Weight Loss Support - Going against my own advice?




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berryblondeboys
11-17-2011, 10:38 PM
Every time someone comes on here and says, "I don't know what to do about my birthday." Or, "How do I avoid Valentine's day, New Years Day, July 4th picnic, etc?" I always say, "it's one day - enjoy it. This is the rest of your life and you aren't in a race to lose the weight. It took you years to put it on, it's ok if it takes you a few more days to take it off."

And I do believe that and it is has I've handled this past year - I had a few goodies at the 4th of July picnic, the Labor Day picnic, my anniversary and so on. I never went hog wild, but I had a high day. Even on vacation I had a bit more (didn't lose, didn't gain which I counted as a huge success).

But... now here I am facing Thanksgiving, my birthday, Christmas, New Years, Orthodox Christmas and my husband's birthday all within 6 weeks. And who are we kidding that those are the only days? There are also all the holiday parties and treats brought into work and church and school stuff and other events. It's a six week long pig-out fest (just a wee bit longer in my family because of the Orthodox Christmas and birthdays thrown in there).

And even then, I would say, "it's only 6 weeks of weirdness with eating. Do the best you can day to day - have a little of the things you really love and don't expect to lose and don't fret small gains. The holidays will be over and you can start anew on New Year's day (how nice for the day of resolutions to start with the end of most people's end of pigging out.)".

BUT... here I am - very, very close to the goal I set for myself the end of last year. I thought it was a pipe dream to lose 80 pounds and get down to 175 in a year, but here I am - a bit more than two pounds from it. I can get there. I know I can. I have all the motivation in the world and this time of the month is during my usual weight loss period. I CAN do this... but... I will have no buffer. My birthday is December 10th. Can I keep to 175 or below for that day with Thanksgiving thrown in there? And then what about the one year anniversary of starting? Wouldn't it be nice to say I made it to goal and STAYED at goal for the one year anniversary of changing my life around, but will be possible with all the Christmas goodies and New Year celebration?

So, I'm seriously thinking of just not partaking... what I tell people NOT to do as life is not avoiding celebrations and special events, but for me, this year it's all of that gorgefest right when I'm reaching my goal.

Of course, I say that, but I will see how much my will power holds up as I will still be making all these goodies for presents and for my family. I'm not a hermit... but mentally, I think I would be crushed to make it to goal (or just miss the goal) and then be undone by the gluttony of the season.


chickadee32
11-17-2011, 11:11 PM
I struggle a bit with this kind of stuff too. I told myself all spring while I was losing weight that I could totally have cake on my birthday in July because it was a special day, but then when I got there I didn't want cake for the simple fact of not wanting to mess up my weight loss. Funny and odd that I've had cake since for someone else's birthday, and of course it didn't impact my weight loss - I just built it into my day. But on MY birthday the urge to keep losing weight, because I so loved the feeling of being proud of each little pound I dropped, outweighed a desire to eat cake. I LOVE cake, btw. The more sickly sweet the frosting is, the better. But for just this year, I love making progress toward my goal even more.

Anyway, that's all a roundabout way of getting to my response, which is: In the same way that we can say "It's a special occasion, it's one day and I can/should enjoy it, it's not a race, etc.", we could also say "This isn't the only time I'll ever get to enjoy this occasion. I get to have a birthday again next year, Thanksgiving again next year, and Christmas again next year. THIS year I am choosing to prioritize the pride I feel in all I've accomplished thus far, and my desire to meet my goal. Not because I have to, not because it's a race, but just because it's what I want right now." And I think that's perfectly ok. You don't have to splurge on those days because you think you should, in the same way that you shouldn't feel you have to skip special occasions because you're losing weight.

So I say, give yourself permission to do either or a mix of both. The world won't end if you indulge on those occasions - you'll have done it because you chose to. And if you choose not to indulge, that's ok too - you'll just look forward to those occasions next year. You're in control either way, and when it comes down to it, that's really what matters.

Good luck, and congratulations on accomplishing so much this year!

lin43
11-17-2011, 11:15 PM
Congratulations on being so close to goal!

I don't know what your plan is: Do you calorie count? If so, you could do what I'm planning to do: Just cycle your calories so that you save some for the days that are really special occasions (e.g., Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc.). Yes, seasonal goodies will be available for the entire month or more, but I don't plan to indulge in them daily, just a few times during the season. If you plan for those occasions, you can balance them out with lower days.

Either way, it often happens that we change our advice/mind because our circumstances change. Nothing wrong with that.

Good luck!


twinieten
11-17-2011, 11:16 PM
Oh man, that's rough! I'm all for living a little, but that's an awful lot of living to pack in to a short span of time! I don't think it's going against your own advice to tone it down. You know you don't want to undo all that hard work..... 80 pounds, wow! Gaining a couple of pounds is one thing. This has the potential of leading to 10 or 20 pounds, and that would be depressing. I think you're right to scale it back.

JohnP
11-17-2011, 11:56 PM
My opinion is if you feel it isn't going to send you spiraling into some massive food binging abyss then go for it and make it up later. After all it is always a function of calories. So if you have a holiday event and you drop 3000 or 4000 or 5000 calories you just make it up over the next couple days or even go lower calorie a day or two before.

There is nothing bad that will come out of a day of eating 500 calories so long as most of those calories are protein and veggies.

I've been slowly losing weight for the last six months with this philosphy. Granted I would surely be at my goal (which is merely vanity) if I was more rigid but I would have had a whole lot less fun.

Having said that you have to be aware of your own personal weaknesses. I am a food addict but not a major food addict so I can go a little crazy and then rein myself back in. Others might go a little crazy and then go a lot crazy.

Sorry if this is not making sense. Long day. :D

Bikini Ready
11-18-2011, 12:28 AM
I agree with what has been said so far, all good advice. There is a big difference between avoiding all together, limiting yourself and full blown indulgence. Pick your battles. It will be easier to avoid treats that are around just because it is the holiday season than it will be to say no the day of the actual celebration.

I would much rather have a big piece of pie thanksgiving day and if that means no cookies from the lunch room at work the week of, so be it. Try to plan for those days by making up for the calories in the few days before or following.

You have done an amazing job so far! I know that has taken a lot of dedication and will power so you know you have it. Enjoy the goodies to whatever extent you are comfortable with indulging but not feeling guilty for after. Happy holidays and birthdays!

Koshka
11-18-2011, 12:29 AM
Last year I lost weight between Thanksgiving and Christmas and truly I didn't feel deprived. I also did take part in social events. It is just that I made the commitment that losing weight was more important than any single day of food. That doesn't mean I can't indulge some but I really kept in mind my real goal. I wanted to start the New Year a few pounds down rather than trying to get back to where I was in November.

The thing that is difficult about the Thanksgiving to New Year's time is that it isn't just one day. It is so easy to just going off track for the whole time and end up gaining. Some of the things that I did:

Thanksgiving day itself and Christmas itself I did eat more than on most days. However, I only ate the things that I really loved and I did watch portion sizes. Looking back on it I remember enjoying the day and enjoying the food I ate, but I don't really think back about how much I ate. That is, if I ate a 1/4 cup of something it isn't like I know wish I had eaten a full cup.

I avoided having leftovers at my house. I also avoided the kind of holiday eating that is more mindless than really enjoying company and a special day. So, if I went to work someone brought in cookies in the kitchen, etc. I just avoided that kind of thing.

At social events I also realized that most of what is special is being with the people and enjoying the company. It really isn't how much I eat.

And I avoided social events with a lot of food that really weren't that special to me. Not everything was that special so I would just not go to those.

For me, I found that doing it this way I still enjoyed the holidays but I also did lose weight. I could see doing it the other way of course.

monmis12
11-18-2011, 07:51 AM
Boy do I know how you feel. I have been at goal maintaining for the last 9 years. I can say that for the last 9 years that I have gone without eating my own birthday cake or eating a holiday meal... I'd say most of the time I was ok with it. This last year, I realized I was at goal and that I wasn't eating quite enough to maintain. So, after 9 years of very very strict eating(and exercising), I switched to allowing myself to "splurge" one day a week or on a holiday. So far, it has worked for me. When I first did it, it was very very difficult and my family couldn't believe it. I felt a lot of guilt, I thought I would gain 5 lbs overnight from it. But, I have not. Sure, I'm bloated and a few lbs higher but in a week that is gone. And, it is HARD to jump right back on the wagon of healthy eating the day after. Sorry I don't have any advice for you. I think the advice of picking and choosing whats worth eating and eating low calorie on other days to make up for it makes sense. I know just how you feel though. I've been telling people "its only one day" just go for it, for years yet I never followed it myself.

berryblondeboys
11-18-2011, 08:38 AM
Thanks for all the comments so far.

I have managed (so far) to have a higher day and then go right back to eating right the next day. One day of over indulging hasn't led to binging or upping calories. And on those days, I stuck with mostly proteins and veggies and only took something with carbs that I realllllly wanted and then I ate a bit of it, not a ton. That works for me. But it also meant a weight stall for a few days. (we're talking about a 2000-2500 calorie day versus a 1500 calorie day).

Last year, when I ate whatever I wanted and whatever I wanted, I went from 255 to 260. I was back down to 255 by the beginning of January. Of course back then I could consume a lot more calories to maintain (took way more calories to gain) and my metabolism was higher than now. I KNOW my metabolism has slowed down. (I'm cold, weight loss is slowing to a crawl despite the fitness apps saying I should be losing 10 pounds a month, I'm losing like 3-5, etc).

And, it is true that on holiday meals, I am pretty sure I can maintain/lose. I don't need heaping platefuls of food. I bit of this or that will do. But... I want a few special goodies. I want to be part of the rest of the family's taking of a piece of fudge at tea time. Or a slice of toasted Christmas stollen for breakfast. I LOVE these holidays and this time of the year and while family and friends are a big part of it. So are the special foods... but I want to be at goal!!! I wish I would have built in a bit of a buffer - like got down to 168 so that I had 7 pounds to work with and then could relose. That's what I will plan for in future years, but this year I'm JUST going to make it to goal (if I make it to goal) and there will be no room for extras.

Oh, and I do plan to keep hitting the gym as before.

twinieten
11-18-2011, 08:50 AM
My goal for the month of November and December was to just not gain. At the time, some goodies were coming to work, and my self control is not always there. Now I'm hoping to take off between 5-10 pounds by mid-December before my work Christmas party (I want to wear the little black dress in my closet) but I'm not going to get excited about it.

Anyways, it sounds like you are good with self control and have the ability to enjoy without overdoing it. Plus you have a plan and some tried and true methods for dealing with the calories. You ought to be just fine! Maybe if your goal is to get through it without gaining, you can enjoy without guilt. In your mind you will know, and you won't go overboard.

berryblondeboys
11-18-2011, 10:12 AM
I should also add, 175 is not my ultimate goal, but the one I set for myself for this year. it's 100 pounds from my top weight. My high school graduation weight and the weight I hope to NEVER be over again. I figure I'll keep dropping until I find a point where I just don't lose any more and then I'll call that goal Could be 165. Could be 155 - any less than that and I would be too thin as I really am built large.

runningfromfat
11-18-2011, 10:22 AM
I'm not sure how your family celebrations are but we've tried to eat relatively on plan for our holliday meals but just make something fancier. So our plans for Thanksgiving:

mashed potatoes
corn on the cob
LARGE salad
steak
whole grain apple cinnamon cookies (sweetened with a small amount of honey)

It's a meal the whole family will enjoy but it's not over the top and it won't derail my husband or myself. We have another celebration coming up and we're planning on going to outback for that. There I always get the Grilled Salmon with veggies (~350 according to their website) and eat a bit of fries from DH.

We've weathered a lot of holidays like that. Normally for my extended family (and even parties with friends) I always offer to make the desserts because I can make something that's much more low calorie that I'll also enjoy.

berryblondeboys
11-18-2011, 11:10 AM
I'm not sure how your family celebrations are but we've tried to eat relatively on plan for our holliday meals but just make something fancier. So our plans for Thanksgiving:

mashed potatoes
corn on the cob
LARGE salad
steak
whole grain apple cinnamon cookies (sweetened with a small amount of honey)

It's a meal the whole family will enjoy but it's not over the top and it won't derail my husband or myself. We have another celebration coming up and we're planning on going to outback for that. There I always get the Grilled Salmon with veggies (~350 according to their website) and eat a bit of fries from DH.

We've weathered a lot of holidays like that. Normally for my extended family (and even parties with friends) I always offer to make the desserts because I can make something that's much more low calorie that I'll also enjoy.

I'm a gourmet cook - holidays are all about great food. Our thanksgiving looks like this (and we host several people)"

Chestnut soup
Roasted Turkey
Cornbread cranberry stuffing
Scalloped potatoes
Scalloped corn
Brussell sprouts
Green beans
Candied Sweet potatoes
Some fancy baked onions
Dinner rolls (homemade)
Cranberry orange sauce
Gravy
Apple Pie
Pumpkin Pie
Trifle

We usually have 10-12 people total and we send home leftovers and we eat the leftovers for Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

For my birthday we are going to The Melting Pot (and that will be easy to eat around normal)

For Christmas we have have Sarma (stuffed sour cabbage rolls) with polenta

New Years we do either wine and cheese or fondue (cheeses with veggies and later chocolates with fruit)

Orthodox Christmas eve we do a nice dinner (MIL makes it) and then for Orthodox Chistmas (also DHs birthday) we do some special gourmet dinner with either a roasted pork or veal or fish and of course, a European decadent cake.

For goodies around the holidays we make Christmas stollen, Sugar cutout cookies, Bajadera (a chocolate hazelnut fudge like Croatian dessert), Walnut roll, Cranberry fruit quick bread, and a few other specialty cookies like biscotti or pizzelle cookies, gingerbread, marzipan, etc.

Our holidays - both sides of the family are steeped in food traditions.

runningfromfat
11-18-2011, 11:14 AM
That's right, I remember a thread awhile back about your cooking, I forget. ;)

But with many of those things couldn't you make some simple substitutions that would cut back on calories? For instance, cut the sugar in half in the sugar cookies, use whole wheat flour instead of white flour etc. It might not make a huge difference in the end but it can certainly help.

I know you're hosting for a lot of people, but it seems like you could also include a number of healthier dishes that you love (maybe even making something fancy that's healthy so you're still getting something special?). Being that you're a gourmet cook, it sounds like a fun challenge. ;)

berryblondeboys
11-18-2011, 11:14 AM
Oh and I should add I don't believe in making desserts that are not REAL desserts. If I want a piece of pumpkin pie, I want a REAL piece of pumpkin pie not some pumpkin mousse sweetened with splenda. If I'm going to eat carbs/fat, I want to really enjoy it. I don't have a problem with providing a low fat alternative for others or low calorie, but having the only desserts be 'healthy' ones defeats the purpose of a dessert to me. So, ice cream means full fat, full calories.... not the lite stuff and so on. Satisfies me more... and it's really a special treat I have very, very rarely (I think I've had 3-5 this year total).

runningfromfat
11-18-2011, 11:17 AM
Oh and I should add I don't believe in making desserts that are not REAL desserts. If I want a piece of pumpkin pie, I want a REAL piece of pumpkin pie not some pumpkin mousse sweetened with splenda. If I'm going to eat carbs/fat, I want to really enjoy it. I don't have a problem with providing a low fat alternative for others or low calorie, but having the only desserts be 'healthy' ones defeats the purpose of a dessert to me. So, ice cream means full fat, full calories.... not the lite stuff and so on. Satisfies me more... and it's really a special treat I have very, very rarely (I think I've had 3-5 this year total).

Ah ok, gotcha. I wasn't actually suggesting that, though. More just cutting back on the amount of sweetener you put in, I still cook 100% full fat when I make all my desserts. :hungry: Normally I cut the sweetener back in half but if that's too much for you you could always cut it back by 3/4. It would still save you a few calories.

berryblondeboys
11-18-2011, 11:18 AM
That's right, I remember a thread awhile back about your cooking, I forget. ;)

But with many of those things couldn't you make some simple substitutions that would cut back on calories? For instance, cut the sugar in half in the sugar cookies, use whole wheat flour instead of white flour etc. It might not make a huge difference in the end but it can certainly help.

