Dieting with Obstacles - In my own rut

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Ms. Shapen
06-21-2006, 02:05 PM
I haven't posted here in a while. I was here about a month ago and logged off. I feel like anything I say would be full of excuses and whining.

I have a couple health issues that you would think would motivate me to pull myself up by my bootstraps, but that hasn't happened. It seems that I can't find anything that matters enough (or scares me enough) to me to take better care of myself.

The only way I can describe how I feel is that I care, but I don't. Does that make sense?

I'd like to know what motivated other members initially to start losing weight.

Thanks so much.

06-21-2006, 02:09 PM
My big motivation was health concerns. I need a liver transplant and the doctor said my weight had to be in control before I could qualify. This was reason enough to lose the weight. It was basically lose weight or die. He set my goal at 150 and I am now below that. I see him again next Friday and hopefully will now be on the liver transplant list.

06-21-2006, 02:58 PM
Wow, Lilybelle, that's awesome. You look great and you've made incredible progress! I wish you luck in getting a liver.

In the beginning, it wasn't about losing weight for me. I wasn't convinced I could lose weight and I hate to fail--if I'm not sure I'll succeed at something, I just won't do it. But, I had some medical issues that were symptomatic of acid reflux disease (although, ironically, it turned out that my issues were due to allergies, not acid reflux, so all this diet and exercise isn't helping with them). Everything I read about acid reflux said that I would feel better if I ate better and exercised. I didn't want to have to take another maintenance drug (between birth control and allergies, I feel like I'm on enough drugs) so I decided to try a gym membership with the goal being to get in better shape. When I signed up, everyone at the gym was so enthusiastic and confident that I could lose weight (they just assumed that's why I was there) that it sucked me in. I know it was a total sales job, but it worked. I remember sitting at home with my partner after that first day saying, in a somewhat incredulous tone: "gosh, do you think I really could get to a point where I'm happy with how I look?" The fact that these total strangers just seem to accept without question that I could lose weight really had a powerful impact on me.

- Barbara

Ms. Shapen
06-21-2006, 03:19 PM
Lilybelle, your pictures are fantastic! Thanks for sharing them with us. I hope that all goes well at your next doctor appointment.

BlueToBlue: I, too, have problems that are weight related - high cholesterol and sleep apnea. Both can be damaging to the heart, both can be helped, at least to some extent, with weight loss.

I am greatful that I don't need a body part replaced. But at what point will I be motivated? When I'm forced to DO something? What is my problem with getting it to sink in that I am lucky that I have the problems I do, rather than something worse? Someone slap me. :lol: :rolleyes:

06-21-2006, 03:32 PM
It is really hard to find motivation if it isn't there. I have had that problem before when I felt like I would have to begin a "diet". I guess I really didn't want to change who I was. I also have done many, many, many diets and failed (weight watchers, LA weightloss, atkins, south beach, sugar busters, Anne Collins, fat free, counting calories, starving...) I really did not enjoy the thoughts of failing again so I had no motivation.

That is when I was talking to a friend one day about my troubles and he told me that only a very good actor can be someone they are not forever. And it was like a light went on in my head, I like to refer to is as my einstein moment. I was trying to be someone that I was not and I was not a good actress. I could only keep it up until I was tired of it, then I would quit/fail. He also gave me another good piece of advice, don't start anything unless you are ready to do it for the rest of your life.

Since then, I have began doing healthy things that I like. I also allow sweets once a day if I want them. I have found that if I know that I am allowed to have something I don't get all emotional over something that is bad for me. Before, if I would tell myself, "no more sweets allowed" I might keep it up for a day or even three months but at some point in time I would start a binge that would last a very long time. Then would come the guilt/failure phase and all of the weight flying back on me plus a few of their friends in tow.

Needless to say, I have tried to conform to many diets because someone else was a success at it. I usually would last about 3 weeks sometimes longer ( until the honeymoon was over). In the end I would always fail, even if I was loosing weight. I really thought that I was just weak and unmotivated and didn't care enough. But after my good friend pointed out the obvious, my life has changed. I feel like I am finally in control and don't really worry about loosing it. I don't have any hard and fast rules, just common sense.

1. Do not eat if you are not hungry (this is hard for me because I am an emotional eater). I have cultivated my hobbies to be able to pick something up to keep from munching. I also make sure that I get plenty of rest because I will eat just to stay awake sometimes!

