Weight Loss Support - First day here....Motivation is my problem.




OneLastTime
10-05-2005, 02:38 PM
Hi Guys~
This sounds like the right place for me to get back on track and stay on track!! One question...WHY can't I just do it??? I have a walking partner in place but when walking gets canceled for some reason I'm secretly glad. I have a supportive family who would eat healthy along with me but I make bad food choices constantly. I can give great advice and motivation to others....it's no secret that eating healthy and exercising will successfully make the pounds come off but I just can't stick to it when it comes to ME. Ugh!! I hope I can learn some tips here and get some encouragement. On a lighter note, I'm a very happily married mother of one awesome little girl (well, not so little anymore), love cats, gardening and scrapbooking. I weigh 220, want to weigh 145 but have my weight loss bar set at 200 as my first goal. Hopefully we can all help each other get to a healthier place together.
:cheers:

http://www.3fatchicks.com/weight-tracker/img/bar-retro3/flower01/lb/220/200/220/.png (http://www.3fatchicks.com/weight-tracker/index.php)


Ry73
10-05-2005, 03:33 PM
Heya One!

I started out in pretty much the same place (220ish) and am working on developing good habits to replace the bad. As to why it's so hard...it's easier to do what you've always done out of habit, and easy to slip back into lifelong habits. The thing to remember is that those habits are what brought you to where you are now, so it's time to develop new habits to replace the old ones, and give them enough time to settle in and get comfortable! :)

If you ever need someone to chat at, feel free to look me up. :)

LovesBassets
10-05-2005, 06:39 PM
Hi :)

I think starting can be the hardest part of all. The new food choices and exercise aren't a habit yet, so it's all new. IMO, over time, you'll find that it gets a bit easier.

Also (and I know I wrote this on another thread somewhere), sometimes you can't depend on just motivation. Example: I am NEVER motivated to do cardio. Never. But I just do it. You have to start learning to over-ride your own negative thoughts ("I'm tired," "I'm busy," "It's not worth it," etc.) and just go out and do it.

Here are a few things that I did to get started:

1. I made appointments to go to the gym. I actually HAD to do this because I have a personal trainer, but when I do cardio on non-training days I sit down on Sunday night and pick 3 days that I WILL do cardio. And I write those "appointments" down in my calendar. I find that if I don't do this, I come home, sit on the couch, and start thinking about how much I don't want to do it. But if it's in my calendar (and I know ahead of time) then I'll do it. If you're doing a fitness video at home or something, write that down on your calendar, too. Think of it as a date with yourself.

2. I made very small changes at first. If I'd tried to change all my eating habits all at once, I would have quit after about 36 hours. By changing a few things a week, you'll build up a sense of accomplishment. IMO, changing everything all at once is a recipe for disaster. I mean, if you've been driving FORWARD your whole life and then suddenly demanded of yourself that you drive BACKWARDS everywhere, you're gonna screw up. Expecially in heavy traffic (LOL). Sorry, that was a random analogy, but hopefully you get my point -- reversing YEARS of doing things one particular way cannot be successfully done all of a sudden. When you achieve those SMALL changes, you begin to build on those successes. Example: my first week I lowered my daily Coke intake from 4 cans to 2. Baby steps. Now I don't drink Coke. But if I had suddenly given up Coke cold turkey I would have felt deprived, depressed, and...well...it wouldn't have worked. Your body -- AND your brain -- need time to adapt to the changes.

3. This goes along with number 2 (sorta). I started s..l..o...w..l..y replacing certain foods with healthier choices. Week one, I replaced sugar with Splenda in my tea. Every week it was something new. This works well for the reasons I wrote in the last paragraph.

4. Write down all the reasons you want to lose weight. They can be *big* things like "I want to live a long time and enjoy my old age" or *smaller* things like "I hate my thighs/butt/tummy/whatever."

5. Start logging your food intake. Some people do it on www.fitday.com, I just did it at home in a notebook. It's a real eye-opener, and it will show you good places to drop certain foods or make healthier choices.

6. Control your environment by clearing all the junk out of your kitchen. I know this is tough when you have a family (I live alone, so I have total control of the food situation), but I really think taking away the temptations goes a long way toward helping you succeed. I mean, if it's 2:00 am and you're dying for a pint of Ben & Jerry's, are you REALLY going to get in the car and drive to the 7-11 (or whatever)?

