Weight Loss Support - Am I Hopeless?




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Della1977
09-11-2004, 05:43 PM
Hello everyone,

I am not sure what kind of support I am looking for, but I will talk a bit about myself, and perhaps somehow someone similar to me who actually did it, can step up and tell me how..

Diet History:

1987: a fat 10 year old forced by parents to go on a diet.. and lottsa of empty candy packaging under the bed.

1994: after several failed diets, and a lot of yo-yo'ing joined the 200+ league.

1996: swore off diets, and decided it was best done with life-style changes.. Yet, weight steadily went up.

2000: first major weight loss, from 265 to 190 in a year.. never felt better!

2001: a tough residency program and a broken heart was all it took to push me back to right where I was.

2003: considered banding surgery, doctor thought I was a candidate, but reading about it, I chickened out.

2004: decided that I have had it! I want to wear tight/short clothes and look good.. I want to move lightly.. I want to tuck a shirt in.. :(



Here's the thing. I just turned 27, and I don't want to find myself 30 and still fat. Because it will be more difficult then to lose weight. My problem, is that I am INCREDIBLY LAZY. I am very innovative when it comes to saving energy..

I work 5- 6 days a week from 8:00 to 6:00 sometimes I have to stay until 8:00. I start my day off with a cup of coffee (with whipped cream!) in the car on my way to work, then order in lunch (fast food, what else? my work food really sux and no healthy *edible* options available), and on my way home, I usually stop at a drive through :eek:

When at home, I have to head to my books, with a snack of chocolates or candy to entertain me as I study.. and sometimes *ehem* I eat another meal when I am home! :o

Weekends usually involve sleeping till noon and beyond.. then going out with friends to eat/ or shop and then eat/ or visit friends and eat.. Or I would spend the whole day at home watching TV/movies (mouth busy of course :corn: )

Of course every emotion I feel, I have to express with food.. There's happy food, there is sad food, there's angry food, and of course bored food.

My hobbies are reading, playing computer/video games, surfing the internet/chatting, movies, tv.. (you get the picture).

My taste in food involves everything that is at least 50-70% fat, a lot of dough and cheese! I could eat fresh vegetables if they were soaked in dressing, and I cannot remember the last time I ate a fruit (oh wait, there was a cherry on top of the black forest I ate last week).

I do not like to prepare my food. I am a lover of convinence. If it's not ready to eat, I am not going to eat it.
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I guess that is all about me. Reading this, makes me realize just how TERRIBLE I am... But I am determined to change.. Any tips?

Thanks!


gatsby
09-11-2004, 06:22 PM
i doubt that your situation hopeless. you did a nice job figuring out what habits and behaviour are unhealthy and not conducive to weight loss. you could use your list as a checklist of things to change, one at a time. it's mostly about replacing bad habits with goods ones. you'll find a lot of people here who have gone through the necessary changes and they will give you a lot of advice and support. logging in when you get home from work could give you the motivation to get through the evening hours, usually the hardest time to keep on track.
trying to lose weight is not going happen unless you start to move your body. foregoing a half hour of tv to take a walk or workout with an exercise videotape could be a good start.
i'm not big on cooking so i make a lot of one pot meals. put meat in pot, add herbs and spices, simmer, add various vegetables, simmer and serve. limited prep time, cook time and cleanup.
the less tv i watch, the less tv i want to watch.
the better you eat, the more you move, the more energy you will have, the better you will feel, the better you will eat....positive feedback cycle.
i ask myself "what kind of person do i want to be? what would that person do?" then even if i'm not there yet, i'm always making one more step in that direction.
emotional eating: it's usually instictive, a matter of habit. you could make a list to pre-empt the behaviour like
when i'm bored i will...
when i'm sad i will...
and so on
then tack it onto the fridge.

good luck to you, hope to see you around here :)
gen

almostheaven
09-11-2004, 06:57 PM
I hate to cook and love convenience foods too because I'm always on the go. So I opt for salads when out, and have learned to cook on the weekends. I will cut up and separately package watermellon, canteloupe and fresh pineapple. I will fix healthy meals and freeze them individually. I might spend most of a day cooking and freezing three to five different dishes that will last me most of a month.


