Weight Loss Support - why is it so hard to lose weight?

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04-08-2011, 06:34 PM
I am a long term lurker. I read and read and read..then I feel weak. Cant stop myself eating ice cream (my weakness). I have lost about 40lbs since last year, but i put 20lbs back. I have many reasons to lose weight, the main one being getting pregnant. I have been trying for almost 10yrs and doctors mentioned that they cant see any problem but the weight (after they have done numerous testing on my husband and I).

I am 5'7, 277 lbs. I dont eat much, but I eat the wrong food. Once an idea comes to my mind (foodwise), I wont rest till I have it. Then the guilt comes. Been yo yoing for over 20yrs now. I cant seem to stick to any plan for more than a week.
Dont know what to do.

Edit: Actually i know what to do i.e exercise and calorie counting, but how can I stick to any plan? How can I stop myself eating ice cream which is 1400 calories per tub and I finish that in one sitting.

04-08-2011, 07:06 PM
Stop buying it. Seriously after a few days of being miserable you'll be okay. I used to eat chips daily and now I probably eat it a few times a year. I no longer crave them like I used to.

Or buy the TINY $1 tubes that are just one serving, after those are done don't buy anymore but slowly wean yourself off.

04-08-2011, 07:12 PM
The general premise of losing weight "eat less than you burn" is simple enough, it's generally the emotional issues behind it that most struggle with (there are of course, people with medical conditions that are an exception).

If after 20 years of yo-yo and you still cannot say no to purchasing 1400 calories worth of ice cream and eating it in one sitting, I think it's safe to say that you might be trying to tackle everything but the real issue: an emotional attachment to food, a compulsion/obsession to posses that particular item, etc. I would suggest overeaters anonymous for help.

You can have all the perfect diet plans/trainers/personal chefs in the world but if you cannot emotionally cope with NO to food, then that's where you need to start.

04-08-2011, 07:26 PM
When you make losing weight the priority it needs to be and take the necessary steps to do it, it isn't hard. It sounds like right now food is a bigger priority in your life.

04-08-2011, 07:54 PM
This is why I think it is so hard...

you have to worry about it and think about it every single day.
you have to plan ahead every snack and meal and every bite you put in your mouth.
you have to make time for exercise...

and then you plateau and you have to make adjustments...

it takes a long time to see results and it is hard to stick to before you see results.

the littlest mistake can mess you up...
or you stick to you plan and follow your program and you still don't lose weight...

but it is so worth it to battle through all these things.

04-08-2011, 08:01 PM
Losing weight is easy. Keeping it off is the hard part.

04-08-2011, 08:08 PM
I like the practical suggestions you guys mentioned. Thank you. I shouldnt buy the ice cream or at least should wean myself off it. I should make weight loss a priority, and perhaps deal with the emotional attachment to food and I need to plan ahead for meals and snacks. In the last couple of days, I found myself thinking, and asking questions as to why I *must* have it. Perhaps see if the craving passes. It does pass after few minutes. I need to ask myself why I need it to eat it and how it makes me feel afterwards. What additional benefits does it to my life if I have it.
Asking these questions myself are sort of helping me deal with my addiction. Before, my brain crashes down when it starts craving (cant think clearly) and my brain reboots after I satisfy my tastebuds. Never ending cycle. Must ask myself tough honest questions, if I need to get somewhere with the weightloss.
Inside Out Weight loss podcasts really helped. Someone posted it in the maintenance section, and she really makes you think of your choices and its consequences.

Lori Bell
04-08-2011, 08:29 PM
Losing weight IS easy. It really isn't rocket science. The big trick...the secret to losing weight is deciding that it is high time to take care of yourself. You just have to decide to do it. (I sound like RockinRobin right now! :)) THEN you have to have perseverance. Stick-to-it-ness. Keep going day after day. Know you are worth it and deserve to be healthy. That's all it takes.