2. I can eat only one sweet thing a day whatever I want, within a 250 calorie limit. I don't have to, but I can if I want to. I love sweets, but I love them more if I can't have them (if you understand what I mean). A lot of days I never even think of them, but before on my "diets" when I tried to deny myself I would eventually binge big time. Denial creates a strange attraction for me. If you told me I could never eat brussel sprouts again, I would soon become obsessed with eating them. Go Figure? Therefore, since sweets are my hangup, I don't say no to them and it works for me.

3. I must get up and move as much as possible doing anything that I like. It doesn't matter what, just have fun. I don't sit around and veg to rest or relax anymore. I take a walk and look at the scenery, I may go visit my garden, like I said no hard or fast rules, just move and enjoy myself.

4. I also make sure that I get my heart rate up at least three times a week doing anything that I enjoy. I love to run but I have these massive DD boobs that I hate. Therefore, I run on my treadmill to avoid the wild eyes I get on my local bike trail. I want to have breast reduction but my husband really likes these things for some reason! (Yes, you can laugh!) Anyway, cardio is fun. I dance a lot with my kids and they think that I am just playing with them but I am actually exercising and playing. I think that if I am enjoying myself I will always look forward to exercise. I won't dread anything. The possibilities are only limited by your imagination.

5. Deal with all of "the issues". If anything makes me stress out and head for the hershey's bars it will be my issues. We all have them, the checkbook won't balance, the car breaks down, you get mad at someone and are stewing, the kids are fighting, everyone else is not pulling their weight, the sun is not shining, whatever, you know the deal. Anyway, whatever the issue, deal with it and put it to bed. Good, bad, indifferent, deal with it and move on. You'll be a whole lot happier and less likely to damage yourself unintentionally through food or high blood pressure. Don't let anything build up because you will eventually loose control. Then you'll be at the end of a three week binge wondering how you got there.

6. I deal with one day at a time. "My job today is to take care of myself and do the best job that I can. I want to be good to myself and treat everyone else exactly the way I want them to treat me. I want to be as happy as I can and sleep well when I go to bed tonight." I find that with that goal, everyday I will be a success.

7. As for my diet, I make sure that I eat healthy. I eat only what I like. I don't really like meat at all (I even tried atkins and south beach once! What was that all about?) Anyway, I don't force myself to eat it anymore. I make sure that I get my protein through things that I do like. I steer towards vegetables and fruits and I like them now that I don't feel like I have to eat them (I guess this is reverse psychology). I also only eat until I am full. I don't worry anymore about cleaning my plate even if it is healthy stuff that I need. If I am full, I am through. Period.

8. With all of that said, on any normal day I eat around 1200 - 1400 calories, I am not hungry, I am happy, not stressed about counting anything. I eat what I really want, and I am loosing weight. I have come to realize that I only got fat when I started dieting years ago. When I stared dieting when I was around 14, I was well within a healthy weight (5' 2" ~ 125#). However, through all of my diets all I did was keep food in the spotlight. Everything was focused around what I was going to eat or not allowed to eat and before I knew it food was my only reward. I did not enjoy it but I felt like that was what I lived for. Not anymore, I eat exactly what I want and only as much as I need. I can live with myself and I don't feel like I am waiting on something to end. This is my life now and this is what I choose. I am also slowly loosing weight and I have quit worrying about it. I will eventually reach my healthy weight at some point. I am not worried about it.

To me this is what life was all about. If God had meant for me to eat that much food for whatever reason, I would not have been obese. I am finally at a point in my life where I am happy. I used to think that I could not be happy unless I weighed 110. That really has nothing to do with it. My life will not become anything more then than it is now, if I don't learn to enjoy it. I don't enjoy constantly focusing on what I eat. I eat to live, I don't live to eat anymore.

Anyway, You might find your motivation if you just give up the whole diet mentality. Stop beating yourself over the head because you don't look like so and so. You are you and will always be you. Do what you like and don't focus on food. You will eventually find yourself and start enjoying your life today. MayGod bless you and I will keep you and all of my Fat Chick buddies in my prayers!

06-21-2006, 03:39 PM
I'm a single mom who will soon be an "empty nester", and I decided it was time to start dating. The thought of being romantic or sexy in my body as it was last October was enough to make me want to lose weight.

