Weight Loss Support - Any other first-time dieters?




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Esofia
07-15-2011, 07:51 AM
Sometimes I feel like the only person on this forum who isn't on their umpteenth diet! I gained weight relatively recently, and this is my first attempt to lose it. Since so much of dieting is in the head, this probably means that I approach things differently, and that different techniques will work for me than those which are ideal for someone who, say, has been overweight since childhood and is on their thirty-seventh diet. I'm sure there are benefits and disadvantages to both situations, I'm just curious to hear more about this one.


indiblue
07-15-2011, 08:06 AM
I'm in your same boat! I gained 5-10 lbs my sophomore year of college, and then again after I graduated, but I dropped both times without really thinking about it. I gained about 8 lbs in 6 months when I moved overseas about a year ago and it took about 6 months to lose that weight. I'm now working on losing another 6-8 lbs just because I think my body would be more comfortable at a slightly lower weight... and to give a little bit of cushion room in case I gain a little in the future.

You're right, the psyche and needs behind people who have struggled weight for a while and people who have only dieted once are totally different. I agree it's really important to respect and appreciate those differences, to really understand as you said that something that works for one person may not work for another. And especially that something that may be a piece of cake for one individual is an incredibly formidable challenge for someone else.

fight2winthis
07-15-2011, 08:40 AM
Well, i'm on my zillionth diet, but looking back, I remember my first diet sooo vividly, 11yrs ago. It was refreshingly easy. Not that i didnt work at it by eating less and exercising, but i wasn't disillusioned by all the 'failed attempts'. So I lost a ton of weight without much mental and emotional drama. Piece of advice- enjoy it, make it a lifestyle change rather than a temporary measure to lose few pounds, so it stays that way. we dont want you becoming a veteran, it's no fun. Promise.


Wannabehealthy
07-15-2011, 08:48 AM
Sometimes I feel like the only person on this forum who isn't on their umpteenth diet! I gained weight relatively recently, and this is my first attempt to lose it. Since so much of dieting is in the head, this probably means that I approach things differently, and that different techniques will work for me than those which are ideal for someone who, say, has been overweight since childhood and is on their thirty-seventh diet. I'm sure there are benefits and disadvantages to both situations, I'm just curious to hear more about this one.

I'll chime in on this one. I was not overweight as a child, probably because that was in the 50's when people ate at home. I had no choice but to eat what my mother prepared or be hungry. She didn't prepare something else for those who didn't like what she was serving. That just wasn't in the budget.

When I "went out into the world" I started to go to restaurants, socializing with my friends, and had money to buy candy and junk food whenever I wanted it. That's when I gained 25 lbs. I went on my first diet at 21. I had no idea about dieting. I knew that junk food was out, but I wasn't aware of what was protein and what was carbohydrade. I just started to eat less. I was still living at my parents, and my mother still put what she wanted on the table with no other options. I started to take a serving of meat, potatoes and veggies and then walk away from the table. Nothing else to eat until breakfast the next day. I also joined an exercise class and went 2 days a week. I lost the 25 lbs and kept it off for awhile. Then, when I would start to gain it back, I started buying diet books. The problem with this was, I started to get information overload. I was trying to combine the best of each diet, and that doesn't work. You can't start the day out doing Low Carb and finish it off with Low Fat. Eventually, I settled in with Low Carb and kept the weight off for 15 years. Enter husband. My husband does not have a weight problem. He loves carbs and sweets. He said to me "You're thin, you can eat whatever you want." Boy did I prove him wrong! I started eating like he did. Fried potatoes, pizza, cakes and cookies. I gained, and gained, and gained. He stayed thin. I've been trying to lose 60 lbs for 20 years. I know what works for me, but I cannot get back in the groove. I have lost 35 lbs in the past couple years, mostly due to illness. Illness that was probably caused by overweight. I will not give up. If that means I have to start diet number 61, then so be it.

