100 lb. Club - Why we fall off the wagon

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07-03-2004, 02:21 AM
I thought that since several of us have recently come out of hiding recently, maybe we should talk about the kind of pressures that can make us slip.
I know that it my case, my wreight loss began when I got laid off, and after I got through feeling sorry for myself, decided to combine my job hunt with spending time with my daughter, who was just turning into a teenager (ugh!) and starting to eat healthy and exercising would be a good habit and a good example.
I don't know what I weighed when I started, but I wasn't fitting into 26s very well, and had a couple of 28s. When I was got a short term contract, I was in a 24, and weighted about 255.
I should say that I'm a tech writer, and have always worked in high-tech, which must be the most unstable career that any nice girl can ever have. :dizzy:
I loved the project that they gave me and I was so happy to be using my skills again. I was miserable when the contract ended - then they asked me to stay. The job didn't include benefits, but it was better than no income, and we had COBRA. So I said yes.
Then another company that I had interviewed with offered me a job. I liked them ok, and there were benefits. The managers I was working with at the first company were trying to make a counter-offer, but couldn't get a sign-off from the president.
Went to the new company - it seemed like a toxic mine - the place was covered with cookies and pizza, and there were 6 people in a 60 person dept with type II diabetes. Plus, there was a brand-new staff conflict, and people began recruiting me for their team the moment I walked in the door.
After 3 weeks, I called my boss at the old job, and asked if there wasn't any way I could come back - they talked to the recruiter and temp agency, which got me benefits, and they said, we'll see what I can do.
I was scared to death, but went. That was at the end of February.
I got a full-time offer at the company last Monday. The next morning I started South Beach. I'd gained back about 15 lbs.
I suspect that for me, eating has something to do with security :lol:
Please God, let this company keep its head above water.
I'd love to hear what others do.


07-03-2004, 07:37 AM
Hi Sue

many thanks for starting this thread - I think its really valuable. And thanks for being so brave and sharing your experiences.....sounds like you've been having a horrible time on the job front.....you must feel great now you have some security again!

I have yet to fall off the wagon, but I am worried that I might.....I have a big lifestyle change coming up on 2nd August, when I start a new job - I think it will be a big challenge to keep up with my exercise and healthy eating habits.

Good luck with South Beach!

Ivanna B. Skinny
07-03-2004, 11:47 AM
This is going to sound so bad...but the reason Ive been struggling is my DH. He refusesd to make healthy choices with me, and I always end up fixing the foods he likes ( cheesy, greasy, and BIG) Since hes been home on vacation, Ive had a **** of a time watching my food! Well, he goes back to work on Monday, so I'll be OK then.

a broad abroad
07-03-2004, 12:19 PM
My DH is one of the pickiest eaters on the planet. If he sees a vegetable he runs the other way. After 10 years of taking the easy way out (eating what he does, too much/bad snacking, or prepackaged meals) I've made up my mind to cook for me and eat what I know is right. He can fend for himself. Tonight his dinner was Spaghettios, and thats fine with him - he genuinely likes them. He's a meat, pasta, mexican food type of guy and I like that stuff once in a while but crave a more and healthier variety.
I am determined to succeed in losing this weight once and for all.
Cook healthy for you and your hubby will either learn to like it or make his own. Maybe you could start with small changes he won't notice. Good luck.

07-03-2004, 10:58 PM
I'm doing ok so far... But as I near my goal, the weight isn't dropping off me like it has been all this time--this is something I haven't experienced yet so I don't know how I will do. I think I have the will power to accept that I may be going into the plateau stage of weight loss and that is a bit scary, but I will keep plugging along. I have lost almost 60 lbs and so I feel really good about how I look. By no means is that "good enough for me-- and it doesn't give me the right to stop now" but it makes the plateau stage all the more "ok" with me for the time being--if that makes any sense. In the past I have fallen off because I did a fad or crash diet which doesn't seem to work for me very well because the variety of food usually isn't there. Now, with counting calories, I can have a lot of variety and eat what I like in moderation, aside from fried greasy "heavy" foods. Right now I am gradually increasing my caloric intake and it is a bit more challenging for me because even adding the 200 extra calories to my day, I feel like I am overdoing it and drop back to the lower level. To this point, this journey is so different from other times. Keeping positive and focused has really been a huge help. I feel like I am babbling!! Oh my. Ok.. there's my 2 cents for the day!

07-03-2004, 11:30 PM
I've been heavy all my life but really started gaining weight when I worked at a convenience store full-time (too many tempting chips and chocolate bars) and then again when I went back to college but was still working full-time (take-out!). I gained a lot when I was pregnant but most of the baby fat came off soon after he was born but I gained back some, probably out of stress. It's tough work being a parent! I really want to get the weight off now though so I can be a good role model for him, I cringe at the thought of him going through the problems I did as an obese child and the peer pressure hasn't gotten any better since I was a kid. My downfalls are eating out of boredom, turning to junk food when I am really hungry and relying too much on take out because of me and my husband having weird work schedules.

07-04-2004, 01:40 AM
That must be really tough when the husbands want to eat something totally different. That is a whole lot of temptation. I worry that with quitting smoking that I am going to pack back on some pounds. I'm not doing bad so far. I might do ok this time. In the past I probably put on around 15 pounds when I would quit smoking. I did not eat very healthy then. I think after this first week that my food cravings associated with quitting will start to calm down.

I was a chubby kid. If I never hear, "she's just big boned" again in my life I will die happy. 18 years of bad eating habits brought on from my mother are really hard to break. Well, along with tons of emotional issues to go along with it. I hope that I can break the cycle. I am trying my hardest to do so. Hopefully I am teaching my kids good eating habits also so this does not revolve like a viscious cycle. I am breaking the cycle!!

07-04-2004, 11:37 AM
For me it always has been and always will be stress that leads to falling off the wagon or a binge. When I'm feeling particularly overwhelmed or frustrated is when my head automatically turns to food. At this point in my journey I can usually recognize those evil thoughts for what they are (a need to chill out) and avoid a disaster. But that's not always the case, by any means. I still let it get the best of me from time to time, which really pisses me off. So what I try to do is stop the cycle right then and there. I may still beat myself up about what I've done but I do not allow myself to say I've blown the day or week or whatever and continue eating badly. It is extremely hard but I am learning to accept my mistakes when I make them and just move on. This is going to happen, no matter what, so the trick (for me anyway) is to deal with it in a healthier way instead of continuing the horrible cycle that we all know so well.


