Weight Loss Support - How do you avoid throwing in the towel

Losing It 2010
07-04-2010, 02:25 PM
So I will be reaching the point where I usually say sc**w it and throw the towel in.. The one thing I hate about all this is the consumption of thought with food and what I am eating. How do I avoid becoming obsessed with this?

I appreciate all anwers and personal experiences, this place it great and a big help

07-04-2010, 02:34 PM
For me, I needed to find things that would keep pulling me back in to my healthy lifestyle. I used to be able to stick to a plan for 3 to 5 weeks but then something more interesting would come along and that would be the end of that. So, I looked for ways that would allow me to pursue the interesting things and, yet, know that I would get pulled back into my healthy lifestyle.

So, I post on the Beck thread here at 3FC every morning. That guarantees that I will spend at least a few moments thinking about the strategies that lead to long term weight loss.

And, I made a goal to read 90 books that support my healthy lifestyle (one for each pound I needed to lose). I'm actually losing weight faster than I'm reading, which surprises me! I generally have 2 or 3 books checked out of the library and I read for a few minutes a day from which ever one appeals to me most at the moment.

Also, I participate in the monthly exercise challenge at 3FC under Support Groups --> Chicks up for a Challenge. I post there every morning, too, with the previous day's exercise log. So, that's what keeps me on track in that arena.

I'm sure there are many other things one could do.

07-04-2010, 02:42 PM
I something somewhere that said "You can either throw in the towel, or use it to wipe the sweat off your face and keep going."

What are you doing that is so miserable that you want to stop? What are you doing for exercise? What would your life look like if you "quit" trying to be healthy and went back to where you were before?

07-04-2010, 02:51 PM
I know it's spewed out a million times a day on 3FC, but weight loss shouldn't be seen as a diet or a temporary state of being until the weight is gone and then you can resume life like normal. It's a lifestyle change. As in, you will simply never go back to "normal," normal being the lifestyle that made you overweight.

I will not quit my "plan" just like I will not throw in the towel on brushing my teeth or going to work or wiping my butt. These are simply things that I do. Sometimes I don't always enjoy it, sometimes I wish I could do something else, sometimes it's tedious, but I do it. The rewards of living a healthy life more than make up for the occasional tediousness of eating right and exercising.

07-04-2010, 03:13 PM
I have no option to keep going. So if I quit, then what? I'm miserable, and thinking about how I wish I was smaller for the rest of my life. Or, I can deal with it being difficult for NOW to reap the rewards later.

07-04-2010, 03:36 PM
I know if I throw in the towel I will weigh 300 pounds or more. So even though I struggle a lot at times, I can't fully give in.

As for the obsession, it was like that for me for a long while. After a while, I got a lot of good patterns down and didn't have to think about every little detail quite so much. I knew what choices to make at restaurants, what to buy at the grocery store for my meals and how to work exercise into my daily life. That part of it gets easier. But I also know that I need to maintain a kind of healthy obsession about all this, or I will relax and gain it all back!

07-04-2010, 04:08 PM
For me, it is absolutely about taking it one day, even one choice at at time. If I mess up and splurge, I get right back on track. I used to track and record every little thing that I put in my mouth, but I found myself having odd thoughts, like "I can't drink water in the middle of the night when I'm thirsty because it will add weight to the morning scale." So I modified it to make it better and stopped recording everything.

When you find yourself obsessing about the small things, remind yourself that it is a small thing and overall it doesn't really matter. Pay attention to how you talk to yourself, so you can change your thought patterns.
Perhaps planning out your meals and snacks each morning, or the night before might help, so you don't have to think about it throughout the day?

07-04-2010, 04:19 PM
Losing weight is hard. Being overweight is hard.

Pick your hard.

07-04-2010, 04:49 PM
All of my dieting life (I'm 44 and have been dieting since I was 5 years old), I looked at dieting as a race to the finish line, where only reaching the goal mattered (close didn't count at all). All or nothing thinking sabotaged my success, because on days that I couldn't see the finish line and it seemed unreachable, it made all my efforts to that point seem entirely pointless.

It's not an unusual thought. Most dieters experience it, that feeling of "What's the use of trying at all, I'll never make it to my goal....."

I had to get rid of the thought that "Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades."

Close does count in weight loss. Every pound lost is an acheivement worth celebrating and maintaining.

For me that meant changing my primary goal from weight loss to healthy behaviors I would commit to whether or not they resulted in weight loss. Having faith that the health benefits would eventually lead to weight loss (or at least a healthier fat me).

