Weight Loss Support - Warning from an extremist




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kelly315
07-25-2010, 09:57 AM
As I've mentioned to some of you, I've been up and down over the last two years. I lost 130 lbs in 16 months, then gained 70 pounds in the 7 months that followed. The reason I was able to lose so much at first is that I fought my extremist instincts and made small, sustainable changes. I still ate junk food and ate healthy food, but in reasonable amounts. I exercised, but recognized that my life is too busy for me to force myself to do so everyday.

When I got down to about 120 lbs lost, my extremist nature kicked in. I wanted to lose the rest quickly because I was frustrated with still being "overweight" after such a long loss. I cut my calories to 1200-1300 or so a day, and got a bodybugg- wearing it anytime I was out of a chair.

After about two months of this, I couldn't take it anymore, and started eating everything I could- things I hadn't tasted in what seemed like forever. This is a common response to over-restriction- they've done experiments where they cut the calories of normal people (without eating disorders) and they all began to binge eat afterward.

I wanted to share this because it's easy to take to extremist actions when you're trying to lose weight- it's the reason why most of us don't last a month on these crazy fad diets. And it's easy to slip into the extremist mindset even if you don't start out with it. I think the most important thing is asking yourself "Could I do this everyday for the rest of my life?" if the answer is no, then your diet isn't going to work long-term.

So I'm back, and I'm counting calories again- this time heeding my own warning.


Losing It 2010
07-25-2010, 10:05 AM
THANK YOU for posting this, it makes us all aware that food is our fuel, if we take away our fuel then we slow down

ncuneo
07-25-2010, 10:07 AM
I cut my calories to 1200-1300 or so a day, and got a bodybugg- wearing it anytime I was out of a chair.

I don't want this to sound rude and in no way am I attacking you, but can you elaborate a little on the extremist part of this. I think this plan describes just about half (I don't know for sure) of the 3FC calorie counting population and if that amount of cals is working for them, assuming it's good wholesome food, I don't want them to feel like they're being extremist and doing something wrong.

I personally could not survive on that amount of food and have my own thoughts about it and this is probably the first time I've EVER defending eating less than 1400 cals, but many many people do and if that works for them then there is nothing wrong with that. I know you didn't mean to imply that anyone eating 12-1300 wearing and a body bugg is an extremist, but I just thought maybe you could elaborate a little bit, because I too feel that the best course of action is to make lifestyle changes so that weight loss can be permanent.

All that said, congrats on you're hard work and you will do it again!


hhichick
07-25-2010, 10:25 AM
I've worn my bodybugg (actually a Go Wear Fit, but still the same) 24/7 since October 2009 and I don't consider it extreme at all. It - combined with calorie counting - is my reality check each day.

JessLess
07-25-2010, 10:28 AM
Thanks for postings this.

Eliana
07-25-2010, 10:48 AM
Boy do I know about extremist mode. That's been my problem all along. In my last attempt I managed to lose 30 pounds in extremist mode and woke up one day and just couldn't take it any more. Extremists tend to also to have an all-or-nothing mentality, so when the diet's over, the waist expands rapidly.

I combatted that problem this time by committing to one year of being on plan and I'm not allowed to stop completely and go back to old habits.

I still fight extremist behaviors but I've learned that I can fall back on the very basics of eating less and moving more. I must always eat less than I want and move more.

kelly315
07-25-2010, 10:49 AM
I don't want this to sound rude and in no way am I attacking you, but can you elaborate a little on the extremist part of this. I think this plan describes just about half (I don't know for sure) of the 3FC calorie counting population and if that amount of cals is working for them, assuming it's good wholesome food, I don't want them to feel like they're being extremist and doing something wrong.

I definitely don't want to offend anyone. I didn't view my actions as extremist at the time, until the flip side came. I spoke to a nutritionist and a psychologist about this flip, and they both agree that this was over-restriction and borderline eating disorder to eat so few calories and try to determine calories burned so precisely. From what I've seen at 3FC (and I've been here a while), there are very few people here who eat that little and count every calorie burned, and those that do are often advised by the everyone else to try to take it easy a bit.

kelly315
07-25-2010, 10:57 AM
I should probably note that the best way to look at how much is too much is to look at how many calories are required to maintain a certain weight. Where I was (160lbs), my body required 2400 calories per day to maintain that weight (http://calorieneedscalculator.com/index.html). A healthy diet is one that creates a 500-1000 calorie deficit per day (1-2lbs lost/week). I was creating a 1200-1400 cal deficit.

jendiet
07-25-2010, 11:25 AM
i do agree with backing off a little on the bodybugg and increasing the calories. I really think the more weight you need to lose, the more calories you should be consuming. meaning in the higher range of the deficit. Kelly i think you are right about someone at 200 lbs trying to eat 1300 cs. that is too low.

Being an extremist at heart--i completely understand how this works. I became a complete vegan and lost 60 lbs. And kept it off for 2 years, until i decided i would incorporate some foods back into my diet. My all or none nature kicked in---and I went beserk. gained the weight back.

HOWEVER, i think that people who do a fast for a week, by either juicing, or doing the master cleanse should not be labeled as extremists. I also fast for spiritual purposes and I always find that afterwards I have clarity of thought, less aches and pains, increased motivation, and just a sense of well being. my tastes are also usually refined to the point, i CRAVE healthy food.

if someone does it everyday sustained, then that is extremist to me.

Violin Jenn
07-25-2010, 11:39 AM
Kelly315-Thank You for your post!!! :thanks: I do the same things. I keep a very anal food journal, live in my heart rate monitor whenever possilbe while working out 6 days a week for 40-60min/day. Over the last few months I couldn't figure out why I'm gaining and losing the same 7lbs. No wonder, the extreme restrictions cause me to lose it and the binger after causes the gain.

According the link you posted the calories burned per day for me is 2444! I've been trying to keep to 1200-1300per day! Sheesh! I've probably killed my metabolism doing that! So for healthy weight loss, 1444-1944/day should do it. THANK YOU again!:hug: I'll still keep the anal food journal, but I'll shift my cals per day up to that 1450 per day at first and my workouts to 5 days a week. Hopefully this new calorie range will help me get to my goal, which is close. I'm now 177.6 at 5' 9.5" tall looking for my goal to be 165-160. I hope to be there by the end of the year. I don't want to start the new year with another resolution to lose weight. I want to start it with getting fitter and stronger, just enjoy life. Maybe meet new people.

This moment of clarity is a breath of fresh air!

Losing It 2010
07-25-2010, 11:45 AM
I think everyone needs to look at their individual weight and size. I consume about 1350 cal a day which supports me but would not support the average person, I am only 5 ft tall. So while 1300 would be extreme for some it's not for me.

Age: 43
Height: 5 feet, 0 inches
Weight: 165 pounds
Activity Level: Light Exercise (Exercise 1-3x/wk)
Gender: female
Calories burned per day: 1987


•To lose weight, you need to eat 500-1,000 calories less than what you burn each day

FreeSpirit
07-25-2010, 11:59 AM
I think we all need to determine our own "extremes."

For me, 1200-1300 calories is not extreme. I still have my snacks, but I eat healthy wholesome food. I'm not starving and I could live like this forever.

For some, with their level of activity 1200-1300 IS extreme. If my husband tried to eat that amount as a marine with PT every morning and the metabolism of a horse, he would definitely not be healthy.

I think it's important to know your [general] own extremes so you can watch yourself and make changes so you don't end up hurting yourself in the long run. Listen to your body, most of the time it'll tell you if you're pushing it too far.

Krazy
07-25-2010, 12:49 PM
I tried eating 1200-1300 calories a day for about a month and I felt very weak and tired, on top of that I didn't lose any weight. I bumped my calories up to 1600-1700 a day, and started to lose weight plus I had more energy. I guess it really depends on the person.

kaplods
07-25-2010, 01:15 PM
It's very true that what is extreme for one person, is moderation or excess for another. I also think that if we're paying attention to our bodies and our thoughts, we also can recognize when we're pushing ourselves too far.

I think one of the best ways to judge is to look at what we're giving up. Everyone has a finite amount of time and energy. The more energy and time we put into one activity, the less time and energy we have for other things in our lives.

It's a very individual determination also, but if you feel like you have "no life" aside from weight loss, that's a pretty good sign that you're giving up TOO much.

Recently, I began to be impatient with my weight loss (which has been slow, and legitimately I can and do want to put more effort into my diet and exercise), but instead of decreasing my food and increasing my exercise gradually, I started pushing myself HARD, and instead of losing, started yoyoing again.