07-04-2004, 02:21 PM
For me it is different things different times. Stress sometimes does it. Lonliness, boredom. Sometimes, feeling kind of down ~ I am kind of fighting that today. Holidays are hard ~ I grew up with family all around, and I kind of miss getting together with family. I am trying to think of non food things to keep me busy today.


Goddess Jessica
07-04-2004, 03:48 PM
I used to say it was bored or stress but I truly think it's having TOO much to do and then when there is a lull, I don't know what to do with myself. I can't have a moment of peace. I work full time, go to school full time and I have a house to take care of and dogs. It's a full plate. So, when there is the brief moment of nothingness. I eat. And claim it's because I'm bored or stressed out at work.

I need to welcome the brief moments of peacefulness and embrace them with something non-food related. Like meditation or writing. I'm still learning. Sigh!

07-05-2004, 10:17 AM
Near as I can recollect here's my weight progression. I think the years and timing are off but this is the basic progression, anyway...

Back in 1998 I weighed about 270 pounds. I had no energy, I was listless, I felt sick, I ate fast food three times a day sometimes, super-sized meals. The big thing, though, was having no energy. It was hard to even keep the house clean and take out the trash, I was so exhausted all the time.

At the end of 1999 I was diagnosed with severe anemia, which is why I was so listless. I went to a great nutritionist who had wonderful advice. I got my iron levels up, and learned more about nutrition, and made healthier choices. I also was frustrated with my job at this point and decided to ride the exericse bike whenever I was mad. Boy did I ride a lot! :) Basically I flipped my life around, ate totally different, exercised, moved to a new city, transferred offices at work, hung out with a new circle of friend.

Toward the end of 2000 I was losing well. I decided to start eating vegetarian, because of my little sister. Things were exciting and new, I was jogging. I got down to about 170 pounds. I was no longer so frustrated at work, my iron levels were up so I had energy, I had a great circle of friends.

Then in 2001 I was stuck. I hovered between 165-175 forever. Things were still going well, but I was getting frustrated. I felt in a rut. Work stress was returning. I went to see a counselor for work stress and depression. It helped -- a little. I went on a big vacation by myself to Europe that was fun. I went to water parks and beaches. However, I'm 5'2", and my ideal weight range was around 120-135 or something, I think. I was still classified as obese. I began to despair that I'd ever be anything but obese. Now, this was even though I was eating healthy, was active outside, could run a 5K (not fast, but I could and did run it), and so on. I was smaller than before, it was better, but all I saw was the failure and I started feeling so big, even at the same weight. Slowly, the weight started coming back on.

2002 the weight started slipping back on quicker. It was a combination, I think, of work stress and frustration, and the feeling that if I was never going to be 'not obese' then oh well, I give up. I have ingrained patterns of eating food for comfort, and so I did. Where I was frustrated and stressed, I found solace in food. It tasted good -- if only briefly. It was my treat to myself.

In 2003 the pounds continued to mount. I was probably up to about 210-220 at the beginning of the year. I was really frustrated at work, which spiralled things. I decided to quit my job. I changed my mind. I took a 3-month sabbatical from work, decided to move cities again back to where I was originally was, and then blew my house down payment to travel around the world in style for 2 months -- business class international, swanky hotels, safaris, etc., etc. I still don't know my budget but it was probably about $13,000-$15,000 when it was all totalled. (And I don't regret the trip, it was amazing, but that's another story). I came back to work in the fall of that year, but by then was up to about 240ish.

After that was a period of rapid weight gain, from the fall of 2003 to the summer of 2004, up to about 280 which is where I ended up. That was me frustrated more with life, and I wasn't taking my iron so my anemia came back full force and I had no energy, I was depressed, I'd eat, I started binging on junk food -- still vegetarian mostly but you can eat a lot of chocolate and jelly beans and cheese and stuff that's mostly vegetarian. Every now and then I'd decide to eat healthier -- this lasted about a week, tops.

So then in summer 2004 -- well, I'm not sure what happened. I finally hopped on a scale in the bathroom at work, one of those sliding weight scales, not to weigh precisely but to check to see if I topped 300 pounds. I didn't. That was my fear, so it was a little better seeing I was at least below that. Size 28 pants were starting to get tight and I always shopped at Lane Bryant, and wasn't sure where to get size 30, so that was a big motivator.

Then I got moved fulltime to this project at work that's based, partially, in Baghdad. People go over there for 1-3 months to work on it. I sort of want to go (just for the adventure mostly -- I do things like skydive and rockclimb and stuff for adrenaline rushes -- and partly to help out with the project), sort of don't (because it's scary), but I didn't really have an option because I'm so big. And external factors are always better, for me, for motivating weight loss and change. It's like I can't just take care of myself for me. It has to tie into something else.

So I'm about 4-5 weeks into things now, which is longer than I stuck with eating healthier for a while. I'm trying to concentrate on little things at first, not everything all at once. I'm not even worrying about exercise, and I might not at all until next year, since I'm not motivated right now and making a ton of changes all at once that I don't absolutely want to do is always a recipe for disaster for me. My goal was to eat healthier, take my iron to get the anemia under control, and try to feel better. To try to break the pattern of my eating before, and help with anemia and other vitamin deficiencies, I started eating meat again. (I love making changes, incidentally, to stir things up in my life -- thus the vegetarian/non-vegetarian swaps, the trips, the moving around and changing offices.) And I do feel better eating healthier. I was literally feeling sick all the time before and I'm probably still depressed, still not entirely happier at work, but it's better and I think the healthy regime has a lot to do with it.

Right now I'm struggling with frustration. It seems like such a daunting goal, and one I've struggled with before and lost, so why try again. Which is why I'm trying to ignore weight and just eat healthy but I'm competitive, and can't resist the scale like I tried. I love my clothes starting to feel loose, though, and I love the healthier feeling I have from eating more nutritious. I'm hoping a combination of that, and small losses, and the thought of maybe going to Baghdad or else on another international trip where I'm a bit smaller, will be a driving factor. It's just so daunting to thing: "If I lost a pound a week, I'd have to do this for 3 years before I was at my goal weight." Three years is a really long time, a tenth of my life. So it's daunting.

So a long ramble but that's how it happened.

07-05-2004, 10:22 AM
Scuttle, think of it this way, in 3 years if you didn't lose the weight you'd be in the same boat as you are right now. To me THAT is a worse thought than having to struggle and work hard to lose the weight. All those trips sound amazing. I wish I had the courage to turn my life upside down like you did.

