Weight Loss Support - feelings of hopelessness




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redballoon
08-11-2012, 04:44 AM
Hello, everyone. Pardon the fact that this is something of (a lot of) a pity party, but I am looking at the fat that has accumulated around my waist like never before (even at my current weight) and just feeling there is no hope.

It's age and hormonal changes, but it seems to have control over me and not the other way around. Thus, I am feeling there is nothing I can do. I know this can't be true, but somewhere I really do believe it.

I exercise and weight train and things don't seem to change and then I slack off and, of course, they can't change.

Does anyone have any words, stories that will help keep me going long enough to see real change (as in, the fat melting from around my gut).

Thanks.


freelancemomma
08-11-2012, 05:49 AM
There is ALWAYS hope! Sustained weight loss and toning are possible at any age.

I guess I've never believed in the "age and hormonal changes" theory -- I see it more as the "age and inaction" effect. I've read several articles confirming that there is no biologic reason that age need bring on weight gain or make weight loss impossible. Most people simply fail to make simple adjustments for their age, such as lowering their caloric intake just a little and exercising.

My own experience supports the idea that there is always hope. I'm 55 and lost 55 pounds last year, with no more effort than it took me to lose about the same amount of weight 25 years ago. The pace was a tad slower, but not much. I have no more belly fat now than I did when I weighed the same in my 20s, but I suppose individuals may differ in this regard.

HTH Freelance

4star
08-11-2012, 10:34 AM
If you really think your age and hormones are holding you back you can have your doc check you out. Hormones, loss of muscle tone, inactivity can affect your metabolism but you should be able to work around any or all of those factors if you really want to lose weight. Just b/c something will be more challenging doesn't mean it's not possible.


Steph7409
08-11-2012, 02:26 PM
I'm 54, a couple of years past menopause, and I've lost weight pretty steadily over the past year. So, yes, it can be done.

I've been heavy most of my life, though, so I'm quite sure losing another 15 pounds isn't going to result in a flat belly or a noticeably smaller waist. I've always been thick around the middle and now I've got loose skin there as well. Sometimes I get discouraged about it but I try very hard not to go too far down that road (that "why bother?" road that ends at cookies and ice cream). Being at a healthy weight is a great thing, even if I'm squishy around the middle or have saggy upper arms. I feel better, I can do more, and most people see my fully clothed. And that's good enough for me.

Good luck!

redballoon
08-11-2012, 09:27 PM
Thank you for your help.

freelance, I read your comment from my cell phone and since I was already ready to hit the hay I didn't get back on the computer to reply but let me say that it made me feel a lot better. To hear from someone that has actually done it who is about the same age as I am (just turned 53) and who seems to be very successful, gives me a lot of hope. If it is just "age and inaction" that means I have a shot at success too. And, I mean it, I really thought it was impossible. I think it's because I had a huge lifestyle change and a lot of it meant forced inactivity sitting in a chair in front of a computer. I lost a lot of muscle in areas that the weight training in the gym is not going to affect. I used to ride horses four days a week and now I'm doing good if I can ride once a week.

That alone, without any major change in my eating habits, surely was enough to bring about this change in my body. But it is so frustrating, infuriating really because I am doing all the things I could do...or so I thought. But the riding is gone and I have to compensate and, heck, I just have to stop moping about having that taken out of my life, and do other things. Sigh. It's just that nothing else was so easy for me. Riding never was exercise to me. It was just fun.

4star, thanks for the support. I don't have much faith in doctors. In fact, I don't even have a doctor, and I certainly know what challenges are. My entire life is a challenge, it seems. lol. Perhaps I just don't want to add this one.....but I do want to get the fat off...so I'm going to have to, aren't I?

Steph, you too, same age, success. It means a lot. Thank you for writing. I think the other thing is, as you mentioned, I have gone way too far down the road these past years, utterly bummed by a lot on the plate of life has led to a lot in my mouth (plates not needed) and the "why bother?" attitude is surely there too, even if I'm not consciously saying that.

Thank you all again. Despite all my efforts over the past few days, and they were considerable, the scale has even gone up. I know, I know, it's probably any number of things, but I SO need to see progress and yes, progress is INCREDIBLY harder than it used to be. That is no illusion. The weight came off far more easily until recently. And I have muscle, just maybe not the core muscle. Well, I'm going to have to ratchet up the effort. Wish me luck!

stepharoo
08-13-2012, 02:09 PM
Something to keep in mind... when you start a new training/workout/diet regimen - they say it takes 4 weeks for you to notice any changes in yourself, 8 weeks for your good friends/family to notice any changes, and 12 weeks for everyone else to notice. Make yourself a 12 week promise for the next thing you start... go at it for 12 weeks and I guarantee you that you and others will notice. :)

redballoon
08-13-2012, 07:41 PM
stepharoo, thanks. I don't know. I never heard that one before and I certainly used to see changes in less than four weeks. Sigh. Maybe it's because I used to be very fit two years ago and now that has gone to pot because largely of my work. So, while the scale was not changing much at all, the body composition was. Hard to believe because I hadn't thought of myself as fit, but I must have been and, yes, I was. It was just that it was from horseback riding and never felt like work, not like the slog at the gym or any other exercise that looks like exercise.
Still, your comment made me think about that. I suppose I'm back at that point of having to truly work to get fit again, not just fat. And, yes, that will mean there is nothing to really show for it for probably a long time. Four weeks is an eternity when you're watching the kettle.
Once again, this morning (now) I got on the scale and cried because it does nothing. It just sits there or even goes up and I have put so much effort into things. But, yes, the effort is maybe more of the awareness kind, the stuff that is going to prime the engine so I can start rolling later on. I can only hope, hope and continue with those efforts.

