100 lb. Club - Re-losing the same weight over and over and over...




Lyn2007
09-11-2011, 12:04 PM
I know there have to be plenty of people here who relate to this...

I woke up this morning and weighed in and was thrilled to have lost 5 pounds this week! I sat down and logged it and then thought, crap... this is like the bajillionth time I have lost this same regained weight, and once again am trying to get back out of the 190's. It turns a happy loss into something just... ugh. Blah. Grouchy.

Do you know what I mean? Heck, even before *this* weight loss journey I had gained and lost through the 190's a couple of times, but just looking at my recent history sort of bums me out. I first hit the 180's in August a year ago, woohoo! Then a month later was back up to 193 and had to lose it again. Got back into the 180's, down to 175 in October, then a couple months later was up to 189. Lost it AGAIN, got to 178 in January, then back to 190 in February! Lost it AGAIN but back to 193 in March, kept working at it, lost down to 182 in April and then within 3 weeks was back to 198. Worked hard, got to 183 in June, 180 in July, then BOOM back to 196... and 205 in August!! Ugh!! Here it is September at 194 and it is getting HARD to be excited about the numbers anymore. I am practically rolling my eyes at myself right now.

I KNOW it is my own doing, going on and off plan all the time, and my example is extreme because my body loses and retains water (and other weight) rapidly but I know some of you have to relate! How do you stay excited/motivated when you keep working through the same darn numbers over and over??

And yes, for the record, I think this will be the last time. Of course, I said that every other time too. It's really a battle of maintenance over the past year, fighting just to stay generally in the 180s-190s range. I want to get down into the 170s and keep on losing!


kaplods
09-11-2011, 01:12 PM
How do you stay excited/motivated when you keep working through the same darn numbers over and over??!

I think this is a question that makes or breaks successful weight loss. We're not taught that it's valid, valuable, and inevitable that this is what weight loss and maintenance is - a constant battle with the same darn numbers over and over.

We're taught to expect the weight loss journey to be a steady incline - losing at a consistent pace, with no backsliding, ever. We're taught to expect what our bodies often can't give (at least not without unhealthy and impractical methods).

We're taught to expect maintenance to be a single digit on the scale that never changes; and if it does change we have only ourselves to blame, berate, and punish (and if we don't punish ourselves, we're not doing it "right.")

Real maintenance and weight loss rarely meets our expectations, because the human body is a complicated machine, and we can't make it do tricks on command.

Maintenance is going to be gaining and losing the same pound or three or five or even more pounds. You might as well get used to working with "the same darn numbers over and over," because that's what maintenance is - so you need to learn how to stay excited/motivated when you keep working through the same darn numbers over and over.

The challenge is in making it the same 2-5 lbs, and not the same 20-50 or more.


... I think this will be the last time. Of course, I said that every other time too. It's really a battle of maintenance over the past year, fighting just to stay generally in the 180s-190s range. I want to get down into the 170s and keep on losing!


I think "last time" mentality also bites us in the butt - because we then judge every weight fluctuation as a sign of failure. When the scale is even up a half pound, frustration sets in because we vowed never to see that number again.

Weight maintenance is tough, so you need to acknowledge the acheivement you HAVE made this year. You fought to stay in the 180's to 190's range, and you succeeded at that. That's a great acheivement in itself.

Yes, you want to maximize moving forward, and minimize moving backward, but I think one way to do it (at least it's worked tremendously for me) is to avoid the "starting over" mentality and replace it with a "moving on" philosophy.

We're taught to diet that way (by watching everyone else do it, talk about it, write about it....) We're taught to see a slip as a sign that we've "blown it," and since we've "blown it," we might as well really screw it up good, and start fresh tomorrow (or Monday or next month).

We're taught to diet by the perfection method (it only counts if it's perfect, imperfection means we've blown it, and we follow the blown-it protocol).

This is the first time I've had long-term success with weight loss. I've never lost this much weight (I lost 70 lbs in high school on prescription diet pills, and 60 lbs once on Nutrisystem in preparation for a friend's wedding, and 55 lbs on TOPS after I herniated a disk and needed to lose at least 50 lbs to avoid surgery).

