Weight Loss Support - All or nothing mentality?




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EveLHaelf
07-06-2009, 03:56 PM
Hope everyone had a nice holiday!

I've realised that I have a MAJOR "All or Nothing" mentality when it comes to weight loss. I start off ON FIRE! I have a perfectly clean diet and I kill myself at the gym. I show absolute self control when faced with temptations and I feel I am unstoppable! Then a week or so passes by and my resolve starts to diminish. I start eyeballing that thing i've been denying myself and I end up bingeing. I then feel like such a failure and that i've probably just undone the entire week/month of effort in one sitting and I end up quitting. I get frantic and constantly wonder if i'm exercising enough or if i'm making the right food choices. I'm so afraid of putting tons of effort into something and not seeing results that I would rather not even try. That's terrible! I'm killing myself slowly this way and I need to get out of this rut. :eek: I now understand how much of a dangerous habit it is. Each time my 'bursts of perfection' are less and less each time (first was 2 months, next was one month, recently i've only been able to do it for about 2 weeks.) Now I'm to the point where I've "failed" so many times that I can't even get myself motivated to start again....:( THIS NEEDS TO STOP! I need to learn that if this is going to be a life change than I need to not only expect less than stellar days I need to PLAN for it. I need to pick myself back up and dust off and KEEP MOVING!

So after that long rant, I have a question for all of you wonderful people:
How have you gotten over your 'all or nothing' mentality? Any tips or tricks of the trade would help me tremendously!

OH, and :hug: happy monday!


CLCSC145
07-06-2009, 04:10 PM
It's a daily struggle for me - in more areas of my life than just dieting.

This round I am trying to live in the middle. I even plan in things I like like McDonald's ice cream cones (150 calories). It's a challenge, but you can do anything you set your mind to.

littlelion
07-06-2009, 04:22 PM
I used to be the same way, and I think that most people, period, have that all-or-nothing mentality. But in order to break it, you need to be able to forgive yourself for your mistakes and realize IT IS NOT THE END OF THE WORLD. This is LIFE, not some little school project you need to do perfectly to get an 'A' on. So if you go over your calories a little (or a lot) one day......so what? Just use the rest of the week to focus on eating healthy, and put in an extra 15 min. at the gym. Realize that you are only human, and for every step BACK, you can just as well take two steps forward.

And you know what? I bet there is not one person on this forum who has met their goal because they were "perfect" EVERY minute of EVERY day. It's all about planning, and doing your best, and just NOT GIVING UP.

Keep going.....you are definitely worth it!


UKbarristerchick
07-06-2009, 04:26 PM
Hmmmmmmmmmm! Great question:) To be honest, I'm not sure I have a great answer to this one, save to say I know EXACTLY what this is like and I have detailed my feelings about the 'perfection' syndrome on my blog. I think the need for perfection, whilst it certainly has its positive aspects, is something that can really get in the way of *long term* success. I can't tell you how many times I have had 'blow out' nights I have had, when I know I have exceeded my calories, and then just kind of mentally *slapped* myself the next day and got on with it. :) I think the key is to truly understand this is a life long journey which will inevitably have bumps along the way. We cannot allow the need for perfection to block our progress. It is, in fact, simply another way to give ourselves an excuse NOT to succeed because we can't have it 'just so'. *in my view* So...pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and carry on. Most times you will find that after a lil' binge out session, you can claw it back the next day. The thing is to not completely give up because it will take MUCH MORE than that to completely undo your progress. On days I have 'binged' or made poor food choices, I simply pull it back (in terms of calories) the next day, and I find that helps make me feel like I am back in control of the situation. So...good luck and remember this journey is one you take one day at a time. Best wishes...

caryesings
07-06-2009, 04:28 PM
I'm reading a book right now that may help you with this, The Thin Commandments Diet by Stephen Gullo. Most of the book is the thought process, not specific diet and really does a good job of discussing this very issue.

Cali Doll
07-06-2009, 04:29 PM
1) Prayer

2) Friends

I am on Weight Watchers and I started off EXTREMELY STRONG! I was perfect and made NO deviations from my healthy guidelines. Then about a month or so in, I went to On The Border and I had chips and salsa. I almost cried afterward. I was so afraid of my "failure", but I had a wonderful friend to talk me from the ledge. The sad thing is it wasn't even a huge binge, but my requirement for perfection (which is NOT attainable) almost did me in.

So yeah, I have an all or nothing mentality to an extreme fault! I am still a work in progress, but I've gotten MUCH better.

Be strong, girl! We are here for you. I know EXACTLY how you feel!

EveLHaelf
07-06-2009, 04:36 PM
I am TOTALLY using that as an excuse! I see it now! I get that stubbornness about me where if I can't have everything 'just so' then I don't even try. Well, that's enough of that! ::mental slap:: lol Thank you all for the advice! I will certainly check out that book. I love to read.

mandalinn82
07-06-2009, 04:53 PM
I bet there is not one person on this forum who has met their goal because they were "perfect" EVERY minute of EVERY day. It's all about planning, and doing your best, and just NOT GIVING UP.



Quoted for truth. Nobody is perfect!

beerab
07-06-2009, 04:54 PM
Progress not perfection is how I try to live.

Take this fourth of July- I had two margaritas- they were yummy, and the rest of the time I loaded up on veggies and only had TWO tacos (all homemade stuff) the rest of the day. Sure I was off a bit- but I wanted to celebrate too! After that day the rest of the weekend was about getting back on track :)

txestella
07-06-2009, 06:10 PM
How have you gotten over your 'all or nothing' mentality?

If someone finds this answer, bottle and sell it!!

I have this bigtime and when I have been most successful at losing and keeping weight off, it has been when I take a militant approach. I am not convinced it can be otherwise.

Windchime
07-06-2009, 08:38 PM
As another chick said, perfectionism can be used as an excuse for not succeeding. I have fallen into this trap myself, but no more. I am not giving myself that "out" this time around.

