I've been a member here since 2002. I lost 60 lbs, kept it off for a little while, and gained it all back. Unfortunately, I wasn't even at my goal when I gained the weight back.
I want to try again, but I don't feel totally "ready" yet. However, I don't want to gain any more weight. Last time I lost the weight, I was totally, absolutely 100% focused. I don't feel that way now, but if I keep waiting until that "click" in my brain happens, I'm scared I'll gain more weight.
Does it make sense to just gradually try to change one bad habit at a time right now so I don't gain more? I'd be happy just to maintain for a while...
I'm sorry for rambling, and this probably doesn't even make sense.
Any suggestions/ comments would be appreciated.
06-01-2010, 12:01 PM
Welcome back, Suzie!
Alot of people here have made some major differences in their life by doing exactly what you are proposing--making one small change at a time. There are as many plans here as their are people, but the important thing is finding your own way and making it work for you.
Good luck and it's good to meet you!
06-01-2010, 12:04 PM
Sherry, faking it works well for many of us. As the weight starts coming off and we start feeling better, we realize that we're no longer faking it! This is how we roll! :D
06-01-2010, 12:04 PM
I think it makes total sense to focus on one thing you can change and when you've got that down pick something new to work on. Sometimes taking everything on at once, no matter how committed you are, is just too much.
I gave up "sweet stuff" for Lent this year. For the first month that is all I worked on and that was plenty. Once I had those craving under control I spent a month being more mindful about what I was eating but not counting calories or pushing the envelope much - just trying to pay attention. I lost a bit each month and by the time I was ready to really get serious I was feeling pretty good.
You lost those 60 pounds before - you CAN do it again!
06-01-2010, 12:26 PM
I think that's a totally reasonable idea. Some of our most successful dieters have made it with just such a plan. ;)
06-01-2010, 12:29 PM
Yep. If I had waited til I was totally ready to give up my beloved junk, I'd be at least 100 pounds heavier than I am now. So yes, take the bit of motivation that brought you to post this, and do one good thing for yourself this week, even if it's just drink more water or eat extra veggies or take a walk after dinner. Any bit helps, and you'll start feeling better and want to do more :)
06-01-2010, 12:36 PM
I definitely endorse taking "baby steps" in order to create positive changes in your health and to lose weight. That is, in fact, what I've been doing all along. I make one change at a time, and just commit to doing it for 30 days. If I want to change back after the 30 days, that is fine. (Of course, once I see the results in how I feel and the improvements to my health and weight loss...I pretty much never decide to change back! But it's important for my mental health to believe that I CAN drop a habit if I want.)
The first change I made, in April 2008, was to give up coffee. For me, that was a pretty small change. I'd done it before, I knew I could do it, and I knew that changing it would give me confidence. What I didn't know was that giving up caffeine would dramatically improve my sleep and my insulin resistance...and that improving my sleep and insulin resistance would be huge keys to my weight loss and health improvements.
Just a little over two years later, my life is vastly different, and I must say it is AWESOME.
Start where you can. Start today! :)
06-01-2010, 01:21 PM
Thank you so much for the responses! I really appreciate them.
I have to stop thinking that if I'm not "perfect" then it's not worth even bothering.
I am going back to exercising tomorrow. I hurt my back in March and have not been able to exercise since then. I do enjoy it and miss it very much. Not being able to exercise made me give up on healthy eating, which was really stupid of me.
06-01-2010, 02:24 PM
For more than three decades, I dieted by the perfection method (trying to make lots of changes at once. Any deviation from the plan made me feel lousy, and I'd eventually jump off the wagon when I couldn't take the guilt I piled on myself for each mistake).
The "perfection method" is unfortunately the most common model for weight loss. Any attempt to suddenly change every aspect of your life has to be powered by intense and almost superhuman motivation and will power. To those who can do it, I salute you.
For a long time I thought that permanent weight loss was impossible for me. I have a lot of amazing superpowers (well, amazing entirely-human traits and skills, anyway), but superhuman motivation, isn't one of them.
Out of desperation, about three or four years ago, I started attempting health improvements through the backdoor. I decided to try dieting "backwards" instead of looking at how much weight I needed to lose, and trying to get to the goal weight as fast as possible, and hoping I could learn to sustain most of those habits for a lifetime - I decided I'd only make the changes that I could see myself making for a lifetime, whether or not they resulted in any weight loss.
My health was declining fast at the time, and even if I couldn't lose weight, I knew I needed to make lifestyle changes that would improve my health.
The first few steps I took, were so small, they didn't result in any measureable weight loss - but they did result in health improvements - being able to walk a little further, my joints hurting less, my blood pressure improvement....
To be honest, I've been dragging my feet - almost trying to prove I can't do this (and yet I've still succeeded, despite myself). Much of my success I acheived "despite myself."
Having to be 100% ready, with intense willpower, commitment and desire, is only true if you're talking about the change-it-all-at-once, white-knuckling-it methods.
If gradual change is ok with you, you just have to start somewhere, and be open to success. Be committed to the change itself (the healthy behaviors that will eventually yield results), not the results (the weight loss).
Weight loss and health improvements have been my results and my reward for the behavior changes. Too often with the perfection method, when I didn't see dramatic weight loss, what I was doing seemed inadequate or even pointless. Talk about demotivating.
Remember too, doing wieght loss this way, that every pound list is vitally important. If you every think you can't make it to your ultimate goal (I think this almost every day), you have to remember that each pound lost is a prize that you don't want to give up. It gets easier to see it this way, the more you lose, but you've got to focus on this belief from the very first pound. Whenever I feel like giving up because I don't think I can make it to the finish line, I remind myself of what I don't want to go back to (I even have a list). I can choose not to go forward, but I won't choose to go back. Maintenance is almost as difficult as weight loss, so while I'm working on maintenance, it isn't long before I am confident that I can do a little more, to get a little more of the weight off.
Even now, weight loss is not nearly as important to me, as prevention of weight gain, and maintaining the health improvements I've made so far. As long as I'm moving forward (or even standing still), I'm succeeding. The turtle really can win this race.
06-01-2010, 02:46 PM
I agree with a lot of folks already, that small sustainable changes aren't just good idea in my opinion -- but vital !!!
The all-or-nothing mentality has led many a dieter down the path to ruin LOL so i say leave that in the dust!
And at the risk of sounding like a broken record, as you're doing these small changes you might want to explore what's going on in your life that made you overeat in the first place, what you think brought you to this point -- working on the INSIDE is even more important than the outside I think :) That seems like the only sensible way that we'll ever keep the weight off. If the root causes are still there and unexplored, it'll all come roaring back on with a vengeance!
Good luck and stay positive and check in daily for a dose of fun and reality and great ideas :)