07-05-2004, 02:55 PM
When I fall its starts gradual. One unplanned meal, letting myself have diet pops, skipping a 12-step meeting, or just saying yes to a treat that I know triggers my addiction to food.

This last time it started when I went too long between meals, so then I too much at the next meal. Then I let some ice cream in (major trigger food). The next day I was sneaking candy. There must be some threshold for me and sugar because by the 3rd day I didn't care I was just going to eat whatever I wanted. The 4th day brought rebellion and screaming, demanding that you hand over my addictive substances NOW! Then the lull of denial. The tapes in my head begin to play:

"Your fat"
"Your worthless"
"Your a food failure"
"No one loves you"
"I hate you"
"If you disappeared no one would care"

Then I begin to eat to block out the voices. It doesn't work, because then a new one comes:

"You should be punished for eating this way, you fat, stupid cow" This is my food addiction and it starts to push me into crazy actions.

So when I finally reach out and tell the truth its a relief. No more denial. God takes care of the bad tapes, by sending me people who love me. The people who know that my self torture is banishing the light in my soul. When I accept that I can enter ICU, where my actions began with "Just for today......" In ICU journaling, phone calls, following my food plan, and excercise are like medicine for my soul.

So here I am, today in ICU. And hopefully I will not forget what brought me here.
Chris who gained 10 lbs in less than 2 weeks taking her from 177 lbs to 187 lbs.

07-05-2004, 05:29 PM
I was a heavy kid. I lost a bunch of weight in my earlier high school years and looked great. It came back, though, when I was in a pretty bad relationship. the guy tried his hardest to jeopordize everything that was important to me. He'd call me off the hook when I tried to go to the gym- I colud'nt be gone an hour without him needing to know where I was. So I stopped going to the gym, stopped eating healthy, lost all motivation. It's a lot more than that (and more than him) but basically, it was just a slump. Then I went to college and the drinking kept the weight on. It's a vicious cycle- I don't get the results I want and it's hard to stay on track. The weight didn't melt off like it did when I lost so much the last time, and it's darn frustrating.

Le sigh. The guy is out of my life now and I am doing just fine with this healthy lifestyle thing. Hopefully this time the weight will come off and stay off.

07-05-2004, 06:08 PM
I wish I could say this as eloquently as the above posts but in short I fall off the wagon because I make the HUGE mistake of telling myself "this little bit doesn't matter". HA! Those little bits have sure added up to some pounds. I'm one of those people you read about who gained weight eating healthy foods--LOTS 'n LOTS of healthy foods. Portion control is my number one issue.

07-05-2004, 08:48 PM
I've been trying to figure out why I give up and start eating wrong again. I've been feeling that way this past weekend. I knew my wife had friends over and ordered pizza Friday night. She said she would save me some. So I figured that would be my treat night. I then stopped at the store and got a sub and a 8oz brick of cheese to eat on the way home before the pizza smart move right. I also knew we were invited to a cook out the next day that was supposed to be our treat day because we were having steak. I gave into that aslo plus after the fireworks that night we got a cheesburger and fries.

I don't know why I did it but I know that is what happens when I throw in towl. It's kind of like Barb said I allow my self something and then it goes down hill form there. I start thinking why did you do that. What's the use your never going to make it anyway. I want to be able to be normal. I want to be able to have a burger and fries with friends and know that it's not going to make me go crazzy and gain it all back. But I don't know how.

I did so so yesterday. Went over the calories but not with bad food. Today I am back on track. I know though that this weekend could have been it for me and I'm scared. I did the same thing last weekend. I'm scared that next weekend will be the same and that will be it. I hope not but that is how it seems to go. I have to beat this thing I can't let it happen but it never seems like I do let it happen it just does.

07-05-2004, 08:59 PM
Howie...were we separated at birth?? I could easily put my name at the bottom of your post 'cause it's my story, too. When you said you long to be "normal"--perhaps what's "abnormal" is the idea we're on a wagon to begin with. I have a hard time reconciling myself to the concept of a lifestyle change. Unless I'm following somebody else's rules, I feel like I'm in freefall foodwise.
Argh! I remember when my daughter was a baby and her pediatrician told me not to fixate on what she ate at every meal but to look at things over the course of several days. I tend to fixate on things minute to minute with myself and lose sight of the bigger picture. In short I need to quit obsessing about whether I'm "on" or "off" and take the focus off food. Just my ramblings..congratulations if this made any sense to you!

07-05-2004, 09:18 PM
It does make since. We do need take the focus off food. I just don't know how. When you are counting calories doing Atkins, southbeach, weight watchers whatever. It does not matter what plan I do I still find myself planing what and when I can eat next. It consumes me. I would love to be one of these people that just eat because they have to stay alive. I have a brother inlaw like that. That is not my life though so I have to deal with what I was dealt and what I have made myself.

07-05-2004, 10:11 PM
<sigh> I'm right there with ya, Howie. I don't know about you but after being on diets for the last 30 years, I've adopted the idea that the diet dictates what/when I eat...not my natural responses. I do have to say that this morning I was going to eat breakfast because of the time on the clock--and then realized I wasn't even hungry. But I still ate. That makes me so crazy. I feel like I"m gonna miss out on something if I don't eat then and there.

07-06-2004, 12:59 AM
Dito for me.

07-06-2004, 05:48 AM
Wow. This is a great thread.

Scuttle - that was very brave of you to tell your whole story. I am really sure you can do it (whatever it is!) this time. I love to travel and change my life around too......but why can't you go to Iraq as a big person? My last job I travelled 60% of the time (African, Asia, Latin America)....it was great....I try very hard to make sure my size doesn't stop me doing things...(well, there is the water-skiing and surfing, LOL, which I am looking forward to when I am a lot fitter and smaller!)

Barb/Howie - thanks so much for being so honest. The mood in this group is so up-beat, that sometimes it feels like everyone just floats along doing great, no struggles at all......

As for me, well this healthy eating thing is mainly new to me, and so far so good, more-or-less. I did lose some weight a few years ago - I was off sick work for a couple of months, really quite ill, and I was eating healthily to give my body a chance to heal. I found, once I got back to work, that I struggled to stick with the healthy eating - basically, I took a long work trip, and then came back to the bad old habits. I think it was something to do with change in routine, and I guess not wanting it enough.