From your stats, you don't have a lot to lose. My advice, get it under control NOW. It was always something I was going to do and I brushed off any information that stated that overweight causes health problems. There are lots of overweight people who appear to be healthy. After I turned 50 all **** broke loose! I developed heart disease, and now have been diagnosed with diabetes. I am so angry with myself because this was all avoidable. I know nobody lives forever, but I have put myself in a risky position. I had it under control and I let it go. Don't listen to people who say "You look fine the way you are" or "A little bit of pie won't hurt you." You know what you want to weigh. You know what's healthy for you. You're in charge. When you gain weight, you're the one who has to deal with it, not them.

I know this is long, but you asked! LOL

Carol

kateleestar
07-15-2011, 09:15 AM
I was an overweight kid, lol, and also ate what my mom made for us... But this is also my first time doing this, actively. I really didn't care before. I wasn't made fun of in school, it didn't affect who I dated or any of my friends... I just didnt care! Haha.

I started this because I don't want my future kids to be overweight, and when I do get prego, I dont want to have any weigh-related issues. My mother was a very sick lady (she died of lupus in '06) and I want to limit my chances of getting any life-changing disease. I watch everything I put in my body. Food, vitamin, beverage.. whatever. I try to be as "real" as I can, without growing my own food and buying a chicken. lol.

:)

tattoodles
07-15-2011, 09:39 AM
This was my first (and hopefully last) time. I'm almost 25 but, until recently, had never owned a scale. I had a baby three years ago and had gotten back down to my pre pregnancy weight (165) within less than two months of delivering. Then I assumed I could eat whatever I wanted. I developed post partum thyroiditis which made gaining weight super easy. It wasn't til my yearly gyno exam that I found I weighed more than I did at my most pregnant. That was a wake up call! Since I'd never tried to lose weight before it took a while to figure out what worked for me. And unlike someone who's lost weight before, I was somehow convinced I was maybe just not capable of losing weight. I had never done it.

So all my goals were small at first: lose 10, get to my prepregnancy weight, get under 150, be in the normal bmi range, and I finally settled on maintaining 130-135. I've been doing that since March 6, 2011. It hasn't seemed too difficult so far. I even started dating a guy who's now my boyfriend less than a month after reaching goal. I was a little worried about weight gain (love chub), but I've actually lost (without trying at all) 5 lbs since he and I first went out. He's great for weight loss though. We walk all the time, go hiking, and recently went on a 20-mile bike ride together. He eats lots of veggies, is a great cook, and takes care of himself.

Esofia
07-15-2011, 10:00 AM
Carol - I did indeed ask, and it's helpful! You're right about getting this under control now. I did something similar to you. I grew up slim and healthily-fed, so that I was quite complacent about it and never needed to learn the first thing about calories. It never occurred to me that the foods I snack on could vary so hugely in terms of calories, for instance a couple of pieces of fruit vs. a small bowl of almonds, raisins and bits of chocolate. Bagels are relatively small pieces of bread, I had no idea how high in calories they are, and I would happily slice up an avocado and put it onto a bagel for a big snack. (On checking, that's 390 calories. Eep. The majority of my meals are less than that these days.)

