Okay, I'm new on here, and really just need some advice because I don't know who else to ask, considering I have a bunch of skinny friends, and a not so skinny family...I know no one else who has lost this amout of weight, therefore no one I know has walked in these shoes. I think I just need to get my thoughts out of my head, instead of letting them fester, marinate, and eat me up.
So, I've lost 70 lbs in the last seven and a half months. I have done it with good ol blood, sweat, and starvation...jussssst kidding. It's really just calorie counting, and working out. I've worked really hard, and am so proud of the progress I have made, but in the last couple of days have hit a serious mental food depression. I have been having these fantasies of a big *** slice of vanilla layered cake with butter cream frosting, and fresh strawberries. I tell myself that immediate gratification will not help me lose these last 15 pounds, but the thoughts persist. With the thoughts of that wonderful fantasy cake come other thoughts about how close I am to my goal. WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I REACH MY GOAL??? I'll still be on a diet...for the rest of my life...if I want to maintain my weight. To me a diet is not being able to eat whatever the **** I want, whenever the **** I want, in any amount that I want. So how do I get past this feeling, and just learn to live with it.
In these last seven months I have "slipped up" with my diet, skipped the occasional workout, and still steadily lost weight. I've been been strict with my rule of eating clean, and low cal for the last few weeks and the weight loss is tapering. I know this is normal, considering I have less weight to lose, but to me this means that by the time I reach my goal I won't be ale to maintain it, if I ever indulge in that layered cake. I don't want to feel bad about food, but I Love it sooooooo much. It's never been my enemy. This is the only time in my life that I have attempted to lose weight, and seeing the results made it really easy for me to continue. Very soon, when I'm 15 pounds lighter, and have no more weight I want to lose what will keep me motivated to keep up this "healthy lifestyle", and fall off track. I mean don't get me wrong, I give myself a "free meal" once a week, where I indulge in cake, or a couple glasses of wine, or a fat juicy steak, but thats two days away, and I can't get rid of this craving.
So basically that was just my rant, but does anyone else have some advice, or similar thoughts?
01-23-2012, 07:18 PM
First congrats on the amazing work you've done! Second, I'm nowhere near to your experience (hope to get there some day) but here's my two cents. I'm struggling with the whole concept of lifestyle change vs. diet. My nutritionist stated it something like this way 'you've had a good life eating whatever it is that you want whenever you want, now it's time to change your life and do things a different way'. And she also told me that it's fair to go through a mourning period. And I really did. I felt like I was depriving myself of the things that I really love. So it took me a few months to get on plan with her. I'm also suffering from such things as diabetes. So in theory I should never really have that big ole slice of cake ever again (although I'm sure I'll break that rule occasionally). But I think when you do accept this as a new lifestyle then you don't really have to think about it consciously all the time. It's just the way you eat. And occaisionally you can have a treat. But otherwise you just eat this way and exercise that way (probably with some changes for maintenance mode) because it's your life now. That's what I've taken away from what she's saying. However, when I think about doing this for the rest of my life it's so daunting. So I'm trying to take it one day at a time. It's helping me for the moment. Hopefully I'll have more wisdom by the time I get to where you're at. :-) But for now, one day at a time...I'll figure out the rest of my life later. :-)
01-23-2012, 07:40 PM
Congratulations! I wish in some months I could also say I am near my goal! First of all, I think you need to feel proud of what you have accomplished. Think of the time you invested, of the sacrifice and of the effort... and celebrate yourself. And then, start to think about what your life will be like from now on. Drop the slice of cake, that is not your future life. That is your past life. You have to decide now if you will move on to an active, exciting, fun, sportive life, or you will relapse into old habits and regain your weight. I suppose your sadness may stem from the fact that throughout these past months you fought an enemy who is now agonizing --your overweight-- and now you need to find new objectives. One of those objectives HAS to be maintaining your weight, which is by far more difficult than dieting; another objective will be related to your role in society... Start thinking about you as what you wanted to become, because you are about to become it. Again, congratulations! And don't forget to tell us how you are doing!
01-23-2012, 07:48 PM
I am in a similar situation, in that my weight came off very rapidly. I just started making a concentrated effort in June 2011. And like you, I can have slip ups and still lose weight at a fairly regular clip (though it has slowed a great deal--in the beginning I could count on 2-5 lbs, now it's more like .5 - 1.5ish, with a once a month gain).
I think it is very much a grieving process. You're also wise to be thinking about this now vs. when you reach goal and magically your life is not healed of everything and become bliss from then on--in my observation, the folks who only have a specific goal in mind *tend* to be the ones that regain vs. people who plan on a lifestyle or a range. I'm sure there's plenty of exceptions, that's just among the people I personally know.
