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TFL Key #5: Nip It In The Bud: Break The Relapse Cycle

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Old 02-10-2005, 06:30 PM   #16
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Pat, thank you for letting us hear your story. We all can benefit from your experiences. I'm glad you finally "woke up" and saw the light. I'm 61 and I can relate how hard it is to lose as we get older, much harder.

I can say I always weigh myself everyday in the morning. I think maintaining for me would be disasterous if I didn't keep monoriting it. If we are going to draw that line, we have to know when it's there. I try and stay below 120 but once in awhile it goes above. I did so well over the holidays. I was stayed the line all through. BUT then came Jan. and thinking I did so well, started eating for some reason. I haven't a clue how. I went up to 123, 3 lbs over my line! In the one week I've been back being diligent in losing it, I've lost 4 lbs. Now, it couldn't have been weight but must have been water.

Mel, you mention all the demands on us during the holidays....one comment from me would be...MAKE YOURSELF #1 ON THAT PRIOTITY LIST!!!

Glad to see the bb so active.
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Old 02-10-2005, 06:34 PM   #17
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Julie, did you say you're in Seattle? It's where we spent most of 2000, living on Capitol Hill, near Seattle U and Swedish Hosp. I loved parts of living there - esp the climate. Very few days that this Alaska gal found it too nasty to be outside.
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Old 02-10-2005, 07:35 PM   #18
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Pat, we live in Bremerton across the water from Seattle. I love it here as long as there is sunshine every now and then. This past week has been sunny off and on and boy does that help.

Where in Alaska are you? We spent 3 months up there in '99 touring with our RV.
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Old 02-10-2005, 07:44 PM   #19
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What an awesome story Pat! Thank you for sharing ....
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Old 02-10-2005, 07:57 PM   #20
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Julie, we're in Palmer which is about 50 miles NE of Anchorage, in the Matanuska-Susitna Valley, home of the giant cabbage.
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Old 02-10-2005, 10:10 PM   #21
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Yes, we went through Palmer but sorry, I don't really remember it. Home of the giant cabbage???
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Old 02-15-2005, 10:45 AM   #22
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I'm new here. I won't be sticking around this forum (just yet) as I am someone who got to goal weight a few years ago and am just starting to address the weight regain. I was nodding my head when I read the article. Looking back, not setting a line in the sand was exactly where I went wrong. I tend to gain weight in spurts - often around winter - and then I will maintain that new weight for a while. During those time it was easy to kid myself and say 'well, I'd rather be a bit slimmer, but at least I seem to be sticking around at the same weight, maybe I should just forget about it'. Bad idea! This time, there is going to be that line in the sand.

I could also very much relate to what Pat was saying, although my circumstances were different and I'd say hers were worse than mine. Although I had got a bit lazy and complacent about maintenance while my husband was still working, the real crunch time was when my husband lost his job after the company he worked for went bust. It was quite a tough, worrying time and he did not find work for another 9 months. We thought we'd have to sell our house and move to a cheaper area (without any particular job to go to) to avoid losing our home. He did get another job eventually and things are stable now, but it made quite an impact. My husband, who had also gone along to WW with me and was a gold member, regained his weight back from that period too. However, it has taken until now, (DH has been back in employment for over a year) before I felt ready to start again. It may not be nipping it in the bud at this stage, more like pruning a large shrub, but I've done it before, I can do it again!

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Old 02-15-2005, 12:16 PM   #23
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Lora -- Welcome to Maintainers! Congrats on your decision to loosing weight... Don't be shy of coming back here. I am not at goal yet either but I gain so much insight from these gals that this forum and Ladies Who Lift are my two favorite places at 3FC, so don't be shy... We LUVS newbies!! Take care....
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Old 02-16-2005, 06:06 AM   #24
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Thanks for the warm welcome Ilene. I like the title you have of 'Maintainer in Training'!
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Old 02-16-2005, 08:22 AM   #25
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Yep, that be me, Maintainer in Training...
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Old 02-18-2005, 04:38 PM   #26
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Line in the sand??? Hmmm.... Let me tell you, about a year ago I would be freaking out like Ilene pointed out, if my weight goes up about 4 pounds. I was so devastated about scale and numbers. And now, only year after, I noticed that I am no more freaked out. I am more into planning and analyzing what went wrong! Like well, I am 4 pounds above my goal (which again is number which I decided is my goal and probably I ma just wrong at this estimate) and I just take actions instead of freaking out! i noticed that actions without stressing actually work better! Like I decide what went wrong, and now I am mature enough to figure it out, and than I have an action plan.

What is your action plan when you reach you line? Mine is Lean cuisine lunches and more weight training. Keeping cadrio where it is. adding more pine apples and carrots to my diet (helps eliminating). Most of the time it works.. That is, if there are no biscotties in the house
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Old 02-26-2005, 08:22 AM   #27
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I know Iím lagging behind Ė and that I should be discussing Key #8 by now, but I had a relapse at the beginning of February, and I just wanted to say something about how great and helpful the 4 relapse prevention skills in Chapter 5 were for me!

