Weight Loss Support - Not sure if starting again is worth it...




Tate
05-27-2013, 09:59 PM
Hello all,

Like many of you I have dieted over and over throughout my life (I am 43, I started dieting in earnest at 16).

If I add up what I have gained and lost over the decades it is between 600 and 700 pounds. You name the diet, I have done it. I have also exercised lots (I ran three marathons and several half marathons about 6 years ago when I was in my "starve myself and exercise like a lunatic" phase). I have tried dieting, non-dieting, OA, etc.

In any event, I am at one of my highest weights ever. My dr. is recommending WLS and that scares the crap out of me--- and quite frankly I do not see the point--- regain is a problem with that like it is with any diet. And that is my problem in general.. I do not see the point in starting a diet, because invariably the diet will end, and I will be right back at square one again. Even "lifestyle changes" require effort that I thus far have found insustainable over the long term.

I am aware of the effort it takes to lose weight. The physical effort, the mental effort--- the battling hunger, the having to plan ahead ("so and so invited me to a party--- should I eat before I go? What will I eat when I am there? What if they don't have anything there I can eat? What do I do to avoid a binge?) and on and on and on. I swear I get tired just thinking about it. Planning when to work out, planning which workouts to do on which days, planning food shopping, counting (cals. fat grams, carbs-- whatever- depending on the diet) etc.

I was talking with a dear friend today about how miserable I am being so fat...and she said my telling myself it is pointless to try to lose weight because I will just gain it back again is a "story I am telling myself". She thinks I should try to convince myself THIS time it WILL work--- despite decades of evidence to the contrary.

I feel like Charlie Brown when Lucy tries to convince him she will not whisk the football away THIS time if he tries to kick it....and he tries... and lands flat on his back...again. So....my question to you all is this....how do I find hope again? How do I convince myself I have even a prayer of getting the weight off for good? How do I get myself to believe it is even possible-- because right now, I am thinking there is just no way.

TIA


wannaskipandlaugh
05-27-2013, 10:13 PM
The only thing I can tell you is... You just need to do it. I think believing that this is the last time and that you are forever going to be a healthy person (keep tellling yourself until you really believe it). I am 55 and have been on diets since I was in my teens. I was up in the 300's for years and finally January 6th of this year... I had had enough. I wanted to love and enjoy life and ME. That is all I can tell you is to believe that you can do it. Make that "Click" turn on in your head. Choose an eating plan that you can live with for as long as you live and make it something that you like so that it really isn't work.

The best thing is... you are here (again) and wanting to "do this" again. That is the 1st step and you know this forum and place. Gosh if you are having a bad day.. POST IT and a whole bunch of people will post back and let you know what they did to get past it... and POST the good things too... Those motivate other people and in turn motivate YOU.....

That is just my take on it... I just believe it now.... (had alot of practise over the 40 years ! :lol: )

Tate
05-27-2013, 10:17 PM
Choose an eating plan that you can live with for as long as you live and make it something that you like so that it really isn't work.

Yeah... and that would be one of the hard parts--- they are ALL work (I dare anyone to name a diet I have not tried....:) ). The other is convincing myself this really is "it". I do thank you for your feedback and for being supportive. Much appreciated. :D


Joil
05-27-2013, 10:31 PM
I totally get where you're coming from. But lets say you do not try again?! What is the alternative? That you stay miserable forever?
You say you feel miserable at this weight, doesn't it make more sense to try again even though it's very hard and you actually have the possibility of succeeding this time. I think it does.
This is what I say to myself when I think about just not doing it anymore. I have the choice to be this size or bigger in a year from now OR I can be 55 lbs lighter a year from now. The year passes anyway. It's my choice what I will look like then.
I hope you don't give up. Start again but don't do some diet that you can only sustain for a little while before it makes you crazy !!
Good Luck. We're here for you!

rachieready
05-27-2013, 10:52 PM
This is one of the very things I struggle with...

I can only tell you what makes *this time* different for ME.

It is that there is no *this time*. Its the same struggle that I've always dealt with. And yet... when I can remember to step back, and take it one day at a time, one hour at a time, even one minute at a time, instead of trying to tackle everything at once... suddenly, it doesn't feel as overwhelming.

If I can remember to stop thinking about my past failures, or my fear of the future. (in fact, I try hard to remember that my ONLY failure, is NOT trying anymore)

I've hit a point in my life, where choosing to make better decisions, minute by minute... is more important than choosing to make poor decisions.

I've hit a point in my life, where I've *finally* come to understand that the good decisions DO stack up just as quickly as the poor ones. (even when it doesn't seem that way)

I've hit a point in my life, where I've finally come to realize that this isn't an easy struggle for many many people. For many many reasons.

No one can tell you whether or not you should or shouldn't start again... but I do believe that you're looking for someone to say YES! you should! (or you wouldn't have bothered posting)

Why bother? Because, even though I don't know you, I value you as a person. I admire your will to have lost it in the past. I have faith that you could do it again. I believe that you will find peace with your body and mind that we are all seeking. And because I think you want to start again... you just need some encouragement and someone to say that the past doesn't necessarily dictate what the future will bring.

Tate
05-27-2013, 10:53 PM
I totally get where you're coming from. But lets say you do not try again?! What is the alternative? That you stay miserable forever?

I hope you don't give up. Start again but don't do some diet that you can only sustain for a little while before it makes you crazy !!

Ok... I see your point. I argued in a similar fashion when I had a friend tell me it would take too long for me to get my doctorate if I went part time....I said the time was gonna go by anyway, right? (I am writing my dissertation right now.... ;)).

One of the challenges is finding a diet I can live with--- so far I have tried most of them (I do not want to say ALL, despite it being very tempting to do so given the sheer number of them I have been on), and none of them was sustainable long term for me. I would say Weight Watchers probably was the least "restrictive" but all of the tracking and such got old quick.

Tate
05-27-2013, 10:56 PM
This is one of the very things I struggle with...

I can only tell you what makes *this time* different for ME.

It is that there is no *this time*. Its the same struggle that I've always dealt with. And yet... when I can remember to step back, and take it one day at a time, one hour at a time, even one minute at a time, instead of trying to tackle everything at once... suddenly, it doesn't feel as overwhelming.

Why bother? Because, even though I don't know you, I value you as a person. I admire your will to have lost it in the past. I have faith that you could do it again. I believe that you will find peace with your body and mind that we are all seeking. And because I think you want to start again... you just need some encouragement and someone to say that the past doesn't necessarily dictate what the future will bring.

Your post was clearly heartfelt---it was touching and beautiful. You have given me much "food for thought" (if you will pardon the pun). Thanks.

freelancemomma
05-27-2013, 11:04 PM
I do not see the point in starting a diet, because invariably the diet will end, and I will be right back at square one again. Even "lifestyle changes" require effort that I thus far have found insustainable over the long term.

Can you be a little more specific about what you have found unsustainable? The regimentation? The tracking? The hunger? The sense of deprivation? Giving up the pleasure of eating with abandon? The exercise? Depending on the answer(s), you may be able to find workarounds to avoid regaining after your next (last!) round of weight loss.

Here's an example: after reaching maintenance I decided I was **not** willing to live without what I call "unbridled eating" for the rest of my life. So once every couple of months I go all out -- and I really mean all out -- at an all-you-can-eat sushi or pan-Asian place. I compensate by eating just a little less for the next few days. For me, it's freeing to know that I don't have to give up "immoderation" forever. (By the same token, I'm perfectly happy to do without junk food because, being a bit of a food snob, I've never really enjoyed it.) Other maintainers have made very different choices.

What I'm saying, I guess, is that this is a mental game. If you figure out your eating psychology, you have as good a shot at maintenance as anyone else. Keep talking to us and we'll keep inundating you with ideas. Use the ones that resonate with you and discard the rest.

