Weight Loss Support - The Shame of Weight Gain?

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08-21-2011, 11:31 AM
Hello, all -

I doubt many of you will remember me - back in '07-'08 I was on here every day; I changed my life and lost 127lbs. It was the best thing I ever did.

Without details or excuses, I have regained a significant amount of weight, and I am unhappy every single day as a result. I HATE that being unhappy about my weight has taken over my life again - I lived this way before, and I can't believe I'm here again. Except... this time there is an added emotion: shame.

I am so ashamed of being a 'failure', a 'statistic' - one of the 80% who regain after losing. There are so many complexities attached to this feeling. :(

I have been lurking here again for some time, too ashamed to even post this... even as I type, I am cringing. And the saddest thing? I KNOW this shameful feeling is part of what is stopping me losing...

I'm not even really asking a question, I guess. Just wondering if others have dealt with this, overcome the shameful feeling of regaining? It occurs to me that those who haven't overcome these feelings, like me, possibly just don't post anymore.

08-21-2011, 11:44 AM
:hug: Just looking at your ticker you did not gain back all of your previous weight so that in and of itself is a victory.

This is not my first diet and I've regained before. :( It sucks and I get the shame of it but the only person who can change that is you. Start hanging out here and joining in. No one is here to judge, we're all working towards the same goal!

08-21-2011, 11:47 AM
Hi HeatherAngel

First of all hugs :hug: to you for support and congratulations for coming back to find the support that worked for you the first time!

I have been where you are a few times. And I understand the shame that comes with regaining the weight. It's not easy to deal with but I am a firm believer that if you don't deal with the emotions that lead you to gain the weight in the first place it will come back.

I am in the process of losing weight yet again but at the same time trying to recognize how I feel and feel my emotions rather then eat them. It's a learning process and every time I have regained and lost I learn something new about myself and feel closer to understanding why it is I choose to be overweight.

All I can say is welcome back and I hope you find the support you need to be successful and happy again.

08-21-2011, 11:53 AM
A lot of people, including me regain much more than they lost, so you are already taking steps to be successful!

08-21-2011, 12:00 PM
:celebrate: :welcome3::celebrate:

You are going to make a lot of new friends here...


and what is best...

they will help you lose that weight you gained!



Our greatest weakness lies in giving up.
The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.
Thomas Alva Edison

08-21-2011, 12:04 PM
You can focus on your failure to keep ALL the weight off, or you can focus on your success at keeping SOME of the weight off.

It's easier to build on success than it is to build on failure, so focus on the success.

One of the ways to do so, is to realize that most people don't just regain, they regain it ALL and usually some extra to boot. If you spend too much time in shame, you're going to feel worthless and will most likely regain the rest and some extra.

I have spent the last 40 years trying to lose weight, and until recently have done so, always gaining as much or more than I lost.

This time has been different, because I know how dismal the odds are for success, and I realize that I am beating them just by "staying in the game." I had some help from my doctor, because when I complained to him about my failure to lose more than a pound a month (like a "normal person," I said) he pointed out that I wasn't failing I was succeeding, because most people lose nothing, or give up and regain.

Weight loss is like a huge marathon - and if you don't know how many people are behind you, you can feel like you're in last place when you're really in the lead.

Now, it's not really a race - in that we don't have to beat anyone, but we're still influenced by what we believe to be normal - and we compare ourselves to the preceived standard - but we're usually wrong. We think more people are having success than we are, when we're not just doing average, we're doing phenomenal. We assume that everyone is having the success that we're not.

Because we're told that up to 2 lbs per week is a healthy loss, we assume everyone else is losing those 2 lbs a week, every week while we're trailing in everyone's dust.

I strongly recommend joining a TOPS (taking off pounds sensibly, it's a low-cost weight loss group), because most TOPS groups don't just report the total losses of members for the groups, but also the total gains, and often people go around the room sharing whether they gained, lossed, or stayed the same. That may seem humiliating, but if you pay attention you realize that most people do not lose 2 lbs per week, and that most people (even the most successful) don't lose every week.