I also don't believe in calling eating off plan "slipping", because usually there is nothing accidental about it. Oh, once in awhile we hear of someone eating what they thought was a healthy salad, only to be horrified at the 850 calories when they look it up online later.

No, usually when we say "slipping", what we really mean is "making a conscious decision to eat something that I know darn good and well isn't a wise choice". And you know what? Sometimes it's OK to eat something unwise. I have a Skinny Cow ice cream treat or a 100 calorie popcorn nearly every night. If I was to eat 2 ice creams, is that "slipping"? No, it's a conscious decision. And I'm not saying it's WRONG, I'm just saying that we should take responsibility for what we put into our mouths.

Both "slipping" and "perfectionism" are, to me, excuses that we sometimes use to justify going back to our old way of eating. So again, I'm not giving myself that out this time. No excuses. If I make an unwise choice, then I've made an unwise choice. Acknowledge it and move on, because I am NOT getting derailed by some false notion that the whole day is shot because of a couple of cookies or some Dorito's. Nope, not this time.

Progress, not perfection. It's said here all the time but it bears repeating. Progress, not perfection.

forestroad
07-06-2009, 08:48 PM
What I tell myself is that every little bit I do counts, and it all adds up. That house salad I had instead of the Caesar, that time I really didn't want to go to the gym but I made myself go and only did 15 minutes and went home, that time I took the stairs and maybe burned the equivalent of a tic tac but helped my heart out that extra little bit, things like that...they all help, they all count, and they all add up.

jendiet
07-06-2009, 08:51 PM
I feel ya hun. I'm pretty stubborn. But for me it goes both ways. I want to be able to have cake and still diet. I find a way to make that work. It's hard to be perfect when you aren't on one side or the other.

because of my need to follow the strict rules--diets with a bunch of NOs never worked for me. I handle maybes a lot better. Now I eat what I want but in a certain time frame and smaller portions.

kaplods
07-06-2009, 09:02 PM
For me, it took turning "dieting" on it's head. Instead of doing absolutely everything I could to lose weight (whether it was healthy mentally or physically), until I couldn't any more, I decided to do only what I could see doing for a lifetime. I took weight out of the equation, and health (not weight loss) was my goal.

At first my changes were so small, there wasn't any weight loss at all, but that didn't stress me, because my goal wasn't weight loss. My goal was to improve my strength, stamina, and overall health (knowing that weight loss was likely going to be a byproduct of doing so).

It's not the traditional path, but it does have two huge advantages. No self-hatred, and no quitting or serious backsliding. I've gained water weight and a few pounds here and there, but I get them right off again, and haven't "gone off" my plan, because that's the deal I made with myself - to only add things into my life that I wanted in there forever. If I change my mind, I have to deal with the consequences of that, which would be regain of weight and loss of function.

I think the worst part about the all or nothing mentality, is the tendency to wreak havoc with ouselves for failure (or perceived failure). It would be like climbing a large staircase or cliff, and after a small stumble, deciding to throw yourself to the bottom (no matter how high you had already climbed).

I think that if we remove the evil stigma from weight, it becomes easier to do. Picking yourself up and brushing yourself off and keeping on keeping on, is a lot easier if you don't think you're evil, stupid, lazy, or crazy for having fallen in the first place. It's only for sins and crimes that we punish ourselves by indulging in the sin or crime some more.

For a lot of people, guilt is a barrier to change, not an aid. If guilt works for you, that's great, but if guilt triggers a wallow in more self-destructive behavior, then get rid of the guilt. Find another motivator for change.

thisisnotatest
07-06-2009, 09:02 PM
I have struggled with perfectionism (in many areas, not just weightloss) for years and years. It is only recently that it has dawned on me that there is another way to live.

I don't need to agonize over every decision and detail. There aren't many single decisions in life that can't be corrected or that have a real permenant effect on my whole entire life. Each time I am presented with a choice or decision to make, I try not to dwell and give it any more importance or associate an undo drama with it.
Make the decision, move on, live life. There will be another decision to make moments later.
Nothing is worth paralizing yourself over.

This realization has literally changed my world.

Success, for me, is an overall collection of mostly good decisions, and I can live with that.

Tracy
07-06-2009, 09:22 PM
This idea is how i lived most of my life.Mostly w/weight. I had to be perfect,or the whole day was shot.Why? I didn't read all the posts yet ,so i don't know if this was answered. I am still pretty much like that.It really is no way to live. It is very stressful.

EveLHaelf
07-06-2009, 09:43 PM
I think the worst part about the all or nothing mentality, is the tendency to wreak havoc with ouselves for failure (or perceived failure). It would be like climbing a large staircase or cliff, and after a small stumble, deciding to throw yourself to the bottom (no matter how high you had already climbed)..

I love this quote! After reading it it makes me feel sooooo silly for just giving up after my perceived 'failure.' I need to remember this every time I mess up and feel like quitting. Thank you :hug:

p7eggyc
07-06-2009, 11:00 PM
This is an area near and dear to me. It was my ability to get past this issue in healthy eating that really allowed me to be successful. A lot of the previous posters hit on various aspects of my experience but I'll expound a bit more.

I had been working on perfectionism and all-or-none thinking in some other areas of my life for a couple of years when I finally decided that healthy lifestyle was next on my list. I still vividly remember when a FLYLady essay finally got it through my thick skull that perfectionism was BAD and that I was doing this all-or-none thing. Can still picture it and where I was sitting. It was that profound. If you aren't familiar with her stuff, it might be worth taking a look at. She is focused on home care and the ways that we defeat ourselves with this thinking in this arena but she really has a no-nonsense way of putting things. There is also a website of a TX professor who works in this area and I really like and appreciate her writing at Ordinary Courage (http://www.ordinarycourage.com/)

The key to me in all areas, no matter what it is, is to baby step things. I can do almost anything pretty darn well if I break it into small enough steps. In healthy lifestyle, that meant making very small changes over and over again until I had a very solid foundation of things I was willing to do day in and day out. I started with an easy 5 point plan (let me know if you want details) that made it pretty easy for me to succeed and be 'on plan'. Then I really worked on adding attainable changes one or 2 at a time. My favorite phrase was "I blew it" and I had to remove that from my vocabulary about how I talked about healthy eating. I found different words that weren't failure words and that gave me room to still be 'on plan'. As long as I remain 'on plan' it's GOOD ENOUGH. Good enough is a toughie but when you work that one into your mindset, magic starts to happen. Things actually get done instead of thought about, dreamed about, wished for.