Freelance

p.s. I'm not suggesting any of this is easy. I myself have yo-yoed 6 or 7 times before. This time does feel different, though, and I'm 56. So it's never too late.

rachieready
05-27-2013, 11:16 PM
Your post was clearly heartfelt---it was touching and beautiful. You have given me much "food for thought" (if you will pardon the pun). Thanks.

Honestly, THIS is what I'm trying to do differently *this time*....

Reaching out to others. I've always tried to do this on my own. I cannot even tell you how much this site is helping me every. single. day.

The people here are amazing.

kaplods
05-28-2013, 12:20 AM
I dieted my way to my highest weight, because whatever I lost I gained plus more. Somewhere around 350 lbs, I decided that the fat acceptance folks were right and that dieting only resulted in weight gain.

So,I stopped dieting and gained about ten pounds, but then the weight gain stopped and I maintained the 360 lbs for several years (the first time in my life that my weight had been stable). I dieted again after herniating a disc and lost 60 lbs, then gained 70. I tried again for my wedding and gained another 24 lbs.

After being treated for sleep apnea, as my pulmonologist predicted, I lost weight without trying. I wanted to lose more, but I knew I couldn't follow my previous patterns.

For me, success took the form of focusing most of my efforts on "not gaining today" what happened yesterday and what happens tomorrow doesn't matter. Today I will not gain.

I've backslid now and then (I'm currently up about 15 lbs from my lowest weight) but usually the backsliding occurred because I abandoned my one day at a time, not gaining today focus.

Quitting isn't an option I give myself, because if I quit, all the weight and extra will pile on as well as any health improvements I've made. I'll end up bed and house bound again, needing my husband's help to shower and dress.

Except for the last few months, I've been able to maintain a stable or downward trend for going on nine years. I'm losing slowly at times, not at all at others, but if I went back to dieting or not trying my weight would be up and down, mostly up.

You can make this the last time, so long as you refuse to ever go back to autopilot eating. You can decide to lose, stay the same or even gain - but make it you choice, not what happens to you because you gave up the right to choose.

I weigh daily because it makes me happy and gives me something to celebrate every day. First and foremost I celebrate "not gaining" and if I lost, bonus for me today, but the goal for tomorrow is still only "not gaining."

If I have a day when I'm resenting my calorie budget and feeling unwilling to "diet," I eat more, even sometimes a lot more, but I don't abandon my budget, I just adjust my goal for the day. In the past, I would give up and binge for an evening, days, or even weeks until I was ready to "start over." Now, I tell myself "there is no starting over, there's just moving on. I can move forward, backward, or remain immobile, but every choice matters and moving backwards doesn't have to be inevitable or even possible unless I make choices that lead in that direction.

You can do this, but only if you choose actions that move you in the right direction. Don't fool yourself though into thinking that you will be starting over or starting again - because this isn't a diet, this is your life - there are no restarts. You've stumbled and you have to decide whether you're going to get up, lie on the ground, or start digging yourself into a deeper hole. Whatever you choose isn't starting anything, it's just continuing on your lifepath, which path do you want to be on?

Tate
05-28-2013, 07:30 AM
Can you be a little more specific about what you have found unsustainable? The regimentation? The tracking? The hunger? The sense of deprivation? Giving up the pleasure of eating with abandon? The exercise? Depending on the answer(s), you may be able to find workarounds to avoid regaining after your next (last!) round of weight loss.


All of the above. :) Depending on the type of diet/exercise regimen chosen any or all of those things got tiresome. Deprivation is pretty high on the list.
The tracking of whatever I think gets old pretty early on, too Then the having to squeeze time in for exercise. If I am to be honest, I think what bothers me most is how angry I get. Angry that I can't just eat what I want, when I want. Angry that I have to exercise or else look like the Good Year blimp, angry that despite having dieted over and over I still look and feel so God awful.

I get weary of how tiresome the whole process is-- all of the mental energy that goes into weight loss...after awhile I just tire out. It never becomes easy or natural. even after several months on a diet, I do not find any of it (the counting, the meals, the planning, the exercise) routine-- it is always effort. LOTS of effort and I just get tired. After awhile, I cannot bear the thought of having to live this way (counting, planning, exercising, scheduling, etc.) every day for the rest of my life and I give up.

I appreciate your encouragement-- and I like your once per month strategy.

Tate
05-28-2013, 07:31 AM
Honestly, THIS is what I'm trying to do differently *this time*....

Reaching out to others. I've always tried to do this on my own. I cannot even tell you how much this site is helping me every. single. day.

The people here are amazing.

What a lovely notion. And yes, I too am finding this forum most supportive. :)

Tate
05-28-2013, 07:36 AM
You can make this the last time, so long as you refuse to ever go back to autopilot eating. You can decide to lose, stay the same or even gain - but make it you choice, not what happens to you because you gave up the right to choose.

First and foremost I celebrate "not gaining" and if I lost, bonus for me today, but the goal for tomorrow is still only "not gaining."

If I have a day when I'm resenting my calorie budget and feeling unwilling to "diet," I eat more, even sometimes a lot more, but I don't abandon my budget, I just adjust my goal for the day.

Don't fool yourself though into thinking that you will be starting over or starting again - because this isn't a diet, this is your life - there are no restarts.

Wow. Much to think about. I had not considered that failing to decide was a method of abdicating my right to choose. Good one. The "not gaining" goal is not one I had considered before....it is worth considering, I think.

As to the no "restarts"--great line. Lots of wisdom in it. Thank you for your thoughful response. I am very much appreciating what I have received by way of responses here---clearly this is a matter which many have given a great deal of thought.

bargoo
05-28-2013, 08:23 AM
You have been given some good advice by rhe above posters. I will just add something someone once posted, I have it taped to my refrigerator door.
Being fat is hard.
Losing weight is hard.
Maintaining your weight loss is hard.
Choose your hard.

freelancemomma
05-28-2013, 09:05 AM
All of the above. :)
If I am to be honest, I think what bothers me most is how angry I get. Angry that I can't just eat what I want, when I want. Angry that I have to exercise or else look like the Good Year blimp, angry that despite having dieted over and over I still look and feel so God awful.... After awhile, I cannot bear the thought of having to live this way (counting, planning, exercising, scheduling, etc.) every day for the rest of my life and I give up.

I also get angry about this sometimes and I've posted about it. At the same time, I believe that "eat what I want" means something very different to you and me than to our "naturally thin" friends. I don't believe most of us can blame a sluggish metabolism for our tendency to put on weight. We just like to eat more than most, have a greater capacity than most, and have weaker discomfort signals from fullness than most. Nothing wrong or shameful about that. If we want to stay a normal weight, we have to accept that we'll be eating less than WE want most of the time.

However, we do NOT need to count or track or schedule or avoid social functions. I haven't done any of that for the past year and a half and I've been able to maintain my 50-lb loss, something I've never been able to do before. I've designed a way of eating that minimizes (without totally eliminating) my sense of deprivation and respects my idiosyncrasies. In my case, this consists of: three meals of about 500 cals each, three snacks of about 100 cals each, plus coffee and a glass of wine. I rotate between the same three or four items (all of which I love) for my meals. I've learned to enjoy exercise by setting and achieving modest goals (like 5K races).

I eat a high-carb diet (about 300g/day, though I never count) and there is not a single food I consider off-limits, though I don't keep "mindless foods" like pretzels or chips in the house. I still overeat regularly, and sometimes massively, but almost never at home. When I do overeat, I compensate by scaling back for the next few days.

The final key is having a red line (maximum weight) that I try my hardest not to cross. If I do cross it, I cut down to 1,500 cals per day until the weight is back down.

My own weaknesses are gourmet foods and restaurant meals (see my "need strategic help" post). I'm still working on a realistic approach for handling this. I suspect I'll end up with some kind of compromise in which I choose the highest-quality food events to go all-out and have a solid framework in place for the rest (e.g., salad + fish entree + nothing else).

