100 lb. Club - 3FC is seriously depressing me




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Sophronia
08-10-2011, 12:58 PM
I really want this weight loss thing to be simple.

Calories out exceed calories in, and you get weight loss.

Add cardio, and you get more calories out = good.

Add strength training, and you get better muscle tone and better metabolism = good.

Why, oh why, can't it be that simple?

I don't want the surgery.

And I don't want weight loss to be the entire focus of my life.

Isn't there a third alternative?

The more I read, the more I see and learn about struggles that are entirely unrelated to these core concepts. About how running for weight loss is not effective. About how you need to eat back the calories you expend training. About how it's not calories, but the macro or micro nutrients of these calories that is important.

I'm frustrated and exhausted because I know once school starts again, I just can't pay as much attention to all this. I desperately want it to be as simple as eating unprocessed as much as possible, eating relatively low-calorie foods, and getting some exercise regularly.

I just don't want to lose everything I've worked so hard for these past six weeks or so when school starts again, and I'm panicking a bit.

(Please don't think I'm criticizing anyone for posting these things. They have all been done in a wonderfully supportive manner, and have been in response to what people have needed to know at critical times in their journey. In short, the site is working effectively, and the supportive, helpful atmosphere is exactly what it needs to be. I'm just facing my own personal crisis, and this is how I'm reacting to it. In other words, it's not you. It's definitely, unquestionably me.)


christine123
08-10-2011, 01:05 PM
It's certainly overwhelming and draining. The fact is, there are so many different perspectives and viewpoints on this topic. It's like googling "diet." There will be hundreds of thousands of sites and pages of info. It's too much noise! It looks like you've been losing already on your own. If I were you, I would keep doing what you're doing and trust that you have the right idea.

I personally think weight loss is much more simple than all these convuluted ideas. Calories in and Calories out. It's always worked for me. I limit sugars because they make me loopy, irritable, depressed, and more hungry, not for any other reason. And no food is really off limits. That's it. Simple.

This place can be wonderful for support and different ideas but don't get caught in the "noise." Do what works for you. People have so many different opinions. The basic principles are the same, however. Good luck! I hope you stick around.

JamiSue3916
08-10-2011, 01:08 PM
I am so sorry to hear about the fears and frustration and panic you're feeling right now. I am really not sure what advice to offer you because there are so many different way to approach and view weight loss. Some folks are hands off, not counting everything - just trying to be healther. Others, like me, count everything and analyze constantly. Then there are even others who sit somewhere in between that.

The one thing I do know is that if over analyzing is frustrating you, then that is NOT the weightloss plan for you. Whatever fits in your life, and your personality IS what will work and you'll have to accept the weightloss results (good/bad, fast/slow, everything in between) that comes with that because it will be what works for you.

:hug:


envelope
08-10-2011, 01:10 PM
I think that for the most part it is as simple as you stated.

I make healthy food choices, Calorie Count, and jog.

Sure the scale may not always show you exactly what it should (TOM, sodium, other fluctuations), but for the most part it does. I use a BodyMedia Fit and it tells me how many cals I have burned each day. I calorie count then compare them. Over the last 2 months when I calculate what my net loss should be, it has always been within 1/2 a lb.

Check out this thread...I think you might appreciate the just get it done attitude. http://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/chicks-up-challenge/240181-sarges-no-excuses-boot-camp-11-a.html

fattymcfatty
08-10-2011, 01:11 PM
Hey there...
When I weighed as much as you did starting out, I simply counted calories and exercised and the weight FELL OFF!! I stopped eating processed foods and ate a more whole foods based diet. That is it. I used the freedieting calculator online to figure out how many calories to consume for weightloss.

Once I hit 70lbs down, that is when I had to start tweaking stuff, paying attention to the macronutrients, etc. (All the stuff that you are worrying about now.) Don't worry about that. You aren't there yet. Once you are there, it will get easier, trust me.

As far as it being the focus of your entire life, I understand it can be consuming. Losing this weight does take up a major portion of my day and thought process. But at 270lbs, I wanted OUT of the fatsuit I was living in. I was done being fat. Done. I desired health, and was willing to make drastic changes to get there.

I hope this helps. Remember the KISS method (keep it simple, stupid). That always works. Reduce your calories and move more. You've lost over 20lbs already, that is great. Keep doing what you are doing, and you will continue to lose. Baby steps. Don't overwhelm yourself.

April Snow
08-10-2011, 01:16 PM
The one thing I do know is that if over analyzing is frustrating you, then that is NOT the weightloss plan for you. Whatever fits in your life, and your personality IS what will work and you'll have to accept the weightloss results (good/bad, fast/slow, everything in between) that comes with that because it will be what works for you.


totally agree with Jami. The plan that works for YOU is the one that YOU can stick with. Having said that, it's never quite as simple as "eating less and moving more = a loss showing on the scale." But generally speaking, that will be true over time, it's just not an immediate thing. And if that is "as simple as eating unprocessed as much as possible, eating relatively low-calorie foods, and getting some exercise regularly" then just do what works for you and don't worry about what does or doesn't work for others. You can support people on 3FC even if their plans and goals are different from your own, you don't have to emulate them.

popspry
08-10-2011, 01:16 PM
I used to try tracking every little thing and making sure I got exactly right proportions of maconutrients, etc but it became such a timesuck and I felt like I was burning out. Now I just try to eat balanced meals. I don't know how many cups of vegetables or what percentage of carbs I've eaten - I calorie count but not to the point of obsession anymore. It's a lot more sustainable for me.

