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Old 02-18-2009, 09:19 PM   #1
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Default Does "Perfectly On Plan" scare anyone else?

Sometimes I'll read the boards and someone will say "I've been POP (perfectly on plan) for 4 months now and I just fell off the wagon." ..and I think... ack, that's way too long to be perfect!

I've been losing soooo sloooowly and it's because I am off plan just as often as I'm on plan. Part of me likes it that way, I feel like I'm transitioning away from my bad habits rather than just dropping them cold turkey overnight. Another part of me is like--I've been dieting for 6 months and only lost 15 lbs! I'd love a steady loss of 1-2 lbs a week, instead of 1-2 lbs a month.

I feel like to achieve this I have to be more POP.

Anyone else with sabotaging habits manage to stay POP very long? Or do you just not aim for perfection?
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Old 02-18-2009, 09:36 PM   #2
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Lifestyle changes aren't something I'm going to be perfect at. You have to plan an anticipate for the screw ups.
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Old 02-18-2009, 09:39 PM   #3
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Hi Joyra!

I don't do Weight Watchers (which is what this sounds like to me... hope I'm not wrong!) so I can't really speak to the specifics of their plans, because I don't know anything about them.

But I am with you 100%... 4 months IS too long to be "perfect." The way I see it, it just sets up this mentality that you CAN'T ever slip up, that in order to be successful you have to do things perfectly. And that just isn't my experience, or even possible as imperfect humans, right?

I can see having goals and structure, definitely, but I like more wiggle room myself. Once I start subscribing to that "perfection" mentality, I will inevitably feel like I "blew it" the second I do something imperfect. And then I'll find more ways to sabotage all my good efforts because I'm so frustrated!

And as for your slow weight loss... I feel you. It can be frustrating, but you ARE moving in the right direction! And it seems like you're doing it in a way that feels more natural to you, and I think that means there will be more staying power in the end! So keep up the good work!
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Old 02-18-2009, 09:41 PM   #4
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Yes! Having no grey area is setting yourself up for failure.
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Old 02-18-2009, 09:56 PM   #5
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Getting over the perfectionism mentality was one of my biggest breakthroughs of the last year. Yes, I've lost "only" 35 pounds over the course of a year - would I have lost more if I had been perfectly on plan? The answer is...

NOPE. No way. Mathematically yes, but in reality, I would have been perfectly on plan for two, three, maybe five months. Then with one misstep I would have "blown" it and gained all of the weight back in a "perfect" storm of mindless binging. It's happened before - and not once or twice, either.

Whiteknuckling isn't the way to lose and make that loss stick, at least not for me. I consider myself on plan when I stay (somewhat) in my calories, exercise more days of the week than I don't, and don't engage in obsessive/destructive food-related behavior or thoughts. If I want to be fancy, I pay more attention to my macro-nutrient ratio and maybe skip the artificial sweetener.

Perfection does not figure into my plans anymore.

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Old 02-18-2009, 09:58 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RN BSN 2009 View Post
Yes! Having no grey area is setting yourself up for failure.
Oh but I feel like I've been in the grey area totally this time around... this time I said "I can eat anything I want, it's okay if I don't exercise, nothing is off-limits and nothing I do is wrong." Because of this, I lose very slowly. It's more like lose a lb, gain a lb, lose a lb, gain a lb, lose two lbs, gain a lb, lose a lb, gain a lb... ultimately I AM less which is good... but there are many on the boards who say... "I don't eat that anymore. I get my workouts in no matter what." And they are losing steadily as a result. And they have slip-ups, yes. But they put in MORE effort and get out MORE payoff.

I'm just a person who sabotages myself. I'm pretty well used to eating 1400 calories a day now but I could EASILY binge on many thousands of calories worth of junk if the mood struck me--it's still tempting.

I just want to lose weight faster. Ultimately, I want to stop eating the junk and get the workouts in... but I think I've told myself to just do a little now and eventually it will get to that point. I'm afraid if I kick things up a notch and try to stick more closely to plan, that sabotaging part of me will strike and I won't recover so easily from a slip-up.