FWIW, I have found that being on the all side of the all-or-nothing equation to be just as destructive as the none side. It feels a little better and you get stuff done but things remain totally out of balance and it comes to bite me in the behind just as much in the end.

HTH a bit!

Peg

Arctic Mama
07-06-2009, 11:38 PM
The only way I have defeated the all-or-nothing mentality is by taking it literally one meal at a time. It doesn't help with my exercise laziness, but when I focus on the here-and-now and move on from perceived failures to do better at my very next chance I find I am successful far more often than not. Celebrating my successes and learning from my setbacks has been really
key for me.

txestella
07-07-2009, 12:17 AM
I started with an easy 5 point plan (let me know if you want details) that made it pretty easy for me to succeed and be 'on plan'.

Peg,

I would love to hear more about your 5 point plan.

Mrs Snark
07-07-2009, 10:22 AM
Perfectionism kept me fat for years. Bah!

forestroad
07-07-2009, 10:29 AM
From After the Diet: Counseling Helps Keep Pounds Off - Well Blog - NYTimes.com (http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/03/12/after-the-diet-counseling-helps-keep-pounds-off/)

"Although personal contact only resulted in a 3.3 pound additional benefit, the study authors noted that even small losses can improve health. Every kilogram (2.2 pounds) of weight loss is associated with an average decrease in systolic blood pressure of 1.0 to 2.4 mm Hg and a 16 percent reduction in diabetes risk, the authors said. At the end of the study, more than 45 percent of those who had received counseling were still maintaining at least 9 pounds of weight loss, an amount with clear clinical benefits, they noted."

Every little bit counts!

Nuxmaga
07-07-2009, 10:58 AM
Judith Beck's books have really helped--she specifically addresses the thinking that sabotages us, including all-or-nothing. I really appreciated reading all the comments on this thread. I struggle with perfectionism, with discounting every positive thing I do because "it's not enough and I should've done it long ago"--but if I don't give myself credit, then I become disheartened. Beck emphasizes giving yourself credit for each positive thing, even the ones that you might dismiss as not being "enough"--because all learning is based on trial and error, on adding up small successes until they snowball and begin to be big successes.

Lori Bell
07-07-2009, 11:08 AM
I love this quote! After reading it it makes me feel sooooo silly for just giving up after my perceived 'failure.' I need to remember this every time I mess up and feel like quitting. Thank you :hug:

Just remember Eve, while not many of us would not intentionally throw ourselves down the proverbial staircase on purpose, many of us continually fall (planned and on purpose) and continue to try the same steps over and over. If you find that you are falling on the same staircase, it is time to find a different set of steps. A different plan. Take yourself away from the problem areas....or put up guard rails. We all accidentally slip at times, but learning the patten, determining what is a true slip and an intentional binge, forgiving yourself and staying clear of the danger areas will lead you to a successful weight loss.

ETA: I totally agree with Windchime on "slipping" A slip is an accidental thing. Like a miscalculation or a true accident. Most of us DON'T slip. We make a conscious decision to overeat.

Fox
07-07-2009, 11:16 AM
I don't have an "all or nothing mentality" but that doesn't mean I'm ahead of the game by any means. I have a "it'll be okay" mentality meaning I seem to do well 75% of the time and then figure "well, I've been doing so well this one little (blank) won't kill me." So in the end I know I'm not going as well as I could. Often I feel that I'm too accepting of my flaws, too easy on myself. Sometimes I wish I were an extremist or a perfectionist!

p7eggyc
07-07-2009, 04:52 PM
Peg,

I would love to hear more about your 5 point plan.

Here you go. I've had an amazing amount of success getting back on track and originally getting rolling with this.

Give yourself one point per day if:
1. Accountability: record your food somewhere...food journal, on one of the boards, whereever it will hold you accountable to write it down. It doesn't have to be super detailed. Just a place where you can plan and document what it is you ate, good, bad and indifferent.
2. Exercise: Any exercise...walk around the block, march in place during commercials, anything. You are trying to establish the thought process that you need to get it in at some point. Again, don't worry about how much, etc., just do something.
3. Water: Increase your water consumption. If you aren't drinking any, add a glass before each meal. If you are drinking it already, cool, easy point.
4. Me time: Take 15 min to do something just for you. Read, journal, whatever is a 'treat' for you.
5. Good/Better/Best Choice: Make one good/better/best choice per day. Skip a treat, count out the chips instead of eating from the bag, leave a bite or 2 behind. Only need one per day.

You can set a reward for days in a row with 5 points or I use a weekly total of 30+ points a week for a reward threshold. Find a meaningful non-food reward and give it to yourself when you get the job done. You'll likely get to a point where one or more of these is too easy and then you can start raising the bar for yourself gradually. Make the exercise goal a certain number of minutes...got the water? Change it out to fruit/veggie servings.

HTH!

Peg

JulieJ08
07-07-2009, 05:16 PM
Thanks, p7eggyc. I like it.

dragonwoman64
07-07-2009, 05:43 PM
I don't have an "all or nothing mentality" but that doesn't mean I'm ahead of the game by any means. I have a "it'll be okay" mentality meaning I seem to do well 75% of the time and then figure "well, I've been doing so well this one little (blank) won't kill me." So in the end I know I'm not going as well as I could. Often I feel that I'm too accepting of my flaws, too easy on myself. Sometimes I wish I were an extremist or a perfectionist!

intersting thread! I have to say, this sounds like me too. I have erased way too much exercise work, and lots of effort eating well (within a good calorie range) with too many "it'll be okay"s. and by doing that I've delayed losing this weight nearly as quickly as I could have. No, it's not a race, but I know I'd be much happier and healthier without it.

