Despite trying to think positively and plan ahead for success, I find myself fighting that negative voice deep down inside myself that says, "Yeah. You've been here before. You start off fierce, have some success, but slowly drift off plan until you're lost at sea again. What's different this time from all of the other times?" Each time I try to get back on-plan, it's more and more difficult to get re-started. This time, it took me a year to find the heart to try again. I'll soon be 49 years old and I reached my highest weight a few weeks ago. I'm very uncomfortable in my body. The fat literally gets in my way. I dream of changing my life, but I'm not 100% certain that I have what it takes to do this. There....I said it out loud! I'm constantly fighting this negative devil that sits on my shoulder. I've had success in other areas of my life. I quit a 25 year smoking habit and I did it by going cold turkey. I've been smoke free since October 2005 and I know that this is an amazing achievement. But, honestly, that seems almost easy compared to losing weight.
Can anyone else relate? How did you convince your mind to get with the program? I'm not just looking for encouragement...although that will always be appreciated!:)....but, I need practical steps and ideas. Big, little, simple, complex. What can I do now?
04-12-2013, 12:54 AM
All you can do is take it one moment as a time. Get through the craving for a pretzel in the mall, the ice cream after dinner, the french fries when you go out to dinner. I really try to only live in that moment, that meal, that day.
I was where you are. This is not my first time losing weight, but this time I've been able to keep going. Why? I'm not so sure. All I know is that I'm still on plan right now today and that's good enough for me. If you can be on plan "right now" for long enough, you'll reach the point where the weight loss itself is motivating enough to keep you going.
Do you have a plan to follow? I think this is one of the most important aspects. Without a plan, being "on-plan" or "cheating" is a very blurry line. One treat leads to another and then it all falls apart and you start gaining.
Good luck, and stay active on these forums. This community has helped me immensely.
04-12-2013, 01:03 AM
I'm a former smoker and binge drinker. Both of those were a hundred times easier to give up for me than food. I had lost substantial amounts a few times in my life, right along with having substantial gains. However, I did pretty well at losing about 100 pounds and maintaining for several years, but hit a brick wall in late 2011 when several family crisis hit all at once and I returned to comfort food. And before I knew it I was pregnant for the first time, but lost the baby just a few days shy of completing the first trimester. :( I was absolutely miserable. It was the first major gain I'd had since 2003 or so, my emotions were a wreck, and I was having so much trouble just physically getting around. I allowed myself some time to mourn as I pondered how to get my life and health back.
Once I decided I'd had enough I already knew what I needed to do; what I'd lacked all along was sticking to something long enough. This time, I set an absolute starting date a few weeks out. I gave myself those few weeks to ease into healthier habits while ditching the unhealthy ones with baby steps.
That absolute date was March 5th of last year. I made a commitment to myself that once I reached that date, I would do my best with a healthier lifestyle and that I could not give up on it, no matter what. And on that date I went full-force, starting with logging my food in a day planner. I picked a pretty one and bought a pretty pen to go with it. I made sure every decision was one I could be proud to put in writing. I focused getting through one day at a time, one meal at a time. I turned the day planner/journal into a game when I was having a rough go of it, putting star stickers next to completed days. I looked into ways I could improve my nutrition and exercise, and with it I drowned out those negative thoughts. I focused on the habits instead of the results. I kept pressing forward even through the days I wanted to throw tantrums and cry, even through the weeks I stayed perfectly on plan yet showed a gain on the scale. Whenever I stumbled I forgave myself and got right back on plan. I knew my habits were solid and that I just had to stay on track and trust in the process.
Ever since starting that planner, I've lost an average of one pound per week. Which doesn't sound like much, but by stubbornly sticking to this I've lost 56 pounds and am currently at the lowest weight I've ever been at as an adult. The planner has been an extremely valuable tool for me, and has even become something I look forward to filling out with my healthy choices.
Maybe a journal/planner/book would help you out as well? You can follow any plan you like, and it's possible that such a tool would motivate you to stick with the lifestyle of your choice. :)
04-12-2013, 01:05 AM
Sometimes, it really is minute by minute.
I'd say it is important when we fall repeatedly not only to get back up but to figure out what we tripped over and remove it. Sometimes that takes self examination, sometimes it takes a drastic change of eating plan, sometimes it takes counseling. But I figured out that if I just keep on dieting and losing weight and then "something" throws me and I regain, it will keep happening until I take care of the "something."
So glad you are here. I am cheering for you!
04-12-2013, 02:53 AM
I felt similar feelings/had similar thoughts when I started again this time. I honestly didn't know if there was a point. At times, I still don't. However, I was feeling extremely uncomfortable in my body, so much so that the discomfort was more of a problem for me than the idea that I was 4 lbs away from 300lbs. It was this discomfort that drove me to try to lose again. However, because I didn't know if getting to even 200lbs was possible, nevermind onederland or "the" goal weight, I decided to simply lose "some" weight rather than trying to lose all the weight. A month into it, I still don't know. However, only 14lbs down, and I already feel significantly better. So I'll keep this up and see where I end up. No commitments, no hardcore goals, no pressure -- just an openness to see what happens. I like this approach because I find losing weight and keeping it off is a hefty goal to carry. I'm not ready to take that on again this time. I think it's okay if that's the case -- and I think it's possible to lose weight without having that expectation.