Bellamack
08-10-2011, 01:17 PM
I wanted super-simple, so I chose IP. Easiest diet ever. Not that it isn't hard, because it is a no-cheat diet.

Michelle2008
08-10-2011, 01:28 PM
While I enjoy reading about others experiences the majority isn't applicable to me. I also found my personal trainers's advice too complicated!! I eat heathily 95% of the time, count calories and now work out three times a week. I lose weight and although it us slowing down at the moment I am happy with how things are going!

The simpler your approach is the mire likely you are to stick to it -keep ip the good work'

Lovely
08-10-2011, 01:29 PM
3FC has just as many opinions on weight loss as does the rest of the internet.

It's an incredibly supportive and caring environment... BUT....

We still have to have our filters on. Different methods work for different people. One piece of advice that works wonders for one member, might do devastating things to another.

Each member can only offer the experience and solutions that they happen to see when faced with helping solve another member's problem areas.

It's so simple: Calories in/Calories out.

It's not so simple: There are a billion methods of doing that. Not every method is correct for every person.

What is great, though, is that such vastly different opinions and experiences mean that people who are getting stuck in a rut or feel that their methods aren't working right for them get the opportunity to see that they aren't alone, that maybe they need to change something.

It might even give someone like me (who LOVES her method to death - Go WW & Activity!) a few extra things to consider along the way. (ETA: In fact, I've taken many great offerings of advice to heart from 3FC. Whether it be a word of wisdom, or an idea to try a new food.)

There are people here following different paths that are seeing the same successes, and I think that's important, because we get to see that really... the one universal truth in all this... "There is no one right way for all".

Think of the ideas presented as different opinions, some of which you will agree with. Some of which you will simply understand that OTHERS need in their lives. And some of which you might come to find fit your life at certain points, and not at other points.

Don't let the varying opinions stress you, though! If what you're doing right this very moment is working for you, then you're doing it right. :yes:

goodforme
08-10-2011, 01:29 PM
Agreeing with most everyone. If it's working for you, why feel the need to change it?

Is it too time consuming? There are work arounds. Cook a bunch of meals on weekends (or whenever you have time) then freeze in individual portions, pack and carry food wherever you go. Know the places near you that have healthy options if you are in a crunch. There is a grocery store salad or a gas station that sells fruit, for instance.

If exercise takes a back seat during the school year, figure out ways to work a little bit of movement into your day, even if you can only do 5 minutes at a time; take the stairs, park farther away, fidget, do 10 squats over the toilet every time you go potty :o you get where I'm going.

I think stressing about it only makes it worse. If you can't be perfect, then be the best you can. All or nothing is over-rated. I think you've got a handle on it!:hug:

JOLINA
08-10-2011, 01:32 PM
This site is great for me. I count my calories also.
On this site I join challenges and get support. I read about others problems too.

I keep track of all my calories and my exercize on LoseIt.com
I like the charts there that track my loss. I am keeping this as simple as possible.
Without both sites I would be lost. I lost 25 pounds last year and 15 this year.
My weight loss is really slow, but it's steady.

Best of luck to you on your weight loss journey!

:hug:

I spent so much time last night poking my head in the fridge, my nose got frostbite!

MariaMaria
08-10-2011, 01:39 PM
I think that for the most part it really is that simple.

Good enough is good enough.

I see a lot of what strikes me as orthorexia at 3FC. No one needs to play that game.

nina125
08-10-2011, 01:42 PM
It is actually quite simple once you firgure out what works for you. Finding out what works for you is going to be the hard part.

I am still trying to figure out how to lose weight. Here is what I found so far that works for me:

1) Prepare meals at home from scratch: Eating out, or eating prepackaged food with excess sodium, additives, artificial coloring & flavors, slows down my weight loss.

2) Dont skip meals: I tend to make poorer food choices when I skip lunch. We have candy, cookies, and cakes in the breakroom at work EVERY FRICKIN' DAY. I find it easier to say no if I have had breakfast & lunch. I always take a piece of fruit with me incase I get tempted to indulge. I also tend to order out in the evenings if I had skipped lunch because I am starving by the time I get home, which in turn means that I dont have left overs for lunch tomorrow and end up skipping or making poor choices at lunch. It is a domino effect.

3) Get any Exercise: I tried running, didnt like it. I tried going to the gym, didnt like it. I tried doing Beach Body & Jillian Michael's videos, didnt like it. I took a walk in the park, LOVED IT!!!! The important thing for me was to do something that I enjoyed so it didn't seem like a chore.

4) Go to a doctor:I was constantly tired and had trouble losing weight. It turned out that I was severely deficient in Vit D & B12, plus I had PCOS.

5) Dont weigh yourself everyday: The daily weight fluctuations really messed me up and had me so discouraged. Now I try to weigh myself once a week but usually end up weighing myself every other day :D

6) Don't be so hard on yourself: I used to be so hard on myself when I went off track with eating, or gained weight due to the steroids that I had to take. I would feel like a failure and decide to give up completely. But then I realized that it was not the end of the world, and there was always tomorrow to get back on track.

runningfromfat
08-10-2011, 01:43 PM
:hug:

It's really confusing, isn't it? The problem is that weight loss is so individual that you get a lot of mixed messages. I posted a link in my signature about how I reached my first mini-goal. Basically, the long story short of it is that I made small changes at a time. Things that I knew I could stick to and my weight loss has evolved from there. All I did to start with is go running on a consistent basis, then I gave up all sweets (because that was really my weakness), then I switched to whole grains etc. It's been a long, slow process for me but always in the right direction.

