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Old 10-18-2006, 10:01 AM   #1
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Hi,

Looking for a little help from the people most likely to know. I lost almost 100 lbs then the whole process just sort fell apart. I'm up almost 60 lbs and just *cannot* find the wherewithal to get going again. I guess alot of people do this but I'm not finding whatever it is I need to know to get over this and get back on track.

Have you ever relapsed? How did you recover? How did you get going again?

Thanks,

Barb
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Old 10-18-2006, 10:32 AM   #2
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I had lost 90 lbs. before and slowly gained 87 of them back. I don't think I ever recovered, as it took me 13 yrs. to really try to lose it all again. Sure, I tried for short spurts of "dieting" during that time and never really took much off. Just a few weeks and few attempts here and there. Seeing a new Dr. and learning how horrible my health was is what got me going again. Before, I don't really think I had a "relapse", I think I just totally quit trying. For a long time, it simply lost it's importance to me.
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Old 10-18-2006, 10:54 AM   #3
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I tend to go up and down in weight. I finally got back on track. again. lol

It takes a lot to be really focused. I just realized that it takes commitment to lose the weight. And that you have to work at it. There are no easy fixes. I just focus on my goal and health and that keeps me motivated. Each time I get on the scale and seeing the number lower is like an award. An award only you can get yourself.

Believe me, there are times when I want to give up, but I don't because I know it will be worth it in a few days when I get on the scale or when I put a piece of clothing on that didn't fit a few weeks prior.
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Old 10-18-2006, 11:07 AM   #4
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I think I have a few things that can really help. Some of these were said or applied to me during my half marathon:

"It's really 80% mental" - it's true, weightloss is ALL about what you think. If you think you can't do it, then you won't. If you think it's hard, then it is. If you concentrate on being kind to yourself and nourishing with good food and looking after yourself, then the rest falls into place. Also true with half marathons

"There is no can't, only won't." - I was thinking about this last night in relation to someone who "can't" come to my wedding. I was thinking, "Well you CAN do anything you want to do, you just have to want it enough." Like the guy I saw doing the Amsterdam full marathon, who didn't have any legs. He was doing the marathon with 2 false legs and using crutches. Do you think he gets out of bed in the morning and says, "I can't walk."? My little motto thing works with weightloss - "oh I can't eat healthily" replace that can't with won't and it sounds so much worse, and in reality there really is no such thing as "can't" because we truly CAN do anything we want.

"You become your I ams" - What you think about constantly can shape your behaviour. If you are constantly telling yourself that you are a failure for putting some weight back on and you'll never lose it again, then hey-ho what happens... You struggle. If you constantly tell yourself that you can't (won't) lose weight, then what do you think happens? As some famous dude once said, "The law of flotation was not discovered by the contemplation of sinking things." Think about what you want to become and you will be attracted towards that vision.



You CAN do this
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Old 10-18-2006, 11:18 AM   #5
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Barb,

I've had MANY relapses in the course of my weight loss journey. I've completely lost all the weight then regained it all at least five times. I am now struggling to hold my ground and learn how to maintain because it seems all I know how to do is lose weight or gain weight. The thing is, I feel SO GROSS living the lifestyle that allows the weight gain and I feel SO GOOD pursuing a healthy lifestyle. I LOVE the routine, the healthy foods, the feeling of making good choices for myself and for my family.

I am learning that the maintainence phase is not really any different from the dieting phase, so choosing a lifestyle that will work over time is the key. I read another post that really inspired me, but I can't find it. But what I took from it is this: you can't wait til you 'feel motivated' because that may or may not happen. You just have to do it. Start now. Start today. Choose healthy lifestyle choices that will make you feel good about yourself today.

Good for you for getting on here and posting and seeking support! I just started reaching out for help in my struggles and it is making a world of difference!

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Old 10-18-2006, 11:24 AM   #6
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I have lost weight and gained it back several times in my life. It is always heartbreaking.

This time, I really sat down and thought hard about WHY I could lose weight but WHY I could not keep the weight off.

For me, I used to think of diets as short term, restrictive, not fun, always hungry punishment. I had to be perfect, I had to eat the exact number of calories (and not very many of them). I could keep this up for no more than 3-4 months. Two things always happened:

1. I would restrict so much my body would helplessly binge in an attempt to get the nutrition it needed. I thought that was a "lack of will power" and I felt like a loser. I would be so mad at myself, hate myself. I would just give up and go back to eating how I did before I started the diet, eating the way that made me heavy in the first place.

