100 lb. Club - How do you figure out what is your mental block?




avi0903
05-27-2009, 02:49 PM
Hi all - I can't believe I started here about 1-1/2 years ago, sometimes writing and sometimes just reading (always leaving a little wiser), but I weigh the same as when I started! I've been up and down about 10 pounds, always winding up at around 245-250. Why?!:tantrum:

I love reading and learning from you all who have walked or are still walking the journey of weight loss. What have you learned about mental blocks?

I, for example, have been in an unhappy marriage (recently ended) for 26 years. I always blamed my weight on my unhappiness, frustration, confusion, and truth be told, anger at myself due to staying in a marriage that didn't treat me right.

But now the marriage is over, and I'm still fat!!:censored: Why?:?:

So I am back here, with you wise women (and men). What was your mental block? How did you get past it? How do I figure out mine?

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! for being here.:thanks:


thinpossible
05-27-2009, 03:42 PM
I totally know where you're coming from I'm a 10lb yo-yoer too! Determined to change it this round!

What I found is when I'm not overeating, it becomes clear what my mental block is, because there's no extra food to suppress it. I don't even think it's really a necessity to figure out what your mental block is in order to lose weight. Even if you discover what your mental block is, it doesn't mean that you'll eat less or lose weight because there are a lot of other variables to weight loss besides emotional problems.

You just need to pick a plan you can stick to, and deal with the emotional stuff as it comes. You CAN do this!

Alana in Canada
05-27-2009, 03:49 PM
I hope you don't mind my chiming in here, even though I'm just starting my weight loss journey.

I cope with stress by eating. I used to cope with it by smoking--but I gave that up six months ago (Strangely enough because I wanted to be able to excercise and lose weight!) That is partly why I am fat.

I also have a lot of "poor-me I deserve-a -treat" issues, too. So, food is a consolation. There was a time when I also neeeded to stay up late at night and ate to stay awake--so I fell into horrible habits.

That's all. I need to find a way to handle my stress that doesn't involve food, break my late night eating habits and then find other "real" ways to treat myself. (That's the tough bit. I haven't figured out what to do just yet.)

The mental thing is the toughest thing about weight loss. How do you figure out what your "mental block" is?

Pay attention when you eat to what you eat and why. Keep a food journal for a week. I really think that's the best way--if that's really difficult then at least keeping a journal--10 minutes at the end of the day is an absolute must.


Glory87
05-27-2009, 04:10 PM
I figured out my block was around certain types of food. It took me 20 years to finally get that some white sugary carby foods trigger me to eat and eat and eat. Avoiding/limiting those foods reduced my cravings and turned me into a "normal" eater.

If you had told me 5 years ago I would live happily without bagels, muffins, scones, crackers, pretzels, cookies and chips I would have said NO WAY those are my FAVORITE foods, I need them to be happy.

Turns out, I don't. I thought I had a problem with food, I really just had a problem with some foods. Eliminating those foods freed me, from a jail I didn't even know I was in.

My life is not complete food austerity, I still have room for treats/indulgences, I just know I have to work to manage my trigger foods.

I always wanted to diet for a short time and then stop and be "normal" I finally had to realize that it was my "normal" way of eating that made me fat. Changing my normal was key for me. I love the way I live/eat now (well, 95% of the time, heh ;))

Gekster
05-27-2009, 04:25 PM
I am very similar to Glory. For me it starts as just pure boredom, but then I go have a snack and that leads to me wanting more, like that food triggers me to have more. For some people it is chocolate, for me a big one is pasta. If I want a small snack I have some pasta thinking its healthy, but once that bowl is gone, I want more. I might be full, but I feel like I need more.

I am actually just realizing how bad my problem is. For me, I started journaling all the food I was eating and I starting seeing a pattern with certain foods leading me to have other foods. Also I started seeing what times of the day and during what activities I was snacking. For me, when I study, I am mostly reading and thinking, leaving my hands without something to do so I felt incomplete, so I would snack to give them something to do. Now that I have realized it I can become aware of it and instead of getting food, I just have water by me and end up sipping water instead of say,eating a chip. For other times I find things to keep my hands busy with like crafts or things.

Sorry for the rambling, but I wish you luck, you can do this!

Devsmama
05-27-2009, 04:52 PM
I don't know about a mental block and I haven't been on this journey long, but what I have discovered is that with every pound there is a certain amount of ME that is revealed to me. It can be scary, but I learn as much about me as possible. It makes me vulnerable and I haven't wanted to be and that's how I put the weight on-stuffing down the feelings I was too afraid, to timid to reveal. I had to understand that food could not console me, it was not my friend, it didn't and couldn't love me so I had to learn to love me, console me, be my own best friend. It has been tough, but rewarding and it has allowed me to not be afraid to lose this weight and let the world see ME

CLCSC145
05-27-2009, 06:54 PM
Your marriage may be over, but you have 26 years of practice at using food to cope with the ups and downs of your life. You need to consciously create new habits for dealing with what life throws at you that do not involve food. So easy to say, so hard to do!