I figure I can't give up. It's something I want, and am willing to keep plugging at it until I can find a way that consistently works for me.

kiramira
07-07-2009, 06:31 PM
On a great day, when completely on plan, REPEAT AFTER ME:

I did so WELL today! I am really on track!

On a less than 100% day, REPEAT AFTER ME:

Oh well. Today was the BEST that I could do. And THAT'S OK. Because it WAS the best that I could do. And I WILL do better tomorrow. After all, nobody's perfect.

And then do better the next day.

If you are a perfectionist, and are all-or-nothing, you are setting yourself up for failure. Nobody is perfect all of the time. Everyone who is successful has good and not so good days.

So you gotta ask yourself: WHY are you setting an unachievable goal for yourself? Do you really want an excuse NOT to succeed? Isn't it just a TINY bit, well, arrogant, to EXPECT that you can be something that nobody else on the entire planet is? And then PUNISH yourself for not being as perfect as God? (because God is the only perfect being out there, as far as I know...) And do you set these standards in other areas of your life? My guess is -- probably not.

So if you can just say to yourself, every day: TODAY I'm going to do the BEST that I can do. And I will FORGIVE myself for not being perfect. And if I am less than 100% on plan, I WILL do better tomorrow. you will meet your goal. If you can't practice this phrase and forgive yourself, you probably won't get there...JMHO.

:hug:

Kira

EveLHaelf
07-07-2009, 08:25 PM
I LOVE reading everyone's thoughs and advice! It's so inspiring. :D

Lori, your weightloss is so AMAZING. And your advice is equally as such! How did you lose 175lbs?

Peg, Your 5 point plan definitely sounds like something that I can do. My evil all or nothing mentality is trying to creep up and discourage me with "that's all so simple, you'll never lose weight like that. you have to KILL yourself every day at the gym and eat nothing but clean foods! rar!" BAD MENTALITY BAD! ::scolds like a dog:: lol I think I'm gonna work on a list right now. Thanks for the advice!

Kira, your input is always very insightful. I love reading your posts!

This is a very interesting discussion everyone! Keep the ideas rolling! :)

TMG2008
07-07-2009, 09:44 PM
Your story is similar to mine, especially the part where each time I tried to lose weight I tended to stick with the plan for shorter periods of time. The change for me was when I finally decided that I wasn't going to be in a rush to lose the weight and I was just going to try to make small changes, a little at a time and only things I could live with forever. In doing so, I have lost 65 pounds over the last three years, 25 of which I've lost since January at a rate of a pound a week.

Too many people make themselves follow "diets" that don't allow them to enjoy food as they did before and where they feel deprived all the time. This is not something you will be able to live with and you will always end up going back to your old habits. My feeling is that I will try to make better eating choices as often as I can, but I will not deny myself anything if I really want it. If I want a McD's QPC, I eat it. If I want ice cream, I eat it. I try to space out those choices so I'm not eating those types of things on the same day. If I want to eat a little more for a few days, if I decide to eat out and eat more calories, then I accept that I am choosing that and in doing so I realize I may not lose any weight that week. It's all about choices. Too often when you are following a "diet" you don't feel you have any choices. But when you decide to follow a healthier eating plan for life, you realize that in real life you will want to choose to sometimes eat something that isn't so healthy and THAT'S OK! In real life, you usually will have some days that you will eat more calories and some days you will eat less. If you are trying to lose weight, you need to try to have more "less" days. If you are trying to maintain, you need to balance out the "more" and "less" days.

If you truly want to lose the weight for good, then you'll make changes you can live with and maybe accept that the weight loss will be slower but it will more likely be permanent.

munchievictim
07-07-2009, 09:56 PM
My mom used to always chide me to "find a happy medium." I was always one thing, or very much the other. I still am. My weight loss comes in spurts of willpower emerging as if from nowhere to carry me on a cloud for a couple of weeks of easy, miraculous dieting and exercise. I have energy and bounds and cravings for the healthiest foods. Then I don't anymore--I go out to eat with my boyfriend on the weekend, and I can't order a salad I have to have a burger, and then I want to munch all night and all weekend and for the next week and then in two weeks I'm climbing back on the scale weighing in right back at 194 or 196, where I've started a thousand times before.
I've seen people on this site say "you have to COMMIT! you can't rely on willpower." but how do you commit? How do you force yourself to eat healthily and go to the gym on days you REALLY want to lay around taking naps, reading and eating little chocolates until your bed covers are mostly obscured from sight by a blanket of shiny foil candy wrappers.
Sometimes it feels like shoving with all your might against a mountain, and knowing that the mountain is never going to move, and you might as well just sit down and eat. But this site is proof that there are those who have moved mountains. So that proves to me I'm wrong. I just need to figure out what's right.
But I guess that's all any of us are trying to do?

p7eggyc
07-07-2009, 10:00 PM
Peg, Your 5 point plan definitely sounds like something that I can do. My evil all or nothing mentality is trying to creep up and discourage me with "that's all so simple, you'll never lose weight like that. you have to KILL yourself every day at the gym and eat nothing but clean foods! rar!" BAD MENTALITY BAD! ::scolds like a dog:: lol I think I'm gonna work on a list right now. Thanks for the advice!


I have/had similar thoughts but by the time I came across this (it was on a now off-the-air tv show on Food Network called Cooking Thin) I had already started making small changes and the timing was perfect. I was in a place where I was ready to do 'more' but not ready to dive into some big, complicated, life-changing plan. It was eventually life-changing none the less. Just in a much less "TODAY IS THE DAY" way.

Ok, no scolding yourself like a dog now! You are absolutely going to find that middle ground because you can tell with the language you are using describing what you think is the 'right' way that you can't sustain that.