2. I would reach a goal weight (or get very close to a goal weight) and I would stop dieting and go back to eating how I did before I started the diet, eating the way that made me heavy in the first place.

Once I thought that through, it was like a crystal moment of clarity. I had to accept that my normal way of eating was terrible. I ate muffins and full fat venti lattes and nachos and pizza, all day every day. I was a heavy person because I ate like crap and did not exercise - not genetics, not big bones, not a poor metabolism - I ate a lot of junk and did not exercise. I wanted to diet for the short term and then go back to eating how I liked to eat. I realized that just couldn't work, I had to change how I ate forever.

Once I realized that, everything became so much easier. I realized I had to change how I ate forever. I had to give up "dieting." I had to lose weight sensibly, healthily - lots of good food, no restriction, no punishment. Instead of foods I hated (diet this, sugar free that, fat free this) I had to eat foods I liked (whole grain bread, natural peanut butter, grilled salmon, baked sweet potatoes, fresh raspberries). I gave up sugar (my sugarholic binges are worthy of a separate post, heh) and it's like my tastebuds snapped back - natural foods taste wonderful.

That was over 2 years ago. For the first time in my life, I am experiencing long term weight loss sucess - I have been maintaining for nearly 2 years. I have never maintained weight loss before, it's like a miracle. I built new habits, I plan meals on Sunday, I grocery shop, I pack lunches, I make healthy decisions every day, but I don't try to be "perfect" anymore, I accept that life requires flexibility and snacking on unexpected cheese/crackers at a company meeting does not mean that I've "ruined" the day and I might as well eat an entire cheesecake.

My house is a junk food-free zone, I gave up fast food forever, I haven't touched sugary soda. My energy levels are through the roof, I used to drowse off in meetings, sleep in my office everyday, that doesn't happen anymore. I still food journal, still count calories, I am MINDFUL of what I eat (instead of my deliberate blindness before, I didn't WANT to know the all the way nachos from Qdoba I ate 2-3 times a week had 1200 calories).

I feel like a miracle happened to me. Every week when I pull my new,tiny shirts out of the dryer, I fold them with a sense of wonder - is this little shirt mine? When I catch sight of myself in a mirror - is that me? When I see myself in pictures, I am entranced.

If you want, you can read my whole story here (warning, it is long!) I failed for 20 years before I finally figured it out - losing weight isn't the end, keeping the weight off is the goal. Previously, my goal was always to "lose weight" if someone had asked me what would happen next, I would have said "lose weight and go shopping" or "lose weight and wear a bikini." I had to realize my goal was "lose weight and keep it off." After losing weight, what happens next is maintenance and it is just as hard work!
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Old 10-18-2006, 12:35 PM   #7
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Barb,

Before you do anything else, please read Glory's story. I had not seen it before and I must say it's one of the best series of posts I've ever read on
3FC or anywhere else, for that matter. Glory, thank you. I can't tell you how much I learned and how much I appreciate it.

Barb, as illuminating as Glory's journey is, it may seem like too much to take in all at once. So, in addition to the other tips that Fru, Lily and PaperStars have offered, let me add a few:

Take it one day at a time. If need be, take it one meal or one moment at a time.

Move. Take a walk. Go to a gym. Break out an exercise video. At the very least, walk to your car, or take a flight of stairs instead of an elevator.

If you make an unwise food choice, chalk it up to a learning experience and plan to make a better choice next time.

I have found that if I can just get started, I can keep going. It's the getting started that can be a stumper. But Lindy's right: don't hang your hopes on being "motiviated." You may never get motivated. But you have it within yourself to start. Today.

