Weight Loss Support - Lifelong battle or lifelong change?




ChickieChicks
07-11-2012, 12:50 PM
Another thread got me wondering what everyone's opinions are about how our bodies may or may not be predisposed to gain back weight after we reach goal, or lose a significant amount.

Does it boil down to maintaining a strict diet and exercise only?
Does it require unusually low calorie diets and/or extreme amounts of exercise (more than an hour per day)?
Have we changed our metabolism, and therefore our long term success, by gaining weight in the first place?
How much does mental determination and positive attitude play a role in keeping the weight off?
Are some of us doomed to a failure already predetermined by our genetics?

Strictly philosophically speaking.....looking for others who might be pondering the same things. There is no right or wrong answer.


Arctic Mama
07-11-2012, 01:00 PM
Our culture has an eating disorder - lifelong maintenance requires defying that cultural convention to eat too much of the wrong things when not hungry. Toxins from grains, vegetable oils, and sugar exacerbate the condition, but maintenance on whatever path we choose still boils down to s choice to be subservise - it is REBELLIOUS to choose to remain accountable and not feel entitled t eat whatever we want in whatever quantities we desire. It is COUNTERCULTURAL to pursue fitness goals for the sake of self improvement instead of just relaxing until the bulge gets too bad and then doing a Bootcamp with a trainer.

While the 'ideals' of weight control and fitness are celebrated, the daily and ongoing work to maintain them is NOT ingrained in our psyches, and so maintenance requires consistent and conscious choices to do what need to be done to stay where we are. Results are often not enough, which is why so many people regain. There has to be commitment and motivation outside of just 'being small' to help us control ourselves when everyone wants us to eat when we're not hungry, socially gorge at parties, and 'don't you DESERVE a treat?!'

Maintenance requires a mindset change, I've discovered, and it's not an easy one to adopt when it flies in the face of what is common. Eating for hunger, nutritiously, for life... That's something few are willing to do.

I am reading an AMAZING book on maintaining losses that touches upon exactly this, and I cannot recommend it enough : http://www.amazon.com/Weight-Loss-Apocalypse-Emotional-Protocol-ebook/dp/B0068E5F0W

You can ignore the specific diet it focuses on, and still glean incredibly useful weight management principles. For as long as I've been doing losing and maintaining successfully, through a number if different strategies, Robin has still managed to blow my mind with new ways at looking at my weight issues and fixing them that hadn't *really* clicked before.

alaskanlaughter
07-11-2012, 01:01 PM
Another thread got me wondering what everyone's opinions are about how our bodies may or may not be predisposed to gain back weight after we reach goal, or lose a significant amount.

Does it boil down to maintaining a strict diet and exercise only?
Does it require unusually low calorie diets and/or extreme amounts of exercise (more than an hour per day)?
Have we changed our metabolism, and therefore our long term success, by gaining weight in the first place?
How much does mental determination and positive attitude play a role in keeping the weight off?
Are some of us doomed to a failure already predetermined by our genetics?

Strictly philosophically speaking.....looking for others who might be pondering the same things. There is no right or wrong answer.

i tend to think those two questions are YES...but again, no right or wrong answers...ive been overweight since i was a child...i looked "chubby" but not fat in pictures as far back as 3 years old....could be genetics, both parents are overweight....but my sister is not, however she is an alcoholic with mental health issues and barely eats....i do think that being overweight my whole life has made it MUCH harder to take the weight off for good...after 30-some years of being overweight, it's taken me a year to lose 40 pounds but i've kept it off...

anyhow...i ramble...but those are my thoughts based on my experiences...everyone else, mileage may vary, know what i mean? ;)


Arctic Mama
07-11-2012, 01:02 PM
And I realized I didn't answer your question directly - our bodies are not really as predisposed to weight regain as we think they are, if we actually eat ONLY when hunger cues indicate and stop when just satisfied. If we do that, on a nutritionally dense and trigger/inflammatory food light diet, maintenance can definitely happen. It defies the statistics, but it is far from impossible :)

freelancemomma
07-11-2012, 01:21 PM
I continue to believe that most people regain weight because they start overeating again. I think some of us are predisposed to like food more and have a greater appetite than others, but if we learn to master these impulses I believe we can lose weight and maintain weight loss without too much of a struggle. I certainly don't require an unusually low-calorie diet or an unusually vigorous exercise regimen to maintain my weight after a 55-pound loss. I eat about 2,000 calories a day and exercise moderately about 150 minutes per week, and I'm 55.