I know you're hosting for a lot of people, but it seems like you could also include a number of healthier dishes that you love (maybe even making something fancy that's healthy so you're still getting something special?). Being that you're a gourmet cook, it sounds like a fun challenge. ;)

For every day meals I do that. (I make whole wheat bread), etc. But for special occasions - no. They are special and on those few days a year (just happen to be all clumped together like that). We eat them the way they were meant to be meant. ONLY if they taste as good or better being healthified will I do so. I want my food to be memorable and tasty. Not saving a few calories (and t would only be a few).

berryblondeboys
11-18-2011, 11:19 AM
Ah ok, gotcha. I wasn't actually suggesting that, though. More just cutting back on the amount of sweetener you put in, I still cook 100% full fat when I make all my desserts. :hungry: Normally I cut the sweetener back in half but if that's too much for you you could always cut it back by 3/4. It would still save you a few calories.

I actually do cut back on sugar as we're not big sugar eaters, but yep - I use butter baby!!!!

April Snow
11-18-2011, 04:45 PM
[QUOTE=chickadee32;we could also say "This isn't the only time I'll ever get to enjoy this occasion. I get to have a birthday again next year, Thanksgiving again next year, and Christmas again next year. THIS year I am choosing to prioritize the pride I feel in all I've accomplished thus far, and my desire to meet my goal. Not because I have to, not because it's a race, but just because it's what I want right now." And I think that's perfectly ok.[/QUOTE]


fwiw, this is my approach. While I think it's fine to say I'm going to enjoy some special occassions and I'm fine if my losses are a little slower due to that, I think it's equally fine to say that right now, my priority is my weight loss. I can enjoy the time spent with family and friends - the truly important part of celebrations and holidays IMO - and not eat the foods that are not on my current plan. I am not saying I intend to do this forever - my plan operates with a stated goal of getting to a point where you can eat "normally" (whatever that means, but for me, it will include indulgences from time to time, along with periods of strictness to balance them out).

I think that a lot of people get so caught up in the idea that weight loss has to be a lifestyle change and the choices you make have to be sustainable for ever. And in some ways, that is true - certainly I cannot return to doing the things I did that took my weight to 261 lbs, and I need to make permanent changes. But on the other hand, right now, I am working towards a specific goal and the choices I make to get there are going to be different than some of the choice I make for the rest of my life. Maybe an equivalent is training for a marathon - I may want to have a goal of running a couple of miles five times a week in general. But for a marathon, I have to do a lot more longer distance training than that. And if I wanted to run a marathon, I would make those changes on a short term basis in order to meet my goal. But afterwards, I would be ok returning to my baseline of a couple of miles at a time, 5 days a week. Maybe I might do 3 or 4 miles now, because the act of training for the marathon increases my ability to do so. But I'm not going to be doing 10 and 20 mile training runs all the time. (I'm not actually a runner so I'm making up a lot of this but I think you can get the point).

Weight loss is similar for me - getting to my final goal (once I figure out what that is!) is my marathon. I'm doing the long training run equivalent in my eating and making it more extreme right now because I need to do that to meet my goal. But once I get to my goal, I am going to maintain and maintenance isn't going to be my pre-Dukan Diet lifestyle, but it's also not going to be permanently following the strictest part of the plan.

Well, I guess this is all a long winded way of saying that either way is fine, as is taking it day by day and making the right choices for yourself for that particular day and time. It's all good!

theCandEs
11-18-2011, 07:24 PM
Wow! We have some similar issues this year. Thanksgiving, my birthday, my dad's birthday, and then Xmas are all coming up. Also thrown in there is my husband's family Xmas party. I've been struggling lately. I've maintained my weight since June, but it's from the constant up and down with the carbs I've been doing. I'm just trying to make it through the rest of the year without gaining at this point.

Good luck to you!