It's always a work in progress, but it's doable. I believe it can be doable for you, too.

F.

Amarantha2
05-28-2013, 09:32 AM
Hugs! I have been maintaining a more than 100 pound weight loss more or less by sliding up & down some for two decades or so, although I haven't ever reached the original weight again & I personally have found my weight loss & maintenance journey fun. I only mention this because sometimes when people at lower weights post on these boards & don't mention a history of being heavier it seems as though they can't understand how there are difficulties being at a higher weight but I just wanted to pop in & mention that I can relate to a lot of what you say, especially anger. I am an angry person at times & have wondered if the weight journey might be silently triggering that.


What you say may or may not be valid about maybe not trying to lose weight again. Many people make that decision & it works well for them in terms of peace of mind, lifestyle & health. Some studies show that people with higher weights live longer & are healthier than those at lower weights.

I have no advice because the choice is yours. I just wanted to wish you luck whatever you decide.

Tate
05-28-2013, 09:34 AM
Nothing wrong or shameful about that. If we want to stay a normal weight, we have to accept that we'll be eating less than WE want most of the time.

I haven't done any of that for the past year and a half and I've been able to maintain my 50-lb loss, something I've never been able to do before. I've designed a way of eating that minimizes (without totally eliminating) my sense of deprivation and respects my idiosyncrasies.



It's always a work in progress, but it's doable. I believe it can be doable for you, too.

F.


You make it sound downright easy.... you give me hope. :)

freelancemomma
05-28-2013, 09:44 AM
You make it sound downright easy....

Hardly that. Overall it's worth it to me, though not by a whole lot (perhaps a 55:45 ratio of yes to no). I remind myself that it's a choice I'm making -- the choice to eat more or less like a "normal" person, which does not come naturally to me. While the health benefits are real, I admit it's often the vanity benefits that keep me going.

F.

Vex
05-28-2013, 09:47 AM
You're writing your dissertation. That is HARD work. It also tells me you care about your future and yourself. Do you want to be around to enjoy your accomplishment?

What's really the difference between the hard work of getting a phd and the hard work of losing and maintaining weight? Not so much really - they each require planning and time. What is it that motivates you to work that hard to earn that degree?

Maybe start more slowly this time. Pick a plan you can live with. I personally don't exercise because that's something that would have kicked me off plan for sure as it would have been too much change at once.

Regain can happen. Does that mean we shouldn't keep trying to be successful? Just because your car runs out of gas, do you just leave it at the side of the road? No, you fill it up and keep going.

What's the alternative? I'm pretty sure you know what that is.

Tate
05-28-2013, 11:23 AM
I have no advice because the choice is yours. I just wanted to wish you luck whatever you decide.

Thanks for taking the time to post a response and for your support. :)

Tate
05-28-2013, 11:34 AM
What's really the difference between the hard work of getting a phd and the hard work of losing and maintaining weight? Not so much really - they each require planning and time. What is it that motivates you to work that hard to earn that degree?

I am willing to put forth the effort because I know at some point, the work will be OVER. It will END. For me, that is a key difference between getting a PhD and weight loss. With weight loss, the fight NEVER ENDS. It goes on and on and on for the rest of my life-- UGH.


Maybe start more slowly this time. Pick a plan you can live with. I personally don't exercise because that's something that would have kicked me off plan for sure as it would have been too much change at once.

Regain can happen. Does that mean we shouldn't keep trying to be successful? Just because your car runs out of gas, do you just leave it at the side of the road? No, you fill it up and keep going.

While I understand your point, again the analogy is not quite the same, I think....systematically, it is expected a vehicle will require refueling-- it is just "how it works". In the ideal, once weight is lost it would not have to be lost over and over again-- that is not how the system is "supposed" to work--- but it is in fact how it has worked for me.

As to your question re: the alternative-- I see multiple alternatives, actually, some more or less likely than others....

1) I can learn to accept I will be fat forever and make peace with it.

2) I can continue to feel trapped in a body I despise, but do nothing to lose weight.

3) I can decide to lose weight for the 4,234th time and start restricting "X" (calories, sugar, refined foods, etc.), increasing my consumption of "X" (protein veggies, fruit, etc.) and exercising. (There are of course, multiple variations to this with varied levels of restruction/consumption/tracking/exercise/ etc).

Tate
05-28-2013, 11:36 AM
Being fat is hard.
Losing weight is hard.
Maintaining your weight loss is hard.
Choose your hard.

Quite catchy. Thx. :)

lin43
05-28-2013, 11:47 AM
Tate, I really enjoyed reading your post (even though I'm sorry that you're feeling so frustrated): Sincerity just emanates from it, and I can identify with what you wrote. I started my [hopefully] last effort at losing 45-50 lbs. in June 2011, but this was after YEARS (5-6) of either steadily gaining or staying at an unacceptably heavy weight. I, too, was tired of dieting and all the tracking, thinking about food, etc., that went along with it. I even used to tell my sisters that I would "never" go on another diet. However, I think at a certain point we're ready to get up and start again. I liken it to a CrossFit class I take: The instructor writes the workout of the day on the board, and then we all start doing it, but none of us does it at exactly the same pace. In fact, some of us have to rest between sets, but ultimately we rejoin the workout. We have to be ready, though, and the same goes with changing your lifestyle.

What seems to have worked well for me and that is different this time from all the other times that I've lost weight is that I really tried to create a program that addressed some of the problem issues that I had faced in previous attempts. EXAMPLES:

1) Flexibility: I hate planning my food. I like spontaneity in eating, and this is usually counterintuitive to losing weight. My workaround for that is having a weekly calorie total rather than a daily total. I "cycle" calories (eat more on some days than others), and this has given me more eating freedom than in past attempts.

Also, I start counting my "day's" calories with my most unpredictable meal, which happens to be dinner for me. It's easier for me to control the calories in breakfast and lunch than it is to control the calories at dinner.


2) Making time for exercise - I, too, hated the fact that I had to put time aside to exercise. One day, though, I was watching television and heard about a doctor from the Mayo clinic who had invented something called a tread desk (Google it). I do a ton of computer work at home, and I have a treadmill, so I asked my husband to set up my treadmill so that I could do computer work on it. He did that, and all of a sudden, it was nothing for me to knock out 5-6 miles a day AND get work done in the process (I am a fast walker, so I walk at 3.0 while working). Sounds crazy, but doing that one thing was the best health-related decision I have ever made. It makes exercise almost effortless. (In truth, though, I was doing this for at least a year before I made a commitment to change my eating, too). Now, I've added other things I like to my routine (i.e., joined a gym and take early-morning classes, which I really enjoy). The point is to find something that works for you. And if all else fails, and you're putting off losing because you hate exercise, don't exercise. Why must it be all or nothing? (I think many of us have this attitude, but we needn't).


Has it been smooth sailing all the way since then? No way. The first year or so of maintaining (I hit maintenance in Nov. 2011) was super easy, but it has gotten harder, mainly because I still want to eat with complete abandon, even though logically I know I cannot. I still have that struggle, but I would rather struggle with that, than to struggle with the negative way I felt about myself when I was overweight.

A final piece of advice: I read something on the boards about a week ago that really hit home for me (wish I could remember who posted it so that I could give her credit): The poster said that what we really should be aiming for is a "goal lifestyle" rather than a goal weight or goal size. Reading that was sort of a paradigm shift for me. Yes, I've heard/read all the usual "dieting" cliches about making it a "lifestyle change," etc., but this was different. Why not make changes in your life that you know you can stick with (not Draconian changes), and let the weight fall where it will? After all, isn't that a key goal---i..e, living our lives in enjoyably?

alizarin
05-28-2013, 11:59 AM
(I haven't read all the other replies yet, so I hope I'm not posting duplicate advice.)

My advice would be "don't try to lose weight". If you do - great, if not - then it didn't happen. What you're writing seems to seep with being tired, you sound exhausted to me. I don't think you're in the "great big American mind set" of "doing your life over". And I don't think you should be, or should be expected to be - you are where you are. You have gained insight and wisdom into your life.