If you are really feeling overwhelmed, why not start with something that you know you CAN do. Pick out a type of exercise that you enjoy and tell yourself you're going to do it 3x a week for X amount of minutes. Once you feel OK with that work on your eating habits (or do the reverse if that's easier for you). I've changed more journey over time and adapted it to my needs. I've learned a lot along the way but it IS overwhelming all at once. Do what you can now and worry about the rest later. :hug:

MoveMoveMove
08-10-2011, 05:24 PM
Don't get overwhelmed. There are tons of weight loss methods here at 3FC and the rest of the world and probably none of them will work for you as is. Pick a forum here (WW, SB, IP, WLS, CC, etc.) and I'll bet you that no two people in that forum do the plan exactly the same.

Your weight loss plan will be unlike anyone else's because YOU ARE UNLIKE ANYONE ELSE :carrot:. YOU ARE A UNIQUE INDIVIDUAL.

How much time do you have before you go back to school? Can you sit down and write out a one month food and exercise plan based on what's worked for you so far? (Really easy if you've kept logs up to this point.) Having a plan in place before the back to school rush will help keep you on track. And once you're in a rhythm with school, you can review your plan and tweak it when/if necessary.

linJber
08-10-2011, 05:34 PM
Sophronia - think about what a great choice you've already made in trying to get this figured out BEFORE you go back to school. I pretty much agree with KISS. The simpler the better. I also read that people who tend to eat the same thing every day for 1 or 2 meals lose weight more rapidly than those who don't because they only have to worry about 1 or 2 meals a day. I read that very recently. Since January, I've been eating the same breakfast and lunch just about every day. Lucky for me that I don't mind doing it that way. Maybe this is a good approach for you during the school years, too.

Try to eat what you know is healthy. Stay away from processed food, rice, pasta, and potatoes as much as possible. (I know, they're cheap foods for a person on a budget.) I sort of count calories, but I don't ever stop eating extra veggies if I feel a bit hungry. If I think I'm not getting enough protein, I mix a serving of whey protein and have it with a meal or as a snack. Plan ahead. I don't know your living arrangements, but cook on the weekends when you have time. There's nothing wrong with healthy sandwiches on healthy bread (yeah - the more expensive bread.) Keep meals very simple and easy to prep. Salads with tuna or chicken and lots of veggies are a favorite supper for me. Sometimes lunch is a hard pretzel, a piece of cheese, a few almonds and an apple.

You are going to be busy, but just let this stress drop away. You know what to do and you can do it. Don't think about it so hard!

Lin

fitmom
08-10-2011, 07:33 PM
About how running for weight loss is not effective.


I think everyone is different. I never believed in the power of running until I tried it. It worked for me, the only cardio that's ever worked for me. And believe me, I googled just about every site imaginable looking for a cardio answer to my questions.

You need to shift through all the 'white noise', so to speak and only pay attention to what interests you enough to try it. Only you know what your body is capable of and your emotional limitations when it comes to fitness and weight management.

Don't pay attention to what worked for anybody else. Everyone's journey towards wellness is unique to them. Good luck to you. :hug:

noregrets4me
08-10-2011, 07:47 PM
The best decision I made was to stop dieting -- it caused too much stress.

Now I just focus on making the best choices I can, and being aware of portion sizes. I figure I make good choices 85% of the time, the other 15% might not be the healthiest choice - but I limit my intake.

We have to eat every day of our life, and I'm not going to "diet" the rest of my life -- but I'm going to b aware of what I'm eating.

Trazey34
08-10-2011, 07:48 PM
here I go on my favourite bandwagon again!! ;)

There's a huge difference between people 20lbs overweight, and those that are 100+ overweight. Our reasons for eating, for not losing, for procrastinating, for a lot of things, are convoluted and more than just "don't eat that". Or the "i'll be good until...."

I've dieted on and off for 20 years, and I never succeeded until I rooted around in my brain a bit and found out WHY I ate so much, WHY i never exercised, WHY I couldn't get a handle on it -- it wasn't anything that exciting or profound lol I was just a spoiled little brat stuck in a grown woman's body, and that spoiled brat would have fits on the floor until she got what she wanted, usually McDonalds and some Dairy Queen! ha! But, just as I've learned to cope with the urge to buy $400 shoes and realize it's not worth it, I've learned to cope with food. Nothing's off limits, that would just make me crazy. I've learned to mentally count calories and know what's 'worth' it and what's not.

For everyone it's different, I'm sure. I just know the freedom from the lure and pull of bad eating is pretty priceless! and dropping a ton was fun too :)

MrsTee
08-10-2011, 08:24 PM
I know what you mean!!!!!!!
After many years of diet plans etc - I've given up on them all!

All I do now is follow a low GI style of eating, and vaguely count calories in my head I aim for 1200-1500....and try to walk everyday.

I don't meticulously weigh or measure, I don't fret about 20 calories here or there, or even 200 calories, or carbs - too many/not enough - I just use common sense. I have a sandwich (with grainy bread) if i feel like it, a salad or soup if that's what I want, pasta or rice with dinner, some days I eat 4 peices of bread - others none - I make healthy whole food choices where I can and eat a sensible amount.