My group does a monthly contest in which the people who attended all the weigh-ins and did not have a gain that monthy split a $10 prize. Usually out of a group of 25 members, only 2 or 3 people split that prize. That means 90% of us, have at least one gain per month (and this is a group that won state recognition for weight loss - it's a dedicated group, not a bunch of slackers).

Focus on your success not your failure, because your behavior will follow your focus. So if you want success, focus on your success - because you still have a lot of success to be proud of - even if you had gained it all back and some extra you would still be able to focus on the success of choosing to come back - of not giving up.

08-21-2011, 12:04 PM
Welcome back HEather Angel..

well done on logging on and typing the post..

I totally hear you on the shame part, i lost and regained more then i had lost, however over3 years it crept on and on and kept creeping.. then suddenly i looked at a photo and thought, where did i go?? :(


next came a stern talking to myself including all the reasons i had to lose it and the benefits of the amazing feeling /self confidence when it is gone...

Best of luck on the rest of your journey we are all in the same boat...

:):):):):):):):) Congrats onyour loss so far ... Hugs

08-21-2011, 12:15 PM
I don't know if I have to much advice to offer. I've lost and regained, lost and regained again. I'm now in the process of losing again. I also use to post here on the regular about two years ago and then I stopped when I started to regain. I use to feel ashamed but reading books about how our body actually works has helped me not to feel so bad. Our bodies are amazingly adept at gaining and keeping weight on. In a society that didn't have the abundance of food that we now have, this was a great thing. So evolution has pretty much selected lots of people like us.

The thing that I am remembering now (which I didn't even know before) is that I'm probably fighting against biology a lot. It helps to keep me more vigilant about weighing myself daily, keeping track of what foods I eat and getting exercise.

Don't feel ashamed. Weight loss is hard and as any successful maintainer can tell you, maintenance is harder.

Cali Doll
08-21-2011, 12:27 PM
Welcome back! I'm glad you posted again. I do the same thing; I stay away from the boards when I'm not as successful as I'd like (sometimes for weeks). It's like trying to avoid the inevitable, though.

Please keep coming back; it may help you stay focused as it helps me.


08-21-2011, 12:32 PM
Thank you all so much... this was the first step back. *deep breath* Thank you.

08-21-2011, 12:38 PM
A lot of people, including me regain much more than they lost, so you are already taking steps to be successful!

I agree. I've lost and gained and lost and gained and am now in the process of losing again (and I'm probably leaving out a couple of "lost and gained" in there).

it hasn't been a static process though, meaning I've changed and improved and and learned and gotten past obstacles from previous weight loss attempts.

statistics don't tell the whole story, ever! hang in there and don't let the roller coaster psych you out.

08-21-2011, 01:17 PM
Over the summer, I gained back 4-5 lbs that I had already lost (and as PCOS woman, that's agonizing!!!) but instead of hiding in shame, I'm trying to post more, to make myself accountable and to also surround myself around people who have gone through the same thing I am going through.

You're not alone and it's nothing to be ashamed of....you haven't disappointed anyone. The key here is to get back on track, start being on plan again... at least you know you can lose the weight because you've already done it... you know exactly what you have to do!!!

April Snow
08-21-2011, 01:53 PM
I've NEVER not regained whatever I've lost, and I've never stayed with a plan long enough to ever get something close to a final goal.

All we can do is keep trying and working towards making this time be the time that finally sticks once and for all.

Welcome back and good luck!!

08-21-2011, 02:00 PM
Welcome back, HeatherAngel. You've made an important first step!

I was in the exact same position a month or two ago. I used to hang around here all the time in 07/08 and since then I have gained 70 pounds (more than 25lb more than my highest weight!) I was so ashamed that I created a new user profile and have been operating under cover of darkness.