It's hard to do this "moderately" because it's not the way we're taught to do weight loss. There's intense social pressure to do it fast. Almost no one talks about slow weight loss except to complain abou tit, and when you do speak of it positively (because I've tried, in fact I was making it a bit of a crusade) more often as not you get skeptical responses and suggestions for speeding your weight loss.

It's almost as if, you're treated as a lazy, unmotivated failure if you don't act like a Biggest Loser contestant.

I've been at weight loss for almost 40 of my 44 years (was put on my first diet in kindergarten), and I remember this pressure very well. There have, it appears to me, been periods in time during which extreme are especially popular. To me, it seems like we were making a lot of progress as a culture in terms of accepting a wider range of effort and ways to lose weight, until TBL came upon the scene.

I was hoping that The Biggest Loser show would at least make it more acceptable to see obese folks exercising in public - and I think that has happened, but there's also now an expectation of "if they can do it, so can you." And by it, it's not weight loss that is meant - it's rapid, crazy, as-fast-as-you-can weight loss (I think weight loss surgery gaining popularity has increased the expectation for rapid wieght loss, as well).

I had been happy with my gradual changes, and I fell back into to the trap I had so carefully been avoiding - the lose fast, at all costs mentality.

It's been a short experiment, and that's good - but it terrified me to find myself binging again. I had been binge free for a very long time - more years than I've been losing weight "this time." So maybe ten years? Starvation dieting brought the binges back with a vengeance (and if I'd stopped to think about it I would have known it, because it happens to even lab rats. Restrict their food enough, and they won't stop eating afterward - sometimes for the rest of their lives).

Yes, what IS extreme, depends on the person - but I think it's very tempting to think, "but I can handle it," or "I'll only do it for a short time, just until X" With the X being a number of pounds, time frame, or a special event.

No matter how many times I fail at it, I still can think "I can handle it," and every time I prove that I can't.

jillianfan
07-25-2010, 01:19 PM
Not to be mean, but I question several of the assumptions you have made.

First off, I am just below 160 lbs (156 to be exact), and I can assure you that it does not take 2,400 calories for me to maintain my weight. I, too, have a Bodybugg that I wear every day and it takes a heckuva lot of exercise for me to burn 2,400 calories. The amount of calories that are needed for me to maintain my weight is more like 1,600 calories, because this is the amount of calories I burn on days when I am sedentary. And it is not just me - if you google BMR calculator you will see how many calories it takes to maintain a weight of 160 lbs, and it is more like 1,400.

Next, I try to limit my calories to 1,200-1,300. And, I wear a Bodybugg, as I stated, that counts every calorie I burn. I don't think that I am an extremist at all, just conscientious and serious about losing the weight. I typically run a calorie deficit of 1,000 calories, and this is just right for me to hit my goal of losing 2 lbs per week. Now, how I am supposed to know how much of a calorie deficit I am in without tracking every calorie that is incoming and outgoing?

IMHO these are good practices and not extremism, and trust me, I do not have an eating disorder, borderline or otherwise.

rockinrobin
07-25-2010, 01:43 PM
And after I read your post, I was thinking your plan wasn't extreme ENOUGH....

I still ate junk food.

For many of us, you leave that door open a crack, and eventually it swings wide open. The *everything in moderation* route doesn't work for many people. Just ask any alcoholic.

And I am another who is certain that 1200- 1300 calories is more than enough calories for many in the population. Just as it isn't enough for others.

I also believe that body-bugg thing a ma-jig is quite extreme, though others wouldn't agree.

So yes, we all must determine what our extreme is - and isn't.

And sometimes, there's just no explanation for re-gain that is directly related to someones plan - sometimes we just lose focus. We have a lapse.

Anyway, I'm glad to hear you've re-assessed and I greatly look forward to hearing of your once again success! Welcome back. :)

JayEll
07-25-2010, 02:29 PM
Hey kelly315! :wave: I remember you.

You can expect that some posters will get defensive because of what you're saying. They are doing something they find works for them, and they feel threatened by alternative ideas. Don't let them bother you. We have room for all points of view here on 3FC, as long as they are not extreme themselves.

I'm really glad that you went to see some professionals about your situation.

You might want to read the book The End of Overeating by David Kessler. It has a lot to do with the physiology behind overeating and how some foods have been purposely designed to make us want to eat more of them. Among these are junk foods, fast food, certain restaurant foods.

Some people feel quite comfortable eating at a certain level of calories and tracking everything. They really do feel like they can do it forever--it's not a strain or a burden. That's good for them!

I'm not one of them. I've been struggling now for some time with a slow weight gain that began about a year and half after I reached goal. I have tried numerous times to go back to my old weight loss plan, but I simply can't stay with it for very long. This is not because I'm a weak person who gives up easily. It's because the old way doesn't do it anymore.

It just goes to show that losing weight is only part of the battle--keeping the weight off can be just as difficult.

Good luck, kelly. I hope you can get those 70 pounds back off again! :hug:

Jay

TXMary2
07-25-2010, 02:55 PM
Thank you for your post Kelly. I am similar to you in that I cannot and will not go down to 1200 calories. I feel weak, lethargic and starving when I have done that. It wasn't something I could do long term.

I having been losing an average of 2.4 pounds per week eating between 1600-1900 calories a day. In the last 4 weeks or so I have been very consistent with exercise and the weight loss has not increased. I am doing the exercise for toning and hoping to burn fat, but I don't need rapid weight loss. I am happy knowing that I can undo 14 years of abuse in 1 year.

I am one of those who is happy and capable of "moderation" as I cannot imagine living without certain foods. For those that works for, great for them, but it isn't for me. I dieted my way to 258 pounds by trying to be extreme and restrict certain things. The problem with restriction for me is that I mentally become obsessed until the binge happens and then there is the whole guilt cycle and restriction started again. I am convinced that my obsession with food was because I had forbidden foods. Now I don't have forbidden foods and I am on my way to a healthy weight range again.

I appreciate your post because I do have the personality that can go to extremes in just about everything! Thank you for sharing what works for you.

jendiet
07-25-2010, 03:14 PM
i think the key is what is considered x-treme. Let's face it. Our society is about healthy, tan , high-school looking bodies. What is NOT popular is THE HARD WORK and effort it takes to get there.

that is why i like reading things about the stars that shows how completely crazy their exercise routines and diet restrictions are--if you want to see extreme read about how a model is expected to eat or NOT eat.

xtreme measures get x-treme results. The biggest loser is a good indicator of this.
Do they do a follow up on these people? have they kept if off?

What is extreme is what is NOT comfortable to you. This is a LIFELONG journey. Losing weight is only part of the battle like pp said. It is keeping it off and maintaining that is the REAL battle.

So do you FEEL LIKE you could live forever with a body bug. At 60 years old, will you rely on a body bug to keep your weight in check. Will you always have a point system? Will you be 62 and writing down your food in a journal before dinner to see what you can or can't eat.

I have seen what losing weight fast makes a body look like, and I am PROUD of those people that can do it, but it is not for me! if you look at some of the people that lost it slow and steady over time their RESULTS are much more pleasing to the eye--in a bathing suit.

we each have our own MO. Kelly i think you found that slower and steadier is more acceptable, but some people have an event they are working towards. Or they feel they need more push to get to where they are going. I don't think there is anything wrong with it, if it works for you.

TX, i am the same as you. I have to have moderation. Because "forbidden" drives me nuts. Maybe it is my "Eve" nature. I don't know. But i did forbidden. It worked. I got great results. It lasted 2 years and I snapped.

joyra
07-25-2010, 03:25 PM
Thanks for sharing, Kelly!

I've been on so many restrictive diets that my mind won't let me do it anymore. It's almost like I have two brains. One that says: Okay, 1200-1300 calories, 30 minutes of exercise, cut out sugar and processed foods. The other one says: That sounds like prison, go eat a pizza!

The only way I've been successful is to do the tiniest of changes so that it doesn't even feel like I'm dieting. I make exercise goals, challenging myself rather than MAKING myself do it. I try to keep fruit and veggies on hand and make them as appetizing as I can. When I banish junk food or beat myself for not going running first thing in the morning -- that's when I head to Arby's.

Good luck this time around and I think it was great for you to share. Lots of people here are going through their first big weight loss and it's helpful to think that what works now might not work forever.

jillianfan
07-25-2010, 03:28 PM
To each their own, I guess. I can understand the "lifestyle change" mentality, but I don't lose weight unless I am regimented in my food counting and exercise. Believe me, I tried the "I'll just cut back on my food and move a bit more" plan without holding myself accountable with food logs and the bodybugg and, while I stopped gaining, I didn't lose because I was still eating too much and not moving enough. The food log and bodybugg holds me accountable, and these are the only things that do.

