Weight Loss Support - How do you get back on the wagon? I messed up SOOO badly!

08-16-2012, 09:35 PM
How do you get back on the wagon? I had been maintaining at my goal weight for about 5 months, and the last few weeks I have been overeating and bingeing, and I've gained back about 15 pounds! I am SOOOO disappointed and frustrated with myself!!!

How do you get back on the wagon? Part of my inability to get back into weight loss mode is that because I had been maintaining for so long, I had become used to eating maintenance calories. The thought of going back to weight loss calories (1300-1500 per day instead of 1900-1950) was so upsetting to me that I just kept overeating every day, instead of stopping and thus limiting the damage. Now, I am at the point where I have gained back 15 pounds!

How do I motivate myself to get back into weight loss mode, and not let myself get too discouraged by the fact that I majorly screwed up? If I had just stopped overeating after one mess-up day or two, I would have only had to lose a half pound or so, but now I have to lose 15!!! Any words of advice, wisdom, and encouragement are appreciated! I just can't seem to get back into weight loss mode after being in maintenance mode for so many months.

Thanks for listening!!

08-16-2012, 09:38 PM
Think of it this way...if you continue down the path you're going you're going to regain everything you've lost and possibly more. 15 lbs in the scheme of what you've lost, really isn't that much. That's way easier to bounce back from 50 lbs.

I'm sure you loved the way you felt at your goal weight, and getting back into the swing of things is hard. But you're going to have to push yourself. It has to be something you want, and you can do it! It doesn't matter what you screwed up these past few weeks, or either today, just start easing yourself back into the way you were before.

I'm not really good at this advice because I haven't made it to goal, and I know how hard it is to motivate yourself, but you can do it!

08-16-2012, 09:43 PM
Thanks for the advice! The thing is, I have gotten so accustomed to eating whatever I want, when I want, that it is so appealing to me to keep eating this way! I seem to forget about what it is doing to my body size; all I think is, I want that food now! And I have (unfortunately) developed new eating habits over the last few weeks.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, I'm finding it difficult to WANT to get back to my healthy eating habits to lose the weight, because I've been enjoying the freedom of eating anything I please. Oh, my!!!!

08-16-2012, 09:51 PM
For me, I have had to learn tricks to get my body back to weight loss mode.

This is what works for me. Might not work for you, but I found that I'm most successful with weight loss when I limit carbs. The hunger pangs I think I'm feeling aren't really hunger pangs, but "give me sugar" pangs.

I just came back for a month long trip. During that time I ate what I wanted, when I wanted. I knew, coming back that I would see a gain and that I would need to get back to weight loss mode. First thing I did was eat what I know works for me.

That meant - no breads, grains, sugars period. I could have berries, dairy (unsweetened), veggies - whatever I wanted, nuts, and meat.

AND - and this is even more important. I made sure I was getting enough sleep. Being well-rested means I make better decisions and have more energy. More energy means I don't need to rely on sugary foods to boost my feeling of having more energy. More energy also means I'm more likely to work out. Being well rested usually means good food decisions which makes the rest of it easy.

The first day was a bit tough. Second day was a bit tougher, but now on day 3 and day 4? What's hunger pangs and what's a craving? I worked through the two rough days and now it's smooth sailing - unless I start eating carbs again. Days 1-4 I ate 1500 calories. Today I ate 1350 and feel great!

08-16-2012, 09:54 PM
You have to make a decision, either keep going down the path you are on, which will lead to gaining pound after pound, or get it under control. It's completely up to you. Nobody can make you want to change, but you must want to since you are here asking for advice!

08-17-2012, 12:42 AM
Ditto what has already been said.

And - read your own signature! You really do need to decide what you want more.

And - read your screen name! Are you?

Only you can decide what's worth the struggle. I'm betting you know exactly what to do and how to do it. Good luck.


08-17-2012, 06:58 AM
I just can't seem to get back into weight loss mode after being in maintenance mode for so many months.

Sure you can. Just commit to ONE day of eating 1,400 calories per day. After that, commit to one more day. All it takes is two or three days of clean eating for your momentum to swing back into weight-loss mode. DO IT TODAY.