I think the best approach for you would be baby steps. Don't start counting, weighing, measuring, picture-taking, planning, discussing, reading. Don't do it all at once. Don't even do it at all. Just take one small habit you'd like to change that you would think would make you feel better about your body or your weight - not a habit you think you "ought" to have, but a habit that you feel you genuinely want to cultivate. That can be 5 minutes of walking a day, or 1 push up a day, or really savoring at least one bite of food a day. Anything. It might not even have anything to do with weight loss. I would suggest this habit to be a very "small" one - even ridiculously small. So small, that you don't think it'll impact the rest of your life. Then start implementing that one habit. Do it for four weeks, maybe for six, or eight weeks - until you either decide that habit wasn't all that you thought it would be - and you can ditch it, or it becomes automatic and you like your new habit and the new you. Most importantly: this habit should be all you're TRYING to change. Just those 5 minutes of your day. Don't get ahead of yourself, consciously try and slow down: don't add calorie counting because you feel like it. Just this one change, one at a time. Don't feel like you need to make it a half hour workout because you "ought to" - only those 5 minutes. Don't sit there thinking about those 5 minutes all day either - just do them, feel good, and continue with your life as it was/is. Over time, you might feel energized to take on more changes, but I think at the moment you really need to give yourself room to breathe and to accept. And don't think that's easy, because it might even be harder than committing 24 hours of your day to weight loss, especially if you're in an achievement-mindset (which almost everyone kind of is, including me). So, I would say your new challenge is to take it slow, do it differently, do it without the necessity to achieve, do it without the obsession and without the drive for perfection. I think you might be in the right place mentally to do this.

These posts might help give you an idea of what I'm talking about. Not all posts in this blog are great, but some re-express very profound truths:

zenhabits.net/half
zenhabits.net/7y

I'm also not trying to discourage you from trying, but your post sounds so weary to me - I don't think you would benefit from another cheerleader dancing around you and telling you to just keep going. I think abandoning the heads-on forceful approach to weight loss might help you find your own strength.

JohnP
05-28-2013, 01:28 PM
This is something I believe most people who have lost weight can relate to.

Something to consider is intermittent fasting which for me this has been life changing.

Another thing to consider is what weight you want to maintain at. Maybe it's not possible to maintain at 150 but it is possible to maintain at 200.

kaplods
05-28-2013, 01:37 PM
I am willing to put forth the effort because I know at some point, the work will be OVER. It will END. For me, that is a key difference between getting a PhD and weight loss. With weight loss, the fight NEVER ENDS. It goes on and on and on for the rest of my life-- UGH.

Anything of value doesn't really end. What seems like the end is just the beginning of something better, and that's as true for weight loss as it is a PhD. A wedding ends, but the important part, the marriage hopefully will endure. Giving birth ends, but the important part, the parenting goes on. Your PhD coursework will end, but your knowledge, wisdom, and education will continue.

Actually that's not true - the marriage, the parent relationship, knowledge, wisdom.... none of these will endure if you don't work at growing, developing and maintaining them. In all those cases, the "end" will only be the beginning of something better if you work at it, and the work will be as hard or harder than anything that came before.

The weddings, the births, the earning of degrees, losing weight...... these are all the "easy" parts. The marriage, the parenting, working in your field, weight maintenance... they're all about turning knowledge and experience into wisdom. Every one of them will wither and die without attention and work.

A wedding is meaningless if you don't work at the marriage.
You become a parent not by giving birth, but by parenting a child.
What good is your degree if you don't put it to use? And using it is going to require lifelong effort.

Turning knowledge and experience into wisdom in all these areas is the hard part - and with a little luck and a whole lot of work - there will be a whole lot of work to do until the day you die.

Life is work, but it's worth the effort.

ikesgirl80
05-28-2013, 07:12 PM
Yeah... and that would be one of the hard parts--- they are ALL work (I dare anyone to name a diet I have not tried....:) ). The other is convincing myself this really is "it". I do thank you for your feedback and for being supportive. Much appreciated. :D


Wow! I so feel you! When you are at wits end, and nothing seems possible or even probable! The only thing I can say, is the way you feel about counting this, or cutting that is exactly me. And since you dared me :devil:, I'm going to ask about a specific diet.

Have you tried "The Carbohydrate Addict's Diet" by Drs. Richard and Rachel Heller? My best friend lost 125 pounds, as kept it off for 5-8 years so far, and still follows the diet to this day. I've lost 160 pounds, however I started with it and have molded it to be my own "healthy living", not resembling the diet in any way anymore.

You can buy the book on amazon for $4.00, but the basic idea of the diet is you get 3 meals or 3 meals and a snack each day. All meals and snacks are low carb except 1, called your Reward Meal. Your reward meal is the same meal everyday (most prefer dinner), and at that meal you can eat ANYTHING you want, as long as your meal is balanced (approximately 1/3 low carb veggies, 1/3 protein, 1/3 carbs) and it is complete in 60 minutes or less. Most days I ate pretty well balanced, but there were days I consumed 3,000 calories of CRAP and still lost weight. But most days I didn't feel the need to binge like that because I knew I could have more the next day. I eventually added calorie counting and limited "bad" foods, but the diet can be done without it.

If you are interested in more details, get the book or message me. I really believe this diet (along with support from friends, family, and 3fc) is what made me successful this time.

Good luck!

Chris

Tate
05-28-2013, 07:24 PM
Tate, I really enjoyed reading your post (even though I'm sorry that you're feeling so frustrated): Sincerity just emanates from it, and I can identify with what you wrote.

It means a lot to me to hear others are able to resonate with what it is I am feeling. :)



1) Flexibility: I hate planning my food. I like spontaneity in eating, and this is usually counterintuitive to losing weight. My workaround for that is having a weekly calorie total rather than a daily total.

LIKE this!!!


.... a tread desk (Google it)...

VERY cool. My office is too small for something like that, but I might consider one for home.




The point is to find something that works for you. And if all else fails, and you're putting off losing because you hate exercise, don't exercise. Why must it be all or nothing? (I think many of us have this attitude, but we needn't).

I failed to mention, I am already "sort of" exercising. 2 or 3 times per week, I attend a Bikram yoga class. It is a 90 minute practice in a room that is between 105 and 110 degrees. 26 postures, each of which are performed twice. I really, really like it. It is hot, and hard, but for some reason I enjoy it anyway. :) I am in a room full of skinny "bendy" people and I cannot do the poses anywhere near what they can do, but I CAN get through all of the postures without puking and I can get through most classes without having to sit out poses on my mat.


I still have that struggle, but I would rather struggle with that, than to struggle with the negative way I felt about myself when I was overweight.

I have yet to resign that this part of my life must always be struggle. Can there be no peace? Can I never get to the place where I can just BE without this constant fight? I suppose THAT is the "lifestyle goal" I want to have---and haven't a clue how to do it.

Thanks for sharing what has worked for you and for taking the time to provide many helpful details along with much encouragement.

Tate
05-28-2013, 07:28 PM
Life is work, but it's worth the effort.

Yes-- and it is precisely because I am working so hard in all of the areas you mentioned (school, work, my marriage, my children) that I have precious little "ummph" left for another diet which will (if history serves) end right where it started. I agree that anything worth having takes effort. I am as yet unclear on whether or not the effort it takes to lose weight and keep it off is worth it. A lifetime of struggle.... and for what?

Tate
05-28-2013, 07:35 PM
My advice would be "don't try to lose weight".

You definitely caught my attention with that one!


I think the best approach for you would be baby steps.


Yes... I think you are on to something.....now to pick the habit....



....So, I would say your new challenge is to take it slow, do it differently, do it without the necessity to achieve, do it without the obsession and without the drive for perfection. I think you might be in the right place mentally to do this.

