100 lb. Club - To Give it My All or Just Give Up?

03-16-2011, 12:03 PM
Lots of stuff swirling around in this head of mine lately regarding my health, my weight, my chronic back pain, and my commitment to improvement. Tomorrow is the sign up for WW at Work, and I've been debating about whether or not to sign up. I'm still not used to the new Points Plus system because all the points values I had memorized for my fave foods are now 1 to 2 points higher, so it's like relearning the whole dang system. I chatted with a friend over the weekend about the Prevention Flat Belly Diet...and I checked the book out of the library. The plan seems to makes a lot of sense, but I struggle that it is fairly restrictive. I can even accept that it's necessary to drink 64 oz of their "sassy" water (with cucumber, ginger, lemon and spearmint). Maybe it's just restrictive for the first 4 days or week. I need to look into it some more.

I'm also debating about whether or not to give up my gym membership. I probably should've done so months ago when I was first restricted due to my back pain. My back is hurting again...but I think/hope it's only temporary pain that will go away with more PT/rehab exercises. Anyway, between the back pain and the acute bronchitis I've had for the past 3-4 weeks, I've only been to the gym once or twice in the past 6 months...very sad for a former Zumba addict/gym rat like me. I've got DVDs and the Wii Fit at home, but I haven't even used those hardly at all in the last couple months. Now with the weather getting nicer, I want to walk and ride my bike more, even if I can only walk for 10 or 15 minutes before my back gets bad.

So if I give up my gym membership, I'll save $65/month. If I don't do WW at Work, that's $185 savings. But am I going to find and stick with other methods...or is this just me giving up?

I know that my back pain, cholesterol and blood sugar will all improve if I start and stick to a healthy eating/exercise plan...but I'm just not motivated to do it. I don't know if this attitude is because I'm still very fatigued from the bronchitis (which I am), or if I just want to give up. For all I know, this could just be that the stupid Prednisone I'm still taking for my lungs is affecting my mood/attitude. But if I am feeling like I just want to "give up", maybe DH is right to be concerned (and he is) about my long term health. I go back to the doc at the end of April for new fasting blood tests, and given the steroids I've been on for bronchitis, and not being able to exercise, I doubt there's been any improvement, unless I can turn things around in a month.

BTW, I spent a lot of time looking at the Progress Photos this morning, and while I don't know if I'll ever get to my goal weight of 140 or 150 (seems like so very far off), it sure would be nice to like what I see in the mirror (or in a photo).

Anyway, I'm sorry for the downer...but I'm turning to you for advice, suggestions and a big KICK in the arse.


03-16-2011, 12:22 PM
I don't want to give you a kick in the arse :hug:

While I was reading, I was curious if you have access to a pool (either near your home or at the gym)? That would be one of the few reasons I would say to keep the gym membership. But if it's just dead weight and you prefer to work out at home like me, then I don't see a reason to keep something like a gym membership.

As far as what diet plan to follow, if $185/month is too much (yeesh!) and you're not sure about WW, then I suggest to keep looking for a reasonable diet plan book at the library. Keep searching for something that interests you. There's no rule that you have to spend tons of cash to prove that you're committed to losing weight :) You can do it practically for free with resources at the library and on the Internet.

Best thing I can suggest here is to think about what matters to you in life. Often, thinking about one's health is just not enough to make you want to exercise or eat right, you know?

What would you like to be able to do? Would losing some weight relieve some of the pain you experience each day? Would you like to improve your mood? What things could you be missing out on if you don't lose weight?

I can only imagine that losing weight will alleviate some of your symptoms of chronic back pain (less to carry around) and even the bronchitis (less to work against when breathing).

Try to find an eating plan that interests you or excites you. Something you could look forward to. Also, don't forget that you can do an online membership of WW for $10/month. Then pick some low-impact exercises you actually enjoy -- it sounds like you already like to walk, so I'd build on that. If you have a pool near you, that could give you some low-impact exercise without putting too much strain on your back.

I don't think you're giving up. I think you're searching for what will work best for you. And that's okay :)

Anyway, I hope this all improves for you!

03-16-2011, 01:17 PM
Well, if you have to pick one, definitely pick giving it your all! :) I second pp's suggestion, any chance of doing some swimming? I know when I had back pain a few years ago, I felt like I couldn't do anything. I finally got it together and started working out, and my back pain went away very quickly. Let those pictures be your motivation, or how about buying a target pair of pants or something a size or two down? That's what kept me moving while I was losing...and then the weight loss itself has become the carrot, because it feels so amazing to be lighter.

And I am definitely one who says you do not need to spend money to lose weight. I have tried many plans in the past and paid for them, with fairly dismal results. Calorie counting, I finally found out, is simple, free, and also gives you freedom in that you can eat what you want. I am not good with restriction, (other than portion size, of course) and wanted the option to eat different food groups. Of course, over time, my choices have turned more and more healthy and fresh, because healthy foods are the least calorie dense and also make me feel the best.

