Weight Loss Support - Motivated but struggling ... Advice? :/

01-28-2012, 06:54 PM
So I've been lurking for the past couple of weeks and decided to join because I love the support and the tips this community provides especially because none of my close friends struggle with weight issues. You guys are pretty awesome! :D

Long story short, I have had a very difficult couple of months (serious health issue, heartbreak etc.) but I'm finally starting to get back on my feet and I've recently become very focused on weight loss. It feels like it's the only thing I can control besides not smoking that can help improve my life!

So I'm going to be honest here... The only time I have trouble staying within calorie range is on days when I drink alcohol (1-2x/week). I lost 15 pounds when I didn't drink at all for a couple of months and now I'm almost back to my old habits. I tend to go overboard when I go out with my friends and instead of having 1-2 drinks, I'll have 5-10. I don't think I have a serious problem with alcohol (although I do see that it could happen if I'm not careful) but I think drinking is hindering my attempts at weight loss, as well as my health. I am also not supposed to have more than 2 drinks at a time because of a medication I've been put on but I sometimes just do it anyway and yeah then feel very guilty the next day. :dizzy:

Anyone else have this problem? I'm in my early 20s and live in a big city where drinking is a huge part of the culture. Alcohol also helps me loosen up around guys... I don't want a relationship now but it's just such a downer that guys aren't into me! haha... I probably have the potential to be attractive but I'm just overweight and standoffish.

I guess the obvious answer is don't drink as much or don't drink at all... Maybe I should try to stay within the 1-2 drinks limit and if I can't to stop altogether?

Sorry if this is in the wrong place. Thank you so much for reading my long post! :D It feels weird to bear my soul on an internet forum but maybe some people here can relate... Just looking if anyone shares my experience and what they're doing or have done.

01-28-2012, 07:18 PM
Glad you found the group.

You're right, even though I don't know if you stated it. If you can't control drinking, then you can't drink. Simple as that.

You are probably doing it to 'loosen' up socially, and honestly, that desire is not going to go away any time soon.

Losing weight isn't easy and there are always things that we simply have to stay away from, when we are trying to accomplish something.

It's something you have obviously struggled with up til now, and not really been able to control it.

You may need to invest some time looking into other social activities or even try making some new friends. A lot of times the 'culture' we accept, is really just the social group we have chosen. I'm in a college party town, but I don't drink, and over time, I've cultivated friendships with folks that either don't drink, or don't look at drinking as their only social outlet.

It's up to you, but you obviously know this is a hurdle. If you can't get over it, you have to chose to avoid it.

01-28-2012, 08:12 PM
I think you're right. Appreciate the tough love. Don't want this becoming a big problem in my life... Will have to stop if I can't learn to limit it. And actually, I'm usually the one out of my friends who wants to go out drinking so it's my fault more than anything.

What kind of activities do you when you out besides dinner? I can suggest these things to my friends if I have some ideas...

01-28-2012, 09:14 PM
hi and welcome, uselessknowledge (love your name!)

I think I agree that you just may have to give up drinking, at least for a bit. Would your friends be interested in a game night? Or, on a weekend afternoon rather than a Friday night, some outdoor activity? (Doubly good because you're exercising rather than consuming empty calories.)

If it IS a drinking occasion, maybe you could learn to rock a Virgin Mary.

And BTW, I'm about your height, and I bet you can look curvy and pretty durn good at 220 -- and, bit by bit, hotter every day if you stick to your plan! Good luck : )

01-28-2012, 09:51 PM
Well my outings tend to be girl days, hiking, movies . . that sort of thing.

Also you can go where there is drinking, but you know there are differences where people to be social and there is drinking, and THEN there are places where people go to drink and being social just happens by default.

It's more the tone of the place than anything.

What things do YOU like to do? Are you going out just to meet guys? Or are you wanting to hang out with the girls?

What do you want out of your socializing?

01-28-2012, 10:17 PM
Well you are in a similar boat to me. I love to have drinks on the weekends and it will kill my diet. I have to drink more than a few to "feel good"...and I am still young and like to get my buzz.... admittedly.