Amanda Panda
07-06-2004, 08:17 PM
Howie / Barb - I'm right there with you! :grouphug:

The thing with dieting is that it makes us constantly think about FOOD! I bet each one of us can recite the calories or 'points' to every known food on the universe - and I bet most slim people couldn't. I was very sad to realise recently that I started out this 'dieting' lark at aged 17, weighing around 155lb - i am now 31 and weigh 256lb - so you do the math! I have spent the last 14 years 'dieting' and have gained 100lb! :rollpin: :rollpin: :rollpin:

I think the people who have successfully lost weight (and kept it off) on this forum are those who have stopped dieting and have changed their lifestyle and way of thinking. I really feel this is an addiction we are fighting - our minds have been hardwired to use food as instant gratification and that is what we need to change.

Just my thoughts on the subject, although I wish i had the answers!

Love Amanda x

07-06-2004, 08:37 PM
Boy I feel old now Amanda. Your post got me thinking how long I have been dieting and I can rember going to the doctors when I was 12 years old to see what they could do for me. So I have been dieting for 25 years now. I do agree with you that it needs to be a lifestyle change but I think that has just become another catch phrase to get rid of the word diet. I mean face it what ever we do to lose it is what we have to do to keep it off and yes it is a lifestyle change but it is also a basic diet change. I don't see the point in all the words we come up with to hide the old words because someone did not like them. It still becomes just another discription and soon lifestyle change will have the same bad meaning that diet now has.

I do know what you are saying though and I do agree. Forgive my rant.

07-06-2004, 09:06 PM
I have struggles too.. I guess I am just not an outward person about it. I try to be positive so that I can keep myself going.. If I would talk about my struggles as much as I encounter them, I know me, I would dwell on them and set myself up to fail--worrying and dwelling is such a trigger for me and this is why I HAVE to be positive for most of the time-- for my own sake! But since were sharing... I'll tell you my struggles. I struggle with exercise at times, I struggle with my husband eating an entire pizza right in front of my eyes while I eat a salad with no dressing, I struggle with all my friends having a drink at happy hour while I drink a diet soda as they tease me about being boring! I struggle with the scary thought of some day waking up being 50 lbs more than when I started.. I struggle with the thought of not being able to maintain once I do reach my goal. I know I can do it but I also am being realistic in knowing it will be a challenge for the rest of my life.

I know that being ultra-positive ALL-of-the-time is annoying (my husband tells me it is, so its ok if some of you feel that way about my positivity too :lol: :lol: :lol: ) I know that in reality life is not perfect. Being positive sometimes gets associated with being fake. I am not a fake person at all.. I do have my miserable moments. But I really try to be happy and positive because it pulls me right out of my misery and makes the move on happen quicker!

I don't want to give off the impression that I am non-human or don't experience negative things during this journey, we all experience negativity and encounter struggles. I just choose to not focus on them. I tend to take the negative and quickly turn it into a positive.. skip right on over the negative stuff, keep rolling right along. This works for ME. So when my hubby eats his pizza, I'll take a nibble off the end and be satisfied with it, When my friends offer that drink, I say.. I'm the DD-- someone has to be responsible! When I have a day of not wanting to exercise, I'll go ahead and skip it but you better believe the next day will be double work!

I love hearing about the great stuff that happens to people. And the good thing about hearing the negative is that we as a group have an opportunity to add some encouragement and share ideas on how to change/improve something. Collaboration is a great great thing and I think it works well for this group. I still think we are all doing a great job, struggles or not. Even with all the struggles this group encounters,--somehow, some way eventually turns out pretty ok. I really enjoy this group, I love the honesty, the debate, the encouragement, the joys, sorrows and most of all the people who make all these contributions possible! There's my two cents for the day!

Amanda Panda
07-06-2004, 11:02 PM
Howie - i understand what you are saying about 'diet' being a dirty word, and new 'buzz' words replacing what is essentially the same thing! hey, I am a social worker, the supposed ultra PC profession - i've been in jobs where they send round regular memo's telling us what words we are no longer allowed to use ('black eye', deaf, blind etc) and telling us the new politically correct versions! :lol:

Gretchen - I :love: your positive attitude! Sometimes when I am feeling low or negative about my weight or diet (there's that word again!), I say to myself 'how would Gretchen look at this?'. It helps me to try be more positive about things! But it is good to know that you struggle like the rest of us!

Love Amanda x

07-07-2004, 01:32 AM
I have struggles too.. I guess I am just not an outward person about it. I try to be positive so that I can keep myself going.. If I would talk about my struggles as much as I encounter them, I know me, I would dwell on them and set myself up to fail--worrying and dwelling is such a trigger for me and this is why I HAVE to be positive for most of the time-- for my own sake!...........I know that in reality life is not perfect. Being positive sometimes gets associated with being fake. I am not a fake person at all.. I do have my miserable moments. But I really try to be happy and positive because it pulls me right out of my misery and makes the move on happen quicker!

Gretchen, I swear we are sharing a brain. You spoke for me (and my wife! :lol: ) I must say that I'm truly saddened when something causes me to remember that some folks associate positivity with fakeness or simplicity (read, simplemindedness.) It just makes the saddest statement about our society, and how skewed our collective perspective has become. When I encounter this personally, it's just so clear to me that someone else's issue with my positive outlook or approach is just that.....their issue. But that's an entirely separate rant! ;)

I really love this thread. And I'm impressed as **** with all the contributors. The reality is that this is an amazingly hard thing that we're doing, and most of us are bound to stumble. It's a process, an ongoing process, and it's fraught with triggers and landmines. The key is that we relearn our responses to them, and that's not an overnight exercise for any of us.

I grew up physically active and eating healthily -- I was raised as a vegetarian, for pete's sake! -- and I grew into a physically active adult of normal weight, who honestly enjoyed eating healthy foods. Then at some point I began to struggle personally. Outwardly, I was ok, internally, I was in pain, finally dealing with unresolved childhood crap. Still the weight was ok. I travelled the world, living overseas for several years, and ending up in Kashmir. (India.) I was still mostly vegetarian, but now drinking too much wine, having learned to adore it in Italy. In India, I contracted dysentary and intestinal parasites, and when I returned to America, I came to realize that a lot of my staple vegetables were now off limits to me. I started eating meat, shortly after got into a life/work situation that required reliance on an automobile (instead of hoofing it, like I'd done for all of my adult life) and then it was downhill from there. It's still amazing to me that I could have been raised with healthy eating and behavioral habits and still ended up morbidly obese. My mother was, but she didn't raise me, and so I thought I'd managed to sidestep her toxic habits. Not so. She reached an arm up from the grave and just smacked my genetic a**. Then I just ran with that genetic predisposition, and successfully spearheaded my own physical destruction.

