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Time to 'fess up: Having a difficult time (long)

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Old 05-25-2013, 08:02 PM   #16
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I wish I did have the courage to say, "to heck w/ society!" But I'm not there yet. Having gotten down to a particular size, right now, my goal is to stay that size. I'm sure that one day I'm going to do what someone on another forum suggested: start eating to achieve a comfortable [for me] goal lifestyle, not a goal size or a goal weight. Right now, though, the sacrifices I have to make to stay size 4-6 are not outweighing the benefits. When the balance goes the other way, then I'm sure my way of eating will change (especially since my husband doesn't care whether I gain another 20; he just cares that I care).
This. It's crazy, it's counterproductive, but I'm in the same place. Is getting compliments about my bikini body THAT important to me at 56? Evidently it is.

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Old 05-25-2013, 10:07 PM   #17
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Jay, I meant to address this before, but I forgot:

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In my experience, continued long-term efforts at restriction eventually fail. The body adapts as best it can to fewer calories--but it knows when it's being shortchanged
I agree with your point if I were, in fact, restricting in the stereotypical dieting sense---e.g., eating cottage cheese and salad, never having dessert, etc. But I don't believe that eating 2200 calories a day is "long term restriction," especially for someone of my age (45) and height (5 ft. 3). My problem is that I want dessert not just once or even twice a week, but every night. I don't want one serving of fettucine alfredo; I want two. I don't want one crusty roll with butter slathered on it; I want three. You get the picture. So, I don't think my body is reacting to restriction. I think my mind is rebelling against sensible limits. I want to eat excessively, and that is what I'm battling against. Now, I suppose I could just give in to that and gain, but besides the vanity aspect I mentioned previously, I don't believe that eating to excess should even be the "goal lifestyle" that I mentioned earlier. I'll bet that if I found that sweet spot of "moderate eating" I would be within ten pounds of what I am now. My problem is that I rebel against those "moderate" limits. Even my "goal lifestyle" would be to eat moderately, so either way (now or pursuing a goal lifestyle), I would have a struggle on my hands.

I just wanted to clarify my previous point.
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Old 05-25-2013, 10:16 PM   #18
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This. It's crazy, it's counterproductive, but I'm in the same place. Is getting compliments about my bikini body THAT important to me at 56? Evidently it is.

F.
At least you can wear a bikini! I wasn't able to do that even at 18. So, here's another compliment for you (sorry if I'm exacerbating the problem .
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Old 05-26-2013, 08:01 AM   #19
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Hey lin43,

My comment about making choices about how you want to live your life still stands. If your tendency is to double down on all your food, then you'll need to make a conscious choice about not doing that.

I am not imagining a life of total indulgence. Rather, I imagine a life in which I eat food I enjoy in appropriate amounts, and I don't constantly think about food--what I ate, what I will eat, whether I should eat something, etc. A life where I am not eyeing every event as some sort of test of will about food. A way of living in which I am physically active, but not looking to get into extreme sports or hours of gym time. And, in which I'm not constantly guilty and anxious about a number--whether it's total calories, scale weight, clothes size, BMI...

I think that most attempts to lose weight and keep it off approach it from the wrong angle. We do the calculations or look in the charts, get some numbers, and proceed--and then when we reach our (arbitrary) goal, we see an endless future stretching before us of slightly adjusted numbers.

So I'm suggesting that considering a different approach--looking at how one wants to live and adjusting accordingly--might be less burdensome. But it is also scary because I think there will be a period of weight regain during the adjustment. There has been for me.

I don't think I mentioned anything about saying "to heck with society"--although, why would that be a bad thing? How often do we run into "society" anyway? Mostly we just deal with individual people, don't we? And most of our worst judgments are in our own heads.

I hope you can manage to find a middle path. I'm still looking for mine.

Jay
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Old 05-26-2013, 10:19 AM   #20
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I keep hoping this isn't the dreaded "creep" I've heard about where people who have maintained for a while actually start slowly gaining (maybe that happens because our metabolism decreases slightly every year we age?).
I have actually heard that the metabolism only drops by at most 5% per year. If say your RMR is 1400 at 38 you drop like 70 calories per year. That just doesn't seem like enough to really make the creep happen. The good news is that I dropped two lbs last night so now I am down 5 of the 10 I gained. But it took about 6 weeks to really start feeling like something was happening.

