Weight Loss Support - Conciously making bad decisions...




Latchkey Princess
11-22-2011, 04:21 PM
Hope this is the right place to put this, mods feel free to move if you think I'll get more/better answers elsewhere.

I have been trying to lose weight most of my life. The latest serious attempt started back in January of 2009 before I got pg with my second child. Since then, besides the 18 months I spent pg with two little ones, I've been trying my best to lose weight. Sometimes it works! I'll make changes and eat better and exercise and the weight falls off like it normally would for someone my size. The problem comes when I start losing the internal arguments with myself about making good decisions. This has hindered my weight loss tremendously lately and I am in fact almost back to where I originally started in 2009 (well, about 20lbs away from it, but that's too close for comfort).

What it is, is every time there is a decision to be made on a health issue, eating issue, exercise issue, whatever, I argue with myself inside. It doesn't matter what I try, there is always a very strong part of me that seems to be opposed to "doing what I should". It's a constant struggle, and generally speaking the "good" part of me loses out. I've literally stood with a regular soda in my hands for the better part of an hour internally arguing with myself and telling myself to put it down, then ended up drinking it anyway. I've driven around town for half an hour trying to convince myself that I don't really need to go to the Chinese buffet, but end up going and gorging anyway. This is a constant everyday thing, it happens all the time. Not only does it make being healthy very hard, it also makes my life seem all about these arguments sometimes. Like there is literally another person living in my brain arguing with me about this stuff. (btw, I don't know how else to describe what happens other than as internal struggles/arguments, but I'm not crazy, I swear!) These struggles lead to me making bad decisions, and making them consciously, as in I KNOW that sitting in front of the tv playing XBox instead of going for my scheduled walk is bad, but I sit there doing it anyway (and generally berating myself a lot of the time about the decision that's been made as well).

These struggles are getting harder all the time, it seems the "bad" side of me wins more often than not anymore, and I have no idea what to do about it. I know HOW to be healthy and WHAT I need to do, I just can't get myself to implement a plan of action. I've tried everything from strict plans and calorie counting to IE to whatever. You name it I've tried it, and it seems that there is this gigantic part of me that just wants myself to fail, that's the part that talks back and argues when I try to make a good decision.

Does anyone know what I'm talking about?


CherryPie99
11-22-2011, 04:33 PM
It is a struggle to keep the "bad voice" at bay. I am an addictions counselor and encourage my clients to give a "name" to their addictions. Some people call theirs the evil twin or the beast or actually give it a name. Then I tell them they need to recognize when their addiction is talking and not who they really are as a person. The addiction will say "You can have just one bag of heroin" - the person knows that this is not true, but it is a tactic the addiction uses.

As I tell my clients - the addiction's only purpose is to get you high. It doesn't care about anything else, it doesn't care if you die or go to prison, it just wants you to give in. And you have to tell it NO - every single time.

Can you use something like this is your journey? Like giving your "bad voice" a name - that addiction - for lack of a better term - it's only purpose is to keep you fat. It doesn't care if you get diabetes from drinking that regular soda, it doesn't care if you die young of a heart attack and leave your children without a mother, it just wants you to give in.

And you have the power to say NO - the same way you would if a not so good friend was trying to get you to do the wrong thing. Tell that voice NO!

JayEll
11-22-2011, 04:45 PM
that addiction - for lack of a better term - it's only purpose is to keep you fat. It doesn't care if you get diabetes from drinking that regular soda, it doesn't care if you die young of a heart attack and leave your children without a mother, it just wants you to give in.

This. :yes:

Also, you might think of an imaginary case in which one of your children wants to take drugs. What would you say to your child? Would you give in after an hour and let them shoot up, snort, smoke? Of course not! You would keep saying no! And that's how you need to take care of yourself as well.

Jay


dana813
11-22-2011, 05:00 PM
I completely know how you feel. I have been trying to lose the weight and keep it off since I was 15... I'm 22 now! Like you, I am constantly having arguments with myself about what I should eat. I know I should eat healthy, count my calories, and exercise. But it's like there's a voice in my head saying "Just go to Taco Bell! You can lose weight anytime, but RIGHT NOW you need Taco Bell." The other day, I saw some chocolate chip cookies in the vending machine at work. I resisted them, but I was literally thinking about them the entire day. I kept going back and forth with myself.. "you don't need the cookies right now." "No, go eat them! They'll be amazingly delicious!" "I'm really not even hungry..." "But they're SO GOOD!" Ahhh, it's so frustrating. As you can see from my 7 years of unsuccessful attempts at losing weight, the "bad voice" wins most of the time.


