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TFL Key #1: Believe That You Can Become Thin For Life

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Old 01-12-2005, 07:42 PM   #16
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Do you/did you believe that you could reach goal when you started your weight loss?
No, frankly I didn't. But I did, and even though I've regained a good percentage of it, I believe I can reach that goal again.

Do you believe that you can keep the weight off for life?
Yes. Because I know, after being honest with myself, why I regained. It's not pretty, and it makes me angry with myself, but I have worked through that (I think) and I'm slowly creeping down again.

How important do you think it is to believe that permanent weight loss is possible in order to achieve your goals?
It's not necessary to believe it to reach a goal weight. Lots of people do that without the belief in permanent weight loss. Keeping it off absolutely requires the belief.

What does maintenance mean to you?
It means doing whatever is necessary - eating right, exercising - to keep my body at my desired goal. In my case, this is a clothing size rather than an actual weight as I recognize that my weight varies in about a 5-8 lb range. But it also means maintaining a healthy lifestyle - which includes the above eating right and exercise, but also getting enough sleep, having a healthy marriage, and the like. Having experienced a much-too-close brush with death with my DH's cancer, we are both much more aware of how we want to live.

Are you presently in one of the four stages of weight loss? How many have you experienced?
I am very familiar with frustration, and spend much of my weight loss life there! Acceptance is familiar. Never had much of a honeymoon period.

Have you ever tried to lose weight by non-dieting? Was it successful?
In short, yes, no. I surely was not in touch with my satisfaction level. I needed, and still need, to be mentally aware of portion size and nutritional info.

Do you believe that you control your weight or do you believe that forces beyond your control predetermine your weight?
Oh I wish it were the aliens who controlled it! I KNOW that's it me that's in charge, but if someone else will take responsibility, they can have it!!

Thanks for the synopsis Meg. I'm enjoying hearing everyone's responses.
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Old 01-13-2005, 11:07 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meg
But maintenance is not just reaching your weight goal. As weight-maintenance expert Michael G. Perri, PhD, of the University of Florida, stresses: “Maintenance means much more than weight maintenance. It includes the maintenance of other healthy lifestyle behaviors, such as healthy eating patterns, exercise, reducing stress, keeping healthy relationships, and more.”
That's where it's all at for me, Meg. In particular, reducing stress.
As someone who suffers from what can sometimes be debilitating depression, I know that living a healthy, well-organized life can be so important.
This past year I've had to deal with a complete kitchen renovation and the loss of my Dad, as well as the usual, everyday "family stuff".
When my house is organized, I'm less stressed. I have space to spread out my cookbooks, balance my cheque book, and I don't have to search for my exercise equipment under mounds of laundry.
I cook healthier food, my family is happier, we communicate better, and mentally, I feel "clean".
Living with a "gutted" kitchen for the past few months has put me in a real spin. We've been eating a lot of convenience foods, and because the mess of the kitchen has taken over much of the rest of our house and caused me HUGE AMOUNTS OF STRESS, I've been using food as my "comfort". It's my worst vice (as it is for most of us here).
Over the years, food + a good book has come to mean a quick and easy "escape" from dark periods of depression. I KNOW that exercise would improve my mood, but it's too hard. When you're trying to climb out of what seems a bottomless pit, you reach for the closest rope. It's easier to open the fridge than to summon up the energy to "pull yourself together" to put on sweats and runnings shoes.
Anyhow, to sum up... ... for me, being organized = being in control = feeling good about myself = a better propensity for losing weight

Meg, thanks for all the work you're putting into this thread... it's awesome!!
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Old 01-13-2005, 01:16 PM   #18
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Do you/did you believe that you could reach goal when you started your weight loss?
I believe it, but I also understand that it will take some time. I guess if I did not believe that I could do it I never would have started.

Do you believe that you can keep the weight off for life?
Absolutely. I know that it will be hard work, but all big changes are difficult.

How important do you think it is to believe that permanent weight loss is possible in order to achieve your goals?
I think that it is important because it is the incentive to try. If I thought that all of this work was just to touch base at goal and then end up back where I started I do not know if I could go through all of this.

What does maintenance mean to you?
I guess I think of weight loss as just training for maintinance, and maintinance as the real deal. If I can develop good habits now I will be prepared to maintain them for the rest of my life. And especially in light of the information form the post about metabolism after achieving goal, I know that this weight loss stuff is not the hardest part, the hardest part is maintaining those habits.

Do you/did you ‘break the rules’ of weight loss?
Not really. I am pretty regimented. I suppose when I have transitioned from rules to habits I will start breaking some rules.

Are you presently in one of the four stages of weight loss? How many have you experienced?
I was in honeymoon for the first 25 pounds and now I am starting to move into frustration, which I suppose is a necessary part of the process.

Do you believe that you control your weight?
Absolutely. Calories in/calories out. I know that I was eating crap and eating too much and that is why I gained weight. I know that I am now eating well adn eating less and that is why I am losing weight. There is nothing magical about it and I work hard every day, but I am the one who is driving the bus here and I can make or break my weight loss journey at any time. The decision to eat something really bad may not be entirely conscious, but the decision not to eat it is very deliberate and either way the choice is all mine.
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Old 01-13-2005, 02:24 PM   #19
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Oh Ellis - I SO know what you mean about escaping into food and a good book! I was an avid reader as a kid (still am) and my favorite thing to do was read and mindlessly eat. Total escape. It's a tough connection to break, I know. Reading and eating at night after the kids went to bed was my reward for a hard day and I had to give up the reading for a while and just go to bed early in order to break that connection. Now I can read in bed without eating, but I still get those mindless munchie cravings while I'm reading ... no answers, just letting you know I'm a soul sister.
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Old 01-13-2005, 04:08 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meg
... just letting you know I'm a soul sister.
I SO know that, Meg. Thanks, sweetie.
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Old 01-13-2005, 04:20 PM   #21
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I just discovered this thread and I am very excited. I am going to buy the book tonight. 16 months ago I was 205 and then went down to 155. As of today I am back up to 170 and realize I need to do something. I think reading this book and then spending the next 10 weeks with you analyzing each chapter is just what I need to get motivated to get back down to 155.
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Old 01-13-2005, 05:52 PM   #22
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Welcome Mrs. P! It sounds like you found us at the right time. We'd love to have you (and anyone) join our group. Take some time and poke around the rest of the Maintainers Forum - we have lots of good info and threads about maintenance and how to deal with weight rebound.

We're glad you're here!
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Old 01-13-2005, 10:18 PM   #23
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Welcome, Mrs. P!
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Old 01-15-2005, 01:24 PM   #24
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I mostly lurk in the Maintainer forum because I’m not a maintainer for life yet - still just doing it short-term and maintaining weight loss for limited periods of time in between periods of weight loss.

Reading this discussion, I like that so many of you believed you would reach goal weight this time. It’s about understanding that this time you’ve found the right tools to do it, isn’t it? It took me a really long time and many ups and downs to get to this point, but this time I know I’m getting there – it’s just going take a very long time. I am the slowest loser ever: getting rid of the excess weight is going to take years and years (lost 35lbs in 2002, lost 25lbs in 2004, long periods of maintenance in between, planning on losing maybe 20lbs this summer, then a new period of maintenance).

ellis – hi! – I’m so with you on the “food + book = comfort and escape”. The change to “book + tea” or “book in itself” = “just as comforting” works sometimes, but not always…

The whole “accepting the realities of weight loss and weight loss maintenance (= hard work, commitment, rest of my life, etc etc)” is hard for me – so the part that struck me the most in chapter one was the “If you’re fat, it may not be your fault – but that doesn’t mean you can’t do something about it” section. I need to constantly remind myself that it’s the tendency for obesity that is inherited – not the obesity in it self. Quote (page21): “providing an environment of low-fat foods and increased physical activity can stifle even the most stubborn genes”. It’s possible for me to control my environment – I can learn how to do that. I have this tendency of sliding into a mode of helplessness and hopelessness when it comes to weight loss – so learning how to control it, how to learn tools, how to succeed is necessary.
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Old 01-15-2005, 03:43 PM   #25
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I am having a hard time to believe that I can actually lose the weight let alone keep it off. I guess because I have never succeeded at it yet. I have been battling this almost my whole adult life ~ only to go up and up and up. A couple years ago, I had gotten almost 1/2 way to goal, then messed up and put it all back on. It is especially hard to believe now because of not being able to exercise and that is so esential for me to lose the weight. I can not get a mental picture of myself as a thin person. I am hoping that even though I am struggling with this key, that somehow I can still lose the weight ~ I need to so badly, I want to also.
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Old 01-16-2005, 11:32 AM   #26
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Wow! Great thoughts and insights, gang!

In my heart, I really didn't believe that I was going to be successful this last time that I went on a diet. I WANTED it more than anything, but I had such a track record of failure that I would have been to expect anything else (sounds like you, Glynne ). So I guess I'm a classic 'fake it until you make it' person - l acted like I expected success and did everything right but never focused on getting to goal. It just seemed SO out of reach when I started.