04-08-2011, 08:40 PM
What helped me start my whole diet/exercise routine is uploading a bunch of songs that just get me amped to work out and kick some butt! When I feel weak and I need some motivation I just pop on the headphones and listen. Also, try to find an alternative to ice cream that takes the edge off your craving- Ricedream is a good one (sort of like a soy ice cream), also yogurt. Obviously nothing will taste as good as real ice cream, but it's all about sort of dumbing down your taste buds so you will wean yourself off the bad stuff. I chew Extra Dessert Delights gum in mint choco chip, strawberry shortcake, and key lime pie. That helps me A LOT. Just find ways that get you motivated and then act on that! I hope you have success getting it started!

04-08-2011, 08:42 PM
I think I'm insulin resistant so losing weight for me ISN'T easy. I've been taking cinnamon and chromium supplements for about a month now and it's getting a little less hard. That said though...since starting the supplements I have absolutely no sugar/carb cravings. Maybe it's something you could look into if your cravings are that intense. I didn't realize my cravings were intense until they went away.

04-08-2011, 08:53 PM
I know I sound like a broken record lately, but it's not about the food. It's about the mental struggle. Yes, yes some foods and processed items have addictive qualities, but weight loss is much more than the physical and I didn't realize this until AFTER I lost the weight. I really discovered this from the Inside Out Weight Loss podcast series. I know how cheesy I sound but until you figure out why you eat, it's always going to be hard.

04-08-2011, 09:30 PM
Some helpful tips that I've picked up are:
1)Grocery shop after a meal. Like after you eat lunch. Always shop on a full stomach so you're not tempted to by things you KNOW isn't going to be nice to your body.
2)Buy from the produce section first.
3)Before you even go to the store, make your list and stick strictly to the list. I like to look up "Heart Healthy Recipes" and write down what I need to make them before I go shopping.
Those are things that will help you feel in control of what you're eating and keeping temptations at bay. It works for us. We rarely have soda, chips, sweets, etc in our house. And our kids don't complain!
As for exercise; start slow if you need to. Start with a walk around the block. Even if you don't reach 30 minutes a day, just get your body movng in ANY way and build up.
Come up with a routine where you reward yourself for your achievements.
God bless!

04-08-2011, 10:01 PM
I think weight loss is so hard, because it's so un-natural. Staying thin and getting enough exercise isn't something wild animals have to work at.

In a natural world, when calories are overly abundant in the environment, overpopulation occurs long before widespread obesity.

The "natural" problem is getting enough calories to support the energy needed to obtain food and prevent becoming food.

It's really only been the last 50 to 100 years that the "average" American didn't have to work very hard for their calories (especially high-carb, sugary ones). In a lot of the world people still do have to work very hard for their calories (and the less they have to work, the fatter the average person gets).

The "obesity" epidemic isn't occuring because we're stupid and lazy, it's because we're creating an environment that requires so little movement and is so overly abundant in calories, that one day soon, the thin person may be a rarity. (Already statistics estimate that up to 2/3 of Americans are overweight and the numbers are still climbing).

Our calorie overload and sedentary lifestyle is even affecting people who aren't visibly fat. Diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and high blood pressure
are skyrocketing even in average and underweight people in this country - and is even being seen in childhood.

I'm not saying at all that the situation is hopeless or out of personal control. I'm just saying that living a healthy lifestyle is a battle with a very formidable enemy. Knowing the enemy is a tremendous advantage when fighting a war.

I may not be able to keep the enemies out of my life, but I don't have to bring them home with me, and for me sugar is the enemy. Hich carb, empty calorie foods are the enemy. Some foods aren't the enemy, but they're not that friendly either. Those foods I have to be very careful with. Other foods are allies. I can keep lots and lots of them in the house.

We always see advertisements for "quick and easy" weight loss. We see so many, that it's almost impossible not to suspect that it must be possible. How can so many people talk about something that doesn't exist.

It doesn't exist. Not for most people.