Some of my first changes resulted in no weight loss whatsoever, but I wasn't making them only to lose weight, so I refused to allow the lack of weight loss to discourage me. Weight loss wasn't the only purpose, so it wasn't the only measure of success. Being able to wash the dishes without having to sit on a chair to do it, was an acheivement even if it didn't come with weight loss.

Changing expectations was also key. As I've said many times, it isn't failure that leads most people to quit weight loss efforts, it's feelings of failure. I never quit a weight loss effort because I wasn't losing weight, I always quit because I wasn't losing fast enough. My efforts seemed to be exceeding my results (but I still was experiencing results). It seemed like "everyone else" was losing so much faster than I was (when the truth was, I was only comparing myself to the people who were losing faster than I was).

I've never lost slower than I'm losing now. Most of the time when I quit in the past, I was losing at least 1 pound per week. It seemed pointless, because I'd think "at this rate, I'll never be thin, what's the use....."

I'm losing on average about half a pound per week (which is a lot higher than when I started, blowing the myth out of the water that early weight loss is always the faster weight loss). I've been on a maintaining or losing (not gaining) "trend" of five years now. I've never gone 5 years without regaining all my weight and then some. I'm not throwing in the towel only because I don't see it as an option anymore. I've seen the lie in thinking that "if I can't get to goal, then my acheivements so far don't matter." Whenever I'm tempted to give up, I remind myself that my acheivements do matter. If I never lose another pound, the weight loss I've achieved so far still matters. It matters a great deal, so while weight loss may sometimes seem impossible, I remind myself that maintenance of what I have lost already, is not only possible, it's important.

If you can convince yourself that every pound counts, there's no reason to ever throw in the towel, because even when you don't see weight loss, you can still bask in the success of weight maintenance. When weight loss doesn't seem achievable, you can say to yourself "I'm not sure if I can lose any more weight, but I can definitely maintain the loss I've acheived so far."

There's not a lot of difference in the amount of work needed to maintain weight as it does to lose weight, so there's really no towel to through in at all. You're still in the fight whether your goal is maintenance or loss.

Even on my most discouraging day (when the scale is up either because of temporary water weight gain, or as a result of overindulgence)

When I'm losing weight so slowly that my efforts seem pointless, I remind
myself that every pound (every ounce) counts and there is no deadline and there's no magic in the goal. Even just one more pound is going to be worth acheiving, so I don't have to think "If I can't make it to my ultimate goal of 150 lbs within 2 years, it's pointless." That's really stupid thinking, because so what if it takes 2 years or 3 years or 10? Giving up will result in my weighing 400 lbs or more in 2 years or 3 years or 10. Even losing nothing is an improvement over that. Even if it takes 10 years to get to 150 lbs, it's certainly a better option than giving up on the diet and probably getting bigger and bigger for those 10 years. So I could weigh 150 lbs by the time I'm 54, or I could give up and gain during those 10 years instead, and end up probably weighing 500 lbs (if I even make it to age 54).

When I think I can't lose, I tell myself that every pound counts, and so what if I can't lose any more. That doesn't mean I have to give up and gain back the ones I've lost.

When I've gained and I feel like I've "blown it," I remind myself that every pound counts and that I don't have to make it worse, and giving up would make it worse.

90% of this battle is confidence in your ability to achieve (and on those cases where you can't believe in future acheivements, you can believe in maintaining the achievements you've made so far).

07-04-2010, 04:50 PM
I have to agree with everything that's been said. I will add, that in time it does get 'easier'. I tend to eat the same foods over and over so when I calorie count it's pretty much memorized. I have to say, because it's a lifestyle change, I am pretty much of the mindset that if I never lose another pound this is the way I'm going to live. I'm going to swim because I love it. I'm going to eat healthy and appropriately portioned foods. I'm not going to overeat and I'm not going to eat 'junk'. I'm just NOT going back to the way things were because I don't want to weigh over 250#.

And, do you know what the upside of that attitude gets me? More flexibility. Less aches and pains from my arthritis, bursitis, etc. Normal blood sugar readings. Normal cholesterol levels. Text book perfect labs in general. More energy. And, oh yeah, weight loss!

We all know it's hard. Some days it just sucks. But, truly, the longer you do this, the more you embrace these changes, the more you want to do whatever it takes to stay in the good place you find yourself. Instead of looking at what you may have to give up or do to lose weight, try looking at what you gain from doing those things.

It's really a mindset that you have to embrace. Be willing to do what you need to do and soon, in no time at all, you will have a set of skills you can live with for the rest of your life. You can do this!!!