Ok....so apparently you have secretly videotaped me? LOL

VERY insightful post..... and right up my alley. I have lots to think about--- and I will check out those websites. Thanks much. :)

Tate
05-28-2013, 07:42 PM
Wow! I so feel you! When you are at wits end, and nothing seems possible or even probable!

Validation!! I have been getting lots of it.....thanks for adding to that!


And since you dared me :devil:, I'm going to ask about a specific diet.
Have you tried "The Carbohydrate Addict's Diet" by Drs. Richard and Rachel Heller? My best friend lost 125 pounds, as kept it off for 5-8 years so far, and still follows the diet to this day. I've lost 160 pounds, however I started with it and have molded it to be my own "healthy living", not resembling the diet in any way anymore.


Wow!! 160 pounds!!! Holy hannah!! And yes..... I did try it.....did not go well. Gained 10 pounds. But that was over a decade ago... perhaps I could try it again if I get the gumption to start yet another diet.

Thanks so much for your support and offer of help. I might take you up on it if I decide to take the plunge. :)

Vex
05-28-2013, 08:02 PM
I am as yet unclear on whether or not the effort it takes to lose weight and keep it off is worth it. A lifetime of struggle.... and for what?

I may come across as harsh, but I really don't mean to be, so please don't be offended. I only say the following because it's what motivated me to finally lose the weight.

You stated in an earlier post that you're married and have kids. You're 300 pounds. I was pretty darn close to that. The reality is that you're likely shortening your lifespan. Think about what would happen if you had a heart attack and died - tomorrow? Even if your meds are normal, you never know. Think about your family. How would that make them feel?

I'm sure there's nothing you wouldn't do for your family, even if it meant a struggle every day for the rest of your life. What if one of your kids required a strict diet or medical regimen in order to live - counting, charting, or administering medication? You'd do it for them, wouldn't you? Because you want them to be around. Well, I'm sure THEY want YOU to be around, so why not do it for yourself?

Being there for your family makes it worth it.

Tate
05-28-2013, 08:06 PM
Being there for your family makes it worth it.

Not harsh at all. You make a good point.

crispin
05-28-2013, 08:27 PM
Maybe right now, with everything else you have going on, isn't a time when starting over is worth it. A few years ago, I was caregiving for a terminally ill parent. I put on some weight because diet and fitness were the last things on my mind. I just didn't have room to even care about that. But then time passed, I had some time to heal, and taking care of myself physically became easier.

The effort to lose and maintain weight may look unbearable to you now. And understandably! A dissertation and a family take so much focus and energy.

But is there anything you can do for your weight and fitness now that doesn't feel like too much effort for you? Health doesn't have to be all or nothing. And in time, you'll probably be able to give more energy to this, even if the thought of that commitment seems unbearable now.

Tate
05-28-2013, 08:36 PM
But is there anything you can do for your weight and fitness now that doesn't feel like too much effort for you? Health doesn't have to be all or nothing. And in time, you'll probably be able to give more energy to this, even if the thought of that commitment seems unbearable now.

You also make a good point.... I quit smoking a few weeks ago.... that is likely helping my health. I also started practicing yoga 2-3 times per week and have been doing that for about 3 months now. :) I am not anti- health....just not all fired up about putting a whole bunch of energy into something that has (at least up until this point) always had the same, sad ending.

crispin
05-28-2013, 08:56 PM
I quite smoking a few weeks ago too! When's your anniversary? Mine's May 8th.
Congrats on quitting and yoga.

Marathons...a PhD...all intense. Does easy bore you? :D Maybe do some weight loss efforts that you consider totally phoning it in. Tiny changes that barely phase you. Time may seem like the enemy now (that the commitment never ends), but it's actually your friend.

When I struggled with weight loss in the past, I can see now that it was because I'm, by nature, an intense but inconsistent person. After I became more patient and consistent, weight loss was...well, I don't want to say effortless, but waaay easier than I believed it had any right being. ;)

Emma4545
05-28-2013, 09:23 PM
So first I wanted to say that I could totally relate to your post. I tried several diets that seemed like torture and at one point... I couldn't think about doing it again. But then, my feet started hurting me. I couldn't walk, I couldn't go on vacation and have fun... the doctors were clueless.... my work was in jeopardy because I couldn't walk.

And I realized there was no option. The amount of work I went though for those feet was WAYYY worse than dieting. Doctors appointments, arch supports, judgment from doctors, notes to my employer. Today it was feet, tomorrow it would be diabetes. Then it would be cancer. One day it might be my job due to discrimination and there goes my insurance.

The amount of work for all those things would be much worse. And at first I thought, my feet could NOT be the weight. I had been that weight my entire life. But, there is only so long your body can take it before it starts hurting. I lost the weight, it all went away.

But the thought of salads and the gym was almost too much. So I took time and I researched a diet plan that was aggressive with my local hospital. It cost money but for the first time i lost the weight, fast! And it wasn't torture. It was completely different than anything I had tried before. This gave me the tag line of my life now... NEVER EVER give up. You can do anything if you just find the way. Think out of the box. Question EVERY single thing. Losing weight doesn't have to be carrot sticks and the treadmill.

And I have maintained it for a year. There is no guarantee you will gain it back. I gained it back every time but not this time. I get up every day and search the internet for information and clues as to why I seem to have to eat differently than the rest of the world. Every day I find something new.. something I didn't know about. Maybe a food that is filling and has low calories. A vitamin that is shown to help keep your weight under control. A timing of eating that can make a difference.

And if in the end... the truth is that I have to eat less just not to gain it back... so be it. Really what is so bad about that? It doesn't mean I can never have this stuff... it just means I have to be slightly careful. So so much less work in the long run.

Tate
05-28-2013, 09:35 PM
I quite smoking a few weeks ago too! When's your anniversary? Mine's May 8th.

I quit May 15th. :)


Does easy bore you? :D Maybe do some weight loss efforts that you consider totally phoning it in. Tiny changes that barely phase you. Time may seem like the enemy now (that the commitment never ends), but it's actually your friend.

Ummm yeah... I have often joked about how I live life "TX Hold'em" style-- all in or not at all.

"Phoning it in...."--- LOVE IT. Very funny....and worth considering, I think. Thanks.

Tate
05-28-2013, 09:41 PM
y.. NEVER EVER give up. You can do anything if you just find the way. Think out of the box. Question EVERY single thing. Losing weight doesn't have to be carrot sticks and the treadmill.

And I have maintained it for a year. There is no guarantee you will gain it back. I gained it back every time but not this time.



Thanks much for the encouragement. As evidence of my desperation I am going WAY out of the box and considering WLS. Seriously considering it. It certainly is verrrry different from anything I tried before. :) I am distinctly on the fence about it. Would like to try every viable option first...I have 6 months of nutritional counseling to ge through before I am eligible, so I have lots of time to think about it.

kaplods
05-28-2013, 10:17 PM
I know it's hard and the rewards are often so intangible you can't see and feel them.

I weighed 394 lbs in 2004, when I became unable to work. I was sleeping up to 20 hours a day (not lying in bed for 20 hours - unconscious for 20 hours).

It's now more than eight years later and I "only" have 94 lbs lost to show for it. A few months ago, I had 110 - so I've backslid 16 lbs because of stressful life events that I chose to self-medicate with stress-eating.

At any rate, that leaves me with an average weight loss of only 12 lbs PER YEAR.

By our culture's standards, that's failure, and the appropriate response to failure is (at least eventually) giving up. But it's not failure. Do you know how many people even those who weigh 300, 400, even 800 lbs manage to lose and keep off just 12 lbs per year over an eight year period? Almost none. I'm not a failure, I'm a frakken poster child for success, even if only I knew it (even when even I didn't know it).

I think the way I started is about the easiest, no-effort way possible, because I didn't have the energy or motivation to do more. You don't have to do much, you just have to do more than nothing.