Stay in touch. Join us on the weekly thread. We care.
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Old 10-18-2006, 01:23 PM   #8
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Amen to everything everyone else has written. As many times as I've read this advice, it always triggers something for me. I'm another who has lost several times and regained. It is much harder this time to lose, but I'm persisting. For me, it's all about baby steps. I know this about myself now (and you'd think at nearly 62 I would have figured it out sooner. ) I cannot change my whole lifestye at once, or I'll fail. But I can start exercising a little more, and making sure I'm always prepared for the gym. My gym bag lives in the car. I can make better choices for my meals, and bring my lunch - this saves $$ as well as calories. I kind of backed into losing mode slowly this time, and now I'm exercising reasonably regularly (it's that "sometimes life gets in the way" thing), I'm making 95% better choices with my meals, and I'm working on the portion control aspect. But if I had tried to do all these things from the day I first decided I needed to get back to losing, I'd be gaining now. I've lost 13 or so pounds since March. It's slow, but it's happening. I'm in better shape, my BP is down in the normal range, I'm less tired. It's all good.

You cannot sit around waiting for motivation, and you can't count on motivation to carry you through. While I don't accept everything he says, Dr. Phil is right on when he talks about this. Paraphrased he says - and I agree - that you need to change your habits about eating. Make it easier to eat well. Keep your kitched stocked with healthy foods, avoid getting so hungry you'll eat anything, etc. Program your life to succeed. You can do it!

Oh, and coming here helps me keep on track as much as anything else.
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Old 10-19-2006, 02:20 PM   #9
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I saw your post in the 100 lb club as well but I think you are doing the right thing by looking to the maintainers. I ended up losing 75 lbs but I couldn't lose any more so I maintained. My weight fluctuated up and down the same 10 lbs for well over a year. I think the biggest reason it didn't go anywhere higher than that was I weighed often. I knew what my weight was and if it started to get towards the 10 lb mark, I'd restrict my calories and do more exercise.

You did eventually catch yourself before you gained any more weight and I know you may be struggling. For me, I had to refind my motivation. Somewhere I had lost my motivation and thus it was nearly impossible for me to lose weight. Once I found my motivation again, I was able to lose 30 lbs and hopefully more soon. Start making slow improving changes, monitor your food and exercise more. Don't go for burning yourself out but just trying to ease yourself back into a losing mode. I'd also try to list the reasons you'd like to lose weight and keep that list with you. I think motivation is really key to losing weight and if you don't know what your motivation is then it is hard to follow through on the other steps.
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Old 10-19-2006, 03:31 PM   #10
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First, ditto what everyone else has said.

Have I relapsed in the past? Oh yeah! How did I manage to get back on track? By making small changes to my diet and physical activity and increasing them over time, and working toward a lifestyle that I could reasonably maintain for the rest of my life.

You already know how to lose weight. You've done it before, and you certainly can do it now, especially since you have only 60lbs to lose instead of 100lbs. Kudos to you for recognising your relapse now, and for not living in the land of denial where I resided for so long.

Hope this helps. Best of luck to you, and as Pat says, keep posting here!

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Old 10-19-2006, 11:43 PM   #11
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First, thanks so much for your kindness and generosity. You cannot believe how much I appreciate all of you responding – I’m not sure if it’s more trite or just plain goofy, but I really don’t know how to thank you. And Airegrrrl is right, it is a lot to take in. I wish I could find that spark to let me “catch fire” and make this easier but maybe it’s part of the journey to have to just keep putting one foot in front of the other. Reading through, the common thread seems to be that at some point you realized that this is just life as you had decided to live it. I have to admit that’s really hard to hear. It had been my plan to make a really big effort and lose a lot of weight (mthergoose was one of the first people I remember from this board and I was intending on following her plan) then slide into a “normal” lifestyle. I really wanted (and still want) that sort of really dramatic success. It sounds like that is something I have to give up and grow into this is the healthy lifestyle I want and live it now.

Many thanks,

Barb
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Old 10-20-2006, 12:36 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keillynsmom View Post
It had been my plan to make a really big effort and lose a lot of weight (mthergoose was one of the first people I remember from this board and I was intending on following her plan) then slide into a “normal” lifestyle. I really wanted (and still want) that sort of really dramatic success. It sounds like that is something I have to give up and grow into this is the healthy lifestyle I want and live it now.

That is it exactly. The way you lose weight and your normal lifestyle have to be the same thing. You can't lose weight in a way you don't like (foods you don't like, choices so limited you can't go out to dinner with friends/family, exercising for 2 hours everyday) because you won't be able to stick with it and eventually you will stop.

