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Please Help, I'm losing control (long)

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Old 04-09-2007, 11:15 PM   #1
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Unhappy Please Help, I'm losing control (long)

Hey everyone,

Like alot of you, I've been trying to lose weight since forever. Nothing ever worked and I was convinced something was wrong with me. Then, a couple months ago, something clicked. I realized that I wasn't being honest with myself. I told myself that I was doing everything right, but in reality, I was only eating right 60% of the time and doing very little exercise.

I got my butt in gear. I was eating right 90% of the time, I cut out sweets because I know I can't have just one and I started exercising 3-4 days a week.
I changed my goal for the first time, from losing weight to living healthy. Switching my focus from 'weight' to 'health' worked! I didn't even really want the bad stuff because I was focusing on how I felt, and the bad stuff made me FEEL bad. I looked forward to exercise (well, I didn't dread it...) because it made me FEEL good. And the weight just started coming off. Not fast. But I lost 4 pounds in a month, which got me down to the lowest weight I remember being. Also people were starting to notice, and more importantly I was starting to notice. I FELT great.

Then I went to my parents house. I didn't eat that bad. We had pizza, I only had two slices but with a salad. But it acted as a doorway back into all my old habits. I've been sliding downward ever since. Nothing TERRIBLE. A cookie here, a dinner out there, cocktails with the girls, things I hadn't given up before, but had limited to once a week or once every other week. Now, I do them all in one week sometimes all in one day and often I have been skipping my exercise to do it.

I just see myself losing all the work I've done. I feel like it's snowballing, I've tried to stop it, but for some reason, it's only been half hearted attempts. I promise myself that I'll be better tomorrow. The longer it takes me to try and stop it, the more impossible it will be.

It's been three weeks now. I've gained some of the weight back. I don't know specifically how much because I've been avoiding the scale. Before when I'd start slipping, I'd come here and read posts. It's just not working as well this time. I don't know why. I keep telling myself each night before I go to bed that tomorrow will be better, one day at a time, and other such things. I'm hoping that if I hear it from you ladies, instead of just me, it might sink in.

I don't want want to lose my progress. I've inspired my skinny minni roommates to start exercising because I'm doing it all the time, and they want to be healthy too. My mom is so impressed by how well I'm doing, I hope that if I keep it up, she'll be inspired to become more healthful too. I guess I just need some support Maybe some good advice? Or more likely a good hard kick in the pants.

Sorry this is so long, but I'm just starting to panic and I have faith that you guys will know where I'm coming from and what it is I need to hear in order to get back on track...
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Old 04-10-2007, 12:07 AM   #2
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Amber -- Yes yes, we know where you're coming from!

We've been having a lot of discussions about this in the maintainers' forum -- please go check it out! lapses/relapses and collapses are discussed!

Maintenance Epiphany?

One of my biggest fears is regaining all the weight. Losing 120 pounds has significantly changed how I live my life!

I've recently realized that I am in control of the food. I am the one who can choose what do eat and what not to eat. When to exercise. Even in stressful situations.

Now, putting that into practice is, of course, another thing entirely. But you've done it before, and if you choose to, you can do it again! Maybe it just helps to know that?

Please check out that thread and the other great threads in maintainers'!!!!
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Old 04-10-2007, 12:29 AM   #3
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Awww I know how you feel too. But you already know that you want a better life. You just need to get to it!!! You mentioned that once you got into the healthy habit you stuck with it. Just do that again. Start exercising again and you'll notice how guilty you feel if you skip a day. Then, you'll rather exercise than feel than feel that guilt. Make a list of pro's and cons and stick it on your refrigerator or a mirror. You'll think twice about eating that cookie trust me! I have a folder that i keep all my weight loss/walking log and other stuff in and on the front i have six pictures of me at my heaviest with something written under it about how i feel when i look at myself at that weight. Every week when i write down my daily weigh in i look at those pictures and say GROSS and it gives me that much more motivation.

