Weight Loss Support - how to stay motivated....?




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neon_zephyr
10-02-2009, 09:09 PM
So, I have been trying to lose weight for a long time, but I've not been consistent or committed with my efforts. I've been giving up too easily or just sidetracked by lack of motivation. I've been off and on the bandwagon so often over the past year that even thinking about it sounds like exercise. But, last August, I decided to set a goal and simply follow through to see where it gets me -- not a weight goal, but an effort goal. Consistent diet + exercise + observation of results.

I have been watching what I eat and keeping track of it -- and I am not cheating! I do allow myself one indulgence per week, though. This indulgence does not equal bingeing on junk food, just means I can eat one meal in a week without guilt, whatever it is. If I limit this to one meal, it's not too bad.

However, despite very careful attention to diet and deliberate exercise, I'm not making any progress. I've been working out three times a week at the gym, running between 2-6 miles on the elliptical crosstrainer machine. I don't expect to lose a dozen pounds in one burst of effort, but after two weeks, I was hoping to have lost at least one pound or two. Nope. Net loss = zero over two weeks.

To be honest, this is a bit depressing.

But, I am not going to give in to despair. I'm going to try to move up to five days a week, instead, and see if that makes a difference. I just felt like venting about it. Maybe I'll have something positive to report next week.

The thing is, I do get discouraged more easily than I would like. How do you guys keep yourselves from feeling bad about lack of results?


Onederchic
10-02-2009, 09:37 PM
You say you are tracking what you eat but you didn't specify how many calories you are consuming in a day. Is it too much maybe? Too little? And are you keeping track of every bite, lick, taste, drink?

JayEll
10-02-2009, 09:40 PM
What does "watching what I eat and keeping track of it" mean, exactly? Are you calorie counting? Do you have a calorie target each day?

Jay


neon_zephyr
10-02-2009, 10:25 PM
Yes, I have been keeping track of every taste of every thing. I'm under 1500 calories each day, even on the one day of the week that is a freebie.

I was pretty bad about eating one bad meal once a day and am working on trying to eat three times a day but small portions of healthy things. I'm guessing that my exercise is insufficient. However, maybe I need to eliminate the one indulgent thing in a week, too.

Onederchic
10-02-2009, 10:29 PM
Well, I think everyone is different. There are people here that are successful with the "splurge meal" and others, like myself, who are successful without it. I believe ultimately it really is calories in vs calories out.

Maybe you could bump up your exercise and see if it will help but whatever you do, you can not..not not not..ever give up. Hang in there and keep us updated :hug:

ringmaster
10-02-2009, 10:40 PM
I second you can't give up.. as the people here said as long as you keep trying and don't quit, you won't fail! There are lots of things to try... mix up your workouts, try to do something different every week. Try cutting carbs down a bit. calorie cycling. Just don't give up!

getfitchicks
10-02-2009, 11:06 PM
When I first started I promised myself that I would stick to my plan (with no cheats) for 3 weeks no matter what. I needed to push through that 3 weeks, set my routine and then I could adjust. I did that and haven't looked back since. After the 3 weeks I was comfortable with my diet, my workouts and eating well was a habit. I now allow myself a "cheat" day as well (i've been at it a year and a half and am just 5 pounds from goal) but I didn't until I felt comfortable with the diet.

Something else I found - once I was in the workout habit I started to focus more on enjoying my workouts than looking at them as calorie burning necessities. Once I started doing that I was open to trying new activities (running, rock climbing, etc.) and found out what I really loved. Now it's a lifestyle instead of a diet.

Keep at it and I'm sure you'll see success!!

neon_zephyr
10-03-2009, 04:37 AM
Thanks for the encouragement. I was pretty excited about being disciplined and focused enough to actually keep a food journal and to force myself to follow through with my workout plan. So, I felt particularly let down when I didn't see any results on the scale. A friend pointed out to me that I should see if my clothes fit differently, and, well, I can wear jeans that were too tight about three weeks ago now. They are still too snug for comfort, but I can wear them and walk in them and I couldn't do that three weeks ago, so I guess it's a kind of progress.

I don't really know what calorie cycling is...can anyone explain it?

It's good to know that sometimes cheats work and sometimes they don't. I think I will try to exercise more and see if that helps over the two weeks. If it doesn't, I think I'll remove my cheat meal.

Can any of you recommend a good website or program where one can keep a food journal and track calories? Maybe I should try a different tracking mechanism.

neon_zephyr
10-03-2009, 04:46 AM
Getfitchicks (and/or anyone else) -- how did you come to appreciate and enjoy your workouts?

Working out for me has been a tough thing to stick to lately. While I enjoy active things with friends and family, my current situation only affords me gym workouts as options. I go through phases of really liking it to really hating it. These days, I just see it as a punishment -- in fact, I've come to see my entire weight loss endeavor as a punishment, something that I probably need to learn to see differently.