Can you use something like this is your journey? Like giving your "bad voice" a name - that addiction - for lack of a better term - it's only purpose is to keep you fat. It doesn't care if you get diabetes from drinking that regular soda, it doesn't care if you die young of a heart attack and leave your children without a mother, it just wants you to give in.

And you have the power to say NO - the same way you would if a not so good friend was trying to get you to do the wrong thing. Tell that voice NO!

CherryPie, I really love this advice. Your post was so helpful!

carter
11-22-2011, 05:13 PM
I struggle with this too - sometimes it is a real test of my will to resist the temptation to stop on the way home and buy [insert favorite weakness here].

For me, it helps to visualize the part of me that is whining for treats as a young child, and handle it the way I would handle a child throwing a tantrum. When my young nephew whined for a treat when I was out on the town with him, I told him he could have the apple or the peanuts I'd brought along for him, or he could wait until we got home to eat dinner. There simply were no other options. No matter how much he wanted a donut, he wasn't going to get one.

I tell my inner five-year-old the same thing.

The other trick that works for me is to tell myself, "not today." When you are driving around trying to resist going to the buffet, try saying "well, I won't go today. Maybe I'll go tomorrow." (Then, of course, you can play the same trick the next day.) This really works for me because it disarms "woe is me" sort of thinking - as in, "woe is me, I can never visit my favorite buffet again!" We're no longer talking about never again, we're talking about one day. Not today, that's all. For me, it helps to rob the temptation of its power, to just push it off for the next day.

I'm a natural procrastinator, so maybe that's why it helps. ;)

Beck
11-22-2011, 05:20 PM
I know exactly what you're going through. You need to read the book The End to Overeating in America. http://www.amazon.com/End-Overeating-Insatiable-American-Appetite/dp/B004NSVE32/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1322000074&sr=8-1

Food is addictive, and despite the best arguments our other half can throw at it, the addiction often wins. This book really made me realize that I was addicted to food, that it wasn't just my poor choices, that there is a physical thing, a chemical process going on in our brains that prevents us from always making the better choice, and that we can recover from the addiction. It helped me tremendously; maybe it will for you too.

Another great book to read it the Beck Diet Solution http://www.amazon.com/End-Overeating-Insatiable-American-Appetite/dp/B004NSVE32/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1322000074&sr=8-1

This book is a step-by-step instruction on how to break away from poor food choices and establish a healthy relationship with food.

Arctic Mama
11-22-2011, 05:53 PM
Carter hit my favorite trick - I have to say no to my inner two year old, who wants all the tasty stuff and damn the consequences. Reminding myself, forcefully, that the food will be there in the future and I can have it (or more of it) another time helps immensely. Also just laying down the law and prohibiting certain triggering foods helps too.

I've been dealing with this extensively the past few months and I'm just back around to cutting crap out, period. It's too easy for me to overindulge if it is in the house. Having the treat out of the house is okay, but if it lives in my cupboards it can be a bad thing for me. Thus, when I know it is bad (and I have made consciously negative decisions regarding food many times) I have to force myself to prioritize what is more important - moving toward a lower weight or away ffrom it. For a lot of months I honestly didn't care that I was maintaining or even slightly gaining. Oh, it bugged me when clothes were tight and I got on the scale to see a slight increase *again*, but not enough to modify my behavior when it really mattered.

I had to really evaluate where I was and where I wanted to go, then actively work toward it (including saying no to myself, or later, or enough!). Until I was prepared to do that, nothing else helped.

I felt that way for the first fifty five pounds, then the additional twenty to get down to 190. But I got complacent and didn't want it badly enough to maintain strictly for the time period after that. Now, back around 200, I'm in that place where I am willing to work at it again, instead of just coasting and making excuses for myself ;)

Life is about choices, and we're not always in a season of life where we are willing to make the hard choices. But we HAVE to be, if weight loss is our goal. It doesn't just 'happen' for most of us!

justhamade
11-22-2011, 06:12 PM
I had/have these issues too. I realize everyone is different but here are some things that helped me.

1. First get things in order at home if you can, clean out all the junk/wheat/sugar/processed stuff etc
2. Plan as much as you can, I find the times I am bad is usually because I don't have anything planned
3. Make your goal long term, for life permanent.
4. Help other people and try not to be a hypocrite. This is the biggest thing for me, I don't want to get caught doing something that I tell people not to do.

I also heard Jill Escher recently on the underground wellness podcast, she is the author of Overcoming Sugar Addiction, it was a very good interview. She mentioned going to over eaters anonymous, I didn't know that even existed. I have not read her book, but she seemed like she had some great ideas and it would be helpful.

fyreflie24
11-22-2011, 07:34 PM
Second the Beck Diet Solution; and there's a group right here that's working with it as well! Please come join us!

