Carb Counters - Why is it?




View Full Version : Why is it?


SherryA
06-29-2006, 12:11 PM
That some times weight loss is the most important thing on your mind, that you focus so strongly on it, that nothing can move you away from your goals, and other times you couldn't care less?

That for me is the most frustrating thing. My cycles of motivation and indifference. I feel like if I could just keep my desire to lose weight strong, I could beat this monster that is my fat body, but I reach a click point where I really WANT and need to drop weight, and I do it with fierce determination.

Then after some of the weight is gone, I wind up losing it. Losing all desire to even think about it or worry how heavy I am. No I guess I still think about it, I just don't care as much.

Why not? Why is it so easy to just throw in the towel and stop even feeling like it matters?

I wish there was a way, a method, a secret that could be learned to help one keep their motivation strong, but when I lose it, I'm just lost. My body seems to seek an equilbrium. Seek a spot it just wants to sit at weight wise. I can lose below that point, but without real diligence the weight starts climbing back to that point. And after awhile I just get tired of fighting it.

So do any of you have any idea of what it takes to really make yourself CARE about the weight? Do you find that if you have too much else going on in your life that you have to concern yourself with that weight loss just goes on the back burner? How during times like that do you keep a portion of your energys toward losing? I seem to just have a very one track mind and seem unable to cope with more than one serious goal at a time.


d_rowland
06-29-2006, 02:51 PM
I'm in the same boat - feel like I'm rowing upstream sometimes. You are so right with motivation - feel like you could keep on forever, then lose it and wonder how it happened.

One thing is for sure if there is a solution to the problem - it would be worth $1 million dollars!!!!!

lady_adnerb
06-29-2006, 02:55 PM
I've yet to find the motivation as well. Which is why I'm sitting where I'm at--weight wise. And why I keep the motto "try, try again" until I get it right.


Juxtapose
06-29-2006, 03:01 PM
I can totally relate. I've been trying to get up the motivation to lose weight for about 2 years now. What finally got my butt in gear this time was wearing jeans and a crop top and feeling the fat roll over my jeans. eeeww.

So I went to the hair salon, got all my hair chopped off. Got the Atkins book from the library and started induction. For me cutting my hair short is like a changing of the old and a starting of the new. I want to be a new me, a better me. And not just outside but inside. I'm trying to learn Yoga as well.

Luck to you and your journey. And maybe a bit for me. ;)

Namaste'

- Jux

Glamourgirl25
06-30-2006, 03:52 AM
Hi Everyone,

This post is interesting to me because I too ask the same question all the time. However, I know lots of people in 12-step programs, most of whom are doing very well, but the one thing that EVERYONE who relapses says was the slipping point for them was when they felt really good and really strong and stopped reaching out. They thought their motivation was strong enough to get them through anything. But little day-to-day things, you know, life happens, and suddenly you ARE faced with major obstacles and no support and no tools to deal with it. And the crazy addicted brain snaps and takes over, because their are no filters, nothing stopping it, and then it's over. The towel is thrown, so to speak!!!

So perhaps the key is consistency? Even when things are going well - maybe ESPECIALLY when they're going well - I'm going to try to keep on posting regularly and checking in with friends and family who know what I'm doing so I stay accountable. Because posts always help. I'm sure I've read posts here from people who were like "Uh, I'm just posting out of habit, I don't really think it's doing me any good" that have saved me from a binge or really negative thinking, you know?

Hope you are all doing well. Lots of good thoughts for you all!!!

Love,
glam

lady_adnerb
06-30-2006, 09:01 AM
I was close to goal (well, at the goal I'm setting for myself now--not the one I had "way back when") and went into the mind set "this won't hurt me, it's just this once"...which turned into a day of junk foods....then a weekend....then every weekend....then spilled into the week and so on. Time to realize that it WILL hurt me AND my efforts to be healthy. Now to just STICK that in my brain so that when the carbs call out I can resist!!

