Weight Loss Support - Forgiveness

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07-28-2012, 12:17 PM
** Vent Alert **

So I previously lost about 75 pounds and really thought I was in my final battle with weight loss. I was losing slow but had kept steady with my lifestyle change for almost 2 years. There was no doubt in my mind that I was never going back.

Then, I let it all slip away, and for the life of me couldn't tell you why. I haven't gained back all of the weight. But I have gained FAR more than I ever thought I would allow.

I know that I need to let go of the anger I have towards myself for letting this happen. I can say I'm forgiving myself all day long, but the truth is that I'm mad about it every single day. I feel like this is a big hinderance to me getting back on track. I can't even enjoy losing 5 pounds, because "I never should have gained it in the first place." Then I ultimately regain those 5 pounds I lost because I didn't appreciate my accomplishment. I try to make myself celebrate, but it's insincere. I NEED to forgive myself to be successful, but I can't figure out how.

07-28-2012, 01:04 PM
Hey....RE-gains happen...it is just part of the "whole thing". I used to weigh over 250 pounds--and have been maintaining for about 10 years....I have had several significant re-gains along the way. The fact that you are facing it head on and adressing the issue is ALL that matters.

I know how you feel though--that feeling is hard to put into words. UTTER DISAPPOINTMENT. Start with 1 pound until you get back to where you need to be....ALL weight loss starts with just a pound. Hang in there

07-28-2012, 01:23 PM
This has happened to many of us, me included. I remind myself if I continue to regain I will be shopping in the fat ladies shop again, wearing sweats a lot because nothing fits. As upset as I get with myself it is not nearly as upset as I will get if I regain it all plus some.

07-28-2012, 02:26 PM
Oh Ashley I hear the disappointment you have, but remember you didn't fail. You just hit a bump in the road. Most of us have. I was 32, had 3 kids and a size 4 AND a fitness instructor. Fast forward 7 years and I was 70 pounds overweight and on a 5'1" frame, that's a lot. I've lost about 20-23 pounds so far and with 3 kids in the house and a husband (none of whom are actively dieting, but all eat relatively healthy as I don't buy the stuff so I do not crave it--that took me years to realize I did NOT have the self control I thought I had) it's difficult when they are eating something and I feel I "deserve" that. Sometimes I do have a bite and sometimes I say outloud to empower me "I don't eat that" not I "can't" have that, but I DO NOT eat that because *I* control it. I cannot change the fact that I had a Coca Cola two weeks ago full on sugared one, but I can choose not to have one today. You are only human, if it was easy to have entire self control over every morsel, every movement we make, and everything..we'd all be perfect and that'd be boring. I also believe once you know better, you do better...and each day is a learning especially for me.

07-28-2012, 03:00 PM
We're often "taught"' to punish weight gain in a way and to an extent that we no longer even punish actual crimes. Drug, alcohol, sex, gambling, spending, tobacco addiction relapses "oh you poor dear," but weight gain, "you disgusting, lazy slob."

When I read David Kessler's book The End of Overeating, Gina Kolata's Rethinking Thin [snand other books that delved into the research showing how few weight loss attempts succeed, I stopped wondering how I could be such a lazy, crazy, imbecile to have failed so miserably at weight loss for all of my life, and started becoming amazed that anyone, anywhere every succeeds.

I've done a lot of difficult things in my life. I worked to put myself through college and graduate school. I always worked more than full-time hours, either working part time while going to school full-time, or working full-time while going to school part-time. working a full-time and a part-time job, or working a job that required 60 hours or more of work. And while doing this, I did volunteer work, I helped friends and family members through crises.....

And yet I've put more work into weight loss than all those other efforts combined. I've put more effort into weight loss (failure) than all my successful efforts combined.

I thought I had to be some monumental idiot in that area of my life, but the more I read on weight loss trying to understand it, the more I realized that just continuing to fight made me a monumental success, not a dismal failure.

My doctor put it into perspective for me when I was complaining about losing only one pound per month (at the time) and not being able to lose "at least two pounds a week like a normal person," and my doctor scolded me, reminding me that even at over 360 lbs (which I was at the time) "normal' isn't losing any weight at all. Normal is losing nothing. Normal is lossing a few pounds and gaining them all back and usually more.

He looked me in the eye and told me that my one pound per month was extraordinary, even at my size at the time, because most people do not accomplish it.

For many people (and most people with weight problems) weight loss is extremely difficult, and there's no shame in having difficulty succeeding at something so difficult.

You can hang on to the shame if you want to, but it won't help you. And it's just as counterproductive to be a judgemental bigot to yourself, as being a judgemental bigot against others.