It's really, really, worth it!!!

07-04-2010, 05:04 PM
Losing weight is hard. Being overweight is hard.

Pick your hard.

This right here, 100%

07-04-2010, 05:54 PM
I agree with everything posted by others here. One thing I might add is that losing weight will NEVER get easier than it is right now. In fact, chances are that if you don't address your wieght right now, it will get harder, because (1) it gets harder to lose weight the older you get and (2) if you stop now, chances are good that you will continue to put on more pounds so you will have more to lose later on. For me, in addition to the reasons stated above, that is a good reason to keep on going.

Good luck and don't throw the towel in!



07-04-2010, 06:45 PM
Mindset is so crucial on this journey. Your goal should be health, not weight loss. The weight loss just comes as a bonus for making healthy lifestyle changes.

Several years ago, I lost about 80 pounds in a year. It was the most miserable 12 months of my life. I had to go the gym because I was fat. I had to deny myself certain food because I was fat. The whole process was about punishing myself, and when I just couldn't do that anymore, I gave up and gained back about half the weight.

I'm doing it differently this time. I'm focusing on lifestyle changes and healthy choices. I'm trying to do this in a way that I can enjoy and maintain. The pounds may or may not come off and that's ok (which is what Kaplods said). That 'I must punish myself' mentality still tries to creep in, but I'm trying hard to halt it in its tracks because I know that it will destroy my process.

Good luck and don't give up! :hug:

07-04-2010, 08:01 PM
When you want to throw in the towel, stop and try to discover what specific thing is making you feel that way and see if you can fix that--people throw out entire lifestyle changes because they don't like, say, getting hot and sweaty when they run, or they hate eating salad, but they see it as all one piece--they dump the whole thing because they are dreading one small piece but think they "have to" do that, or the whole thing is a failure.

The key isn't just to "tough it out", but rather to replace that one thing that's making you miserable--switch to swimming, or find other things to eat or increase calories by 100 healthy ones a day (This was a big deal for me: I hated being STARVING and I though I had to be STARVING to lose weight. When I couldn't stand starving anymore, I'd go crazy and eat 1000 because I thought going 100 was total failure anyway).

07-04-2010, 08:11 PM
have u heard of camercial about nutragrain that says make one good chioce u make good chioce all day. try that. an apple a day can turn in to something better

07-04-2010, 09:24 PM
I think that setting achievable goals is incredibly motivating. It's overwhelming to think of losing 50 lbs, but 5 lbs is much easier to wrap your brain around. Lots of people here set mini-goals -- each one you achieve gives you confidence to attack the next.

Someone on here once posted that instead of setting weight-related goals, she set behavior-related goals. Instead of saying, "I'm going to lose x pounds," she said, "I'm going to stay on plan for 30 days." Often we get frustrated staying on plan BECAUSE we are not seeing pounds or inches disappear. How about plan for the sake of plan (this is basically what Kaplods said, but framed a little differently)?

Exercise goals can be the same. How about, "I'm going to do the Couch-to-5k program?" For me, setting and achieving an exercise goal is particularly fulfilling -- and I have complete control over it. I decide every day to get my butt out the door. If you do each training session as assigned, you WILL be able to complete a 5K at the end (barring health issues). It is EMPOWERING!

I agree about being obsessed -- my husband kind of smirks when he catches me weighing 5 cherries (or recording 2 slices of peach pie :o) -- but before I was obsessed with counting calories (and 3FC) I was obsessed with pinching fat parts of my body, or sucking in my stomach, or whether or not I could wear leggings, or what dress would fit for that holiday party? When I am overweight, I am obsessed with my weight and the unhappiness it brings. At least now my obsession makes me happier and healthier. :)

Last but not least, :hug:

07-04-2010, 09:36 PM
I've only been trying to loose weight since april, so.. about 3 months. But it's definitely the longest time i've been committed to my health. I'm not exactly sure why this time it's stuck with me, maybe because my weight got so bad, or i was just tired of feeling tired and fat all the time, but the point is.. i'm on plan. i've been teased all my life about being overweight, and like glory87 said loosing weight is hard, but..to me, definitely not as hard as being morbidly obese.

07-04-2010, 09:47 PM
Throw in the towel? No. Those days are over. If you want to be your optimal, the best you possible, slim, trim, fit, active and healthy - there can be no throwing in the towel.

This healthy way of eating has to become your way of life. Just another day at the office. Just what you do and part of who you are. When that's the case, throwing in the towel is no longer an option.