7. DO NOT BEAT YOURSELF UP WHEN YOU STUMBLE! The only other time I lost a large amount of weight was in the mid-1990s. About 3 months into it, I went to D.C. with some friends and we pigged out big time all weekend. I got home and thought "Well, I totally blew it" and I quit. Bad move. You're human. You'll screw up. But get over it and move on.

And stick around 3FC for awhile :D . It's a great place to get info, support, etc.

You can do it!

Editing now to add #8 and #9:

8. PLEASE don't weigh yourself every day!! It can be sooooo demoralizing because our weight naturally fluctuates day to day and hour to hour. I've seen way too many people on 3FC and in the *real world* get all depressed and upset because they weigh .5 lbs more today than they did yesterday. Pick one day a week as your weigh-in day. You'll avoid some serious heartache that way, I promise. I only weigh in once every 6 - 8 weeks usually...although lately it's been every 2 - 3 weeks -- I firmly believe that the longer you wait between weigh-ins, the happier you will be because (for example) I ALWAYS show a loss when I weigh in every 6 weeks or so.

9. DO NOT be discouraged by slow weight loss. I lose at an average of 1/2 lb a week. If you have a lower expectation of weight loss, you'll find that you are often pleasantly surprised. Many people have a goal of 2 - 3 lbs a week and get bummed out when it doesn't happen. Don't set yourself up for disappointment. It took time for you to gain the weight; it will take time for you to lose it.


funniegrrl
10-05-2005, 08:17 PM
Kate has many excellent points. I want to emphasize the idea that you can't count on motivation. I've come to really hate that word. I've finally managed to overcome my lifetime of morbid obesity, and one of the keys is that I realized I could not depend on motivation to carry me through. You DO have some at the beginning, obviously, even if it's motivation to just start thinking about it, researching plans, etc. But, even if you start out gung-ho and perfect, at some point the motivation fades. If that's the only thing that keeps you going, you're sunk. However, if you have determination and a lot of planning on your side, you can depend on that instead.

I finally simply decided that I wanted FIRST OF ALL a healthy relationship with food, and SECOND of all a slimmer body and all the benefits that entailed. I worked on my habits and way of thinking about food. I did tons of self-observation -- when am I most likely to overeat, or eat when I shouldn't? -- and I did a lot of strategizing and planning -- how can I give myself the maximum advantages to succeed? I didn't depend on "willpower" or "motivation" or other whims, emotions, and circumstances. I simply decided on a course of action, made a plan, and went with it.

What it boils down to is that I decided I wanted the end results MORE than I wanted anything else. More than I wanted to feel overstuffed at the end of a meal, more than I wanted all the food I loved, more than I wanted to indulge my hobby of gourmet cooking and baking, more than I wanted to simply eat for entertainment. If you don't have that desire, the food is always going to be more attractive.

So ...

You can develop that sense of determination. I spent about 6 months before I started the program thinking about what I really wanted, saying goodbye to my old habits, making peace with what I was giving up, thinking about how I was going to deal with food-related situations, etc. I read a lot of stuff about weight loss and nutrition and fitness, a lot of success stories. I started to talk to myself in a positive way, telling myself that living the life of a fit, healthy person who didn't overeat was MORE desirable than my old food habits. Once I started, I paid less attention to the scale than my changing mindset, to meeting food challenges, for doing things out of my comfort zone, for doing what I NEEDED to do rather than what I WANTED to do.

All of this takes time, it's not going to happen overnight. If you are willing to do the work, to make the internal changes, to think and strategize, it WILL happen. Hang on through the tough times and remind yourself that what you are doing may be difficult and uncomfortable, but it will take you one step closer to where you want to be. No one is perfect, and you will slip, but if you just see it as the learning experience it is, it won't affect you negatively in the long run.

LovesBassets
10-05-2005, 08:41 PM
Funniegirl has many excellent points, too!! :)

if you have determination and a lot of planning on your side, you can depend on that instead.

EXACTLY!!! You cannot depend 100% on YOURSELF making good decisions. You have to set up your life in advance so it's almost EASIER to make a good decision than a bad one -- i.e.: have baby carrots in the house in case you have a snack attack, and not a bag of Doritos.

how can I give myself the maximum advantages to succeed?