When I started, I didn't try to lose weight, because I didn't have it in me. I just focused on "not gaining" and trying to get some of my health, strength, and mobility back.

I only made tiny, tiny changes that I could envision doing forever, and the only weight goal I had was "not gaining."

My first steps were pitifully small. Getting dressed every day.... then getting dressed every day without assistance ... getting out of bed for meals instead of hubby making and bringing it to me.

Early on, I bought a step-counting pedometer and wore it every day. My goal every day was to beat the previous day's step count. Breaking 1000 steps was a big deal (and if you're a mom, going to school, you probably break 1000 steps before breakfast).

You don't have to do anything you don't want to do, but at the very least, I'd suggest you consider making "not gaining" a priority because you can't afford to get where I was. A virtual invalid who needed assistance and special tools to wipe her own a**. The step from 300 to 400 lbs is a much smaller one than anyone expects.

Decide what you are willing to do to preserve and protect ( and ideally improve) your health, strength, stamina and independence and do that. If that's maintaining your current weight and level of independence and functioning, then do that, but odds are if you do nothing, you will eventually end up where I was or worse. Having to ask for help to wipe your *** is not an experience I would wish on anyone, not even Hitler or Satan.

We've really been taught (by example) that weight loss is an all-or-nothing endeavor. If you can't do it at full-tilt perfection, and if you don't see rapid results, well you not only might as well do nothing, you're almost compelled to do nothing. You get no "credit" for doing it half-heartedly.

I think that's insane, because we're taught to see success as total failure if it's not perfect success.

Even if I never lose another pound, and never gain any more functionality, I will not have failed because I can take care of my own hygiene, I can grocery shop, I can visit friends and family. Regaining enough abikity to play with my nephews (even if only at crafts and easybake oven, and computer games like Wii bowling) has been priceless. I can't imagine the motivation I would have if I were a mom and not just an aunt.

If you don't have difficulty keeping up with your kids, you're doing better than most at your current weight. Don't you at least have the motivation to keep it that way?

The weird thing though about "not gaining" is that it requires most of the skills required to lose, and you may find, as I did, that you'll lose some weight accidentally (bonus). And a side benefit of other non-weight loss goals also often result in unintentional weight loss - and weight loss makes a better reward than it does a goal. Just doubling myveggie intake, with no other changes helped me accidentally lose.

I don't know if I would have persisted if I had not kept a journal, because I was able to see in black and white where I started, and each improvement. I've lost large amounts of weight in the past, and the change was so slow, I didn't perceive the health improvements - I forgot where I started, so I couldn't see how far I've come.

I could only trad water when I started water exercise, and it had to be in a special warm water pool where the water was over 90 degrees and the air even warmer.

Now I wear a cylindrical stitch counter on a cord to count my laps. I'm trying to build back up to my prewinter average of 12 laps (24 lengths) and beat my record of 20 laps. I've made it up to 10 (and wow was I sore for a few days, but I'll get there).

Keeping a record helps me see progress where I otherwise wouldn't.

I know I've rambled, on and on - I tend to do that - because I just would love to spare even one person my experience.

Tate
05-28-2013, 10:29 PM
I know it's hard and the rewards are often so intangible you can't see and feel them.....

I know I've rambled, on and on - I tend to do that - because I just would love to spare even one person my experience.

You did not RAMBLE...I am astounded by your willingness to be so open and vulnerable with a total stranger (me). My goodness--- the generosity of what you shared--- thank you so much. I have often considered weight loss an "all or nothing" prospect---you are a fine example of an exception to the "rule" I had created. I really like the idea of just not letting things get WORSE---or even better, ensuring I do not lose any more mobility/ability to do what I need to in order to live.

I am able to care for myself, but I have some back problems and shoulder problems that I am pretty sure would resolve as I lost weight. I know what it is like to be trim and fit.... I was there just 6 or 7 years ago (I was also totally obsessed with dieting and my weight and was pretty much bat sh*t crazy, too). I am hopeful I could find the "thinner" me MINUS the crazy person if I decide to press on and do this whole weight loss thing... ;)

TO ALL: I am overwhelmed with the thoughtful, direct, open, heartfelt, risk-taking, loving, supportive responses I received here. My word I am just blown away. If this is a reflection of the community in general, I believe I will be sticking around. :)

kaplods
05-28-2013, 10:37 PM
Thanks, I'm glad I'm not coming off as lecturing. This is a really wonderful place, and I wouldn't have made it this far without the support and open sharing of others. I just want to give back what I've received.

Nothing embarrasses or shames me anymore about my weight and weight loss, because I now know that everywhere I've been, thousands of others have been there and worse. No matter where we start, we're not alone in this.


Even though I weighed 284 lbs, just a few months ago, I have a hard time thinking about the work it's going to take to lose those 16 lbs again (especially since it represents more than a year of work at my current pace), and I would surely quit if I let myself think along those lines, but....

I can easily see myself not gaining and even losing one pound, so that's all I work at.

Same with the swimming. I can't envision 20 laps, but I'm pretty sure I can repeat my success at 10 laps, maybe even make 11.

I really think weight loss success rates are so dismal because we don't recognize small, slow successes as any kind of success at all. When the choice is all or nothing, nothing becomes the logical choice when we don't have the time or effort to do it all.

Luckily "all" isn't necessary or I'd be spending most of my life in bed, semiconscious and in severe pain when awake at all.

I've altered a famous motto for this purposes, "Anything worth doing is worth doing - whether you can do it well or not. If you only have the time and energy to do it poorly - then do it poorly."

Tate
05-28-2013, 10:59 PM
When the choice is all or nothing, nothing becomes the logical choice when we don't have the time or effort to do it all.

I've altered a famous motto for this purposes, "Anything worth doing is worth doing - whether you can do it well or not. If you only have the time and energy to do it poorly - then do it poorly."

Oh wow. I think that last line needs to go on my fridge. REALLY. It does. LOVE IT. :)

valid28
05-28-2013, 11:22 PM
I have dieted on and off since my teen years, I am 41 now. I have lost and gained the same pounds numerous times. I have also been on diets that left me feeling so crazed and deprived that I binged when it was over gaining more weight than I had lost on the diet. What I am doing is what afew others suggested, taking it slow and being kind to yourself. I wanted to only do what I could maintain doing forever. No gimmicks, no tricks, nothing I am unwilling to do long term. For me this means I exercise if and when I can. I eat healthier than I did before. But everything is baby steps. I only focus on a few pounds at a time. I am in no rush. I was obese for a long time it will take me a while to meet my goals for me its a journey not a race. I can't face regaining the weight again, so I won't. Maintaing is more important to me than losing. I'd rather never lose another pound if it means that I have to do something extreme (for me) that I can't maintain.

HungryHungryHippo
05-28-2013, 11:40 PM
Hey Tate--I totally relate to you, on the losing-and-regaining many times! And you obviously know how to lose weight, and practice healthy habits.

For me, one thing that feels different this time is tips I learned from the book "The End of Overeating": Instead of relying on willpower, I cut out triggers. And I've been at goal for quite a while now--actually lower than I've ever been, without much effort--so it seems to be working.

One easy plan that worked for me, and was worth quite a lot of pounds at the beginning, is just making 50% or more of your plate fruit and veggies. Have the ice cream, but make it a banana split, with as much banana as ice cream. Have the sandwich, but stuff it with an equal amount of lettuce, tomato and sprouts. Obviously it works on displacement, but you CAN have whatever you want.

Good luck! I'm rooting for you!

kaplods
05-28-2013, 11:43 PM
Oh wow. I think that last line needs to go on my fridge. REALLY. It does. LOVE IT. :)

I should really put it on my own fridge as well, because when I'm doing poorly, I forget all the wisdom locked in side me.

I really think weight management would be easy - well, if not easy then at least tolerable if it weren't for the culture of perfection and shame. It's almost more socially acceptable (certainly more comfortable) to do nothing when it comes to weight management, even if it means uncontrolled gaining than to try and fail to do it perfectly and rapidly.