As for a specific strategy, something I try to do is to focus on eating healthy purely for the sake of being healthy. Over the years, the desire to be healthy has become my primary goal. I know that whatever my weight may be, I will indeed benefit tremendously by feeding my body nutrition and limiting my exposure to toxic 'foods'. The nice thing about this is that weight-loss becomes a by-product, which kind of blows my mind but hey. ;) And actually, I think this is what keeps me on track with the weight-loss! :D
At the end of the day, I think having non-weight-related goals is vital. Be they about nutrition, fitness, sleep, water, or the next best thing, they redirect our focus and anticipation onto something we have more control over and that can be more willfully accomplished. If this is something that would be helpful for you, what would YOU have fun accomplishing or feel satisfied accomplishing? :)
04-12-2013, 09:20 AM
It is pain and discomfort that pushes me to focus on weight loss. Literal pain in my knees and ankles, internal fear from embarrassment, disgust when I see myself in the mirror, fear from the idea of letting my blood sugars get out of control, or being too fat to enjoy life with my daughter, not being able to see my grandchildren.
It is joy and accomplishment that keeps me going. Seeing the weight go down, feeling less pain when I walk, having more energy to do the things I want to do.
So what I try to do is keep focus on that joy and accomplishment. I keep a document of "health scripts" that answer that disparaging voice in my head. I have scripts that help me when I'm tempted to eat something off-plan (including some specifically for when I'm tempted to drink for comfort, or when I get pushed food by my in-laws). I have scripts that remind me that it will take time, and that remind me of how far I've actually come.
I need to read these (and re-read and re-read them) when I start feeling complacent, and hearing those voices again. Some days it's the only way I stay on-plan.
And some days it's the only way I contemplate returning to plan when I've been off-plan for a while.
04-12-2013, 10:00 AM
I've had success in other areas of my life. I quit a 25 year smoking habit and I did it by going cold turkey. I've been smoke free since October 2005 and I know that this is an amazing achievement. But, honestly, that seems almost easy compared to losing weight.
This really resonates with me. I hear people say this quite often around these parts- and it reminds me of Dr. Julia Ross' book the Diet Cure every single time. (It's a book that literally changed my life, so I have trouble not sharing it).
Almost everyone who has ever come into my office has felt like a failure. “I just don’t seem to have the willpower to stay on a diet anymore” or “I can never stick to the maintenance part of the plan.” Mostly, this is because they crave sweets or starchy carbs and can’t do without them for long. They start with “just a little” and end up eating a lot more than they feel they should. Often their spouses or other family members criticize them, saying, “Why don’t you just try harder?” “If you’d just limit yourself to one . . . ,” which only serves to make them feel even worse about themselves. “I guess they’re right,” they say, “I just don’t have enough self-discipline.” Yet oddly, these same people are usually doing well in every other aspect of their lives. They are effective at work, they keep the bills paid and the checkbook balanced, they organize their children’s lives beautifully. They are actually models of willpower. (This part reminded me of what you just said earlier.)
We point this out. We remind them that they have lost weight—dozens, sometimes hundreds of times. Truly, there is nothing harder than dieting. Most of those critical spouses and family members could never stand the course of even one diet.
So if it’s not lack of willpower, what is wrong with you? Are you an emotional basket case who can’t get by without comfort food? If you had more strength, could you power through your problems without overeating? Should you feel ashamed of yourself for needing emotional sustenance from foods? No! I hope to help you understand why you are using food as self-medication. It’s not because you are weak willed, it’s because you’re low in certain brain chemicals. You don’t have enough of the chemicals that should naturally be making you feel emotionally strong and complete.
So what has made a difference for me this time? Balancing my brain chemistry. At first I did it with supplementing with amino acids (EASY. You can get them anywhere)- and now I'm just eating very whole foods and lots of protein with aminos.
I don't have cravings anymore. I don't have depression or anxiety anymore. I don't doubt myself anymore. It's totally changed my life. I didn't just convince my mind. I changed it. Literally changed it.
04-12-2013, 10:08 AM
Also- I went back to your prodigal daughter thread....Sugar cravings.
And l-glutamine- http://www.amazon.com/NOW-Foods-L-Glutamine-500mg-Capsules/dp/B000QVCAKQ/
They help with sugar cravings SOOOOO much. Very serious. I take the chromium throughout the day- and haven't had to use l-glutamine in months, but I used to take it at the moment of a craving and the craving would disappear almost instantaneously. Your cells can use it just like glucose. :)
Dieting is incredibly difficult when battling sugar cravings. This is a 7 minute segment from UCSF about Sugar Cravings.
Oh- And when I did a sugar detox (I saw that you mentioned doing one)- my herbalist recommended candex- http://www.vitacost.com/pure-essence-labs-candex-yeast-management-system-40-vegetarian-capsules
It is fantastic. I had no die-off symptoms at all. No headaches. No aches or pains.
I also did detox baths: http://www.ourlittleplace.com/detox.html
04-16-2013, 07:24 AM
Thank you so much for taking the time to respond and share your thoughts and ideas. You've all given me a lot to think about.