That said, I am not starving by any means. I still eat mac and cheese and a bit of ice cream or some other treat just about every day. I work it into my calorie allowance. I am also never hungry because I eat satisfying food. I don't exercise like a mad woman - most days I walk for about an hour and that's enough to give me my calorie burn.

Can I keep it up forever? Well, probably, if I make the food logs a part of life. The bodybugg is kinda a pain, so I don't know if I will wear it after I lose the weight, unless I start to gain again.

Anyhow, good luck to all of you, no matter what plan you follow. :hug:

NinaV
07-25-2010, 03:32 PM
Thank you for posting this. I think we all need to hear these type of stories. We get so caught up in the excitement of losing as much as possible as quickly as possible, that we often forget to learn moderation and temperance. I think posting a message like this must have been very hard - it may feel like admitting your own failure. But I hope you think of it as a huge favor you're doing for everyone here on 3fc - you are giving us a gift of learning from your mistakes.
Thank You! And I wish you health and happiness in your new balanced approach to weight loss. Hugs.

19Deltawifey
07-25-2010, 04:49 PM
I agree Kelly, and that is why I am a Intuitive Eater because any type of diet or restriction just makes me want to eat until I am engorged. I also had a BB for about 2 months and sold it because it made me more obsessive and so did measuring and counting calories but hey if it works for someone then go for it

kelly315
07-25-2010, 05:14 PM
And after I read your post, I was thinking your plan wasn't extreme ENOUGH....

For many of us, you leave that door open a crack, and eventually it swings wide open. The *everything in moderation* route doesn't work for many people. Just ask any alcoholic.


This is the OA approach that you're referring to. If you consider yourself a food addict/have binge eating disorder, then an all-or-nothing approach might be the only thing that's available to you.

However, all-or-nothing most likely isn't going to work for the rest of most people's lives. If you treat certain foods like a no-no, or like a drug, then they gain a lot of power. It's giving these foods the power to sit on your shoulder- while you're strong, it's probably no problem to say "I'm not going to indulge you." But when a tragedy hits your life, or you become depressed, etc, there is this powerful force waiting to sneak back in to your life.

This "eating junk food like a normal person does" takes away some of that power. It's a technique commonly used by nutritionists.

kelly315
07-25-2010, 05:16 PM
Also, I'd like to add that these extremes are unique for everyone. People use bodybuggs differently, and require different number of calories depending on height/weight.

jillianfan
07-25-2010, 05:32 PM
Also, I'd like to add that these extremes are unique for everyone. People use bodybuggs differently, and require different number of calories depending on height/weight.

I agree with this, but to state that a 160 lb. woman needs 2,400 calories a day to maintain her weight is not right. Maybe if she were working out a lot, every single day - that is what I burn when I walk for like an hour and a half to two hours. But on sedentary days, the calories needed to maintain are much less for a 160 lb woman. Trust me on this.

dragonwoman64
07-25-2010, 05:59 PM
I'm sorry you went through that, Kelly. I've been down that same path, with a diet that felt over restrictive for me, losing lots of weight, then ending up with binge behavior that resulted in me gaining it back plus some. You're not alone with that experience.

I've read your posts. Please have total faith that you'll get a handle on this the way you want to, just keep plugging at it, from whatever direction you need to. Follow your own brain, it's formidable!

kaplods
07-25-2010, 06:01 PM
What is extreme for one person, can be moderate (or extreme in the opposite direction) for someone else - and I don't think anyone is arguing otherwise.


I'm currently working with an 1800 - 2000 calorie food budget - that's my perfect range. That's way to high for some people, and it's way too low for others. There were times in my life (at the same weight I am now, but also a much higher actity level) when the same 1800 - 2000 calorie diet was far too low (I'd get light headed and even passed out a couple times).

The issue is not on how to identify where the line is (at least not for anyone other than ourselves), but how to recognize the signs that you're pushing yourself beyond reasonable limits. Learning to recognize when "working harder" becomes counterproductive.

We're a society who sees more as better. Work harder, acheive more, sleep less, multi-task.... The more you do, the more you acheive/succeed/accomplish/aquire, the more value you have.

That mentality can backfire. In the business environment, you're told "work smarter, not harder," and it can apply to weight loss too. Working harder doesn't always get you the results you want.

I've always been an overacheiver in many aspects of my life. Until my mid-thirty's I always had two jobs (or job and school), and I burnt the candle at both ends to graduate highschool and college early. I went at weight loss the same way. I know how to exceed and excel, and I know how to fail. I don't know how to maintain a moderate or a balanced lifestyle.

My husband says I have two speeds - Energizer Bunny and comatose, and to a degree it's true. I know how to starve myself, and I know how to eat everything in sight. The middle ground is very difficult for me.

I do best with my weight loss when I don't focus on the weight loss at all. Yes, I weigh myself every morning, and I try to follow my 1800 calorie exchange plan, but I make a lot of mistakes, but when I don't go bug-crazy about the mistakes I do pretty well. Slow, but consistent weight loss.

When I get impatient with my progress or my imperfection, I tend to gravitate toward extreme methods to "catch up." That's dangerous thinking - that sense that I'm in a race and I'm falling behind and need to put every bit of my energy into weight loss (and siphon it away from every other aspect in my life).

It doesn't matter that my "full speed" today is slower than my "reasonable pace" of two decades ago. What matters is that I learn to recognize the signs that I'm being unreasonable with my goals. Learning about myself enough to know where productive ends and counterproductive begins.

That point is going to be different for every person. And even for any one person, that point is probably not going to be a constant - it's going to change depending on what else is going on in your life too.

The perfect amount of effort, attention, and time today may be too much, or too little tomorrow.

It's why I can't stress enough (not only to others, but to my stubborn self, when the stubborn part of me is disagreeing with the smarter part of me) how important food/health/lifestyle journals can be. You can notice patterns if you keep the journals and keep your eyes open (hey when I ______, I tend to ______).

The important thing to keep in perspective is that faster/harder isn't always better, and slower/easier isn't always inferior, either. If eating 1800 calories works for you - it doesn't mean that 800 will work better. It doesn't even mean that 2400 calories will not work as well.

jillianfan
07-25-2010, 06:53 PM
I also think that it is probably easier for people who are heavier to adopt a more moderate lifestyle and still lose weight, simply because the heavier you are, the more you burn just doing daily activities. So, if you weigh, say, 240 lbs, you will burn around 1,800 just by maintaining basic functions, therefore if you are at all active, you will burn 2,400 calories a day easily.

I am somewhat close to a healthy weight -well, within 20 lbs of a healthy weight. Therefore it is harder for me to lose weight unless I do the rather drastic measures of slashing my food intake and upping my exercise by a lot.

Believe me, I wish that I could take a more lackadaisical approach to it all, but I have found that I simply can't. If I am not diligent, I don't lose. I can maintain, but not lose. :(

TJFitnessDiva
07-25-2010, 07:04 PM
It's not easier ;) You have to be diligent no matter the size you start at lol

19Deltawifey
07-25-2010, 08:38 PM
This is the OA approach that you're referring to. If you consider yourself a food addict/have binge eating disorder, then an all-or-nothing approach might be the only thing that's available to you.

However, all-or-nothing most likely isn't going to work for the rest of most people's lives. If you treat certain foods like a no-no, or like a drug, then they gain a lot of power. It's giving these foods the power to sit on your shoulder- while you're strong, it's probably no problem to say "I'm not going to indulge you." But when a tragedy hits your life, or you become depressed, etc, there is this powerful force waiting to sneak back in to your life.

This "eating junk food like a normal person does" takes away some of that power. It's a technique commonly used by nutritionists.

Kelly I couldn't have said it better myself, so true. The all or nothing approach didn't work for me either and never will, I guess I don't have the will power or I must not want it bad enough as some would say but it looks like 90+% of dieters can't maintain the all or nothing approach to dieting because if we could we wouldn't have a weight problem to start with

asharksrevenge
07-25-2010, 08:50 PM
It's definitely not easy for a typical larger person to begin a moderate eating plan. No way!

I am an extremist as well. I've been down that road in all walks of my life, and it has brought me great triumphs and terrible consequences (from graduating with honors to drug rehab). I know how hard it can be to combat the black-or-white thinking, but now that you are aware of your pitfalls, you can work to avoid them.

"Extreme" is only a subjective word; what will/won't work for one may/may not work for others. If anything, 3FC is a great place to experiment, find and share ideas, and bicker about modes of change. That's what I love about this forum, that it is filled with people who really want to change (and quickly weeds out the ones who don't) by a number of different means. People here have all kinds of ideas about how to change their lives in a positive manner and no one's idea has more value because they lost more weight, worked harder, etc. We're all different and we've found different things that will help. People will bristle when labeled "extreme" but that's a nearly meaningless word. We all have great ideas and we can all learn from each other.