I was OK while I was healthy and active, and as a teenager I dashed about like a mad thing, but then I became chronically and increasingly ill. My activity levels reduced to the point that showering is a challenge. My memory deteriorated so that my partner would come home from work at 6 or 7, ask if I'd eaten that day, and I wouldn't be able to remember. Sometimes I wouldn't have eaten at all, sometimes I'd have eaten too many times, and with no appreciation of the calorie content of my food. Food is what gives us energy, and I have chronic fatigue, so sooner or later I would feel exhausted and eat something in the hope that it would give me more energy. (The odd thing is that I actually have more energy now that I'm dieting, and I don't think it's just because I am being super-careful about nutrition and eating at regular hours.) When I met my partner, who is 11" taller than me, naturally thin, and active, I ended up unconsciously eating a bit more, either because he needed larger portions, or because he was snacking on crisps and the like. It didn't seem like much more, though. (Again, no knowledge of calories.) I was increasingly bewildered as to why I'd suddenly put on so much weight, and since I didn't think I was eating more than usual (and we still think there may have been a hormonal trigger too), and was struggling just to keep fed on a daily basis, I didn't feel that I had a choice about losing the weight. This went on for a few years. Then I managed to get my sleep disorders under control, which meant that I was no longer living a chaotic life with no routines. It still didn't occur to me to change my diet, I was ravenously hungry most of the time and felt powerless. One day I was put on a med that reduced my appetite, and while the med didn't do anything else useful for me, it was the thing that got me started dieting. I waited a week or so before starting calorie counting as I was afraid it would be unpleasantly obsessive (thankfully not), and a month before buying a scale as I couldn't believe that the weight loss would really work.

I've read the first 80 pages of Thin for Life courtesy of Google Books, and one thing that really struck me is when they say that repeat dieters feel like failures, but in fact they are experts on dieting. They have a huge reserve of knowledge about what does and doesn't work for them. I had neither that reserve of knowledge, nor the feeling of being a failure. On balance, I'm probably happier this way, since I see how incredibly difficult it is to cope with years of back-and-forth dieting and how disruptive it can be to your relationship with food. I think I treat dieting a lot less emotionally than many people do. But it does mean I'm learning everything from scratch, and while there are plenty of bad habits I've managed to escape, there are also some bad habits I have which I had never realised were bad habits at all!

I'm probably still in the honeymoon period. I'm finding calorie counting to be surprisingly fun, and fairly easy, and since I'm already at home all day it's not awkward to implement. I'm feeling confident about how I'll cope long-term. I plan to keep weighing myself once I get to maintenance, and I don't know whether I'll need to keep on calorie counting full-time or part-time. Having grown up with the ability to eat whatever I wanted, the idea of having to stick to a regime for the rest of my life is more of a shock, but after a few years of being overweight, it's definitely preferable to that. I'm curious as to how the success rates of late first-timers compare to the success rates of long-time repeat dieters, but hey, it's a madly individual thing and the stats can be iffy anyway.

One thing that has pleasantly surprised me is how much happier I feel when dieting. (It helps that I'm losing at an observable rate. A recent stall has given me huge respect for people who are losing at a rate of 1/2lb a month, it would do my head in.) After fourteen years of having a body that I can't control, that has drastically reduced my quality of life, I am finally able to control something about it again. Being overweight for only a few years meant that it never really felt like me, either, and I'm starting to feel more at home in my body again.

There's a limit to how far you can push me, though. 1100 calories, nicely balanced, my usual type of cooking but minus the unhealthier corners, treats included, and losing 1lb a week: happy as Larry. When an idiot GP recently suggested that I limit fats to 10% of my calories due to suspect gallstones (later turned out he most likely meant saturated fats, and/or hadn't a clue what he was talking about), I tried it for two days and started to feel deprived and resentful. I am very very glad that the doctors have since told me to eat my usual diet (though I'm reducing the fat a bit for the time being), because I think that would have started to mess with my head very fast. I seem to be coming out of a two-week stall, and I'm glad it didn't last longer, because it was starting to test my patience. Of course, now I'm getting out of it, I'm glad it happened, because I know that I need to get used to stalls. They're inevitable sooner or later, and I don't want to end up doing something self-destructive as a frustrated response.

Wannabehealthy
07-15-2011, 10:30 AM
I'm probably still in the honeymoon period. I'm finding calorie counting to be surprisingly fun, and fairly easy, and since I'm already at home all day it's not awkward to implement. I'm feeling confident about how I'll cope long-term. I plan to keep weighing myself once I get to maintenance, and I don't know whether I'll need to keep on calorie counting full-time or part-time. Having grown up with the ability to eat whatever I wanted, the idea of having to stick to a regime for the rest of my life is more of a shock, but after a few years of being overweight, it's definitely preferable to that. I'm curious as to how the success rates of late first-timers compare to the success rates of long-time repeat dieters, but hey, it's a madly individual thing and the stats can be iffy anyway.



Well, you already know about handling illness. You seem to be doing good with this emotionally. Yes, keep on weighing yourself. I have a tendancy to not want to get on the scale if I feel like I've gained, but that's when you need to do it, so you can catch it before it gets out of hand. Eventually, you will know how to "eyeball" your food and know how many calories you're eating. A food diary helps. I never used to believe in it. I am doing it this time, and adding up the calories each day. I know now that I have to stay at 1700 calories or I'll gain, and stay at 1200-1500 to lose. That's just how my metabolism works. Every time I exceed 1700 calories I show a gain. You can occasionally eat foods that are considered "bad" if you limit the quantity and include it in your total calorie count. Eventually, you will probably find that those foods don't interest you anymore and will stick to your healthy choices.

Good luck to you.
Carol

Esofia
07-16-2011, 05:44 AM
I'm currently on a pretty low-fat diet while they check me out for gallstones, so many of my usual treats are off the table for the time being. Once I'm allowed to eat a reasonable amount of fat again, we are getting pizza or going to a restaurant or something! The nice thing about being vegan is that I can do that and still stay within my calorie limit, if I'm careful. "Bad" foods weren't a huge issue anyway. There were one or two, but not enough for me to feel utterly deprived because I'm no longer noshing on tortilla chips.

sontaikle
07-16-2011, 07:08 AM
*raises hand* I'm a first time dieter (although I don't really call what I'm doing a "diet"). I grew up overweight/obese and I finally had enough of it.

When I was a teenager I started going to the gym regularly and I thought that exercise alone would take off the weight. I lost a little (I never weighed myself so I don't know how much I lost, but I was probably above 200 at one point) but until I actually watched how much I ate, the weight didn't come off.

irishlad
07-16-2011, 10:21 AM
I am also a first time dieter, so far so good, although sturuggling lately as I reach target weight! My theory of "ah sure I am almost there, it will be ok, Ive come so far" is holding me back..

Arctic Mama
07-16-2011, 12:51 PM
Well I have been overweight most of my life and obese the last decade, I'd say, and yet this is my first and only diet. I started in October '08 and haven't looked back. It's not that unusual, sometimes we just aren't ready and wanting a change for awhile. And not giving up on one's first try isn't that strange, either. It's not typical, sure, but not aberrant.

*shrug*

KittyKat1465
07-16-2011, 12:55 PM
I don't like to think of it as a diet. It is a lifestyle change! I have "dieted" before, but this is the first time I decided to change my entire way of thinking and lifestyle.

Esofia
07-16-2011, 04:02 PM
Oddly, I used to hate the word "diet" because I associated it with harmful crash diets. These days I'm not really bothered any more. The main thing is that I'm getting on with it and being sensible about the whole business.

Chubbykins
07-16-2011, 06:59 PM
Sometimes I feel like the only person on this forum who isn't on their umpteenth diet! I gained weight relatively recently, and this is my first attempt to lose it. Since so much of dieting is in the head, this probably means that I approach things differently, and that different techniques will work for me than those which are ideal for someone who, say, has been overweight since childhood and is on their thirty-seventh diet. I'm sure there are benefits and disadvantages to both situations, I'm just curious to hear more about this one.

I'm on my first diet ever almost 8 months now :) I think it will be the last too!

Esofia
07-20-2011, 01:44 PM
Great! I see that like me, you're nearly halfway there. How are you finding dieting in Greece? Lots of nice healthy food, or is it more about being careful with the olive oil and baklava? I only went to Greece once when I was eighteen months old (though I was small and my parents told people I was much younger to avoid getting me hugely overfed), so I don't know much about it. Apologies if I'm making incorrect assumptions about your food!