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Non-Diet Approach Week 11/20/2001

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Old 11-19-2001, 07:16 PM   #1
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Default Non-Diet Approach Week 11/20/2001

Lose weight without dieting? HOW?!?!

By getting to the root of why you overeat in the first place! "Why Weight," written by Geneen Roth, is a non-diet book that contains exercises designed to help compulsive eaters learn how to stop using food as a substitute for handling difficult emotions or situations. You'll also learn how to enjoy eating and still lose weight naturally. This program offers reassuring guidelines on:

-- kicking the scale-watching habit forever
-- learning to say no
-- discovering other pleasures besides food
-- learning the difference between physical and emotional hunger
-- listening to and trusting your body's hunger and fullness signals

Each week at least one exercise will be posted; participants will be encouraged to share their answers, thoughts, etc. pertaining to the particular exercise. Snippets from Geneen's other books may be posted from time to time as well. She's a great writer and I encourage you to look into her books (and burn all your other "diet" books in the bathtub.

Join us in Breaking Free from Compulsive Eating!
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Old 11-19-2001, 07:21 PM   #2
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Exercise 16: What would your life be like if you didn't have a weight problem?

Example:

1. My life would be boring. I wouldn't know what to do with my time if I weren't worrying about my body.

2. My life would be perfect. My weight is the only thing that keeps me unhappy.

3. My life would be frightening. I've spent so many years obsessed with food and weight that without it, I have no idea what I could do or think about or talk to my friends about.


Complete this sentence:

Without my conflicts about my body and food, my life would be....
1
2
3
4
5
6
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Old 11-19-2001, 10:49 PM   #3
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Default Exercise 16

My first reaction was that I should say my life would be great without a weight problem. Isn't that what anyone with a problem is supposed to think ... that if the problem is solved, well, the problem is solved?

But my second reaction was that my answer would be the same as Number One in the example: Without a weight problem, my life would be boring, because I do expend a lot of energy working on the weight issue and thinking about it and playing games with it and doing activities in aid of it.

But, I don't think life would be boring without a weight problem, because I am not a boring person (well, maybe a little!). I have activities, creativities, thoughts, feelings, needs, wants, friends, relations, a whole universe to play in ... so if there were no weight issue, I probably wouldn't miss it much.

Sorry, this is a long answer to a short question. I think the answer is I don't know.

But the household of a friend of mine comes to mind. She and her teen kids live with her parents. The house is lively with everyone involved and coming and going at all hours. The kitchen is the center of everything.

Everyone in that house is always cooking or eating something delicious. The family members consume mini meals, snacks and sit-down dinners with alarming regularity. They do not seem to care about calories or fat grams. They eat unself-consciously because it fuels their lives and tastes good and offers them a common ground for communication with each other. They don't worry about ethics or spirituality in the face of food ... they eat meat with abandon, pollute the temple of their bodies with potato chips, feel no guilt over clogging their arteries with cholesterol.

They don't understand why I never join them when they offer, which they always do. If I take a bite of something, they don't understand why I don't eat the whole brownie or cookie or five course meal.

Food, as long as they have enough of it and it tastes good, is not something they concern themselves with at all.

So, if I had no weight problem, I believe I'd eat just like them. It's the way I once was and the way my family was. It's why I gained the dumb 100 pounds in the first place!
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Old 11-19-2001, 11:08 PM   #4
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Angry

Without my conflicts about my body and food my life would be:

1. Free!

2. I could be more spontaneous.

3. Have less anxiety, stress, worry.

4. Pretty great! Because if I didn't have any conflicts about food or my body that would mean I have figured everything out and don't have any problems.

5. Focused on other things.


I was down another pound again this Saturday and have been feeling really in control and full of hope.
Until today. A bunch of stress hit me all at once, some good, some bad, but stress none the less, and I lost it. I binged on sherbet but thankfully it was the low fat kind and I hope I didn't do too much damage. This scared me though because I was feeling soooo in control like I could handle anything and then Bam! I lost it. Well I'll just pick myself back up again and hope that these incidences will occur fewer and farther between.

Thanks Ladybug for posting the exercises it gives me something to look forward to and gives me hope that each one will give me a little more insight.

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Old 11-20-2001, 06:54 PM   #5
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Congrats Sprite on losing that pound and it doesn't sound like you lost all that much control. Of course, it's all in how YOU feel but you seemed to handle it well. Isn't that a GREAT step????

Crone I loved the story you shared. I know exactly what you mean. Almost all of my friends are like the ones you describe and I yearn to be like them. It is like one of the lessons here that we should eat what we want when we want and I do eat less that way. My problem is the "experts" talking in my head about what I SHOULD be eating and when I SHOULD be eating it. It is a little of a struggle to not listen to it when they claim it's how to be healthy. I also know that eating what I want when I want (even when it's not the best) will eventually drift towards a healthy way to be but those tapes are still playing in my head at this time.
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Old 11-22-2001, 07:16 AM   #6
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Default Good question!

Without my conflicts about my body and food, my life would be....

1) The way it should be. As many of you have pointed out, obsession (with food, or with thoughts of dieting or about our bodies) takes a lot of space in my life. On those occasions where I am immersed in my life, and am only thinking about food when I'm hungry and not constantly thinking about being overweight, I've felt so free and empowered, like I could do anything! I feel like obsession keeps me from living my life -- and life is too short and uncertain to continue that way.

2) Fulfilling. I would feel much freer to be myself and to do the things I want to do.

3) more productive, because all that energy wouldn't be misused.

4) exciting! I know I must be afraid of living fully on some level, because I've maintained overweight for quite a long time, but the other side of the coin is that I would feel more fully alive without the obsession.

5) sexier -- I think I use these conflicts as a way of not being sexual and of distancing myself from my husband. He is always attracted to me and interested, but I hold myself back. I'm not sure what all the factors involved are here, but I want to change this too.

6) happy -- and like all the above, this is something that I can work towards NOW. It does not rely on the loss of weight, but a change in attitude (that would lead to weight loss, but I don't have to wait until I lose 50 pounds, i can start right now!)

Love to all!

xo
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Old 11-22-2001, 11:48 AM   #7
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Happy Thanksgiving

babette Your answers are sooooo true for me too. When absorbed in something I love to do I rarely feel hungry or think of eating. Now THAT was an eye opener as I wrote it. Apparently I don't do things I love to do !!!!! So I guess I need to get a "I love to do these things" list to refer to and get going.

Quote:
I know I must be afraid of living fully on some level, because I've maintained overweight for quite a long time I do believe this about myself also. I don't know why I fear living fully but think since you brought it up it's time for me to think on it.

Well, I will be off to my brothers for Thanksgiving soon (not much fear of overeating my SIL doesn't cook that well - something to be thankful for ).

Let me know how all your Thanksgivings went.

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Old 11-22-2001, 07:57 PM   #8
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Default Ummm ...

Wanted to add something after looking at this thread again. (Why I am aimlessly surfing the 'net when everyone I know is eating a Thanksgiving dinner is another long story, which I'll spare you all!).

When I read what I wrote above and what others wrote, I realized (again) that I shouldn't post on the thread because I actually LIKE managing my weight and watching what I eat. Temporarily, when I posted the above, I was having a periodic frustrating period of envying my free-eating friends, but most of the time, I think I just accept that this is the way I have to live to keep the weight off. So I make a game of it all.

But if I turn that around and look at it from another angle it could appear somewhat pathetic ... like a prisoner who can't function outside of the Big House, so he commits a crime upon release so he can go back in the slammer!

Of course, the "crime" in my case would be to gain a whole bunch of weight, so I would then feel happy and comfortable in proceeding to take it off again.

And in fact I realize that this is largely the reason I put the extra 10 pounds on in the past month.

Wow, you guys are better than psychiatrists!

Thanks for all your insights.
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Old 11-23-2001, 09:25 AM   #9
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Hmmmmmmm... I like these - they make me think...
Without my conflicts about my body and food...
OK - well, that's the crux of it really... I'm actually not overweight anymore... I'm a perfect weight for my height BUT...
I LOVE food... any opportunity to overeat and I will - so I have to be VERY strict with myself, or the pounds pile back on in a matter of days...
I'm just not happy with the way I look now - when I was bigger, I didn't think I was THAT big... now I'm almost 50Ib lighter, the way my tummy bulges... my boobs droop... my thighs wobble... has become much more of an issue - If I could just be someone else for 10 minutes, so I could see what I really do look like through another person's eyes
SO... without all of these conflicts, my life would be much easier... I would be living a 'normal' life, not feeling a compulsion to binge, but not worrying about it if I do... eating normal food - a little of everything - in normal sized portions...
I would LOVE not to have to control every food-move I make...
I would love to exercise only because it makes me feel good, and not because I HAVE to, just to keep my weight down...
I would love to know what makes my body act the way it does...
I would love for 1Ib not to be the be-all and end-all of my week
My life would be far less complex - far less geared towards one thing...
BUT - I suppose if I wasn't obsessed with my health, my weight, and the way I look, I'd probably be obsessed about something else? So I suppose all in all, having these conflicts is not ALTOGETHER a bad thing?
Interesting thought... sorry for waffling
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Old 11-23-2001, 09:29 PM   #10
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Crone: We are here to serve!!!! I loved your post because I saw MY own vicious circle in what you wrote.



beckyfern You might be right, we would obsess about something else but I think I would be willing to change my obsesssion. I think. I would like to pick my next one - make it something good for me.
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Old 11-23-2001, 09:35 PM   #11
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I saw this and thought it had some helpful ideas.

Your mental attitude is an important factor in your success to lose weight. Take a few minutes to answer the following questions:
Do you want to lose weight now because YOU want to, and not because someone else thinks you should?
Are you willing to increase regular physical activity?
Are you willing to commit a minimum amount of time and effort into planning your sensible meal and snacks?
If you answered yes to these questions, you are ready to begin your weight loss plan.

Starting today, begin the mental, and physical planning to start your diet:


First, place a picture of yourself, at a lower weight, in a very visible place that you will see daily. When you look at the picture, close your eyes, and get a mental image of yourself at that weight now.
Second, plan an activity schedule for yourself for the next week. Schedule 30 minutes every day to be physically active. Choose something you enjoy.
Next, make a grocery list of products, snacks, fruits, vegetables, and staples that you will need for the next several days.
Lastly, make a mental affirmation of your commitment and desire to lose weight. Your mental thought should be "I can do this, I can lose weight. I will look better and feel better. I will succeed!" Practice saying this mantra to yourself, over and over. Believe it!

Do you do all of these and is one helping you more than others?
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Old 11-24-2001, 02:19 AM   #12
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Default Hi, again ...

LLB: Thanks! And ...

"Do you want to lose weight now because YOU want to, and not because someone else thinks you should?" Always my idea.

"Are you willing to increase regular physical activity?" You bet!

"Are you willing to commit a minimum amount of time and effort into planning your sensible meal and snacks?" Yes.

OKAY, THE STEPS:

Can't conjure up an image. I have no photographs of me and hate mirrors. My self-image is related only to the shadow I see in the Arizona sun. I think this is probably quite neurotic, so maybe I'll buy a mirror.

My exercise schedule is always planned. Every week for approximately five years I've followed the same pattern, give or take a slump here and there (now).

A grocery list is a great idea. I never do that and should because by the time I shop, I'm usually too stressed to think healthy and end up with junk and no real food. I should make grocery lists and will consider it.

Re the mantra, got it covered: I have dozens, the latest being (with apologies to Hallmark), "It's best to be the Queen." Long story ... see the Red & Green thread for explanation of why this is weight related.

More: "I'm a lean, mean Amazon queen," (for jogging); "Power Charge," "Onward & Downward," "I think I can; I think I can; I think I can!" (from 'The Little Engine That Could').

For hiking: "Silly fat get out of town, sound off, sound off, we don't want that fat around; "Onward weight loss soldiers, marching as to war, with the flag of fitness going on before." (Sung very loud to the tune of 'Onward Christian Soldiers' ... if there are tourists on the trail, bag the singing, as they look at you funny).

Of the above, a commitment to exercise consistency and the mantras help the most. Exercise is key to weight management for me; the mantras are a part of the games and fantasies I use for motivation and just to have fun in an area of my life that is of crucial importance.
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Old 11-25-2001, 10:54 AM   #13
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Without my conflicts about my body and food, my life would be....

Easier - I could physically move easier, easier because I wouldn't have to think about this all the time, when at the point that food is no longer a conflict for me I would have worked through "issues" and that would make my life easier.

exciting! I know I must be afraid of living fully on some level. (copied from babette but true for me nontheless)

Free - (copied from Sprite because that is what I think also)

BUT this nasty thought crept in while thinking of "free". If I conqueror food as an issue in my life will I replace it with some other problem and thus still not be free?
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Old 11-25-2001, 09:47 PM   #14
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Hi everybody! I was down another pound this week and feel great to be on a roll again!

LLB If you conquer food as an issue in your life then hopefully that meant that you had confronted and dealt with the issues which made you have an issue with food and therefore are free.
There comes a time hopefully when we're sick of eating our problems away and just decide we're strong enough to deal with the problems ourself. I find this is happening with me as I am careful what I eat now and this forces me to actually feel my feelings because they cannot be numbed by food. I guess food has been my form of escapism and a way of telling myself I can't handle these problems and situations. No more! It's hard in the beginning to confront all of these emotions but eventually I'll get used to just feeling them.

Gotta go my little guy is calling me. Hopefully this all made sense as I didn't proof read it.
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Old 11-26-2001, 05:50 PM   #15
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Sprite I hope you are right...I guess it's just the fear in me talking - I just have to NOT change from food to something else to hide emotions.

Thanks, sometimes ya just need to be reminded!!!!!
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