I agree that journaling your food choices AND the feelings you are experiencing when you want to eat is a crucial first step. It takes a lot of attention being paid to every morsel and emotion (and the why behind each emotion) to uncover the motivation for eating. You may find that you were so used to eating your unhappiness away that you have forgotten, or never learned, how a happy, thin person eats.

avi0903
05-27-2009, 07:52 PM
You are all so smart!!!! Each and every one of you has given me something to think about and work towards.

It is true that it takes time to learn our mental blocks, and possibly it is not even important to know my trigger, just to get moving and dieting.

I know I need to journal, I just make excuses, such as it's too much effort. But I think I am afraid of journaling, afraid losing, afraid that if I don't stuff myself I'll be faced with the real me, and then what? When I stop eating and using my excuses, then I have to live my life.

I'm getting so big I can hardly move anymore. I feel like now is my moment of truth, and it's pretty darn scary!

Thanks for listening.

Pita09
05-27-2009, 08:10 PM
Hi, I've just returned to 3FC...again. I haven't lost a pound and in fact have put on more than I care to admit. After some serious soul searching, I've come to accept that I'm a compulsive over-eater. I know that if I mindlessly eat, a trigger is switched on and away I go. I then go to bed where I will spend an hour or more berating myself for the useless, out-of-control creature I am. This has been going on for years and years. To say I'm sick of it is the biggest understatement of my life.

I've quit the job (a convenience store) that allowed my triggers to overeat run rampant. I'm back to weighing my food, using Fitday faithfully, and most importantly being VERY mindful of what I eat and why I eat. It's only been a couple of weeks, so I'm hardly crying victory, but I do have a new hope that I've never had before.

Windchime
05-27-2009, 08:36 PM
I spent some years in an unhappy marriage as well. Now I've spent more years than I care to think about alone, with just a few superficial relationships here and there. For a long, long time, my thought about food was this: It's my only physical pleasure. I am not giving it up, because then I will truly have NOTHING that is physically pleasurable. No way to comfort myself when I'm lonely, nothing to look forward to on Friday night.

So I had to break through that thinking, and it was only when I got so sick with asthma, and so heavy that I could barely make it up the stairs at work that I decided I would have to find a way to get through life without clinging to unhealthy foods as my source of comfort. It wasn't easy; it was a decision that took a long time to make but I felt I had no choice.

And you know what....it was a great decision. I haven't lost a lot; only a few people have noticed. But *I* notice, and that's what's important. I just feel so much better that now I don't *need* to be comforted by food, because I don't feel bad in the first place! I realize that it was a vicious circle; I was overeating and feeling bad physically and mentally, so I would comfort myself with more food.

As some have said, once you change your habits, then your mental blocks will probably start to reveal themselves. And sometimes just marching forward and making a committment to stay on plan, day by day, will eventually disolve your mental blocks and they will become non-existant. A non-issue.

Hang in there.

avi0903
05-27-2009, 09:53 PM
Thank you all for offering understanding. And I know it's all true. I know I need to just make the commitment to taking it day by day. I know it's true that carbs are my trigger, that I am a carb addict. I know I need to do like you all who have been successful and just stop eating those evil, evil, carbs that I fool myself that they offer me comfort. I too think of them as my only physical comfort, and I look forward to them when I am alone at night after my kids are in bed, because I don't have anyone or anything else to comfort me.

I know you are all right. I know what I need to do. And I hate myself, but I know that after the kids are in bed in about an hour, that I am going to look through the kitchen to find something evil to eat.

I need help.

CLCSC145
05-27-2009, 10:04 PM
Thank you all for offering understanding. And I know it's all true. I know I need to just make the commitment to taking it day by day. I know it's true that carbs are my trigger, that I am a carb addict. I know I need to do like you all who have been successful and just stop eating those evil, evil, carbs that I fool myself that they offer me comfort. I too think of them as my only physical comfort, and I look forward to them when I am alone at night after my kids are in bed, because I don't have anyone or anything else to comfort me.

I know you are all right. I know what I need to do. And I hate myself, but I know that after the kids are in bed in about an hour, that I am going to look through the kitchen to find something evil to eat.

I need help.

I think you need to take a kinder approach with yourself. There is NO REASON to hate yourself or to think of certain foods as evil. They may be off limits for a while, but they are not evil and you are not a bad person for liking them.