I alone created all my own self-destructive habits, and now I'm recreating all my own NEWLY healthy habits. As much as I own my failure to take care of and maintain my body's good health, I ABSOLUTELY own my reclaiming of my own physical well-being. I just remind myself that I wouldn't treat the body of one of my cats like I treated my own, and then I ask myself if I'm worthy of that protection and care as well. It's a constant struggle. Particularly when I'm doing it in the presence of a non-participating partner who wants my time and attention, doesn't want me to cook, would much rather order out, likes the IDEA of my exercising but would much rather I just sat and talked with her, and hates vegetables as much as I desperately want her to eat them! Rut roh, seems like I slipped into another rant there...... :o Don't get me wrong, I'm not trading her in :lol: but I just really have to stay attentive to meeting my commitments to myself, or I just don't.

That wagon is a constantly moving vehicle, and for those of us who fall off it, it won't be a single event. I just really believe that it's all about modifying our responses....and that takes time. Time, and repetition. This will be a lifelong process, and I'm very intentionally, and consciously, choosing to make caring decisions for myself, as I do for my animals. I pay more for decent food for them, and make a point of restricting their intake when necessary, and I consciously exercise with my dog, Louie, and my fat cat, Bughead.....because they need it to live healthy, happy lives. I do it because I love them, so can't I love myself in the same way? It's pretty damned simple, when I think in those terms. And I have to remind myself -- again consciously, like a mantra -- that I deserve to reap the benefits of the right decisions throughout each day. And then when I'm logging my day's eats in my Diet Power software in bed each night, I give myself lots of positive feedback for all those choices made throughout the day. (My office is a candy/bagels/cake/cookies/chips/soda/pizza sort of office, and my sweetie is at best reluctant to participate with me on this mission of mine, so I feel like I really need to own my successes!)

My struggle is less with the food than the exercise. That's still an effort for me, and I know that it's the reason I'm not losing more. I've made great progress, and I'm happy about it, but the next phase of my progression MUST be the exercise component. I do it in starts and fits. One week 6 times, the next week nothing, the next week 4 times, the following 3. I'll get there, I know it, I just have to work harder to convince myself that I can do anything I set my mind to, and that I deserve to be the person that I choose to be. I guess I just need to believe that I already am.

I love you guys, I really do. :goodvibes

07-07-2004, 01:35 AM
Wow - what a great thread. It's 11:23 and I so need to go to bed, but I just needed to add some thoughts here.

Just a few weeks ago my mom said to me that I was too focused on food and she thought that was part of my problem. But how can I possibly succeed if I don't focus on the food. I've tried thinking the "I'll just eat to survive" technique. Doesn't work for me. I'll just eat whatever. I know I will need to count points or something forever. I am trying not to obses about being perfect this time. I am having loses and gains. Every day is a new day. Baby steps. I am just hopeful that in the long run that if I have enough goods days, I'll make some progress.

I am in awe of those of you who can start a plan and just stick with it no matter what. Really - it's just amazing.

Artist - I think sometimes why you see less posts about the stuggles is because people tend not to post when they are doing badly. It's a defensive kind of thing. A "what could I possibly have to add" thought process. What most people don't realize is that when you aren't doing great is when you should come here the most. Read...Post...get the support that you need to get back on plan.

My whole weight loss situation has me so perplexed. I am smarter than this. I have a problem, I have the tools & knowledge to solve it. But I don't. I give it lots of lip service - but only small doses of action. The stakes are high - but I keep spinning the wheel. :shrug: Logically my actions do not make sense.

Great thread!!!

07-07-2004, 02:20 AM
Man this is a great thread. I love how positive you are Gretchen. You are a great inspiration.

Sarah the pet care you were talking about. You are so right. I am very picky what my pets eat. No table scraps natural pet food they go to the vet when ever they have any problems. Man I do take better care of my pets than I do myself. I would never let them become overweight. How do I do it to myself? I have often wished I had a care taker like my pets do. Who would only give me the food I need.

Amanda Panda
07-07-2004, 02:40 AM
Oh Howie - you have hit the nail on the head! Only YOU can take care of you! It's that whole self love thing that eludes most of us! We are often our own worst enemy - we criticise and berate our best efforts, beat ourselves up - and like you say, treat ourselves worse than we would a dog!

I would NEVER speak to ANYONE the way I speak to myself, and I also set myself impossibly high targets and critiicize myself when I can't meet them. I am a perfectionist - but my targets are too high, so I never meet them - then I slip into depression (oh look, I DID learn something in therapy! :lol: ).

It wouldn't suprise me if alot of us here are perfectionists - maybe we don't look it on the outside, but inside we''re all impossibly hard on ourselves, never feeling good enough.............or maybe thats just me! :lol:

Love Amanda x

PS- My cat is also overweight and the vet has instructed me to put him on a diet!

07-07-2004, 06:44 AM
Hey, so much food (all calorie/fat/carb free) for thought on this thread. Thanks so much to all of you for sharing your thoughts, feelings and stories - it really really helps me a lot.

This theme of 'taking care of yourself' is something I have been working on a lot, the past 18 months or so. I had a really really difficult and traumatic time, and it hit me in a very stark way that if I didn't take care of myself, no-one else is going to do it for me....so that is how I started on this journey.....and like you Sarah, that is a constant theme for me when I am making healthy eating and exercise choices......(and by the way - a heretic thought - maybe its OK to hit the exercise really hard one week, and seriously ease off the next - I do that too - and if I listen to my body, sometimes that is what I seem to want/need....).

As to the being positive - I do understand and truly applaud your positive frame of mind, Gretchen, and how hard you work to make it positive. For me, 80% of the time I am feeling very positive, and I don't struggle - I am amazed at how much I prefer to eat healthy foods.....my main challenge, I think, is that I am losing very slowly, so sometimes, particularly when I see the fast rate of loss that some of you guys are accomplishing, it makes me wonder if I should change my approach....then I figure that this is working for me, and is something I am happy living with permanently, so why not just keep plodding on......

Sandi - I totally agree that one of the reasons this forum is so positive and upbeat is that people tend not to post when they are/have fallen off the wagon, and are struggling. I have been wondering how we can make that easier - maybe we should have a thread for 'challenging times' or something?

As to the caring more for our pets than ourselves......I think in the end it comes down to self-esteem. We have to feel that we are worth it, and that we have a right to be healthy, and fit. Its taken me quite a few years to claim those rights for myself, and to learn to look after myself well, but I am sooooo glad that I am getting there!

On the diet/lifestyle semantics. You're right, Howie, in a way we are at the mercy of a billion dollar diet (lifestyle!) industry, and I'm sure they will come up with a new marketing gimmick to replace 'healthy lifestyle' soon. I guess the important point for me is that I no longer thing that I will get the weight off, and then change my way of eating/exercising back to what it was 'before'......so my 'test' for whether I am taking the right approach for me is whether or not I can live with it for the rest of my life.....if I can't, then its a pointless exercise.......

And finally. I must say, it really scares me when I realise with how much effort, and for how long, many of you have been addressing your weight/size issues. I have been big for a long time too, most of my adult life, but I have never chosen to do anything about it before......and I really really really don't want to go the yo-yo route.......

07-07-2004, 09:27 AM
Hi guys! What an awesome thread! You all are a really insightful and supportive group. :) I can't wait to meet some of you this fall in Pittsburgh!

I hope you don’t mind me jumping in and giving you my two cents on the question Why We Fall Off The Wagon from a maintenance point of view —

We’re all going to slip and fall off the wagon. It’s going to happen, like Beverly says, even after you lose all the weight and you’re maintaining. Accept it. It happens to me, it happens to Beverly, it happens to everyone. None of us is perfect and we’re never going to be perfect dieters, even considering that we’re going to have to be thoughtful eaters for the rest of our lives.

So please realize that it’s going to happen. Despite your best intentions, you will screw up — count on it. My point is that the WHY isn’t as important as WHAT you do afterwards. I think it’s OK to spend a certain amount of energy figuring out why slips happen so you can prevent them BUT what’s critical is STOPPING the slip immediately. It’s the action, not the motivation that matters most here, in my opinion.

What helped me was spending some time developing a strategy to deal with slips so that they don’t spiral out of control. I made a list of actions that I take when I’ve done some unplanned eating. Like: I’ll go brush my teeth and rinse my mouth with Listerine (that helps me stop a binge). I’ll get out of the house or throw away the food that’s tempting me. I’ll go to the gym for an extra hour to burn off the calories. I’ll ask my DH for help etc. Other actions might work for you — it’s an individual thing. I suggest literally make a list and keep it in a binder or on the refrigerator door.

We lifetime dieters tend to see the world and ourselves in black and white. We’re either ON a diet or we’re OFF — way way off. We’re either GOOD or BAD. And once we slip a little, we tend to want to throw it all out the window and give up. We’ll start again tomorrow or Monday or the first of the month (I STILL get that little :devil: voice in my head saying: “go on, eat ____, you’ll be good tomorrow”!). :dizzy: Ummm … that doesn’t work, in my experience. The way I lost and kept off the weight is consistency — never giving up — never quitting. You slip, you pick yourself up, learn from it and keep going. No do-overs, no giving up.

So -- my humble opinion is: Relax! :) You're going to slip and it's not a big deal if you stop it right there. One or two cookies -- some pizza -- a dinner out -- in the big picture, these things aren't going to derail your diet. The key is never to let a slip turn into a day or even a week or longer because THAT is what will keep you from losing the weight and keeping it off forever.

07-07-2004, 11:01 AM
I agree, it is a defense mechanism- - not posting the negative. But what “Defense Mechanism” means to me may be different than what defense mechanism means to someone else. To me, in this instance, a defense mechanism is my way of blocking something that will drag me back down and take me off the beaten path, not something to hide behind or to portray false image. My own negativity does not motivate me in the least bit and so I don't dwell on my failures for that very reason —not to hide something or pretend/portray that I am living in the land of perfection. Trust me on this one! I recognize a struggle/failure and immediately do something to fix it. That is how I have kept going thus far.

Defensiveness can often be looked upon as not admitting something or never fessing up to being wrong. Believe me I am wrong a lot and I am the first to admit it and correct it! I look at being defensive as keeping the other team from tackling me. (The other team being the triggers that drag me down). Believe me, I have struggles—but I don’t allow them to last long! I need encouragement from others on this board, and if there is something that I can’t handle I will ask for guidance. It has taken me many many many years of heartache, failure and struggle with my weight problem to achieve this attitude I have and I won’t trade it for anything! I have a clear mission and yes there are bumps in the road but I choose not to let them become road blocks in my journey.. In other words, failure is not an option and these mechanisms described above are what I am using to achieve success! Weather you realize it or not, you all are helping me to discover other ways to improve myself and become even more positive.. For that I thank all of you greatly!

07-07-2004, 12:00 PM
This thread just gets better 'n better!! There's a lot of wisdom being shared here and for that I'm very grateful. A positive "I can do this" attitude is so vital to the process of getting yourself on the right track and staying there. I'm guilty, guilty, guilty of finding all the ways I CAN'T do it rather than focusing on the ways that I CAN. You really do have to change that inner dialog that sets you up for failure. I'm making a choice to put that negativity in the past and find the good in myself, the strong chickie who has overcome many other hurdles in her life--this is just one more mission to accomplish!

07-07-2004, 12:24 PM
Thanks, Gretchen and Meg!
You're right, Listerine will stop almost any binge! :lol:
I started this thread sort of as a way to admit to myself and others with the same issues what happened - how, even though I pretend that I'm doing ok, I can get all twisted up in my head, and how that leads to eating for the wrong reasons.
Since I just finished Phase I of South Beach, I think I can say, today, I'm not where I was 2.5 weeks ago, and I'm glad.
I'm also a recovering alcoholic (20 yrs now), and I'm starting to use the things I've learned about myself to apply to food. I think most of us with 100 or more lbs to lose have issues besides hungry that tell us that food is what will MAKE US FEEL BETTER. And it doesn't, of course. But since we must eat, sometimes we will eat things that make us want to continue FOREVER, and there have to be ways to manage this.


07-07-2004, 12:35 PM
Barb, for me it is absolutely requisite that I stay positive throughout this process. To do anything else would be so self-defeating and counter-productive. You CAN do this, you CAN cultivate this attitude, and you CAN lose weight, continue to lose weight, and keep it off. You CAN succeed. Just take it one step at a time. Don't get too far ahead of yourself. Start with one decision to eat this next meal as you intended, tell yourself how good you feel about doing it as you're doing it, and then afterwards give yourself lots of positive feedback for doing what you said you were going to do. Then do it again for the water that you drink, and then do it again for moving a little more than you normally would, and then do it again for the next meal 3 or 4 hours later. And so on. This is how you'll build fortitude, change your attitude, develop new habits, and build confidence in your own ability to succeed.

