Weight Loss Support - Reflections on what I have learned about weight loss being hard




diamondgeog
01-14-2014, 02:27 PM
Everyone's journey is different and unique just as well are all unique.

And my journey is far from over to where I want to be and then it will continue forever.

But things have changed a LOT for me since last May. Much more than just my weight. I have much more energy, much more strength, much better health. I can FEEL the health now.

And for me I came to some new realizations about the weight loss and 'hard' it is.

First is that there are some parts of what I did that were really hard. I used to eat a lot of carbs. Fast food/junk food virtually every day. Loved potato chips. I went cold turkey on bread, pasta, fast food, snacks (cookies, candy bars potato chips, ice cream, etc.) and potatoes for three weeks. It was necessary and a success. That was hard. Not crazy hard. There were a few days, but I had work and I just got through them.

I still struggle and am trying to get better with going out to non fast food places. I have made a lot of progress with this but I can still get better. This is my particular eating challenge. Also cutting down on meats. I am a work in progress and I am accepting that I will continue to get better at these things as I go.

I also realized being overweight was hard. MUCH harder than those few days. And it was every single day for years even decades for me. Yes there might be some hardness that will vary with people. But being overweight is really, REALLY hard.

I remember being sleepy every afternoon (and I used a CPAP, sleep apena machine for years), being hungry and cranky by 5 every single day I came home to my wife and daughter. Having to wear that dang sleep apnea machine every night. Although frankly it got comfortable to wear, you still have to clean it every day and well if anyone has or had one, not the most fun in the world.

Finding it hard to move. Not being able to do many physical activities. And then this is only in retrospect and I wouldn't even known it if I hadn't gone on this journey, just not being top mentally clear, and also in my best mood. The American junk food diet was just clouding my being to some extent. That and lack of energy and being hungry all the time are hard.

So what did I find personally that happened? Well after that transition period things go much easier. My appetite went down. So things go easier. I am surprised more people don't emphasize this. My new NOT going to fast food just became what I was used to. I used to go out of habit, now not going was the habit.

I don't calorie count. It isn't for me. But I just started having more and more whole foods. More and more healthy foods and it became my new normal.

Actually the hardest thing was becoming a runner for the first time in my life. I started at around 265 in the middle of a Texas summer. But I stuck with it, repeating weeks of a C25K program. I just finished a 26 minute run whereas before I couldn't even do 30 seconds. Now I crave running....almost :)

So my two main realizations are this. Yes this isn't the easiest thing. But being overweight is really hard. It isn't like hey look I get to eat whatever I want and...no consequences. This is EASY eating whatever I want. No it isn't. It might be easy in the short fleeting moments of biting into something. But the other 23 hours of the day it gums those up pretty badly. It definitely gums up your health but also your quality of life, even from minute to minute. It is just easier to be now. Sitting at a computer, walking, running, pretty much anything.

Second is that if it doesn't get easier that is probably feedback that you might want to change things up. Perhaps you haven't ever gotten truly over your trigger foods. Perhaps you are eating too little. Perhaps you don't know it but you are having too much salt. Perhaps you are using too many condiments and don't realize it. Perhaps you haven't found the right healthy foods that you really like and are good for you and filing. Perhaps you are not doing the right exercise to support your weight loss goals and changes in diet.


Mazzy
01-14-2014, 02:52 PM
Hi Diamond...Have you been on this path prior to May 2013? I'm just curious if you've ever tried to lose weight in the past and gained it back, etc...

diamondgeog
01-14-2014, 02:59 PM
That's a good question. I was always around 200 to 220 from say mid 20s to mid 30s. Then I went on a medication that got me to 300 in under two months and had a major life setback right around the same time.

That got me up to 340 for a time. I then didn't really go on a 'diet' but picked myself up and started being more active. But my bad habits from getting to my highest remained, mostly.

However with the more exercise I was between 250 to 300 until this past May when I was 47. Adopting my daughter a couple of years ago and taking care of my uncle who is just 22 years older than me but has early onset dementia really sparked what was probably an underlying desire to be healthy once again.

So I sought out my 'symptoms' which were always hungry, lethargic, etc. And read the most I ever had on carbs/sugar glucose insulin belly fat etc. I seemed to fit to a tee a heavy carb user with the big belly. So since my motivation was high I decided to go cold turkey to frankly be free. And it worked.