JMHO Freelance

Steph7409
07-11-2012, 01:30 PM
our bodies are not really as predisposed to weight regain as we think they are, if we actually eat ONLY when hunger cues indicate and stop when just satisfied.

Aye, there's the rub. Having been overweight for most of my 54 years, I feel like the biggest lasting damage has been to my hunger signals. I don't worry too much about my metabolism since I've been eating at just below maintenance (about 1800 cals a day), exercising about 90 minutes a day, and still losing (albeit very slowly). Maybe that won't be possible if I ever get to my goal weight but, if that's the case, I'd probably settle for being a little heavier and being able to eat a little more.

I'm not a big believer in the power of positive thinking, but I do think that those of us with eating problems need a lot of determination to ignore whatever pressures make us overeat and to stick with what we know is a healthier diet.

froggydawgy
07-11-2012, 01:37 PM
New York Times article regarding one diet over another - the low fat, high fat, no carbs, yadda yadda yadda question.

http://tinyurl.com/6mt293q
sez in answer to the following question -

Question: "So for many people, something happened early in life to set their sensing mechanism to demand more fat on their bodies?"

Answer: "Yes."

To which I can say - see it really IS all my mother's fault. bwa-ha-ha!:D

His solution - eat less, a lot less, and move more. Where have I heard that before...?

envelope
07-11-2012, 01:39 PM
I am going for a lifelong change.

I want to eat within a calorie range I can maintain at, I want to keep active, I want to be healthiest I can be!

scout83
07-11-2012, 01:43 PM
ChickieChicks ,thank you for this thread, I've been writing a lot in my food journal lately about a "lifestyle change" vs. a "diet." For me, this is not a battle to be won but rather a change in my lifestyle-- one that is healthy and fresh and good. And not extreme.

I do think genetics play a part but for me, even more powerfully, attitudes about food and hunger were definitely more "nurture" than "nature". I learned throughout my childhood that extremely large portions were OK and that food could be used almost as an emotional substitute. Like Arctic Mama pointed out, maintenance is going to require conscious choices. That's something I'm wrapping my mind around. The thing is, though, that shouldn't be a revolutionary idea for me. That is what many people at a normal weight do. But I've lived so long thinking that it's normal to eat nutritionally empty foods (and lots of them), that yeah, it's a bit of a epiphany to make healthy choices. *shrug* I'm glad I'm thinking about this now rather than later-- I want to live a healthy life.

Definitely going to check out that emotional eating rebab book, btw. Thanks!

scout83
07-11-2012, 01:47 PM
Question: "So for many people, something happened early in life to set their sensing mechanism to demand more fat on their bodies?"

Answer: "Yes."

To which I can say - see it really IS all my mother's fault. bwa-ha-ha!:D



Ha!

Seriously, I've been thinking so much lately about my weight issues and how they relate to my mother's own issues. It's a little bit mind-blowing. I've been acknowledging and learning from the past. The most important thing, though, is for me to move forward.

Munchy
07-11-2012, 02:00 PM
I continue to believe that most people regain weight because they start overeating again. I think some of us are predisposed to like food more and have a greater appetite than others, but if we learn to master these impulses I believe we can lose weight and maintain weight loss without too much of a struggle.

I agree with this.

krampus
07-11-2012, 02:09 PM
I continue to believe that most people regain weight because they start overeating again. I think some of us are predisposed to like food more and have a greater appetite than others, but if we learn to master these impulses I believe we can lose weight and maintain weight loss without too much of a struggle.

This. "Overeating" of course varies depending on genetics. But with a maintenance calories diet of healthy "real" foods, I don't think many people would be obese.

My personal goal is "learn how to eat right and exercise now while I'm still young and my body/metabolism is forgiving!"

sacha
07-11-2012, 02:15 PM
None of us are doomed to failure.

The most important part of this journey IMO is learning how to sustain it - and that is the lifelong change.

Now, I won't say there aren't 'lifelong' battles along the way - I got to goal many years ago (2004 if I remember?) but having 2 kids since then (and not being 20 anymore), has made it a harder battle as time goes on.

Losing the weight as a single young 20 year old gal was a lot easier than being 30 with 3 pregnancies in 2 years.

I can only assume that certain life events will challenge me further- such as aging, injury, etc.

But I learned that a lifelong change means you can DEAL with these "lifelong battles", if that makes sense.

If I had been skinny all along, I might have cried and given up after gaining 40lbs with my first child and struggling to lose much harder than I thought. But I knew I could do it, IF I STUCK TO MY LIFELONG CHANGES.

I hope that makes sense.