merryterry
09-11-2004, 09:41 PM
You sound so much like me. I'm not usually that busy most days, but the habits could be mine!!! They used to be and they keep wanting to come back. 6 months ago I decided to make the active choice to move more and eat better. I used the South Beach Diet as a guide and joined a gym because I tried the walking and the videos at home, etc. For some reason going to the fitness center at the local rec. center is something I will do even though I weighed well over 300 lbs. when I joined in March. I've lost about 40 lbs. since then and have improved my fitness greatly ( the jury's still out on the blood sugar and cholesterol-just had that drawn the other day-I'm hoping to see an improvement). Eating better, cooking more, moving more has gotten easier for me. I look forward to a good sweaty workout, now and miss it when I don't get 3 or 4 in during the week.

The whole process is one conscious choice after the other, minute by minute, sometimes. You have to decide where to start. For lunches at work, I often will cut up salad ingredients in advance so they throw together quickly in the morning. Don't keep your weaknesses, your bad snacks in your house. I snack on nuts alot, now. Mostly unsalted. It takes lots of head room to make these changes, to change my food preferences. I'm not perfect, but I'm getting better.

You're still young so now is the time to beat this. forget about being like your friends who can eat anything and not gain weight. That's not you. You need to do this now when it will be easier and before your health gets bad and while your skin will have a better chance of not being baggy and stretched out forever so you can wear the slinky clothes you want to.

It has to be a priority in your life. For awhile. Not forever. But with time making the good choices and being more active will be more natural. I know. I'm not as lazy as I used to be. Today, I actually worked out (45 minutes aerobic/cardio and 15 minutes weights) then initiated a hike. Not a long hike, but up and down hills and all that and worked up a goos sweat all over again! I never would have done that last summer!

Keep in touch. Get moving!!! You'll feel good physically and emotionally!!! I garantee it!!! And I'm AMAZED I can actually say that!!!

funniegrrl
09-13-2004, 01:32 PM
I can relate -- overweight all my life, up and down weight, various diet attempts.

At 39 the pieces fell into place. I hope they'll fall into place for you now rather than living another 12 years or more trapped where you are now.

No, it's not hopeless. It's never, ever hopeless. I have a similar personality -- I actually enjoy cooking and was knowledgeable about nutrition, but I always took the easiest way out. A series of very hectic jobs with 50 to 80 hour workweeks left me with a serious junk-food and takeout/delivery habit. I went to the grocery store once a month and bought things like tortilla chips, salsa, cheese, sour cream, sweets, potatoes, pasta, butter, etc. Most dinners were Pizza Hut delivery, Outback takeout, etc. Lunches were fast food combos -- with dessert. Breakfast came out of vending machines -- poptarts & canned iced tea. On the weekends, breakfast was an all-you can eat buffet. You get the picture.

I always looked for the path of least resistance, the thing that would satisfy all my whims with the least amount of work. Also, like you, food was my everything -- hobby, a way to relax after a long day, a way to treat myself when I felt like celebrating. I've never been a huge eater-from-depression, but food was definitely my major form of entertainment and relaxation.

So, what changed? The realization that if I wanted a healthy body, then I had to grow up. I had to face the fact that living by whim and instant gratification was just not going to cut it. The problem wasn't that I couldn't find a way to feed my compulsions and lose weight, the problem was that I needed to deal with my compulsive, pleasure-seeking personality. Making changes would be HARD, but since I knew this had to be a lifetime endeavor, not just a short-term "weight loss" project, I had to work on the inner me in order to control the food issues. Unless I could work on the part of me that "didn't want" to eat healthy or exercise or go to the grocery store regularly or pack my lunch ... I would never get anywhere.