I can't afford to give up. I'm getting married in December and I'm trying to use that as motivation to hang in there (My dress will actually be red, rather than white and I don't want to look like a tomato). But, it's hard not to be discouraged and bummed out. I just feel like I'm trying to catch up to some planned thing and just didn't make any progress because there's no numerical change on the scale.

Again, thanks for the encouraging words, everyone! :)

JayEll
10-03-2009, 08:13 AM
I would suggest that you don't increase exercise intensity, but instead try to get to the gym 5 days a week. Do 30 minutes of cardio and 30 minutes of stretching, core exercises, and some weights or resistance bands. If you aren't familiar with how to use weights or weight machines, sign up for some trainer sessions specifically for learning how to use weights, or do some reading on your own. Don't try to start with heavy weights.

It may be that 1500 cals. actually isn't enough if you're working out strenuously with those 2-6 mile cross-trainer runs you described. I'd say continue eating 3 times a day--and cut out that splurge meal for a couple of weeks--and see what happens. You're frustrated because the scale didn't comply with your wishes, but don't try to change things yet.

Calorie cycling mean that you choose a weekly total that would equal, say, 1500 calories average per day. So, 7 x 1500 = 10,500. Then you plan out your week with varying amounts of calories per day, but they still have to come out to 10,500 at the end of the week. You don't let the highs go to high or the lows too low. So, for example,

Day 1: 1493
Day 2: 1280
Day 3: 1793
Day 4: 1493
Day 5: 1344
Day 6: 1641
Day 7: 1493

That's 10,537. Obviously you can't be completely exact with the numbers, but you do plan it out.

Good luck!
Jay

yoyoma
10-03-2009, 08:52 AM
Regarding motivation, check out this article. It has some tips.

http://zenhabits.net/2008/06/the-ultimate-guide-to-motivation-how-to-achieve-any-goal/

luckymommy
10-03-2009, 09:25 PM
I also suggest that you wear a pedometer. They are really cheap and help to show you how much you are moving every day. The idea is that we need to move 10,000 steps a day, even on days when we don't go to the gym.

I'm actually thinking about getting a Bodybugg. They are the little devices that people on The Biggest Loser wear at all times. It measures how many calories you burn all day along with keeping track of how many calories you consume...that way, it's easy to see if you are, in fact, creating a calorie deficits that needs to occur for weight loss.

It's not cheap...about $250, but I have heard it is a great motivator.

Irene

Onederchic
10-03-2009, 09:30 PM
I keep track of my food/exercise at sparkpeople.com

getfitchicks
10-05-2009, 01:17 PM
Getfitchicks (and/or anyone else) -- how did you come to appreciate and enjoy your workouts?

Working out for me has been a tough thing to stick to lately. While I enjoy active things with friends and family, my current situation only affords me gym workouts as options. I go through phases of really liking it to really hating it. These days, I just see it as a punishment -- in fact, I've come to see my entire weight loss endeavor as a punishment, something that I probably need to learn to see differently.

I can't afford to give up. I'm getting married in December and I'm trying to use that as motivation to hang in there (My dress will actually be red, rather than white and I don't want to look like a tomato). But, it's hard not to be discouraged and bummed out. I just feel like I'm trying to catch up to some planned thing and just didn't make any progress because there's no numerical change on the scale.

Again, thanks for the encouraging words, everyone! :)

For me I really started to enjoy my workouts when I started to be able to do more activities I loved because of them. For example: I went rock climbing for the first time and discovered I not only could do it, I was pretty good at it. Same for running and cycling. Once my workouts had more of a purpose (getting me fit enough to do cool stuff) I really started to appreciate them and focus on them even more to get the most out of every session.

MBN
10-05-2009, 02:03 PM
Getfitchicks (and/or anyone else) -- how did you come to appreciate and enjoy your workouts?

Ragdoll, for me, the key is to find activities that I enjoy. It's still HARD, mind you, but it changes my view from torture to fun. It's fun torture. ;)

You mentioned that you were doing the elliptical 3x/week - maybe that is just getting boring? Does your gym offer group exercise classes? Or would you be able to mix up the elliptical with something else - bike, or stairclimber, or weights? Can you go outside and walk? I enjoy the social aspect of group classes, so that's something I do a lot.

I also keep myself motivated by signing up for events (I like to run). That keeps me on track because I'm not working out, I'm "training". How about signing up to walk a 5K? Events are lots of fun!

At the beginning, for me, exercise was just hard. But eventually I got the point where I always felt better AFTER working out than when I started. So even on the days when I don't want to go (and yes, I still have those), I know that if I just get started, I will keep going and feel really great at the end - energized and happy. Ultimately, that's what keeps me going back for more. And I see the great results, so it's all good. You just have to keep at it until, at some point, you really do see tangible results from all your hard work. And you will!

Mommywannabe
10-07-2009, 11:31 PM
something that has really helped me is to ask myself before I eat ANYTHING, "will eating this cause me to take longer to reach my goal?"

it really keeps me on track!