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Ever have the thought: Why am I really doing this for?

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Old 05-01-2014, 04:47 PM   #1
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Default Ever have the thought: Why am I really doing this for?

For the first time since I started maintaining in Nov. 2011, I'm up five pounds. For a shorty like me (5 ft 3), 5 lbs makes a difference. I've always been one to carry my weight well (so I've been told), so no one has commented about my small gain, and I can definitely still wear all my clothes; they're just a smidgen snugger. And I know how I gained---too many uncounted BLT's (bites, licks, tastes) that probably added 200 or so calories to my daily total, which adds up over time.

So, I stopped the BLTs, and I'm glad I have because I feel much more in control of my eating. The thing is, though, I cannot get back into losing mode. Every week I promise myself that I'll go back to my losing calories (1400 per day), even allowing myself maintenance calories on weekends. That doesn't seem so bad, and that would supposedly have me losing about a pound a week, so that 5 lbs. would be off in a little over a month. However, I never succeed at sticking to that; instead, I end the week just a little under my weekly maintenance calories (I have a weekly rather than a daily total).

I've tried to analyze why I can't get with the program, and I've come to realize that it's almost as if I'm okay with being 140 rather than 135 . . . except that I don't think I should be okay with it. What I mean is that if no one around me had seen me drop from 175-80 to 135, I would have no problem being 140. But I feel almost pressured to stay at my low weight because I'm afraid that others will say/think, "Oh, she has put on a few pounds. She must be gaining her weight back ---again!" I keep telling myself, why should I care what others think? I'm disappointed that I do care, though. The other thing about it is that I don't trust myself. Am I fooling myself by feeling satisfied with 140? Is that just an excuse to not put in the effort to lose that 5 lbs.? Will that 140 lead to 145 . . .and more? These are my concerns. This is my first significant gain since I started maintaining in Nov. 2011. Ironically, when I first started losing, 140 was my goal weight, but in the process of trying to figure out my maintenance calories, I dropped another 5 lbs., so 135 became my "ideal" weight.

Thoughts? Advice? Commiseration?
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Old 05-01-2014, 04:59 PM   #2
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Wow. I feel like you said my situation EXACTLY. I've maintained within 125-128 for two years, and now it is so hard. I'm not following my rules, allowing extra bites, "treats", eating out more now that hubby is deployed, etc. I keep going up past my red line, by 2 pounds, and then committing only long enough to get back under by the skin of my teeth.

I know that I don't do well to wing it, so I have committed to a full month (May) of food journaling and exercise calendar. It's only Day 1, but so far, so good.
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Old 05-01-2014, 07:20 PM   #3
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My experience was that the first year and a half, two years of maintenance weren't all that hard. But then things started to change. My weight started to creep up, and I found that as hard as I might try, I could not stick with lowered calories for longer than 10 to 14 days. As time went on, I realized I was losing the battle. Too many weeks of up 3, down 2, up 3... I became fatigued with everything about staying on a plan. And fed up--no pun intended.

And, after a point, I really did think, Why am I doing this?

That was years ago, and at this point, I've regained. We're not talking 5 pounds here... Many more than that.

For me, it wasn't a question of pleasing others or worrying about what they said. It had become an issue of whether I could control my body with my mind. Over time that idea became more and more strange to me. Why should I even want to do that? Why should I run my life based on numbers on a scale or a tape measure or a waist size? It started to seem delusional and compulsive! Wasn't this kind of... crazy?

I also began to question how I really wanted to live. It seemed that for years I was constantly driven by "the plan," even when I reached my goal weight and beyond. Was I going to be constantly vigilant? Was I going to go through my days evaluating and judging everything I ate? Being anxious about every social event, vacation, party, dinner out, evening alone? Worrying about getting in enough gym time? Was that really what I had in mind when I decided I wanted to lose weight? Actually--no, it was not.

That's not how I want to live.

So, now I'm doing something a little different. Weight loss is not the goal, although it seems to be slowly happening. The goal is to be at peace, to see food as something positive, that I like, that I enjoy, and to see getting in enough physical activity the same way. And most of all, not to have my weight and food and fitness schedule as the center of my existence. There is just so much more to life than that.

I wish I had started out with an approach more like this when I began. Perhaps I wouldn't have hit the wall and regained so much. I don't know. I do know that going back to "the plan" no longer works for me.
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Old 05-02-2014, 08:36 AM   #4
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There has to be balance, no doubt. I never quite made it to what I thought would be a good goal, although I have held off the 20-25 pounds I lost a few years back.