Since kindergarten, I've gotten fatter and fatter and fatter, because of the culture of shame and perfection. Gaining wasn't much worse than "not losing" so when I felt like losses were impossible, I decided that if I was going to fail anyway, I could at least make myself feel a little better physically by eating what I wanted (and carbs do make us feel better in the short run. Sugar and starches act much like opiates, so it's hard to avoid comfort foods when you're in physical or emotional pain).


We're essentially taught that only perfection counts for anything

AND

that weight and weight loss is so shameful, that it should never be talked about even to fix it, and that taking steps to fix it publicly are even more shameful than doing nothing.


I learned as a child that "fat girls" weren't supposed to be active - swimming, dancing, horseback riding (you'll hurt the poor horse), bicycling, tennis, running, climbing, hopscotch, jump rope...... that was for "someday" AFTER you lost the weight. You could only do those things as a fat girl in your own house, ideally with the shades drawn and no one else home in the house to see and possibly tease you about.

I was stubborn about swimming, because I loved swimming too much to give it up, and because swimming in private wasn't really an option. Although having an indoor private lap pool is still my ultimate fantasy luxury.


Sometimes I still feel like only perfection counts, and since I can't do perfection, I might as well eat myself sick.... oh, and I'm supposed to stay home and do nothing because I'm supposed to be too ashamed to do anything in public... especially anything that could theoretically lead to weight loss like eating too healthfully, or being active in some way, because it'll only draw attention to my failure in that regard and better to look like I don't care than trying and failing.

Picking food from a menu used to be such agony... can't pick anything too decadent and look like a pig... can't pick a salad even if that's what I want because that would draw attention to how fat I am and possibly questions as to whether I'm dieting and if so, how long I've been at it and how much weight I have lost and how much I want to lose....

Weird, huh... choosing food not based on what I want to eat (whether for flavor, weight loss or health), but on what will draw the least attention.


The weight loss struggle is CRAZY, because our culture has made it crazy. This website and others like it, offer an alternative. We all still may be crazy, but we're choosing and embracing a crazy that makes our life better... and that's not so crazy.

I may feel crazy when I swim or try to ride a bike or choose a soup or salad as a meal, or ask for the togo container before my meal arrives, but it's better than doing what is expected and losing my life and freedom over it.

FutureFitMom
05-29-2013, 12:45 AM
I rarely post but wanted to say that I completely understand how you feel! There has been such great advice in this thread and I appreciate all of the posts!

I noticed intermittent fasting was mentioned already but wanted to tell you that IF changed my life! All of the issues you have with weightloss I felt but when I am doing intermittent fasting, losing weight is so much easier. I struggled to lose the baby weight from my first and was able to finally lose what I needed to with IF. Now I am starting again after having another baby and although I have a lot of work ahead of me, using intermittent fasting as a tool to lose weight makes it less daunting.

I love food and like you, get angry when I can't eat what I want. IF allows me to stop thinking about food for part of the day and then eat a larger amount of food at one time. I feel much more satisfied with my calories if I can have more food at once, instead of several small amounts throughout the day. There is plenty of information about intermittent fasting on this site and the internet so I won't go into all of the background but I just wanted to give you another possible weighloss "tool" to make it less painful. IF is definitely worth trying! Best wishes!

lin43
05-29-2013, 08:19 AM
Tate, Bikram yoga for 90 minutes??? Holy cow! I've been exercising for at least two years now, and I'm still intimidated by basic yoga (I've never been flexible). Your description of the other ladies in class compared to you made me laugh because that is exactly how I feel in a CrossFit class I'm taking. I'm putting little ten pound weights on the barbells while the rest of the class (granted, mostly guys) are putting 45s (on each end!).

Crispin, what a great point:

When I struggled with weight loss in the past, I can see now that it was because I'm, by nature, an intense but inconsistent person. After I became more patient and consistent, weight loss was...well, I don't want to say effortless, but waaay easier than I believed it had any right being. ;)

Anecdotally, it seems to me that many of us who struggle with are weight have this same character trait ---"intense but inconsistent." I truly believe that patience helps, and I've gotten more of it as I've gotten older.

Tate
05-29-2013, 09:04 AM
What I am doing is what a few others suggested, taking it slow and being kind to yourself. I wanted to only do what I could maintain doing forever. No gimmicks, no tricks, nothing I am unwilling to do long term. Maintaing is more important to me than losing. I'd rather never lose another pound if it means that I have to do something extreme (for me) that I can't maintain.

All things in moderation.....even weight loss. I can appreciate that approach. ;)

And you obviously know how to lose weight, and practice healthy habits.

Yes...and for me, clearly knowledge is not enough! lol


For me, one thing that feels different this time is tips I learned from the book "The End of Overeating": Instead of relying on willpower, I cut out triggers.

One easy plan that worked for me, and was worth quite a lot of pounds at the beginning, is just making 50% or more of your plate fruit and veggies.


Yessss I would indeed lose weight with that plan because I pretty much despise veggies. 50% of nothing= nothing!! The zero cal. plan!!! In all seriousness, I know I have to eat veggies and I have learned to choke them down, but I have never enjoyed them-- and I still don't. I love butter, cheese, popcorn, steak, and chocolate. :) I have heard if you eat veggies enough your tastes change. I have not found that to be the case.



I really think weight management would be easy - well, if not easy then at least tolerable if it weren't for the culture of perfection and shame.


AMEN!!!

NotTheCheat
05-29-2013, 09:06 AM
There has been some amazing stuff in this post, especially about the all or nothing trap.

When dieting is about fixing me because there is something wrong, I can’t stick with it. When it is an act of self love, that I am eating better and exercising because I want to be healthy and the best I can be, it feels almost easy (almost). For me, negativity has no long term fuel value. In fact it is the opposite. When I slip into feeling badly about myself in any way, it triggers the desire to comfort myself and the initial programming that kicks in is to go eat something. I can often short circuit that programming, but if I don’t hit run on that program in the first place I don’t have to expend the energy to stop it.

Weirdly, finding the Fat Acceptance movement was what enabled me to lose weight because I stopped trying to do it by punishing myself for being a bad person for being fat and rather instead by nourishing myself for being me - someone worthy of love and care.

Tate
05-29-2013, 09:35 AM
I noticed intermittent fasting was mentioned already....



Yes... and I totally missed it because of all of the responses I got! I have looked into IF in the past but never tried it. Might be worth looking into. Thanks!

Tate
05-29-2013, 09:37 AM
Weirdly, finding the Fat Acceptance movement was what enabled me to lose weight because I stopped trying to do it by punishing myself for being a bad person for being fat and rather instead by nourishing myself for being me - someone worthy of love and care.

I have struggled to reframe diet and exercise as "self love"---have not yet been able to hit the "switch" that says "this is good" instead of "this is punishment for being fat". Good thoughts--- thanks for sharing them!:D

kaplods
05-29-2013, 11:44 PM
Books like Fat! So?, Health at Every Size and The Fat Girl's Guide to Life, helped me put my weight and weight management into perspective. I don't agree with everything the authors write in their books, but overall it really helped me see that fat is only fat, and fat is only one thing I am and not the most important part.

My fat can be bad for me, but it doesn't make me a bad, stupid, weak, evil, lazy, immoral, unworthy person. I'm fat. I eat too much, I don't kick babies or drown puppies...

Again, I think shame and perfection-only "fattitudes" amplify the problem. Why are weight management groups harder to find than support groups for substance abuse?
Why is there less shame in admitting to alcoholism, but not food issues?

At nearly my highest weight a coworker and I were talking about work clothes, and I griped that I was having a hard time, being fat, finding decent work attire. She responded, "you're not fat."

I started laughing so hard I nearly peed my pants (on what planet is nearly 400 lbs not fat?") She snapped, embarrassed, "You know what I mean."