Anyways yes, alcohol sucks for empty calories. I did some research actually yesterday to find out the lowest calorie drink. It's any diet soda with Rum or Tequilla.

It's 96 calories per "shooter" which is 1.5 ounces (a shot glass). So in theory you aren't going to drink 10 captain, diet cokes, so let's say 5...that's 500 calories you need to fit into your daily intake. (Capt Morgan is 86 calories a shot glass versus white rum..because it is 35% versus 40%)

Either you need to burn an extra 500 that day, or eat 500 less. I would suggest trying to "maintain" on those days because you don't want to deplete your body of nutrients.

Beware of added calories with munchies and eating out..because those pack them on faster than the booze!

So yes, alcohol is a demon when it comes to weight loss. Maybe try to cut the number of days you go out too, or at least drink. For instance stay sober Friday, drink Sat...(easier said than done).

You can still loose weight, but it will either be really slow, or you will have to gear up your fitness x 2.

Good luck, I feel your pain!

01-29-2012, 03:49 PM
Yeah, I completely understand where you're coming from. I struggle with the same thing. Almost all of my friends are big drinkers. Not just a glass or two. It's usually 5 or 6...or more on occasion. So when we get together its always in some setting where that's involved. (Judgement aside from everyone else please) Its hard to break certain social habits. But you can definitely do it. I do the trick of alternating a drink with water. That helps. And I take smaller sips and don't use a straw. Drinks go down way to fast with a straw. I'm also on a low carb diet so I've switched to diet and something. But in the end, your body processes alcohol before it will fat (or something like that, look it up, it's true). That's one reason why the first thing a dietitian or weight loss professional will tell you is to stop drinking. Another reason is the empty calories. And another reason is that it makes you do things, like binge, that you wouldn't do sober. It's funny but the one thing that I took seriously is that it's really hard to lose weight if your body is trying to get rid of the alcohol before it will get rid of fat. I didn't want all of my hard work to go to waste because I decided to have a few drinks. I also am on medication that I shouldn't mix with alcohol, and I would and realize how stupid that was later. I'm trying to take that more seriously now. So, for me, for the most part, I've quit drinking when I go out or drink very little. It's hard. Like all of this is hard. It one more change you have to make in your life to lose weight. But honestly you do really have to do it like I have to do it. It's a more difficult process with alcohol. And it's hard enough already. Anyway, I have a feeling that you really know all of this already. You just need someone to say it to you. :) I know. I've been there too.

01-29-2012, 04:28 PM
Thanks everyone!

guynna, thanks for the support! I definitely look overweight but at least I still have a womanly shape. My lowest since being an adult was around 180. I was a size 12-10 and looked normal weight. Had no problem with guys paying attention to me then, haha.

Katydid77, when I go out, it's usually to bars where drinking leads to socializing by default. I'm usually going out to spent time with my girlfriends, but I like the possibility of talking to men. Most of my closest friends are in relationships so it's not like we are out trolling for men, haha. I'm not looking to hook up with them, just giving myself some practice. Movies, dinner, shows, walks around the city, etc. are great ideas that my friends would probably enjoy where the focus of the evening is not the drinking.

JudgeDread, thanks for sharing! I know what you're saying. I used to drink A LOT of beer. In fact that is how I gained almost 40 pounds. Having 8 beers in a night and then eating a couple slices of pizza really packs on the pounds. I had a bad experience with rum back in college, so I try to stay away from it now, haha. I find that vanilla vodka mixed with diet sprite (I usually hate diet drinks) it tastes pretty great and is low calorie, as long as I don't have too many. As you say, as long as the calories balance out over the week, it seems to be OK. Like I can go out one night and then eat less and work out a bit more the next day.

aliasihaya, thank you for sharing too! No judgment here, it tends to be that way for me too. It isn't just about the calories. Definitely will have to take on your strategy of drinking less overall and alternating with water or diet drinks.