I also made sure everything else in my life was in order: emotional baggage was addressed through therapy, I switched jobs to get away from a neurotic micromanager, I got rid of the "energy suckers" in my life. So far, so good!

Best of luck to you ...

Goodbye Chubby
06-21-2006, 05:13 PM
I also made sure everything else in my life was in order: emotional baggage was addressed through therapy, I switched jobs to get away from a neurotic micromanager, I got rid of the "energy suckers" in my life. So far, so good!

I had gotten to the point where everything in my life was pretty much in order. I was out of college, settled into a good job, had a place to live, and a sweet boyfriend. All that really remained was my outward appearance. Since everything else was taken care of, I was able to make weight loss priority number 1 and devote the effort and time that goes into the process.

The quote down in my signature had a big part to do with my motivation. If you eliminate failure as a choice, then it won't happen. It's like when you wake up for work or school in the morning; you really don't have a choice (unless you're sick or can take one of those few, but precious "mental health days"), you just get up and go to work. Don't question it.

Being motivated doesn't necessarily mean liking what you're doing. Even today in the locker room as I was preparing for my lunchtime workout, I paused and thought to myself (as I have many times before), "Uggg, I'm going to have to do this every day for the rest of my life," then sighed and went on the elliptical for 30 minutes. I've been working out consistently since January, and I still don't like it...well, I like weight lifting (upper body), but that's it.

I've been on a lot of failed diets, but I learned a lot of my personal pitfalls from those experiences. For example, I used to barter with myself. I'd think: well, I didn't eat too much today, I can skip working out. Then the next day, I would find another reason to justify skipping my workout or convincing myself that I deserved that entire bag of tortilla chips, jar of salsa, and pint of Ben & Jerry's in one sitting...and it went on and on.

There's that saying that you have to be cruel to be kind. There were some serious inner struggles between my easy going fun loving self and the drill sergent within that made me do all these horrible exercises that I hated and wouldn't let me indulge in what I loved.

It doesn't have to be that bad, but if you're anything like me, it will seem terrible and you'll want to quit every day, but don't let yourself entertain the idea of it. Because when you're really starting feel that all that work is worthless, you will see the transformation start to take place, and while you still may not like the diet/exercise thing, you'll at least know it's worth it.

Well, I hope this sort of makes sense. I really didn't mean to ramble on this long. I sincerely wish you the best of luck. :hug:

Ms. Shapen
06-21-2006, 05:44 PM
Puney: Thank you for all the great thoughts! So many things that you mentioned "fit" me.

I would go on diet programs, then quit. It's hard to wrap my mind around the fact that I'm fat, but had to continuously think of food (ie weigh it, measure it, this-food-goes-in-this-category, what I could/couldn't eat, etc.) I found that those programs didn't deal with the my main problem - how I feel about myself - which is something Phantastica mentioned.

I am an emotional eater, but I really try to stay away from snacking between meals. Then, I decided last month to try six small meals instead of three big ones, as some folks suggest. I was able to lose nine pounds in 15 days. It was a good start and I have so much to lose, but as soon as I took a long weekend away, I gained three back and then all of it. The problem I found with six small meals - and yes, this could be one of my excuses - is that I was trying to eat veggies and fruit, but I got really tired of eating those. I don't like a big enough variety, I guess.

I love sweets, too, but I really do try to stay away from them. I have found, though, that I can handle Hershey Kisses IF I keep them put away. I can actually take two out, let them melt in my mouth and be satisfied. I read something many years ago that stated that the only bite a person really tastes is the very first one. The rest of them are just the momentum (or habit) of your hand going to your mouth - a mindless activity. Thinking of it that way helped me . . . for a while.

Moving isn't difficult for me, but I sit all day at my job. When I get home, I start dinner and then I'm tired. My sleep apnea keeps me tired all day. Anyway, I am temporarily living with my daughter (long Daughter Story :rolleyes: ) I don't want to exercise in the house because she has two dogs that, well, have the run of the house - including their hair. :stress: (Okay that's another excuse, right? ) I have thought about getting to work early (which I usually do, because I don't sleep anyway) and walking around the parking area and driveway. So far, I've only thought about it.