Here's a thought for you that I just recently used. I was pretty far off the healthy eating track most of the winter. I woke one morning and the jeans that always fit were REALLY tight and that was the day I said "I'm going back to my 5 point plan for a week". That's all I said I was going to do. Not that I was never going to let that happen again, not that I was going to be clean as a whistle until every ounce was gone, none of that. Just I'm going to do it for the next week. Then I decided I would do it for 4 weeks. I had to do one of those weeks over again but I did that. Now I'm pretty much back on track and some of the weight has come off. There is still some to go but honestly if I had said to myself I had to be clean for the whole summer or forever or whatever, my all-or-none would've won because I just couldn't muster THAT much energy. I could do the 1 week commitment though. Now I'm doing a lot more exercise than just some and I'm doing a lot more than one good/better/best choice a day and things are rolling along. But if I had a bad day tomorrow but still managed that one choice I'd still be on plan.

Would love to hear your points plan if you decide that's the route to go! I'd really love to hear about any rewards you decide to use because that's always a hard one for me to come up with.

Peg

EveLHaelf
07-07-2009, 10:02 PM
Tina,

excellent advice. That makes a lot of sense. I also need to just stop being in such a rush to lose weight. It's the frantic-ness of how I apporach this that makes me end up bingeing, feeling like i failed and leads to me quitting. I feel like I just HAVE to lose weight ASAP so I can start living my life. Which I've come to realise that way of thinking just leaves me older, heavier, and more depressed. If I don't start living my life NOW i will end up letting the time I have pass me by and that scares the crap outta me.

What were some of the little things that you started doing when you began?

p7eggyc
07-07-2009, 10:15 PM
Sometimes it feels like shoving with all your might against a mountain, and knowing that the mountain is never going to move, and you might as well just sit down and eat.

I would throw out there that you can't shove a mountain but you can move that sucker one shovel load at a time. If you choose baby steps and keep adding them up pretty soon you'll find that you've built yourself a big 'ole scooper truck that you really can use to start moving that mountain but those baby steps can't all be put to use on day 1. You have to build the thing a little piece at a time so you make sure you have the right parts in the right place. Too many of us try to get into one of those giant mining earth movers before we know how to dig a hole with a shovel.

Ok, I think the hormones have run amok and I'm talking like some sort of construction dude! LOL Maybe the visual will help though!

Peg

p7eggyc
07-07-2009, 10:21 PM
I feel like I just HAVE to lose weight ASAP so I can start living my life. Which I've come to realise that way of thinking just leaves me older, heavier, and more depressed. If I don't start living my life NOW i will end up letting the time I have pass me by and that scares the crap outta me.


If you are comfortable sharing, what sorts of things do you think you would do to 'start living'?

Peg

better health3
07-07-2009, 10:50 PM
Great thread. I haven't read all the responses, so I am sorry if I repeat someone.

Both "slipping" and "perfectionism" are, to me, excuses that we sometimes use to justify going back to our old way of eating.

Amen. I've done both before. Trying to do everything perfectly until I set myself up for a binge. Then, I'd torture my body. This method never got me to a healthy BMI or to my healthy weight to beat off diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer, etc. etc. Now, I've allowed myself to be obese for so many years, my skin lost its elasticity. I had my gallbladder removed because of stringent dieting; I was sick of being obese and health wasn't my primary focus. My perfectionism made my hair fall out due to the fact I wasn't eating enough protein or calories. It was the starvation and binge cycle. It is no way to live. Perfectionism has kept me stuck for years. We all have to take it minute by minute. If you messed up your daily caloric intake, then all is not lost. After the feeding frenzy you can choose to get back on the horse. Losing weight is simple not easy.

As far as commitment is concerned: this too we need to take minute by minute. We need to put our big girl panties on and suck it up. At times it is painful, hard, it sucks turning down foods at times when everyone is scarfing them around you. At one time we ate whatever we wanted...it is what put us in this situation. The food will always be there--it is not going anywhere.

It took me two months to stop bingeing on a daily basis. Remember, try buying your health back once it is gone. I used to be all or nothing. Now, I view it as a marathon. Some miles are really easy and other miles will test everything in our being to see how bad we want it. I will never--one day out of my life--think that I will have beat this issue. It will always be a part of me. I think it does come down to how much you really love yourself. How much do you want to change for a better life? Will you regret not doing it when you are 65? What are you missing out on now due to the excess weight? This is not a dress rehersal. How bad do you want it? The roadblocks are there to show us how much we want it. We take each obstacle one at a time.

There is a way that honestly will work for you...your job is to figure out what it is....there are hundreds of ways to lose weight. You need to devise a plan that will work for you. It is doable. You aren't alone.:smug:

txestella
07-07-2009, 11:05 PM
Tina,

excellent advice. That makes a lot of sense. I also need to just stop being in such a rush to lose weight. It's the frantic-ness of how I apporach this that makes me end up bingeing, feeling like i failed and leads to me quitting. I feel like I just HAVE to lose weight ASAP so I can start living my life. Which I've come to realise that way of thinking just leaves me older, heavier, and more depressed. If I don't start living my life NOW i will end up letting the time I have pass me by and that scares the crap outta me.

What were some of the little things that you started doing when you began?

I completely identify with your comments.

I think for me, it is tied up into some of the shame I feel in letting myself get as fat as I have. How could I have been so disconnected with my body? The perfectionism for me comes into play as my answer to that disconnection.

dragonwoman64
07-08-2009, 11:25 AM
I've seen people on this site say "you have to COMMIT! you can't rely on willpower." but how do you commit? How do you force yourself to eat healthily and go to the gym on days you REALLY want to lay around taking naps, reading and eating little chocolates until your bed covers are mostly obscured from sight by a blanket of shiny foil candy wrappers.

I certainly can relate to what you're saying here, I've been there, and have moments when I move back into that groove.

I loved the comment (betterhealth3) we need to put on our big girl panties, because that's essentially what I've been saying to myself lately.