08-17-2012, 08:48 AM
You don't have to go back to weight loss calories! If you know you'll maintain your goal weight at around 1900 then eat that much. It'll take a while to lose back to your goal weight, but you will get used to your maintenance calories again.

Or compromise, eat between your weight loss calories and maintenance calories.

08-17-2012, 10:13 AM
Thanks, everyone, for all the words of encouragement, support, and tough love! I am happy to report that my mindset is back on track today! I think I am going to do a combination of eating weight loss calories, alternating between the lower and higher end of my weight loss calorie range, and when I feel like I'm loosing momentum mentally, I will eat at maintenance and remind myself that losing slowly, or not losing but not gaining, is much better than gaining! I also love the idea of just starting with one day, and then getting through another day, and another day, until I have built back up some momentum. TODAY is that day to start!

I will come back on this evening and report on my progress today. This way, I will have some accountability.

I am also going to start to do some more serious weight training. I have done relatively little strength training so far, and I feel like if I set a new goal for myself (becoming stronger and building muscle, instead of JUST losing weight), then it will be mentally easier for me...because I will be also working toward a new goal, instead of reaching for a goal that I had already reached and now have to reach again.

Sontaikle - your pic is amazing! Do you have any recommendations or suggestions on how to start a strength training program for beginners? I have no idea where to start! I have been doing some push ups and crunches/bicycle motions for abs, and that's it. How do I go about building a strength training program?

Thanks for the suggestion about limiting carbs; I'm glad it worked for you, and I truly appreciate the suggestion, but it won't work for me. I have tried low carb in the past and failed miserably. One of the many things I have learned about myself throughout my weight struggles is that I can't make any food off limits. It will cause me to feel restricted, and I will binge. But I truly appreciate the time you took to offer your experience of what worked for you!

08-17-2012, 11:14 AM
One of the many things I have learned about myself throughout my weight struggles is that I can't make any food off limits. It will cause me to feel restricted, and I will binge.

I'm exactly the same way. Nothing's off limits and I eat lots of carbs, including bread and pasta. As we often say around here, the secret to successful weight loss/maintenance is to find what works for each individual person, both physically and psychologically.


08-17-2012, 11:41 AM
I've been where you are! It goes like this, right?

Overeat, feel guilty, overeat some more, try to eat very low calories, fail at that, feel guilty and overeat, weigh myself, feel guilty and try to eat really low calories again, succeed, binge the next day, feel guilty...

I went from a low of 124 to almost 140 by overeating, trying to diet it off, binging, restricting, and eventually just overeating. I am back to 124 now and it's a rare day that I eat under 1600 calories a day. It didn't all come off at once, but that's okay! In the process I got into a regular exercise routine with strength training (lifting weights 2x/week - nothing intimidating!) and cardio with intervals, focused on eating high-protein high-veggie (I still have dessert probably 5 times/week, it's doable), and this all made me feel more like I had a "routine" that DIDN'T leave me hungry that I didn't want to deviate from by overeating.

What are you eating now? What did you eat to maintain? You cannot get stuck in a binge-restrict-binge-restrict pendulum and be healthy at the same time - what sontaikle said makes a lot of sense. It's like starting a weight loss process from the beginning: baby steps, things in moderation, focus on nutritious non-sugary things. I'm willing to bet some of that 15 lbs is bloat from constantly overeating.

08-18-2012, 10:00 AM
Well, I'm thrilled to report that I stayed on track yesterday! One day back on plan! And hopefully it will get easier from here, since I now have some momentum. It's amazing how easy it is to quickly get out of my healthy habits and slip back into my old habits; yet, I am happy to say that it's also amazin how quickly I can get back into my healthy habits, and they feel familiar and routine.

For me, so much is about the mindset. I am trying to focus on how much slimmer I am now than I was before starting to lose weight, and celebrate that. But I also find myself lamenting about those pounds I gained - they really make a noticeable difference since they were the last 15 pounds that took me from looking "average weight" to looking "slim."