Food has been my best friend for so long, so I also know what you mean about not having another source of comfort. How about trying just for tonight to be a comfort to yourself? Treat yourself with love and kindness. Take a long bath with some hot tea. Light some candles. Read a great book. Don't think about tomorrow, or the next day. Just getting through this evening without reaching for food for comfort. Come here and talk to us until you are ready for sleep. Put on a soothing CD or a favorite DVD and just hang out with yourself. Pull out a notebook and write down all of your feelings about choosing not to eat. Remind yourself that you are not withholding food to punish yourself, you are choosing not to eat anymore today because it isn't in the best interest of you and your health.

No self-hatred allowed!! You are a good person, worthy of being cared for by you.

GirlyGirlSebas
05-27-2009, 10:07 PM
Welcome back, Pita!

I've come to accept that I'm a compulsive over-eater. I know that if I mindlessly eat, a trigger is switched on and away I go. I've been playing with the same 10 pounds for the last 2 years. My problem is that I'm an emotional eater. Once I cave into the stress and emotions, I'm then stuck in a vicious cycle that is so very difficult to get out of. One day, I hope to break this horrible habit and beat this compulsion. Or, maybe I can hope for a nice 12 months of no stress.....Yeah, I know. I'm just dreaming! ;)

Devsmama
05-27-2009, 10:49 PM
You can't hate yourself, you may not like the choices you make, but you have to love who you are as a person right now. Just take your time, make the commitment and take it moment by moment, everything will be okay.

rockinrobin
05-28-2009, 07:06 AM
For me, I finally got sick and tired of "trying to figure out" why I let myself get so fat. I had some issues, that's for sure. 1000% used food as a comfort and a stress/boredom/loneliness/depression alleviate-r and used food to deter men from me (molestation issues as a young child). I knew that though for a long time. So had I really "figured it out"? Not sure. I just knew that I wasted too much time on trying to figure out the why's. It was time. Time to just do it and get rid of the fat. It was no longer "helping" me. IT never was. It had to be easier to deal with the real me, then deal with being fat. Whatever "solution" the food/fat gave me, was most certainly not a good one. It was a poor, poor solution in fact. It brought on waaaaaaay more problems then it solved. Essentially, it got to be that I was MORE afraid to STAY fat, then to deal with any underlying issues. Known or unknown.

Just gonna throw out a few thoughts here.

-Your desire to be thin has to outweigh the desire for the food.
-When the pain of being fat overtakes the pleasure that derives from the food, that is when action can occur.
-We are all capable of losing the weight. Each and every one of us. We just have to want it badly enough and be willing to do whatever it takes. Wanting it in and of itself is not enough, it must be coupled with that willingness.
-Just because we want something doesn't mean we have to have it. Food is the last hold out of responsibility and maturity. We do lots of things when we're of age. We have our own homes, we run our households, pay the bills, do the cooking, cleaning, laundry, etc. We have families we are responsible for. Food is just another one of those things that we have to put up there and be responsible for.
-And yes, eliminating certain foods, the ones that you love the most, is a "great way to go". You allow yourself to "detox" from them. Drying up the wants, needs and desires for them.
-The first 9 - 10 days were brutal for me. Brutal. Didn't matter. You get through them. Because I made an ironclad commitment to do whatever it takes. After that initial period, it was amazingly easier. The longer I went without "those foods", the less and less I wanted them.
-Good thing is though, by eliminating many foods, it frees you up to ADD in many, many other DELICIOUS much more satisfying foods.
-You get into a groove, and it snowballs. And you feel marvelous. And it's like this huge, huge burden has been lifted from you. And then you wonder why the heck you didn't "do this" sooner. Why the heck you waited soooo long to overhaul your life and make the "change".

And finally -
You have to love yourself more then you love the food.

TraceyElaine
05-28-2009, 07:15 AM
I am fat for soooo many reasons. I am an emotional eater, I eat out of boredom, I am a carb and sugar addict, I quit smoking a couple of years ago and replaced that with food, I eat from stress, and for comfort. But bottom line for me is that even though I know all this stuff it doesn't help. My biggest issue is believing that I am worth the effort. That is the one I struggle with alot. Making myself a priority and doing the work. If my eating and exercise would have helped someone else like my kids or my hubby I would have done it ages ago. But because it is me...I strugle with it. I'm working on that.

rockinrobin
05-28-2009, 07:28 AM
http://3fatchicks.com/forum/showpost.php?p=1550971&postcount=1

After I posted my long winded response on page one of this thread, I started thinking about the "figuring out stuff" and the above post came to me. It was written a long time ago. It touches a tad about what we're talking about here.