Steph7409
08-13-2012, 09:31 PM
Being hopeful can be hard work for some of us. And certainly most of us need to experience success to stay motivated. It sounds to me as if your work is overshadowing everything else in your life. I hope you can find a way to make taking care of yourself a priority, too. Stay strong!

redballoon
08-14-2012, 07:19 AM
Thanks, Steph. Yes, work is a pain, but no, it's not overshadowing everything else. I need it and am grateful for it. Life in general has been hard these past three years, as it is for many in the U.S. too with the economy. Time to change the thinking and start a new phase.
I had a good introspective with myself today and strapped on my new heart monitor and got on the bike, got to the gym, had a good workout and biked home. Now, to keep the food intake in line and just do this over and over and over again.
I realized I have to do the things I can control that show results, no ifs, ands or buts about it and that is not exercise and food etc. There are too many other factors. Of course, I have to do the exercise and eating right too, but I can't let the "results" get to me and they will unless I have something else in my life to buoy me up. And, yes, I realize there are other "results" I am not thinking of because they're not staring me in the face.
I'm going to focus on cleaning and practicing the piano and things that are the kind of thing that has real, tangible results, immediately!
This, I hope, will help me weather all the other stuff, the job situation, the lack of money, the changing, aging body, the man situation (hahaha), and whatever else life throws my way.
Wish me luck.

diyana
08-20-2012, 12:57 PM
You can do this, Red. I know you can. And I know all too well that it's rough on the waistline having a sit down job, but these sit down jobs do pay the bills. And I remember not too long ago when you were wanting and needing work. Control the things you can....be grateful for all your blessings....and try and keep work and everything in life in perspective. If you are truly making lifestyle changes then there is no end date in sight, correct? Due to my back issues, and job issues, my weight got back up to my highest...but with food tracking mostly and a little bit of exercise, I'm feeling better physically and I know I'm doing things that are good for my body and that's the best result. :)

BTW, Red...I turn the big 5-0 in a couple weeks, so I'm right there with ya' with age, hormones, etc. And everyone told me when I was younger lose the weight now, because it's going to be much harder after 50....but they never said impossible...and I know I can do it; just like I KNOW YOU can do it too. My plan is to move as much as my back will allow which some days isn't much at all, track my food, and weigh myself no more than 1 per week. If the weight doesn't come off right away...that's okay.

Sending you much love and hugs, my dear friend.

sagebrush
08-20-2012, 01:53 PM
What are you eating? Are you following a particular diet plan? I know I got cranky and pessimistic when I ate "diet food" (low cal bread, fat free milk, etc,). From what I've read, that may be chemical as much as psychological because those foods aren't nourishing. I feel so much better when I eat protein and lots of produce. It changes my mindset when I see an abundance of healthy food (like a big colorful salad or a plate of broccoli with real butter), and I feel like I'm doing something really good for my body. Maybe your diet could use some tweaking?

MoveMoveMove
08-20-2012, 05:54 PM
Hello Red. Long time no see since I'm back in lurking mode and haven't been to the 21 day thread in quite a while.

I know you can do it because I've seen you do it before. Maybe a new 21 day challenge for yourself? I still remember some of the things I learned from you so I know you've got what it takes.

Sending good vibes your way.

Garnet2727
08-20-2012, 06:21 PM
redballoon, maybe my story will help you. I'm 48 years old and I started my weight loss efforts in January. When I started, I could barely walk due to being very sedentary at my job, having severe arthritis in my right knee, increasingly painful feet and ankles and a messed up right shoulder. I felt brittle, fragile and I was in pain whenever I moved. I was gradually committing suicide by food; eating around 4000 calories a day and gaining at an alarming rate. I felt horrible both physically and mentally. I not only felt hopeless, I felt helpless.

I went to a doctor's office for a routine procedure, stepped on the scale and saw 302. For whatever reason, that number sent me into an absolute panic. I went home that night and joined Weight Watcher's and I haven't looked back since. I've made small changes over time that have added up to big results. I focused first just on tracking my food and staying within my daily allotment of points. Then I focused on eating better food. Then I started swimming twice a week. Then...

I've taken it all one day at a time, one change at a time and one pound at a time. The one promise that I made was to treat myself gently and to try.. When I started seeing results, it all become easier and my feelings of hopelessness and helplessness greatly diminished over time.

In the past 6 months, I've also faced some major life changes including getting fired from a job which is something that has never happened to me before, and going through all the rigmarole associated with that. In an odd way, my weight loss program helped me through all of that. It gave me the confidence to make it through.