I've lost my weight in the context of getting help with an eating disorder, so I've had lots of time to think about this being a whole new way of living (and when you go from binging, like serious over 5k cals a binge binging, multiple times a day 2-4 days a week to not binging at all, the weight falls off without much effort except for the not-binging part, at least for me). I still have temper tantrums from time to time (like last week). There are days when I'm like, "you mean my life won't be perfect once I hit 135? I have had to sit with horrible emotions vs. stuffing my face and have been deprived of the pleasurable part of binging for all this time for imperfection and needing to choose to do this every day forever? Eff this. Trying this hard can just go to ****." I just have more days where I feel happier and more in control and more normal than not, and that's what keeps me going.
So I don't know if I have any advice, other than to respect the grieving process, realize that it's normal (I have yet to meet anyone who's lost over, say, 20 lbs who did not go through some sort of grieving process!). I think that it's a good idea to start thinking about maintenance looks like for you. Is it a magic number? A range? Clothing fit? If you're adding in a lot of activity to boost your weight loss now, do you know the activity rate that you enjoy and can honestly plan to keep up on a regular basis? Maybe you need to experiment with finding the right balance, and while you may not be able to do that right now while you're going for loss, it doesn't hurt to start thinking about it so you can plan for maintenance once you get to your goal.
Goals are good, but once you accomplish them if you don't have something else or a new project to take it's place (doesn't have to be weight related), I think it can be quite the letdown.
01-23-2012, 07:54 PM
I am about exactly where you are. 15 pounds to goal and I've lost 80 pounds this last year (the first 20 pounds in previous years). And yewterday I was on here ranting how I just wanted to eat bad and was having a pity party. And I knew it was TTOM (that time of the month) hormones.
Today I feel better and I can move on. Some days it's just hard - period.
But, in real life, maintenance mode, there will be days I want some treat. Why does itnhsveto wait until Saturday? Or Wednesday. I need to be flexible. If I want it today, then I have to make a deal with myself to not take it the next time. Or not until I hit a desired weight or whatever. Last night I didn't give in because I was THAT close to getting to 175 again. Which is 100 pounds down from my top weight. It was enough to keep myself on track for that terrible day yesterday and today, I saw the 175.0. Next time I'll have to find some other reason to be strong, or make a deal with myself.
It's tough. I know...
01-23-2012, 08:16 PM
I agree with the "Diet" vs. "Life Style" concept here. If you are really going to change your life, well, overeating doesn't fit in the new life style. If you were just on a diet to lose weight, be prepared to do it again and again until it becomes a life style.
You said you have skinny friends. I bet they eat cake with butter cream frosting once in a while. A small piece. You can, too. I bet they gain weight over the holidays. But, I bet they adjust and take it off before it's more than 5 or 6 pounds. That's the difference.
I'm not sure I understand the mourning part. I'm 60 (soon to be 61) and was over 250 pounds for 25 years. I sure don't mourn my size 22 pants and 2X tops. The only thing I mourned in 2011 was the fact that I had to by temporary clothes. And I DO mean temporary, because ever stitch was given away as soon as they were too big. No bins of every size is being stored in my attic. I'll have to buy bigger clothes if I gain, and I don't want to do that. I didn't mourn anything over Thanksgiving or Christmas. I gained 3 pounds and it's off again. It IS the rest of your life. And it is what you make it.
You've done a fantastic job. And you did it without us! LOL Now you have 3fc for support. You can do the maintenance part just like you did the losing part. It's the beginning of a new and healthy life style. Not the end of a diet.
01-23-2012, 08:33 PM
your desire to stay at your new size should outweigh the desire for the cake. It's not like you can NEVER indulge again, maybe just have a few bites or make it a special occasion thing. anyway, how about some fresh strawberries and some coolwhip? I think finding healthy or low calorie alternatives to things you crave will help you feel better and help delay eating them and I feel is really part of the process of losing weight.
01-23-2012, 08:35 PM
You might want to check out the maintainers forum! We have lots of people going through the same thing!
01-23-2012, 08:35 PM
I think it's extremely important NOT to deprive yourself of your favourite treats for the rest of your life. The middle ground is to plan for those treats. There is no way I'm going to spend the rest of my life without four or five all-you-can-eat sushi dinners per year (and I do mean all you can eat). It's my family's go-to activity whenever anyone has a birthday and I enjoy every minute. What I've been doing is reducing my caloric intake for a week or two before each of those dinners and so far it seems to be working.
01-23-2012, 10:03 PM
your desire to stay at your new size should outweigh the desire for the cake.
I understand where you're coming from, but I don't believe there is a "should" where our feelings are concerned. We feel what we feel---regardless of whether we "should" or not.