Glory87
05-28-2009, 10:29 AM
Thank you all for offering understanding. And I know it's all true. I know I need to just make the commitment to taking it day by day. I know it's true that carbs are my trigger, that I am a carb addict. I know I need to do like you all who have been successful and just stop eating those evil, evil, carbs that I fool myself that they offer me comfort. I too think of them as my only physical comfort, and I look forward to them when I am alone at night after my kids are in bed, because I don't have anyone or anything else to comfort me.

I know you are all right. I know what I need to do. And I hate myself, but I know that after the kids are in bed in about an hour, that I am going to look through the kitchen to find something evil to eat.

I need help.

Take charge of yourself. Your husband is gone, you are the boss - clean out your kitchen of all junk (your kids don't need junk either).

Normally, I'm not one to say don't eat after a certain time - except in cases like this. If nighttime eating is your problem - start coming up with ways to deal with this problem (for the record, my problem is boredom afternoon snacking so I tackled that issue). Brush and floss after dinner, declare the kitchen closed and do NOT go in there.

You need to break this habit, so get creative. How can you keep yourself busy after the kids are in bed? Can you call your mom, call a friend, paint your fingernails (hard to go rooting around in food bags with wet nails), post here, organize a closet, go to bed early, take up a hobby. Start food journaling, since I have been keeping detailed accounts in public (the maintenance forum) it has helped me not eat foods I didn't want to write down for everyone to see.

Keep telling yourself that is your hand that puts food in your mouth - YOUR hand, are you going to let some hand be in charge?

I found the Yes/No decisions I made to be very freeing. No agonizing over fitting foods into my plan, no trying to decide if it was "okay" just "no, I don't do that." It is almost cheating, how easy it is to simplify things like that.

Nada
05-28-2009, 12:00 PM
Interesting post. It sounds like we are debating the merits of classic analysis v. behavioral/cognitive. At the moment behavioral/cognitive seems to be winning.

I also didn't figure it out before I started losing weight; I'm not sure I have it figured out yet (maybe I just like food!). What I did was I changed one habit for a whole month. And with that success behind me I changed another habit the next month, and another the next month until I felt I needed to jump into a program (WW).

Keep coming here and all the best to you.

Sunrose
05-28-2009, 12:38 PM
I completely agree with the others who said that you don't have to figure everything out first - and that you may never figure everything out. For me, my actions had to change before I could start working on the emotional stuff, because it was the eating and covering up emotions with food that was preventing me from working out my issues in the first place. Then, as I started becoming healthier, I was able to deal with more of my issues. It's a continuos cycle of growth, and I'm not even half way there!

Make some behavioral changes first and I think you will be surprised how far it takes you! :)

DCHound
05-28-2009, 02:14 PM
I won't repeat what Robin said but it's exactly how I feel myself. I love myself more than I love food. I deserve to look as good on the outside as I feel on the inside. So what if I was born overweight and have been overweight (at the best) or super morbidly obese (at the worst) my entire life? Past does not determine future unless you let it.

You have to WANT it badly enough to get it. That's really all there is to it. You have to WANT TO BE THIN more than you want to overeat delicious crap. Really, it's just that simple. YOU CAN TOTALLY DO THIS!!!!! Hugs!

TJFitnessDiva
05-28-2009, 02:22 PM
I think when I started truly loving myself was when everything started to turn around for me. Girl I am my own best friend and even by myself it's always a party ;)

Having that attitude made it a bit easier to commit to a healthier lifestyle & stick with it. I want only the best for myself.

avi0903
05-31-2009, 01:25 PM
Hugs to you all:hug:!

On my roller coaster of emotions (emotional to begin with and recently medically confirmed to be in perimenopause) I woke up this morning feeling more upbeat. RomanceDiva and Rockin Robin and Glory and all of you just really touch me. It does begin with self-love. I don't know what it is in my past, but the thought of loving myself makes me wish I could. On a certain level I can think of things to love about myself (I love the thread that asks us to say nice things about ourselves). I have children and siblings and friends who love me and treat me right. Why did I fall for a man who convinced me there's something wrong with me?

Anyway, for whatever reason I guess I was meant to be married to him for a certain period of time, I was meant to have children with him, they are now for the most part grown and wonderful, and now I am on my journey as a single parent. And I am going to lose this weight, one day and one choice at a time.

I am sick of the fat. I do want to be thin more than I want the food. I do deserve to treat myself well.

I love you all. Thank you.

kiramira
05-31-2009, 02:05 PM
You go, girl! And every day, you need to remind yourself that you will do what it TAKES to get there, not what you THINK it will take. There is a huge difference, there...
Let us know how you are doing...
Kira