I see part of it, the eating and exercise, as getting into a mindset and a groove. When it becomes a habit to go to the gym, the willpower part does not become the commanding force, you just do it as part of your life. Ditto with the food. Get in the mindset, get in the groove. Part of that mindset is my finding the maturity to realize that I need to take responsibility for my eating and exercise, for the shape my body is in, and what I want my life to be like.

For me, it definitely has been small steps that I've built on. I've built up on the exercise, and kept modifying what I was eating. For a while, I let myself eat ice cream every Friday :o (ha) until I had to say to myself it was interferring too much with my goals, and I let it go. It was more frustrating not seeing my weight go down than pleasurable to eat that ice cream.

everybody has their own reasons for eating, and their own habits, that's why it's such a personal kind of effort, I think. though I relate to so much of what people say here at 3FC.

Fox
07-08-2009, 11:40 AM
I loved the comment (betterhealth3) we need to put on our big girl panties,

that comment resonates with me as well because I see my "weak" side as my childish side. The side of me that just wants to do what I want to do when I want to do it and not care about anything at all. It's the little 6 year old in me stomping her feet saying "but I don't feel like going to the gym" or throwing a tantrum and saying "I want pizza! I want pizza!" I need to be more adult about this whole thing, approach it more sensibly and well thought out, find a balance.

munchievictim
07-08-2009, 12:00 PM
p7eggyc--I understand what you mean, and it really helps to put things in perspective. when my best friend started rehab, her aunt (who had been through similar programs, had similar drug problems) told her: It's five minutes at a time. Not one day at a time, they say one day, but it's a struggle every five minutes of your life. So you say to yourself, 'I'll get high (eat cake) in five minutes." And when five minutes comes you say, "I'll get high (eat cake) in five minutes." And you just keep doing that all day. You just never get up in five minutes and go do it. And you never tell yourself you can't.

And I guess that will have to be my method in weight loss, because for me it's very much like beating an addiction. I feel as if I cannot resist my body's temptation to eat. I have to give in to that willful, stubbon child that wants to eat til she's sick. But she's making me fat, so I've got to kick this addiction, one shovelful at a time.

dragonwoman64 & Fox--I totally agree! I have to pull my big girl panties up and get on with it, whether I want to or not. I just need to learn how to make (seemingly) difficult decisions in my own better interest.

TMG2008
07-08-2009, 06:57 PM
Tina,

excellent advice. That makes a lot of sense. I also need to just stop being in such a rush to lose weight. It's the frantic-ness of how I apporach this that makes me end up bingeing, feeling like i failed and leads to me quitting. I feel like I just HAVE to lose weight ASAP so I can start living my life. Which I've come to realise that way of thinking just leaves me older, heavier, and more depressed. If I don't start living my life NOW i will end up letting the time I have pass me by and that scares the crap outta me.

What were some of the little things that you started doing when you began?

I started the "life change" in June 2006. The first small change was that for the summer I would just try to eat less. I didn't change what I was eating but just tried to reduce my portions and eat less. For instance, I still kept going to McDonald's like I usually did but instead of getting the QPC value meal I would just get a regular cheeseburger and small fries. I made the same meals for dinner but I would just try to serve myself a smaller portion than I was previously eating. Just that small change helped me to lose about 5-7 pounds that summer. Then in the fall I decided to start exercising again. So in the past I would start gung ho and exercise every day for 45-60 minutes and quickly get burned out. This time I just started 3 days a week walking for 30 minutes. I did that for a few weeks and then upped it to 40 minutes 3-4 days a week and then upped it to 5 days a week. Then I started trying to make more changes with the eating, making healthier choices, cutting back on fast food, etc.

The key is that I never tried to do everything all at once as I had done in the past. I just knew my failure rate was high when I cut back drastically on food and exercised like crazy right away from the start. Slowing introducing the changes made it easier to live with. That being said, my weight loss was slow and I had to accept that I would only be losing about a pound a week at most. The other thing I was very good with was accepting that my ultimate goal is maintenance so as long as I am losing or maintaining, that is what I am looking for. From June 2007 to Dec. 2008, I didn't lose any weight. But I maintained my previous year's weight loss the whole time. I decided to go back to trying to lose this past January and so far have lost 25+ pounds mainly by increasing my exercise time and intensity. I know how I am with food and it is a mistake for me to cut back too much in that area as it is not something I can stick with for long. So in order to lose a pound a week, I have to increase the exercise. My feeling is at this point I am getting close to a healthy weight and although I have the ultimate goal of reaching 145-150 to finally have a BMI in the healthy range, as long as I at least maintain my current weight, that would be acceptable.

Harbor
07-08-2009, 07:05 PM
I have the same issue. My downfall is if I don't think I can give it my all I just don't try. Like for instance if I know I am going out to dinner with friends tomorrow night rather than get in the mindset that I am going out to dinner and eating healthy I will just use that as my excuse to eat whatever I want with the reasoning that I will start the day after. Of course those day afters never seem to come around because there is always some reason in the not too distant future that I have to eat.

EveLHaelf
07-08-2009, 09:23 PM
If you are comfortable sharing, what sorts of things do you think you would do to 'start living'?

Peg

Well, even though I know it's ridiculous, that I could do all these things NOW....like dancing at a club, getting my belly button pierced, go shopping for clothes and actually care about my appearance, go tanning, have a spa day....

And, there are the emotional/psychological things
I wouldn't get upset or feel insecure if my husband looked at another woman, or I would suddenly feel so much more confident and outgoing. I've realized that this is crap because I would STILL be the same person inside, just smaller and healthier. Maybe a bit wiser for my experiences, but I wouldn't just suddenly BE this secure, trusting, confident, outgoing, sex goddess either, lol. And my husband, like all other men, would still be a perv :p So I know I need to get COMFORTABLE in my skin the way it is at the moment and learn to love myself now so I can start taking better care of me.

EveLHaelf
07-08-2009, 09:32 PM
For me, it definitely has been small steps that I've built on. I've built up on the exercise, and kept modifying what I was eating. For a while, I let myself eat ice cream every Friday :o (ha) until I had to say to myself it was interferring too much with my goals, and I let it go. It was more frustrating not seeing my weight go down than pleasurable to eat that ice cream.
.