Yep, ettiquette demands that we pretend not to notice "fat," because fat isn't just a fact, it's a word used to mean all sorts of horrible things, and acknowledging my size means accusing myself of all sorts of horrible thing...


But I'm not any of those horrible things - I'm just fat. To quote Rizzo in Grease, "There are worse things I could do."

I think a lot of us hate or dislike ourselves, because we've been taught to. We've never thought of fat factually only emotionally. Reading books from a "fat is just fat," it's not personal failure or inferiority.

We don't treat other unhealthy habits and situations this way. Why is "fat" so different?

How can any of us succeed when we feel like we're supposed to apologize simply for existing? How is there even room for motivation if you don't feel like you have the right to exist or at least no right to take up space, in the company of "decent" (thin) folks.

Things aren't as bad as they used to be in some regards, and they're worse in others. There's less overt abuse, but ignoring an issue or pretending it doesn't exist or refusing to talk about the issue isn't an improvement.

Tate
05-30-2013, 09:36 AM
How can any of us succeed when we feel like we're supposed to apologize simply for existing? How is there even room for motivation if you don't feel like you have the right to exist or at least no right to take up space, in the company of "decent" (thin) folks.


Wow-- lots of wisdom there. I read Fat?So! And really liked it. I find myself taking on the majority perspective (fat is bad. I am fat. therefore I am bad.) and getting all worked up about being overweight. So much so I am considering having my body permanently surgically altered to be thinner (ACCKK!!). Thanks much for sharing your thoughts. ;)

freelancemomma
05-30-2013, 10:41 AM
I have struggled to reframe diet and exercise as "self love"---have not yet been able to hit the "switch" that says "this is good" instead of "this is punishment for being fat". Good thoughts--- thanks for sharing them!:D

Might you be able to tap into some more specific motivators than "this is good" ? Like "this is me strutting confidently at the beach" or "this is me wowing the selection panel at a job interview because I look so good and talk such a good line" or "this is me taking up belly-dancing [or whatever activity you've secretly longed to try] because I'm no longer scared of showing up" ? As my editors always tell me, the more specific the better.

Freelance

freelancemomma
05-30-2013, 10:46 AM
TFor me, negativity has no long term fuel value. In fact it is the opposite. When I slip into feeling badly about myself in any way, it triggers the desire to comfort myself.

This concept is so important. I need to keep it in mind when I try to "shame" my kids into behaving a certain way by making them feel bad about the way they're behaving now. All it does is fuel their resentment.

F.

Desiderata
05-30-2013, 11:48 AM
So much wisdom from so many wonderful posters here. (I think it's past time I started considering kaplods as my spirit animal. :D)

To add a bit to the line of thought about self-love, self-care, and choosing nourishment over punishment: I don't do well with abstract "I should eat healthy food, should not eat unhealthy food." (I also don't deal well with "should" - it can be such a weapon of oppression to use on oneself - but that's another story...) What I do excellently with is using nutrition knowledge to get really excited about my food choices. It becomes not about exclusion, but about what to purposely include that is going to nourish and sustain me. There's a website - World's Healthiest Foods - that is sort of an encyclopedia for why various veggies (and other foods) are good for you. I geek out over the detail and get really excited to order my diet around food choices I *want* to make, not choices I feel forced into limiting.

This tracks well with avoiding all-or-nothing thinking, because clearly one radish or brussel sprout isn't going to solve my life forever. It also lets me keep my love for food. There's no one saying I can't have ice cream, because I can -- but primarily, I'm looking forward to different fruits/veggies because of what they'll do for me. There's something about the specificity of knowing WHY something is good for me that clicks, as opposed to generic and pressure-filled "shoulds."

kaplods
05-30-2013, 12:06 PM
So much wisdom from so many wonderful posters here. (I think it's past time I started considering kaplods as my spirit animal. :D)



Hawooooooooooooo {that's me howling like a wolf}

Right now, I'm trying to channel my inner kaplods, because "Colleen" (my muggle name) isn't making very good use of kaplods' wisdom.

I've had some health issues and scares recently, and I've had trouble reigning in the stress eating. I'm handling it better than I would have in the past, but I have to step up my game.

I created a new, huge sticker chart to put on my bedroom wall to replace the one in my notebook. It's a bit "kindergarten-ish" but it's also a frequent reminder (maybe I should have put it on the fridge or pantry door).

Tate
05-30-2013, 03:41 PM
Might you be able to tap into some more specific motivators than "this is good" ? Like "this is me strutting confidently at the beach" or "this is me wowing the selection panel at a job interview because I look so good and talk such a good line" or "this is me taking up belly-dancing [or whatever activity you've secretly longed to try] because I'm no longer scared of showing up" ? As my editors always tell me, the more specific the better.

Freelance

Perhaps I could. Although I cannot think of anything I have "secretly longed to try". I have not lived my life waiting to do what I want when I am "thin enough" to do it. And I am quite dazzling already--fat or not--so any job interview I go into I could pretty much count on getting the job if I really wanted it (yes, I know that sounds like I am a complete narcissist, but I have yet to be turned down for a job, committee appointment, or the like and I am good in front of a crowd ;) ).

Lecomtes
05-30-2013, 04:15 PM
I should really put it on my own fridge as well, because when I'm doing poorly, I forget all the wisdom locked in side me.

I really think weight management would be easy - well, if not easy then at least tolerable if it weren't for the culture of perfection and shame. It's almost more socially acceptable (certainly more comfortable) to do nothing when it comes to weight management, even if it means uncontrolled gaining than to try and fail to do it perfectly and rapidly.

Since kindergarten, I've gotten fatter and fatter and fatter, because of the culture of shame and perfection. Gaining wasn't much worse than "not losing" so when I felt like losses were impossible, I decided that if I was going to fail anyway, I could at least make myself feel a little better physically by eating what I wanted (and carbs do make us feel better in the short run. Sugar and starches act much like opiates, so it's hard to avoid comfort foods when you're in physical or emotional pain).


We're essentially taught that only perfection counts for anything

AND

that weight and weight loss is so shameful, that it should never be talked about even to fix it, and that taking steps to fix it publicly are even more shameful than doing nothing.


I learned as a child that "fat girls" weren't supposed to be active - swimming, dancing, horseback riding (you'll hurt the poor horse), bicycling, tennis, running, climbing, hopscotch, jump rope...... that was for "someday" AFTER you lost the weight. You could only do those things as a fat girl in your own house, ideally with the shades drawn and no one else home in the house to see and possibly tease you about.

I was stubborn about swimming, because I loved swimming too much to give it up, and because swimming in private wasn't really an option. Although having an indoor private lap pool is still my ultimate fantasy luxury.


Sometimes I still feel like only perfection counts, and since I can't do perfection, I might as well eat myself sick.... oh, and I'm supposed to stay home and do nothing because I'm supposed to be too ashamed to do anything in public... especially anything that could theoretically lead to weight loss like eating too healthfully, or being active in some way, because it'll only draw attention to my failure in that regard and better to look like I don't care than trying and failing.

Picking food from a menu used to be such agony... can't pick anything too decadent and look like a pig... can't pick a salad even if that's what I want because that would draw attention to how fat I am and possibly questions as to whether I'm dieting and if so, how long I've been at it and how much weight I have lost and how much I want to lose....

Weird, huh... choosing food not based on what I want to eat (whether for flavor, weight loss or health), but on what will draw the least attention.


The weight loss struggle is CRAZY, because our culture has made it crazy. This website and others like it, offer an alternative. We all still may be crazy, but we're choosing and embracing a crazy that makes our life better... and that's not so crazy.

I may feel crazy when I swim or try to ride a bike or choose a soup or salad as a meal, or ask for the togo container before my meal arrives, but it's better than doing what is expected and losing my life and freedom over it.

^Good stuff kaplods. :) Lots of wonderful writing in this thread ladies. :)