Weight Loss Support - Just curious...how would you respond to these?




McKenziesmomma
10-24-2009, 03:49 PM
I have to stop putting off weight loss for another day. Its amazing how fast time goes by. I remember last year on Christmas Day looking so fat in all the pictures and feeling so out of place and embarrassed. I swore that this Christmas would be different. I would feel and look better, but I kept putting it off….after all I had plenty of time right? Wrong…..Christmas is about 2 months away. I can’t believe I do this. Why?

:?:Why do I do this (live my life unhappy)?

:?:Why do I eat the way I do when the results make me miserable?

:?:Why do I NOT exercise or do anything active?

:?:Why do I keep allowing myself to be unhappy and unhealthy?


Life is just too short. I have to get this right soon.

RIGHT NOW
I would like to put more focus into finding the answers to those questions rather than planning all the time how I’m going to lose weight.


I think it would help me greatly to see how other people answer these questions. So if you all don't mind and have time....can you help me out ;)


Lori Bell
10-24-2009, 04:23 PM
RIGHT NOW
I would like to put more focus into finding the answers to those questions rather than planning all the time how I’m going to lose weight.

Hey there, If I remember correctly, didn't we start 3FC right around the same time?

Is it possible that there are no valid answers to your questions? Maybe there is actually no underlying reason you do not follow through on your weight loss plan except that you don't want to yet. Maybe you are looking to hit rock bottom, or need a medical scare...maybe you are just not really ready. Maybe you just want to want it. I think that you would have figured it out by now if there was some underlying issue, (medical, mental, emotional...etc)?

In my humble opinion maybe it is not completely necessary to discover the answers to your questions. Forcing yourself to execute the weight loss plans you have already put in place over the months might be the only way to get the ball rolling. My Grandma used to have an expression, although crude, it really got the point across when she though we were avoiding an issue. She would say, "It's time to $h*t or get off the pot!" ;) You can do this. I just hope you don't wait another year before you get off the pot.

ETA: I forgot to answer your questions. I spent years obese and miserable, and thinking back, the answers would have been something like, "I like to eat" & "I'll get to it someday..."

McKenziesmomma
10-24-2009, 04:51 PM
Hey there, If I remember correctly, didn't we start 3FC right around the same time?

Is it possible that there are no valid answers to your questions? Maybe there is actually no underlying reason you do not follow through on your weight loss plan except that you don't want to yet. Maybe you are looking to hit rock bottom, or need a medical scare...maybe you are just not really ready. Maybe you just want to want it. I think that you would have figured it out by now if there was some underlying issue, (medical, mental, emotional...etc)?

In my humble opinion maybe it is not completely necessary to discover the answers to your questions. Forcing yourself to execute the weight loss plans you have already put in place over the months might be the only way to get the ball rolling. My Grandma used to have an expression, although crude, it really got the point across when she though we were avoiding an issue. She would say, "It's time to $h*t or get off the pot!" ;) You can do this. I just hope you don't wait another year before you get off the pot.

ETA: I forgot to answer your questions. I spent years obese and miserable, and thinking back, the answers would have been something like, "I like to eat" & "I'll get to it someday..."


Yes we did join at the same time!!! I know your probably right about the poop or get off the pot thing...LOL.


I just don't know. I'm not stupid....I know exactly what it takes to get to where I want to be. I just don't know why I don't do it. Sometimes I even do it for a little while and lose like 25-30 pounds and then gain it all back. I don't know its like there is something mental there. Its like in the back of my mind I keep telling myself..."You know its never gonna happen right? You know your never gonna lose all the weight...right?" I don't know if thats it or what.....but I can be losing weight and doing good and then the weight loss slows a little....but it just slows it doesn't stop.....and I just give up.


Thanks for your words and thoughts......I need all that I can get


garnetrising
10-24-2009, 05:17 PM
Please note that all of these are very general answers. But I am attempting to answer them for you. ^^

:?:Why do I do this (live my life unhappy)?

Because you procrastinate. To some degree, every human does this. We put something off for a day thinking we'll get to it tomorrow but we never do. It's unfortunate. What makes it worse for people trying to lose weight is that putting off the weight loss effects so much more of our life than putting off washing the car or doing that school project. And time always goes by faster than we expect.

:?:Why do I eat the way I do when the results make me miserable?

I don't know how you eat to be able to give you a real definitive answer to this question. But chances are it's a combination of things. People, today, have a much easier time of getting food. We don't really have to work for it (physically, I mean). That's part of the problem. We grow up in a society that doesn't really promote eating healthy to children in a way that kids can fully grasp and understand. Kids are too young to get a bunch of the longer-lasting concepts. They're impressionable and they follow the crowd. Often, it leads to bad habits. Two of my older siblings were very active when we were growing up. They both ran cross-country and participated in a few other sports. I did not. I didn't have a lot of friends and I'm not very good at sports, in general. And kids can be harsh about that sort of thing. But the two of them could eat like horses and not gain a pound because they were constantly burning it off. At 7, you don't understand that concept. Unless your parents, guardians, some other authority figure makes a conscious effort to improve your diet (other than talking at you about it), you're going to emulate what you see. I know I did. And bad habits like that tend to stick with you and die hard. Eventually, I did a 180 around middle school and was at such a low place emotionally that I didn't eat nearly enough to fuel my body. That's where I've been ever since. Struggling to find that balance between enough to be healthy without eating to much to maintain (rather than lose). Bottom line, unless you're making a conscious effort and paying attention every day, every time you put something into your body, it can be really easy to fall back into bad habits.

:?:Why do I NOT exercise or do anything active?

It's a question a lot of people like us ask themselves. It's another one with a complicated answer. For me, it's even more baffling because I love being active. I love being outdoors and I love working out. Growing up, I didn't have anybody to be active with. As an adult, I didn't go out of my way to be active, but I was moderately active. I used to walk 1.5 to and from work 5 days a week. Most of those days, I'd also walk from one end of campus to the other. I don't know rightly how far that was but I wouldn't be surprised if it was easily 1.5 miles, itself. You'd think that, with all that walking, I'd have gotten it in my head to work out sooner. But I didn't. I was scared of going to a gym. I'd been made fun of so much in school, I didn't feel like going to workout at a gym and get laughed at by a bunch of skinny people. Avoidance prevented that. And once you get to a point where you aren't active, I think you start to convince yourself that you don't like it or that your not physically able to do some of the exercises.

:?:Why do I keep allowing myself to be unhappy and unhealthy?