It's hard, and I totally relate to what you're saying. Part of it, for me, has been about how bad do I want it. The other parts are around me using food for comfort. We all have our paths and it's not easy. Good luck and great for you for reaching out for help! That's the first step!

lissvarna
11-22-2011, 07:44 PM
The other trick that works for me is to tell myself, "not today." When you are driving around trying to resist going to the buffet, try saying "well, I won't go today. Maybe I'll go tomorrow." (Then, of course, you can play the same trick the next day.) This really works for me because it disarms "woe is me" sort of thinking - as in, "woe is me, I can never visit my favorite buffet again!" We're no longer talking about never again, we're talking about one day. Not today, that's all. For me, it helps to rob the temptation of its power, to just push it off for the next day.


This really helps me. If I want something, I think about how really I can have it any time. It's easier to skip the Chinese today if I know I can have it if I REALLY want it tomorrow. And even though I most likely wouldn't have it the next day either, knowing I CAN gets me through.

And, sometimes you can have the Chinese tomorrow. Meaning, there are times for treats and you don't have to eat clean every day of your life to get healthy. I'm steadily losing weight and I have plenty of delicious food, I just work it all into my plan. You can too! Good luck. I know, getting motivated can be so difficult.

Steph7409
11-22-2011, 07:56 PM
And you have the power to say NO - the same way you would if a not so good friend was trying to get you to do the wrong thing. Tell that voice NO!

I agree with what CherryPie99 said. I treat my overeating as an addiction, and I tell it NO quite a bit. I think that's why calorie counting works for me, because I don't have to say no to specific foods or to the foods I like, leaving me more energy to say no to the cookies/cake/donuts at the office or the pizza place on the way home.

And it does get easier, although it's always a little bit of a struggle. And, sometimes, I say yes and have that donut. But that's okay, as long as I don't use that as an excuse to keep saying yes to the addiction.

Don't give up on yourself! Good luck!!

berryblondeboys
11-22-2011, 08:07 PM
I have found for myself that those battles are almost always about sugar. I am not a low carber, (so don't think atkins), but I did cut out almost ALL simple sugars and O.M.G what a difference that made.

I got rid of bread, pasta, rice, desserts, etc. Anything that was purely simple sugars (or can be quickly turned into simple sugars). I do eat fruit every day, but I pair it with a protein and it doesn't tend to make the demons raise their heads.

After about 3-4 days of keeping my net carbs below 100 net grams, I felt the cravings go away. I stopped having the urge to eat like you are describing.

Part of it is taht my body (and many people's body's) stop regulating insulin well - long before they actually have diabetes. Levels spike and plummet and when that happens, it triggers the "must eat this now" response. Without all those spikes and valleys and with blood sugars remaining mostly level, those "must eat it now" urges go away.

So, no matter what, even when I drop the rest of this weight, I'm keeping those simple carbs out of my diet. I can feel it even when I let a few simple carbs in for a few days - I feel the demons returning. So, I go slightly lower carb for a few days and then I am right back to feeling demon free.

BeachKitty
11-22-2011, 08:13 PM
I know how you feel girl. I've had the same inner struggle my whole life it seems like. I've had many failures and I've learned a few tricks that work to quiet my own beast.

I made a collage of terrible (and I mean disgustingly bad) pictures of myself at my heaviest and I go to them when I'm hearing that inner voice. I also will go get into a pair of pants I'm too big to fit into anymore and try them on. That tends to snap me out of it. In the end if all that fails and I realllllllly want that Chinese I'll go grab a Lean Cuisine sesame chicken and that always keeps me from the real thing. I know the processed meals aren't really that great for me but they're better than pigging out at the buffet!

I've taken to using my xbox as a treat. I won't let myself get on and play unless I've done my chores and exercise for the day. Playing has also been good for me at night because that's when I have the worst cravings. Playing distracts me and I forget about it.

MablesGirl
11-22-2011, 10:23 PM
Yes, I seem to do things like this almost every day. I haven't found a way to beat it, but I'm going to try the suggestions here.

MedChick87
11-23-2011, 09:17 AM
I have always struggled with the exact same thing. I always set out on my "lifestyle change" all gung-ho and motivated, and then I start craving pizza or fast food or whatever it may be. There's always a dramatic internal struggle about whether or not to eat the food and, like others here, the bad side tends to win.