I have been exploring a theory about gut flora and a particular type of bacteria that responds to carbs and also is known to provide more energy than other types. So like for me, during my binge, I ate 7 bags of Hershey candy. Did that essentially cause a disruption that both makes me hungry and also makes me eat more? It sure seems that way. I ate the first bag in response to a stressful situation -- sheltering in place- and then couldn't stop.

So like you have a slice of cake (something you might not have had on the diet) and it disrupts your gut flora enough to keep you from losing weight well and also makes you want more food.

But, the thing is... perhaps we do something in maintenance that we did as fat people that sends us right back into similar body response.
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Old 05-26-2013, 12:13 PM   #21
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I don't know about gut flora but when I eat more sugar than usual my body cries More, More !
I use very little sugar, but let a cookie or piece of candy pass my lips , look out.
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Old 05-26-2013, 12:49 PM   #22
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I agree with your point if I were, in fact, restricting in the stereotypical dieting sense---e.g., eating cottage cheese and salad, never having dessert, etc. But I don't believe that eating 2200 calories a day is "long term restriction," especially for someone of my age (45) and height (5 ft. 3). My problem is that I want dessert not just once or even twice a week, but every night. I don't want one serving of fettucine alfredo; I want two. I don't want one crusty roll with butter slathered on it; I want three. You get the picture.
Lin, to me, what you're doing still sounds like restricting. Rules for portion control, rules for what to eat and when to eat (I.F.) and so on - so still in the "diet" frame of mind.

Can you trust your body enough to try eating the two servings of fettuccine alfredo and not wanting food for a long time after the meal? Or have dessert every night and automatically compensate by having less of something else the next day?
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Old 05-26-2013, 01:24 PM   #23
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I don't know about gut flora but when I eat more sugar than usual my body cries More, More !
Well, I have the same issue. When I was dieting I had no candy and low carbs (not that I was on a low carb diet) it just worked out that way. But maintaining at all.. has meant having small pieces of cake or 4 Hershey kisses or a candy bar ... although not enough to gain weight... it seriously is as if it breaks something in my body that makes it impossible to lose unless I go 4 weeks without ANY candy.

I actually have suspected this for a while. In the 1990s I went on a diet and suspected that the 4 hershey kisses I had ever day were somehow stopping my progress... but I could NOT give them up and eventually I dove off.

And I don't have any PCOS or high blood sugar. My blood sugar is 80 and fasting insulin is 5.
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Old 05-26-2013, 04:19 PM   #24
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Thanks, Jay. What you seem to be describing is similar to something I read on another thread and have been quoting left and right since: creating a “goal lifestyle.” It makes so much sense. I guess the risky part is the weight gain you mentioned. I’m not ready for that risk yet. What you’re saying is reasonable, though. Thanks.

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Lin, to me, what you're doing still sounds like restricting. Rules for portion control, rules for what to eat and when to eat (I.F.) and so on - so still in the "diet" frame of mind.

Can you trust your body enough to try eating the two servings of fettuccine alfredo and not wanting food for a long time after the meal? Or have dessert every night and automatically compensate by having less of something else the next day?

Okay, I see that by “restricting” you mean having rules for eating, right? I was thinking of “restricting” as cutting back on food to some sort of unnatural level. Don’t you think that everyone has some sort of rules for eating, even those who are intentionally doing “intuitive eating” (which is what you're referring to, right?)? After all, they’ve made the rule that they will only eat when hungry and stop when satisfied? I would love if that worked for me, but it hasn't every time I've tried it. One problem is that social eating gets in the way (I cannot sit at dinner and sip water while my husband eats dinner; some can, but I'm not willing to go that route). The other problem is that I eat too fast for my body to register fullness when it should. Eat more slowly, you say? This is my constant battle. For some reason, I do not enjoy the food as much when I eat it slowly. I know that's strange. I know it’s counter-intuitive and contrary to what the conventional wisdom says, but it's the truth. To eat at a "normal" pace, I have to intentionally take tiny bites of food, and that is so unsatisfying to me (it's as if I cannot taste the food).