Because misery, typically, begets misery and eventually you find things spiraling out of control. And then when it gets to the breaking point, you're looking at it and seeing how much you have to change, how massive a task it can be and that's daunting. Another thing, is everybody has that moment. You can try for years and years to lose and stick with it for a little while and then fall back off again. Every one of those false starts has a small moment when you're sure this is the time, that this is the moment where you realize you can do it and you'll stick with it. But often, they're not THE moment. When you reach that moment, you don't tell yourself this is the one, you go into it know that it's going to be a long journey and that it's going to be tough. But you commit to it and find the way that works for you because you've finally realized, and accepted, that no one can do it for you. You have to do it for yourself. And everyone comes to that moment in their own time. I remember my high school graduation... My grandmother, who'd been overweight the entire time I'd known her (up to about the year prior) told me, basically, that I was a bright girl but that no one would take me seriously and give me a fair shot because of my weight. She then offered to pay me to lose it. You would have thought that, given how long she'd been overweight, she'd have realized that I needed to make that decision and commit to it in my own time. Needless to say, my relationship with her has been extremely strained ever since. But I digress.

Life is just too short. I have to get this right soon.

RIGHT NOW
I would like to put more focus into finding the answers to those questions rather than planning all the time how I’m going to lose weight.

You're right. Life is short. And you need to take action now. It can be hard. I know from past experiences, and even this time. I procrastinate like nobody's business. I'm the sort of person who needs a procrastinators anonymous meeting (Hi, I'm Jessica and I've been meaning to come to one of these meetings since last July... Um. Clearly I procrastinate.). Two things that I've learned are key for me. Commitment and accountability. I weigh in every morning. I don't let the daily number stress me out because it's just another day. But I need to know if the scale has started creeping back up over the last three days so I can adjust. I log all of my food into Fitday.com. Either at the start of the morning or the night before (what I plan to eat) or at the end of the day if I'm unsure of what meal(s) I'm going to consume. I try to always know at least two of my meals before hand so I know how much wiggle room I have for snacks and things if I decide to eat out. I report in at several threads at least once a day. I don't post my menus or anything, but I do report whether or not I've worked out, how it went, where I am calorie-wise in relation to my target for the day, and any other random things that feel important at the moment. I work out most days. I have to drive 45 minutes (both ways) to get to work every day. I'm at work for, on average, 10 hours a day. Factoring in 6-8 hours of sleep, I'm not left with a lot of time. But I've made the commitment to myself to workout and for the first time in my life, I've set my alarm for 5:30 am with the intention of getting up and working out and find myself doing it. I have a small group of DVDs and I workout at home. Right now, I'm on day 3 of the 30 Day Shred. I find it to be quick and effective. The point is, I am making a conscious effort every day to do it. Whether I feel like working out when I roll out of bed in the morning or not, I do it anyway. I'm working on making it part of my daily routine. Get up, let puppies out, boot up laptop, work out. (Then feed puppies, browse forums, check to see if I've gotten an email from DH. Kennel puppies and go to work.) I always find that as soon as I'm five minutes into my workout I'm glad I started.

Lori Bell
10-24-2009, 05:22 PM
I'm really sorry you are stuck in that rut. I have been there, and I do understand. It sucks. I can sit here and tell you to commit, and to persevere, and to stick to it and don't give up, and all those wonderful words of encouragement, but they are just words coming from an internet stranger. You have to find it in you. You have to find that drive all for yourself. I personally found my drive in prayer, but i understand that is not every body's style. Find that strength and pull it out. Keep the drive alive. My Grandma also used to say, "Fake it till you make it", and sometimes that is what I do. If you can't do it for yourself, do it for McKenzie. Do it for your parents, do it for anyone until you realize that you deserve it for yourself.

I do have faith in you. I think you can do it.

rockinrobin
10-24-2009, 05:26 PM
JUST DO IT!!!

I got tired of trying to figure our the hows and whys. I'd wasted enough time pondering those thoughts.

ACTION. That's what it takes. ACTION. You don't have to have everything figured out right away in order to make a change. You just don't. You've just got to DECIDE to do this - no matter what. Decide to do it, commit to do it. And then it shall be done. FOCUS on it. Make it a tippy top priority and transform your very life. Some of those answers will become apparent to you as go through your journey and some won't. That's okay. It's time to take action. Haven't you wasted enough time? Well stop wasting time and start making the best use of it. Today. :hug:

WildThings
10-24-2009, 06:00 PM
I wonder about these questions a lot and I really don't have the answers to them either. I guess I do have some answers, but for me, knowing the answers doesn't really change anything. I do know that sometimes, the taste of food outweighs the benefits that come from not eating those same foods. It shouldn't be like that. I tell my self that it's kind of sad that the taste of chocolate chip cookies outweighs my desire to lose weight and be healthy, but I eat it anyway. This is of course one of my issues, it may be different for everyone else. What I do know is I can't give up trying because I am making progress. I am getting back to a healthy me, more slowly than I would like, but it's progress.

Right now, you still have 2 months until Christmas. You can make a lot of progress in 2 months. You can still keep your promise to yourself that things will be different by this Christmas. You may not be at your goal by Christmas, but even a two pound difference by Christmas would be progress. I started trying to lose weight in February...the difference in how I felt between February 16 and April 16 was a huge difference...really huge. My depression was 1/3 of what it had been when I started. I was exercising, I had more energy, I was happy, starting to enjoy things in my life again. You can still do this by Christmas. Think how great you would feel instead of starting the new year thinking about losing weight, instead you would be starting the new year with two months under your belt.

Havisham
10-24-2009, 06:41 PM
Hey there,
I can relate to these questions - and they're tough ones to answer - and to ask yourself. Having those who've already done it say just do it, doesn't help. You have to find it in you when you're ready. For me it was coming here and just reading, and then posting a little and now posting a lot. I'm not killing myself and telling myself I'll never eat junk or sweet stuff again - I'm not that perfect. I'm just doing one day at a time, and if I fall off the wagon, I'm gonna get back on again tomorrow.

For me, finding that there are other people out there feeling like I do - struggling to make it - getting by one day at a time, that helps. I'm not perfect, and I don't need to hear the rigid 'stick to it or else' stuff, I just need a little support from people going through this, too. And I find it here.

You can too...one day at a time...just ask for help when you get stuck. :)

rockinrobin
10-24-2009, 06:47 PM
Hey there,
Having those who've already done it say just do it, doesn't help. )

Maybe for some one, some where it WOULD help. You never know. It's not only the OP that is reading this. And if does help one person, gets that one person to thinking and taking action, then it was worth it. We're all different. We never know what's going to spark someone to make a change. :dunno:

Onederchic
10-24-2009, 06:51 PM
I have to admit that when I signed up here I was lost and confused and on the wrong track. But some of these chickies, Robin included, said to me I have to do it and by golly it did help ME. I did it and am still doing it thanks to all the wonderful people here supporting me by holding my hand and giving me a much needed kick on the arse at times :D

LotusMama
10-24-2009, 07:38 PM
mckenziesmomma--I think a lot of us have the same questions as you do and I am not sure I will ever be able to answer them for myself. When I came here a few months ago and joined, I didn't really have any "aha!" moments, I just started and one successful day built upon another and then another...