I guess I'm settling into a long-term view of wanting to have a vital, productive old age. My food, exercise, outlook, friendship, dreams, goals, etc habits are turning toward the things that will keep me living long and happy. On the exercise front, I have a looooong way to go. The number on the scale is becoming simply one of many indicators that I'm moving in the right direction on that. Recently, it's been up and it reflects that I've shifted off course, which is true. Like JayEll, I am striving for the happy balance. I think of that ticker currently on my signature as more of a compass heading and a measure of the magnitude of course correction I need currently.
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Old 05-02-2014, 10:00 AM   #5
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I feel this way every time I'm about to do a deadlift. Or every time I know that I've been incrementally eating more than I should and I cut back - I wonder, "Why?" because these little "set myself back on track" honestly SUCKS. Even if its just a little tweak to get slightly stricter. It just plain sux. The only reasoning that I can come up with is that I wanted to be a certain weight range just to be at that weight range.

No real rhyme or reason - I know a few lbs more won't matter physically speaking and nobody would notice, but I would and if I want something - like a certain pair of jeans or a dish from a certain restaurant or brand of lotion, I WANT it - that every thing and if it is attainable, it feels worse overall to not go for exactly what I want. Thanks for making this post, I did deadlifts while bloated today and had to remind myself to cut back on the eating and had that feeling as well. I'm a greedy extremist with some things in life, a glutton for fulfilling innate desires.
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Old 05-02-2014, 05:53 PM   #6
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Thanks to all who posted. JayEll, good to see you back; I've always enjoyed reading your posts.


Quote:
Originally Posted by pixelllate View Post
I'm a greedy extremist with some things in life, a glutton for fulfilling innate desires.
I tend to lean this way myself, and, anecdotally, I think many people who have had weight issues do. But at my age (46), my standards are lower than they were in my 20s and 30s. I suppose it's just that I now have the perspective that life will not go on forever and that there are more important things than being fashionably thin. At the same time, though, I do think I've shed some of that "all or nothing" mentality. In the past, I would have the thought that "life is too short to not eat whatever I want" and then I would pig out until I regained all the weight I had lost. This time, I realize how foolish that aforementioned thought is and I know that I have to strike a balance (inevitably after I would regain the weight, I would eventually have the thought "life is too short to be fat"). Getting that balance is a challenge for me, though. I trust myself much more than I used to, but I still wonder sometimes if what is really going on is me just trying to talk myself into not being so strict because it's just easier to be lax.

In any case, I do feel more in control of my eating now. I'm reading the Beck Diet Solution and trying out the cognitive behavorial strategies the author suggests; I would have pooh-poohed that in the past, but I figure I might as well try something different. I think changing my mindset is the best way to go. For right now, I will probably maintain 140 until I can get my head back into losing mode.
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Old 05-03-2014, 11:33 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lin43 View Post
Thanks to all who posted. JayEll, good to see you back; I've always enjoyed reading your posts.




I tend to lean this way myself, and, anecdotally, I think many people who have had weight issues do. But at my age (46), my standards are lower than they were in my 20s and 30s. I suppose it's just that I now have the perspective that life will not go on forever and that there are more important things than being fashionably thin. At the same time, though, I do think I've shed some of that "all or nothing" mentality. In the past, I would have the thought that "life is too short to not eat whatever I want" and then I would pig out until I regained all the weight I had lost. This time, I realize how foolish that aforementioned thought is and I know that I have to strike a balance (inevitably after I would regain the weight, I would eventually have the thought "life is too short to be fat"). Getting that balance is a challenge for me, though. I trust myself much more than I used to, but I still wonder sometimes if what is really going on is me just trying to talk myself into not being so strict because it's just easier to be lax.

In any case, I do feel more in control of my eating now. I'm reading the Beck Diet Solution and trying out the cognitive behavorial strategies the author suggests; I would have pooh-poohed that in the past, but I figure I might as well try something different. I think changing my mindset is the best way to go. For right now, I will probably maintain 140 until I can get my head back into losing mode.
I get you - I think that depends on what those desires are. Personally, my deepest desires are pretty moderate/dull - I like only a small % of thrill and most of the time, just comfortable contentment. So at least in my situation, it feels so reasonably attainable, that I just feel like I might as well go for it if I can. Priorities change over time, and sometimes I think about how in the past I worked so hard for things that I don't care about now - but I don't really regret that - its just that desires change over time, so even if in the long run, I am no longer going for the same goals, I'm glad that I tried when I did care as much as I did. I don't think anything is worth killing ourselves over, but then again, what I want isn't killing me to attain.