Emme, that gut flora info. Is interesting. I’ve never heard that before. Thanks for sharing it.
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Old 05-26-2013, 04:20 PM   #25
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Can you trust your body enough to try eating the two servings of fettuccine alfredo and not wanting food for a long time after the meal? Or have dessert every night and automatically compensate by having less of something else the next day?
I'm not Lin, but she and I have similar food issues, so I'll answer the question as it applies to me. My answer is no, I could not trust my body to do those things. That's because my body also includes my mind, which wants to keep experiencing the stimulus of food well past the point of physical satiety. (I also have a constitutionally large appetite, an iron stomach, and don't get strong physical satiety cues.) There is no such thing as "automatically compensating" for me. Or if there is, I haven't figured out a way to access that pathway.

I also agree with Lin that just about everyone has rules about eating, even so-called naturally thin people. My naturally thin friend, who can never finish a restaurant entree, recently told me that she too has to "be careful" with her eating. The difference is that she accepts being careful as a natural part of adult living, which we foodies have trouble doing.

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Old 05-26-2013, 04:25 PM   #26
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That's because my body also includes my mind, which wants to keep experiencing the stimulus of food well past the point of physical satiety
YES, YES, and YES! Well-put. You've expressed exactly why intuitive eating rarely works for me (besides those other two issues I mentioned in my previous post). I went to the grocery store on a full stomach last week. I was considering buying some goodies. I resisted, but I could actually feel my mouth watering ---I'm serious. Now, that had absolutely nothing to do with physical hunger; it was all in my mind. Yet, I had to white knuckle it to prevent myself from buying that food.



P.S. --Freelance, we're on at the same time again! How did you do on your time in the 5k?
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Old 05-26-2013, 06:01 PM   #27
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Okay, I see that by “restricting” you mean having rules for eating, right? I was thinking of “restricting” as cutting back on food to some sort of unnatural level. Don’t you think that everyone has some sort of rules for eating, even those who are intentionally doing “intuitive eating” (which is what you're referring to, right?)?
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I also agree with Lin that just about everyone has rules about eating, even so-called naturally thin people. My naturally thin friend, who can never finish a restaurant entree, recently told me that she too has to "be careful" with her eating. The difference is that she accepts being careful as a natural part of adult living, which we foodies have trouble doing.

I don't mean intuitive eating. To me, that too comes across as "dieting". At the same time, I don't mean eating with abandonment either. I agree that no one can eat with abandonment or be totally free from healthy eating rules without facing adverse consequences.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that the focus here is still on food when it should not be. Freelancemomma, I read your thread on coming up with a strategy for the next 2 weeks. The thing is that it's still a focus on food whereas the focus for the dinners should be on socializing or looking for new business opportunities or for whatever reasons you need to attend those dinners. The reason for the dinners should not be to eat (if you see what I mean).

Like Lin, with your husband, the focus should be on spending quality time with him rather than on thoughts about eating. Similarly, rather than eating tiny bites, why not finish quickly, then turn your mind to talking (aka socializing)?

Perhaps when the mind is not focusing on food, then it becomes easier to control the appetite?

I really don't mean to make it sound simple or easy and I hope my post does not come across that way. Just some further thoughts on strategies.
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Old 05-26-2013, 08:45 PM   #28
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Perhaps when the mind is not focusing on food, then it becomes easier to control the appetite?
An interesting idea that's definitely worth exploring.

F.
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Old 05-26-2013, 08:51 PM   #29
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Perhaps when the mind is not focusing on food, then it becomes easier to control the appetite?
And that's why beer works for me. Sorry to jump in so inappropriately, but you hit the nail on the head!
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Old 05-27-2013, 11:40 AM   #30
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I guess what I'm trying to say is that the focus here is still on food when it should not be.

Like Lin, with your husband, the focus should be on spending quality time with him rather than on thoughts about eating.
(my emphasis)

I completely agree with you about what "should be," magical. I only wish it could be. The problem is moving from "should" to "can." That's where I get stuck. How does one magically transform one's mind? I would love to go back to some Edenic state of unawareness about food, calories, etc., but it's too late for that. Somewhere along the line (probably from our society's focus on dieting and my attention to that since my teens), putting food into its proper place in my life became screwed up. I am now working within that reality to try to stay at a decent weight. I can certainly try pretending that food is not as important, but it would be pretense, and struggling to maintain that pretense is just the same as struggling to stay within eating boundaries.

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I really don't mean to make it sound simple or easy and I hope my post does not come across that way. Just some further thoughts on strategies.
Not at all! I truly appreciate your input. It makes a lot of sense (applying it is what I find difficult).
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