Here's the realization that I have come to: losing weight will never get easier (and, in fact, it will probably get harder). I agree with Robin: start now. Some days will be a big struggle and others will be suprisingly easy. But, just think of how great you will feel by Christmas if you start now. And, in six months...and in a year.

You can do it! I wish you the best with your weight loss journey!

Cheers,

J

ringmaster
10-24-2009, 08:23 PM
I know how you feel... I felt the same way this time last year. Time really does go by fast. What's even sadder this time last year I was getting to the low 160s, I would probably be at my goal by now, instead I'm further away from it!

So, for me, I think I'm a bit scared. Scared of the attention. Scared of no more excuses and blaming everything on my weight. Scared of losing it and getting to 'that happy place' and gaining it all back and winding up back in misery.

Maybe you have some kind of fear or worry when you get the weight off? Maybe you are in your comfort zone, things seem fine at the moment, so why change things? Like someone else said, maybe you are waiting to hit rock bottom or an emergency to come up to make the changes. Of course you don't want to wait for something like that, you want to be ready for whatever life hands you, and having the weight off does make it easier.

start and keep small changes. Have a good breakfast. Plan your lunches. I like garnetrising's plan on having 2 good meals for the day, leaving some wiggle room. Drink water. green tea. Do you watch TV? During the commercial breaks do some walking/jogging in place, some sit ups, push ups. Go to a park and play or do some active activities with your daughter..just small changes that don't hurt but will add up till you are ready to make the big changes.

D22Guzman
10-24-2009, 08:40 PM
I am about to be so honest here the reason i finally dais i am going to get up off from my big fat *** and get on this treadmill and start losing some weight was because my miserable husband was cheating on me everyday day when i can home from work he would tell me oh your home fat cow you are worthless look at you everytime you walk the whole house trembles i cant even stand looking at you i feel disgusted just seeing you we wouldnt even sleep together he would sleep on the floor...well I finall found out that yes my suspicions where right he was with someone else and you know that give me that little boost of energy to get on the exercise machine and lose some weight I use to weight 300+ i am still trying to lose more i am now at 220 and everday eat a little healthier and do my workout i am hoping to lose this 20 lbs by thanksgiving thats my mini goal wish me luck....but there is always something that will give you that extra boost of motivation good or bad it will tell you you know today is that day and I WILL DO IT NO MATTER WHAT!! and nothing will allow you to put off for one more day not even if you have a big wedding today and only today i will start my diet tommorow kinda thing because if you want to and are dedicated you will do it...

Mikayla
10-24-2009, 08:56 PM
Maybe for some one, some where it WOULD help. You never know. It's not only the OP that is reading this. And if does help one person, gets that one person to thinking and taking action, then it was worth it. We're all different. We never know what's going to spark someone to make a change. :dunno:

I think you are right. Coming here and reading "just do it" over and over did spark something in me. I actually say it over and over to myself again and again.

Reading those words did get me to take action and now here I am 65lbs lighter, more active than I've ever been and HAPPIER than I've ever been. This Christmas I really will be a whole new person and it's all because I decided to "just do it"

And now being on plan for 9 months, there is no better advice I can give. Just start, make a plan and commit to following through. You can do it!:hug:

jelder227
10-24-2009, 09:16 PM
"Fake it till you make it"

Absolutely - to some extent I faked it until I had no choice. I signed up for a "boot camp" with a friend, watched my diet, and let EVERYONE know that I was doing it. Then it became way too embarrassing not to follow through . . .I'm only down 30 pounds in a year and a half. But it's enough that that I'm in the healthy range and look great compared to what I did. Especially as I've shaped up quite a bit also.

Despite how far I still have to go, now everyone considers me a "success" and an "expert" - and asks for advice. I can't backslide.

garnetrising
10-24-2009, 10:13 PM
Okay.... I just want to say something. Everybody finds success in different ways. What works for some of us may not work for others, we all know that, right? I think that the fact that McKenziesMomma has come here, posting these questions means that, maybe, for her (or someone else who might end up reading this post), finding the answers might be necessary for success. Knowing how I got to where I was and being able to fix that root problem was vital to my over all health. Even if I fall of the wagon again, though I'm hoping I won't, those answers were important to my mental and emotional health. Which is important in my being able to get to where I want to be physically.

Like I said in my earlier post, everybody has to come to their moment in their own time and in their own way. I knew for years what my problems were. As a child, I overate. Period. In my teen years, I ate too little (not consciously) and didn't exercise enough. I tried fixing them before. I've even made progress and then backslid before. Every other time, I was in a situation where I was pretty depressed. I didn't know if I wanted to get up in the mornings, let alone get in shape. It's part of the reason I ate so little. I wouldn't think about it because it didn't seem important. I knew I wanted to be healthy and hoped that getting in shape might have the answers. But I had deeper underlying issues that kept getting in the way. Until I reached a level of maturity where I could fully understand and appreciate those issues, there was no way I would ever succeed in my goal to get healthy. I'm in a much happier place now. Most days, I'm very happy. In fact, the only thing that I've been terribly unhappy about in the last year and a half has been my weight. And it's been more of a situation where I have a healthy active husband who married me just the way I am because of my personality, not because I was skinny. I know he'll stick with me through anything. But I have an active healthy little girl who's been hiding inside my body for years, crying to get out. Before, I was to unsettled emotionally to help her. Now, I'm not. Now, there is nothing keeping me from success but my actions.

Personally, I can't just tell myself to do it and have that keep me on plan. I have to have tangible ways of holding myself accountable. Maybe I've got a weak will (though I don't think that's true). I think it's just the way I am. But I'm doing it. Through commitment and accountability, I'm doing it. And I'm going to keep doing it. As a final thought, I think that for some more emotionally-ruled people, a big factor in weight loss success is being able to love yourself as you are. Being healthy isn't going to make all your other problems go away. Though, it might just give you the strength and the courage to deal with them.

Havisham
10-24-2009, 11:02 PM
Okay.... I just want to say something. Everybody finds success in different ways. What works for some of us may not work for others, we all know that, right? I think that the fact that McKenziesMomma has come here, posting these questions means that, maybe, for her (or someone else who might end up reading this post), finding the answers might be necessary for success. Knowing how I got to where I was and being able to fix that root problem was vital to my over all health. Even if I fall of the wagon again, though I'm hoping I won't, those answers were important to my mental and emotional health. Which is important in my being able to get to where I want to be physically.