19Deltawifey
07-25-2010, 08:51 PM
It's not easier ;) You have to be diligent no matter the size you start at lol

Amen, its all hard no matter how much you weigh. Even though I am heavier losing weight is still hard, I dont think anyone has it easier when it comes to losing weight

Gold32
07-25-2010, 10:41 PM
I’m getting a small chuckle at this, because, in the past we’ve had threads about going under the “magic” number of 1200. All these chicks were defending themselves, while plenty of women chimed in for being 1200-1400 and couldn’t understand going lower. Now, 1200-1300 is “extreme”? Well, clearly there are no hard rules for extremism, and where you are coming from makes your perspective very subjective.

My opinion: at 160, I don’t think 1200-1300 would have been “extreme.” But if your whole mentality was extreme, that's a bigger problem. Truthfully, my definition of extreme would have very little to do with numbers. It would be about mentality.

I find it really hard to believe that at 160 pounds, you could eat 2400 calories and not gain weight, cause I would. To make a long story short, I didn't lose weight for 2-3 years because of what calculators said. I had to go lower than their recommended 1-2 pounds lost magic numbers to get any results. At their "maintain" numbers, I gain. My point is, technology, calculators, etc, are flawed. Using those as a guide is merely a starting point at best. You have to listen to your body. Partly because our knowledge of what effects our ability to lose weight is still being developed, calculators are flawed.

That said.... I still appreciate the general warning about extremism. I think everyone should take time to evaluate themselves honestly about their plans. Extreme approaches will do more damage than good.

kaplods
07-25-2010, 11:47 PM
I also think that it is probably easier for people who are heavier to adopt a more moderate lifestyle and still lose weight, simply because the heavier you are, the more you burn just doing daily activities. So, if you weigh, say, 240 lbs, you will burn around 1,800 just by maintaining basic functions, therefore if you are at all active, you will burn 2,400 calories a day easily.

I am somewhat close to a healthy weight -well, within 20 lbs of a healthy weight. Therefore it is harder for me to lose weight unless I do the rather drastic measures of slashing my food intake and upping my exercise by a lot.

Believe me, I wish that I could take a more lackadaisical approach to it all, but I have found that I simply can't. If I am not diligent, I don't lose. I can maintain, but not lose. :(


I don't think the OP is advocating a lackladaisical approach. The issue isn't what you're doing, or how hard you're pushing yourself, or even how "extreme" your methods are (in comparision to "everyone else.") - it's whether or not your expectations and your efforts are reasonable for YOU. Are you biting off more than you can chew? Are you beating yourself up for reasonable mistakes? Do you feel like you're failing, if your success isn't what you were hoping for? Is weight loss the only "thing" in your life? Are you shutting out friends and family, turning down all social opportunities? Is your job or family suffering because of the effort you're putting into your weight loss?


I can't follow a "moderation" diet, as it seems to be commonly defined. I have to cut carbs to an almost ridiculous level in order to lose weight. There's nothing moderate about my food goals. Now my actual diet is more "moderate" than I'd like, in that I make a lot of mistakes.


If you eat an extra carrot stick and beat yourself up for it, that's probably extreme.

Are you putting in the effort and attention that is required to meet your goals - or are you shooting yourself in the foot by removing everything except weight loss from your life.


Only you can know where to draw the line. 1200 calories could be your "just right" or it could be your "too far."


Tremendous effort can yield tremendous results, but you've got to work with your own priorities. It's ok for weight loss to not to be your only priority in life. It's ok to make room for other people and other things.

When I was younger, I didn't know that. I thought I was supposed to have no fun at all while losing weight. I couldn't go out with friends or even on dates because it might jeopardize the diet. I couldn't date a guy who was interested in me, because he probably only likes fat chicks and I didn't want to be a fat chick.

There were so many things I thought I needed (and was obligated) to give up, in order to lose weight.

In some ways, some of my goals (at least my eventual goals) are even more "extreme" than ever before. It's my attitude that is more moderate. To get to my weight goals, my behavior is going to need to be ever increasingly extreme. But if I try to do now, what I probably will be doing at 150 lbs, it would probably kill me.

It isn't about whether you're taking big steps or little steps, it's about whether or not you are taking steps that YOU can handle.

Weight loss is a marathon, not a sprint. If you run at your absolute full speed, you may find that you run out of energy before you get very far. Only you know the speed you can maintain.

I'm disabled and sometimes I need a cane to walk. I also have COPD/asthma. Even I can walk the distance of a marathon (it might take me a week), but if I tried to RUN a marathon today, I'd have a heart attack before I made it three blocks.

Unlike a marathon, we all have different distances to travel. We also have different abilities. Some of us can walk/run faster than others. Even the best athlete can push him/herself too far, and end up with overuse injuries, even death (Nearly 200 people have died climbing Mount Everest, and people die every year climbing smaller mountains).

Our mountains are different sizes, and we're all climbers of different abilities. You have to know your mountain, and you have to know your abilities. That's the real issue, here.

jillianfan
07-26-2010, 01:05 AM
I’m getting a small chuckle at this, because, in the past we’ve had threads about going under the “magic” number of 1200. All these chicks were defending themselves, while plenty of women chimed in for being 1200-1400 and couldn’t understand going lower. Now, 1200-1300 is “extreme”? Well, clearly there are no hard rules for extremism, and where you are coming from makes your perspective very subjective.

My opinion: at 160, I don’t think 1200-1300 would have been “extreme.” But if your whole mentality was extreme, that's a bigger problem. Truthfully, my definition of extreme would have very little to do with numbers. It would be about mentality.

I find it really hard to believe that at 160 pounds, you could eat 2400 calories and not gain weight, cause I would. To make a long story short, I didn't lose weight for 2-3 years because of what calculators said. I had to go lower than their recommended 1-2 pounds lost magic numbers to get any results. At their "maintain" numbers, I gain. My point is, technology, calculators, etc, are flawed. Using those as a guide is merely a starting point at best. You have to listen to your body. Partly because our knowledge of what effects our ability to lose weight is still being developed, calculators are flawed.

That said.... I still appreciate the general warning about extremism. I think everyone should take time to evaluate themselves honestly about their plans. Extreme approaches will do more damage than good.

Yes, thank you! You are right, it is the extreme mentality that the original poster was no doubt referring to. And you are also correct about the gaining weight eating 2,400 calories at 160 lbs. I know for a fact that I would gain if I ate 2,400 calories every day, probably a lot of weight, because my base metabolism is nowhere near that.

To each his own - one thing for sure, this topic sure has stirred up a lot of discussion! :)

Hyacinth
07-26-2010, 02:21 AM
Everybody's situation is different. A person needing to lose 150 pounds is going to have a way more drastic lifestyle change than a person needing to lose 30 pounds, if they both cut back to 1200 calories a day. The "extremist" behaviors would not be as difficult to maintain for a 30-pound-overweight person than they would be for a 150-pound-overweight person.

Here is a very generalized example: at 30 pounds overweight, you probably got that way by 200 extra calories a day for x amount of days. To get 150 pounds overweight, you would need to eat 1000 extra calories a day for the same amount of days. Therefore, reversing the pattern would require a 30-pound overweight person to cut back about 200 calories a day, were it would require a 150-pound person to cut back 1000 calories a day. The latter is far more likely to feel extreme.

I think there are too many factors involved to come up with a one-size-fits-all approach. It may be easier for a highly disciplined person to incorporate what a more free-form person might consider extreme. If you have a high-stress job and a fast paced life with four children in extra-curriculars, then you are going to have a different view of what lifestyle changes feel extreme than if you are a single person with no children who works part time.

I lost 70 pounds being an extremist, and I gained it all back. Now my approach is that I feel this needs to be less extreme if this is going to be a forever thing.

carter
07-26-2010, 10:23 AM
I completely get where Kelly is coming from - even though you are all correct that one person's extreme is another person's sustainable. I am enough like Kelly that I get it.

I could go the route of meticulous counting, of religious exercise, of declaring certain foods forbidden. I have done it before, and it does work really well - for a while. After about six months of that I have always burned out and started gaining the weight back - just as Kelly described.

When I started this time, I realized that I had to do something different or I would just repeat that pattern. I had to fight my instinct for obsessive focus because I know myself well enough that my obsessive focus always falls by the wayside after a while when it starts to focus on something else.

So this time, instead of meticulously tracking every single morsel I put in my mouth, wearing a little device that claims to compute my calorie consumption with unrealistic precision, and so on, I just promised myself I would stop being a pig. It's really that simple. I've done this enough times before that I know what healthy foods are. I know what healthy portions are. I know that the donuts on the conference table are not the last donuts I will ever see and I don't need to eat one. That's all I need to know.