The biggest secret to successful weight loss and maintenance is just "not giving up," even when you think you must be doing it "all wrong." But that's not how we're taught to do weight loss. We're taught to do it the way that "everyone" does it which is ineffectively. Which is "giving up" when it gets frustrating. Giving up when the results aren't what we want. Giving up when we disappoint ourselves. Giving up when we're sick of making the same mistakes over and over again and it seems that we'll never be where we want to be so "what's the use anyway?"

I've "failed off" 88 lbs (actually 90 lbs, as of today, but I'm not changing my ticker until TOM/period is over, because this is usually the week I gain and I know that the minute I change my ticker to 304, the scale is going to make me a liar).

All my weight loss has been at a rate slower than all the times I quit before for losing two slow. In the past, I've quite diets because I was "only" losing 1-2 lbs per week. My average "this time" has been ranged between 0 - 2 lbs per months. It's taken me six years to get 90 lbs off. The first three years were spent just maintaining the first 20 lbs loss, and trying to figure out a way to get more weight off (before I found low-carb eating, which controls hunger like I would never in a million years have predicted until I experienced it).

Weight loss isn't rocket science - it's a whole lot harder, because we're fighting our own bodies and millions of years of evolution that says "eat as much as you can, because you don't know the next time food will be available" and "move because something's chasing you, and because you're chasing something down to eat it, or to "play" at both for the practice."

"Work" is natural, "Play" is natural (because it's usually practicing the skills needed for work), "exercise" or movement for no reason is not.

The challenge is in creating an artificial simulation of the "natural" world. In the "natural world" calories are scarce, so you've got to create an environment for yourself in which calories (especially empty calories) are scarce. You can do it by physically removing problem foods, or by deciding mentally that the foods are off-limits except under specific conditions (that could be calorie counting, or different phases of South Beach or Atkins).

I find that I have to physically remove the problem foods, because I haven't been able to do it very well mentally. We do have a shelf in the pantry of foods that I don't want to be eating, that hubby does want. I consider them 'his food" and they're out of reach, so that works for me (usually - unless it's chocolate during TOM then I'll get a step stool, so hubby knows to either hide the chocolate where I can't find it, or not to keep large amounts of chocolate in the house).

There are a billion tools you can use to make weight loss easier, and more automatic, but you'll never find it "easy" in the way that breathing is easy. It will always have to be something you pay attention to (but you have to pay attention to brushing your teeth and combing your hair every day too. It doesn't have to be at the forefront of your mind every single second - at least not eventually).

Support is one of the best tools. Having like-minded people to talk to, having people teaching and learning from each other, and just sharing experiences. The worst social aspect to obesity is the social isolation. We're taught to withdraw from the world, and to behave as if we're ashamed for even existing. That doesn't help. It only makes it harder to make the healthy changes that are needed.

Weight loss is hard, not only because it's naturally hard (which it is), but also because we make it harder than it has to be by cultural beliefs that cripple us further than the fat already does. For example, swimming is one of the best exercises for overweight and obese people. It's easy on the joints, it's more comfortable and safer, and it's even fun. But it's also quite taboo to be seen in a bathing suit in less than perfect physical condition. Only perfect people should be seen in a bathing suit (or hundreds of magazines articles wouldn't be published every year about hiding figure flaws. When you weigh 394 lbs not even the head-to-toe burka can hide your figure flaws.

I'm starting to rant and ramble. So I'll just say try to keep it as simple on yourself as you can. Experimenting will help you find your own tools and tricks to do so, but it really all boils down to learning not to give up. There are so many reasons to give up, so it's always tempting, but if you can just "not give up" and keep moving forward (even if it's inch by inch) you will eventually get where you want to be. And if you keep "not giving up" you can stay there. And the best way to "not give up" is to find people who are making the same journey with you. It helps you realize that you're not failing when you find it hard. You're only failing when you stop trying.

04-08-2011, 10:18 PM
Losing weight IS easy. It really isn't rocket science. The big trick...the secret to losing weight is deciding that it is high time to take care of yourself. You just have to decide to do it. (I sound like RockinRobin right now! :)) THEN you have to have perseverance. Stick-to-it-ness. Keep going day after day. Know you are worth it and deserve to be healthy. That's all it takes.
I'm glad you said this because I immediately thought of her when I first read this post. This post needs her tough love.