Since I've been back though, I've noticed quite a few women who I remember from 08 but who have regained a substantial amount and are back on the wagon. I'm thinking I should go back to my old username to face up to my reality. :) (Your courage is inspiring me too!)

08-21-2011, 03:40 PM
You're not the first and you won't be the last to regain.

Good for you for dealing with it.

Arctic Mama
08-21-2011, 07:31 PM
No shame, sweetie! Coming back is a huge step, and I agree with Kaplods that keeping off some weight is a huge victory, moreso than any 'failure' at having regained a little. It is a constant issue for most of us that takes lifelong management and adjustment as circumstances come our way.

As long as you're alive to try, you can't 'fail' at your weight mainentnance. Just keep plugging away and don't get down on yourself!

08-21-2011, 07:46 PM
Been there! I went from 235 to about 165, then without even thinking about it, got back up to 200 over the next few years. Of course I had none of the information I have now, I had no idea what I was doing, but I let myself get swept up in "life".

I definitely felt the shame associated with that- I think that was a huge obstacle for me to start losing again. I was living at home at the time and once I finally did start, I would count calories and do exercise DVD's secretly. I really didn't want anyone- even family members- to know! I think shame is just such a useless emotion 90% of the time. We feel it about things that have no moral value, but we feel bad about them anyway. I'm relatively shameless these days (in all senses of the word ;)). It's been freeing to let go of a lot of that.

Welcome back! Let go of the past, embrace the new beginning that's happening now!

08-21-2011, 08:22 PM
Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.~ Confucius

Let go of the shame you're feeling and allow yourself to feel the pride in having risen from a fall. You're on the right track; you've lost the weight before and you'll succeed in doing it again.

08-21-2011, 08:38 PM
I have been in that boat many times. At this point I have not lost a pound in several months, but I have not gained. I have been at the YMCA six days a week. Sometimes I think I am wasting all that exercise, If only I was dieting, or even just being careful, I would be sure to lose.

The largest weight gain I ever had was back when stretch stirrup pants covered by huge, long sweaters were the style. I was absolutely shocked when I went to put on a pair of my jeans. BUT, instead of immediately watching my food intake and adding exercise, I started wearing only the stretch stirrup pants and huge sweaters.

This time, I donate clothing as soon as it looks too big, and will not buy anything that is stretchy.

08-21-2011, 09:13 PM
I do understand the feeling of shame. Years ago, I worked in an office long enough (13 years) to lose and regain weight twice. When I was on my third attempt to lose weight, one of the snide people in my office commented (in front of others), "You're losing weight. But you'll just regain it, right?" I was so mortified and angry, but unfortunately, I proved her right. You can imagine my shame.

I'll bet most women on this board can relate to your post, so you are not alone. You have been successful in keeping off a significant amount of weight. Sure, you regained some, but put in perspective, you are still ahead of the game!

08-21-2011, 09:27 PM
April SNow,
You are amezing, will you pl tell whatexactly you do?

08-22-2011, 09:30 AM
I have also experienced this shame.... keeping weight off is as hard as taking it off, and it's too easy to let it go, and then let it go too long. I guess this must be a really supportive place if you came back. Welcome!

April Snow
08-22-2011, 04:03 PM
April SNow,
You are amezing, will you pl tell whatexactly you do?

I'm not sure I'm amazing, but thanks!

I'm doing the Dukan Diet. There's a thread here http://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/other-reduced-carb-diets/232592-cruise-phase-dukan-diet.html - feel free to ask whatever you want and I can answer you there.

08-22-2011, 04:17 PM
Hi Heather! I totally remember you! Except I was so embarrassed about coming back that I changed my user name and re-registered.

I started last time at about 250. I gained it all back within about a year. The last year, I gained the extra 28 pounds or so. So - here's to you.

I remember you being ahead of me in the weight loss game, and I also remember watching your posts about running and being inspired by them.

Looks like you're still ahead of me. =) I'm so glad you're back so I can again be inspired by you!