It has worked for me. It hasn't worked as quickly as the super-obsessive meticulous route. I lose weight more slowly, for sure. But, you know, this isn't a race, and if it takes me two years instead of one to reach my goal, well, better than not getting there at all. And when work got really crazy for a couple of months, I managed to pretty much maintain my weight loss and pick up where I left off once things calmed down - because picking it up again only required a few small adjustments, not getting back into a meticulous mindset.

And once a month or so I will still do a few days of careful calorie-counting just as a reality check. But I don't need a reality check every single day. I have too much other stuff I want to do for that kind of focus to be sustainable for very long.

So while I respect those of you who can make meticulous - and, yes, obsessive - calorie-counting and monitoring a part of your daily lives for good, I know for a fact I just can't. And while Kelly maybe chose the wrong word (extreme) to describe that kind of lifestyle, I do understand where she's coming from.

SCraver
07-26-2010, 10:33 AM
I completely get where Kelly is coming from - even though you are all correct that one person's extreme is another person's sustainable. I am enough like Kelly that I get it.

How true! A couple weeks ago, I cut back to 1500 - 1600 cals a day (I want to hit 200 by 8/30/10) and that is extreme FOR ME. I know that I could not do 1200 a day. I find 2000 a day to be more comfortable and when I reach my weight loss goals, I have learned about what I think I can do to comfortably maintain forever.

Before cutting back, I had been working out and feeling great. Since I cut back to 1500, I have been getting sore muscles a lot easier. I am eating my protein, I am eating my veggies... but I can certainly feel that 1500 is extreme for me.

I think the OP makes a really good point about not going to extremes. Whatever feels extreme to an individual is not going to be sustainable or healthy. It's not only important to be physiclaly healthy, but also mentally and emotionally.

thundahthighs
07-26-2010, 10:41 AM
kelly315, you're a brave soul for posting what you posted, and I know you'll be back at a cruising altitude soon enough. :)

ravensglen3
07-26-2010, 10:50 AM
Thank you for posting this, Kelly.

I am also like you...

Every time I have over-restricted food and over-exercised in an attempt to be "disciplined" I have ended up bingeing and becoming hopeless.

For me - over-restriction leaves to bingeing. Every. Single. Time. It may not happen right away, but it will always happen eventually.

I am also more about making small, sustainable changes. Eating intuitively. When I counted calories meticulously I drove myself insane. I beat myself up. I wouldn't eat, even if I was still hungry. I can't live like that.

rockinrobin
07-26-2010, 11:02 AM
So while I respect those of you who can make meticulous - and, yes, obsessive - calorie-counting and monitoring a part of your daily lives for good, I know for a fact I just can't
For those who do this, and I'm not one of them, at this point I'm a calorie estimator - but I DO consider myself a calorie counter, they/we don't find it to be obsessive - as in a negative connotation - but a positive. So I prefer to call it dedicated, devoted, committed. Obsessive just sounds - weird and strange and nasty and - wrong. To me anyway.

I don't consider it obsessive to make sure that before I write a check, I know how much money is in my account. I don't find it obsessive to use my debit card only if I've got money to cover it. I don't find it obsessive to check a price on something before I buy it. And I think many would agree with that.

So I'm not sure why anyone would find it obsessive - in a negative way- to track ones calories. This is important stuff! After neglecting my weight, my health for decades I realized that *this* is worthy of the time, effort, thought and energy that is needed to get to a healthy weight and stay there.

I would pretty much bet that the large majority of people who have gotten to goal and has stayed there for years and years and years (and that's our aim, isn't it?) have done so by being vigilant, devoted and dedicated.

Ooh, just had another thought - I wonder if anyone would find it obsessive for a diabetic to check there blood sugar levels many times a day.

mkroyer
07-26-2010, 11:09 AM
I thihnk SCraver said it best... " Whatever feels extreme to an individual is not going to be sustainable or healthy"
We can all argue till we are blue in the face about what is extreme to me and what is extreme to you

I cannot lose unless i am meticulous about tracking every morsel, and i cant lose above 1200. eh.....
i am also an "all-or- nothing" person. For instance, i CANNOT HAVE peanut butter in my house. i CANNOT HAVE cereal in my house. I CANNOT HAVE candy in my house. I cant even have a pack of GUM in my house. If i eat ONE piece of gum, i will have devoured the pack in 5 minutes, whether i am in a caloric deficit or not. i cannot have just ONE cigarrette, else ill smoke the pack. I accept that i am an addict (of everything!) and i cant do ANYTHING in moderation.
Word of warning to BodyBugg users, it is a great TOOL for giving you a general idea of how much you move in a day, but it is NOT the gospel truth. It is very innaccurate where smaller, conditioned females are concerned. It is VERY innaccurate if youve been a "yo-yo" dieter during your life, and thus have an "off" metabolism (SLOWED/Adapted) I frequently had days with a burn of over 3000, so i raised my cals from 1400 to 1700 (becasue i was trying to lose weight and had stalled) and i gained weight during that 6 weeks. It wasnt untill i dropped down to 1200 that i was able to lose again.
Use the BodyBugg to show how active you are. That running around doing errands on the weekend creates a HUGE burn compared to going to the movies and having lunch with friends. Compare the huge amount of cals you burned cooking and prepping food for a couple hours last night, compared with the night before when you did a quick, 10 minute box dinner. You get my point.
Oh, and it SEVERELY over-estimated the cals i burn running. I think it was an arm movement issue.

hhichick
07-26-2010, 11:13 AM
Just to clarify:

I wear a GWF and I calorie count.

I don't have any forbidden foods. (I eat the world's best pizza weekly.)
I don't spend hours in the gym. (I actually haven't darkened the doorstep in longer than I care to admit.)
I eat 1700 calories a day. (Not every day, but that's been my average for the last 4 months now.)

This is actually the least obsessive I've ever been regarding my weight and health because it's so easy. I no longer diet. I eat the food that my body needs at a given time.

The calorie counting and GWF - they're tools. They are actually a very small and unobtrusive part of my life. I wear the display as my daily watch. I upload my data once a day, M-F, at the office. (I own the biz, so it's OK!) I log my calories on the nifty Droid that is always in my purse or pocket. Tools. I use them to help me make sure that my body is getting the food it needs.

I've tried "intuitive eating" and just eating healthy. My intuition sucks. I wake up one day a few years later 100 pounds overweight. I don't care to do that again.

Getting the GWF helped me to ID just what is going on. I have a crappy metabolism. I burn way fewer calories than online guides say I do. When I realized that eating an extra 250 calories a day means packing on 25# a year . . . it suddenly became clear to me what kept on going wrong before. :)

Do I plan to wear the GWF daily forever? Probably not, but I'll keep it around and pull it out if I hit a red line weight or when I am training for an event. (Before this last weight gain, I was a ironman triathlete and ultrarunner and I am so excited to have this tool for training now! Proper nutrition for endurance training and racing was always something that I was never able to get a handle on before - I'd always gain weight, training 20+ hours a week.)

girlonfire
07-26-2010, 11:15 AM
This is just me, but being the child of an alcoholic and having an eating disorder , it always bothers me to hear weight loss/bingeing compared to alcoholism. IMO while they share similar addictive properties, they are not the same. Not all addictions are the same. Moderation for a food addict might be different because we can not completely abstain from food and in the end, we have to learn how to deal with that. Alcoholism is a very very difficult disease(as is compulsive overeating/bingeing), but it is on a different spectrum. Getting off my soapbox now...

I agree that extreme for one person is normal for another. I am glad that the OP recognized that her behavior for her was extreme. In the end, I found calorie counting to be extreme and that it was pushing me towards binges. But for many here, calorie counting is a normal, vital part of weight loss. Good luck to the OP on reaching your goals!

jillianfan
07-26-2010, 11:23 AM
For those who do this, and I'm not one of them, at this point I'm a calorie estimator - but I DO consider myself a calorie counter, they/we don't find it to be obsessive - as in a negative connotation - but a positive. So I prefer to call it dedicated, devoted, committed. Obsessive just sounds - weird and strange and nasty and - wrong. To me anyway.

I don't consider it obsessive to make sure that before I write a check, I know how much money is in my account. I don't find it obsessive to use my debit card only if I've got money to cover it. I don't find it obsessive to check a price on something before I buy it. And I think many would agree with that.

So I'm not sure why anyone would find it obsessive - in a negative way- to track ones calories. This is important stuff! After neglecting my weight, my health for decades I realized that *this* is worthy of the time, effort, thought and energy that is needed to get to a healthy weight and stay there.