To the OP, your post is so insightful, and I feel your pain. I started losing in June 2011 & had pretty much reached goal by Oct/Nov. I've been experimenting w/ finding my maintenance calories since then. You would think that now that I can eat more calories (actually a LOT more than I thought I would be able to ---approx 2100 per day) that I wouldn't have a problem with cravings, but the opposite is true. In fact, last week, I actually had two or three mini binges. I managed to stay within my calorie range, but I was bare-knuckling it. I, too, have gotten a bit depressed as the goal has been reached and the truth is REALLY sinking in that I won't be able to eat everything I want, whenever I want, in the quantities I want (although I logically [B]knew this from the start). I will always have to restrict and plan for indulgences.
Practically, what has helped me is to calorie cycle. I have some lower days and "bank" those calories for a couple of days during the week---usually Friday & Saturday. Also, in normal circumstances, I leave a little room for daily treats like some dark chocolate at night (I say during "normal" circumstances because I actually do not do this when I'm having a hungry week, like this week. During times like that, I focus on eating filling, whole foods). Also, sometimes, I'll let a treat do double-duty: So, one or two days a week, I might eat a Starbuck's muffin (or other treat) as breakfast (as long as I still have room for a filling lunch). Finally, I try to make my meals as delicious as possible. I focus on foods I love---hearty stews & soups, roasted veggies, etc.
Also, I'm finding that it may help me to have some other guidelines beyond just calorie counting. For example, I'm trying to eat three meals a day without snacks (other than the bit of dark chocolate after dinner) for most days of the week. It's sort of a form of No-S (Google it). I'm hoping that using that guideline will 1) get me used to not constantly eating (I find that the more I snack, the more obsessed I become with eating); 2) learn to live with a bit of hunger, which ultimately makes the upcoming meal taste better.
Hang in there! At least you recognize the problem and are trying to address it.
01-23-2012, 11:38 PM
Ohhhh thank you everyone so much for your insight and advice! Everyone here has gave me a little something different.
This whole food mourning thing seems to be a bit ridiculous, but true. I am mourning the loss of all this delicious food all day everyday, but am still celebrating the fabulous, sparkly, size 6 dress I wore on new years eve (I have never worn a size 6 in my adult life...or my teenage life...or even middle school). All this motivated me to take a jog, and just get over it. I can have cake anytime I want, but right now losing this weight is more important. I hope to come up with a plan for a new focus that isn't weight loss related once I reach my goal weight. Perhaps the San Diego mud run will help keep me motivated to continue working out for fitness, as opposed to weight loss.
So thanks once again for everyones words of wisdom, and I'll certainly be back for more advice, and maybe put a little of my two cents in as well.
I also admire and congratulate those of you who have lost and maintained, and the best of luck to those who are still on their weight loss journey.
01-24-2012, 12:12 PM
Well you will have to transition into the maintain lifestyle. It is not like what you are doing now. You can increase your calories to maintain..and still keep active. If you have a 2000 calorie intake to maintain. You can eat 2000 calories and not work out, or workout and eat 2300 if you burn 300 in exercise. I woudln't go crazy counting calories, since you should know how to eat pretty healthy by then. Just watch your wieght, if you see you are gaining again stop it before it becomes a problem.
Hope that helps!
01-24-2012, 02:34 PM
You can have ANYTHING you want, you just cant have EVERYTHING you want.
You are looking at it like "I can never ever ever have a piece of cake with frosting" again. B.S. Of course you can. You probably cant have it everyday. You probably cant eat the whole cake. You probably cant eat it AND a pepperoni pizza AND a bag of doritos AND 3 scoops of icecream. (do you feel a little sick reading that list yet?)
A diet of can'ts isnt a life plan. Make a plan that includes the things you truly love that are "occasional" foods. For me nix on the cake, I dont really like cake that much, but pizza? No, there will never ever be a point in my life where I can NEVER have pizza
Have you sat down and looked at what your dream dessert will cost you? Be pragmatic. 600? 900? Do the math, figure it out. Homemade probably has fewer calories but then you have leftovers to deal with. Unless you time it with guests.
Can you work that in to a maintenance plan? How? What would you need to do. Would it be worth it? Dont eat cake out of craving, eat cake as a conscious well informed choice.
And by god if you go and get a slice of cake....taste it. enjoy it. Dont ruin it with guilt. Taste every bite. You may discover you dont even really want the whole thing. Or that after 7 months on probably low sugar....you dont really even like it anymore.
01-24-2012, 07:45 PM
You probably cant eat it AND a pepperoni pizza AND a bag of doritos AND 3 scoops of icecream. (do you feel a little sick reading that list yet?)