Start slowly, do lots of self talk about why you're making changes and how many more things you will be able to do as you lose weight...daily life just becomes easier. Health was one my main motivators...I am 33 and had always called myself a "healthy" fat person because my numbers were good and I was fairly active...but it started catching up with me. My knees were hurting regularly and I had to start taking pain relievers on a daily basis...I got more winded doing ordinary things and my blood pressure had started rising. I knew it was time. You can do it!

DixC Chix
03-16-2011, 01:33 PM
First, have a hug :hug:! This business of getting healthy is a lot to think about. Once you have it thought out, planned out,... the heart and body will follow!!

Give it your all - and what that might be today may not be what your 'all' will be tomorrow but that is okay. Your 'all' can change every day, every hour, every minute. Give what you can and whatyou will get back IS more.

Do you have any of the materials from your former WW membership? You can still use them and track the points you eat at home. Or buy (one initial investment) the new materials and do the Points+ at home. (I do WW online so I do it at home. If I stick to whole foods, counting is easy -fruit/veg=0, meat = 1 per oz).

Or calorie count using any one of a number of sites like fitday or sparkpeople, etc.

The food part of this change is more effective at reducing weight than exercise. I think of it as food choices (diet) = weight; exercise = fitness. It is okay to just focus on losing weight in the beginning so that exercise is more comfortable in 20# or so.

I whole-heartedly recommend exercise in a pool. If your gym membership includes the pool, that may be worth it to continue. Or maybe you have a local YMCA that has a pool and a cheaper membership.

I, too, have a bad back (L4-5) and I did only water aerobics 3 x wk for about a year (and 50#) before I could add in more. Now I do water aerobics 4 x wk, added a gentle yoga class 1 x wk and I recently added a body pump 2 x wk (I use 5# weights so I don't overdue).

I do not have the discipline to exercise at home so I HAVE to commit to a class. I do walk my dog but she's old so we walk 1 mile in about 35-40 minutes. She won't let me not walk her!!! Everything helps.

Good luck to you with whatever you decide but I hope you decide you are worth the 'give it your all'.

03-16-2011, 03:38 PM
If motivation is your current issue, the WW at work may be the right choice. If I remember, you have to pay the fee for the entire 10 weeks up front? (then my company re-imbursed 50% if we attended 8 of 10 weeks).

I didn't lose a lot with weight on that program, but HAVING to step on a scale every week and having lunch with workmates who were in the same program helped keep me on track.

03-16-2011, 03:51 PM
This is how we're taught to look at weight loss - give it everyting or give it up - two extreme choices. So when we find ourselves unable to "give it everything" we believe the only alternative is to give up.

I propose an alternative - when you have the energy and drive to give it your all, do that (if you want). When you only have the energy and drive to do it half-assed, then do it half-assed.

I have lost every one of my 88 lbs, half-assed (in comparison to previous weight loss attempts).

Give it what you've got and are willing to give.

When I started, I didn't have much effort or energy to give. I didn't give it everything I could (and I didn't try). I gave it what I could fit into my life without cracking. And at first it wasn't much.

I don't suggest "the bare minimum" unless you're ok with minimal results, because very small and gradual changes yeild very small and gradual changes. My first two years of effort resulted in no weight loss at all (though I did make progress in other ways. I was able to increase my lung capacity and increase my walking ability. I gained a lot of function, despite the lack of weight loss).

I also wouldn't give up anything without having a new plan in placed. You will "find and stick with other methods" only if you plan for it.

That being said, there are a lot of things you could do instead, so the alternatives are there if you want to (you don't have to spend a lot of money to lose weight. When I started, our budget was ridiculously tight.

I have a couple suggestions that are inexpensive

TOPS (Taking Off Pounds Sensibly). It's a not-for-profit organization. You have to pay national and chapter dues. The national annual dues are $26, and includes a magazine that comes out 9 times a year. The chapter dues are decided by the chapter and usually range from $2 to $5 per month, and most chapters have ways get free dues. One chapter I belonged to gave everyone who lost any weight during the previous month, the next month's dues free. One chapter I belonged to, gave you free months dues if you lost 5 lbs in the previous month, and another gave free dues to anyone who was maintaining a ten pound loss for that year (so if you lost 10 lbs, you would keep getting free dues for the rest of that year as long as you maintained that loss, even if you weren't still losing).

Most TOPS clubs also run weight loss and exercise contests that you might find motivating. I certainly do. I'm running a contest right now for our group (our group likes contests a lot, so anyone who wants to create and run one can). My contest gives points for weight loss, and for exercise, and at the end there will be a $5, $3, and $2 prize for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place.

The gym membership is a waste, if you're not going. But with back pain, water exercise is often the best. When I herniated a disk about 15 years ago, I would have lived in the water if I could. Not only was I able to do more movement in the water, the relief from gravity was amazing. Initially I could only tread water without pain - and not "fast" treading water. I barely moved (because it hurt so bad). At first, I moved just enough to stay upright. It was more like meditation than exercise. I wasn't even doing it (at first) for "exercise" as much as pain relief.