I was bingeing-restricting-bingeing-restricting-overeating, and I know that restricting is one of my pitfalls -- it sets me up for bingeing and overeating. This time, I'm going to try to treat myself better -- focusing on good, whole foods that I love and that are good for my body (fresh veggies, good proteins) and less processed foods, which I suspect contributed to my cravings. I can eat a whole lot more fruits and vegetables for the same number of calories as one processed snack. Yesterday, I ate 1300 calories, because I want to see results faster, but I need to be so careful of this mindset, because restricting too much will lead me to binge or overeat. I should probably eat closer to 1500 so that I feel less restricted, but I want results faster! On the other hand, if i eat at the lower end of my range, I'm more likely to feel restricted and binge. It's so hard to strike that balance!! It was incredibly helpful to realize that I can still lose (albeit very slowly) by eating at my maintenance calories. I need to remember this if I ever feel like overeating -- I can eat at maintenance calories sometimes and still be on track to keep losing!

I also learned a very important thing about myself - routines are key for me. This backslide is directly correlated with the Olympics. I skipped my workouts and rushed my dinner routine/meal prep because I wanted to finish up in time to watch the Olympics every night, and I felt very stressed on compressed timeframe. Bad idea! I will never do that again. I NEED to make the time in my evenings for working out and cooking healthy. If I want to watch something in the evening, I will record it. I NEED to make the time for myself to keep up the habits that have kept me on track, losing and maintaining for over a year.

How do you recommend getting into strength training? I would love to build muscle on a moderate routine (2-3 days/week if possible). Do you go to a gym, or do it at home? Any suggestions for how to get started? I have no idea where to start!

08-18-2012, 10:09 AM
You stop persecuting yourself, you forgive yourself and you resolve to move forward. One of the things I do after every 10-15lbs weight loss is I get rid of the clothes that are now too big. I either have my seamstress tuck them in for me, or I donate them and buy myself a new outfit. It helps me to maintain knowing that if I don't I wont have anything to wear.

08-18-2012, 03:26 PM
Definitely agree with not getting rid of larger clothes. One of the things about my clothes is that a lot of my pants are low-rise, and the weight I gained was primarly on my upper tummy (it gave me a muffin top). I didn't realize the full effects of my weight gain (and kept eating and eating day after day) because my pants still fit! I didn't gain as much on my hips; I gained a muffin top instead, and so I didn't realize I was gaining as early as I otherwise would have.

Definitely many lessons learned through this setback! I'm happy to report that I'm on track for the second day in a row!!! :)

08-18-2012, 03:37 PM
If you are frusturated with yourself at 15lbs over weigth imagine how you would feel if you were to gain all of the weight back. I've been in your shoes and I said ahh what the heck. And now I am 60 lbs over what I had lost. You should defenitly continue in this website for the motivation. Good luck!

08-18-2012, 07:16 PM
How do you recommend getting into strength training? I would love to build muscle on a moderate routine (2-3 days/week if possible). Do you go to a gym, or do it at home? Any suggestions for how to get started? I have no idea where to start!

You could do it either way. If you're doing it at home, you'll probably want to focus on body weight exercises or exercises you have the equipment (or safe and reasonable substitutes) for. If you have no experience with strength training at all, it might be easier and safer to join a gym with certified and helpful staff (including personal trainers) who can help you figure out how to reach your goals efficiently and safely. There are a lot of resources out there. I've found exrx.net helpful in designing my most recent home gym workouts.

08-19-2012, 12:00 PM
Thanks for the info! I will start researching today. Also, I am happy to report that I made it through my second day on plan, and I am committing to staying on my calorie plan today too! This will make 3 days in a row!!! I am so proud of this!

08-19-2012, 12:03 PM
Good job! :carrot::carrot::carrot:

08-19-2012, 12:44 PM
That's great!! It sounds like you're back, over the hump!

08-19-2012, 12:49 PM
I was in a similar position. Had lost 45 pounds on WW, then decided to maintain for a while, but toward the end of a year of maintaining I started playing around with the counting and before you know it had regained 11 pounds.
At the moment I have got myself going in the right direction with the alternate day diet (~500 cals one day, then normal diet the next). There was a show about it on the BBC. Figuring out what's hunger and what's not is the challenge, but I don't mind being a little too hungry one day if I know tomorrow I can eat something interesting!