You're doing great! Look how far you come. Think back to all the hard work you've done. Dont give up now.
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Old 04-10-2007, 07:25 AM   #4
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Well everybody's got a theory... heh... But it sounds like once people started to notice, you unconsciously began to think that you were "done." So maybe that's part of it? Only you know the answer to that.

I like that changing your goal from "weight" to "health" worked. Sometimes it's good to put emphasis on some other aspect, as you did.

That said, losing weight means restricting food in some way or another. There are plenty of folks around who gained weight eating really healthy food. And also, there are plenty of folks who exercised regularly but didn't watch intake, and therefore stayed overweight. I fit into both of those categories at different points.

So, you might want to have a long talk with yourself about what your goal really is. Do you want to get to a weight with the hidden idea that you can then go back to eating the "old way"? That hasn't worked. Do you hope that if you just exercise enough you can eat, drink, and be merry any old time? The sad fact is, you can always eat and drink more calories than you can work off in a day.

Go get on a scale! Don't hide from reality. You need to know what's happening so you can deal with it.

Get the "bad foods" out of the house. If you must go out with the girls, drink club soda with lime or lemon. Get back to your exercise.

Good luck! Hang in there!
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Old 04-10-2007, 08:08 AM   #5
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Old 04-10-2007, 08:39 AM   #6
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Hi Amber!

You are the same height as my future DIL. She used to weigh 160, and because she's VERY muscular and a runner AND tall, she never LOOKED like she weighed 160. She said she FELT too heavy, though, and began a vegetarian lifestyle in hopes of saving a few animals AND also trimming down a bit. She's had GREAT success and has now reached her goal of 140.

For most of us here, twenty pounds seems like a drop in a bucket because we have SO MUCH WEIGHT to lose! We must understand that, for those of you who even at your heaviest are much less than we've been for a long time, the struggle is a legitimate one and one that is as agonizing as the larger-pound struggle that WE are taking on in our lives!

I can relate to many of the things that you mentioned! When you are THINNER you DO tend to be more complacent, at least I am. I look in the mirror and see a MUCH thinner person than was there a few years ago. I am however, NOT thin! I am NOT YET at my goal weight, and the pounds ARE NOT melting off me as they are on many others here.

Like you, I enjoy foods from time to time that I probably should NOT be eating. The little chocolate foil-wrapped Easter buggers that called to me COMPLETELY drew me back to a place in time when I would have thought nothing of consuming the whole bag.

I often have emotional moments where I slide right back to a time or place or an emotional segment in my life where food becomes my addictive force. It controls me instead of me controlling it. It can be a constant struggle to keep my head above the water of emotions that tempt me to go back to the Dark Side!

Here's something that I read recently. It's helping me with MY food demons , and it may help you, too. Dr. Ian Smith (FatSmash Diet and Extreme FatSmash Diet) said that every day we make hundreds of decisions about food. Some of our decisions make us GAIN weight. Other decisions help us to LOSE weight. I am trying to mentally and also in my journal keep tabs of good and bad decisions that I am making throughout the day in regards to food. So far I am doing pretty well. I also write down the rationale that I had for eating the food. I am hoping that the process will give me a better insight into what goes on in my head when I get around food. Sometimes I feel SO in control; other times I am NOT in control at all.

You can do this, Amber! We are all here for you! Know that you are definitely NOT alone on this and that many of us understand EXACTLY about your fears and your concerns!

Keep coming back here. This is a FANTASTIC source of strength for me, and I know that you will find strength here. too!


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Old 04-10-2007, 08:58 AM   #7
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Amber..
you have some great advise above.. the only thing I can add is make this a learning experiece.. I KNOW that when I go to my mother's or sister's I have to go prepared.. I take MY OWN food.. I had to go thru just what you went thru to learn this. not once but three times, before I finally admitted it was a trigger and learned to be prepared..