pokio, I'm not on WW either. "On plan" just means whatever eating/exercise plan you're on. I normally do calorie counting and would like to exercise 30 minutes on most days... but when I go many days on plan, I freak out and get crazy cravings for junk and exercise feels impossible. Yup, I'm a self-sabotager.
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Old 02-18-2009, 10:01 PM   #7
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I'm with you. Making sustainable changes is more important than the fast loss.
Lately I have been feeling ready to "ramp it up" with some calorie restrictions etc. to speed it up, but that is after making changes over time.
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Old 02-18-2009, 10:15 PM   #8
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I feel you, Joyra... it's so hard for me sometimes to differentiate whether I am doing things in a logical, sustainable way by going slowly, or if I'm just letting myself fall back into old patterns by saying I'm doing things slowly. I am really prone to obsessive thinking, though, especially when it comes to my weight. So when I make staying "perfectly on plan" my focus, it becomes my ONLY focus, and it inevitably backfires on me. I want to get down to my goal weight, but I feel like the 1 pound up, 2 pounds down approach we seem to both share is SO much better for my own mental health.
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Old 02-18-2009, 10:41 PM   #9
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nah i screw up all the time... usually it's not so horrible though
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Old 02-19-2009, 05:35 AM   #10
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I think the real crux of it is how you define your plan. If you allow for a plan that is flexible, of course you can be perfect on it. I think what many people do is have a plan that is too rigid and they feel they've failed when they deviate slightly from it.

I've been consistent with my plan for 21 months now and can honestly say in all that time I've only ever seen two gains on the scale - I've stayed the same many times but only ever seen the scale move up twice. I only weigh weekly so of course I may have fluctuated but I don't see it.

I calorie count and keep it low fat. But for example I've been to parties and stayed on plan. I'll say eat very low through the day (say 400-500) cals, allow myself one or two drinks at the party and eat moderately at the party avoiding any food I know will be high fat (cheese, pastries, deep fried food etc.). That is my plan and one I can and do stick to. I've been on vacations that have been all inclusive where I planned to not lose or gain and I succeeded. Why does a diet plan have to be the same thing day in day out? Allowing for a degree of latitude is still a plan in my book.

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Old 02-19-2009, 07:24 AM   #11
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I'm on a pretty restrictive plan and have been so for about 5 weeks. I've been pretty close to perfect with a few very minor lapses -- extra serving of fruit, one handful of Pizza goldfish, one slice of pizza on a Friday.

But, yesterday I ate a whole box of Thin Mints. I knew as soon as I ate two servings that I would finish the whole box. 1,280 calories! Oh, well. Guess what? I woke up this morning and my weight is exactly the same as it was yesterday morning.

Not being perfect is not the end of the world.
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Old 02-19-2009, 08:27 AM   #12
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lol, I like to think of that slogan from Jello : "Every Diet Needs a Little Wiggle Room"

One thing I have learned is that losing weight is not about perfection... it's about consistency. We all have slip ups ever once and a while... we are HUMAN. We're not perfect creatures.

The thing is... when tomorrow comes, are you going to continue to eat poorly, or get back on the horse and eat healthy again? As long as you have a fairly consistent trend of eating on plan, then you will have a fairly consistent trend of weightloss.

Changing our eating habits are hard, especially if we have been eating that way for a long time. However... it shouldn't be ****. If the work brings more dissatisfaction than being thinner/healthier satisfies you... well, who can stick to that? Minor deviations every once and a while help keep me sane...
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Old 02-19-2009, 01:46 PM   #13
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I remember somebody signature on here that says something like "its not about perfection, its about consistency". And besides, we cant expect to do perfectly after a lifetime of eating poorly. Its something we have to get used to, the new "way of life". Try your best to think of your "dieting" as a new way of life. I think that has really helped me...plus being a new diabetic tells me I cant stop this healthy eating even if I want to.
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Old 02-20-2009, 06:15 AM   #14
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the perfection mentality is what messed me up in the first place haha. if i wasnt perfect then i thought the day was lost and id eat like a maniac. this forum has helped me see that that is NEVER EVER going to work for me. i need to figure in imperfections. ever since i have the weight has for once been coming off. and you know what it is coming off slower than when im 'perfect' for two weeks straight but now there is the added benefit of when i mess up a little bit i dont gain anything back! i dmuch rather lose the weight this way.
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Old 02-20-2009, 09:53 AM   #15
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ha! to be honest, i think i use my "plan" as more of a suggestion that an actual plan. so it gives me a good target. i think i have been perfectly on plan maybe 5 days in the last month and a half. most days i am "near plan" and i usually count those as tiny successes as well. even on these days, i'm keeping my calories down from what they would be were i not measuring and aware of a plan, but i feel it is a more sustainable change for me overall.
i have never been an absolutist about anything. and sure, we could be doing better, but for me it's more about making changes that i can live with in the long run. at least, that's how i'm thinking about it now. though yeah, my weight loss has significantly slowed down. so maybe i'll be singing a different tune a month from now.
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