So, when I started my program 3 years ago, I just decided, "OK, this is it." I talked to myself a lot. I told myself I don't care what you "want" at any particular moment -- you're just going to do what you are SUPPOSED to do. If that is uncomfortable, or even painful, well, that's the price you pay. It'll pass. You'll learn to like this new lifestyle. This is like a chronic disease that has to be managed through diet. If you don't learn to do what's necessary with a smile on your face, you are going to be miserable and then fail, and you'll be worse off than when you started. This means observing your thinking patterns and pinpointing what old ways of seeing and feeling get you off track. It means having a problem-solving attitude. Bad food choices at work? No problem -- pack your food for the day. No time to spend hours at the gym? No problem -- work in more natural activity to your day (taking the stairs, etc.) and take 3 or 4 10-minute brisk walks. Crave sweets after a long day? No problem -- work on non-food stress-relief, proactive stress prevention, and stock up on 25-calorie hot chocolate mix and sugar-free jello. Think that nothing is worth doing unless you can do it perfectly? Drop the all-or-nothing thinking and realize that every bite, every step counts, and that failure only happens when you stop trying. Every problem has a solution, you just have to look for it and be willing to use it, even if it isn't what you'd prefer to do.

So ... one thing that helped me was reading. A few of the books that got me pumped and enthusiastic were: The Thin Books, Thin for Life, and Stop the Insanity. Sometimes what you need is a burst of optimism and a sort of grrrrrrrrrr attitude to fire you up, and these books certainly gave that to me. In addition, I chose to use Jenny Craig as my program. You might look into it because it could certainly help with your need for convenience. I also liked it because of the one-on-one 20-minute sessions each week. I needed some "me time" where the focus was just on my issues, revelations, problems. I've lost 148 pounds so far (about 25 to go) and this program has been a godsend. Right now there is a free 2-week trial membership being offered. You can check it all out at www.jennycraig.com, and be sure and visit the message boards there.

Just remember -- it CAN be done.

Della1977
09-13-2004, 04:07 PM
I would like to thank everyone for their responses! I was so motivated when I read this, on the first day I woke up early feeling energetic even though I slept late. I had coffee with skim milk, and a salad for lunch (with dressing, but waay better than what I usually have), and I promised myself I will go for a swim when I get home. Well.. I got home, was feeling tooo tired to do anything, and actually thought about eating even though I was not hungry, but I just went to sleep until the next day.

I got a strong feeling of resistance inside me! I don't know why I do this.. Today I didn't eat much at work, just small unhealthy snacks to quiet the hunger, then when I got home, a big plate of pizza which my sister made was lying on the kitchen table.. I ate is all :(

Two problems in my way now..

One: I am the most un-organized, unpunctual person on earth (in everything). I just believe that planning things totally ruins them, and to me that is especially true for food! I tried to change often, but i was never able to.

Two: I don't know why I have mental resistance to change! When I thought of exercizing, my mind quickly came up with excuses not to.. and believe me, it is GOOD at this.

I often use things to avoid doing things that I have to do but do not feel like doing even tho I know I should be doing. And that is one more thing I use food for.. I should be studying, but wait.. is this hunger am feeling? oh yea.. let me get a snack (which turns out to be a huge meal) then after the meal, am too tired to do anything.. ok i guess I will study tomorrow.. (and stupidly I fall for it everytime).

Now exercize.. i am using "work" to avoid it. Good for the work.. bad for me :(

When I think that not changing, I won't achieve anything, I quickly shut that voice up by thinking "I will do it, even if i do nothing.. They will all see!" :dizzy:

Ladies please bear with me.. I know I put a lot of boring details here, and I know the natural response to my problem is "will you do it already!".. But I really appreciate your input and I have a strong feeling it would help.

Thanks!

funniegrrl
09-13-2004, 04:41 PM
You're not boring! Never let the fear of being boring keep you from talking things out here. Sometimes it's only when I put what seems like a lot of trivia down in writing to patterns and realizations emerge.

All I can say about the planning is that yes, I used to think that too. I wanted to be spontaneous, to be free to move with the whim of the moment. Well ... the only way I was able to move to a lifestyle that allows me to lose weight and have hope of keeping it off was to give up that idea. Planning is dull, boring, mundane. How do I know what I'll "feel like" eating tomorrow? Why shouldn't I be free to have whatever I'm "in the mood for" for lunch? Why shouldn't I blow off my evening walk because I just found out that there's a Very Special Episode of ... Still Standing on TV tonight? Because living that way is what got me to 339 pounds.

