Weight Loss Support - Support= failure




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twinieten
08-09-2012, 10:02 AM
What the heck is wrong with me? It seems like when I'm actively dieting alone, I do great! I stick with my calorie limits, I'm careful about what I eat and how much, I practice moderation, exercise and lose weight.

Then when others decide to start dieting, I get excited about the idea of a support system, and about being able to talk to people about what we're doing. We will plan on doing it together and won't it be fun??

And then I fall off the wagon. I stop weighing myself. I stop eating right. I quit paying attention to my calories, or I still track my calories but I don't eat right. Instead of just savoring one high calorie cookie, I eat 3. Or instead of just saying no to the cake, or having a sliver of cake, I have a huge slice. I come home and flop on to the couch because I'm so tired instead of putting on my running shoes for a quick jog on the treadmill.....

I don't understand why this happens! My coworkers and I decided we'd all do Weight Watchers together. A couple are already doing it, and a couple more started. A couple others are just counting calories and we were all supposed to support each other. We do, but I'm struggling again. The last time I lost my umph was the last time they all got on the diet bandwagon in January. It's a crazy mental thing.

I don't understand where it comes from or why it happens. Is it the fear of failure? Is it a feeling of competition? (I'm not competitive). Is it feeling inadequate if I don't lose if they do? Or maybe it's because when I'm dieting and they're not, they boost me up unknowingly by praising me for my dedication when they can't seem to "get it". ("Wow, that's great you go home and jog for 20 minutes. I just can't seem to find the time". "Wow, that's great you said "no" to eating all that cake. I can't seem to control myself.) Maybe I'm just better off doing weight loss alone.

I'm still up from my ticker weight. I've been trying to stay on the straight and narrow to get back to where I was by next week, but I'm floundering. And it's all over stupid stuff.... like that cookie. I don't get it.

Anyone else have similar experiences?


QuilterInVA
08-09-2012, 11:21 AM
Don't join in these groups. If they don't help but hinder your progress to your goal, they aren't a benefit to you.

drixnot
08-09-2012, 11:55 AM
For whatever reason you do better alone... so do it alone. Nothing wrong with that.


Wheresmychin
08-09-2012, 11:57 AM
Hi, I had a similar experience, until I realized that it is not a competition, it is my life. I will never loose weight as quickly as my hubbie does but I can loose weight at my pace and according to how my body reacts to food.
I have changed MY lifestyle and feel much better for it and am seeing the results on the scale and in my clothes - I never intend on "dieting" ever again.

guacamole
08-09-2012, 12:00 PM
I do better as a "lone wolf" too. Listen to your gut and your behavior and do what works best for you.

curvynotlumpy
08-09-2012, 12:14 PM
Your post is so interesting and timely! I *think* I'm having this experience right now. I've only recently become an active 3fc member after having been a long time lurker and admirer of the site and the members. I immediately got involved with a couple of challenges--weight loss and exercise. I lost the majority of my weight prior to joining. While I have done remarkably well with the exercise challenges, the same can't be said of the weight loss challenges. I've lost a little over 5 lbs which is fine and I'm not complaining. I'm finding out that as much as I'd like to do well with time specific goals, it's not working for me. I think once I wrap up the the two weight loss challenges I'm currently part of, I will take a break from the "Lose ten pounds by_______" challenges. For some, these challenges are great motivators. For me they have been frustrating. When I started my journey it was to become healthier, learn to make better decisions regarding food and exercise, and make myself a priority. Weight loss was a secondary and much welcomed result from this approach. NOT working on a timeline worked for me. Of course the only way I could have discovered this is by joining challenges.

BTW, I want to be clear that the encouragement and motivation I receive from the others in the weight loss challenges has been nothing short of amazing and warm. People are so, so good and inspiring. The timed nature of the challenge is the struggle for me.

dangerouscurvesahead
08-09-2012, 12:30 PM
i honestly cant believe someone else said this cuz it is exactly whats been going thru my head! seems the more ppl that join me i my journey the less excited i become almost like its pressure to succeed/fail. i luv the group i go to they help with my questions n thought n concerns n the weigh-ins keep me accountable BUT i do not do well working with groups it seems, it really doesnt make sense to do worse with like minded ppl than alone! maybe cuz i see it as MY LIFESTYLE not some club to join?! (dont get me wrong plz i joined 3FC cuz of all the info n support when i need it!)

gettin'little
08-09-2012, 12:32 PM
I sabotage myself, too... especially in a group weight-loss situation. I don't know why... There are lots of possible reasons. Stress from work, family, etc. There may be something attractive about the invisibility that being overweight gives me. Nobody pays attention to the big girl=Peaceful solitude. Sometimes I wonder whether I really want to put in the work to be thin and fit. I'm working on answering that question with a "YES!" each and every day.

Expunge
08-09-2012, 12:37 PM
I actually remember reading about a psychological study about how for some people, when they discuss their goals (related to anything, not just weight loss), it can trigger an effect in their brains that makes them feel as if they have already achieved that goal. Once that effect is in place, they feel like they're "done" already, and so motivation and discipline to continue on towards *actually* meeting the goal disappears - your brain is just like "I'm not wasting time on this, it's already completed" and tosses it off the checklist entirely. That may be part of what's going on here - just an interesting aside. :)

freelancemomma
08-09-2012, 12:48 PM
I actually remember reading about a psychological study about how for some people, when they discuss their goals (related to anything, not just weight loss), it can trigger an effect in their brains that makes them feel as if they have already achieved that goal. Once that effect is in place, they feel like they're "done" already, and so motivation and discipline to continue on towards *actually* meeting the goal disappears - your brain is just like "I'm not wasting time on this, it's already completed" and tosses it off the checklist entirely. That may be part of what's going on here - just an interesting aside. :)

I've heard the same thing. I think it's why many novelists don't like talking about their works in progress.