That is a really good idea! Letting yourself have that one treat on a friday, makes you feel better in the beginning and doesn't make you feel deprived....and then later on when you start getting more serious you actuallty make the choice to let it go because you would rather see your weight go down. I think that would work for me! :carrot:

p7eggyc
07-08-2009, 10:50 PM
Well, even though I know it's ridiculous, that I could do all these things NOW....

So I know I need to get COMFORTABLE in my skin the way it is at the moment and learn to love myself now so I can start taking better care of me.

Those were my exact thoughts when I read your post I asked about. I would encourage you to roll some of this into your plan. If you opted to do the 5 point plan, you could use some of those things as rewards even. You deserve to LIVE right now, at this weight and any other weight you ever weigh. Life is just too darn short to wait for that and you've already realized a new weight is not a magic potion although I'm sure it will help in a lot of ways. You can also use the 'me time' component of the point plan as a place to work on some of these thoughts/emotions. I know a lot of people say it's the food that is the key to losing weight but I really think it is just as important what is going on in our brains and hearts.

:hug:

Peg

EveLHaelf
07-09-2009, 04:40 PM
Okay! So for my 5 point plan, I've decided to take an 'all over' approach meaning i want to work on my self esteem and other things that have suffered because of my weight gain. (like house work,ugh!) I take the same all or nothing approach when it comes to cleaning my house too.....x.x I let it go for weeks at a time, and then when i do clean, it's the ENTIRE house where by the end you could eat off my floors, and I am exhausted.:faint:

1 point for drinking water every time I eat something. Any time food passes between my lips water must shortly follow.:rain:

1 point for a daily small house chore. I'm thinking a room at a time or if the one room is really messy splitting it in half.:cp:

1 point for eating 2 servings of fruit a day. because on a normal day i never have any fruit and fruit for me is the hardest thing to get me to eat. Not because I don't like them, just most of the time I would rather get 'sweet' from chocolate, lol.:moo: mmm chocolate milk!

1 point for exercise! Again, like you said peg it can be anything...taking my dog for a walk or just running in place during commercials or even doing my wii fit:dance:

and last but not least....

1 point for saying something positive about myself each day whether it be appearance wise or brains or whatever! Just something to get me feeling good about ME. :queen:

And of course, once I get those down I will probably add more things to the list and I will probably up the fruit amount once I am able to easily eat 2 a day etc. As far as rewards go I'm still thinking...It's hard to come up with NON food rewards...ack!

If I have a perfect week I will treat myself to a haircut or a pedicure. um...wow I can't think of much else....

What kind of non food rewards does everyone else give themselves? I really need some ideas...:shrug:

kiramira
07-09-2009, 08:05 PM
Wow, your plan sounds AMAZING!
There are lots of great non-food rewards that people use: the usual=pedi, mani, massage, but for me, these can really add up in terms of cost, and our budget is tight.
I normally don't buy magazines, but this is one treat (I LOVE Entertainment Weekly! And the New Yorker!) that I feel OK about tossing into the shopping cart if I've had a great week. Same goes for a new lipstick color or eyeshadow or flip flops or something small that catches my eye but won't break the bank. And my criteria is to know that I've been 100% on plan given the circumstances. Sounds wishy washy, but some weeks are really, really challenging, and if I do well but not perfectly, I recognize that I did a SUPER job GIVEN THE CIRCUMSTANCES. Like -- we had THREE social events, and I planned for each of them and accounted for all my food. I wasn't PERFECT but I ROCKED IT. So I acknowledge that. Because I am so rarely perfect, I don't use perfection as a goal because it is for me unrealistic.
And for the larger goals, I really like to save up and plan for an activity that I would never, ever try. Something completely out of my comfort zone. I decided that when I was less than 190lbs I would screw up my courage and GO to that uncomfortable place and take Hot Yoga. And I did it!!!
My next goal was when I got below 175 lbs, I would buy a cute Yoga outfit, like all the slender girls wear. I just bought it last week. I feel completely uncomfortable in it, but THAT IS THE POINT!!! I need to see how my joints align during positions and my old long pants and cycling shirts just don't cut it. And this helps me connect my MIND to my BODY and to really SEE myself instead of just looking from the neck-up. And my top hasn't fallen down yet! And I don't look out of place! And I'm getting more comfortable with who I AM, not critical of how far I am away from "perfect".
My next goal is to go indoor rock climbing for my birthday in October. Did I mention that I'm afraid of heights? And did I mention that I believe that I am too heavy to do this? So it is time for me to PUSH THOSE LIMITATIONS, BABY...so this is the next barrier. In October. It'll take me that long to get comfortable with my sleeveless yoga tops and tiny (for me) shorts! I think after the Rock Climbing, it'll be yoga bra tops and booty shorts. Although it just might be, well, TOO much for the other students, and not just me :lol:....

:)

Kira

EveLHaelf
07-09-2009, 08:19 PM
Kira, those are some great ideas! I love your story of hot yoga and your yoga outfit! I would totally be soooo uncomfortable in that. Taking yourself out of your comfort zone is a really interesting idea....it scares me! lol Maybe I should try that sometime. One of my more obvious comfort zones has become really HUGE t shirts that almost hit my knees, and exercise 'capris.'

kiramira
07-09-2009, 08:28 PM
GOD I hear you. If you don't mind me getting personal, I don't know your height and all, but we have pretty much the EXACT SAME start weights. I know exactly where you are coming from. I HAVE those t-shirts. I feel COMFORTABLE in them. I have knee-length capris, and in spandex too but with big big tees over top so I can hide.
You know something? With your plan, and the determination and patience that you have, you WILL get there. And that is why connecting your MIND with your BODY becomes important.
There are threads out there about "do you ever feel thin" and body image issues, and the consensus is that your mind doesn't keep pace with the changes that your body makes. And I think you can help this process along if you are, well, vigilant about really just LOOKING at yourself, without judgement, and finding something NICE to say about your self EVERY single day (your point 5!). I do this all the time.
I think my brain is catching up. Now if I could only keep my bosom contained in my yoga top (not that my male teacher minds!) :rofl:
You WILL make it!!!!
PM me anytime if you need anything...
:hug:
Kira

rsb0004
07-09-2009, 08:42 PM
and last but not least....