What you're trying to do -- rebuild your life so that it is well-rounded, balanced, and healthy -- requires giving up old ways of thinking and adopting new ones. You have to make peace with the fact that you are going to be shoved out of your comfort zones and battling deeply-ingrained habits and proclivities for a while. At first you just go through the motions, your Inner Child rebelling all the way. I don't WANT to spend 10 minutes pulling together my lunch and snacks for the next day when I'd much rather spend that time ... goofing off? Too bad, do it anyway. But, after a while you'll start to see the payoff of doing that, it'll hit home that putting in a little effort at planning and visualization and creative thinking works to your benefit.

All of this is easier said than done, I know. But, at some point, you have to just decide that you're going to do what you need to do -- plan, work on self-encouragement and countering negative self-talk, whatever -- regardless of whether or not it seems dull, boring, only something that squares do. When the voice in your head says, "But I'm to tired to go for a walk," you answer that voice with your Logical Brain and say, "Yes, you're tired now, but you'll feel better after a walk, and besides, we're doing it anyway." It takes practice, and they'll be lots of times that the whiney voice wins. You just have to keep trying, keep fighting the good fight, and the benefits will come.

For me, the compulsive voice that says, "Eat, eat," and "Stay on the couch, it's so lovely here" is always there, and I doubt that it will ever go away. The difference is, over the course of the last 3 years, I've just gotten better at saying, "Oh don't be silly."

You've had some victories over the last few days, and you should be proud of that. Don't let the times The Voice won get you down. Success is built one success at a time, and success breeds success. Never let yourself forget those times when you DO successfully meet a challenge -- don't let the stumbles overshadow them. Remember that you are fighting tendencies that you've had for years. Keep the perspective -- I still feel you're asking for a way to stay your disorganized, spontaneous self and still lose weight. Just keep in mind that it's exactly this way of thinking and living that got you to the weight you are now. When you work on staying organized, on planning, you'll not only start to accomplish your weight goals, but you'll start to feel better about your whole life. My house is a LOT cleaner than it was 3 years ago. I do more, go out more, have clothes to wear that aren't perpetually at the bottom of the hamper. My finances are in better shape, my bills paid on time and my checkbook balanced. These are all part and parcel of the same phenomenon -- shedding my old lazy "spontaneous" ways and paying attention to making my life as balanced and organized as I can. I'm still no efficiency expert, and the dust bunnies DO get away from me occasionally. But, I can't tell you how much more fulfilling my life is since I grew a little maturity.

LKTS
09-13-2004, 05:35 PM
I don't know why I have mental resistance to change! When I thought of exercizing, my mind quickly came up with excuses not to.. and believe me, it is GOOD at this.

I often use things to avoid doing things that I have to do but do not feel like doing even tho I know I should be doing.

Della, I do this too, and I bet a lot of others do as well. I think it's human nature to resist change - our bodies are built to want homeostasis (staying the same) and habits are very hard to break.

Two things that come to mind: try to come up with good habits, good reasons to exercise. I mean real stuff, not "I'll be healthier," but immediate rewards like doing something you enjoy. Also, try to use your tendency to avoid things by doing other things - what do you dislike more than exercising, and how can you avoid it by exercising? :lol:

Best of luck and stick with it - we've all been there.

midwife
09-13-2004, 06:19 PM
Wow!! Thanks, funniegirl! There is so much wisdom in your post. I found myself agreeing line by line! You're right....a new way of being, moving, nourishing one's body, respecting one's body as a mature individual! That is one printable post!
Jen

UnCafeCvooPlay
09-14-2004, 01:06 PM
hi there, i know how the whole "cant stop eating" thing goes. The good news is that since you are eating a lot now, just cutting out a little is going to make you lose weight. I would say just start off really small. Cut out that extra meal, sip on cofee instead of eating while you watch TV. You can still be lazy and lose weight. You can also eat crappy food and lose weight. As long as you are eating less calories than before, you will lose weight. Best of luck to you!