Weight Loss Support - Surrounded by all the things that got me to my HW

04-06-2011, 12:59 PM
I don't know what to do at this point. I'm just hoping someone might have gone through this too.

I have a weird living situation, I live with my boyfriend's family. I don't talk to my mom, and my dad is an alcoholic (while I technically can live there, I choose not to) so this is really the only place for me to go. The house is full to the brim with junk food here. All of the stuff that got me to my high weight is here. And I'm not exaggerating. I took pics of the pantries:


Everything you could imagine is here. It doesn't help that my boyfriend's mom is an excellent cook. It's very Paula Deen-esque cooking here, you can't lighten that up. I've tried. I cook my own dinners on the side a lot, but the fact remains that there's junk food up the wazoo here. Someone is always making a double batch of cookie dough, or brownies, or making an enormous sundae. And no, none of them are fat. They just stop eating when they're full.

I can't move out, I have nowhere else to go. Besides, other than the fact that there's tons of food I love it here. This is the first time in my life I've been in a normal family that eats dinner together at the table and everyone actually likes each other. His mom asks about my day, and helps me pick classes for school, and we go shopping together. I've never had that before, and I wouldn't trade it for anything. But I do know I have some weird compulsion with food, and I eat to make myself feel better, even now. It's hard not to, it's automatic actually. I realized that's how I got to be morbidly obese by the time I was a senior in high school, with not a single obese person in my entire family. It was a scary realization.

I've wondered if maybe I should just put weight loss on hold for the time being until I can get into my own place (that won't be for at least a year or two.) But at the same time I don't want to. I try not to, but I see the success of everyone here on 3FC all the time and I feel like a failure. I'm not a quitter, and I'm not a weak person. But I feel like it now. That's why this is so hard for me. I'm such an independent and strong willed person. When is set my mind to something, I don't stop until I get there. But this is the one hurdle I cannot get over. I want so badly to get to my goal weight, it's all I think about. And I don't know what to do at this point. I'm really wondering if I should just put this all on hold and try to work out my unhealthy relationship with food.

Does anyone have any advice? I'm feeling really down this morning... the scale wasn't in my favor this morning, and while I know it's a fluctuation, it's just a reminder that my weight is now holding steady instead of the desired result of going down. I'm sorry that this was long, I just don't know what else to do really. You ladies always give amazing support and advice... I feel like you're the only ones that will understand. Thanks for reading.

04-06-2011, 01:27 PM
OK, WOW! That is a whole heck of a lot of ice cream! I do not envy your situation at all and I am sorry that you are in a position where you can't do much about it. I really don't have much advice because I live alone and my biggest temptations are here at work. And even on days when there are only bagels in the break room are difficult for me. But unfortantely, no matter where we live or what we do we are always going to be faced with temptation. I don't think you should put your weight loss on hold. I think you should just do the very best you can under the circumstances.

Perhaps your boyfriend's mom can fix you something special?

You have done such an incredible job losing weight so far and that is all due to YOUR willpower. I do hope you can continue with your success!

04-06-2011, 01:33 PM
Since you seem to be so close with them, I think you could do the following without offending:

1. Place a mini-fridge in your room stocked full of easy to grab, healthy foods.
2. Ask for one cabinet/fridge shelf for your foods so you don't have to rummage around all their junk to get to your stuff. I found if I even had to touch X unhealthy food it miraculously stuffed itself in my mouth.

I wouldn't put your weight loss on hold, just understand it may not go as quickly as it would if you were living on your own. Even if you make good food choices 4 out of 7 days that's better than eating junk every single day.

And I would just like to say... oh my word! I have never seen so much FOOD, not just unhealthy food but FOOD in one place. Growing up we never had that privilege and now, we buy enough food for a week or so and that's it.

I hope you can adjust and continue to lose (or at least maintain!). The plus side is, if you make it through this, you can say no to just about any food that lands in front of you!