I would pretty much bet that the large majority of people who have gotten to goal and has stayed there for years and years and years (and that's our aim, isn't it?) have done so by being vigilant, devoted and dedicated.

Ooh, just had another thought - I wonder if anyone would find it obsessive for a diabetic to check there blood sugar levels many times a day.

I agree, Robin, 100%.

I think that some of the posters (me) are bristling about being labeled "obsessive" "extremist" and "borderline eating disordered" simply because we count calories and use a bodybugg. As I stated before, I tried the "I will just try to eat healthier and move more and see what happens" approach, and do not lose a pound. If counting calories and using a bodybugg is what works for me, then that's what works. It's not obsessive, extremist or borderline eating disordered, it's what works. For me.

As for the bodybugg, I am under no delusions that it is gospel. However, I am motivated to move more, because it shows me that even doing incidental things, like cleaning the house or going to Wal-Mart, adds up to a nice calorie burn at the end of the day. It is very motivating. For me.

While I agree that one man's extremist is another man's moderation, I think that I just took offense at the indirect labeling of me, and others like me, as borderline eating disordered, extremist and obsessive. Because I am not that, at all. I prefer to be labeled "meticulous." :)

girlonfire
07-26-2010, 11:25 AM
I think the OP was labeling herself, not anyone else.

jillianfan
07-26-2010, 11:32 AM
I think the OP was labeling herself, not anyone else.

Yes, but she stated that she considered eating 1,200 calories and using a bodybugg a sign of a "borderline eating disorder." Since this is EXACTLY what I do, I feel that I am being tarred with the same brush. I hope this makes sense.:^:

rockinrobin
07-26-2010, 11:39 AM
Like we've said many times - one persons extreme is another persons *answer* I *extrememed* myself all the way to goal - 165 lbs off and kept off for 3+ years. 3+ delightful, glorious, out of this world, better than I ever could have hoped for stupendous years. For me, what some would consider *extreme* was my answer and the key to freedom.

Freedom. That's what I've found by setting boundaries, making certain foods off limits (very strict initially), counting my calories.

mkroyer
07-26-2010, 12:00 PM
When people talk about addictions, they DO tend to try and lump them all together. I used to get very upset hearing people say they are addicted to food, or addicted to chocolate. Id thibk, "how can they possibly understand/know what its like? They dont have a REAL addiction."
After struggling with a meth addiction for 7 years, an opiate addiction for 4 years, and cigarrettes my whole life, i felt very qualified to judge ;)

Now, after struggling with food as well, i realize something omportant about addiction:
Chemically, it is all different ( amongst the nuerotransmitters i mean, whether we are talking dopamine synapses, or seratonin synapses or whtever) but what really DOES classify an addiction, is the place it takes in your life. As SOON AS eating/disordred eating disrupts your life, it is an addiction. AS SOON AS you begin isolating yourself, or stop going to do activities you used to love, its addictive behavior. if it takes over every other thought, all the time, it is addictive. If your emoptions/mental well-being are tied so closely to the "drug/activity" its an addiction. I began to notice similarities between my behaviors using meth, pain pills, and then, SUPRISE food/dieting. DESTRUCTIVE BEHAVIOR...that is when its extreme??

PaulaM
07-26-2010, 12:03 PM
I hope I don't offend anybody by my thoughts, but here they are: I feel so sad when I read many of the posts in this forum. Yes, everybody wants to be in top physical shape and good health, of course. Maybe it's because I'm older than many here (55), but it really hurts my heart when younger women make dieting the complete focus of their life. They obsess about each morsel, work themselves to death exercising. So many are so very very unhappy if they feel they don't look perfect. Yes, I'm fat now and working on it, but it doesn't consume my every waking moment. I was slim throughout my 20's and 30's, the weight started coming on in my 40's, mostly because I couldn't work out like I used to but felt I could eat the same way. Now I'm cutting down and working out 4 days a week for 2 hours at a time.

Every now and then, please stop and smell the roses, that's all I'm saying. Life is so short, you're only young once, try and enjoy each day and not worry constantly. Do your best every day but don't beat yourself up. I lost several dear friends to breast cancer at a young age, they would give anything to enjoy another day on earth. Try and be happy!

JayEll
07-26-2010, 12:05 PM
I, too, think that the poster was speaking only of herself. If you feel "tarred by the same brush," you might look at who is holding that brush. I don't think it was the OP.

I think that for some people, there is a very fuzzy line between being committed, diligent, dedicated, etc., and being obsessive and rigid. Rockinrobin sees herself as the former. The OP realized she herself had slid into being the latter.

I think lots of folks can benefit from asking themselves where they are really at in this. I recently saw an episode of the show "Intervention" where two twin women were anorexic and killing themselves. They were so far into it that they would weigh out three blueberries so they could count the 2 calories in them. They both ate 300 calories a day, and they completely and totally resisted anyone's attempts to help them. Now that really is extreme--but they didn't start out at that point.

Being an alcoholic, I can say that the relationship with food is both different and the same. It's different in that I never have to drink alcohol again, but I do have to eat. It's the same in that there's a certain mentality of wanting more, more, more--what rockinrobin has called looking, looking, looking... And that mentality has to be derailed, IMO, for me to be successful with controlling my food intake.

Jay

jigglefree
07-26-2010, 12:10 PM
I'm reading these replies to the original post and am amazed at the direction it has gone. In reading the original post, I was hearing her make a statement about "extreme behaviors" not so much about the details. She was using what for HER was extreme and was just saying don't go all extreme to get to your destination because it's not sustainable. It wasn't a personal attack on people doing what she considered extreme for her just a little "testimony" if you will of what happened to her. She was at 1200 calories and the bodybug wasn't the problem it was her NEED to have the bodybug whenever she made a move. When it becomes consumption which in some cases supersedes dedication and discipline there is a problem. I eat on plan and workout regularly but if I happen to go a weekend and don't go to the gym for an hour but I am cleaning house, doing laundry and washing the car...exercise is gotten. It's not my habit to miss exercising and use house cleaning as a workout but it doesn't cause a meltdown if that's how I do it. When it comes to counting calories I count everything even my sugarfree gum. Everyone thinks I'm doing too much but it works for me to know exactly what I ate. As for my exercise I make sure I get it done but I have NO idea how many calories I'm burning. I just know I'm getting great results.

So if you don't take it personal when someone makes a subjective statement then it's a new lesson learned...sometimes.

jillianfan
07-26-2010, 12:23 PM
I hope I don't offend anybody by my thoughts, but here they are: I feel so sad when I read many of the posts in this forum. Yes, everybody wants to be in top physical shape and good health, of course. Maybe it's because I'm older than many here (55), but it really hurts my heart when younger women make dieting the complete focus of their life. They obsess about each morsel, work themselves to death exercising. So many are so very very unhappy if they feel they don't look perfect. Yes, I'm fat now and working on it, but it doesn't consume my every waking moment. I was slim throughout my 20's and 30's, the weight started coming on in my 40's, mostly because I couldn't work out like I used to but felt I could eat the same way. Now I'm cutting down and working out 4 days a week for 2 hours at a time.

Every now and then, please stop and smell the roses, that's all I'm saying. Life is so short, you're only young once, try and enjoy each day and not worry constantly. Do your best every day but don't beat yourself up. I lost several dear friends to breast cancer at a young age, they would give anything to enjoy another day on earth. Try and be happy!

I understand where you are coming from, but I don't see myself as rigid and obsessive. I go out to eat, I eat mac and cheese and ice cream within limits, I drink a glass of wine about once a week. I eat pizza - real pizza. Dieting is a A focus, but not the entire focus - my job, friends and family are in there too. I still go out to eat with friends and my boyfriend. I don't spend hours in the gym - I mainly walk as my exercise. I take a high calorie day once a week, where I go up to 1,600-1,800. I have only just begun, again, and I lost 2 lbs this week. So, I feel encouraged to keep going.

And, you know what -I am happy. Will I be happier thinner? Yeah, because it might mean that I can conceive a child, which is why I am doing all this. At almost 43, that is not going to be easy, and being above a healthy weight makes it all the more difficult.

TXMary2
07-26-2010, 12:55 PM
This is just me, but being the child of an alcoholic and having an eating disorder , it always bothers me to hear weight loss/bingeing compared to alcoholism. IMO while they share similar addictive properties, they are not the same. Not all addictions are the same. Moderation for a food addict might be different because we can not completely abstain from food and in the end, we have to learn how to deal with that. Alcoholism is a very very difficult disease(as is compulsive overeating/bingeing), but it is on a different spectrum. Getting off my soapbox now...

!

Thank you for saying this. I too grew up in an alcoholic home, am married to a recovering alcoholic and I find it semi insulting when alcoholism is compared to food addiction when the alocholic can live without alcohol, but I can't live without food. Can I live without chocolate? Of course. Do I want to? Um, no. I only live once and chocolate in moderation is fine and enjoyable. 5 candy bars in one sitting is not fine and not enjoyable 5 minutes later. Big difference.

Ija
07-26-2010, 12:57 PM
I feel so sad when I read many of the posts in this forum. Yes, everybody wants to be in top physical shape and good health, of course. Maybe it's because I'm older than many here (55), but it really hurts my heart when younger women make dieting the complete focus of their life. They obsess about each morsel, work themselves to death exercising.

Paula, I sometimes feel the same way, to the point that I find myself spending less and less time here...

Personally, obsessiveness always backfired on me, at least in the long run. I lost weight quickly on strict diets, but always ended up regaining. Whenever I tried the all-or-nothing approach, small lapses often lead to huge binges, because I never learned to eat treat foods in moderate amounts. Just the sight of a cookie or slice of bread could have set me off on a week-long gorging spree followed by feelings of guilt, shame, exhaustion and exasperation. Needless to say, going back and forth between these extremes wasn't good for me, either physically, mentally or emotionally.

What finally worked for me was taking a cue from my family in Europe --focusing on balance and moderation, eating lots of fresh, natural foods but also enjoying things like bread, wine, baklava... It took a while to fully adapt, but doing so has trained me to be satisfied with small treats, and has given me peace of mind that I never got from obsessing about every bite, lick and crumb.

My two cents. ;)

Petite Powerhouse
07-26-2010, 01:01 PM
I agree with this, but to state that a 160 lb. woman needs 2,400 calories a day to maintain her weight is not right. Maybe if she were working out a lot, every single day - that is what I burn when I walk for like an hour and a half to two hours. But on sedentary days, the calories needed to maintain are much less for a 160 lb woman. Trust me on this.

Well, to be fair, I am 108 pounds and 37, and I eat more than 2,400 calories every day to maintain. And I only work out three times a week. I've even cut back on exercise on those three days to make room for other things, and I am still eating that much. I don't think one can make make assumptions about calories at any size. We are all different. If I have learned nothing else from spending time on weight-loss blogs, it is that there is no magic formula that will determine how much people at a certain weight can eat. It's totally individual, based on body composition, history of yo-yo dieting, the type of food one eats, the amount of exercise one does, one's general metabolism, etc. I can't imagine eating even 1,500 calories a day at maintenance. I tried to do that once, when attempting to lose weight, and felt like I was starving. I also didn't lose a pound in the month that I ate clean at 1,500 calories. I only started losing weight when I upped my calories.

rockinrobin
07-26-2010, 01:08 PM
Well I think it's okay that this thread turned away from the OP, that happens QUITE often and I don't see how to avoid it as when someone posts something, then we chime in with our own experiences.

And Paula, I very, very rarely see anyone here who makes their weight loss there sole purpose in life and therefore not enjoying life - I mean we are only seeing one small portion of that life - here - at 3fc - where we talk about and focus on - weight loss - because that's what we're here for.

The thing about my focus, dedication and devotion to my food, exercise, my weight, my health - is that it hasn't taken anything away from my life - it has ENHANCED and IMPROVED my life in every little aspect, beyond my wildest dreams. So every ounce of energy, every minute spent on adhering to this wonderful way of life is time VERY well spent. It accomplishes something incredible - hopefully a LONGER life, but while I'm here - a much better quality of life as now I am finally a happy, healthy, energetic, self confident, clothes loving, active, productive, motivated, useful, outgoing, friendly, helpful, best I can be - ME. :)

jillianfan
07-26-2010, 01:13 PM
Well, to be fair, I am 108 pounds and 37, and I eat more than 2,400 calories every day to maintain. And I only work out three times a week. I've even cut back on exercise on those three days to make room for other things, and I am still eating this much. I don't think one can make make assumptions about calories at any size. We are all different. If I have learned nothing else from spending time on weight-loss blogs, it is that there is no magic formula that will determine how much people at a certain weight can eat. It's totally individual, based on body composition, history of yo-yo dieting, the type of food one eats, the amount of exercise one does, one's general metabolism, etc. I can't imagine eating even 1,500 calories a day at maintenance. I tried to do that once, when losing weight, and felt like I was starving. I also didn't lose a pound.

You are lucky, because you apparently have a super high metabolism! :) And I might add, the exception, not the rule. I think most people are more like me - I don't have a high metabolism, but not a sluggish one either. I can burn 2,400 calories in a day, but only if I work out a lot OR do a lot of activity. Actually, on the days when I don't work out, but am active - cleaning the house, going to Wal-Mart, helping with house renovations, doing laundry, hauling books to the library, etc., I burn 2,400 calories plus.

So, I guess I see what you are saying. Really, the key is just get the rear moving, doing anything at all, consistently, to get the calorie burn going.

19Deltawifey
07-26-2010, 02:32 PM
I also think that the OP was referring to what worked and didn't work FOR HER, I don't get why some are internalizing this and getting defensive. I have felt that same way as the OP when it came to me only eating 1200 cals, counting everything, wearing a bodybugg. Of course some of this works for some people, and that's fine but she is just telling us her perspective which she is allowed to do. Even in the past when I said something about 1200 cal diets not working for me certain people it never fails always quoted me and preached to me and picked at every little word I said. The OP had a lot of guts posting what she said and I have never had the guts to even post it.

I am a Intuitive Eater and every post that I see that mentions someone thinking about becoming a IE, mostly 90+% of the comments are negative but you know what I don't feel the need to constantly DEFEND why I am a IE. I post how I feel about IE then I move on, yes it hasn't' worked for some people and they are allowed to say why and give their thoughts and its not my job to tell them if or what they did wrong. That's why I don't understand why some on here get so defensive when someone has something negative to say about 1200 being to extreme for them. Like several people have said what is extreme for one person might not be extreme for another, and this is so true. We should all be able to say what works and what doesn't work without being quoted constantly and having every word that we say picked apart. Okay that's my little rant for today

jillianfan
07-26-2010, 03:26 PM
I definitely don't want to offend anyone. I didn't view my actions as extremist at the time, until the flip side came. I spoke to a nutritionist and a psychologist about this flip, and they both agree that this was over-restriction and borderline eating disorder to eat so few calories and try to determine calories burned so precisely. From what I've seen at 3FC (and I've been here a while), there are very few people here who eat that little and count every calorie burned, and those that do are often advised by the everyone else to try to take it easy a bit.

The bold is the reason why I was offended. It says that eating so few calories and trying to determine calories burned so precisely is a sign of having a borderline eating disorder. I eat that little and determine calories burned precisely, ergo, I have a borderline eating disorder.

Maybe it wasn't meant that way, but I took it that way.

parkedout
07-26-2010, 04:21 PM
I wanted to share this because it's easy to take to extremist actions when you're trying to lose weight- it's the reason why most of us don't last a month on these crazy fad diets. And it's easy to slip into the extremist mindset even if you don't start out with it. I think the most important thing is asking yourself "Could I do this everyday for the rest of my life?" if the answer is no, then your diet isn't going to work long-term.

So I'm back, and I'm counting calories again- this time heeding my own warning.


Well, it sounds like you learned whatever you needed to from this experiment. Good luck to you, Kelly315. You can do it!:hug:

JayEll
07-26-2010, 04:49 PM
I can see how that might rankle, jillianfan--but remember that those two people weren't talking to you. Maybe they saw more to the OP's story than we know.

I also wanted to say that it's not possible to precisely track calories burned with most devices, even a Body Bugg. Did I really burn 160 calories walking on a treadmill for 30 minutes? Maybe, maybe not. that's why I generally didn't count calories burned--I just set my target intake level and went with that.

And the calorie values given in most food databases are averages. A plus-or-minus is always going to be involved. I don't know that the chicken breast I just cooked really contains 30 calories per ounce. Close? Probably. But that's all I can say.

Don't get me wrong--tracking can be a great tool--I also tracked calories during my weight loss, and it taught me a LOT about foods that I never knew. Which is why, for example, I almost never eat pizza. It is just not worth it. Plus I now know it has those layered sugar-fat-salt triggers ("The End of Overeating" explains this).

Jay

jillianfan
07-26-2010, 05:08 PM
I can see how that might rankle, jillianfan--but remember that those two people weren't talking to you. Maybe they saw more to the OP's story than we know.