This weight loss we are all doing - is also VERY much about getting to REALLY know yourself. Look at it as one more bit of knowledge and anohter piece of the puzzle..

my favorite saying at times like this is:

"No regrets and move on"

you CAN do it!
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Old 04-10-2007, 09:22 AM   #8
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What Cheryl said about becoming complacent once you have less weight to lose struck a chord with me. I don't have a huge amount to lose, which makes it easy to kid myself that it's OK to eat this, that or the other thing. I'm all for having a treat once in a while, but I was staying the same weight because I was having them FAR too often.

Amber, you mentioned that you started to have success once you were completely honest with yourself about your habits. Well, here's another little honesty exercise... sounds radical, but it's helped me. My best bud (who has a similar amount she wants to shed) and I have taken digital photos of each other in our bathing suits, from all 4 angles. It was a bit scary - I wouldn't ask just anyone to photograph my butt in my bathing suit, trust me!! On the one hand, the photos weren't horrible, which was nice to see. BUT, they are a constant and concrete reminder to me of what I really look like, and they work well to remind me, in moments of weakness, that I am not where I want to be. Hard to kid myself while I'm looking at them. It might help you too.
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Old 04-10-2007, 10:07 AM   #9
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Thank you everyone for your responses.

I think everyone is right when they say I've probably gotten complacent. When people started to notice that I was losing weight, I guess I used it as an unconscious cue to tell myself that I was done and could go back to they way I was before.

I know that 20 pounds may not seem like a lot of weight, but I just really want to change my eating habits and exercise patterns now. Before it becomes 30/40/50 pounds. It's just so much EASIER to be lazy. And I start thinking that +/- 10 pounds doesn't really make that much a difference on me because I'm so tall...

I have to be stronger than that though!!!! I have a calendar that I keep pinned up in my cubicle that I write my exercises in. It's embarassing to have three days in a row crossed out and have a co worker ask "So? what happened that week??"

Myself and I are going to have to have a talk and determine which is more important: Life long health, or that stupid donut.
Thank you all for your responses, support and great advice.
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Old 04-10-2007, 10:12 AM   #10
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Amber ~ a big, big hug to you. Boy do I understand this!

I'm pretty sure what you are going through falls under the "completely normal" section of a weight-loss-journey-in-progress. You've already made the most important step in getting back into control and that is reaching out to those who really understand you! You should be VERY proud of yourself for that!

Although it's been 3 weeks, all is not lost (or gained!)! You can now make the simple (did I say simple???) switch to begin again RIGHT NOW. You can put yourself BACK in the driver's seat, so to speak. You've worked hard, but sometimes life throws these little curve balls at us; it's up to us now to get right back where we were and keep moving on.

You have a great group of people here to support you all along the way. I know that I am here for you if you need anything. Just pick yourself up, dust yourself off and get back on the program.

You CAN do it!!
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Old 04-10-2007, 10:19 AM   #11
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I{m in the same place as you, Amber.

I went to visit family this last week and the amount of stuff they gave me was horrifying. I´ve only gained a pound, but that is unacceptable to me. What is helping me out these last two days in knowing that I can control myself. I´ve planned out my week as best I can, and I am making healthy choices TODAY.

So far, I´ve made healthy choices this morning. I think it will be a couple of days for me to get back to my routine, but start again. Before dispair, make healthy choices now. You can do this!
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Old 04-10-2007, 11:55 AM   #12
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Quote:
I think everyone is right when they say I've probably gotten complacent. When people started to notice that I was losing weight, I guess I used it as an unconscious cue to tell myself that I was done and could go back to they way I was before.
That's how I became the world's worst (or best, LOL) Yo-Yo dieter! When I reach that goal weight, & someone decides they want a huge sundae, I think "Oh goody! now I can have that TOO!" .... uh, no. I have finally learned that I have to STAY within MY limits in order to STAY successful at weight loss.

Tough lesson. But I had to learn it MY WAY, AT MY OWN PACE. So will you, as does everyone.

I think it's important to keep your attitude healthy. Try not to say "I blew it!" or look at it as "losing control" - because really, you've simply "gotten off track." We can CHOOSE to get BACK ON TRACK. Sometimes we just need a break from all the dieting & exercising. Sometimes it just gets too tiresome! - and I believe in taking breaks - in everything - including dieting. But if your "break" becomes an extended vacation, then we see the pounds coming back & it gets harder & harder to get back in to our natural routine.