The suggestions posted here are great ones and ones that really have helped me in the past. This may have been mentioned, but another thing that I've recently found to help me is writing out a long list of reasons WHY i'm doing this and make them really specific. Some of mine include meeting my boyfriend's father and feeling confident, being able to run 3 miles at one time, wearing a size 8, etc. I make them pretty specific so that when I read the list, I can really imagine what each one will feel like when I meet that goal. I keep that list with me at all times and before I indulge in something I always take it out and read it. If, at that point, I STILL want that slice of pizza, I'll have it. But generally reading the list I'm much more able to resist temptation. I find that most of my binges and wrong choices stem from just not thinking. This helps me to really visualize what I want and that one piece of pizza is just not worth it.

sept15lija
11-23-2011, 02:06 PM
I've had these problems too (still do) and I use the same tactic as some others: I treat my craving like I treat my almost 4 year old, with a firm no when the answer is no. :) I have out loud conversations with myself at times about why I'm not going to eat something...and definitely internal ones on a regular basis. It's been a process but I have gained control over myself and finally I feel like I really know that the food just is not worth being overweight.

On the other hand, I've allowed myself a "treat" since the beginning. Everyday, I have some sort of treat that is usually around 200 calories, a few cookies or a small ice cream cone, or whatever I feel like that day - it helped me a lot and it works great for me to keep the cravings and struggles at bay.

Kahokkuri
11-23-2011, 10:29 PM
another thing that I've recently found to help me is writing out a long list of reasons WHY i'm doing this and make them really specific. Some of mine include meeting my boyfriend's father and feeling confident, being able to run 3 miles at one time, wearing a size 8, etc. I make them pretty specific so that when I read the list, I can really imagine what each one will feel like when I meet that goal.

I like this idea a lot! My short-term, instant gratification mind just wants to eat that rice ball at 11pm, but the list-maker, long-term thinker in me might be able to convince the bad side otherwise.

Melmelvin
11-23-2011, 11:00 PM
Try to put little stickies up to remind yourself of your goals. I just read today that it only takes a 1/2second to make a bad choice. So, you need to interrupt/stick to your plan.
Stay the course and reach your goal.
good luck and good eating,
Melmelvin

yoyoma
11-24-2011, 10:07 AM
Maybe you should shake things up with a different approach. You say you know how to lose weight and I'm sure you do, but sometimes I've found it easier to get re-started or regain focus when there's a new spin on it. Basically, if you find something new to focus on, it can help crowd out or drown out the shoulder-voice that is arguing against good choices.

You might try something like behavior modification a la Beck (there's a support thread here for folks following the book). Or try something a little less different... if you normally CC, you could try adding focus on super foods, or whole foods, or low carb. Or you could focus on a new goal instead (or in addition to) the scale like waistline inches. Or maybe get invested in some new form of exercise.


Best of luck finding an approach that works well for you!

DezziePS
11-27-2011, 10:55 PM
Ugh I feel like I could have written your post, OP. It is literally a constant thing with me, too, and sometimes it feels like I make the wrong decision so often that once the temptation enters into my head, I've already lost the battle! I think a lot of it is losing motivation. I get on the bandwagon, lose weight like a champ, then get overconfident and stop calorie counting and just start estimating everything. Then I kind of stop estimating everything and just eyeballing stuff. Then I'm shocked when I don't lose any weight. I really struggle with laziness and immediate gratification. Perhaps I need to win more of the arguments with myself and take pride in the ones I win- not feel deprived when I make a good choice, but proud!

rubidoux
11-28-2011, 02:19 AM
There are so many great ideas in this thread!

One thing I do that I haven't seen mentioned yet is to make myself stop and really think hard about it before eating off plan. I make sure I think about how great I feel when I weigh myself and see a lower number, and how great I feel when I get dressed and my clothes are loose or feel good to me, and about how much energy I've had and how my body just feels better. And then I also think about what it feels like *after* the cheat. The cheat itself feels good to me, I cannot lie, but omg, I am always so disappointed afterwards, both because the food I ate is never as good as it should be (to pay such a price for it!) and because I just feel crappy about myself and like I can't trust myself. Also, I remind myself that we're talking about, at best, ten minutes of satisfaction. I may as well just hold my breath for ten minutes, I won't feel any more satisfied *after* than ten minutes if I ate whatever crap it was that I was dying for.

Then I tell them they need to recognize when their addiction is talking and not who they really are as a person. The addiction will say "You can have just one bag of heroin" - the person knows that this is not true, but it is a tactic the addiction uses.


This is great! I'm adding it to my arsenal!


The suggestions posted here are great ones and ones that really have helped me in the past. This may have been mentioned, but another thing that I've recently found to help me is writing out a long list of reasons WHY i'm doing this and make them really specific. Some of mine include meeting my boyfriend's father and feeling confident, being able to run 3 miles at one time, wearing a size 8, etc. I make them pretty specific so that when I read the list, I can really imagine what each one will feel like when I meet that goal. I keep that list with me at all times and before I indulge in something I always take it out and read it.

This is exactly the first step of the Beck diet solution. When I first read it, tbh, I thought it was a little goofy. But I think it's actually super helpful. I am still carrying my list around. I definitely recommend the book, too.