This semester turned my food and exercise routines upside-down: I started working on my hospital practice the last week of January. I no longer had time to go to the gym at my usual times (weekday mornings), and I had to figure out how to eat, what to eat, when to eat. On top of feeling anxious, stressed out, and insecure the first weeks at work.
Within the second week of my practice I was overeating to make myself feel better. Just a little more at first, but soon eating cookies and chocolate daily and having 3000+ days. A big change from my usual 1800-2000.

Skill #1: Identify your potential high-risk situations.
Iíve always known that I overeat when Iím very hungry, and for the first two weeks I didnít bring enough food to work.
I also overeat when I feel depressed, rejected, sad, and down. I do tend to take care of myself with sweets: eating cookies always make me feel better!
The changes in my routine just felt stressful because I had to deal with making changes I didnít want to do, especially when it came to working out. I had to find other times, I had to change my weightlifting program, cut down on the number of times at the gym, etc. Feeling anxious and insecure didnít help either.
I even managed to identify new high-risk situations: I noticed that I also overeat when I donít sleep enough, drink enough water, or rest when Iím tired. Itís weird that I interpret every signal of discomfort from my body as a sign to eat Ė but I suppose thatís what 15+ years of dieting does to you.

Skill #2 Preventing high-risk situations as best you can.
Skill #3: Effectively deal with high-risk situations when they do occur.

This is where it gets interesting; itís where my coping strategies show themselves. I already knew that overeating is my coping strategy: itís how I try to deal with a stressful situation, to take care of myself, and give myself something good/pleasurable.
So I need to come up with alternative coping strategies, because overeating never solves anything.
Fletcher suggests writing down what you can do to prevent or deal with the situations. For me Ė some of it was about getting my food, sleep, drinking and rest organized: bringing enough food for the entire workday (3 small meals) to work, going to bed early, having a water bottle at my desk at all times, and taking breaks during the workday or naps after I got home.
It was the first things I did Ė I just added in positive things: I didnít force myself to stop eating chocolate, but started off just adding in good things that made my energy come back, made me feel less tired. Which in turn gave me the energy to look for other ways to give myself pleasurable things (naps, cups of hot spicy tea, reading, phoning a friend, watching reruns of Angel, hot showers), which in turn made it possible to stop eating chocolate every day. And thereby ending the relapse.

Skill #4: React constructively after high-risk situations.
This is really one of the great ones! This is where you ask yourself: what went wrong? And even though I couldnít have avoided the situation altogether (change will happen!), the next time I will certainly pay more attention to my basic needs (sleep, food, water, rest, warmth) because I have been reminded that I automatically interpret any bodily discomfort as a sign of hunger.
I will also pay more attention into figuring out what Iím trying to give to myself by overeating, and look into alternative ways of giving that to myself.
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Old 02-26-2005, 11:53 AM   #28
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Hey Mette! You can come back and discuss any of the keys whenever they apply to you ... sometimes things happen after we've talked about a chapter and something just clicks with what you've read. Great job with your analysis and the way you went through the four steps of the relapse prevention skills. And good for you for getting hold of the situation and turning things around before they got completely out of control!
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Old 04-17-2006, 01:20 PM   #29
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Meg, thank you for stressing that ďnip it in the budĒ is for both losers and maintainers.

I recently started weighing myself daily so that I could be in the habit once I reached my red line of 170. When I saw the scale go up 4 pounds in ONE day, I didnít get upset because I knew thanks to your warnings, that it was water weight attributed to TOM and a few food choices I had made then. A bit of salty chicken wingsÖ some warm homemade bread.. you get the picture. But the experience of seeing the scale bounce all over the place and this chapter of TFL have helped me decide that during this losing phase I cannot focus on my future 170 pound red line. I have to focus on a line NOW to keep any small lapse (like the yummy chicken) from becoming an out of control relapse filled with all the horrible denials.

So Iíve gone back to my original goal. To weigh less than I do now.. whatever that is. And Iíve drawn a line in the sand: the lowest weight Iíve seen on the scale + 5 pounds. This will give me a buffer for any water weight. I have to become a comfortable daily weigher. I know this is the only way for me. Whether it fits my lifestyle or not.

I like Lawsharkís description: ďIt is a solid, double yellow line that will not be crossed.Ē

The holiday diet vacation is the most ridiculous thing Iíve heard. I certainly donít need permission to treat myself just because of a holiday. Holiday or not the pounds will creep up if it is more than an occassional indulgence. I have to be diligent, yet flexible and understanding 365 days.

Drs. Grilo and Browellsí warning sticks with me: Öínegative emotional reactions pose a ďgreater threat to successful maintenance than do the few excess calories.Ēí I believe that a analyzing and dealing with a series of lapses or accumulated pounds is much more constructive than wringing our hands and wailing.

I am in for the long haul and thank you all for being here. It makes it so much easier.
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Old 04-17-2006, 04:03 PM   #30
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Jayde - I want to thank you for taking the time to respond to the TFL posts. They make me want to go back and re-read the discussions again, and I get so much out of them the second (or third!) time around. I think TFL is a book that I should review annually, kind of as a maintenance tune-up.
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