It's what I tell myself, as I'm at 146lbs right now 7 months pregnant with #2 :D

But most of all, I look at my inspirations here. 50,60,heck almost 90 years old, and these women are doing it. They show us it can be done. My mom did it recently, and she is in her 50's with a hip replacement. She's RUNNING and 50lbs lighter! We're never doomed.

bargoo
07-11-2012, 02:25 PM
I think there must be a lifestyle change, if I go back to mindless, undisciplined, eating whatever I feel like whenever I feel like it, I will gain weight.

carbstart
07-11-2012, 03:15 PM
My problem is that I was using food and overeating to sedate myself after a long, stressful day. I'm replacing overeating with walks but I'm sure it would be easy to slip back into that habit. I also was totally overwhelmed with exercise options: tennis, jogging, elliptical? I settled on walking, elliptical and strength training and have gotten into the habit of that too. One day at a time . . .

But yes, I'm very worried about how I will maintain once I reach my goal!

Arctic Mama
07-11-2012, 04:10 PM
You maintain the same way you lost, carbstart! Making conscious choices about what to eat and how much, correcting as needed to keep your weight in range. If you don't phone it in or give up and stay vigilant, it is definitely possible to keep off :)

JohnP
07-11-2012, 04:26 PM
... if we learn to master these impulses I believe we can lose weight and maintain weight loss without too much of a struggle.

If is a pretty important word. When you consider the statistics ... it doesn't seem quite so simple.

In my opinion unless there is a major breakthrough in biochemistry or some other field of technology most are in for a lifetime struggle. It is a struggle they can win but maintaining for most is just as difficult or more so than losing weight in the first place.

Exhale15
07-11-2012, 04:41 PM
I wonder how we would all get along if we stopped reading about how we're all doomed to failure and just ate clean, whole food and got in a hour of exercise every day? If we stopped thinking about 'how long do I have to continue with this' and just realized that this is how we are supposed to live? If we stopped expecting to see a 5 pound weight loss every day, or every week, and just decided to do what we are supposed to be doing.....? I mean, really, do we have to look like a super-model or fitness-model when we're sans clothes, in the privacy of our own homes? And if we have partners, isn't it more about being loved and healthy? I mean, everything in its own time. I'm tired of over-analyzing every crevice and every ounce. I just want to get on with living as healthy a life as I can...

JohnP
07-11-2012, 05:23 PM
...if we ... just ate clean, whole food and got in a hour of exercise every day?

Once again IF is the key word.

That would take a massive pattern/habit change for 99% of the population. Possible? Yes. Probable? No.

CanadianMomma
07-11-2012, 05:32 PM
I've read before that the reason small changes towards almost any larger lifestyle shift works is because we only have so much will power at our disposal at a given time but once things are set into our routine we no longer need to use that will power for them and can move on to changing a different habit.

I think for those of us who over eat for emotions its important to find ways to reduce these emotions or alternative ways to indulge ourselves as well as developing healthy eating and lifestyle habits.

If I can link my feeling of boredom to the urge to take a walk instead of eat a cake that's that much less will power I need to resist the cake. (I use this as an example because it is one that personally works for me, walking when I'm bored instead of eating).

Exhale15
07-11-2012, 05:46 PM
Once again IF is the key word.

That would take a massive pattern/habit change for 99% of the population. Possible? Yes. Probable? No.

Only because we make it so.....

You know, I've clearly had my issues with getting healthier. But I am making the change. And being in the state of 'making the change' is really the only state that I can be in, because this is a continual process.

And if I paid attention to the 'probably no', which I have heard time and time again, I would have given up. I would have accepted a theoretical defeat and made it reality by giving up. And I think a lot of folks do just that. They listen to these talking heads on TV and personalize other people's comments and say 'oh well...you know what they say....'.

So, it may take me another year to take off these last pounds, but my health behaviors are improving - every day - and those pounds will be history :)

krampus
07-11-2012, 05:53 PM
Once again IF is the key word.

I see what you did there

JohnP
07-11-2012, 05:59 PM
I see what you did there

Hahahaha funny. I wish I was that clever.

That does bring up a great point though in that there are strategies that can help and for me intermittent fasting (IF) has been vital.

milmin2043
07-11-2012, 06:07 PM
I wonder how we would all get along if we stopped reading about how we're all doomed to failure and just ate clean, whole food and got in a hour of exercise every day? If we stopped thinking about 'how long do I have to continue with this' and just realized that this is how we are supposed to live? If we stopped expecting to see a 5 pound weight loss every day, or every week, and just decided to do what we are supposed to be doing.....? I mean, really, do we have to look like a super-model or fitness-model when we're sans clothes, in the privacy of our own homes? And if we have partners, isn't it more about being loved and healthy? I mean, everything in its own time. I'm tired of over-analyzing every crevice and every ounce. I just want to get on with living as healthy a life as I can...