Misti in Seattle
06-30-2006, 09:28 AM
That some times weight loss is the most important thing on your mind, that you focus so strongly on it, that nothing can move you away from your goals, and other times you couldn't care less?




Because we tend to base our motivation on our "feelings" which are oh so fickle and change constantly. It has to be based on a DECISION we make that we are going to go out and do it regardless of how we FEEL.

I don't FEEL like going to work this morning but I am going because the consequences of NOT going are worse than going. :) Same thing with losing weight. The consequences of my NOT eating right and exercising are worse than the price I pay to do it.

If we wait until we feel motivated, we won't do it, at least not long term.

ilovemike4alwayz
06-30-2006, 10:08 AM
YOu know i was feeling the same way guys, like why is it so easy for us to cheat ourselves.

Misti in Seatle- I never thought of it like that, but you know what, i think you may have made the light bulb click on for me.

Thats why i love this group. I can get out of my thinking box and realize it isnt just me.

Misti in Seattle
07-01-2006, 05:12 AM
I am so glad it was helpful for you! Yes, I agree... this is a great group and such an encouragement!

bargoo
07-01-2006, 03:38 PM
Do I ever understand this feeling. I lost 54 pounds, gave away all my fat clothes and regianed 30!!!!,now I cannot wear my new wardrobe, back to sweats,( a dead give away when someone is gainng weight) I really need a quick start I have been fooling around since the first of this year, lose a pound or 2, eat couple of candy bars, lose a couple of pounds eat a lot of ice cream, well, you guys know the drill. I went to the grocery store this morning and stocked up on the right foods so I can get back on Atkins.I am going to call tomorrow my first day as I forgot to weigh before breakfast.

Squeeky
07-02-2006, 12:52 AM
The consequences of my NOT eating right and exercising are worse than the price I pay to do it.


*THAT* is an *excellent* point!

BerkshireGrl
07-02-2006, 10:39 AM
Found this elsewhere on the web... As someone who gained all her weight back plus some, I'm sure some of this is at work in my brain! ;)

Interesting LIFETIME FITNESS Magazine Article:

[Fitness Fixes] Your Body, Reframed
By Clara Beacon

Your body is changing for the better. But is your brain on board? A cognitive psychologist explains how to be on the lookout for the unconscious “mental frames” that can bring your progress to a halt.

It took a lot of hard work and focused choices. But here you are — perhaps weeks or months into your fitness program — and you’re beginning to see and feel some real results. You’re looking leaner and more fit. Your clothes are fitting looser. You’re feeling lighter, standing taller, moving faster on your feet. Hey, you’re seeing a whole new person when you look in the mirror!

And then, something strange happens. Suddenly, perhaps subtly, you find yourself making choices you used to make, resuscitating less-than-healthy behaviors you thought you’d given up. Bit by bit, you start reclaiming that loose space in your clothing and retreating into the more familiar look and feel of your former, less-fit self.

So what gives? People get derailed from what appear to be successful fitness and weight-loss programs for all sorts of reasons, of course. In some cases, life circumstances or unrealistic expectations are to blame. In other cases, people burn out on overaggressive regimens, or simply fail to transition into sound maintenance programs. But there are also times when people abruptly reverse course for no apparent reason.

In such cases, there’s often an unconscious factor at work, and for anyone who has been working intently toward a fitness goal, the unraveling of all that hard-won progress can be both a maddening and mystifying thing to behold. It may seem as though we have a divided self, with one part of us willingly doing the work of getting in shape, and the other part of us busily deconstructing our progress while we’re not looking.

This, according to cognitive psychologist Michael Hall, PhD, is a classic case of “cognitive dissonance,” a psychological phenomenon that arises whenever an individual holds two opposing (i.e., dissonant) thoughts, beliefs, values or goals. In many cases, explains Hall, one of our opposing ideas — or “frames of thought,” as he calls them — might be far less conscious than the other, but still surprisingly powerful. “If left unexamined,” he says, “our unconscious frames may compel us to act in ways we don’t entirely understand — ways diametrically opposed to our more conscious choices.”