As far as issues go, I know I have them, of course. I just don't know how to get past some of them. I am in a dead-end job and I plan on leaving by the end of the year. The people are so . . . depressing. One thing I did do, was get a divorce nearly two years ago. I have to admit, that was one of the best things I've ever done. Another issue is the apnea. I just couldn't get used to one of those masks to sleep in. What a huge joke. I have given up on ever feeling rested. I want to find out if losing weight will make that better, but it has yet to motivate me. I think a huge part of my reason for eating is to "have an energy boost," which you even mention in your post!

I think you are exactly right that I need to take food out of spotlight. Even when I'm thinking about what I can and can't have, it's still on my mind. I need to be able to plan what will be for dinner and lunch at work, without it becoming a continuous obsession.

Yep, food has been my reward throughout the years. And interestingly enough, it's also been my punishment, because when I did something that I didn't like, I'd eat for that reason as well. I truely have eaten because I don't like myself.

Phantastica: I have to agree that I need to get rid of the stressors in my life. I am hopeful that once I get out of this workplace and move to another part of the country, that I will be able to surround myself with more uplifting people.

Goodbye Chubby: That IS a good signature line - and SO true. I really shouldn't give myself a choice to fail. And who am I to complain? I mean, I don't have diabetes or some other condition that demands a certain way of eating. I need to consider myself lucky.

I used to walk 4 - 8 miles a day. I should have never stopped. (Note to everyone: You may hate exercising, but don't quit. It's so very hard to restart.) I was determined then to make it a lifestyle change - and didn't.

Thank you all so much for your input. Keep it coming. Maybe just flooding myself with info and ideas will make my mind work in the right direction.

06-21-2006, 10:42 PM
I think that you are on the right track. I have several friends that have sleep apnea. However, they are in love with their machines. They get very offended if their Dr. mentions not using them. One good friend lost weight and didn't need it anymore but did not want to give it up. I would maybe consider trying it again with the thought that it is only a tool to help you get more energy to loose weight. When your weight drops you will not need it anymore.

Sleep apnea is a dangerous animal to be playing with. My friend above that I mentioned, John, was a heavy equipment operator for me and would fall asleep while operating a bull dozer. Talk about a nightmare. He even backed over a truck one time. Fortunately no one was injured. It was enough of a wake up call that he forced himself to like the mask. When He finally seen how much better it made him feel, he loved it. He doesn't even need it now but still wants to wear it.

Anyway, I would reccommend taking out a notebook and list all of your obstacles and try to brainstorm on how to over come them. If you need help with any ideas get back to all of us. It really helps to have a support group. You can even send private messages if you want. Good Luck and May God Bless You!

Ms. Shapen
06-22-2006, 09:33 AM
It seems that just reading and talking a couple things out here yesterday helped. I decided that I'm going to make "No Excuses" my mantra.

I ran out of Diet Coke yesterday, so I went the whole day without it. That probably doesn't seem like a big deal, but I was told that I needed an IV line connected to a Diet Coke keg. LOL Anyway, made it through with water and juice. I actually slept fairly well last night. Could there be a connection? :doh:

I got to work early this morning and walked around the parking lot a few times. I plan on going out at lunchtime as well, IF it's not too hot.

I'm a big fan of working things out on paper, so that idea should work for me. I'm technologically challenged, so I still will draw a line down a piece of paper to do a pro and con list or work things out on a paper calendar. There seems to be a link (for me) between writing with my hands, seeing it on paper and making some mental connection. Imagine that! ;)

06-22-2006, 10:17 AM
Way to Go! :dance: I lost 20 lbs the first few months of this year and I was so proud. I was doing it realistically too (no strict diet for me). Then I went to a funeral and something snapped and I've not been able to get the motivation back. I agree with the "dont do it until you are ready comment." I want to be ready again, but I'm not. I decided today to take the first step. Journal. Forget about perfection. Forget about if I'm eating healthy. Just write it down so I can see it. Maybe this will spark something in me. It's really hard to put down that you ate 3000 calories in one sitting. I have always said staying on it is not too hard (most of the time), it's getting started (I mean REALLY started) that takes all the work in the world and it will not work until you are ready. Sounds like you are. Spray some :dust: my way please.

I wll probably post this somewhere else, but can someone point me to a free online diet journal. I like fitday but I had to do too much customizing. That's cool when I'm motivated, but I don't think I could do that right now. I also know I like including different vitamin in foods but I don't want to painsakingly have to enter it for every food I put in there. Any suggestions?

