Weight Loss Support - The Secret To Staying Committed?

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11-25-2010, 09:37 PM
I think I finally figured out that my problem is not a lack of motivation or knowledge regarding weight loss, I just have a ridiculous problem with staying committed to a certain exercise regimen, a certain meal plan or certain calorie budget. Every time I try to lose weight, I fail because I hit a plateau that lasts forever and I eventually drop out before getting over it.

I really really wanted 2010 to be my last "fat year". It won't be, because 1 month before 2011 I'm still OBESE. I really want things to change, I know what I need to do and how I need to do it. But I have no way of staying committed, I don't know how to keep myself in line and I fail myself every single time.

I know I'm ready to lose more weight, I want to be healthy and fit, so why is it that I can't keep myself committed to a weight loss plan? Why don't I have any self-control?

What do you guys do on a daily basis to keep yourself committed to you plan? What saves you from "screwing up" your day every day?

I just want to be able to make it work...

11-25-2010, 10:05 PM
You healthy routine has to become your natural routine to where it feels strange to *not* do the right thing. It shouldn't feel like a hardship or work, it should feel like its a natural part of your everyday life.

Maybe the changes you made aren't working for you and you need to try something else? Find an exercise routine that you love and want to do, find healthy foods that you crave and want to eat, and learn to appreciate the overall aspects of a healthy lifestyle.

In the past, when weight loss felt like deprivation like a grind (like putting in a hard days work) I felt discouraged. When I learned to make this my life (for the rest of my live) I've changed my mindset.

I personally don't like the word committment. It sounds like "willpower" (another word I dislike). This is now what I am. Its who I am. Its just me.

11-25-2010, 11:08 PM
"I just have a ridiculous problem with staying committed to a certain exercise regimen, a certain meal plan or certain calorie budget."

This struck me because I don't do any of these things. My plan is to exercise and eat foods that are low in fat and carbs and in smaller portions. I don't have a structured meal plan or calorie budget. That is just what is working for me.

One thing that does help me is that my family members and coworkers know I am actively losing weight. If I ate something like a piece of cake in front of them, I would feel like I was a failure at doing what I want to do, so that helps. Good luck!

11-25-2010, 11:43 PM
In the exercise department anyway sometimes signing up for for something that scares you a little bit can sometimes be a helpful motivator something like a 5k or a Tri... whatever then you slowly work your way up in distances. This can apply to other activities as well that have some sort of "end" point that you have to be prepared enough for.

As for food... beats the **** out of me. Let me know if you discover it. I'm still working on that one. heh.

11-26-2010, 03:26 AM
I always find it disheartening that there are so many great activity choices for kids and then for adults we always end up with aerobics and gym, exercise for the sake of exercise, not exercise you get as a byproduct of learning to dance. There are some more interesting adult classes coming through like dance classes, rock-climbing, etc. Find something you want to do and more particularly where you like the people. If you join something like a soccer or netball team then you will be motivated to go and see your team and not to let the team down with lack of numbers as much as your motivation to get thin. Your desire to reach your goal has to outweigh your desire to stay on the sofa, and you need to shorten those odds by picking something you want to do.

Keeping going through the plateaus? I remind myself that maintaining is better than gaining. If I look at my prior pattern then either I stick to my plan and I don't lose anything but I manage to stay 184 (I think that's what I am just now, I forget!) or I keep my old eating habits and this time next year I weigh 220. Which do I prefer? Try to have some goals that are not just downward movement on the scale dial - what about feeling healthier, being able to walk somewhere that is challenging at the moment? Maybe in a few months you will run there! This is much broader than the weigh-in. Sure we often report on the scales, but have a look around the mini-goals section and see the variety of other achievements people report that are not on the scales.

But at the end of the day this has to mean something to you every single day, you have to want it every day. I had fluctuating motivation for ages, one day I'd look in the mirror annoyed to be fat, the next I "didn't look too bad" then another day fat again, the day after well, at least I'm not Biggest Loser fat so that's fine, isn't it? Anyway, I don't want to give up ice-cream and chocolate. You can't do it with part-time motivation.

Set a small goal to start with, the first 5lbs maybe, or for one week you will do a certain exercise routine, then go from there for them to build to bigger goals.

11-26-2010, 06:21 AM
On November I hit my first plateau and what helped me to go trough it was thinking about the stuff Ive read here: this is not forever and realized that was time to review my routine of diet and exercise. The diet was fine... so I added running (C25k) to my routine and the scale since last week is going down like when I started to diet :carrot:

Patience, we cannot pretend to lose in a few months what took us years to store.

11-26-2010, 07:50 AM
The part of you that wants to lose weight and the part of you that wants to put that high-calorie food in your mouth have to get on the same page.