I don't have kids, but I'd imagine that it's not too different from teaching a child positive behaviors. You lead them by the hand, show them how, monitor them while they do it, and give them lots of praise and guidance. Just direct that positive attention on yourself, and start with baby steps. Just one behavior, one choice at a time, until you're at the end of your day and you've got so much to appreciate about yourself. Then get up and do it again. And with each new day, it gets easier, or the challenges change, or you learn you need to relearn a lesson you'd thought you'd gotten under your belt. And when you misstep, as you inevitably will, you just brush yourself off and chalk it up to old habits, and move on. When it comes to behaviors, for now think little picture -- micromanage yourself. But when it comes to slip-ups, think big picture; one meal is not going to ruin your progress.....remember, it takes a 3500 calorie surplus to gain a pound, so don't sweat it and beat yourself up if you make the choice you didn't intend to make. Just make the right one the next time.

Barb, it's an ongoing process, but it really just boils down to putting one foot in front of the other, not getting too far ahead of yourself, and not beating the crap out of yourself for falling back into old habits while you're developing new ones. And replace those negative messages in your brain with positive ones.....through literally talking yourself up for each little decision you make that's in line with your plan for the Barb who's positive, on-track, and seeing results. Consider this your breakthrough, and move forward TODAY.

Sending you love and support -- :grouphug:

07-07-2004, 12:37 PM
Scuttle - that was very brave of you to tell your whole story. I am really sure you can do it (whatever it is!) this time. I love to travel and change my life around too......but why can't you go to Iraq as a big person? My last job I travelled 60% of the time (African, Asia, Latin America)....it was great....I try very hard to make sure my size doesn't stop me doing things...(well, there is the water-skiing and surfing, LOL, which I am looking forward to when I am a lot fitter and smaller!)

Just a brief note in response here, that I totally agree on doing things "now" and not putting them off to "later". Well, mostly at least. I do like to have a certain level of physical fitness before I go vacationing just so I can properly enjoy it, but boy, I've been at least 30 pounds overweight (and up to 130) for years and years. If I waited around I'd never do anything! So I go to the water park, go on African safaris, all that.

Iraq is just a little different because it's a combat zone, and physically demanding. There's about 5-7 miles of walking a day in the job, 14 hour workdays, 7 day weeks, climbing around to do, plus the possibility for things to go, well, wrong. And then I'm big enough that fitting into a coach airline seat is uncomfortable, so there's the physical size issue. So I'd want to be fitter, and small, and if I went next year I'd still be overweight even under the best circumstances, since I'm not going to drop 130 pounds in a year. But I'd need to be less bulky, and able to keep up with a lot of walking and stuff, before I went.

Cambodia, Vietnam, and Thailand, which is my next trip lined up, it's less of an issue. But I'll probably still hold off on those until next year as I've taken two vacations already this year for family events.

07-07-2004, 01:11 PM
Meg, you look fantastic! Thank you for sharing that.

I've really enjoyed reading this thread. Thank you all so much for sharing your stories and struggles.

07-07-2004, 02:35 PM
just one more thing and I'll shut up I swear...

I USED to be a negative person (when it came to weightloss). During my negativity, I never gave myself the chance to lose weight because I just knew I COULDN'T do it, and I was satisfied with being heavy as long as I didn't gain anymore.. I'd keep telling myself each time I would gain 10 or so lbs. "It's ok as long as I don't get "there" to that size. I'd keep on extending the "there" / that size until I was so totally miserable. It really hit home when I saw a picture of me from Vacation this past March. That really hit me like a ton of bricks --especially since I didn't even recognize myself anymore. I was miserable, grouchy, unpleasant, becoming a home body and felt so totally disgusting about myself-- I was too embarrassed to go anywhere.. That was NOT me. I was in TOTAL denial that I looked like I did- I had all kinds of excuses, like it was the way I was standing or the shirt I had on wasn't flattering. Deep down I was so sad and embarrassed and scared that if I didn't do something that my health would fall apart or that my husband would just decide that I was too fat for him or something crazy like that.. I really felt that way... I had enough and decided that I don't want to be miserable for the rest of my life. THAT is why I CHANGED!

My life is SO much better as a positive being. If I could have just grasped that concept years ago, I would have enjoyed so much more of my life!

I am SO HAPPY to be who I AM TODAY! And I will continue to encourage people as much as I can...

07-07-2004, 02:41 PM
Gretchen--thanks for the above post. I'm going to print it and post it on my fridge!! You summed up my current status: seeing "The Picture", feeling to self-conscious to go anywhere, avoiding social situations. I'm so encouraged and uplifted by your post--it was just that boost I needed to get my a** in gear and push the "Go" button. For me, another motivator is realizing how much my feelings about my weight have affected my family. My negativity has bled over onto all aspects of my life. NO MORE!

07-08-2004, 05:04 AM
hmmm. even more things to make me think......

Sarah - I really like your description of the process of changing negative thought patterns and behaviours. That's pretty much what I've been doing.....although I wouldn't have described it like that. I think I would also add treat yourself loads - I often think that we have this rewards for reaching goals thing completely wrong.....when the pounds are shifting quickly, I feel so great, I don't need other rewards....its when the going, for whatever reason, gets tough, that I need to do things to make me feel good...

Gretchen - thanks so much for sharing about your wonderfully positive attitude. I too can only do this because I really really believe that I can, and I am really enjoying and savouring the pleasures of the results.

Scuttle - I am sure you will be enough for that Iraq trip soon enough. And you are a truly brave woman for aspiring to go there! I've been to some tough places, but probably none that tough. Thailand/Vietnam/Cambodia will be great. I've worked in Thailand (Bangkok) and Vietnam (mainly Hanoi)......totally wonderful places, especially Vietnam. You will have a fantastic time when you eventually get there!

Meg - many thanks for those words of wisdom. I will start planning my strategies for preventing the odd slip turning into a landslide!

07-08-2004, 01:21 PM
I'll add my 2 cents.
For me it all boils down to this—why I fell off the wagon in the past—I stopped putting me first and caring about what happens to me. Period.
Like you all said, it usually starts out small, I forgot to plan a meal here, added something there and then it all added up to old eating habits and weight gain.
This time around I know this is something that I have to do. It isn't one of those options. I'm glad meg posted what she did because I FINALLY get that. It's only taken all my life for me to realize it but I'm glad I did. I know that this is something I will have to do the rest of my life. I also know that I can't live off of salads, and veggie platters the rest of my life so if I start craving a pizza I allow myself to have some pizza. The key for me is when I do have that pizza to not go back to the mindset that next I need a nice greasy burger and fries, a double chocolate triple fudge sundae to go with it.
I know that I will succeed and get this weight off. I may be losing it at .5 pound a week now but I'm not weighing in at 300+ pounds anymore either and I enjoy exercising now. :)

07-08-2004, 01:54 PM
None of us is perfect and we’re never going to be perfect dieters, even considering that we’re going to have to be thoughtful eaters for the rest of our lives.