Like I said in my earlier post, everybody has to come to their moment in their own time and in their own way. I knew for years what my problems were. As a child, I overate. Period. In my teen years, I ate too little (not consciously) and didn't exercise enough. I tried fixing them before. I've even made progress and then backslid before. Every other time, I was in a situation where I was pretty depressed. I didn't know if I wanted to get up in the mornings, let alone get in shape. It's part of the reason I ate so little. I wouldn't think about it because it didn't seem important. I knew I wanted to be healthy and hoped that getting in shape might have the answers. But I had deeper underlying issues that kept getting in the way. Until I reached a level of maturity where I could fully understand and appreciate those issues, there was no way I would ever succeed in my goal to get healthy. I'm in a much happier place now. Most days, I'm very happy. In fact, the only thing that I've been terribly unhappy about in the last year and a half has been my weight. And it's been more of a situation where I have a healthy active husband who married me just the way I am because of my personality, not because I was skinny. I know he'll stick with me through anything. But I have an active healthy little girl who's been hiding inside my body for years, crying to get out. Before, I was to unsettled emotionally to help her. Now, I'm not. Now, there is nothing keeping me from success but my actions.

Personally, I can't just tell myself to do it and have that keep me on plan. I have to have tangible ways of holding myself accountable. Maybe I've got a weak will (though I don't think that's true). I think it's just the way I am. But I'm doing it. Through commitment and accountability, I'm doing it. And I'm going to keep doing it. As a final thought, I think that for some more emotionally-ruled people, a big factor in weight loss success is being able to love yourself as you are. Being healthy isn't going to make all your other problems go away. Though, it might just give you the strength and the courage to deal with them.

I agree so totally with this - the point I was making was that not everyone responds well to being told to just do it. Some people need a little more nursing, a little bit of gentle coaxing and support. I know I do. And I know that if someone says to me, just get on with it, it's how I did it and it's the only way, then I'm not feeling support from that person.

For those who can just decide to do it and never falter, that's great, I'm glad you found what worked for you. For me, hearing that just makes me feel more of a failure because I don't succeed in that way - I have to do it day by day and just keep plugging away, and not kill myself if I slip.

So, my point was, do what works for you, and if that's not what works for other people, that's ok. It's your wagon, and if you you fall off, that just means you're human - and it's never irretrievable - you just get back on. Get started, and do it one day at a time. You can do today - and then you can try to do tomorrow...and before you know it you ARE doing it.

ringmaster
10-24-2009, 11:07 PM
D22Guzman, I'm sorry you had to go through that and hear those harsh words. Noone deserves to be treated like that. I hope you kicked his a$$ to the curb. :hug:

rockinrobin
10-25-2009, 01:21 AM
I was one of those who for many years *thought* that I had to figure out all of those things in order to have weight loss success. I was *certain* of it. But like I mentioned earlier, I was tired of waiting for the answers and decided instead to take that action.

And I'm glad that I didn't wait any longer, because had I waited for those answers , I wouldn't have re-captured my life . In fact, I'm not even sure if I'd still be alive.

We are all different that's for sure and of course different things will work for different people. We are very fortunate here to be able to hear lots of different opinions.

garnetrising
10-25-2009, 01:38 AM
I'm glad things have worked out so well for you, Robin. I'm sure the McKenziesmomma has a pretty good idea of where she is. I was just thinking about what you'd said earlier in regards to lots of people reading posts and felt it was appropriate for us to provide all sorts of different options so that she'd be able to try different things in case a just do it approach like yours wasn't working for her. I'm sure you have the strength of will to do whatever you set your mind to and that's great. Others do have more difficulty, though and, bearing in mind that text does not often convey our emotions and attitudes, I hope I was able to make my point in a supportive manner.

Getting back to the original topic at hand, those four questions, I'm curious, do you look back now and know the answers? I know you decided that having the answers wasn't necessary to get you from point A to B. But I mean know that you're at point B, can you share why you did those things before making the decision to take action? Other than a general discontentment with being overweight, was there specific event that triggered the particular journey that ended in success? Sharing these thoughts and answers in addition to what actually worked for you might help provide others with some insight into their own circumstances.

Jacquie668
10-25-2009, 05:11 AM
For me "just do it" works to get me moving, it makes me EXERCISE lol, it makes me avoid certain foods and it is helpful in the most practical of ways. For example, I struggle with exercise and every single day I literally sit there and make excuses up as to WHY i shouldn't exercise that day. So, then I finally just put on my workout gear, put on my shoes, and JUST DO IT. I don't pep talk myself, in fact I dislike pep talks, I just go for it and for the past few weeks I have been exercising regularly and I feel pretty good about it. I feel like I'm moving and I feel like I'm winning my little battle. :D If I hadn't just started moving, action, then I wouldn't be sitting here with a very "ha ha I win exercise" attitude.

Saying that...I don't personally believe it is healthy for me, speaking personally, to "go through the motions" and not work on myself, my inner self. THAT is where the problems/issues are for me. That is WHY I'm the way I am and in fact had I not spent time healing (and yes everyone is different) I would not be where I am now. I wouldn't be able to look at the practical side of weight loss, you know don't eat that, pump those legs when you attempt jogging, and blah blah.

My weight issues are deeply rooted within myself and to be honest those questions the OP asked, well I already knew the answers long before I started working on the weight issues I have. I personally believe that we all know the answers, but we either get lost in understanding what those answers mean or we ask ourselves the wrong questions. When I would ask myself "Why am I doing this to myself?" I knew my answer and it was painful to face. For me the weight was a side effect of years of abuse and I put a giant fat wall around myself to hide and kill myself slowly. That is me, that isn't everyone out there. Now I'm a completely different person, learning how to love myself, learning how to appreciate and celebrate myself. Learning how to trust in love and good/positive things...and much more. The more I take the time to work on myself the more I shed my weight. I want to live, I want to be happy...

I guess my point is that it is true, we must do the practical things along with the more in depth things that center around our core issues. Getting myself moving and even having that "just do it" attitude HELPS me a lot because I struggle. Yet I can't just go through the motions and not work on myself. I'm on a healing journey and for me that means one thing and for someone else it means another. You can't work on every single issue on one day, and you can't lose every single ounce of weight on one day either. As they say, Rome wasn't built in a day.