You have to make peace with and accept the fact that you can't have it both ways - you can be slim, trim, active and healthiest and eating everything and anything that you want. There has to be limitations, boundaries and rules.

You also mentioned thinking about your food all the time - why is that necessarily a bad thing. Much better to plan out the healthy foods that you will be eating, that to spend time wishing, praying, hoping and longing to be thin.

Any time, effort, thought and work towards getting and staying healthy is time very well spent.

07-04-2010, 10:45 PM
So I will be reaching the point where I usually say sc**w it and throw the towel in.. The one thing I hate about all this is the consumption of thought with food and what I am eating. How do I avoid becoming obsessed with this?

I appreciate all anwers and personal experiences, this place it great and a big help
I think just about everyone gets sort of "obsessed" in the beginning, but making positive changes in your routine can become easier with time and practice. :)

What I like to tell everyone is that for me, the best thing I could do was make baby steps. Small, manageable changes that add up to big differences over time. Watching portion sizes. Being aware of calories. Sticking with as many whole foods as possible.

I know it can be difficult and especially overwhelming to eat healthier. I do my best to make my food choices ahead of time, when my hunger isn't there to make my decisions stray. And when I do make my choices, I concentrate on how the food is going to make me feel. Not just now, but in the next hour, the next afternoon, the next day, even the next year. Will the food nourish my body? Will it spike my blood sugar and effect my hunger later? Will it make me feel bloated and greasy? Will it effect my mood?

And once I've eaten my meal, I do my best to move on and not dwell over my decisions even if I've overeaten or have made a few mistakes. Because I'm of the opinion that continuing to obsess and be tightly controlling is the road to becoming fed up and throwing in the towel (because it's stressful and energy-consuming to keep up an obsession). Instead of focusing on what you "can't" or "shouldn't" have in a negative fashion, find ways to have yummy low-cal versions of your favorite treats mixed in with healthy, nutritious food you enjoy.

I still definitely have my moments of stressing and obsessing, but I've made the majority of my progress having a laid-back attitude. Give yourself some time and practice with eating healthier and I'm sure it will become an easier habit over time. And most importantly, be kind to yourself.

Take care and good luck to you. :hug:

07-05-2010, 12:57 AM
Someone on here once posted that instead of setting weight-related goals, she set behavior-related goals. <snip>
I've been having some problems with being plateaued for a couple of months now, and this is the first thing I've read in a long time that makes me feel like there's some light at the end of the tunnel. If I change my expectations and goals to something like exercising every day, I'm a complete success, instead of being so frustrated at the scale stubbornly not budging.

07-05-2010, 12:58 AM
I remember at my heavier weights if I felt that hopeless feeling, I'd remember its harder to feel overweight and that its not worth stopping the weight loss journey for a few moments of weakness.

07-05-2010, 01:12 AM
I agree with everything that`s already been said but the most important thing is, for me, knowing what I do this for. Why I ant to lose weight in the first place. And staying on plan becomes easier the more I approach my goal, because the more I lose the more of a "taste" I get of the wonderful feeling that being slender is. :-) Just imagine that it`ll get easier the longer you keep at it.

Wishing you loads of strength!

Snail Trail
07-05-2010, 02:02 AM
Being overweight, and having been over weight for a long time is so tough. If you're uncomfortable with yourself, and your weight, you're always going to be, unless you make a change. That's one thing I personally always keep in mind, I tell myself "Why slack off now? It's just going to make me feel terrible, and I'm going to want to start back again anyhow, so I may as well keep going". After I was so "obsessed" as you put it, for such a long time about food, and what I was eating, and not eating, I began to just stop worrying for some reason. The foods I eat to maintain my healthiness are foods that I already like. Steamed cauliflower, and broccoli, or sautéed onions and bell peppers. That seems strict, but I assure you, my diet is much more versatile, those are just some snacks I like here and there. Even if you feel like "slacking" for a little bit, you can ensure you don't go back to 100% of your bad habits by maybe trimming down your exercise routine, and just eating better. A couple days of that, and you'll feel the need to begin exercising again. It's all about routine, routine, routine. Usually, after the 3rd day my cravings are gone, and I can pretty much drop any cares about junk food.

Just don't beat yourself up in the process of any of this. Stress will only make it worse. Diet and exercise DOES work, and it IS hard but after awhile you forget about what's actually going on, and how much you're actually putting into it, because it becomes such a routine. Then boom, you go to try on your favorite jeans that you stashed in the closet 2 months ago, and they fall to the floor.

Best wishes to you, and everyone reading, we're all in this same battle, together.