THOUGHTFUL EATER. I think you have hit the nail on the head for me. I am a very balck and white on or off person. Everything has a label - good or bad. I think I am going to take a thoughtful eater approach and see where that gets me.

Thanks Meg - you are full of wisdom as usual.

07-08-2004, 08:00 PM
I fall off the wagon because I am a crazy perfectionist. When I was growing up I felt like I had to be perfect - get perfect grades, have perfect friends, say the perfect things, and most of all, look perfect. I was always afraid of failure. This desire for perfection created a lot of stress and anxiety and my outlet was always food. Whenever I experienced failure, I would sneak food into my bedroom and eat massive amounts until I felt sick. Then I would feel guilty and go for days trying to avoid food. Part of being in control of myself was being in control of food. In high school I weighed 160, and even though I wore a size 6 I felt as if I were obese. Perfect girls did not weigh more than 120, I thought. I dreamed of having enough control that I could be an anorexic. I was ashamed that I couldn't starve myself. I managed to at least maintain my weight between 160 and 170 until my junior year, when my father died suddenly. At that point I lost all control of myself. People kept bringing over food and I ate everything. By the time I graduated high school I was over 200 lbs. At that point I gave up on my perfectionism and decided to indulge myself with whatever I wanted - food, shopping, anything. I went from being a control freak to completely out of control. By the time I finally started coming out of my depression I was 240 lbs. That was the start of my first weightloss journey, in 2001. I think the main problem I had was that I slipped back into perfectionism. I charted everything I ate, every bit of exercise, weight, and inches to the extreme. I was weighing myself at least 10 times a day. I weighed myself first thing in the morning, after I got dressed, after every time I ate, even after I went to the bathroom. I was completely obsessed. Initially, I was also very sucessful. I dropped about 30 lbs in 6 weeks. Then, I went through another period of stress, deaths in the family, problems at work, and I lost control again.

This time I am being more reasonable. I allow myself 1600-1800 calories rather than the 1000 or less I had before. I exercise no more than 1 hour a day. I don't keep a scale in the house anymore. I use the scale at work (I work in a medical office), where people will notice if I start stepping on it constantly. I have the support of my husband. He is wonderful. This time I will make it. I will have a healthy relationship with food. I will have a healthy mind and body.

07-09-2004, 02:55 AM
Lori - Your story is very similar to mine.

07-09-2004, 05:37 PM
Thanks Jennelle - it's good to know I'm not alone. I usually feel so embarrassed to share my story. I hate admitting my flaws. I'm always worried everyone's going to think I'm weird or crazy. But I feel much better now.

07-10-2004, 09:25 PM
This is the best thread ever. I just want to say to everyone here, I loves ya & PLEASE don't ever apologize EVER for being who you are!

How I fell off the wagon this last time is very simple. I was not doing the "weight loss thing" for me, I was doing it for the doctor, and to show up a man who'd rejected me, in the mindset of "Just wait til the next time that :censored: ing :censored: sees me, he'll be kicking himself."

Well, even if I weighed 135#, I'd still live 1000 miles away, right? Stupid. And as for the doctor, reaching that goal & knowing I wouldn't be seeing him until next April just seemed like a license to eat.

Not to mention losing my job in February has sent me into a bit of a depression. Looking for a new job is what caused that. You know, you think you're invincible, that you're smart, capable, talented and can do anything. To look for a new job just proves you wrong time & time again. They want you to be experienced? You don't have experience in their field. They want you to be proficient in A, B, & C? You've dabbled, but in no way do you consider yourself proficient. You have a solid work record for the last 10 years, but you worked on computer systems that were created specifically for the companies you worked for, making you virtually useless elsewhere. Frustrating, indeed.

My gym closing has given me a whole new reason to be lazy. For me, eating has always been secondary. It's much easier to not exercise than to exercise. Like, right now, I am typing all this, and watching A Streetcar Named Desire. I could be out for a walk. But no. And there you have it.

But I have been watching calories today & I hoofed around our Zoo earlier, so even if you *are* doing pretty good, you can still beat yourself up. ;)

07-13-2004, 03:46 AM
I think I just can't get the connection between the reality of my fat and the fantasy fit person I am in my head. I remember being taunted when I was 8 years old and had a tiny little roll of fat on my tummy by my boney "friend" and her boney cousins about how I was a "fatty two by four can't get through the door" sort of stuff. I remember looking at myself in the bathtub that night, at my tiny little roll of fat and crying. I wasn't worth being nice to because I had this roll of fat. I think a switch went in my head then, and I just decided to opt out of reality and no longer connected with my body. It wasn't there. I know in my head that I have hundreds of #s to lose but it doesn't seep into my life choices. I am not exercising. I am attempting to watch my portion sizes and not get so many calories from liquids (stevia sweetened icedtea is great) I think about lifting weights, riding my exercise bike, sweating to tae bo or Jane but that is as far as it gets. The organizing, the clothes, running shoes and all that special effort to take care of this body that I don't really see, isn't happening. I don't know how to see the value in myself. I'm struggling. I guess I never really fell of the wagon but your posts have started me to think about it a bit :)

07-13-2004, 09:29 AM

You ARE smart, capable, talented and you CAN do anything!

Just thought I'd share.

07-13-2004, 10:46 AM
Oh, Meadow, you are so WORTH IT!
When I was new to 12 step programs, my sponsor told me this:
"You are perfectly loveable, just as you are. You do not have to change a single thing about yourself for God to love you. He loves you just the way you are, and knows that you are doing the best you can."

Can I suggest, your list made me tired, too!
I started by taking the dog for a walk around the block. She thought it was great, because I walked so slow that she got plenty of time to sniff and think (we call it pee-mail at our house), and I got to smell the air and see the trees and just enjoy what's out there. After a while, I started paying attention to how my body felt, and the feeling of loosening. I just decided that I wasn't going to live in a fat prison any more!
I was a marathon swimmer as a kid, and have begun swimming laps again. It's great, I don't get all red-faced and hot, and I am stretched when I'm done.
Try doing one thing for yourself today, even though you KNOW that you're not worth it. Pretend that you are - after a while, it may even get to be a habit.

We deserve this. Take care, dear. Know that we all struggle with this.