If your gym has a pool, I would recommend that you consider water exercise. Even if you only tread water slowly and gently, just the movements involved in remaining upright will strengthen your back. You'll be able to do more and more.

If your gym doesn't have a pool, I would consider looking for one (especially if you can find a warm water pool - a pool keeping the water in the mid 80's is ideal). Warm water exercise plans are amazing, and often you can pay only when you go (our community warm water pool charges $5 per visit. You can save money by paying by the month or the year, but if you don't know how often you will use it, paying per visit is nice - also some insurances cover visits as physical therapy).

Another free option that is fun, is volunteering to walk dogs for the Humane Society (as long as you choose the dog carefully. You want to choose smallish dogs, or dogs that behave very well on the leash. You'll have to communicate your needs to the Humane Society staff).

Planning really is key, because if you quit without a plan, it's so easy to procrastinate when it comes to finding replacements. Have your replacement plan in place, before you quit.

03-16-2011, 04:55 PM
I propose an alternative - when you have the energy and drive to give it your all, do that (if you want). When you only have the energy and drive to do it half-assed, then do it half-assed.
Give it what you've got and are willing to give.

I love this!! Kaplods is right, something is better than nothing, every time! :)

03-16-2011, 05:28 PM
I have pain as well, I have fibromyalgia, it's mostly my legs, it sucks, I have a job where I stand, so can only work short shifts. I get that pain makes it so difficult to exercise, though I don't know what is wrong with your back I have a friend with a back injury and she has found yoga to be so helpful. She went from just doing it a few mins a day to now over the course of a year or more (?) doing it for 40 mins several times a week. She was using a walker, and now can use a cane. I think she's only 41 or so. It is possible to recover from such things.

I am seeing an amazing PT right now, you have to stick with what they tell you though, you have to do the work at home too on your own for it to work I think.

I can't see paying for ww when there are so many free calorie counting websites out there that are basically the same thing. They are little more intuitive as you learn, but they get easier.

I use www.sparkpeople.com

I agree, do what you can now, and maybe doing a little will spur you on to do more. The 'all or nothing' mentality is kind of what keeps us fat I think. Since we can't give it our all RIGHT NOW then we might as well not bother at all. Just do what you can. That's what I've been doing. The one thing I'm really in contorl with is food, I've been pretty much like...99% on plan for 144 days now. No cheats. I know I can't totally control how able I am to exercise regularly so I stay on point with food. I've lost most of my weight since oct 2010, all but 12 lbs of it.

Good luck in whatever you chose!

03-17-2011, 01:24 PM
Good morning ladies -

Thanks for all the words of wisdom and support. I can't sufficiently express my extreme appreciation enough for your suggestions.

As for the Y, on the 25th, I'm meeting with a good friend, who is also a Personal Trainer (and Zumba instructor) at the Y. We're going to discuss health, weight loss and exercise. If I decide to place a hold (or cancel) my membership, I need to submit the form 10 days prior to my April 1st billing date, and since the meeting with the trainer isn't until the 25th, it looks like I'll be keeping my membership through April. If I'm feeling up to it, I'm hoping to try a water aerobics class next Monday or Wednesday. I really do have to ease back into exercise slowly due to my back. Even if that means only walking 10 minutes twice a day if that's all my back can tolerate. Right now, because of being laid up for 3+ weeks, my muscles are shot, especially my core muscles that I desperately need to keep my back in alignment and keep the pain at bay. I had great difficulty walking last weekend...it was very painful. And DH and I are planning on going to a Gem, Rock and Fossil expo this weekend, and the thought of all that walking (and pain) is worrying me.

As for my healthy eating plan...I'm feeling better now. I told my friend/co-worker who has been encouraging me to sign up for WW at Work that I'm going to pass on it. I also talked with the Nurse/Registered Dietitian/Wellness coach at my company's Wellness Center, who specializes in heart healthy and blood sugar healthy programs, and she is going to work with me one on one...meeting with me every week, which will be nice to have a little more personalized attention/coaching than I would get in WW, and it's free. I've been working with her off and on in a group setting for 2 years now, and she knows my health challenges as well as the physical issues I've been dealing with the last year. She recommends a few individual sessions to start off with so we can talk about the "head"/"heart" part of weight loss/getting healthy to get me in the game.

Starting today, I'm going to shoot for a calorie intake of between 1,300 to 1,400 calories...which is what she suggested, with plenty of lean protein, healthy carbs (including veggies, fruits and whole grains), low-fat/non-fat dairy, and healthy fats (MUFA's).

I feel optimistic because there are SO many free tools online. And I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders now that I know I won't be shelling out $185 for the 17-week WW at Work program, but that I still can and will be following a program that includes journaling, and I'll have FREE one to one support from the Wellness Center (who will work with my physical therapist). I'm not feeling so overwhelmed.

Thanks again for your wisdom and support! BTW, I love Kaplods' suggestion of...if I can't give it my all, give it the best I've got even if it's half-assed!!


03-17-2011, 05:50 PM
I'm happy for you -- it sounds like you have a good plan in place :) Good luck with it!

I also liked kaplods' comment! :)