You do have to decide to do it and want it bad enough to get through the rough patches. I have found that if I can get just three days of "clean eating" under my belt things get easier.

There are many ways to go about it. Some people cut things out cold turkey which really helps with cravings. I did this with pop and have never looked back. I won't say it was easy it first, but it's not a problem now at all. Others make small changes along the way. One week you focus on decreasing calories by 100, another week you focus on adding new vegetables, or switching a complex carb for a loved processed carb. Baby steps work great for some people.

I love mini goals also. Set small goals that are easily attainable and then celebrate them when you reach them.

mental voyeur
04-08-2011, 10:52 PM
The mental struggle is the key. You did not get to the size you are if you had a healthy relationship with food. you need to get to the root of that and work with someone to explore other ways of coping. One emotional eater to (I suspect) another....I have been through 3.5 years of therapy. I have been out for 2 years and am thinking I need to go back, because I still don't have my issue with food beat. check out my blog tiedtobefit.blogspot.com

04-09-2011, 08:29 AM
I think that unless there is some underlying health problem (and probably even if there is), the way most people get to the morbidly obese stage get there because somewhere along the way, we learned that eating can be used to deal with emotions. For a lot of my adult life, I didn't really feel like that fit -- because, hey, I never dealt with any childhood trauma, etc, etc. I just thought I loved food too much. But somewhere along the line I definitely figured out that something rich or sweet could calm me down when I'm anxious, could be a fun companion when I'm bored, can even make happy times a little sweeter. The idea that "food is fuel" was kinda foreign to me, apparently.

The catalyst for my change in thinking was that I scared myself. I gained 60-70 lbs in 3 years (night shift, sleep apnea getting really severe), and WOW, did 350 feel different than 280. My blood pressure was getting high, it was basically hard to move, and I felt awful all the time. REALLY awful. I took a good look at what I was doing to myself, and just decided that this was going to end. I had been flirting with the idea of trying to do something to lose weight, but once "This is going to end" got in my head, like that second, I went to the grocery store and got what I would need to start, and started.

Hopefully you won't have to get to death's doorstep like I did before you just decide. But the good thing is, once you DO decide, it's not all that hard. Maybe in the beginning as you are formulating your plan and getting through some of the cravings. That first few weeks really is the hardest part.

Best wishes!

04-09-2011, 03:53 PM
In the Beck Diet Plan, the first step is to make a list of all the reasons why you want to lose weight and then read it every day. If you write the list, it could give you the motivation you need to start your diet. At the end of the day, to lose weight, you need to want to be slim more than you wnt to lose icecream.

04-09-2011, 04:16 PM
this thread reminds me of someones siggy i remember... 'losing weight is hard, exercise is hard, being fat is hard, pick your hard.'

04-09-2011, 04:21 PM
As most of you said, this isnt about food. I have to fight this mentality of "having something, just cos I want it". I have also noticed that the more I come here and read, the less i think about junk food. This forum members are really encouraging, and what is more, they understand it or been through it.
I know it is early days, but i havent thought about junk food for the 2 days and when I do, I start asking myself questions and give myself time till the craving passes.

After succeeding this, next on the agenda would be making myself to enjoy exercise ..if that is possible.

04-09-2011, 04:34 PM
I started almost 30 lbs heavier than you, and it was the desire to have a baby that motivated me to lose weight, and I am pregnant now, so I hope you understand that I am really, really rooting for you. It was a vitally important transformation to me, and I mean it when I say that I think the discipline and wisdom I learned through weight loss will make me a better mother in all sorts of ways.

If you are married, can you get your husband to take over the grocery shopping for six months? Negotiate to take over some other chores in order to keep it fair.

I find grocery stores to really be a nightmare in the early stages of a new lifestyle. All that food packaging is designed to do one thing: make you crave what they are selling. The only way to win is not to play.