04-06-2011, 01:56 PM
I have all that food in my house, just not in mass quantities like that, which means two cartons of ice cream, not eight, but ice cream nonetheless. You have lost 43 lbs living among that temptation, so you certainly CAN lose 30 more. For whatever reason having the junk food around doesn't bother me. I know I am probably in the minority in this and that it is tough on most people. The brownie baking and cookie making would probably be a little rough on me though. The smell of oreos doesn't waft through the house quite like freshly baked chocolate chip. But you have done it so far, and you CAN keep doing it.

04-06-2011, 01:58 PM
Holy processed food, batman!

I like the idea of "your" shelf and "your" fridge. Maybe you could couch it as your small way of minimizing your impact on their family's food budget? This makes the request less likely to be interpreted as passing judgment on their eating habits.

If that doesn't work, I don't see many other options besides learning to say "no, thanks" or "I've had enough," both to your BF's family and to yourself. Yeah, it would be better if your calories came from more nutritious and less highly processed foods, but in the end it comes down to calories in / calories out.

// bstrong

04-06-2011, 02:00 PM
Ahahahhhahaah! I like the big jug-o-Cuervo tequila on the top shelf of the first picture!!

Priceless. Is this how they cope with eating so much junk? ;)

04-06-2011, 02:06 PM
I understand your situation and maybe this isn't about weight loss anymore for you (until you can move out) but about working with your emotional eating and developing good habits.

So, you have a great family that can be your experiment. Watch how they eat. See their portions. Try to eat like them.


Work on your habits. Exercise. Say no to seconds. Drink only water. Eat more veggies (are you getting 5 a day?). Tell your family that you want to be healthy. Track your food calories. Track if you're drinking as much water as you should, why you're overeating, the amount of fiber you're getting. Adjust your diet to meet your goals.

You might lose weight. You may not. But you will be more conscious of what you're eating. When you are finally in your own place, you'll see that those healthy habits will come with you and you'll be so ready to take off the rest of the weight, it will be easy.

Yes, you're in a hard situation with so much temptation. But it's a good time to work on the internal drives for why you're overeating and to arm yourself with good habits for the future.

04-06-2011, 03:49 PM
Since you seem to be so close with them, I think you could do the following without offending:

1. Place a mini-fridge in your room stocked full of easy to grab, healthy foods.
2. Ask for one cabinet/fridge shelf for your foods so you don't have to rummage around all their junk to get to your stuff. I found if I even had to touch X unhealthy food it miraculously stuffed itself in my mouth.

These are great ideas... If you are as close as you say with his mom, I'd imagine you could talk to her about all of this, just as you wrote it here... It sounds as though she's a very supportive person and would probably be thrilled to help you through this.

I understand your situation and maybe this isn't about weight loss anymore for you (until you can move out) but about working with your emotional eating and developing good habits.

Another awesome point. Life is going to happen, whether we want it to or not. We all have to learn to function regardless of the circumstances we find ourselves in.

04-06-2011, 04:07 PM
Oh wow that does look like junk food heaven. I like the suggestions about the shelf and the little fridge but if you enjoy eating with them and you don't wanna keep things seperate I could see how it could be a problem. It's a tricky situation but you shouldn't give up on your goals just because you are surrounded by temptation. You are stronger then that. I watched this interesting show about how you can eat smaller portions and still feel full by imagining that you have eatin the entire portion little by little before you actually start to dig in. I tried it once or twice and it seems to work to some extend but I haven't had enough temptations around that I've made it a habit. It sounds really silly but it's worth a shot.

04-06-2011, 05:40 PM
Thank you thank you thank you for your help everyone! All I have to say is, I KNOW RIGHT?