Ask yourself this! Remove as many obstacles as you can!! It's tough enough to lose weight, but adding extra pressure on yourself will only make things worse. Example, someone recently posted about how she had heard it was better to work out first thing in the morning. She said that would be REALLY tough, but she'd do it if that was best. Why set yourself up for failure? If you're a night person, exercise at 10pm! You have to figure out what works BEST for you in order to succeed.

What it boils down to is that I decided I wanted the end results MORE than I wanted anything else.

Someone on 3FC has this quote in their signature, and I always think about it during times of potential weakness:

"Nothing tastes as good as thin feels."

NOTHING. I PROMISE. And I'm a recovering cheesecake/Doritos/Ben&Jerry's addict who was last "thin" during Ronald Reagan's first term in office. The end result of this struggle -- the LIFETIME result, actually -- is better than you can ever imagine. I know it's really tough at first, but as soon as you start seeing the changes in your body, energy level, mindset, etc. you'll get hooked on being healthy! I promise! So take that leap of faith and tough it out over the bumpy, rough bits...it takes alot of patience, but you absolutely deserve to be healthy!

Heather
10-06-2005, 02:17 AM
What a motivational thread!! I really love what kate and funniegrrl said. I haven't yet come very far in this whole endeavor, and am still in the process of making many of the changes kate mentioned. But its different for me this time around -- and the biggest difference is that I approach every situation I can with the question: is the food I want NOW worth the cost to my body (both now and in the future)? Occasionally yes, but usually no. I have found that since I started looking at my choices in this way that it has become easier to make the healthy choices every day.

I also really appreciate hearing the words of wisdom about motivation. I am still at the point where my motivation is pretty high -- though I can feel the change in motivation as some things have gotten a bit tough around here. I can tell that one reason I am holding strong is because of some of the changes I have made that have started to become 2nd nature (e.g., bringing healthy food to work). I can also start to see the places where I do not yet have my practices automated... work for the future.

Thanks for your wisdom.

LovesBassets
10-06-2005, 09:32 AM
and the biggest difference is that I approach every situation I can with the question: is the food I want NOW worth the cost to my body (both now and in the future)? Occasionally yes, but usually no.

You got it, chickie!!! That is fantastic!! And always remember: every single positive decision you make is one step closer to your goal! The weight loss comes as a result of 10,000+ teeny-tiny decisions you make along the way, so every time you make a choice like the one above, you've taken one more step towards better health :) . REMIND YOURSELF of these victories!! Take the time to compliment yourself because only YOU know how tough it is to say "no" to all the millions of :devil: little temptations you face every day. NO ONE is going to say "Hey, well done! I noticed that you walked past the vending machine today and didn't buy a Snickers bar!" You have to be YOUR OWN cheerleader because only you know what your teeny-tiny achievements are.

Personal example: Between my house and the gym there's an ice cream stand that's pretty famous in my area for truly heavenly home-made ice cream. And (obviously) I have to drive by it at least 6 times a week. I haven't been in for probably 2 years, but I STILL congratulate myself every time I drive by -- because I've chosen to drive by. So now that ice cream stand (which COULD have become just another symbol of a food that I can't have, etc.) is instead a constant reminder of how far I've come.

You have to actively seek out opportunities to compliment yourself. Instead of thinking "What a bummer. I really wanted that Twinkie," think "Wow. I can't believe how easy it was to say no to that Twinkie." And the more you do it, the better you'll feel about your food choices. And the better you feel about your food choices, the easier it is to stick to it.

Just my opinion :) .

the slim me
10-06-2005, 10:04 AM
Such good advice! I don't know if I can add anything to this. I also hate the word motivation! It sounds like you're waiting for that "Magic Bullet" to fall down from the sky and make you want to do this. Aint going to happen! You just have to get up and "DO IT". Have a set time for exercise, sometime that's convienient for you. And it doesn't have to be all at once. Do some in the morning and some in the evening if that's better for you. Just "DO IT". I have found that the most key thing for me is to plan ahead. I make a menu for a week at a time, buy the groceries needed for those meals. It's easier if you know in advance what you're going to eat and don't have to start raiding the pantry or fridge wondering "What's for dinner". Also, make movement a priority. Park in the back of the parking lot so you will have to walk more, climb the stairs when you're shopping instead of using the escolator.