I also wanted to say that it's not possible to precisely track calories burned with most devices, even a Body Bugg. Did I really burn 160 calories walking on a treadmill for 30 minutes? Maybe, maybe not. that's why I generally didn't count calories burned--I just set my target intake level and went with that.

And the calorie values given in most food databases are averages. A plus-or-minus is always going to be involved. I don't know that the chicken breast I just cooked really contains 30 calories per ounce. Close? Probably. But that's all I can say.

Don't get me wrong--tracking can be a great tool--I also tracked calories during my weight loss, and it taught me a LOT about foods that I never knew. Which is why, for example, I almost never eat pizza. It is just not worth it. Plus I now know it has those layered sugar-fat-salt triggers ("The End of Overeating" explains this).

Jay

You are right - the psychologist and the nutritionist had other facts to go on. I guess it just came out wrong on the OP's end, or I took it wrong. :dizzy: I guess that I am sensitive because losing weight is so hard for me, and I have to be restrictive or I don't lose, and I feel like my whole approach has been called into question as disordered eating.

And I know that the bodybugg is not 100% accurate, but it is accurate enough that it keeps me moving. Food logs are not 100% accurate either - I log onto livestrong, and their calorie counts are all over the place for the same food. Still, these two devices provide a ballpark of where I am at, along with a road map.

That said, I am only on my second week back, after having gained 15 lbs from my last endeavor. I lost weight this way before, and going off of it had less to do with feeling deprived then it did just getting comfortable (ooh, I am getting thin again, I might as well eat!) I just have to keep my head in the game this time, and I will do it.

caryesings
07-26-2010, 05:26 PM
I also wanted to say that it's not possible to precisely track calories burned with most devices, even a Body Bugg. Did I really burn 160 calories walking on a treadmill for 30 minutes? Maybe, maybe not. that's why I generally didn't count calories burned--I just set my target intake level and went with that.

And the calorie values given in most food databases are averages. A plus-or-minus is always going to be involved. I don't know that the chicken breast I just cooked really contains 30 calories per ounce. Close? Probably. But that's all I can say.

Don't get me wrong--tracking can be a great tool--I also tracked calories during my weight loss, and it taught me a LOT about foods that I never knew. Which is why, for example, I almost never eat pizza. It is just not worth it. Plus I now know it has those layered sugar-fat-salt triggers ("The End of Overeating" explains this).

Jay

I've been a person whose entire plan is based on tracking calorie deficit rather than jumping on the scales. So you'd think I'd be one to really want my diet and exercise calories to be "right". But I really don't sweat it. When a food isn't listed in the database, I pick a similar one by composition for example using raisin values for dried cherries. I guesstimate portion sizes when I eat away from home. I don't special order in restaurants.

The only exercise I enter are my intentional cardio sessions. I don't count lifestyle activity (walk to the farmer's market), weight work, or yoga.

When I started out it was fairly easy to have a theoretical deficit of 1100 cals per day (you need a pretty big number to maintain 265 lbs). As my weight drops, so has my average daily deficit and current average is less than 800 per day. But is it really? It doesn't matter. As long as I'm keeping the average on the deficit side, the weight is coming off. I've proven it to myself.

So when I've shown friends how I'm accomplishing this weight loss, I realize my careful logging and graphing might appear pretty extreme but I actually feel pretty laid back about it.

kaplods
07-27-2010, 07:29 PM
I realize my careful logging and graphing might appear pretty extreme but I actually feel pretty laid back about it.

I think this really is the key here. Do you feel like you're on a track that integrates into your life. Is it "no big deal" to you, just the way you've chosen to live your life, that's a pretty big clue that you're not on a path that's too extreme for you.

However, if your weight loss tactics are manufacturing stress rather than relieving it, that's a big clue that you may be on an extreme path.

It doesn't even mean that it's not a path you'll eventually be on - it might just be one you're not ready for.

When I started trying to include exercise, I had a really hard time finding an amount/frequency of exercise that was right for me. I would do too much and then be in bed for three days because of the pain and fatigue.

What was "too much" for me then, isn't too much for me now. My abilities have improved.

If you feel like you're being challenged, but successful most of the time that's a good sign that you're probably at a good place. If you feel that you're never successful, and that your results are never good enough, maybe you're pushing yourself too far. And if you feel that you're always successful and that what you're doing is "easy" maybe there's room to put in a little more effort (unless you're happy with the results you're seeing and don't want to put in any more effort).

We admire perfectionisms in our culture. On some level, we believe that it's virtuous to never feel "good enough." But there's a fine line between wanting to do better, and feeling like crap even when you're succeeding, because you're not succeeding ENOUGH.

Challenges are a source of stress. We need stress in our lives (it's called motivation), but there's a fine line between good stress and bad stress, and positive stress and negative stress.

Only you can determine whether you have the right amount of stress in you life, and if it's the right kind. Push yourself, but not to the point that you feel like you're failing even when you're actually succeeding.

SweetTink
07-27-2010, 07:57 PM
I hope I don't offend anybody by my thoughts, but here they are: I feel so sad when I read many of the posts in this forum. Yes, everybody wants to be in top physical shape and good health, of course. Maybe it's because I'm older than many here (55), but it really hurts my heart when younger women make dieting the complete focus of their life. They obsess about each morsel, work themselves to death exercising. So many are so very very unhappy if they feel they don't look perfect. Yes, I'm fat now and working on it, but it doesn't consume my every waking moment. I was slim throughout my 20's and 30's, the weight started coming on in my 40's, mostly because I couldn't work out like I used to but felt I could eat the same way. Now I'm cutting down and working out 4 days a week for 2 hours at a time.

Every now and then, please stop and smell the roses, that's all I'm saying. Life is so short, you're only young once, try and enjoy each day and not worry constantly. Do your best every day but don't beat yourself up. I lost several dear friends to breast cancer at a young age, they would give anything to enjoy another day on earth. Try and be happy!

Paula I think you are fabulous! :broc:

Thank you for reminding me why I'm bothering to try to be healthier in the first place; to live a longer, happier, healthier life. Sometimes I get so caught up in trying to lose weight that I forget to enjoy life.

It's funny you bring this up because I quit counting calories and pushing so hard to exercise and when I stopped pushing so hard is when the weight started coming off. I think everyone could take your advice and just go out and enjoy life!

:cheers::sunny::beach:

Thank you for passing along your wisdom. :hug: It was very much appreciated!

WormwoodDoll
07-28-2010, 05:29 PM
I'm glad to see you're back Kelly! Unfortunately, pregnancy really triggered my binge-eating. So now I am back on the road to trying to find a healthy balance between binge-eating and restricting.

kelly315
07-28-2010, 05:41 PM
The bold is the reason why I was offended. It says that eating so few calories and trying to determine calories burned so precisely is a sign of having a borderline eating disorder. I eat that little and determine calories burned precisely, ergo, I have a borderline eating disorder.

Maybe it wasn't meant that way, but I took it that way.

Jillianfan- I was just writing about my own experiences. I think that being aware of these kinds of signs is important at a site like this, because we're all at risk of falling into (mentally) unhealthy eating patterns. I don't know the details of your life, so I would never presume to suggest that there is anything wrong with what you're doing. However, I believe the experts I saw about this, and trust that this is good information. There are all kinds of eating disorders, all levels, and they don't have to carry the same stigma that they used to. Discussing it is one way to help prevent others from suffering.

kelly315
07-28-2010, 05:44 PM
wormwooddoll- congratulations on the wedding and the baby! I have no doubt that pregnancy can do that to the best of us.

WormwoodDoll
07-28-2010, 05:47 PM
wormwooddoll- congratulations on the wedding and the baby! I have no doubt that pregnancy can do that to the best of us.

Thanks! I found out the day before my wedding I was pregnant. :o I gained almost 40lbs during my pregnancy and have been yo-yoing with losing the baby weight. So frustrating. I binge. I restrict. I'll do great for a couple days. Binge again. It's a rough cycle.

kelly315
07-28-2010, 05:50 PM
I've been in that cycle enough myself. Boy or girl? Name?

WormwoodDoll
07-29-2010, 07:42 PM
I've been in that cycle enough myself. Boy or girl? Name?

Boy. :) He's name is Griffin Michael.

Ellie Hastings
08-01-2010, 02:11 PM
I don't normally count calories but I recently picked up a diet analysis program and I entered my food log for the past couple of months. According to it, whenever I duck below 1300-1400/day that's when the hunger problems start. I haven't done this in a long time but I read somewhere that a sedentary woman should consume around 10 calories per pound of weight/day to maintain. If I did that I would have to consume 2,640 calories/day. I could very easily consume this amount, but I would definitely gain weight. When I consume about 1400 cal/day I feel pretty good so I'm going with that - at least for now. :snail: