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What's the hardest thing you've ever done?

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Old 09-09-2012, 11:45 PM   #31
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i'd have to say that losing weight has been one of the most mentally draining/exhausting things that i've ever had to do...where it's ALWAYS there in my mind, forefront or a little behind that

i've been blessed so far not to have lost a parent, child or spouse or have any including myself go through horrible illnesses...i've been blessed in many many ways beyond that

some of the most emotionally hard things that i've had to do in my life include leaving everything behind to move to a city where i'd never lived, much less visited, without a place to stay or a job to go to....another experience was being on the phone with my sister trying to keep her awake and coherent as the ambulance arrived to take her to the ER, she had a blood alcohol level of 0.44 at the time, the police said that if i hadnt kept her talking on the phone that she could have passed out and died...another experience was walking away from someone who meant an incredible amount to me, for reasons far too complicated to talk about here
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Old 09-10-2012, 05:13 AM   #32
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Thanks for giving us the context of Charlotte's remark, Andrea.

While losing 90 pounds certainly isn't the hardest or most valued thing I've ever done, it's arguably had the most far-reaching effect on my life. I'm a very different person now to what I was at 220 pounds, and people perceive me very differently.

I noted that the scientist was obese as a teenager, and as I mentioned upthread, that experience profoundly shapes our personalities and self-image. I may be projecting my own feelings on to the scientist here, but I'll bet that her weight loss has enhanced her professional image, so that it may be difficult to "unlink" her professional and weight loss achievements.
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Old 09-10-2012, 01:25 PM   #33
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Default Charlotte here, with apologies and gratitude

Hey everyone! Thank you so much for all the discussion about my post! It really means a lot to me when people take the time to read my stuff and it's even more awesome when it generates really good discussion, like this one. I have to say that I have learned A LOT both from the comments here and on my blog. Occasionally there are posts where my readers really school me and this is one of them. The comments on my blog are gold and really helped me shift my perspective about why the weight loss was so meaningful to this particular woman (For the record, I didn't cite her name or book because I got the un-corrected proofs pre-publication and they ask that you don't quote from it until it's published. I will give it a shout on my blog for real when it comes out later this fall.)

Anyhow, I did want to offer my sincerest apologies. It's never my intent to hurt people's feelings or to trivialize another's struggles. I'm grateful to everyone who took the time here to enlighten me (and everyone else) so hopefully I won't make this kind of foot-in-mouth mistake again.
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Old 11-22-2012, 08:18 AM   #34
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I really enjoyed reading through this thread. Food for thought, and I'm commenting from the perspective of someone who lost 110 lbs but did not succeed at maintaining it.

I really don't know exactly how to characterize the hardest thing I've ever done, as I've done a lot of things in my life that were challenging, and like most people, I've also confronted some difficult times.

I did not find losing more than 100 lbs hard. In fact, it was surprisingly easy, and extremely thrilling and gratifying.

What I found hard, and I still find hard was all the time before and after I lost the weight, when I felt powerless to change my compulsive eating habit.
Knowing that I'm getting fatter and fatter and still doing the same self-destructive behaviors over and over-- that's hard, it's painful in the extreme. In fact, when I think of hard things, I think of things that I'm want to accomplish, but am unable to accomplish through my own combination of weaknesses. And I have to say that since I've wanted to be slim most of my life and have only spent a few years out of my total fifty-odd at a healthy, normal weight, I'd have to say my failure to accomplish that has been the hardest thing you ever faced.

Once you do find the wherewithal to succeed it feels so easy it's almost effortless.

I can say in my own life that I lost 110 pounds and became a bestselling author the next year. The latter is the proudest accomplishment of my life, the culmination of years of hard work and sacrifice. But the weight loss, by far, had a MUCH more significant effect on more aspects of my life. It had a greater effect on how people treated me. And during the time I was maintaining it, I was proudest of it.

And it garnered, in general, more admiration.

Go figure.
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Old 11-22-2012, 10:07 AM   #35
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The hardest I've ever done is have the courage to kick my abusive hubby out, for over 10 years he'd beaten me regularly, threatened me with carving knifes, dragged me out of bed and down stairs by my hair at 2am to cook him a fresh meal, all when he was drunk, when he was sober he was manipulative and controlling making me believe that I was a useless piece of **** and I was lucky to have him, he made me believe that everyone in the road was talking about me and what an awful mother and wife I was, that they didn't know how he put up with me and how sorry they were for him, it got to the stage where I was afraid to leave the house because of all the whispering that went on as I walk down the road. I just didn't know how I was going to cope without hubby, he'd threatened that if I ever tried to divorce him that I'd never see the kids again, which I believed until I spoke to a solicitor and with the help and encouragement of my friends who thanks to hubby I'd believed weren't friends I got through it and came out the other side, funny enough the depression came after he left there are still things that effect me, I can't go in a pub and if I see someone who had to much to drink I turn into a quivering wreck and sometimes I still think that I'm not worth anything, but all in all along with it being the hardest thing I've ever done it's also the best thing I've ever done.

Losing weight has been a doddle in comparison!
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Old 11-22-2012, 10:11 AM   #36
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Good for you, Briar Rose!

Jay
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Old 11-23-2012, 05:39 AM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Briar Rose View Post
The hardest I've ever done is have the courage to kick my abusive hubby out, for over 10 years he'd beaten me regularly, threatened me with carving knifes, dragged me out of bed and down stairs by my hair at 2am to cook him a fresh meal, all when he was drunk, when he was sober he was manipulative and controlling making me believe that I was a useless piece of **** and I was lucky to have him, he made me believe that everyone in the road was talking about me and what an awful mother and wife I was, that they didn't know how he put up with me and how sorry they were for him, it got to the stage where I was afraid to leave the house because of all the whispering that went on as I walk down the road. I just didn't know how I was going to cope without hubby, he'd threatened that if I ever tried to divorce him that I'd never see the kids again, which I believed until I spoke to a solicitor and with the help and encouragement of my friends who thanks to hubby I'd believed weren't friends I got through it and came out the other side, funny enough the depression came after he left there are still things that effect me, I can't go in a pub and if I see someone who had to much to drink I turn into a quivering wreck and sometimes I still think that I'm not worth anything, but all in all along with it being the hardest thing I've ever done it's also the best thing I've ever done.

Losing weight has been a doddle in comparison!
I 's great that you were finally able to get rid of this man. Being terrorized by those you think should love you is very hard to overcome and you seem to be well on your way to doing that. Good for you!

Dagmar
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Old 11-23-2012, 10:10 AM   #38
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Aww, thank you
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Old 11-23-2012, 10:39 AM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ubergirl View Post
I can say in my own life that I lost 110 pounds and became a bestselling author the next year. The latter is the proudest accomplishment of my life, the culmination of years of hard work and sacrifice. But the weight loss, by far, had a MUCH more significant effect on more aspects of my life. It had a greater effect on how people treated me. And during the time I was maintaining it, I was proudest of it.

And it garnered, in general, more admiration.

Go figure.
Uber, congratulations on your book!

Now that must have been all-consuming, and it's very hard to go from one project to another.

Seriously, I'm very glad to hear from you again.

Listen, you can do this. I saw you. You've got it, you know how. And you know it, too.

Are you ready to take action yet? Have you figured out a plan for coping with the compulsive eating issue? Is there a medical professional involved?
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Old 11-23-2012, 12:53 PM   #40
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I find this thread fascinating. I can see both sides. Some people haven't lost much, so maybe it isn't the biggest thing they have ever done. At the same time, I've seen plenty of slim people who are high-strung about what they eat and even if they never have been heavy, staying slim has been a lifelong major pursuit.

For me, I would say weight loss is one thing, but the surrounding issues make it a completely different beast. It's one thing to stick with a plan long enough to lose the weight. It's another completely to keep it off. I am no expert. While I haven't gained back even half of what I lost, keeping it off certainly is not a mindless task.

I would say the weight issue in my life is like an inoperable cancer. It is so intertwined with so many areas of my life that there is no way it could be set into a tidy little box. And like some have said, it is an ongoing issue rather than something that happens and then is over.

I would put certain family issues - unresolvable differences that have to be dealt with again and again (same issue, different scenario) - as equally difficult with weight loss. I have mastered neither. The fact that I am still here and still trying is the only halo-worthy thing I might have done.

Some people say marriage is hard. I wouldn't say that. I have three children, and while they are a lot of work, I wouldn't say parenting is hard. I also have a four-year college degree, which some might say was hard. Yes, it was a lot of work, but going to class every day and turning in assignments was just something I did. It didn't require the motivation and soul-searching that weight management requires. So I would put weight issues in a completely different category than marriage or parenting or earning a college degree. Those are all things that I just do.

I would like for weight management to be something that I just do, but I am by no means there yet. I'd like to be, but then again I wonder if it is even possible. There are a lot of good habits that I have learned, things that I just do. But I have so many more bad habits that linger on.

This is one post I'd like to print and put in an envelope that I don't open for five years. It would be interesting to see what time and water under the bridge do, if anything.
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Old 11-29-2012, 12:12 PM   #41
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The hardest thing I have ever done is to become conscious and to take action. I began therapy two years ago. I am a food addict and am learning to be healthy. I realize my parents did not parent well. I have cut most of my family and friends off because they were co- dependent relationships which are harmful. I phoned CAS on a sibling due to neglect, leaving my 5 year old niece alone with a 9 year old bully (brother) and a feeble old woman. I am preparing to write a goodbye letter to my mom. For being a narcissist and staying with my alcoholic father which forced me and my siblings to stay.

So seeing reality and taking action is the hardest thing for me. It is hard to stay awake when everything around me is trying to lull me to sleep.
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Old 12-01-2012, 12:48 AM   #42
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Wonderful thread. Great to be reminded that everyone faces huge trials and challenges. Of course maintainers prevail! We've got to be the most steadfast, determined bunch in the culture. We've swam upstream through the cascades of ghrelin. Daily fighting off the most primal biological drives. Baptized by fat and fire. Our obesity a temporary condition, a chrysalis, from which we have emerged, changed. /rant



Changing my dietary habits and lifestyle all at once wasn't easy. Neither was maintaining through all the crazy stuff that's happened over the last 12 years. But I think the toughest thing I've had to do is cope with a chronic illness. It's amazing what you get used to, but sometimes I've had so many complaints at once, it's been near overwhelming. A couple times I thought I'd certainly die. Medical professionals have offered a lot of conflicting advice and been of truly limited usefulness to me. So it's been a great journey of trial and error and having to work through most of my problems myself. I'm fine with this now. For a while I railed at the injustice of it, but now I recognize it as a waste of my resources. I will continue to see doctors for diagnostic procedures, but I know my health is in my own hands. That's feels like a large responsibility, but I know everyone, regardless of whether they realize it or not is in a similar boat.
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Old 12-05-2012, 01:44 AM   #43
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Having gone through law school, there is no question in my mind that losing weight and maintaining my weight loss were/are much more difficult for me than getting my stoopid law degree.

It's not like I didn't work hard to get where I did academically and career wise. But I never felt I had to go beyond my personality to achieve those goals. I'm naturally intellectually curious. I am inclined to read and engage in political/philosophical discussion. My academic pursuits were generally supported by my friends and family (expected, really).

And I am positively reinforced by my academic choices and actions by virtue of a well-respected career that is paid relatively well. And that is reinforced on a continual basis (even if I sometimes have bouts of pure hatred for what I do for a living).

Eating heathily, exercise, controlling my portions--that exerts tremendous effort on my part because those actions are opposite of what I would naturally prefer to do, ie. eat poorly, lie around, and eat as much as I can handle. I don't exist in an environment where making healthy choices is easy.

There's also the fact that I could one day win the lottery and never read a book again and only watch episodes of Jersey Shore. I would still have my law degree. But I still have to maintain a certain lifestyle to ensure I maintain my weight loss. It is never ending.

And as posters have already mentioned, just because one thing is more difficult doesn't necessarily mean it is more important. Properly installing my IKEA furniture was more difficult for me than getting my law degree as well. It don't mean that IKEA furniture is all that significant. But DAMN, it's hard!

If someone said that fighting an alcohol or drug addiction was more difficult than getting some degree, who would disagree? Is food addiction not seen in the same light? Also, if the person had suffered from anorexia or bulimia, would the response have been the same?

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