Personally speaking, I guess that at least in the context of the "go for what I deeply desire/life is too short" doesn't really fit in with food for me. I was fat because of learned survival tactics when I was abused/neglected as a kid - I used to hunt for money to eat whatever cookies and cakes I could buy, so I learned that habit and maintained it mindlessly as an adult (creature of habit) - it felt more like "relief" to me and survival - but not living.

You've maintained so well over time, and I too also rarely weigh and I think of you - I think that your plan is solid and you definitely demonstrate an ability to maintain that 140 or change that if you want!
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Old 05-05-2014, 12:32 PM   #8
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I moved my "goal" weight up by 5lbs after a bit of a regain. My body composition had changed (even though I regained and relost, I ended up with more muscle than I started with), and I fit in the same clothes even though the number on the scale was different. I figured as long as I fit in the same clothes, it didn't matter that the number was up by 5.
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Old 05-05-2014, 06:13 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paperclippy View Post
I moved my "goal" weight up by 5lbs after a bit of a regain. My body composition had changed (even though I regained and relost, I ended up with more muscle than I started with), and I fit in the same clothes even though the number on the scale was different. I figured as long as I fit in the same clothes, it didn't matter that the number was up by 5.

That's encouraging, paperclippy; thanks for sharing that. My husband keeps telling me that I have gained muscle, and I can definitely see that I have gained muscle: I've been participating in an intense CrossFit class for more than a year now. So, perhaps that could account for a pound or two. But if I'm honest, I know that most of the gain is due to eating above my maintenance calories (again, those BLT's). I'm doing much better the last week or so, not so much sticking to losing calories, but being extra diligent to practice useful behaviors: only eating when I am sitting down, not picking off my husband's plate, trying to eat more slowly, not eating dessert after dinner. I will see where that takes me. In theory, I should lose the extra weight, but it may take me months rather than weeks. Otherwise, perhaps my metabolism has slowed a bit over the past 2-3 years or maybe my body has gotten used to the exercise I'm doing and isn't burning as many calories.
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Old 05-13-2014, 03:25 PM   #10
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I know I am kind of late to this thread, but I wanted to chime in, too!

I've been on my weight loss/fitness journey since early 2011. My highest weight was 230 lbs at 5'6. My lowest weight since 2011 was 149 and I was so excited to be that close to my "goal" weight. But, then vacations happened (I stopped taking them when I was so overweight) and parties happened (stopped going to those, too, when I was overweight) and basically, I was just enjoying life! After every event I'd weigh-in 2-3 pounds heavier here and there, until now, when I am back up to 166. I could tell myself that I was okay with 155 (after a great vacation) or that 160 was fine (after the holidays and many celebrations) - but 165...I just couldn't brush it off any longer. At 149, my clothes were a bit loose - they totally fit at 155, and even 160, but now...I pulled out my summer clothes and things are tight.

Anyway, I've done the same thing as many of you - I was happy at 149 and I was happy at 155 and even 160. I am no longer happy because my clothing doesn't fit like I want it to, and I don't want to go back to wearing things that are uncomfortably tight.

It has really transformed from being about a number on the scale to how I feel in my own skin. I rejoined WW with a girlfriend going through the same thing and it has re-motivated me - but I really just want all the clothes I bought to fit me properly and I want to feel strong and healthy. If that's at 155 or 135, then so be it.
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Old 05-13-2014, 06:35 PM   #11
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Lunula, I completely agree: One of the worst things (in terms of weight loss) is when the clothes get tight. I've had that experience many times in the past, and I refuse to face it again. In the past, I would almost subconsciously avoid items in my closet that I knew would "prove" I had gained weight. I have made an effort not to do that this time.

What has become more important to me now is establishing good eating habits. I got to goal in Nov. 2011. I did that by counting calories, but I didn't really focus too much on shedding some of the bad habits--e.g., eating off of my husband's plate, eating seconds, eating while standing, taking nibbles of food throughout the day, eating fast, etc. Too many of those for too long DO matter, and I think that it caught up with me in the form of a 5 lb. gain. So, now, I'm defining my goal as this: Shed those destructive eating behaviors. I know that unless I can do that, I won't have hope of keeping this weight off long term. I've been doing really well so far, and I've realized something very important about myself: Habit plays a major role in my eating. If for even just a week or so I can stop some of those behaviors, it becomes easier and easier. For the past couple of weeks, I've stopped nibbling, and it's so much easier for me now.
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