You can "DO" this if you want to.

Heather
10-06-2005, 10:36 AM
NO ONE is going to say "Hey, well done! I noticed that you walked past the vending machine today and didn't buy a Snickers bar!" You have to be YOUR OWN cheerleader because only you know what your teeny-tiny achievements are.


See, this is why I love this forum! I hadn't really thought about it that way, but it is spot on. For example, our secretary keeps a little basket of candy on her desk which I used to frequently sample from. Very frequently. I had wondered how I would EVER be able to resist it. Yet, since I started all this back in July, I have not once sampled from the basket. "25 calories for a tiny tootsie roll?? Not worth it!". Yet no one knows of this victory -- only a few people at work even know that I am eating better and exercising. One knows I have lost 30 pounds, but it's not apparent to most yet. And even if they did, who is going to even think about the candy basket?!

Rather than eying it with longing, I so like the idea of making that basket a symbol of my victory so far -- my Victory of Choices, if you will. Because I do make that choice every day!

Thanks!

Msgem29
10-06-2005, 10:52 AM
Hi All,

This is my first day here also. I've lost over one hundred pounds in the past. I have now put all of the one hundred pounds back on. I am currently 307 pounds (I think). I am going to join Jenny Craig Friday and start exercising every day. My short term goal is to have 15 pounds off by Oct 31st and another 15 off by Thanksgiving.....

Hey, how do I get the cute little weight scales/trackers????

Teressia :D

OneLastTime
10-06-2005, 11:10 AM
WOW!! I absolutely can't believe the wonderful welcome and advice you ladies have given me. I really like the idea of seeing little victories instead of bumming over not being able to have what I wanted. I spend a lot of time doing that so I think that will make a nice change toward my success.

I went grocery shopping yesterday and took the extra time when I got home to cut up, separate into portions and bag healthy snacks into snack size ziplock bags so they would be just as easy to grab as a handful of chips or a cookie when I need a snack. I'm a big snacker so having baby carrots, cucumbers (already cut up), pretzels (pre-measured to serving size) ready to grab should help lead me in the right direction.

Another thing for me....I do not own a scale. I tend to get very focused on it and weigh several times a day in hopes for that lower number. All that did was give me a lot of heartache so I threw it out. There is a very reliable scale at work and since I only work part time I can't access it often making a once a week weigh in very possible. For others....if you tend to step on that scale too much, get rid of it. If you live close to your doctor office they usually won't mind if you stop in once a week to weigh in on their scale...Just call and ask, then you just have to tell the person at the window you're here for your weigh-in, go in, weigh, leave and nobody else in the office pays any attention to what you are doing. Well, that's unless you jump up and down with excitement when you lose...then they might wonder what the heck you ARE doing!!!

Thanks again everyone!!

;)

OneLastTime
10-06-2005, 11:15 AM
Teressia - Welcome!!! I've only been here about 24 hours but the positive input is amazing!! Good luck Friday and remember to take it slow, one choice at a time. Read back through some of the recent posts here for some wonderful tips!! To get the scale on the bottom of your post, simply click on someone else's and follow the directions. The biggest thing is to remember to copy it when you finish creating it and remember to paste it in at the end of your post. Gee, does it sound like I'm talking from experience? I had to go back in and edit TWICE to get mine in!! hee hee

funniegrrl
10-06-2005, 11:50 AM
Between my house and the gym there's an ice cream stand that's pretty famous in my area for truly heavenly home-made ice cream. And (obviously) I have to drive by it at least 6 times a week. I haven't been in for probably 2 years, but I STILL congratulate myself every time I drive by -- because I've chosen to drive by. So now that ice cream stand (which COULD have become just another symbol of a food that I can't have, etc.) is instead a constant reminder of how far I've come.

You have to actively seek out opportunities to compliment yourself. Instead of thinking "What a bummer. I really wanted that Twinkie," think "Wow. I can't believe how easy it was to say no to that Twinkie." And the more you do it, the better you'll feel about your food choices. And the better you feel about your food choices, the easier it is to stick to it.

OMG. LOL. I can't tell you how many times I've tried to tell other people those very things.