Before I started shedding my weight I was already making progress within myself. I was already healing and when I was ready to get physically moving I did jump right in, almost drowned a few times, paddling off to the side and I even put on little arm waders and paddle about when I needed to (well I still do that I guess metaphorically speaking)...and yeah just doing it and getting moving is important. I mean...if I didn't get myself moving and didn't take action then I wouldn't have made the progress I have made. The thing is I haven't figured it all out. I mean I know the answers, but some of them I haven't really faced yet. I'm not "there" yet...I don't even know if there is a "there." I like taking one day at a time and I like taking action and I do struggle. I'm not one of those people that lost a gazillion pounds in a year either, but I don't measure my success with pounds lost. That is an important part of my journey, but there is much more there for me. This isn't just a weight loss story for me, it is my life and that is how I view things (I honestly believe that is how it is for most people). I could have just focused weight loss and seriously I would have been the same unhappy person at 140 pounds. I would have just found another way to hide myself or gained it all back, etc.

To the OP :hug::hug::hug: You HAVE plenty of time and I don't believe you've wasted time, I actually find that very negative. Part of my own healing is learning how to look at the past with more positive eyes. Looking ahead, looking at today and not fixating on the past is a steep learning curve for me...I'm still learning. If I fixate on wasted time, well to be honest that just sends me into a negative place and I don't like doing that to myself. I want to live for today, not the past.

catherinef
10-25-2009, 05:47 AM
I spent years -- long, obese years -- tormenting myself with questions about how I got so fat. And really, I knew the answers. Some genetic bad luck, an emotionally rough childhood, very serious depression, and my own bad habits and laziness about covers it. I did lose substantial amounts of weight a couple of times, so I knew I could do it. And I also knew I could gain it back, and then some. I was in an absolute pit of terrible depression when I suddenly realised I was so darned tired of it. That maybe I couldn't fix everything up, but I could at least remove one particular huge source of torment and misery from my life by losing weight, so at least I'd be able to cross that one off my list. I also decided I only wanted to do this once more, so any changes I made were going to have to be permanent. I am going to have to count and log my calories every. single. day. forever. I am going to have to tell myself "no" for some reason, every. single. day. forever. I also knew I was going to screw it up sometimes, and that I couldn't use that as an excuse to just give up and fall back into the pit.

And you know, actually, it didn't feel grim and miserable to me at all. I actually had a "treatment" plan. If I had a medical condition, and needed to take a particular medicine for it every single day, I would do that, right? Well, I do have a medical condition, it's called obesity, and to treat it I have to live the way I do now. It's now almost in remission (I am just half a BMI point away from crossing over from obese to overweight!)

I am so much happier now. My own husband, who has faithfully loved me through the whole nightmare of depression and obesity, feels as if he's married to another person, one who has all the qualities for which he loved in me in the first place, transferred into a happier person with a healthier body and sunnier attitude. There WAS something in my life that I hated, and which it turns out I truly can control. I don't even have to ask myself those questions anymore, because as long as I stick with it, they don't apply.

yoyoma
10-25-2009, 05:54 AM
I may be in the tiny minority, but the "just do it"/commitment thing doesn't work for me. I'm an ornery cur, and when someone (even if that someone is *me*), tells me what to do, or that I *have* to do something, that is the best way to get me to rebel and fail at it. (As an aside, if someone tells me they don't think I can do something, that will cause me to put out my very best effort. Sadly, no one expressed disbelief that I could lose a lot of weight or this journey might have been a lot easier for me.)

But, I want to exceed someone's expectations, even if those expectations are my own and even if the bar is incredibly low relative to other folks'. The answer for me is baby steps.

So, rather than starting by slashing my calories and committing to a certain WOE or whatever, I began by taking my supplements regularly (and by regularly, I mean most days). Then I added increasing my fluids. I started logging my food, and added a modest amount of exercise, etc. Each step along the way was incremental. I was always just "trying" this or that, never committing to it.

At this point, my diet and exercise regimen is such that I could not (and should not) have adopted it at the start of my journey. I have come a long way since those first few baby steps but I still have to view my lifestyle as a set of ongoing choices. And I make the good choices pretty consistently, partly out of habit now.

So, to address the OP's questions, **maybe** part of the answer is that you could be assuming that you have to make a lot of big changes all at once and they seem too hard/overwhelming and it is much easier to put them off to the future. Instead, maybe you could think about small changes that you think you can handle now, and those might lead to the type of changes that you are envisioning, or not, but you will be headed in the right direction and healthier for whatever set of changes you have adopted.

rockinrobin
10-25-2009, 06:38 AM
Ireading posts and felt it was appropriate for us to provide all sorts of different options so that she'd be able to try different things in case a just do it approach like yours wasn't working for her. I'm sure you have the strength of will to do whatever you set your mind to and that's great. Others do have more difficulty, though and, bearing in mind that text does not often convey our emotions and attitudes, I hope I was able to make my point in a supportive manner.


Of course. Of course. Of course. Different perspectives, different approaches, different theories, different opinions - the more the merrier. And therefore my points are just as valid as yours and everyone else's here, no?

And the just do it approach didn't work for me for over 20 years. Not until I was sick and tired enough and the thought of doing the same thing over and over again with getting the same result seemed futile, it was time to give something else a try. And as you go along your journey, many things (emotionally) DO become clearer.

Taking into account that I've got hindsight on my side: As far as strength goes, I'm no better, no different, no more unique, no stronger, (as goes the same for anyone's who's gotten to goal) then the next person. I'm certain that we've all got the capability to lose the weight. Certain of it beyond a shadow of a doubt. We've all got the power. We all hold the key. It's most definitely something that we have control over. We don't have to be overweight if we don't want to be. It IS a choice. Losing weight IS a doable thing. It's not some hare-brained far-fetched, out of this world, crazy notion. You've got to dig down deep. You've got to push yourself, challenge yourself, stretch, reach, go outside your comfort zone. You've got to DECIDE to do it. This all may sound a little harsh, but dear G-d, I wish someone, anyone would have sat me down and told me these things. Because I really didn't know that I was capable of doing it.

catherinef, thank you for sharing your story. I can relate to much of it.

yoyoma
10-25-2009, 06:59 AM
>You've got to push yourself, challenge yourself, stretch, reach, go outside your comfort zone. You've got to DECIDE to do it.

Or not, lol. Maybe making small changes within your comfort zone is what works for you.

rockinrobin
10-25-2009, 07:32 AM
>You've got to push yourself, challenge yourself, stretch, reach, go outside your comfort zone. You've got to DECIDE to do it.

Or not, lol. Maybe making small changes within your comfort zone is what works for you.

I suppose!