I yo-yo'd for 20 years. TWENTY YEARS. I always wanted to diet for a short time and then go back to my beloved nachos and blueberry muffins and venti caramel lattes with whip. I had to find foods I liked just as much, loving what I eat, looking forward to meals, eating enough to be really satisfied (so I wouldn't binge) was absolutely key for me. I don't want to stop eating this way, why would I? I love it. I love how I look, I love how I feel, I love the great doctor's checkup I had and how he raved about my excellent cholesterol.

It is a little more work. It's more work to pack a lunch than stop for a burger. It's more work to cook a healthy dinner than to order pizza. It's hard to say no to coworkers who want to go out to Mexican food, it's hard to say no to birthday cake for some coworker you barely know but all your coworkers say you "just have to have some cake!" It's hard to eat all the produce before it goes bad. It's hard to drag myself out of bed to work out.

Hard, but worth it.
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Old 10-20-2006, 07:51 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keillynsmom View Post
It had been my plan to make a really big effort and lose a lot of weight ... then slide into a “normal” lifestyle.
Barb
Something else caught my eye in this quote that Glorry highlighted ... the notion of a "normal" lifestyle. In my opinion, a huge key to success is redefining "normal." I've come to believe that eating well, working out, and developing the strategies that work for YOU is normal. Anything else is un-normal. Incidentally, let me warn you against another stream of consciousness that often crops up in these discussions ... the "fairness" or "unfairness" of our lot of in life. It's not fair, one might think, that I can't imbibe blueberry muffins and carmel lattes (thanks for the example, Glory) ... well, don't go there. That kind of thinking will cause you endless angst and, in the end, not solve a single problem.

Barb, you're doing great. Keep up the good work!
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Old 10-20-2006, 10:30 AM   #14
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Exactly, Airegrrrl, I don't think I'm depriving myself because I don't eat muffins and big lattes and nachos and pizza everyday. I am giving myself the gift of health!

If I were going think of fair vs. not fair, it wasn't very fair to my old self to huff and puff going up stairs and fall asleep at my desk and hate to look down at myself in the shower and not want to be naked in front of anyone.

One time, I had gone to Vancouver with my ex boyfriend and we were walking all over Chinatown and having a great time until my knees really started to hurt and I had to keep stopping to rest. That wasn't very fair to me, for my weight to steal my enjoyment of the day and make me hurt and feel guilty for ruining his fun too.

Another time we were in Portland on a really warm day. I was wearing a skirt and my thighs started to chafe, I could barely walk because it hurt so bad. We wanted to go to a restaurant but they only took cash, so we had to walk around endlessly looking for a cash machine - torture. That wasn't very fair!

I probably have 50 stories like that. I honestly do not think of fair vs. unfair in regards to food anymore. I made my decision to be thin for the rest of my life. The only way to be thin for the rest of my life is to eat mindfully every day and exercise. It is a very fair trade - healthy foods (which I like) for shining good health and the ability to walk for hours
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My very long weight loss story

"I saw an angel in the marble and I chiseled until I set it free."
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Old 10-20-2006, 10:50 AM   #15
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Glory's way of looking at fair and unfair is exactly the point of view I've adopted. Sometimes I have to work at it a bit, but it has the benefit of being 100% true.

Normal vs abnormal I still have trouble with. No one wants to be abnormal. But at the risk of moving from the personal into the greater social sphere, one could argue that a normal American lifestyle, fast food, lots of TV, very little exercise, is exactly the reason that 2/3 of us are overweight and 1/3 are obsese. I can live without that kind of normal, and if anybody wants to discuss how strange it is to eat half a ginormous dinner portion, skip dessert, or get up early to run, well, I don't have that kind of time.

Barb, there are days I have that spark you are talking about, and those days are easy. There are days I don't, and those days are hard. I just do the best I can on all days, knowing that some days are better than others (and bad days come in clumps!) and the good will come back around. That is all any of us can ask of ourselves, to do the best we can. But as long as we have lives to live, we get to chose how we face it, and skipping the cake most of the time is a better deal than living life obese, and that is my choice.

I hope you stick around on maintainers. This board is full of people who take the long view on weight loss and maintenance, and that is the only way I know to be successful in the long term. I know a lot of people count their maintenance period from when they hit goal. I count mine from when I changed my life for the better--it took the body a year to catch up and release 100 lbs. I'd lost more than 50 lbs several times in my life, but the lifestyle change is really why this one "took." I've had some struggles in the last couple of years, because life happens, but it's just not an option for me to go back.

Anne
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