So here I am, as of yesterday, 58 pounds lighter than when I started. I've gone from a person who could barely walk down her own driveway to someone who is now capable of walking an entire mile. I know that may not seem like much but for me it is huge. I was able to accept a job where I travel because now I fit into airline seats and I can walk in airports.

I've got a long, long way to go both in terms of weight loss and in terms of improving my physical fitness. But now, I'm hopeful and confident I will get where I need to be. I smile a lot these days.

You can do this. You are doing this. You can get to where you need to be. I hope that in the process, you find a smile or two or a thousand.

shcirerf
08-21-2012, 01:06 AM
redballoon, maybe my story will help you. I'm 48 years old and I started my weight loss efforts in January. When I started, I could barely walk due to being very sedentary at my job, having severe arthritis in my right knee, increasingly painful feet and ankles and a messed up right shoulder. I felt brittle, fragile and I was in pain whenever I moved. I was gradually committing suicide by food; eating around 4000 calories a day and gaining at an alarming rate. I felt horrible both physically and mentally. I not only felt hopeless, I felt helpless.

I went to a doctor's office for a routine procedure, stepped on the scale and saw 302. For whatever reason, that number sent me into an absolute panic. I went home that night and joined Weight Watcher's and I haven't looked back since. I've made small changes over time that have added up to big results. I focused first just on tracking my food and staying within my daily allotment of points. Then I focused on eating better food. Then I started swimming twice a week. Then...

I've taken it all one day at a time, one change at a time and one pound at a time. The one promise that I made was to treat myself gently and to try.. When I started seeing results, it all become easier and my feelings of hopelessness and helplessness greatly diminished over time.

In the past 6 months, I've also faced some major life changes including getting fired from a job which is something that has never happened to me before, and going through all the rigmarole associated with that. In an odd way, my weight loss program helped me through all of that. It gave me the confidence to make it through.

So here I am, as of yesterday, 58 pounds lighter than when I started. I've gone from a person who could barely walk down her own driveway to someone who is now capable of walking an entire mile. I know that may not seem like much but for me it is huge. I was able to accept a job where I travel because now I fit into airline seats and I can walk in airports.

I've got a long, long way to go both in terms of weight loss and in terms of improving my physical fitness. But now, I'm hopeful and confident I will get where I need to be. I smile a lot these days.

You can do this. You are doing this. You can get to where you need to be. I hope that in the process, you find a smile or two or a thousand.

LIKE!

I'm also a WW member, second time around. Finally getting the hang of all of this. I got to goal, 2nd time last October, knew I needed some other motivation, so started strength training!:D I am 52 years old, a gramma and in the best shape of my life! I'm BUFF! I can dead lift 155, shooting for more, squat 85, pitiful, do step ups with 2 30 pound dumbells and do 90 second planks.

It's all doable, you just have to put it first and just do it. I have days when I would rather do anything than eat right and workout, but I suck it up and do it anyway.

Sounds like I finally found my big girl panties!:D

redballoon
08-21-2012, 08:56 PM
Thank you, everyone, for your support. It meant a lot to me. In short, my present resolve is...I'm going to DO THE MATH. Again, the effort can and often is, enormous! But it often is not linked to results. It can be next-to-impossible to get up early in the morning and get to the gym before work, but I do it. BUT, I can cancel out the effort in caloric terms in less than a few minutes. THIS is my problem. I think, as I get older, since I've been down the path of EFFORT soooo many times, I'm just sick of it and can't get excited like I used to be about a bit of success. I wish I could set my brain back about 25 years. But, since I can't, I guess I'm going to have to do the dreaded "adult" thing, which is THE MATH. And do it 24/7, not when I feel like it....wish me luck.

On top of that, I have to decide, do I want to have a great body enough that I will do the work needed. It's not easy. It probably never was, but it IS harder now, for a number of reasons. And, sure I guess I can make excuses. Heck, most people do. Thing is, do I want to be "most people?" Or do I want to be ME and A BETTER ME? Complacency. I think this is the real bane of aging.

freelancemomma
08-23-2012, 01:41 AM
Redballoon, your last post was extremely honest and self-aware. You know what the issues and choices are. There's no right or wrong here. You just need to decide which one you want MORE: a nice, trim and healthy body, or the freedom to eat what you want.

F.

redballoon
08-23-2012, 02:39 AM
Thanks, freelance. Getting and using the heartrate monitor was an eye-opener and, at the time, an incentive to do more because i could quantify my effort. It, so far, is making me think twice about cancelling out the effort I have made for the sake of some junk food or simply indulging my appetites. On the other hand, when I decide I do want to indulge, I do so with eyes wide open to the consequences. I feel much more in control, less "thrown by fickle winds of fate," which is how it seemed before. ;)

And yes, I DO want the trim body. And perhaps, moreso, I think I want to put more of what I do do out there visible. I mean, yes, I have had my cake and eaten it too and do NOT weight double what I would have had I not exercised as much as I did. But who knows that? Certainly no one around me. And more importantly, was it worth it? It may have been, but it's not now. So, let's see if I can continue this mindset.