Also, I do have a shelf... ha. That little basket on the top right of the worst pantry? That's mine... you can see the top of my jar of my steel cut oats poking out. It regularly gets overrun with other stuff cos the kids just shove stuff wherever. I also have a drawer in the fridge, and there's a fridge/freezer combo in the garage not pictured and that freezer is basically mine. It's not so much that I can't have my food, it's that I have to dig through their junk to get to my healthy stuff. It's not that they aren't supportive. They are. I have told her, and she tries. She cooks veggies with dinner for me, and lets me cook one night a week (and I slip soooooo many veggies into the meal muahaha). It's just, everyone has eaten this way for their entire life. There's seven of them and one of me, and I don't expect them to revamp everything they know because I eat too much, y'know? She's tried saying off the side "Well, you have to eat in moderation..." which I usually took as an insult like she was trying to tell me how to lose weight, but now I realize she can see that I eat to just... eat, and she was trying to convey the message that I need to stop, as gently as possible.

And XL muffin top, mama bear jokes about that all the time haha. And I agree... one of the kids put a box of Girl Scout cookies in my basket (COME ON!!!!!!!!!!!), and before I knew it I'd eaten an entire roll.

Niafabo, that's not silly. I need to try everything at this point....

And Rana thanks... that's exactly what I need to do. I've felt this was a long time coming. I never addressed why I got fat. I know a lot of people here ate an extra meal or whatever every day for 10 years or something and slowly put on the pounds. I gained all my weight in the span of like, 3 (the biggest chunk was in 1.5 years, where I gained ~55 pounds). As an active growing teenager at that. I stuffed my face until my belly ached to deal with not only my family life but just anything that upset me at school, or fights with my brother. Now I need to look back and fix all those unhealthy habits I learned.

Thank you all! You've been a tremendous help. :)

Nola Celeste
04-06-2011, 10:11 PM
I'm delighted for you that you have such a warm and welcoming place to live--even if it is stuffed to the rafters with food, food, FOOD. :D

Your boyfriend's family sounds terrific. I grew up with a lot of people living in our house who weren't related--sister's boyfriends, brother's girlfriends, and of course all the just-friends who needed somewhere good to stay for a week or a month or a year. I just want to hug your boyfriend's mom because she reminds me of my mom, whom I miss. Please give her a :hug: for being awesome. :)

I really like the "my stuff" idea which you're already doing to some extent. Maybe you can get the best of both worlds by eating some of what everyone else eats, but combining it with some of your own side dishes? For example, if everyone's having, say, burgers for dinner--you eat the patty and leaner condiments with a salad and some Popchips while they're eating bun-and-all burgers with regular chips?

I can understand how rough it is to pass by those boxes (heh, I'm analyzing those pics a little too closely myself and thinking happy thoughts about Oreos) on your way to your foods. Does it help to think of it as "theirs" and therefore off-limits? I would no more eat my husband's food than I would go into his wallet and take his money, so that's one way that I make his treats off-limits to myself: "No, Nola, that would be stealing." Keeps me honest. ;)

You've already had some wonderful success and you deserve major congratulations for it. I suspect that as time goes on and you learn healthier habits in a more stable, positive environment, you'll shed some of your less healthy habits as naturally as you shed pounds. You're in a good spot to heal up; that's excellent for you and for the family who now has a new member.

04-06-2011, 10:54 PM
Holy junk food! Wow. I feel for you. I am one of those people who won't overeat or eat the wrong stuff if it's not within reach. I won't go out and buy it. I only have healthy stuff here in the house. I remember when all of my kids lived at home and I would binge on stuff they would bring home. I don't have self-control when the junk is in the house. I have to set myself up for success.

Honestly, I don't really have advice, as usual, I just wanted to chime in and say that I think you've done a terrific job and I have really enjoyed reading your posts. Don't give up. You've come too far.

04-06-2011, 11:00 PM
Yes, don't give up! Can you keep your food in your room? Maybe in a little corner or shelf? I can keep junk in the house as long as I can't see it.

I'm so proud of you for going to school and losing weight! Don't give up!