But of course that was just my opinion. ;)

I guess I see it as "the definition of insanity, is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result". If you don't make any changes, if you don't do something different, how can "this" possibly work? I don't see how it could. IMO, in order to grow, in order to make a change, it just may be uncomfortable at first. OMG - counting calories, staying within a calorie budget, exercise, planning ahead, saying no to this and yes to that - all seemed foreign and alien, awkward, strange - and yes - downright uncomfortable. INITIALLY. But thankfully, we get good at what we practice. And before you know it, the uncomfortable become COMFORTABLE. And you've grown. You've reached a new level. You've elevated yourself. You expected more from yourself - reached out and grabbed it - and you got it! Aim low, you get low. Aim high, you get high. IMO, of course...

catherinef
10-25-2009, 07:37 AM
Actually setting a calorie budget and doing all the counting has been pretty empowering for me. That's my budget, and my choice to do with it as I choose. I chose pretty quickly to go for volume. ;) I know a lot of people hate doing that, and my way would not work for them, but honestly, it was just such a relief to quit pestering myself with questions that upset me greatly, and focus on what I could change, which is the size of my body.

Again, I know this does not work for everybody, and we all need to find our plan and work the heck out of it, I'm just explaining how I dealt with those questions & what's been working for me.

rockinrobin
10-25-2009, 07:52 AM
Actually setting a calorie budget and doing all the counting has been pretty empowering for me. That's my budget, and my choice to do with it as I choose. I chose pretty quickly to go for volume. ;) I know a lot of people hate doing that, and my way would not work for them, but honestly, it was just such a relief to quit pestering myself with questions that upset me greatly, and focus on what I could change, which is the size of my body.


Yes! VERY empowering. But at first it seemed those things that I mentioned - awkward, strange, foreign, uncomfortable... Now it feels "right". I LOVED the chance to become a health minded person who actually cares to monitor what she's ingesting. It was time! In fact now, I wouldn't have it any other way. I can't imagine NOT doing those things.

So many things seem uncomfortable and down right difficult - at first - and before you know it, it becomes ez shmeazy. A new job, driving a car. Imagine if we gave up on those things right away? You'd miss out on a LOT. You've got to give em' a chance....

yoyoma
10-25-2009, 07:59 AM
I guess I see it as "the definition of insanity, is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result". If you don't make any changes, if you don't do something different, how can "this" possibly work? I don't see how it could.

Making small changes within my comfort zone, for me, *was* the difference, and that made the difference between all the false starts and success. Although my ticker does not say I am at goal, I have succeeded. My original goal was 150, and I hadn't been able to achieve that previously. I think I will always have some goal to look forward to (it will stop being weight pretty soon), and a number of goals that I have met and succeeded at.

rockinrobin
10-25-2009, 08:02 AM
Making small changes within my comfort zone, for me, *was* the difference, and that made the difference between all the false starts and success. Although my ticker does not say I am at goal, I have succeeded. My original goal was 150, and I hadn't been able to achieve that previously. I think I will always have some goal to look forward to (it will stop being weight pretty soon), and a number of goals that I have met and succeeded at.

:bravo::cp::cp::cp::bravo:

catherinef
10-25-2009, 08:03 AM
Yes! VERY empowering. But at first it seemed those things that I mentioned - awkward, strange, foreign, uncomfortable... Now it feels "right". I LOVED the chance to become a health minded person who actually cares to monitor what she's ingesting. It was time! In fact now, I wouldn't have it any other way. I can't imagine NOT doing those things.

So many things seem uncomfortable and down right difficult - at first - and before you know it, it becomes ez shmeazy. A new job, driving a car. Imagine if we gave up on those things right away? You'd miss out on a LOT. You've got to give em' a chance....

Oh, for sure. The first couple of weeks were incredibly hard, but because I weigh daily, and it was, as noted, those first couple of weeks when lots of weight can come off very quickly, I was getting immediate positive feedback from the scale. I was so fat it's not like it showed for a while, but that calorie budget spreadsheet and the scale were my lifelines, because they were giving me the proof I needed that if I just did what I knew I needed to do, it would work.

rockinrobin
10-25-2009, 08:07 AM
I also wanted to add, that not only are we all different, but yoyoma, I do think that certain things *may* be more uncomfortable for us over 250 lb folks then those who never made it to the 200 lb mark. And being only 5 foot nothing, I had a BMI of 56. Which put me firmly in the super morbidly obese category. So for me even a small change WAS going to be uncomfortable. I was willing to do it, mind you, but there was always going to be some level of discomfort, therefore I do think different tactics may be useful. IMO.

yoyoma
10-25-2009, 08:16 AM
:bravo::cp::cp::cp::bravo:
Thanks! And I also congratulate you on your amazing success!

I don't know the root causes of why different things work or don't work for different folks. I do think I am in the (possibly tiny) minority in terms of an approach that worked. But for those few who might be like me, I want to raise the possibility of low (initial) expectations and easing into a new WOE/WOL through baby steps as a entryway to long term success.

JayEll
10-25-2009, 09:06 AM
Why do I do this (live my life unhappy)?
Because most of the day you are distracted--by tasks you have to do, TV, chores, children, work, etc., and you aren't aware of being unhappy while you are distracted. (I don't mean "you" personally--obviously I don't know the details of your life.)

Why do I eat the way I do when the results make me miserable?
Because in the moment of choosing, buying, and eating, you are not miserable. You are enjoying what you're doing. You get caught up in how yummy the food is and you don't think about results.

Why do I NOT exercise or do anything active?
Because it is hard at your size to think about doing "exercise." Maybe reframing would help. It's easier to start off with something like taking a short walk every day, even if all you can manage is a half-block round trip. Or getting some kind of easy stretching or exercise video. EASY is the key word here. I see too many folks trying to go from nothing to over-the-top in a week.

Why do I keep allowing myself to be unhappy and unhealthy?

Because it's easier to stay distracted and push those feelings down with more goodies. Get that nice food high and say "Maybe tomorrow."

One approach might be to just tell yourself to STOP for a moment before you eat anything, and consider what you are doing and what the outcome may be. For example, you might be grabbing candy unconsciously. You might be hungry and fixing dinner. Whatever it is, stop and consider the outcome. You might decide to eat it or not, but you are practicing making a conscious choice about it.

Good luck. You're not alone in this. :hug:

Jay

losermom
10-25-2009, 09:40 AM
But, I want to exceed someone's expectations, even if those expectations are my own and even if the bar is incredibly low relative to other folks'. The answer for me is baby steps.

So, rather than starting by slashing my calories and committing to a certain WOE or whatever, I began by taking my supplements regularly (and by regularly, I mean most days). Then I added increasing my fluids. I started logging my food, and added a modest amount of exercise, etc. Each step along the way was incremental. I was always just "trying" this or that, never committing to it.

At this point, my diet and exercise regimen is such that I could not (and should not) have adopted it at the start of my journey. I have come a long way since those first few baby steps but I still have to view my lifestyle as a set of ongoing choices. And I make the good choices pretty consistently, partly out of habit now.