So I have to disagree with Anne Fletcher that you have to believe that you can be thin for life in order to get there. I'm not even sure that I believe it now, but it's not going to stop me from trying.

About the weight loss phases - to be honest, I don't qualify for the 'lifestyle' phase of weight loss yet, so I guess it's still 'tentative acceptance'. I still mess up too darn much with eating to qualify for lifestyle status. I guess the important part is that I get right back on track and a little slip isn't going to hurt me in the long run. And thankfully I'm superconsistent with exercise.

We'll start Key To Success #2: Take The Reins tomorrow, but anyone should feel free to continue to comment about Key #1 in this thread.
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Old 01-16-2005, 11:56 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glynne
I can not get a mental picture of myself as a thin person. I am hoping that even though I am struggling with this key, that somehow I can still lose the weight ~ I need to so badly, I want to also.
Glynne, I still don't really have a mental picture of myself as a thin person. I have to try clothing on based on size because if I pick out what I think I'll fit into, I'll end up with something at least a couple of sizes too big. I also have to remember to bring both the size number I think I need and one smaller into the dressing room with me or I end up with the wrong size again. On the other hand, I do believe that I can maintain my current weight if I work at it. My mental image of myself is slowly starting to change now, but much more slowly than I lost the weight in the first place!
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Old 01-16-2005, 03:38 PM   #28
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AHEM, Miss Megster I beg to differ... you said:

Quote:
About the weight loss phases - to be honest, I don't qualify for the 'lifestyle' phase of weight loss yet, so I guess it's still 'tentative acceptance'. I still mess up too darn much with eating to qualify for lifestyle status.
Meg I can't believe I am hearing that from you! You don't think you are at the "lifestyle" phase even if you screw up? We're not perfect in anything we do whether it be raising kids or food choices ..."Lifestyle" does not equal "perfection"....

Maybe you're saying that you haven't accepted that you can live this lifestyle? We can't live it to perfection, that's a fact, life just gets in the way, KWIM? But the next day we are back at it no matter what and to me THAT is the "lifestyle phase"...

Ok, off the ... back in my shell....
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Old 01-16-2005, 04:01 PM   #29
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STAY OUT OF THAT SHELL, MISSY! The more Ilene, the merrier, as far as I'm concerned!

Here's what was going through my mind when I wrote what I did ... For sure I know it's a lifestyle and it's forever and I'm just fine with that - as a matter of fact, I love the way I live now and would never go back. I can easily do this forever and am sure I will. BUT ... Anne Fletcher defined the last phase of weight loss - that lifestyle change - as food becoming less of an emotional issue and being able to handle life without turning to food. I'm not there yet and don't know if I ever will be. On the one hand, I'm infinitely better than I used to be but I'm still so far from perfect that it isn't even funny. I'm NOT cured of my eating issues - I just manage them a lot better. So I just don't feel like I fit her definition of lifestyle change.

Heck, Ilene, I know I'll never be perfect in anything that I do! And the way you and I define it, this is a lifestyle for me. I just didn't think I matched what's in the book.

And what's this about a shell, hmmm?
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Old 01-16-2005, 04:03 PM   #30
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That's an interesting question, Ilene... "What does "lifestyle" mean to you?"
I think I've always thought of it (in terms of eating) as a way of life that comes easily... without having to think about it.
I know that at one point in my life (late teens, early 20s), my eating habits weren't an issue for me. I ate in a fairly healthy manner, exercised because I enjoyed it, and was of a good weight.
Now (post children, major depressive episodes, life...), I'm involved in a very unhealthy lifestyle. It's become a habit for me to eat badly and curl up in bed.
I like the idea of being the way I once was, without having to "think" about what I'm doing, but I suspect it's going to be a struggle for me for a long time. Possibly even the rest of my life.
I don't know... if something is a constant struggle... is it a "lifestyle"? I suppose it is, but it seems like a mighty ugly one.
As for raising kids... that sure doesn't come easily, either!

Hey, Mette! We miss you in Alternachicks!

Glynne and Only Me, I'm the opposite. I still think of myself as "slim". I used to buy clothes without having to try them on... everything and anything fit me. Now I'm still shocked when I see myself in a mirror or window reflection. I can't BELIEVE it's me! I still buy clothes without trying them on (stupid!), and when I get them home, they're often too small, because that's the size I see myself as.
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