Do you ever find yourself eating something that you didn't plan to eat, maybe that you actually planned NOT to eat? Do you find yourself going into a store just for the purpose of buying some food that isn't on your plan? Even though you "know" better?

You need to have a strategy or two to use at those times. You have to be able to give yourself a time-out before the food gets into your mouth so you can evaluate what you're doing.

- One 3FC member writes down what she is going to eat before she eats it. That's her rule. Having to write down junk food ahead of time gives a few moments to think again.

- Are there times when you are more likely to give in to a "mindless" craving? What are those times? Do you always want a "treat" at a certain time of day, or after an activity? Two things you can do--one is, avoid the activity. Another is, have a healthy snack that's within your plan at the ready so you can have that instead of the counterproductive food.

- Do you plan your day out in advance? Do you have weight-friendly choices available at all times? This can be a simple as having a protein bar in your bag whenever you're out. The plan may change as the day goes on, but the point is, it should change, not go out the window.

No one can give you self control. You have to work that out on your own. Unless someone is holding you down and forcing fattening food between your clenched teeth, you have a choice. Glory87, I think--or maybe it was LoriBell--had a good slogan awhile ago: "My hand, my mouth."

Lists, counting, planning, these are tools to help you develop that self control and get off automatic pilot.

Good luck!

11-26-2010, 08:39 AM
Why don't I have any self-control?

Ahhh, but you do. You just have to use. You need to strengthen it and you do that by learning to tell yourself no. Every time you give in so easily, you lose the opportunity to strengthen the control, but worse, you re-enforce the bad habits. It's okay to tell yourself no. It is the only way this will happen. The only way. You must work past the discomfort. Stop giving yourself permission to veer off your plan. You want to be your best, than you'll have to DO your best. Work past that discomfort. You're establishing new habits and there will be a transition period and it will feel uncomfortable. Just initially, temporarily. Get past it. MAke it your job, your mission

From Matt:
This is now what I am. Its who I am. Its just me.
Yes, that's how it is NOW. But you have to get there. You have to force yourself there. You do that by not giving in - no matter what, no matter what, no matter what. By learning to tell yourself no, but working past.. oh - see above.

What do you guys do on a daily basis to keep yourself committed to you plan? What saves you from "screwing up" your day every day?

-My desire to be thin, fit, trim, healthy and my optimal.
-My belief that to not eat well and exercise is not an option. That to eat well and not take care of my body is ludicrous and out of the question. Out. Of. THe. Question.

What do you guys do on a daily basis to keep yourself committed to you plan? What saves you from "screwing up" your day every day?

-I set myself up for success.
- I plan the heck out of my day. Every morsel, lick, taste, crumb.
-I make that plan and I stick to it like glue. Like glue. I don't give myself permission to change it. But of course at this point, I don't need to/want to. But you have to get there....

And you have to be willing to make the changes to get you there. Willing. It's all in the willingness. Are you willing to change? ARe you willing to make some initial *sacrifices* to better your life? Are you willing to work past the discomfort?

But you have to get there. You have to work past the discomfort.. hmmm, I'm beginning to see a pattern.

But seriously, I believe it's a matter of switching over those habits. And it CAN be done. If Matt can do it and I can do it - you can do it. It's a doable thing. Weight loss is possible for every one and any one. Yourself included. We've all got the ability to do it. We are all capable of it. Push yourself. Really, really hard. Stretch. Reach. Strive. Grow.

You've got to hang on till those rewards start surfacing. You've got to hang on till these good habits are automatic and ingrained in you. And it can and does happen. If you allow it to. If you MAKE it happen.

Require more from yourself. Raise your standards.

Transform. Your. Life.

11-26-2010, 08:47 AM
I have a few ways.

The first is that I wrote down what values I want to live with regard to my body and my health: I value being strong, flexible, having good cardiovascular strength (aka strong lungs), being disciplined, and keeping my body healthy by not over taxing it with weight.

Then I wrote down my goals: to be committed to daily exercise, to weigh 155 pounds or so by my birthday, to be able to run a certain distance, not to go to bed stuffed or wake up thinking "what did I eat yesterday?"

Then I wrote down the actions that will get me to those goals: daily exercise, regular yoga, planning my meals to meet my body's needs, etc.

That way when I'm tempted to skip yoga class or just eat mindlessly I can say "wait, do those actions mesh with my values and goals?" If not, then I figure out what would and I let my values and goals be the light house that steers me away from the rocks and back on my journey.

Also, I use sparkpeople to track my meals. I usually plan breakfast and lunch the day before, and then dinner at some point during the day. It's flexible and I can change as needed but at least I have a guide. And it's helpful on days like today where I realized last night that I was out of bread and couldn't have my eggs and toast for breakfat. I then made a plan for oatmeal and figured out the toppings last night while I had some time to play around with them, not this morning when I'm famished and rushing.