It IS so very important to remind yourself about your accomplishments, especially those that are behavioral rather than numbers-releated. Success breeds success. What most of us need more than anything is OPTIMISM, a believe that we can get to where we want to be. I think that is much more powerful than "motivation" although they are related. When I feel confident about my progress and potential, I feel jazzed, or at least content, and it's easier to stick to plan. When those doubts start to creep in, that's when I start to lose steam and start to develop that "what the ****, I'll eat what I want!" attitude. The good news is that you can learn to pump yourself up, and learn to NOT do things or pay attention to things that breed those doubts.

That's where positive self-talk is so powerful. Not only do you tell yourself you are worth the effort, that the end result will be worth the (seeming) sacrifice, but you give yourself a pat on the back whenever possible. The pats on the back that have NOTHING to do with the scale are actually the ones that mean the most in the long run. Also, it's so easy to ignore the results we see along the way because we're so glued to that final goal. If you don't stop and take time to notice and acknowledge your progress -- again, those behavioral and non-scale results -- you won't fuel that optimism. You also have to keep a positive attitude about what you're giving up and what your adopting in your new lifestyle.

So, with that in mind, here are the top things I've seen as permanent weight-loss killers:


Refusing to see anything but huge leaps of weight loss as progress. If you lose 1/4 pound per week, that's better than standing still or gaining, and it is probably a sign that you're leading an overall healthier lifestyle. Don't wait until you reach your final goal to acknowledge that you've accomplished something. Set small goals and celebrate each milestone along the way.
Setting deadlines for losing a certain amount. I know this works for some people, it keeps them focused, but I think for MOST of us, it's just a way to shoot ourselves in the foot. Many times our bodies just don't lose weight according to the schedule we've set, even if it's a reasonable schedule. When we don't meet that deadline, we get demoralized, and that can lead to that downhill spiral.
Paying WAY too much attention to the scale in the first place. Losing weight is a BYPRODUCT of getting your life in order and leading a mentally and physically healthy life. The things that matter are the fact that you're treating your body well rather than abusing it, that you are giving yourself health and vitality, and that by having a slimmer body you can lead the life you want to lead. The numbers on the scale will never move as quickly as you want, and they're not a true measure of success.
Spending a whole lot of time whining about the food and quantities you miss. Sure, we all go through a mourning period. But, if you don't counter those negative thoughts with some positive spin, they will drag you right back down into the B&J carton. It breaks my heart when I see people going on and on and on about how much they miss the food they used to eat, the amounts they used to eat, the lifestyle of not worrying about what they eat. That is such wasted energy! It would be much better spent developing a positive outlook about those changes, thinking up strategies, planning, visualizing making good choices and being happy about them. Again, we all go through slumps and get hit by cravings and just get tired of the eternal diligence, but if you wallow in them for too long, you will find it really hard to dig your way out. When that whiny fat child's voice says, "I really miss that huge plate of Everything Nachos and the bucket o' beer at Nacho World!" your adult voice should answer, "Yes, but we won't die without them, and avoiding them for now is what's best in the long run." When your brain says, "I hate vegetables!" you say, "But I want to learn to like them, and I'll keep trying them and experimenting and eating them anyway, because I know they are what my body needs." Etc.
Getting trapped by ideas of what you SHOULD be able to do. "I should be able to ignore the pastries in the breakroom, the chips in the cupboard, the extra 12 portions this restaurant serves, the hunger I feel between lunch and dinner." Forget about it. Stay out of the breakroom. Don't keep chips in the cupboard. Order an appetizer instead of an entree. Bring a healthy afternoon snack to work.
Related to that, paying way too much attention to other people. "Why can't I lose as quickly as Susie? Why is it so much harder for me to stay out of the cookie jar? Why can't I just be normal and slim? What is wrong with me? Wahhh!" You are you. Your body is unique, your experiences and personality are unique. By spending time comparing yourself to others and stomping your feet about the unfairness of it all, you're simply tilting at windmills. It's a waste of energy. It's not helpful, it doesn't change anything. You can only work with the cards you've been dealt.


In the end, I have used one primary mantra to see me through most situations. Whatever works. I don't care what other people do, I don't care what I might think I SHOULD be able to do, I don't care if it takes me out of my comfort zone. I will do whatever it takes to get me to where I want to go.