Exhale15-I totally agree with what you said here. Instead of obsessing over what the studies say and what other naysayers say, just do the work. It really isn't that much, but we make it more difficult than it has to be. Afterall, most of us have no trouble thinking about sitting down to watch a TV program that lasts an hour. Why not make that way of thinking apply to one hour of exercise per day?

I have been eating organic fruits and veggies almost 100% for a year. I feel full and satisfied and really healthy. Why not make those foods the new junk foods? I think we make all of this too difficult, I know I used to in the past.

Exhale15
07-11-2012, 06:12 PM
milmin2043, thanks! I'll keep your post 'in my back pocket' as great support :carrot::carrot:

lin43
07-11-2012, 06:14 PM
I continue to believe that most people regain weight because they start overeating again. I think some of us are predisposed to like food more and have a greater appetite than others, . . .

I agree with this. I also think that nature shows this to be true. I have two dogs. The beagle LOVES food and will wolf down whatever is given to him. He's done with his meals in almost less than a minute. My mutt, on the other hand, is a finicky eater---almost like a cat. He'll take a few bites, wait a while, go back and take another couple bites, etc. Often, he doesn't finish his meal. When my husband & I leave the house, sometimes we'll give each dog a cookie. The beagle will chomp down on it immediately. The mutt seems sort of depressed that we're leaving and will not eat his cookie at all until we get back.
The differences in those two animals are a microcosm of the difference I see in people's eating behaviors. IMHO, that difference in desire for food is the main distinction between those who struggle with their weight and those who do not.

daniprice
07-11-2012, 06:14 PM
I'm reading Fletcher's Thin For Life, which combines information gathered from successful maintainers. It has been a great read so far. What she found is maintenance gets easier after a year. That doesn't mean they mindlessly eat, it just means they establish a routine. Also, the most successful maintainers really find what works for them personally and not just following what someone else says.

I totally think maintenance is possible without a struggle. The scary statistics about weight maintenance are old and have been challenged by many.

I will weigh myself weekly for the rest of my life. I will keep a food journal consistently that will include the calories. I might be confident enough down the line to keep a food journal without breaking down calories.

If I stop counting, I would have a 3 or 5 pound weight range that if I found I was coming to close to the high number, I would go back to journaling again. For now, I am focusing on my process, cooking healthy food with flavor and taking on fun activities for fitness and relaxation.

JohnP
07-11-2012, 06:20 PM
I totally think maintenance is possible without a struggle. The scary statistics about weight maintenance are old and have been challenged by many.

Got some links for me to look at?

freelancemomma
07-11-2012, 06:24 PM
[QUOTE=JohnP;4401999There are strategies that can help and for me intermittent fasting (IF) has been vital.[/QUOTE]

Yes, it's all about finding the strategies that work for one's individual psychology. For me IF would not work well, because I would be spending most of the day looking forward to the "window" when I could eat. Eating a large breakfast, medium-sized lunch and relatively small supper suits my personality much better. I get my "food jollies" out of the way early, so I can devote the rest of the day to other pursuits without overfocusing on food (because my breakfast and lunch have sated me both physically and psychologically).

Freelance

lin43
07-11-2012, 06:25 PM
That does bring up a great point though in that there are strategies that can help and for me intermittent fasting (IF) has been vital.

I agree with this, and it goes back to another poster's point about not putting too much stock in what "everyone" says works but finding what works best for ME. For me, strategies like starting my "day's" calorie count w/ dinner rather than breakfast, having a weekly calorie goal rather than a daily one (thus, cycling my calories), exercising while also getting other work done (e.g., my tread desk, vigorous housecleaning, etc.)---all these are what have made this go-around seem much easier than previous attempts. These same strategies may not work for someone else, but that's why it's so important to figure out what works for each of us.

freelancemomma
07-11-2012, 06:26 PM
IMHO, that difference in desire for food is the main distinction between those who struggle with their weight and those who do not.

Agree 100% -- make that 1,000.