F.

krampus
08-09-2012, 12:50 PM
I think support groups make us feel more comfortable about slipping. It's like hitting a new low weight and overeating that same day. Especially if you're lighter than others, you feel more "at ease," sometimes in a bad way.

However, exercise buddies and companions I've found is a great system. You just show up to the gym or wherever together, do your own thing, and neither of you wants to be the first to call it quits.

Mountain Mamma
08-09-2012, 02:03 PM
I actually remember reading about a psychological study about how for some people, when they discuss their goals (related to anything, not just weight loss), it can trigger an effect in their brains that makes them feel as if they have already achieved that goal. Once that effect is in place, they feel like they're "done" already, and so motivation and discipline to continue on towards *actually* meeting the goal disappears - your brain is just like "I'm not wasting time on this, it's already completed" and tosses it off the checklist entirely. That may be part of what's going on here - just an interesting aside.

And

I've heard the same thing. I think it's why many novelists don't like talking about their works in progress.

And

I think support groups make us feel more comfortable about slipping. It's like hitting a new low weight and overeating that same day. Especially if you're lighter than others, you feel more "at ease," sometimes in a bad way.
However, exercise buddies and companions I've found is a great system.


Expunge, FLM and Krampus all make excellent points. (Why I love this forum so much!) I have one more. A few years ago there was a Martha Stewart Holiday Guide spoof circulating, and one of the things on her list was to go the mall on Christmas Eve & pretend to do last-minute shopping so as not to appear too perfect! Okay, it was funnier in the original version (poor Martha). But point is you say you are not competitive. Do you think subconsciously you might be trying to make others feel better about their struggles, i.e., to show you are not exemplary, despite your awesome 50+ lb loss? Just a thought.

My Michelle
08-09-2012, 03:23 PM
I can relate. I have a friend who is also trying to make major lifestyle changes. Whenever we have long supportive conversations about trying to eat right and exercise, the conversations act like a trigger for me and as soon as I hang up the phone I go through major cravings and agony. It is definitely bizarre.

SerenityDiva
08-09-2012, 04:15 PM
Wow I had no idea about the studies. I know ONLINE I need support, but offline if someone is doing it with me (aside from the husband because I know inherently he's going to lose faster) but say a girlfriend--I do start to slack and enable and vice-versa OR it's get too competitive. So one or both of us self sabotage. I had no idea it was so common!

LebenAlles
08-09-2012, 06:22 PM
Makes sense....When your only 'competition' is yourself, then as long as you're moving forward, you're winning. Throw other people in the race with you and you start to notice every missed step, every person that is ahead of you...it's no longer about just reaching the goal, it becomes about how fast you get there compared to everyone else. For a lot of people, that's just too much pressure.

I've heard the same thing. I think it's why many novelists don't like talking about their works in progress.

I can back this one up...I was working on a novel and was roughly 40,000 words into it when I joined NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). The pressure to write as much as those around me and write on a schedule completely froze me up. I think I wrote 1,000 words of crap that month that I ended up deleting. No more of that!

Steph7409
08-09-2012, 10:52 PM
Makes sense....When your only 'competition' is yourself, then as long as you're moving forward, you're winning. Throw other people in the race with you and you start to notice every missed step, every person that is ahead of you...it's no longer about just reaching the goal, it becomes about how fast you get there compared to everyone else. For a lot of people, that's just too much pressure.

This. I think it's easier to be part of an anonymous group on the internet than to do something like weight loss with people you see every day, especially co-workers. A bunch of women in my office had a competition back in January and they drove me crazy with it, even though it was all very friendly and good-natured. I just got sick of hearing about it, but I'll check in here every day and be happy to read everyone's posts. Go figure!

TiffNeedsChange
08-09-2012, 11:56 PM
The same thing happens to me! I think everyone has given great insights! The only thing that hasn't messed me up is sharing 1 weigh in per week with my friend.

pixiefalls
08-10-2012, 12:54 AM
Just great responses! I seem to do better by myself (except online support). I'm not sure as to why, but probably one of the reasons stated above. I have told a handful of people that I am actively trying to change my lifestyle. So far so good, however I don't think I'm going to tell anyone how much I will eventually end up losing or sizing change. We will see in time, but my gut tells me to keep it private. Keep your head up and never give up.. You CAN do this!! :)

twinieten
08-10-2012, 07:58 PM
I actually remember reading about a psychological study about how for some people, when they discuss their goals (related to anything, not just weight loss), it can trigger an effect in their brains that makes them feel as if they have already achieved that goal. Once that effect is in place, they feel like they're "done" already, and so motivation and discipline to continue on towards *actually* meeting the goal disappears - your brain is just like "I'm not wasting time on this, it's already completed" and tosses it off the checklist entirely. That may be part of what's going on here - just an interesting aside. :)
Wow, that's really interesting!! I know I'm not near my goal, but I wonder if there is a mind set of "it's OK to eat that because I'm doing well and I'll work it off in exercise class tomorrow".

Great ideas and feedback! I think it comes down to a feeling of competition. Even though I know we're not competing, there is that feeling. And maybe that's what it comes down to. My coworkers have gotten on the diet bandwagon and fallen off of it before. I keep going and that feeling of "winning" probably helps keep me going.

And competing with myself makes sense. So I suppose if I stick with this group effort, I need to figure out how to keep myself focused on my own individual self competition.

I didn't weigh in at work on Tuesday, weigh day, and I'm pretty focused this week. I'll weigh in next week.... lets see if I lost my focus again. If I do, I'm going to have to drop out.

I'm glad to know I'm not alone!