You can try to punish yourself thinner, but it won't work and even if it does by some miracle, the success will be so unpleasant you'll have no good reason to stick with it.

Or you can decide that you are worthy of decent treatment even and especially from yourself. You can choose to pamper your wonderful self with great, tasting healthy food and exercise, or you can try to diet/exercise as punishment for being disgusting and weak (for being human).

I can tell you from 41 years of dieting experience, pampering yourself thin is a whole lot more pleasant and sustainable than punishment. Treating yourself and your body with kindness and respect is sustainable. Punishing yourself isn't.

When you have contempt for someone (even yourself) it's very difficult to find the motivation and desire to help that person. And when you're being punished (even when you're doing the punishing) the natural response is to rebel and do everything in your power to avoid the punishment.

Punishment is self-limiting, reward isn't. The more you reward yourself, the more you're willing and able to accomplish. Rewards just work a whole lot better than punishment.

So rewarding yourself with the healthiest, best-tasting food, and the most exciting and fun physical activity is self-perpetuating. The more you do,the more you'll enjoy and want to do.

It's your choice. Decide that you're worthy of treating yourself with love, respect and a healthy lifestyle, or decide that you're not.

I think I AM worth it, and I think you're worth it too, but if you don't, you won't succeed (or your success will be meaningless and probably temporary).

07-28-2012, 03:03 PM
Five years ago I worked very hard to lose 30 lbs, but then slowly regained 20 of that. The sense of disappointed, befuddled anger - "HOW did I let this happen?" is familiar.

What helped me move on and focus on the now was, ironically, spending a lot of time analyzing why I regained. Do an anthropological study on yourself. :) What was going on in your life when the switch first flipped back to 'off' and you stopped being mindful? How did you respond? When the same thing happens again, how will you respond differently in the future?

Of course, I'm still disappointed with doing it over again. But I did find that sense of forgiveness in really, really looking at what happened, and realizing I responded to life in a flawed but understandable way. It's sometimes helpful to instead imagining that it's your best friend in this scenario. You'd be much kinder and more understanding of his/her situation - make sure you use that compassion on yourself.

:hug: Hope you can begin to forgive yourself soon. I really think awareness coupled with self-compassion is the missing piece to locking in these "lessons learned" moments and not repeating them in the future.

07-28-2012, 03:20 PM
...Punishment is self-limiting, reward isn't. The more you reward yourself, the more you're willing and able to accomplish. Rewards just work a whole lot better than punishment.

So rewarding yourself with the healthiest, best-tasting food, and the most exciting and fun physical activity is self-perpetuating. The more you do,the more you'll enjoy and want to do.

It's your choice. Decide that you're worthy of treating yourself with love, respect and a healthy lifestyle, or decide that you're not.

Perfect. :)

07-28-2012, 03:59 PM
Honestly, it is part of the deal with weight loss, there are ALWAYS regains, whether big or small. Getting angry at yourself might be okay as a catalyst to get back on track but beyond that, it is just a hindrance. Just learn what you can from the regain episode and keep going.

07-28-2012, 04:10 PM

If one of us wrote your post (and most of us could), what you reply? Treat yourself as kindly as you treat others.

07-28-2012, 09:40 PM
Someone around here has a siggy that says "Being fat is hard. Losing is hard. Maintaining is hard. Choose your hard." Maintaining is part of the process, but it's easy to not think about it after the "main battle" of weight loss has been won. Any time you go back to your old habits, your body is going to respond in the same way it did before...by putting on weight. Unfortunately, life likes getting in the way. In a perfect world there would be no stressful situations sending us on binges or busy schedules interfering with exercise time and time available to cook healthy meals...but stress and chaos are part of life. Just try to take a deep breath and let it go. What's done is done, but you did it once and can certainly do it again. Maybe this time make goals extending past actually dropping the weight like x months between the range of y and z lbs...Just try to remember that you're not perfect, but you're still pretty damn awesome. You deserve to be proud of everything that you accomplish, even if you've already done it once before.

Dear kaplods,
Please write a book. Every time I see a post from you, it's generally about 5x longer than anything else on the page and always packed with incredibly useful experiences and information.

07-28-2012, 09:42 PM
I think many of us who struggle with our weight can sympathize. I think kaplods has it right: we need to stop thinking in terms of forgiving ourselves, because that presupposes that we've done something wrong. We can be disappointed in ourselves without taking that extra step of feeling like we've failed. As I often say to a friend with similar struggles, eating a cookie doesn't make us bad people. We're not killing puppies or spending the kids' lunch money on heroin.

Good luck!