F.

gailr42
07-11-2012, 06:38 PM
I think the answers to the questions depend on the individuals involved. In my case, I don't believe that I have any special problems that contribute to my weight and lack of being able to keep it off. I eat too much junk and I don't get any exercise. That's it. I think I need to learn the concept of moderation. That is why folks talk about quitting smoking and drinking as being easier than maintaining weight loss. I smoked [quit in 1994] and drank[sober since 1989] to great excess, and I totally agree that maintaining weight loss is more difficult than quitting alcohol or cigarettes. There is no moderation involved. Ya just quit. You can't just quit eating.

What carbstart said, "I was using food and overeating to sedate myself". I suppose the great question for me is why do I feel the need to sedate myself. As a former excessive drinker and smoker, I have changed my drug of choice to food.

Aside from that craziness, I think that a weight of 125-130 is appropriate for me. I weighed under 135 at the end of both my pregnancies - so I am now hoping to weigh what I weighed when I was carrying a 9 lb baby. By watching my portion sizes, not eating junk and exercising by walking a couple of miles 3-5 times a week, I should be able to maintain. Maintaining needs to include special treats once in a while.

I was a very small, skinny child. I actually lost a lot of weight during both my pregnancies - not from being sick - just naturally. I breastfed and lost even more weight until I weighed about 100 lbs. After the main childbearing physical stress was over, I gained back up to about 110 and stayed there for quite a few years. All of a sudden, when I was about 40, I started gaining weight, and it has been a struggle ever since. I am just as fat now as those of you who were heavy children. Just sayin' you can't win, I guess.

If I had to exercise 6 hours a day, my head would explode and I would die. Nothing would be worth that kind of effort to me. I enjoy reading books, participating in forums like this one, doing my genealogy. I wouldn't be able to do any of that if I had to spend that much time exercising.

I agree with an earlier poster about our culture of eating. I think that culture, and my attitude of "I want what I want when I want it" or not doing things in moderation, are the foundations of my difficulty in maintaining weight loss.

Lin43 - We have two dogs exactly like yours. The finicky eater is more into receiving our undying love than food. Unfortunately for the dogs, the finicky one is on the chubby side, even though she is so fussy about food - she is spayed, so I'm sure there is some hormone stuff going on. Double agree with your comment about desire for food.

I second daniprice' recommendation of Thin for Life. Great book. I am working on rereading it right now.

milmin2043
07-11-2012, 06:38 PM
daniprice-I agree as well.

It has been easier for me to maintain now that it's been more than a year. I have given it enough time to actually figure out exactly what works for me. Why would I stray from that? I try not to give the dismal statistics too much thought. I wonder at times if those studies are done specifically to boost up the bariatric surgeons and the pharmaceutical companies who can't wait to sell us some pill?

Sugar was my achilles heal, so I gave it up totally. Well, I still eat a great deal of fruit, as a vegan, but that's not the kind I'm talking about. Added white sugar, high fructose corn syrup (which is in almost EVERY processed food), etc. I frequently hear people say that it's impossible to cut out certain foods, but that's not true. If you get too caught up in that way of thinking, you won't be successful.

sontaikle
07-11-2012, 06:56 PM
I don't really know where I stand on this. I like to think I've change my lifestyle. From last year when I began calorie counting I felt I could continue it for the rest of my life and I still feel that way now.

Is it a struggle? I think so sometimes, but I'm sure that's true for just about anything in life.

I'll be honest: the statistics scare me. I've seen articles claim that "nobody" keeps off the weight (which we all know isn't true from the long term maintainers we have right here) but I just try to remember that statistics never tell the whole story.

I hate this defeatist attitude toward weight loss sometimes. Seeing all of it just kept me from trying to eat healthy and get fit. Rather than putting weight loss on the wayside and focusing on eating healthy and exercising, I figured: "well the statistics say I'm going to stay fat so why bother?"

I agree with this, and it goes back to another poster's point about not putting too much stock in what "everyone" says works but finding what works best for ME. For me, strategies like starting my "day's" calorie count w/ dinner rather than breakfast, having a weekly calorie goal rather than a daily one (thus, cycling my calories), exercising while also getting other work done (e.g., my tread desk, vigorous housecleaning, etc.)---all these are what have made this go-around seem much easier than previous attempts. These same strategies may not work for someone else, but that's why it's so important to figure out what works for each of us.

This so hard. I break so many "rules" when it comes to dieting, healthy living, etc. I found that following the rules kept me fat. It was when I thought outside of the box and found what works for ME that I finally lost the weight.

eternalflame30
07-11-2012, 08:12 PM
Genetics on my part, my father was overweight, my grandfather was overweight and my great grandmother was very obese. On the other hand I was thin up until I took antipsychotic meds that changed my metabolism and my view on food, yet the genetics could have been a factor as well.

Lisa