Which is WHY I believe in "planned off-diet times." For instance, this Saturday is my best friend's 50th b'day. I am planning to have a cheeseburger at the cook-out, a slice of birthday cake, & most likely two or three drinks. I AM PLANNING FOR IT. I know it's coming, & I don't WANT to stick to my "diet" on that special day. I'll get "back on track" the next day.

So AmberD, maybe you can try it, too. NEXT time you know you're going to visit your family, make a PLAN to take a BREAK. Then get back on track the next day.

So far, this seems to be working for me.
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Old 04-10-2007, 09:51 PM   #13
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First, I want to thank everyone for all your support and advice. I've been hanging around 3FC for awhile, but it still amazes me how wonderful and supportive everyone is.

Tonight I sat down and wrote out a list of why this lapse became a relapse. I'd like to post it here and get some thoughts on what I can do to correct these things so it doesn't become a full blown collapse (Totally stolen from the maintainers link that Wyllenn posted, the lapse/ relapse/ collapse thing struck such a chord with me. Thanks for posting it)

Why I Think I've Relapsed:

1) Because I allowed it. (I've got no one else to blame)

2) Watching TV is easier than exercising

3) I was trying to make up for eating too many calories one day by cutting calories the next day, leaving me starving by 4:00 (I've wised up and cut this out!)

4) Less calories meant less energy for working out (I don't think that's the whole story, but it's probably part of it)

5) Excuses are easier to make than changes.

6) People noticed and I had been doing so well, I just felt I deserved a treat

7) I don't look THAT bad. I never looked THAT bad. People don't seem to notice a +/- 10 pound difference on me.

8) I waited too long to post and ask for help (This one is huge. I am more of a reader than a poster. I feel that other peoples insites are more useful, and usually put far more articulately, so I don't post. Therefore, I feel guilty about reaching out for help/support because I don't feel I'm giving back equally)

9) I haven't kept myself accountable (Tomorrow morning, I'm going to follow JayEll's advice and get on the scale and update my ticker's accordingly. I'm also going to get my BF to take some pictures of me in a swimsuit, per Janie's suggestion. Can't ignore it if it's the background on my computer)

10) I stopped drinking my water (Really no reason for this one. I sit at a desk, the water is right there...)

11) I'm stressed at work and that makes it harder to not be tempted by the words "Happy Hour"

12) I failed to plan. If I did plan, I failed to follow through.

13) Not enough sleep!! (been trying to improve this one for months, suggestions are welcome!)

14) Maybe I was tired of weightloss being the main focus of my life? Everything was revolving around my meals, what foods I could eat, my exercise scheduel and quite frankly it was all I ever wanted to talk about.


So that's my list. I'm posting it here to keep me accountable and to ask for suggestions on how to start correcting some of these.

Again, thank you all so much
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Old 04-11-2007, 10:42 AM   #14
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Hey, you've gotten honest with yourself, examined the reasons for your lapse, and you have a plan - I'd say you're on your way again! (PS I wasn't brave enough to put my picture as my desktop..... maybe when I reach goal!)
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Old 04-11-2007, 02:03 PM   #15
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I have no idea why some days (or weeks) are just so much easier than other days/weeks. Yesterday I was so happy and excited as I bagged up my "fat" clothes for donations and put my new size 12 clothes in the closet and drawers. I was singing and dancing to the radio. I had a great workout and had a good breakfast and lunch. For whatever reason, I just pigged out in the late evening - I didn't even enjoy what I ate. Of course I felt uncomfortable (physically and emotionally) afterwards and I finally hauled my sluggish body to bed. Today is a new day - my mindset is good and I'm back on track. I don't know if I'll ever be rid of the "food demon" that rears its ugly head every so often, but as my husband is fond of reminding me, " Keep your eyes focused on the direction and overall progress of your journey, not on the occaisional missteps and stumbles." I'm learning to forgive myself and just move on.
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