11-26-2010, 12:10 PM
Ah, commitment. :D The secret to my success. :D I just had to chime in on this one.

Specifically how do I stay committed? I did it by setting it as my main goal. Please feel free to go read my unusual GOAL post in the Goal photo album section. It was such a main focus in my weight loss that I posted about my success having reached it, even though my weight was not at goal.

I set a time frame. I wanted to know where I could be if I didn't give up for one full year. So for one full year, I was committed to my plan no matter what. I chose a baseline of exercise I had to do no matter what. So if it got too hard, too boring, whatever, I reverted back to baseline. I didn't have to give it up altogether. As for eating, I tweak my food plan monthly in part to keep me interested. Really that's just been a bi-product. Every now and then I'll read something here and think, "Hmm, yeah, I want to eat like that." So I do.

So why not make a true commitment to yourself? It doesn't have to be a full year. That worked well for ME. Maybe for you, you stay committed for 12 weeks to see how much success you have. Just 12 weeks. Then after that 12 weeks, evaluate and set a new goal. That's a great way to change up exercise too.

11-26-2010, 01:33 PM
Eliana, I thought of you and your 1 year commitment when I first read this post.

Just wanted to add

I just want to be able to make it work...

You ARE able to. So if you want to be able to make it work, then by all means, make it work.You've got the ability. You've got it. You've got it. You've got it.

11-26-2010, 02:36 PM
For me it is the desire to never go back, to conquer this demon that has haunted me all my life and to finally "get there". When I'm tempted I think of my disappointment at my daily weigh in. I think of my trousers getting tighter, and regaining for the third time the 90lbs I have lost. I WILL NOT BE FAT AGAIN. IWILL WIN......so will you, you just have to want it enough.

11-26-2010, 02:38 PM
Remember also how much time we are happy to plough into other areas of our lives, but we expect our weight loss to come overnight. Did you ever want to go somewhere in your career and took a year-long course? Perhaps you went to college and invested thousands and 2, 3, 4 years of your life? Remember high school? That took a while, but you were working towards an end goal of graduating. If you took up a GED instead did you expect to buy the books on Monday and pass on Friday? Real goals take patience and sticking power, and they do take time. Invest the time.

11-26-2010, 04:11 PM
I don't have any secrets on commitment, but I know this time will be different. I'm doing it for ME and not any other reason. I am tired of being unhappy with my body! I've been obese for the last 10 years and I will not have it any longer!!!

11-26-2010, 05:29 PM
If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.

That's an old Mother Goose saying. There are no secrets and all the wishing in the world won't make something happen. For me, it took a heavy dose of reality to face my weight, my food issues and what to do about it.

I think for most people, they keep getting stuck in the same diet cycles, and don't know how to do it differently. I know I sure did. To break the cycle, I did something I never did before....I simplified the whole thing into 1 rule, not 10. I didn't overwhelm myself with all kinds of restrictions all put into place at one time.

My rule was to calorie count using a nutritional software. I let the software do the work and keep the records and reports for me. I just entered what I ate. I had no calorie limits, I had no good foods or bad foods....I just recorded what I ate.

As time when on, I got interested in refining my food selections. I paid attention to how I felt in general and if it was the food I was eating that made me feel that way. I dropped my calories down a bit to see what would happen (still not making any rule about how much I ate in a day). I started to lose weight. When a stall hit that lasted more than 2 weeks, I lowered my calories. It was simple and it was working and I never felt I was under all this pressure to stick to a food plan I did not want to eat.

Some days I ate more than others. I watch my average over the month and try to adjust the calories if it gets too high and I find I am not losing. I try for a 5 pound loss a month. With 160 pounds to lose, I knew it was going to take a very long time. I accept that. I know I am going to get to goal because I want that more than anything else right now.

Also, it may help to realize that if you can commit yourself to brushing your teeth every morning, you can commit to entering your foods. It takes only minutes a day...to enter and then review at the end of the day to make adjustments. These software programs allow you to save all your favourite foods, the foods eaten most often and they are easy to set up.

11-26-2010, 06:42 PM
I have (mostly) completely divorced emotions from this weight loss process and healthy lifestyle.

My commitment is nothing that I feel. It just is. On days when I don't want to exercise, or days when I do want to eat off plan, I remind myself that I am making choices today that will affect me for the rest of my life, and I need to make the best choices possible.

Emotions are treacherous things. They led me to bingeing and other kinds of emotional eating. When it comes to nutrition and health, they are rarely to be trusted. :)

I've adapted a lot of this from the CBT principles of the Dr. Judith Beck in her books, and 97.5% of the time it works. When faced with something I know I should (or shouldn't) do and my own unwillingness, I tell myself, "No choice." I don't have a choice about brushing my teeth or going to work or paying my taxes, and I don't give myself a choice about diet and exercise, either.