So, to address the OP's questions, **maybe** part of the answer is that you could be assuming that you have to make a lot of big changes all at once and they seem too hard/overwhelming and it is much easier to put them off to the future. Instead, maybe you could think about small changes that you think you can handle now, and those might lead to the type of changes that you are envisioning, or not, but you will be headed in the right direction and healthier for whatever set of changes you have adopted.

I second this! Baby steps..the thought of just doing it, all perfectly from the start, was too overwhelming to me. I just started doing what seemed to be the easiest changes that I could handle at that time. Am I perfectly on plan even now all the time?--NO. Every day is a new day. Every day is another opportunity to start over and try to make the best choices that I can for me.

Stylist83
10-25-2009, 09:50 AM
You are going to lose all that weight so quit telling yourself no. You always going to be the same you..if you keep going by the same things you have always done..Switch it up a little..Believe me when ppl start complimenting you..then its worth it..It kicks your rear in gear and makes you want to do it even more..Dont tell yourself I cant, I wont, instead feel yourself with postive words..I can , I will..You can do it girl..we all believe in you!!

rockinrobin
10-25-2009, 09:59 AM
Baby steps are still STEPS. They're changes that must occur. And you must "just do" that very first one. Who knows? I think we're getting into semantics here. Find what ever works for you. Word it however it works for you. Call it or don't call it whatever you choose...:)

And what is it they say? "The journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step."

Heather
10-25-2009, 10:34 AM
Wow! I hope McKenzie'smomma isn't completely overwhelmed by all of this conversation when she gets back! There are a lot of great ideas floating around here, and I think the message I walk away with is that there is more than one route to success. I think this thread has outlined what some of those routes are, and I hope that will help those struggling with these questions. For example, it may help people to know that not everyone has needed to answer the "why" questions before losing weight successfully.

But I think we all have to keep in mind that just because something works for one person doesn't mean it will work for all.

Onederchic
10-25-2009, 10:36 AM
Wow! I hope McKenzie'smomma isn't completely overwhelmed by all of this conversation when she gets back! There are a lot of great ideas floating around here, and I think the message I walk away with is that there is more than one route to success. I think this thread has outlined what some of those routes are, and I hope that will help those struggling with these questions.

But I think we all have to keep in mind that just because something works for one person doesn't mean it will work for all.


Agreed. I believe that everybody and every body is different and what works for me might not work for you and vice versa :)

TXMary2
10-25-2009, 10:59 AM
McMomma, I ask myself the same questions. Like you, I know what to do, it's just doing it. There's a part in the Bible where Paul says, "I do the things I don't want to do." or something to that effect. Basically, we are at war with our flesh and selfish desires. I realized until the pain of being fat outweighed the desire to stuff my face that nothing would change. I am only 10 days into my decision, but that is what it is taking- me DECIDING that I won't live in **** anymore. Deciding that being thinner and fit is better than any food tastes. One of my excuses is that food just tastes so good, but let's face it, cookie number 20 doesn't really taste as good as cookie number one. I have a glutton problem. Not just with food, but with everything. I horde things and I have gotten better over the years with my accumulation of stuff, but the food had ony gotten worse. Another excuse I have is that being fat protects me from unwanted attention- which is funny because I want attention, but since I am married I can't react to attention the way I did when I was single. I sound like I don't have a moral compass, but I do...I have just been weak in the past and it scares me. I am struggling with wanting to eat and I did go over 400 calories over yesterday. That was controlled actually- it could have been a lot worse, but I stopped myself and went to bed so I wouldn't continue to be tempted. Bottom line, just make different decisions. Easier said than done I know. I am just taking it one day at a time.

KaCee J
10-25-2009, 11:14 AM
For me I think I can give a general answer for all those. I WANTED those things, but was not willing to do the work for them. I very much WANTED to lose weight, control my eating, feel happy, etc. etc. I finally realized just wanting it was not enough, for me at least. I have to tell myself that if I want it there is going to be work involved, very hard work. Somedays it will suck, I will hate it. Somedays I will be on the pity wagon, oh woe is me having to do this hard work. But that is just what it is. You have to commit to it, like marriage, for better for worse! When someone is in debt they can't expect any progress by saying yes I want to be out of debt, you have to make a plan, stick with it, even when it sucks. And then, I think, in the end, you appreciate it that much more. Just my 2 cents!

I know you can do it!

mescelestus
10-25-2009, 01:06 PM
For me, why it took me so long to get on with it was: 1) Ignorance 2) lack of self worth 3) being out of touch with spirituality (God or nature, or whatever it means to you). I had always been very over weight (I was 10lbs when I was born) and I couldn't understand why I ate whatever anyone else around was eating, and I was fat, but they were normal. I didn't think I deserved to "deprive" myself of what my family and peers were eating because they get to eat it. But I realized (not with help from my family or friends because there is a void there) that what I do deserve is to be healthy, and sexy...if that means I have to work harder, and do different things than my peers so be it. YOU DESERVE TO BE HAPPY, AND TO CARE FOR YOURSELF!!! Everyone deserves that. Don't you love yourself more than you do unhealthy food?

I know I rambled, but I hope it made some sense.

D22Guzman
10-25-2009, 06:33 PM
D22Guzman, I'm sorry you had to go through that and hear those harsh words. Noone deserves to be treated like that. I hope you kicked his a$$ to the curb. :hug:


YES!! i did and almost 100lbs later he is always trying to ask forgiveness which I alreay gave him if God can forgive his children then I can forgive hime for his harshness let God be the Judge of his children...:D

sprklemajik
10-25-2009, 09:03 PM
Melissa! I'm so sorry you're struggling so much. I really consider you a friend, you've cheered me on through so many of my struggling times. I know you've got a lot going on right now and You're really soooo busy. I feel like a lot of the questions that you're asking you're using to beat yourself up. So maybe rather than trying to tell you that you're being lazy, I'd like to help you brainstorm. I think you're going to need to find some ways to make getting healthy easier on yourself.

I've got some ideas for you:
*squeeze in exercise in 15 minute hops, take a sanity break and go for a short walk or dance around the house or something like that.
*take one evening and make several healthy meals at a time so they can just be reheated (I just did this one this evening, making three meals takes no more time than making just one. I chopped up everything for the other two while I watched tonight's cook).
*Get back to journaling your food
*Plan in one treat an evening (maybe this will help you feel rewarded.)

Wannabeskinny
10-25-2009, 09:18 PM
The answer to your questions is simple: you continue to do or not do those things because it's working for you. Changing what you've been doing is scary, very very scary and that's the reason why most people continue to do the things they do.