06-22-2006, 10:26 AM
Great! Keep me posted. Just remember you are in control at all times. Don't beat yourself up if you make a bad choice every now and then. No one is perfect at anything all of the time (be Forgiving). Enjoy your life and have fun. Take care of yourself and love yourself. Don't do anything that will make you feel down.

Diet cokes are not good for you either. They are still a junk food because they replace valuble water that you should be drinking. It would be okay to drink one every now and then too. If you notice all around you, most of the people who buy them are still overweight. Water is best, and drink lots of it. Juice is okay but you would feel better to actually eat your fruit instead of drinking it.

Keep up the exercise too, the more you do the more you will want to do. It is addictive. Your body produces endorphins when you exercise and that is a great stress reliever, a natural high. Just remember to keep it fun and interesting and you will look forward to it. You will also keep it up too.

I used to do a lot of weight training until I had a shoulder injury a couple of years ago. I really miss it. Weights help you build muscle which helps you burn more calories. There are a lot of exercises that you can do with hand weights while sitting at your desk. I still do those now. Stretching is important too. You might want to prowl the internet for some good stretches to do. Sitting at a desk will leave you with very tight hamstrings.

Anyway, I am proud of you. Get going and enjoy your life. Everyone deserves to be happy! God Bless You!

Ms. Shapen
06-22-2006, 12:58 PM
DeafinlySmart: I can certainly relate. I had been doing so well, for a long time - walking and eating right - and then something snapped and I became depressed. Instead of forcing myself to continue, I quit walking. Then I quit eating right. And we all know what the result was. *sigh*

I think it's important that you write down what you are eating right now. That in itself may surprise - and motivate - you. At least on paper (instead of relying on memory), you'll be able to sit back and SEE where improvement can be made.

All I know about motivation is that yesterday I was feeling pretty awful. I was exhausted and I knew what I looked like. I sat here thinking that I was doing nothing with my life, because I don't feel well . . . and most of it is my own fault. I already regret how I've lived some of my life. I don't want to regret any part of it in the future. I don't want to have a heart attack when I'm 50. I don't want to be sitting in my chair when I'm 80, unable to get around because my joints are shot and my muscles can't lift me, thinking how I wished I would have taken better care of myself 40 years before.

Puney: There's that word: Control. That could very well be why I've been doing what I've been doing. Control is a funny thing. I can be in control and be good to myself. Or I can be in control by punishing myself with food. (I'm not sure that makes sense to anyone but me. :lol: )

Another good word: Responsible. I read a book about weight loss, in which the author said, "You are responsible for the food you put in your mouth." How very true. Being the responsible person I am, that helped me get a start. Funny thing, it's really the only statement in the book I remember, but I conveniently forget to work at staying responsible.

I agree that Diet Coke is junk food. I think that most of the time, I don't even appreciate the taste. It's there and I drink it. I drink it more for the caffeine than the taste. I've wondered about diet foods (like pop) and being overweight. Now, I'm not trying to shift blame for my weight, but I often wonder if the sweeteners that are used actually are addictive or make us crave more sweets, which make us reach for more diet foods, which increase their profits. You know, like the nicotine in cigarettes. Just a thought . . .

Ahhh . . . you mentioned hand weights :barbell: . . . guess what I did . . . I brought a set to work with me this morning! ! ! ! ! So, I'll be doing some of this :lifter:

:grouphug: Thanks

06-22-2006, 01:55 PM
I got to work early this morning and walked around the parking lot a few times. I plan on going out at lunchtime as well, IF it's not too hot.

:carrot: :carrot: :carrot: Yay! Way to go! Way to go! :carrot: :carrot: :carrot:

Anyway, I would reccommend taking out a notebook and list all of your obstacles and try to brainstorm on how to over come them.

Love this! I might need to do this just for fun.

Inundating myself with weight-loss/health information helped me initially. I read all of these books within about three months at the start of my changes:
French Women Don't Get Fat
Fit From Within
Tales From the Scale
Fast Food Nation
Fat Land
Thin People Don't Clean Their Plates
Passing For Thin

And I joined TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly, an inexpensive/nonprofit international weight-loss support group), and I began hanging out around here.

Ms. Shapen
06-22-2006, 02:39 PM
Thanks, Phatastica. I was just looking at your stats. You are almost half way there! Good for you! :woo: