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I should be maintaining already

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Old 05-18-2013, 12:25 PM   #1
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Unhappy I should be maintaining already

I have been working on losing weight since 2008, with baby weight and emotional eating to overcome. From my highest at about 220, I have lost quite a lot that I know I should be proud of, but it is really hard to feel good about myself right now.

I have been at this for 5 years and I feel like I am not getting anywhere. This morning I was 176. Higher than my signature, but that is because I am embarrased to have to raise it so high again after my low weight I reached a few years ago.

I can exercise or not. I am one of those people for whom food is the most important factor in weight loss. This is because I was raised to eat when bored, when stressed, and as a social outlet. I am also one of those people who has a lower calorie need-I estimate without exercise about 1200 calories. When I eat to how hungry I feel (with my fiance who has a lot of muscle and needs 2500 calories a day) I feel isolated like I suddenly don't get to eat with people, connect and be social with them.

I understand that I could just sit at the table and talk without eating, but the isolated feeling does not go away. When someone else wants a snack, I want to share in that. When it's dessert time, I don't want to be left out.

I know the exercises that work. I know the foods that make me feel good. I know tricks for getting enough water and all sorts of other awesome things.

But I feel so out of control with this social/emotional eating that I just want to give up. I envy all the people who lost their weight within a number of months, or the ones who lost it within a year or two. Fluctuations said and done, I lost 50 pounds in 5 years.

I know I am not a maintainer, but I don't have anyone IRL who has been there and conquered this. I was hoping that there might be people on this forum who had.

I need a light at the end of this tunnel or I am going to take up residence and become a hobbit.
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Starting again 5/22/2014:
MiniGoals:
193-safely away from 200 again!
184-under a 35 BMI!
179-finally out of 180!
176-pre-pregnancy weight!
168-20% total weight lost!
160-lowest adult weight I've been at!
153-No longer considered obese!
147-30% total lost!
145-weight I'd be happy at forever!
140-Normal weight for my size/frame!
135-my Dream weight
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Old 05-18-2013, 12:51 PM   #2
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Atreyyena, congratulations on how far you've come! Even though you have not reached your personal goal, I would still classify you as a maintainer because you've lost a good chunk of weight and have kept it off for years! In fact, you've done something that most people (including me) have not done---keep off weight for five years! I think five years is sort of the "success" point in most studies of long-term maintainers, so you're already ahead of the curve.

But I do understand your frustration. You want to get there already, right!? I don't have the solution for you, but I just want to say that your struggle with the social aspect of eating is one that many people (including me) face. It's one reason that I haven't been successful when I've tried Intuitive Eating. Actually, though, I think what you're feeling is completely normal. Contrary to what some people believe, I do not think food is just for physical nourishment, and for most of modern, civilized history, it has not been viewed as just for nourishment. Think about most major celebrations and holidays: One of the most exciting parts of those is the food that we associate with them.

I accepted some time ago that food is associated with being social for me when I realized that I would happily eat half of whatever I had on my plate if I had someone to share it with, but that I would struggle to stop at half if I were eating alone.

Here's something to consider: Have you ever thought about why you set your goal weight where you've set it? I ask because I think so many of us set our goal weight by societal expectations. I know that I do, in part. Yes, I like the way I look at my smaller size, but in truth, my husband would not care if I gained another 10-20 lbs. Also, I don't even think my health would suffer if I did, as long as I kept exercising. But mentally, I would feel like a failure if I were to go above that arbitrary weight that I set for myself. In one way, I wish I could go back to before I lost my weight and not decide on a goal "weight" but decide on a "goal lifestyle"----in other words, start a lifestyle of eating and exercise that seems doable to me and let the weight fall where it might. Have you considered doing that? I mean, you could decide on small changes that you know you could stick with, and let your weight end up where it will.
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Old 05-20-2013, 04:32 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by lin43 View Post
Atreyyena, congratulations on how far you've come! Even though you have not reached your personal goal, I would still classify you as a maintainer because you've lost a good chunk of weight and have kept it off for years! In fact, you've done something that most people (including me) have not done---keep off weight for five years! I think five years is sort of the "success" point in most studies of long-term maintainers, so you're already ahead of the curve.

But I do understand your frustration. You want to get there already, right!? I don't have the solution for you, but I just want to say that your struggle with the social aspect of eating is one that many people (including me) face. It's one reason that I haven't been successful when I've tried Intuitive Eating. Actually, though, I think what you're feeling is completely normal. Contrary to what some people believe, I do not think food is just for physical nourishment, and for most of modern, civilized history, it has not been viewed as just for nourishment. Think about most major celebrations and holidays: One of the most exciting parts of those is the food that we associate with them.

I accepted some time ago that food is associated with being social for me when I realized that I would happily eat half of whatever I had on my plate if I had someone to share it with, but that I would struggle to stop at half if I were eating alone.

Here's something to consider: Have you ever thought about why you set your goal weight where you've set it? I ask because I think so many of us set our goal weight by societal expectations. I know that I do, in part. Yes, I like the way I look at my smaller size, but in truth, my husband would not care if I gained another 10-20 lbs. Also, I don't even think my health would suffer if I did, as long as I kept exercising. But mentally, I would feel like a failure if I were to go above that arbitrary weight that I set for myself. In one way, I wish I could go back to before I lost my weight and not decide on a goal "weight" but decide on a "goal lifestyle"----in other words, start a lifestyle of eating and exercise that seems doable to me and let the weight fall where it might. Have you considered doing that? I mean, you could decide on small changes that you know you could stick with, and let your weight end up where it will.
lin43, this is a very thoughtful and wonderful reply. Goal lifestyle...so much wisdom in this statement.
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Old 05-20-2013, 05:52 PM   #4
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lin43, this is a very thoughtful and wonderful reply. Goal lifestyle...so much wisdom in this statement.
Thanks. I would love to take credit for "goal lifestyle," but I cannot: I just read that phrase on another thread (can't remember who posted it). I liked it as much as you seem to!
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Old 05-24-2013, 10:44 AM   #5
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When someone else wants a snack, I want to share in that. When it's dessert time, I don't want to be left out.
I know exactly where you're coming from. It took a lot of hard work to change my mindset into an entirely different set of entitlements. Instead of thinking, "my husband is having dessert, I deserve some too," I've shifted over to "is that dessert going to nourish my body with nutrition or is it going to make me feel like a guilty slug once I'm finished?" So maybe I'll have a piece of fruit instead, or maybe I'll just shrug it off and focus my thoughts elsewhere.

Something else I've done is ask myself how this snack, dessert, or extra helping will affect me tomorrow, next week, next month, or even next year. It helps put my wants and overall health in perspective. I don't want live a life of regrets. I want to focus on making my body healthier and set myself up for a bright future, not just living for the moment and possibly developing disease down the road. After spending a few months working through these new ways of thinking they've become second nature now. I can say no to dessert without feeling deprived. I can eat only half my meal and not want to cry longingly over the rest. I can turn down the chips and the bread bowl. I can say no thank you to the cupcakes being passed around. The only thing I'm really missing out on by saying no is extra weight and guilt over not feeling in control.

Try reading The Beck Diet Solution, it may help you establish new thought patterns in order to beat this. Good luck!
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