I lost a heap of weight like this previously so did my husband, we just got lazy and went back to bad habits...

freefall
08-10-2011, 08:48 PM
If you listen to all the diet advice out there (not on 3FC but out there in general) you would basically never be able to eat anything without finding something wrong with it! Just eat less and eat healthy - you will find what works for you.
Like I'm sure many people here, I am an alumnus of many diet plans, some multiple times (oh, if but I could have all those WW $$ back! And Jenny Craig! And Diet Center! And Optifast! And Zone delivery! And... etc.) It all boils down to what helps you eat less and exercise more, no? For life, not until you lose the weight...

kaplods
08-11-2011, 03:59 AM
It's only depressing if you want it to be different than it is. Once you accept that it is what it is, it becomes a lot less stressful.

The human body isn't a simple piece of equipment, and I don't know why we expect it to be. Why would you expect health to be easier than programming your vcr?

That doesn't mean you need the 10,000 page manual before you operate it, but it does mean that you learn as you go. You learn what works for you.

Imagine how complicated a car would have to be, in order to run on not just gasoline, but also on electricity, paper, cooking oil, grass clippings, food garbage, wood....

Biological machines are a lot more complicated than mechanical ones. We're not surprised that a factory's fuel needs vary depending on many factors (the weather, how well the building is insulated, how often people enter and leave the building, how much and what types of products are being created, what kind of trash they're producing, even the health and behavior of the employees...), so why is it so confusing that the human body can't be reduced to calories in/calories out.

I learned for example that my body temperature tends to be a full degree or more higher when I'm eating low-carb. Of course that affects the calories out, part of the equation. A higher body temperature requires more calories to maintain (at least so long as the air temperature is significantly lower than body temperature).

You also burn more calories cooling the body during hot weather (or during exercise).

It's not a simple equation, because there are ten billion equations that need to be done. If you drastically cut calories, you may experience fatigue. Fatigue may make it harder to exercise, you may conserve energy without even realizing it.

I have autoimmune and other health issues, and I've been reading that many factors can cause them (and all of them can affect and be affected by metabolism). It's quite possible that my chronic dieting not only lowered my metabolism, it may have done so by diverting metabolism (energy) away from immune function. I may have burned fewer calories, because my body's systems decided that immunity was less essential than something else.

Why didn't my immune system get all the resources it needed? Maybe because I was shortchanging my body with my chronic dieting. Maybe I didn't give my body enough of the right kind of fuel, or enough rest?

I spent many years chronically sleep-deprived (proving to the world and myself that I might be fat, but I wasn't lazy, and usually working two jobs for 15 years to prove it). When my doctors told me that treating my sleep apnea and sleep deprivation would result in at least some effortless weight loss I thought they were nuts, but that's exactly what happened. For the first time, ever in my life I lost weight without trying - 20 lbs!

We know that sleep deprivation lowers metabolism, and causes immune disfunction (rats deprived of sleep die of immune system misfunctions - succumbing to infection or autoimmune issues).

With all of the ten billion things that can affect how our body works - why wouldn't energy needs be effected by all of them?

Just because it's not simple grade-school math, doesn't mean we can't understand the trends well enough to make progress, we just can't expect to control the exact progress.

I can choose to make changes that are likely to result in weight loss. I cannot choose to lose exactly 3 lbs (or any amount) in a week or any other given period of time (it's why I think weight by date goals are often counterproductive).

I can only control what I can control, and while I do not yet know my perfect diet or lifestyle (or if there is one) I do know a lot about what I can do to make things better.

Until we do understand all of the factors better, we're going to have to do the best we can. Most of us do know where improvements can be made (if we're not sleeping 7-8 hours, we can start working towards that. If we're not eating many fruits and vegetables, we can start working at including more. If we're not exercising, we can start....)

It's not rocket science, it's a whole lot more complicated, and yet it's not. We can't control it completely, but we do have a lot of control, but to a point we have to be scientist AND lab rat, and we need to accept that we have some control, but not complete control.

Sophronia
08-11-2011, 11:09 AM
Some incredibly helpful feedback here. Kaplods, you have actually hit the very nerve of my anxiety. I am calculating how much I will need to do between school (law school, BTW, so inherently intense), work, commuting, five children and their needs, etc. And I'm doing it as a newly-single mother. Last semester, I figured out early that I would have two days per week on average when I would not be sleeping. This semester, I can't see it being any better. And I know that sleep deprivation impacts my weight loss.

Having said that, though, I do feel much better. The advice to just relax, do what I can, and let the rest fall where it needs to fall was so important for me to hear right now. I may not be able to get enough sleep - for now - but I can choose to bring fresh veggies and fruit to class to snack on instead of relying on fast food. (I had been determined to do a juice fast, but the juicer I had in mind from Craig's List fell through, and I can't realistically afford all the fresh produce right now, which had been another source of frustration.) I can choose to stock shoes in my study carrel so if I have a deadline and can't fit in a real "work out," I can still walk around campus for 20 or 30 minutes. I can also choose to maintain the "I'm in weight control mode" mindset that helps me stave off the myriad back-to-school celebration food events, free brownies at the career development events, etc.

Losing weight in an optimal way for me is something that would require a considerable amount of time and attention, and it's definitely the way I prefer to tackle things. But I know from the last time I lost 90+ pounds that this is also incredibly difficult to sustain. I also decided not to weigh this time around, as I anticipate my weight loss to be slow, and it would make me super crazy with my Type-A personality. As long as I feel energized and am more accessible to my kids because of my willingness to do active things with them, I will cling to those things and let the weight loss take care of itself. At least, I feel like I can live with that for now. It's certainly a better alternative than what I did when school started again last year.

Thanks for such insightful comments. I feel so much better about just relaxing and letting things be. (Deep, cleansing breath here)

toastedsmoke
08-11-2011, 12:03 PM
I know what you mean about being frustrated that weightloss can't be exactly the way you want it to be. I too have a controlling personality and a strong sense of justice and so I often get frustrated when i feel that I've done everything I should be doing (eaten less, moved more, drank water) and don't see a result on the scale. I mean, its not FAIR!!! Does this mean that my plan is wrong or doesn't work??? No!!!

I think this can be as easy as you want to make it. If you don't have time right now to measure your micro and macro nutrients, then don't. Do what you can for now. Being disciplined enough to take on this journey in whatever way you choose is already difficult enough without pressuring yourself to take on more than you're capable of. If you can watch your calories but can't afford whole foods now, then just watch your calories for now on the foods you CAN afford.

Obviously for health reasons, it would be nice of your micro and macro nutrients were on point, but I don't think that's what's going to prevent you from losing weight in the long run. I do believe in the body account theory of consumption vs expenditure in the long term. Exercise is good for you in so many ways whether it is for weightloss or not (I've found it helps more in changing my body than in actual scale victories) and though I can't claim to be a fan, it's something I've come to accept like brushing my teeth or something. I may not like it but I do it because it's good for me and it gives me a heightened respect for my body and what I put into it, especially when you track how many calories you burn whilst exercising.

For me, even though I enjoy reading all the new research and the new things on weightloss, I'm trying to take them with a pinch of salt. I studied public health in grad school and had my own research (although in reproductive health not nutrition) so i know how easy it is to make deductions from studies and get them published especially if they're sensational as well as how for almost every new theory, there's one that shuts it down. Does this mean everyone is wrong? NO! But it also means dont feel like you have to do everything or try everything in order to succeed. There are several paths to goal but it would be a waste of your time to feel you have to try them all in order to get to the end.

It's so easy to become unhealthily obsessed and consumed by this journey to the point that you can't even enjoy the benefits of your successes along the way. And this is not sustainable for anyone, because one day you WILL crack and that's when you'll re-gain weight amd find yourself back at the beginning wondering what happened. I've been down that road; it sucks. Better to pick something you know you can stick with and sustain for the rest of your life. I picked calorie countingl because for me i know it's not realistic that I will prep a diet of whole foods and exotic root vegetables for myself right now; there will be non-wholesome yet calorie-tracked foods thrown in here and there. For you, it could be something else, whether that's low cal or low carb or portion control or a meal delivery system or whatever. Stick with it, play with it from time to time if you like to see what helps or hurts, and to keep from getting bored. But don't feel like you have to change it because you are not losing the amount of weigh you feel you should in the time frame you want. Keep at it and you WILL get there. Don't be in a hurry. Keep it simple, stay on plan and the weight will come off. The weigh loss part isn't that difficult, it's the doing it in the desired time frame that is.

kaplods
08-11-2011, 12:29 PM
I think losing weight "in an optimal way," is highly overrated. In fact, I think it's mostly myth.

We have these culturally reinforced expectations that dieting must be done perfectly, or not at all.

Even what we tell ourselves, and others reflects this. So many times I've been told that if I wasn't 100% on plan, if I made a lot of mistakes, it was because I wasn't ready to lose the weight, that I didn't really want to.

It took 35 years, but I finally realized that was complete hogwash. If a person picks up a musical instrument and doesn't play perfectly from the first attempt, we don't tell them that they're just not ready to play the flute (or whatever) and don't want to badly enough.

Our culture trains, if not brainwashes, people to diet stupidly. To diet perfectly or not at all - that's why so many of us have spent most of our lives always either rapidly gaining or relatively rapidly losing (unfortunately it's usually much easier and much more rapid where gaining is concerned).

I think we pile so many "should be doings" on our plate, that it becomes impossible to succeed. And giving up IS the logical thing to do when success becomes impossible. I think the main problem is that we refulse to see the successes, and only see the failures.

We don't see a "not gain" as a success, we see it as a failure to lose.

If we plan on losing 10 lbs by an arbitrary, self-imposed deadline and only lose 8 - we see the failure, and think of all the things we could and should have done differently, rather than celebrate the freakin' awesomeness of having lost 8 lbs. Heck even if we only lost 2 lbs out of the 10 we intended, we need to see the success in that, not the failure.

We're so used to seeing the failure, that weight loss becomes a "damned if you do, damned if you don't," prospect and when we have those in our lives, the tendency is to choose the path of least resistance. If I'm doomed to failure anyway, I might as well do what's easiest and most comfortable in the short term.

I've lost most of my weight, almost to prove myself wrong. I've lost it all with almost no effort, because I didn't think I had the effort in me. Instead of plowing on full-steam ahead, getting sick of it, and giving up, I approached weight loss "backwards." I decided what health improvements I was willing to make, and commit to forever (or the foreseeable future), whether or not they resulted in weight loss. That way, when I didn't see weight loss, I wasn't tempted to quit. The first two years of that plan resulted in no weight loss (but I did successfully keep off the 20 lbs I had lost accidentally from sleep apnea treatment). It did result in health, strength and stamina improvements that were actually as valuable (or more so) than weight loss. It was during those two years that I regained my ability to dress and bathe without assistance (My rock bottom was pretty low).

We need to get the message out that weight loss and health are worth doing poorly, if we don't have the energy or resources to do them well.

mandalinn82
08-11-2011, 01:54 PM
I think a lot of the more detailed, complicated, and often contradictory pieces of information are here more for "tweaking" a basic plan that, for whatever reason, isn't working. Because weight loss generally IS simple, but for some people in some circumstances, it doesn't work out that way (and really, medical science's understanding of all the factors that can affect metabolism, much less of what a healthy diet includes or does not include, is incomplete). I can think of a few examples off the top of my head.

1. Let's say there is a metabolic condition going on - insulin resistance, PCOS, a thyroid issue. In those cases, "calories in vs calories out" isn't BROKEN, but IMO, the "calories out" part can be affected by diet and those conditions. So someone with PCOS can eat a higher refined carb diet equaling 1400 calories and exercise, and even though their burn should theoretically be 2000 calories, they don't lose. It happens! In that case, some of the more complex diet advice (particular as to refined carb intake) can be useful in getting losses going again.

2. Plateaus, stalls, etc happen to most people. Again, this is an instance where "calories in/calories out" seems broken. My personal theory is that it isn't broken at all, but that sometimes, the weight loss you've already experienced causes the "calories out" part to go a bit wacky for a while. Again, the more detailed tweaking seems to come into play in these instances.

3. For some people, the calories in/calories out part works perfectly, but they find that particular foods they eat, exercises they do, etc make it harder to stick to the "calories in" part. So if eating sugar makes your sugar cravings go off the rails, it may be harder to stick to the calories in budget you've allotted yourself. A lot of the advice you'll see is really about managing that...what foods make you feel more satisfied longer, what foods trigger cravings, etc. These don't change the weight loss equation itself, they just make it easier to execute.

April Snow
08-11-2011, 02:57 PM
3. For some people, the calories in/calories out part works perfectly, but they find that particular foods they eat, exercises they do, etc make it harder to stick to the "calories in" part. So if eating sugar makes your sugar cravings go off the rails, it may be harder to stick to the calories in budget you've allotted yourself. A lot of the advice you'll see is really about managing that...what foods make you feel more satisfied longer, what foods trigger cravings, etc. These don't change the weight loss equation itself, they just make it easier to execute.


this is so spot on!!

In the past, I've lost weight with calorie counter and was a pretty strong adherent to calories in vs. calories out. But now I'm on what I would consider a pretty extreme plan - low fat and very low carb with no grains or starches other than 2 tbs of oat bran every day. And I have never, ever had an easier time staying on plan. I'm almost 12 weeks in and have not slipped at all, and don't even have cravings. I never could have imagined myself feeling that way.

KatieC87
08-12-2011, 12:48 AM
I'm sorry to hear that you're feeling frustrated. :( What you posted here IS the basic idea of losing weight. It CAN be that simple.

But I can totally understand where you're coming from. As much as I love 3FC, I feel like I go on information overload too often. I posted yesterday about how I kept myself from exercising because I had read (in the forums here) that if I didn't increase my calories I would stall out. (I posted a thread about it later and got some positive responses but others that confirmed my fears about needing to up my calories.) I was quite literally preparing - and sort of even acting - for a plateau that hadn't even happened! (And still hasn't happened. I eventually did say screw it and started exercising 6 days a week. I'm so glad I made the change!)

I finally had to come to terms with the bigger picture. Maybe free weights are better than machines. Maybe most people should up their calories when they begin exercising. I'm feeling good doing what I'm doing, and I'm getting results. Just because I'm not doing things the way people on the Internet say I "should" doesn't mean I need to change. It means I need to consider their advice as it relates to my specific situation but discard the rest.

Good luck to you, sweetie! I know it's hard, but I am the queen of neuroses. If I can do it, anyone can. :)

LGW
08-12-2011, 02:13 AM
I follow my own plan and use 3FC for the support system that it offers. I have found a few choice threads that I absolutely love and everyone is doing something different, just posting weight loss AND gains and offering each other support. I don't even know what half of them are doing, but I do know that they offer me words of encouragement and appreciate the same.

Having said that, as everyone else has said, you need to find a plan that works for you. Trust me, everyone here has probably tried a ton of diets and plans and for those that are showing a consistent loss or are in maintenance, it's because they found something that works for them and their lifestyle and I doubt anyone thinks it was easy.

After you find that plan...find a support system -- whether it be 3FC or a group that meets in person like OA or FA.

I hope this helps :)

yoyoma
08-12-2011, 08:53 AM
Biological machines are a lot more complicated than mechanical ones. We're not surprised that a factory's fuel needs vary depending on many factors (the weather, how well the building is insulated, how often people enter and leave the building, how much and what types of products are being created, what kind of trash they're producing, even the health and behavior of the employees...), so why is it so confusing that the human body can't be reduced to calories in/calories out.



I *live* for analogies like this! It truly helps clarify why it *is* as simple as calories in vs calories out, yet the subtleties of "calories in" and "calories out" are deep and little understood at this point. Of course with people, there are worlds of additional subtleties like the mind and the physiological feedback loops...

To the OP, I'd say take to heart the 3FC mantra that everyone needs to find what works for them -- and in your case, keeping it simple is likely to be best (and that's part of the mind game aspect of the complexity).

gardenermom
08-12-2011, 09:16 AM
"I desperately want it to be as simple as eating unprocessed as much as possible, eating relatively low-calorie foods, and getting some exercise regularly."

Maybe take a look at the Mediterranean "diet". This is essentially that simple. It has a focus on unprocessed foods prepared from scratch, lower fat and calories - lots of fresh veggies, fruit, whole grains, pulses and fish. There is no counting. Sonoma diet uses Mediterranean principles and is structured for weight loss (portion control and some limits on certain foods). There is a forum for Med and Sonoma dieters, new faces are very welcome!

philana
08-12-2011, 09:16 AM
I think a lot of the more detailed, complicated, and often contradictory pieces of information are here more for "tweaking" a basic plan that, for whatever reason, isn't working. Because weight loss generally IS simple, but for some people in some circumstances, it doesn't work out that way (and really, medical science's understanding of all the factors that can affect metabolism, much less of what a healthy diet includes or does not include, is incomplete). I can think of a few examples off the top of my head.

1. Let's say there is a metabolic condition going on - insulin resistance, PCOS, a thyroid issue. In those cases, "calories in vs calories out" isn't BROKEN, but IMO, the "calories out" part can be affected by diet and those conditions. So someone with PCOS can eat a higher refined carb diet equaling 1400 calories and exercise, and even though their burn should theoretically be 2000 calories, they don't lose. It happens! In that case, some of the more complex diet advice (particular as to refined carb intake) can be useful in getting losses going again.

2. Plateaus, stalls, etc happen to most people. Again, this is an instance where "calories in/calories out" seems broken. My personal theory is that it isn't broken at all, but that sometimes, the weight loss you've already experienced causes the "calories out" part to go a bit wacky for a while. Again, the more detailed tweaking seems to come into play in these instances.

3. For some people, the calories in/calories out part works perfectly, but they find that particular foods they eat, exercises they do, etc make it harder to stick to the "calories in" part. So if eating sugar makes your sugar cravings go off the rails, it may be harder to stick to the calories in budget you've allotted yourself. A lot of the advice you'll see is really about managing that...what foods make you feel more satisfied longer, what foods trigger cravings, etc. These don't change the weight loss equation itself, they just make it easier to execute.


I think this is really the best sum-up of why there is so many detailed and complex information or discussion on some of these boards. And as with about everything in life, it is quite easy to get lost in the details. (I'm into politics, you don't even wanna know to which level most debates 'sink' when we discuss among like-minded people inside the party I am with). It's what happens when people agree about the big lines, they go find the small stuff and talk about that. Because hey... the big lines we all just agreed on.

I am glad you are more relaxed about it now Sophronia - it is super overwhelming. I want to take everything I read here to heart and do the best I can. Be the healthiest I can. But health is not just about the physical part, also about the mental part. And it looks like you are gonna have a lot on your plate. So sticking to the big lines sounds about perfect. And if you want some details, maybe make a list of 5 things you want to focus on. And if you learn something else on these boards that you want to do, switch it out with one thing already on the list so there are never more than 5 things to keep in mind when you think about your food.

Goodluck, and might I add that I think it is really AMAZING that you are raising kids on your own AND going to college AND watching your health! Seriously, not many people would take on so much at the same time. It's an incredible thing you are doing.

Lori Bell
08-12-2011, 09:49 AM
The hardest part is sticking to it every single day.

No, you don't have to have a "cheat meal" or you'll binge. (Give me a break)
No, you don't have to chug buckets of water. (Rarely drink the stuff.)
No, you don't need to calculate macro's (What the h@ll is that anyway??)
No, you don't need a gym membership. (I've never been in a fitness gym.)
No, you don't need digestive enzymes, supplements or pills (Unless your Dr. RX them.)
No, you don't need fancy diet foods.
No, you don't need to spend lots of money.

Yes, you need to stick with your daily calories every day. (Cheating takes MUCH longer)
Yes, you need a good food scale and/or measuring devices.
Yes, you need to move your butt in one way shape or form.
Yes, you need to eat stuff that is good for you and not crap.


I'm living proof that none of the popular diet talk is necessary to lose weight. The concept IS simple. The hard part is doing it.

InsideMe
08-12-2011, 09:51 AM
Conquer that fear girl! Look at how GREAT and AWESOME you are doing! Don't let school and life changes derail you from what you really want! It is a struggle, it is so hard, there are days where you just want to give up, but try not to fall into that trap, catch yourself and look how far you have come! You are better off now then when you started right? Plan now for when school starts. Make that committment to yourself and things will go smoothly, conquer those obstacles now. Hey the great thing is at least your RECONGNIZE the obstacles that lay ahead so you can plan! That's a good thing too. Look at all the positives you have going for you they far outweigh the negatives, girl you can DO THIS! :)

milmin2043
08-13-2011, 12:59 AM
The hardest part is sticking to it every single day.

No, you don't have to have a "cheat meal" or you'll binge. (Give me a break)
No, you don't have to chug buckets of water. (Rarely drink the stuff.)
No, you don't need to calculate macro's (What the h@ll is that anyway??)
No, you don't need a gym membership. (I've never been in a fitness gym.)
No, you don't need digestive enzymes, supplements or pills (Unless your Dr. RX them.)
No, you don't need fancy diet foods.
No, you don't need to spend lots of money.

Yes, you need to stick with your daily calories every day. (Cheating takes MUCH longer)
Yes, you need a good food scale and/or measuring devices.
Yes, you need to move your butt in one way shape or form.
Yes, you need to eat stuff that is good for you and not crap.


I'm living proof that none of the popular diet talk is necessary to lose weight. The concept IS simple. The hard part is doing it.

I agree with this 100%. The hardest part is just doing it. That's why so many of us have regained lost weight over the years. We simply get tired of the process and stop paying attention.

mandalinn82
08-13-2011, 01:41 AM
I'm living proof that none of the popular diet talk is necessary to lose weight. The concept IS simple. The hard part is doing it.

I want to add - FOR MOST PEOPLE. Again, some people with metabolic issues DO have to do some of the things you listed (controlling macronutrients, in particular). But it's more of an exception case than the rule.

Lori Bell
08-13-2011, 12:43 PM
I want to add - FOR MOST PEOPLE. Again, some people with metabolic issues DO have to do some of the things you listed (controlling macronutrients, in particular). But it's more of an exception case than the rule.Sorry, yes for most people.

sd0198
08-29-2011, 09:45 AM
There is a 3rd alternative. It's called death (most likely from obesity related issues)

defenestrator
08-29-2011, 11:45 AM
I've been more than 100lbs over my ideal weight for almost 20 years and I am finally moving steadily down. I don't have 5 kids, just 2, but I have PCOS and an incredibly stressful job that puts me out of my house and sleepless for days at a time (I'm a midwife in solo practice). So, those have been my excuses for a long time as to why I couldn't lose weight.

I found that counting calories strictly, setting long-term goals, and setting strict exercise routines just made me feel like a failure. It is easy to be hardcore about weight loss when you have 10 lbs to lose. But when you have 125 like I did, you can't be so hardcore forever. My life is too chaotic to be so rigid.

Here's what I'm doing now and what seems to be working for me. I try to eat healthy, to take fruit and veggies with me when I'm working so that fast food is not my only choice. I do weight watchers and try to stay within 5-10 points of where they think I should be every day. I run a little, rock climb with the kids, and walk every day with my crazy dog, sometimes pretty far. I weigh myself once a week and if I have lost *anything* I see it as a victory, then I just keep going, doing the same things. If I gain in a week, then I try to be a little bit more regimented for the next week to make sure I lose something. The weeks right before my period I tend to not lose much and sometimes I even gain weight, but the other weeks I usually lose 2-3 lbs. It has averaged out to only about 1 lb a week. I would love to lose more, but after a year of doing this I'm nearly 40 lbs down and being under 200 lbs seems like it is possible again.

You can do this. You might even find that beginning this journey doesn't add to your stress but helps you to manage the rest of your life better. I feel better with a healthier diet and a little bit of exercise than I did before.

Lyn2007
08-30-2011, 01:03 AM
I think it's important to just START and then keep trying. Do what works for you, and when it stops working, do something else... but don't give up.

Sophronia
08-30-2011, 02:08 PM
Good morning, Sherri! What a bright thought! =) Ironically, when you were writing it, I was at a doctor's appointment getting blood drawn to test for diabetes because I keep having kidney / urinary tract issues.

Defenestrator, I have embraced that philosophy. Just trying. And improving. And hoping for the best.

Lyn, you're totally right. It's not about figuring it out perfectly. It's about being aware and continuing to try. Week #2 of school. So far, not figured out the perfect method. Have lost weight, but it probably won't be sustainable. But am continuing to make progress!

freefall
08-31-2011, 06:12 AM
I've been tracking calories/exercise with an app on my phone since I started last October... Over the past 10 mos there have definitely been times when I felt like I needed to do other things to get the scale moving (ie lower carbs, different exercise, etc) or wondered why it didn't seem more scientific.
This morning I noticed I could track my data and create a report for the entire 10 month period. I did, and realized that if I did the math-added the 2 lbs/week I had it set for, take the additional calories saved and divide them into lbs and add to the total), I was within 5 lbs of my total weight loss, which is actually pretty accurate.
My take on this-it may be more scientific over time than it feels like on those weeks we don't see the scale move.

blueheron777
08-31-2011, 08:38 AM
I love this forum because of the general wisdom I find. I benefit from others' stories of their struggles (just like mine) and the suggestions offered by others on the site.

I count calories and ignore the forums for eating approaches that aren't relevant to me.

As others have said in their replies to you, the KISS approach seems to work best.

Curvaliscious
08-31-2011, 08:56 AM
That's the thing...it doesn't have to be sooo completely thought through. I eat what I want. Just less of it. I don't eat just unprocessed food, or fat free food, or sugar free, etc. I just eat what I did before...but less of it. And I add up the calories as I go.

What's your favorite food? Then eat it. By half. Or by a fourth. Know how many calories it is and plan on it. Not every day maybe. Maybe every other day. But it must fit within your calories. If I want a burger, I have it. I eat maybe 8 french fries (if any). I will then have fewer calories left in my day, but then eat a salad or a weight watchers meal later on.

Sure....I could eat healthier foods, but not depriving my self in an extreme way works for me. And because the calories are limited I do naturally eat more salads, etc. to fill in what calories I have left.

Surgery was a possibility for me too at one time. Then I took the classes, met the doctors and knew for me I had to change my thinking. It wasn't about physically changing me. I need to practice discipline in my life and change my thinking.

This is simple. Try one day and eat your favorite food, by maybe half. Figure the calories into your day.

If I can do this, so can you. Trust me.