DCHound
10-26-2009, 11:35 AM
I know for me personally, the big change this time was, I had to learn to love myself first. Or, more specifically, I had to pretend to love myself, pretend that I was important and lovely and that I mattered, and pretend that I deserved to be happy and healthy, before I could start and succeed. And at first, it was a pretense. I had to look at pictures of myself weighing 370 lbs, and look in the mirror, and tell myself, DC, I love you more than I love food. You deserve to be healthy, and happy, and look good. That's the old fake-it-til-you-make-it school. And pretty soon, I wasn't faking it anymore.

Baby steps definitely work well for some. I have read many success stories on 3FC where people started out just drinking more water, or reducing sugar, or adding a little exercise, then they added more small changes which eventually resulted in big lifestyle changes, and big losses. I think that's fantastic, but it wouldn't have worked for me, because I'm naturally inconsistent. I, like Robin and some others, made all my changes in one fell swoop.

I can't have just one cookie, or whatever. I couldn't make small changes and succeed. I made all my changes at once, drastically. August 13, 2008. And making a huge radical change, all at once, and committing to it for life, is what has worked for me.

I was also one of those people who had always thought I was really sensitive, and rebellious, and would have had my feelings crushed if someone had told me to "just do it" or had tried to impose any kind of radical lifestyle change on me. I would have rebelled, and never lost a pound. Another change this time is that I had to realize the root of the problem was, I didn't really love myself...deep down. I thought I was less valuable than everyone else. Part of that manifested as extreme emotional sensitivity. Since I was worthless, I had to 'protect' myself from others.

This time, the difference is, again, I know I'm worth it. So I told myself - just do it. For me, it had to come from within.

I want to lose this weight more than ANYTHING else on earth. I deserve to be happy and healthy, to have no pain when I move, and to look FANTASTIC. I deserve this. So does the OP. So does everyone on this board--heck, everyone on earth. We all deserve it. So, with every kind intention and lots of love, really, just do it. But not because *I* said so. Do it because *you* say so.

time2lose
10-26-2009, 11:37 AM
I am late to this discussion but had a thought while reading the thread.

Originally posted by McKenziesmomma Its like in the back of my mind I keep telling myself..."You know its never gonna happen right? You know your never gonna lose all the weight...right?" I don't know if thats it or what.....but I can be losing weight and doing good and then the weight loss slows a little....but it just slows it doesn't stop.....and I just give up.

This part of McKenziesmomma's posting reminded me of myself for 20 years. I simply did not believe that I could lose weight so I was destined to be morbidly obese the rest of my life. I believed that it was not possible. Like Lorie, I am thinking about one of my grandmother's sayings, "Can't never could." I think that my battle was won when I started thinking, "I can do this. I can lose weight."

Replace that negative voice in your head with a positive voice. Start telling yourself that You Can Do This!

rockinrobin
10-26-2009, 11:51 AM
Replace that negative voice in your head with a positive voice. Start telling yourself that You Can Do This!

Uh huh. Exactly. This is EXACTLY what I thought. Finally, it was like, "well, why NOT me?" Why. The. Heck. Not?

Hamoco350
10-27-2009, 01:59 AM
It almost feels like the answers to those questions are impossible to find. Why do I eat things I know are bad, why do I skip the gym, why, why, why am I like this? Because .. you know what, I don't know.

I could blame a million people, including myself. I could blame my family, since I've been obese my entire life. I could blame the people around me for never telling me how out of control things were getting. I could just blame myself for being weak.

Or I could quit asking myself why I am the way I am, and start telling myself that I won't be that way anymore. It's all I can do for myself.

screamingfatgirl
10-27-2009, 06:51 AM
I'm not the type of person that "just do it" works with. In fact, just hearing that makes me feel weak and like a failure. I'm not criticizing anyone who says it or saying that it can't help, but it didn't work for me. I had to explore my feelings, motives, and physical propensities so that I could go into a change in lifestyle knowing where I was coming from and how I could go somewhere else.

I think that not dealing with the underlying issues that make you overweight not only makes it difficult to lose it, but increases the chances that you'll regain it. Each person's reasons for eating too much are different, but I'll tell you mine.

1. My father is an alcoholic. My mother was often depressed. I inherited the propensity to anesthetize myself with something to quash my pain. I'm a hyper-sensitive person (physiologically, my nervous system is more acute than others) and food is an effective force for numbing pain. If you preoccupy your body with something pleasurable and you stuff yourself to the point of redirecting your energy toward digestion, you distract yourself from your pain.

2. Parental conditioning and poverty primed me to overeat. I started gaining weight around age 12. My parents ran off to bars and the compensation for my sister and I while we were alone at home was junk food. My mother also overfed us at every meal and I was taught not to waste anything. This lead to a lifetime of cleaning my husband's plate when he left scraps of bread or whatever on his plate. To this day, I feel guilty for throwing food away, even if I don't like it particularly.

3. My body is fundamentally different from that of a thin person, and yours probably is, too. You have primed your body and brain to expect lots of food. You're also probably particularly responsive to receiving pleasure from food. Just as some people are more sensitive to taking pleasure in smoking or alcohol, some are more sensitive to food. You can couple this with a high likelihood of a delayed leptin response making you sluggish to feel sated.

4. I have been preoccupied with food as a means to alleviate boredom and to fill my time. Food was my "go to" interest. I conditioned myself to think I was hungry when I was bored (likely because my parents fed me rather than interact with me or pay attention to me).

There's more to it, but that's the framework. I've had to understand my feelings and motive as well as start on some behavior modification efforts. I started with systematically reducing portion sizes first and foremost. I didn't start drastically, but rather approached every meal with the idea of reducing the quantity of food by 80%, 70%, 60% and sometimes 50%. I'd eat whatever I wanted, but I'd eat a small amount of it. I gradually got my body used to eating far less so that there was less biological and psychological rebellion.

I followed this by starting to count calories once a week. This was easy to do because I could tell myself on that one day that anything I really wanted to eat, I could eat tomorrow if I still wanted it. I followed that with adding in another day of counting and then another. Now, I'm finding I actually prefer the structure of counting every day, but if I feel "penned in", I'll go back to counting 3 days a week. I never beat myself up for failing, nor do I put any foods off limits beyond staying within the confines of calories I want to eat for the day when I count.

So far, this has worked well for me. It's been gradual and I've lost about 40 lbs. in 4 months through this process. I expect that to be stepped up a bit as more discipline is coming more easily.

I don't think I would have come across this method if I hadn't understood my reasons for doing what I did. I think knowing that getting from point A (eating as much as I wanted whenever I wanted) to point Z (calorie counting, portion reduction, and limiting what and when I eat) involved easing myself along rather than a dramatic change really helped. It's far from over, but I'm pretty confident that I can carry on for years and for life now that I've started this process and found it far from oppressive due to the gradual and informed way in which I've implemented the changes.