Heather
10-06-2005, 11:55 AM
I really like the idea of thinking about behavioral successes, because once you do, you realize there's a whole forest of them, instead of the one tree that is the number on the scale.

Of course, this site makes that one number seem like a valued thing to focus on -- all our weight-trackers, etc. I wonder if we could have behavioral trackers as well. I'd like one to count the number of days I exercise at least 30 minutes, for instance!

Edited to add: I added something of my own! See below!

OneLastTime
10-06-2005, 11:59 AM
Rather than eying it with longing, I so like the idea of making that basket a symbol of my victory so far -- my Victory of Choices, if you will. Because I do make that choice every day!

I'm with you on this one!!! Very well put.

lucky
10-06-2005, 12:27 PM
I don't have anything new to add but some things can't be said enough.

Motivation is not a realiable tool for weight loss because it comes and goes as it pleases. Sheer determination is what is going to get us to our goals. We all have mornings when we wake up wondering how we could have ever eaten the way we once did or imagine what life would be like if we didn't exercise on a regular basis. We start our days without any worry that making the right food choices will be difficult. Those are awesome days and we should take advantage of them. But, on the days that we don't feel quite so invincible we have to be DETERMINED to do the things that will give us the strong and helathy bodies that we crave. There are plenty of things we do in life because they are right or because they are our responsibilty whether we WANT to do them or not. There is absolutely no reason we should approach weight loss any differently.

When I meet a weight loss challenge I try to consider how I would handle a similar situation in another area of my life. For instance, a bad choice at one meal used to ruin my efforts for the rest of the day. I'd give up thinking, "well that is it - the day is lost." That day would bleed into a week and that week would bleed into a month and without ever realizing it I'd given up all together. But, would I do that over one fight with my husband? No. Our marriage isn't over because one of us makes a mistake. We may stew over it for a bit but then we figure out what went wrong and we fix it and we learn from it. And in the end the argument is a blessing in disguise because we are better equipped to face similar situations down the road. So, that is how I now look at poor food choices. I try to figure out why I chose poorly, fix it if I can, and devise a plan for similar instances that may crop up in the future.

There are plenty of days that my motivation has faded and my determination is running thin. I think about my kids. I don't have to be motivated or determined to get out of bed every morning and see them off to school. Goodness knows there lots of days I'd just assume send them back to bed and pull the covers over my head. But I don't because that is the wrong thing to do. I drag myself to the kitchen to make their breakfast get them dressed and out of the door for no other reason than it is my responsiblilty to do so. Some days I get myself to the gym using the exact same attitude.

And, you know, sometimes I just weigh my options and it becomes easy to choose the lesser of two evils, so to speak. I used to work and there were plenty of days that I would have loved to play hooky. I'd have been paid whether I was there or not so I didn't have money to motivate me. I had an established career so nobody was going to question my ability to see that my work was done because of one absence. So, I'd have to consider how that decision would affect ME. I'd look at what was on my to do list for the week and decide if a day off was worth the catch up I'd have to play for the rest of the week. Sometimes it was, sometimes it wasn't. I decide whether or not to indulge a craving or skip a day at the gym exactly the same way. Is that food going to be soooo good that it is worth and extra hour on the treadmill? Is that day on the couch going to be soooo relaxing that it's worth having lighter than usual meals? Sometimes it is, sometimes it is not. And sometimes, I make the decision to indulge or skip the gym without imposing any consequence other than accepting that my weight loss results aren't going to be what they usually are at the end of the week. And that is okay too.

The bottom line is that I have to OWN my decisions. I have to accept that if I don't reach my goal it isn't going to be because I wasn't motivated enough (who doesn't want to look and feel great?) it is going to because I was determined enough to do the hard work required to get me there. I haven't always felt that way when it comes to losing weight and I have failed miserably until now. It is all about ATTITUDE!

funniegrrl
10-06-2005, 01:01 PM
Of course, this site makes that one number seem like a valued thing to focus on -- all our weight-trackers, etc.

That's why I don't include my stats or use a weight tracker in my sig.

boiaby
10-06-2005, 02:45 PM
I agree, I know if I waited around until I was motivated, NOTHING would ever get done!! :D Don't give yourself the chance to talk yourself out of it. This has to be a new way of life, whether you particularly feel like it that day or not.

Beverly