01-29-2012, 07:10 PM
I know I didn't start losing until I gave up my red wine. Hubby and I had gotten into the habit of unwinding almost every night with a few glasses....which led to some major snacking. I gave up all alcohol for 3 months and the weight came off pretty fast. I substituted decaf green tea. Maybe you could only drink one night a week, if you still want to go out with friends?

01-29-2012, 08:24 PM
Katydid77, when I go out, it's usually to bars where drinking leads to socializing by default. I'm usually going out to spent time with my girlfriends, but I like the possibility of talking to men. Most of my closest friends are in relationships so it's not like we are out trolling for men, haha. I'm not looking to hook up with them, just giving myself some practice. Movies, dinner, shows, walks around the city, etc. are great ideas that my friends would probably enjoy where the focus of the evening is not the drinking.

Well, I am going to throw something out and see what you think about it.

You mentioned that YOU are the one that even suggests the bars a lot, and you are looking to kind of 'practice' at being social with it.

I think you use drinking as a security blanket to make you feel comfortable in social settings. You want to be outgoing, friendly, etc, but you secretly feel that you need the 'loosening' effect of alcohol to provide you with that in, to be the person you want to be.

If alcohol truly is a drug, then it's got to be considered a nerve pill. LOL.

If that turns out to be correct in your case, you may well have to face that you've developed a bit of a crutch with alcohol and that there will be some personal soul searching involved with excising that demon and putting it under control.

Maybe not, and it may just be a case of getting a bit more 'out of the box' with your outings, but don't be TOO upset if it turns out a bit harder than you want it to be.

You can do anything you set your mind to!! :smug:

01-29-2012, 09:20 PM
I'm going to say I agree with Katydid's take on this. On average, alcohol has about 90 to 100 calories per shot. I'm not sure what you're drinking, but 10 drinks in a night can add up to 1000 extra calories pretty quickly. Now, that in itself isn't so bad - except that guidelines tell us that 1 drink per hour keeps us under the legal limit to drive. Even if you aren't driving, the legal limit is what it is because that's where inhibitions go out the window, judgement is impaired, etc. We then tend to eat more and be a bit out of control in our actions. An extra 1000 calories a week for a year adds up to about 15 pounds. If you're drinking that much twice a week, well, that's 30 pounds.

You posted because you're looking for advice and support. You'll get both in here. When you do go out, my advice would be to alternate drinks with water with a lemon or lime wedge. No one will even know you don't have and alcoholic drink in your hand. Next, I'd suggest bowling or some other activity that keeps you busy. My DD is in her 20's. Her friends have a game night every so often and have a ball. I realize that's not the place where you might meet new people, but it is a way to socialize without the endless drinking.

One last word of caution. If you CAN'T slow the drinking down, please be responsible to yourself and others and don't drive. And consider that it too is part of an addictive nature (like overeating) and look into getting specialized help and support.

I think it's easier to give and take advice in here because we are all fighting one or more forms of addictive, destructive behavior. It's a lot easier to hear advice from someone with the same struggles than from your parnets or from friends who don't get it.

Come back often. We need you as much as you need us.


01-29-2012, 11:59 PM
No no no, don't worry. I live in NYC and I do not have a car and I don't need to drive. I have never in my life driven with even a single drink in my system. I also haven't been a "regular" drinker for very long, maybe 2 years max. Your calculations are pretty accurate. I gained 40 pounds in about a year (the extra 10 coming from snacking while drunk!).

I admit that I use alcohol as a social lubricant. I am completely aware of that and I know it makes it more difficult to give it up altogether. But the bar environment is also admittedly depressing and I don't love it most of the time. I don't actually find it that fun anymore... It's just something I got used to doing a couple times a week. It took me a few months to get in the habit of going out to drink instead of working out, so it might take some time for me to go in the other direction, but with some effort I believe it's possible! I'm definitely motivated to. :)

So thank you for the advice AND the support. The honesty is refreshing and it's just good to hear it from other people sometimes. A lot of us here do struggle with addictive tendencies and/or bad habits and it's good to get some insight from the members of this forum.