The other thing I discovered is that my intense cravings for junk food were really just hunger. When I would starve my body to death, it would respond by tempting me with thoughts of my favorite foods: because I wouldn't allow myself a second serving of carrots or baked chicken for a week, I'd end up binging on fries and ice cream. Once I started maintaining a reasonable caloric deficit, the cravings went away--I mean, I still wanted yummy food, but it wasn't like a blinking neon sign in my head any more.

At 277, I'd suggest you try to eat 2000 or even 2200 healthy calories a day for 3 weeks and see if that takes the weight off. It will give you the chance to form healthy habits and get used to the record keeping without having that flashing neon sign in your head. Then, if your weight loss isn't rapid enough ( and it may be: I lost weight quickly at that weight and those calories) you can cut down 100 calories a week. It doesn't have to be painful.

04-09-2011, 06:41 PM

Wow, You have come down from 300 to 160..That is truly impressive.

If anyone was in my situation, they would have lost all this weight..like yesterday. I dont do shopping, my hubby does. He is very supportive. He is health nut anyway. I have lost my job (so I have all the free time in the world), I have about 20 exercise DVDs and the Wii, and bodybugg. I have no kids. Therefore I could live like those biggest losers contestants i.e exercising 8 to 10 hrs a day if I wanted to. But somehow I cant seem to hack it.
My biggest complaint of why I couldnt lose weight was because I had a desk job for 9hrs a day and I was knackered by the time I come home. Now that I was/am not working, what is/was my excuse for the past 6 months? Just weakness and lack of willpower I guess.
Things so far remains great. Craving seems to subside when I dont feed it.

04-09-2011, 07:32 PM
Don't try to live like the Biggest Loser contestants: god, that thought depresses me so much that even contemplating it makes me want to just give up and have cake. As kaplods is so wise to say, just be better. I started out eating 2300 calories a day, and after 6 weeks of that, I started exercising 5 minutes a day. Baby, baby,baby steps.

The worst thing is the world is to sit around making plans about how you could work out 8 hours a day and eat 1200 calories a day and the weight would just FALL OFF and it would be awesome . . I've played that musical montage in my head a hundred times, and it's counter-productive. For one thing, it's just mental masturbation, getting off on the fantasy, and while it's never as good as actually being thin, those daydreams can be just good enough that it keeps you from being so miserable that you actually do anything. It's exactly like a 15 year old boy masturbating for real 5 times a day and spending the rest of the day angry because the girls he ignores won't even talk to him. The elaborate fantasies protect us from having to try.

Second, those kind of daydreams are depressing because we feel like we have to live up to them 100% or there is no point in even trying. Again, it's like a 15 year old boy daydreaming of supermodels and then being unwilling to even talk to any actual girls because they don't live up to his fantasies.

So find an EASY food plan. One that just a little restricted. Try that for a while, and see what your weight does. You might be shocked at how little it takes to lose weight.

On a more practical note: how does the ice cream get in the house? That's a serious question. I would really try to stop it before it comes in, not try to be strong once it's there. I mean, once it is in the house, you know you are fighting the inevitable, so you might as well give in now (at least, that is how my brain works).

04-09-2011, 07:58 PM
I get my husband to buy it for me. If he is reluctant (cos he sees me complaining about my obesity), i go to the shops and get it.

You make so much sense. I spend so much time fantasizing of being size 10, then actually doing something about it. I also watch so many weight loss shows, I wonder how they benefit me.. I like the teenage analogy. It fits me perfectly. I hope you continue contributing, cos people like you help great deal.

04-09-2011, 10:38 PM
Weight loss is easy, you just have to be willing to change how much and what you eat. (unless its a medical thing where it isnt easy to lose)

Weight loss is hard usually when you try and do too much at once...Also justifying WHAT you are eating(this is what i used to do) "well i worked out for 20 minutes i can have a DQ blizzard!" yeah, bad idea.. never reward with food.

A couple cook books that might help you with cravings are Hungry Girl cook books, she shows you lower calorie versions of things that we all like! so you dont feel like you are missiong out.