if you want to give up the diet and go back to your old bigger self again. Maybe it is not your plan; but if you have had results with it, stick to it till you find a better plan.
Get support - here, in real life (a slimming buddy would be best). The danger is when your real life slimming buddy, usually a close friend, gives up the diet and nudges you to do it too cos it doesn't work. I have had several occasions in the last year - now I am almost 40 kg lighter, and my ex-slimming buddies are thinking of starting again. Oh well...
Fingers crossed for you! :)

01-29-2009, 08:41 AM
I've been thinking about this post since I first read it yesterday but I'm having trouble puttting into words what I mean.

This morning I was thinking about this. Niki said .... So, this is my question to all of you who seem to be doing so well, or to have reached goal already: how do you manage to remain focused? How do you overcome oblivion? ...

The emphasis on seem is mine. I believe that there are very few people who lose weight who have continuous, flawless focus. But it could seem that way from just seeing them or reading their posts. Everybody struggles.

I also think that few remain focussed. I think we refocus alot! Lose it, weaken, ignore it ... and have to refocus fairly frequently.

The trick then might be to find ways to bring your attention back quickly. Books, magazines, websites, planning, planning, planning ....

01-29-2009, 09:55 AM
The trick then might be to find ways to bring your attention back quickly. Books, magazines, websites, planning, planning, planning ....

I would love to add - and learning, every day, in every way, about what you need to do to break the vicious cycle of yo-yoing and dieting, and how to choose healthier food options, healthier daily routines, how to listen and understand what you changing body wants and tells you and realise it's a life-long commitment to yourself - not to the new bikini, or that little black dress, or even your significant other.

01-29-2009, 07:11 PM
Thanks everybody for your suggestions and advice. I've made a list of everything you said and I intend to use it as a reminder everytime I feel weak.

While reading your messages I realised that when I give up I always do so because I feel I'm not good enough. I'm too strict with myself, demanding perfection. So, you are right that not putting too much pressure on myself, paying attention to my feelings and constant refocusing are keys to success.

I've never tried to set mini goals. I'll try that too.

I'm not sure if I can give myself 24 hours before giving up a diet. Giving up a diet has never exactly been a decision. It seems to be happening regardless of what I want. It is as if another part of myself, a part not easily recognised as "self", takes over. But I will give it a try.

And yes, logging on here is great help. The photos are awesome, too.

Thanks again,

01-30-2009, 01:54 AM
I can't agree/empathize/sympathize with you more! I'm get stuck just like that, too. I start out great then the motivation wanes until I'm left wondering what I was doing it all for in the first place. Thanks for all of the suggestions - I too will try and be more forgiving and accountable.