A Method to the Madness

The key to understanding and dispelling such problems, according to Hall, lies in recognizing that some part of us is served — or at least thinks it is served — by our self-sabotaging actions. “One part of you may be committed to the idea of losing weight, and be motivated by the idea of looking more attractive and feeling more fit,” Hall explains. “But there may be another part of you that’s not at all convinced this unfamiliar state of being is safe or desirable. It experiences the change as a threat — a danger or challenge to another important value — and so it acts to reverse it.”

When it comes to issues of body shape and body image, though, we may find such reversals particularly perplexing. Why on earth, we might wonder, would any part of us not want to be in the healthiest, most attractive body possible?

Hall, cofounder of the International Association for Neuro-Semantics (www.neurosemantics.com) and coauthor of several books, including Games Slim and Fit People Play (Neuro-Semantic Publications, 2001) and Secrets of Personal Mastery (Crown House, 2000), explains this phenomenon in terms of “meaning” and “performance.” We attach meanings — interpretations, judgments, emotional associations — to everything we experience, he says, and then we perform, or behaviorally act out, those meanings in our everyday lives.

“The challenge,” he notes, “comes when we simultaneously associate two different or opposing meanings to a single experience, but don’t fully recognize that.” The meanings we attach to our bodies, in particular, Hall says, tend to be deeply personal, powerful and complex. We might have both very positive and very negative associations, for example, with the idea of an attention-getting figure, he explains. On the one hand, we may crave that kind of attention, and desire the benefits it confers. On the other, we might hold a deep-seated belief that people with attractive bodies are superficial, or we might dread the idea of being perceived and judged in relation to our appearance. Regardless of our conscious desires, Hall says, we’ll typically wind up acting out whatever meanings are most deeply held, or operating more actively, at any given time.

The challenge is that in many cases, we don’t even realize we hold a negative meaning until some triggering aspect of a given experience presents itself. Or worse, we never recognize it at all, but we react to it just the same. “Let’s say you decide to lose some weight and get in shape,” Hall says. “Consciously, because you attach many positive meanings to being slim and healthy, you perform those meanings by making positive lifestyle choices like exercising more and eating better.” Initially, you might be comfortable — even elated — about your progress. But then, as your body takes on unfamiliar characteristics, you may experience some unanticipated (and subtly disconcerting) reactions.

“Perhaps, as the result of your new appearance and fitness level, you begin to feel more sexually attractive and more confident,” Hall says. “Even though you might consciously attach many positive meanings to your desired state of thinness, if you have a more powerful, subconscious belief system that says getting sexual attention isn’t safe, or if you associate confidence with arrogance, or with the risk of being criticized, those beliefs may make the experience of your new thinness feel dangerous and deeply unappealing.”

As long as the unconscious, negative associations carry more import and meaning than your conscious desire to be thin, Hall asserts, they’ll cause you to begin performing those meanings — typically in ways that undermine your former, fitness-oriented behaviors.

Identifying the Disconnect

Whether you’ve self-sabotaged your fitness efforts in the past, or just want to guard against it happening in the future, your first step toward dismantling patterns of destructive mental processing is to learn to recognize them when they are happening.

To that end, make regular mental and emotional check-ins a part of your fitness plan. If you notice you’re feeling weird, uncomfortable or disoriented in your body, or if you identify that you’re engaging in a behavior that seems contrary to your chosen goals, get quiet for a moment. Go inward and ask yourself: What’s going on? What feelings or assumptions are operating now, and how do they support or oppose my most conscious priorities?

Hall refers to this moment of mindfulness as a “choice point” — a time when you can elect to either elevate your chosen frames and meanings, or let them be overridden by less conscious choices.

Using the suggestions in “Friendly Frames” (below) as a starting place, take an inventory of your responses to both physical- and emotional-level changes. As you get into the habit of noticing what beliefs, reactions or assumptions are operating at a given time, you’ll become more adept at identifying your personal patterns, and at devising solutions for removing the psychological obstacles in your way.

SIDEBAR: Friendly Frames

Losing excess weight and getting more fit are generally thought of as causes for celebration. But some of the changes associated with these successes require an adjustment period — and some conscious integration. Here are just a few of the subtle physiological shifts that you might experience as your physique evolves, along with some observations from cognitive-behavioral psychologist L. Michael Hall, PhD — plus some “reframing” suggestions for getting your brain on board with the choices you’ve made for your body.

As you lose weight...

Visible changes in body shape and size often invite outside attention and comment. This can leave you feeling more “on stage” and inspected than you find comfortable. You may have mixed feelings about being more attractive, and particularly about attracting attention from the opposite sex.

Losing a substantial amount of weight might make you feel smaller, more delicate and more fragile than before. Or, it may make you feel taller and more commanding. Either perception can create a sense of unease.

Even a moderate amount of fat loss can make you feel “loose in your skin.” As your fat cells deflate and the volume of subcutaneous fat (the fat between skin and muscle) diminishes, you may feel that your skin is sagging, and that you can more easily “pinch inches.” As a result, you may feel somehow less fit and solid than before, and feel drawn to reversing course. Feeling “too much space” in your clothing can prompt a similar reaction.

If you come from a family of overweight people, or have mostly overweight friends, you may suddenly feel you are “leaving your tribe” or abandoning some aspect of your identity.

Depending on your bone structure, age and skin elasticity, your face may look more mature as the result of being thinner. Conversely, it may look more youthful or take on an altered expression. Seeing an unfamiliar face in the mirror can be a disconcerting experience — even if you like the general effect.

As you become more fit...

Putting on additional muscle may make you feel more solid and more substantial than you have in the past, which can challenge long-held notions of personality and identity. Feeling stronger and more confident may inspire you to become more assertive, or it may make you feel that you’re “taking up too much space.”

Suddenly having more energy than you know what to do with can make you feel restless, nervous, unsettled — and perhaps called to make larger life changes than you’re comfortable with now.

Feeling more space and power in your lungs may give you a giddy emotional high, but also leave you feeling a little vulnerable, “untethered” or ready to “lift off” at times.

Becoming more visibly fit, muscular and physically admired may present an unanticipated shift for people who previously identified primarily with nonphysical or physically retiring aspects of their personality (those who’ve presented a “purely intellectual” or “shy violet” persona, for example).

Try these reframing tips...

As physical changes occur, make a point of acknowledging any emotional reactions or associations (positive or negative) they might trigger. Journal about your responses and insights and how you feel in your body from day to day. Talk with friends or peers who’ve gone through similar experiences. Ask yourself whether any negative meanings you might be assigning to the changes you’re experiencing deserve to be overtly challenged and “reframed” in more positive terms.

Remember that some outcomes (such as loose-feeling skin) may only be temporary, and others (such as too-big clothes) are eminently changeable. If you sense you are undermining important goals because of minor, passing or circumstantial discomforts, take steps to correct them (i.e., replace your clothes or have them altered), or make a conscious choice to wait out temporary discomforts in favor of your higher goal.

Consider placing affirmative reminders about your choices in places where you’ll see them on a daily basis. Spend a little time each morning and evening directing supportive, appreciative thoughts toward your changing body.

Use visualization techniques to get comfortable with your new-and-improved self — as you are now, and as you might be down the road. Imagine yourself going through all your daily motions at your healthiest and most fit.

Keep in mind that more significant adjustments in appearance may represent more significant challenges to your frames of reference. Getting comfortable with feeling more attractive, confident, powerful, and so on, may require deep self-reflection and integration over time. If you think you would benefit from some coaching or counseling in addressing such challenges, seek them out.

Most of us do not see our own bodies as others see them. If you suspect you have a distorted body image, or suffer from a body-image disorder, seek counsel from a qualified medical professional or psychologist.

Clara Beacon is a freelance writer and editor based in St. Paul, Minn.