Besides three times in 40 years of dieting, I struggled to gain and lose the same 25 lbs over and over and over again, and always by the "start, perfection, slip, guilt, binge, binge more because I've blown it, start over" method.

I always expected each time to be the last, but it never was (because I expected perfection that wasn't possible).

I never maintained weight loss before. I was always steadily losing, or steadily gaining.

I never counted weight loss as maintenance. When I lost 70 lbs with diet pills over the course of 12 to 18 months, I didn't count any of that as maintenance. When I gained 2 lbs, I didn't think "I've gained 2 lbs, but I've maintained a 68 lb weight loss, and if I go off my diet, I'll lose some of that maintenance."

No, I thought "I've gained 2 lbs, I'll never lose the remaining 10 lbs I need to. If I can't lose those 10 lbs, all this work will have been for nothing, I'll still be fat forever, and if I'm going to be fat forever, I might as well get to eat what I want. This struggle is pointless, because I'll never get a break. I'll always have to fight with the same numbers, over and over. If I can't get to perfect, there's no point to keep trying....."



This time was different only because I took "I've blown it" off the table. I wouldn't allow that thought to become reality. This time has been different, because I've focused on maintenance almost from the first pound (at least from the first 20 which I lost without trying as a result of sleep apnea treatment. Even though I wasn't sure if I could lose more, I vowed to keep off those 20 lbs and maybe try to lose "just one more.") It took me a couple years to do the "just one more" part.

I'm not saying your loss needs to be as slow as mine was - but giving up on the "blown it" philosophy really is vital I think. Along with the assumption that working with the same numbers is failure. Maintaining even 1 lb loss, is an acheivement to recognize and build on. But we're taught to focus on the failures, rather than the success (to the point we barely notice the success).

If weight loss were mountain climbing, we wouldn't survive it, because every time we'd stumble, we'd throw ourselves off the nearest cliff in order to "start fresh."

My motto has been "there's no starting fresh, there's no starting over, there's just moving on."

April Snow
09-11-2011, 01:18 PM
I am going to have to confess to having read the book Mars and Venus on a Date because the perfect analogy comes from there. It's about finding the right relationship partner and the analogy is that each time you move on from a relationship, you look at it as shooting an arrow into a target. Every time, you learn a little bit more that helps you perfect your aim, so you get closer and closer to the target for the next time.

I feel that way about weight loss. Everything I am doing right now is a compilation of everything I've learned along the way. The things that didn't work, I've let go of, but the things that have worked well for me, I continue to incorporate with each fresh start, along with new ideas to find the thing that works for me.

I am really hoping that this time I have found the right combination of things that works and that will continue to work into ongoing lifetime maintenance. I already know that I am on a path that is aimed more accurately at the target than ever before.

So I would say that you already have a great foundation for success. You didn't lose over 100 lbs by not knowing what to do right. Now it's time to make a few more tweaks to make your plan fit you better and get you - and keep you at - your final target. As frustrating as I know these ups and downs are, they are still important lessons that are helping you modify your plan to achieve lasting success.


Trazey34
09-11-2011, 01:51 PM
I know I sound like a broken record, but i'm 110% convinced that if I hadn't done some work on my BRAIN first, I'd still be 323 or good lord, even MORE. To me, the actual weight loss was secondary, and the maintaining part (more than a year now wooot) is more of the same -- it's NOT a constant struggle of misery I swear!! It's 2nd nature now, and so like everyone else on the planet, that number on the scale varies. But never by more than 5 lbs., ever.

Something in me snapped the 'last time'. I said, there's no way I can lose this AGAIN and have it come back AGAIN and then have to do it all over again, there has to be a reason for it???? So once I dug around a bit and faced myself honestly and dealt with my issues of being a spoiled indulged BRAT, I got out of my own way and allowed myself to be successful.

It's not always point A to B in this game, but it's a fool's game to do the exact same thing time and time and time again and expect 'this time' it will work, right?

dragonwoman64
09-11-2011, 02:30 PM
I KNOW it is my own doing, going on and off plan all the time, and my example is extreme because my body loses and retains water (and other weight) rapidly but I know some of you have to relate! How do you stay excited/motivated when you keep working through the same darn numbers over and over??

yes, I can relate. you got some great answers here.

April Snow: "I feel that way about weight loss. Everything I am doing right now is a compilation of everything I've learned along the way. The things that didn't work, I've let go of, but the things that have worked well for me, I continue to incorporate with each fresh start, along with new ideas to find the thing that works for me."

this is how I feel. the numbers can go up and down, but when I compare how I eat, exercise, handle food situations, I've made tremendous changes.

and I do think there's an aspect of it where I had to really figure out what funky thinking was spurring on the binge eating too.

hang in there!

linJber
09-11-2011, 03:05 PM
Kaplods said, "If weight loss were mountain climbing, we wouldn't survive it, because every time we'd stumble, we'd throw ourselves off the nearest cliff in order to "start fresh." My motto has been "there's no starting fresh, there's no starting over, there's just moving on."

April Snow said, "Everything I am doing right now is a compilation of everything I've learned along the way. The things that didn't work, I've let go of, but the things that have worked well for me, I continue to incorporate with each fresh start, along with new ideas to find the thing that works for me."

Trazey said, "I know I sound like a broken record, but i'm 110% convinced that if I hadn't done some work on my BRAIN first, I'd still be 323 or good lord, even MORE. To me, the actual weight loss was secondary."

I say, "one choice at a time - the heck with one day, week, etc. That allows you to choose correctly the very next time if you mess up ONE CHOICE. That's all it is - ONE."

Now, if we could just combine these few points into a book, get a publisher and an agent, we'd all get rich. We all know what we have to do to accomplish the weight loss and the maintenance. To quote (and slightly paraphrase) Yogi Berra, "Losing weight is 90% mental. The other half is physical." I think this is true of anything we set out to accomplish, and as incorrect as Yogi's math is, the statement pretty much says it all. Most difficult things we face are 90% mental. My brain got me overweight as much as my mouth did.

Lyn - you are SOOOO close. You've been very close for a long time. Don't let the concept of maintenance screw you up. I'm very afraid of trying to maintain my weight. If I stopped losing now, I'd be OK, but I want to lose a bit more. Then the hard part comes - staying there. I take inspiration from the members in here like Trazey who have maintained for a long period of time. I take inspiration from my DD and others who never had a weight problem because they eat in a sensible way MOST of the time. I happened to be with DD and my nephew's wife last night and we stopped for some food on the way to a ball game. I commented on how I was trying to use their example because I never see them overeat. My niece-in-law said, "Except on Thanksgiving." And DD quickly chimed in with, "And Christmas." They were partly joking, mostly serious. They lose those same 5 pounds over and over in any given period of time. That's life.

As Kaplods said, the real challenge is keeping it at a few pounds and not 15 or 20. I think that's where my "one choice at a time" comes in handy. I used to think I'd start fixing the mistakes "tomorrow." Well, as cliche as it might be, tomorrow doesn't ever really come - it's always in the future. Fixing a mistake with the very next choice happens as soon as you make the next choice. And, it's easy to walk past the bag of cookies when you've given yourself the freedom to do it just one time. Next time is a different chance to make a different choice. This works for me. We all have to find the thing that gets our 90% mental part in the right place. Then the other "half" is easy.

Hang in there - you are also one of my inspirations. Losing over 100 pounds is a fantastic accomplishment.

Lin

Lyn2007
09-11-2011, 03:40 PM
Thank you guys the insights. There is a lot of good information to think about in all your answers. I appreciate it a lot. Sometimes I feel like "this sucks" and other times I feel like "wow, I have kept almost 100 pounds off! I am doing awesome!"

For me, even when I am not so excited or even very motivated, I just keep on going anyway... and those are the times I have to do the mental/emotional work that goes along with successfully keeping the weight off. Seems there is always more to chip away at.

boomerang
09-11-2011, 04:10 PM
May I join your conversation? I am a returning 3FC member and my username represents 'the story of my life'. After yoyo dieting since the age of about 14 and losing hundreds of pounds (same ones), I made what I thought was my final effort, in 2004-2005. Rewarded myself with surgery to remove the ahem 'evidence' and proceeded to regain and re-lose almost the same amount ever since.
Currently I am attempting to make a major life change by not only losing but doing it in a healthy manner. Previously I always lost by starvation. Your stories and your successes are a huge, eyeopening motivation to me.

Arctic Mama
09-11-2011, 08:42 PM
Oh yes, I relate to this big time. There is much wisdom on this thread, and I agree that we have to make peace that weight loss and maintenance isn't just a single number, but a constantly evolving state. It always takes vigilance and work, we just learn and get used to it so the effort expended is less and the process becomes our default. Minimizing those weight swings is a huge step toward that.

You can do it ladies, and so can I!

MrsTee
09-13-2011, 02:34 AM
Kaplods- I love your posts, they always bring a the "big picture" look at weight loss.
After three decades of dieting, I can honestly said I have only ever maintained weight at my very highest, then it stays about the same for a year or two, then I decide to "diet" and then regain and hit a NEW highest weight, and stay there for a while etc etc etc
That cycle has seen me move from highest weight OMG I need to do something about this =198 lbs to 330lbs in 30 years.

Finally at 53, my health dicates I must do something lasting.
I now have a first goal of 199 lbs (Onederland) and when I get there I hope to maintain it for a while, and reassess.
I know that THAT will be a huge challenge.

But from now on I will take your advice and think about maintaining the 25 kilos I have lost, and adding just one more...........

Thank you Weight Loss Yoda...( kaplods)

boomerang
09-13-2011, 10:03 AM
Mrs. Tee, I agree with you completely! (About maintaining as well as Kaplods' posts). I have yo-yoed from the age of 14, when I thought I needed to lose weight at 5'6'' and about 120#. We get so very caught up in that cycle and look back at ourselves and think (well I do): "why on earth didn't I leave myself alone? What was wrong with me that I needed to change?". As an athlete, I was influenced by my teammates' constant talk of diets, of having lost 5# and all the other obsessions. I got caught up in it though there was no reason, based on my appearance or my health. I looked around and saw that girls who were similar in size were trying to lose wt. and without thinking about it I adopted their preoccupation with this issue. Wish I could turn back time...

I can honestly say that between the age of 14 and now, at 54, I have not had a week or even a single day, when I was not in the process of either dieting or overeating. I never had what I can call a "normal" day. It is hard to think of the hours when I could have done something much more productive but my focus was on food, one way or another. If I had simply KNOWN at 14 that I was ok and I should just trust my body and my "hunger centers" to lead me, if I had simply sidestepped the need to control this part of my life intellectually, I may have been ok.
It is said that dieting makes us fat. I believe what that means is that we are obsessed with food in some manner, as opposed to treating eating like any other bodily function. I wish I had treated eating the way I do breathing and I had eaten to live as opposed to living to eat or not to eat, since for me it seemed to be an all or none proposition. When I see perfectly normal, healthy young people who start on this road I wish I could warn them and I know that it would be in vain.

twinmommaplusone
09-13-2011, 02:34 PM
I'm not sure, it might be harder since you are not at goal yet, so I bet you are frustrated. Being at goal and still wanting to lose some...I have been going up and down alot too lately ....mainly from water and endurance running but none the less it still plays the same head games with me that it does with you...however before I let it settle into anything more I just decided for now to just not weigh myself. Keep doing what I love to do and that is portion control/moderation and running/exercise/fitness and it will all continue to work it self out.

Do you know why you have a on/off plan? and not just a 'plan' ?? kwim?

boomerang
09-13-2011, 03:39 PM
TM+O, your comment about not weighing is right on the money! The scale has caused more of my binges than any other factor. The longest period I could go without using the scale was 6 months. I decided that I was doing exactly what I should in order to lose wt. and I could do no better. The wt. was simply going to have to change at its own pace, without my being a witness to its every fluctuation.
Your achievement is spectacular!