1 point for saying something positive about myself each day whether it be appearance wise or brains or whatever! Just something to get me feeling good about ME.



I really like this!:cheer: It is so easy to loose perspective when we're in the 'trenches' of our own weight loss battles. I often find that I am my worst critic, and my internal voice is often downright abusive. I try to catch myself, make myself repeat the negative self-talk out loud and ask myself whether or not it would be ok for someone else to say those things to me. My rule of thumb is if I wouldn't take it from someone else, I shouldn't take it from myself. I think I've gotten so used to tearing myself down that I didn't even question the lies I was telling myself. That is why I really like the idea of rewarding yourself for saying positive things about yourself. Positive affirmations are so important.:flow1:

deblyn15
07-09-2009, 09:20 PM
Hello EveLHaelf,

There is something called "The Law of Diminishing Intent." In simple terms, this law states that when we first commit to a task or goal, we are driven by high emotion. The emotion provides motivation. Eventually, though, the emotion dwindles, the motivation dwindles, our commitment to the task/goal fades ... and well ... all of us know what happens ... ugh! So, then, the fact that you start out strong but then wane is absolutely normal and expected ... after all, none of us are above the law ... hee! The key, then, is to learn to battle "The Law of Diminishing Intent." The first step in winning this battle is in learning how to keep a strong emotional connection to your goal. Believe me when I tell you, EveLHaelf, that I feel your pain to my core as it took me 10 years to finally understand why I kept sabotaging my own weight loss efforts. Good luck! Debra

p7eggyc
07-09-2009, 11:23 PM
It's coming together nicely! I have a couple of thoughts you can take or leave:

I was concerned a bit about the perfect week idea. I guess those are pretty big rewards so maybe that's what you had in mind for the week to end all weeks. If that was the case, I would still consider something smaller for maybe a 30 or 32 point week so you have some practice and reward for less than 'all-or-none'. I had trouble with non-food rewards too. I've used candles, ipod downloads, workout clothes, cooking equipment. Hopefully others will chime in since that's not my strong suit.

The house point might be a bit big for this. You might consider saying something like 15 min or something like 'dust one room' and change the chore each week. Remember, the point (pun intended :dizzy:) is that the 5 points are relatively easy to achieve so you are able to stay 'on plan'.

Finally, I would consider deciding now how long you are going to try this plan before changing/adding degrees of difficulty. Again, that doesn't mean you can't do more but that you only have to do what you've decided is good enough. I would suggest a month or 6 weeks.

You are doing some great work here! Good job!:carrot::carrot:

Peg

JulieJ08
07-09-2009, 11:39 PM
I like the idea of the points just being cumulative, but not dependent on days in a row. That way, you never negate points earned and lose them. The goal of 30 points in a week is one way to do it. But it could also just be each 30 points earned, whatever that time period that takes. If the method works, that time period should naturally shorten itself with practice :)

p7eggyc
07-09-2009, 11:45 PM
That's a good point. For me, the point that is always hard for me is the exercise one so if I let myself go beyond the week deadline, I could weasel out of that one more often than would be ideal. The week deadline keeps me from burning all of my 'free points' on skipping the hard point. That being said, it could be a good way to approach it at the beginning because ANY positive step deserves the reward and is probably an improvement.

Peg

JulieJ08
07-09-2009, 11:51 PM
For me, the point that is always hard for me is the exercise one so if I let myself go beyond the week deadline, I could weasel out of that one more often than would be ideal. The week deadline keeps me from burning all of my 'free points' on skipping the hard point.

Good point.

EveLHaelf
07-11-2009, 07:02 PM
These are some very insightful ideas ladies!

Kira, as always, thank you for your encouragement and input! I always look forward to reading your posts. :D

rsb, you are CERTAINLY right about negative self talk. If I woldn't let someone else call me a 'fat worthless slob' then why should I let myself talk like that? :: punches self in the face:: lol that's what I'd do to anyone else who said that to me! :club:

deblyn, thank you for your encouragement!

peg, you are right...a little bit of my 'all or nothing' was creeping back up on me with the 'perfect' week idea. :nono: I was thinking about maybe a nice polar heart rate monitor, and a 'team jillian' t shirt, and an ipod touch for some rewards. I'm a bit of a technology geek so things that I want tend to be rather pricey! :o And I too was thining about changing it up every month or so...or maybe 8 weeks.

Julie, I like the idea of also incorporating every 30 or (set a number like 50 or something) points I can reward myself. hehehe I like rewards! :carrot:

I really love this site because any time I am feeling down or in need of some constructive critism or ideas I can always come here and talk to you wonderful chicks! THANK YOU! And sorry it took me so long to reply, my internet was down for a whole day! ::gasp!:: :lol:

Hope everyone has a nice weekend.

JoJoP
07-12-2009, 11:43 PM
I've found that with some aspects of my diet/lifestyle, I can't be all-or-nothing, but with other aspects I MUST be.

When I first tried to lose weight 2 years ago, I felt that I HAD to work out for an hour every day. HAD to. I hated it, and I fell off the wagon after 2 months. Now I'm more relaxed about exercising; I don't go on the treadmill if I'm exhausted after work, and my exercises tend to be more gently paced and thus less of a chore to do.

But I CANNOT chew sugar-free gum or eat sweets. Period. Sugar (and sugar substitutes) cause me to overeat and trigger cravings. I learned this the hard way. Fortunately, maintaining a sugar-free diet hasn't been difficult for me; I just have to avoid the "Eh, eating this one dessert won't be an issue" mentality, especially since I don't crave sweets anymore.