And I should clarify that I did try before. That was when I would get to 250s to 270s. But I never got exercise and food going at the same time. And I could never completely stay away from fast food. I would make a month maybe even 2 of avoiding fast food. But since I was still eating bread and pasta and snacks....the carb draw of fast food was still there. It was when I stopped all of those at once I was successful.


IanG
01-14-2014, 04:27 PM
I found weightloss easy and, in the end, a lot of fun at least while I was at the heavier weights. It was like a rule book for me - do this, do that and see results. I loved it. And it was easy. So easy that I kicked myself on lost decades of being overweight.

Saying that, now is hard. I am nearly at goal but reaching that elusive final weight, body shape and health profile is proving very difficult. The rule book no longer applies. Big changes can have little impact or no changes can have an impact. You have to constantly keep adjusting. And the scale no longer helps because muscle gain can throw the numbers off.

The end of weightloss is hard. I miss the journey. That was easy.

For example, I was stuck at 170lbs for months after making no changes to my diet and exercise regime which had been so successful in me losing 110+lbs. On a chance, I cut hummus and dips from my diet. I lost 5lbs. Then I got stuck at 165lbs. So I cut out my alcohol consumption. Then my weight began to creep up again and I am sitting merry at 172lbs today

HARD.

Arctic Mama
01-14-2014, 05:29 PM
That's why I take advice on this subject with a grain of salt.

Most folks haven't lost huge amounts of weight.

Most haven't maintained that loss for any period of time without yoyoing.

Some may be men, and what they say doesn't necessarily apply to a woman.

Some may be young, and what they advise won't work for a older person.

Some are obese due to biology, some due to psychology, some due to ignorance on nutrition or bad food habits.



Advice frequently cannot cross categories successfully.



This is where self experimentation and confidence in what your own body reveals about itself through the process is king. For me, weight loss has always been hard. It's been five years of hard. It will be fifty or sixty or seventy more, if I have my way and live that long. I just got a diagnosis of hypothyroid, along with confirmation of my long-standing suspicion of PCOS. My diet has been, rather coincidentally, perfect for these conditions. But my weight loss has been hard and these new diagnoses point to why. Maybe the treatment in the coming months will help, maybe not. But what surely doesn't help is feeling like I'm broken or doing something wrong because some yahoo on the Internet says this should be easy, but I'm fighting every pound. Or they say I should eat intuitively, but I regain as soon as I relax my food logging even a little.

Weight loss is individual. It takes some degree or work. It looks different for everyone. Some principles apply, some biochemistry applies, but there is simply no accounting for the variation in humanity to the degree that a statement like 'weight loss is easy' makes a lick of sense. If it were so easy, nobody would remain fat. Especially given the social stigma and time and treasure spent working on thinness.


/end rant.

LiannaKole
01-14-2014, 07:09 PM
Good reflections. I agree with you about being overweight being hard. I was a hair below the obese II category for about a year, and before that I was always overweight or obese (except as a very small child). It sucks. I mean, I never hated myself or how I looked (though I didn't love it by any means), but it's just... a lot of work. A lot of pep talk, a lot of energy, a lot of mind games. Eating what I wanted wasn't worth it.

Weight loss itself can be easy or hard for me, depending. Mostly my mind trips me up. I have a (slightly lessened in the past couple years) fear that no matter what I do, the scale won't move. I also get derailed when others notice my loss. Both are inevitable at some point. I still need a way to work around those, something that works permanently.

So yeah, I think some parts of weight loss are difficult. It varies, I guess. But I think it's easier and more fun overall than not losing the weight.

I also agree with Arctic Mama that what works for one person may not work for another. Heck, what worked for me 20 lbs ago may not work for me in another 20 lbs. Or may not work if I change jobs, etc. Which makes weight loss a bit of a moving target.

Interesting reflections, guys. :)

diamondgeog
01-14-2014, 07:18 PM
Everyone is different. This was my first line from my post "Everyone's journey is different and unique just as well are all unique.".

I was thinking about this recently on just how important 'food environment is. By food environment I mean fast food places, food in stores, advertising, cooking skills being passed down or more often than not, not passed down, food islands, buying power of the average American, etc.. 50 years ago it wasn't as hard or even 'that hard' to certainly not be obese and often not overweight. Why? I refuse to believe people themselves have changed that radically in 50 years.

They haven't but our food environment has. We have way more fast food places now. Processed food is much prevalent. And there has basically been an arms race among the major food companies to make things more and more addictive. And any time something healthy comes along like yogurt they make their own fraken-versions that are worse than candy bars.

People are watching more TV now and moving less. Walking less. Often suburbs or even cities are not designed for walking now.

So what do you do? You don't have to not have a smart phone or tablet, in fact they can be very powerful weight loss and fitness tools. But you try to live in many eating and exercising ways like you were living 50 years ago.

Eat food, not processed food. Watch less TV and move more. Etc.

Ian, I get what you are saying and I hope to experience that sometime. Getting 10 or so lbs from ultimate goal that is. Since I am still in the journey part (I am going to revise my sig once I see 220 on the scale) I am at a different spot. What I meant about getting easier is my appetite is so much better now. It is just easier and I should say more fun to eat healthy. There is so much taste out there that is healthy once you move beyond sugar, salt, fat processed stuff. Intense tastes.

I think people do two things. Overestimate how hard it is going to be especially if they don't give themselves time to detox from the high sugar/carb stuff they are eating. Or cut out some of it like fast food but still have bread, pasta, and potatoes. And these are just my honest observations.

And two their/my overweight or obese daily existence is just a normal thing they underestimate how hard it is. I know I did.

I just wanted to let people know who are starting out or maybe never got past a certain point that in my experience the appetite/eating part gets easier the longer you are on healthy eating habits. And I think that is very encouraging. And running has gotten infinitely easier as my CV system has gotten back into shape.

And life is a heck of a lot more fun, bright, vivid, and just plain nicer healthier. And last point...it doesn't have to be hard. People might not have found that 'sweet spot' of diet that works for them that is healthy, easy enough to prepare and fit into their daily lives, tasty, and gets their appetite under control, but it is out there for most people I believe.

Vex
01-14-2014, 09:52 PM
So I cut out my alcohol consumption. Then my weight began to creep up again

Obviously you see what the key is here.

IanG
01-14-2014, 10:28 PM
Yep, drink more!

Mrs Snark
01-15-2014, 12:15 PM
/end rant.

Great post (though I'm not sure I'd describe it as a rant, it was just chock full of good info!)!

We all have to be willing to find what works for us individually, and accept that what works for someone else may not be the answer for us. If we compare ourselves to others (or believe our bodies should work JUST LIKE some other person's body), well, that often leads us down a road that isn't very productive.

Roo2
01-15-2014, 01:17 PM
I agree it is much easier to lose weight when you are younger.
The benefit with age is that you ( hopefully) have come to terms that there is no magic pill, surgery, diet that does not call you to actively participate in the process , and accept that monitoring your food intake a lifelong process.
For me dieting is hard I can reach goal with hard work and effort..... But the sacrifices Are truly hard!!!
Losing weight gets harder each and every time even when I gain even a small amount.
I find what took me a couple of years to gain , can easily be gained in 6 months.
Not complaining But Losing weight is Hard if not then why in the last 20 years are there more Overweight people and diets then there was years ago?
What are the percentage of people who come to this forum actually reach their goal the First time out? If it was not hard there would be a higher rate of people at goal and maintaining !
We all want to believe we will never be in this position again!!!,but as we get older never can be a much shorter time then we would like to admit.
So put down for hard But most denitely do able if you have a plan and actively work it and are honest with yourself.
Roo2

pixelllate
01-15-2014, 01:37 PM
Ian, I get what you are saying and I hope to experience that sometime. Getting 10 or so lbs from ultimate goal that is. Since I am still in the journey part (I am going to revise my sig once I see 220 on the scale) I am at a different spot. What I meant about getting easier is my appetite is so much better now. It is just easier and I should say more fun to eat healthy. There is so much taste out there that is healthy once you move beyond sugar, salt, fat processed stuff. Intense tastes.


It is very easy for me personally at the start point, but not the end point. Some things get easier, other issues pop up when I am at featherweight/vanity lb stage that I didn't have to deal with at starting-weight stage.

Munchy
01-15-2014, 01:53 PM
I found weightloss easy and, in the end, a lot of fun at least while I was at the heavier weights. It was like a rule book for me - do this, do that and see results. I loved it. And it was easy. So easy that I kicked myself on lost decades of being overweight.

Saying that, now is hard. I am nearly at goal but reaching that elusive final weight, body shape and health profile is proving very difficult. The rule book no longer applies. Big changes can have little impact or no changes can have an impact. You have to constantly keep adjusting. And the scale no longer helps because muscle gain can throw the numbers off.

The end of weightloss is hard. I miss the journey. That was easy.

For example, I was stuck at 170lbs for months after making no changes to my diet and exercise regime which had been so successful in me losing 110+lbs. On a chance, I cut hummus and dips from my diet. I lost 5lbs. Then I got stuck at 165lbs. So I cut out my alcohol consumption. Then my weight began to creep up again and I am sitting merry at 172lbs today

HARD.

Yep - I find it hard too. I lost about 10lbs back when I was in college, regained it when I stopped starving myself and working out for two hours a day, and I've been battling those same 10lbs (aside from my pregnancy) for about 10 years.

For me, eating well is easy. I like whole foods, I like to cook, and I like to show others that nutritious food can taste good. For me, exercising is hard. I love it, but it is really hard to find the time to carve in my day for myself. The things I can commit to take time, and the things I really don't enjoy are hard to commit to.

:(

diamondgeog
01-15-2014, 01:56 PM
Totally understand at the end it will likely be a different ballgame. I just want to get into that ballpark :-)

It is important to keep in mind that studies show 10% and certainly 20% weight reduction can have profound positive impacts. And that is doable I believe if people approach it trial and error, without being too hard or too much of a sacrifice.

If it is too hard that is feedback that you probably haven't found your best way and/or you still have food addictions to overcome. Or haven't incorporated enough exercise, etc.

And I also feel people don't often say it gets easier. This is not to contradict you or Ian. What gets easier is your appetite goes down which is HUGE. I can walk into a Dairy Queen now and be totally fine. So the getting a better daily diet going gets easier not harder. Last 10 lbs might be really difficult. In fact I am sure it will be.

But I can tell you my quality and life is day and night now even though I am not under 200 yet. And getting here was a commitment for sure. And it was trial and error. And it was tough for a bit at the beginning. But 'hard'? Not compared to many other things I have and am doing in life.

pixelllate
01-15-2014, 02:25 PM
And I also feel people don't often say it gets easier. This is not to contradict you or Ian. What gets easier is your appetite goes down which is HUGE.
I get you, but what I am trying to say that even though the appetite benefit is huge, there are other factors that come into play later on which at least to some degree balances out the pros from lessening of the appetite. Maybe we read different posts because I often find people saying that it gets easier, which is why they recommending going cold-turkey at least for awhile on junk food.

kisskiss
01-15-2014, 02:34 PM
I found weightloss easy and, in the end, a lot of fun at least while I was at the heavier weights. It was like a rule book for me - do this, do that and see results. I loved it. And it was easy. So easy that I kicked myself on lost decades of being overweight.

Saying that, now is hard. I am nearly at goal but reaching that elusive final weight, body shape and health profile is proving very difficult. The rule book no longer applies. Big changes can have little impact or no changes can have an impact. You have to constantly keep adjusting. And the scale no longer helps because muscle gain can throw the numbers off.

The end of weightloss is hard. I miss the journey. That was easy.

For example, I was stuck at 170lbs for months after making no changes to my diet and exercise regime which had been so successful in me losing 110+lbs. On a chance, I cut hummus and dips from my diet. I lost 5lbs. Then I got stuck at 165lbs. So I cut out my alcohol consumption. Then my weight began to creep up again and I am sitting merry at 172lbs today

HARD.
I don't think weight loss is easy but I definitely found my last 10 lbs to be very difficult to get off. I understand you about missing the journey because I consistently was seeing a big weight loss (even when I got stuck on some decade, it eventually came off after a few weeks).



Weight loss is individual. It takes some degree or work. It looks different for everyone. Some principles apply, some biochemistry applies, but there is simply no accounting for the variation in humanity to the degree that a statement like 'weight loss is easy' makes a lick of sense. If it were so easy, nobody would remain fat. Especially given the social stigma and time and treasure spent working on thinness.


/end rant.

yes. :D I agree with this so much! Weight loss is individual.