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is this going to be this hard forever?

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Old 10-22-2009, 02:23 PM   #1
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Default is this going to be this hard forever?

Okay, so maybe that title is a bit more melodramatic than I mean to be, but, really, sometimes I just find myself wondering if this will always be a struggle. I used to think I would hit my goal weight someday and just wouldn't have to think all the time about eating or exercise. But this past week I let things slip a bit and watched the scale shoot up, and thought, "Wow, I'm always going to have to work at this." I'm always going to keep my food journal, and weigh in every morning, and plan ahead what and how I'll eat for social events and eating out. Sort of like alcoholics who never stop being alcoholics, but just take it one day at a time, for the rest of their lives.

Don't get me wrong, I don't mean to sound depressed, but I'm just realizing that this is a lifelong journey and when I 'get there' someday it won't be over. I've lost almost 30 pounds so far and I'm committed to continued success and just trying to prepare myself mentally that this is going to take effort and energry for the long term. Can anyone else relate to this? What about you maintainers out there? Thanks for listening!
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Old 10-22-2009, 02:35 PM   #2
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You might just check out the maintainers forum... but considering that there's a maintainers forum I think that pretty much answers that there will be a need for vigilance and awareness from now on. You might really want to consider what your plan is and evaluate whether it's something that you want to consider for a lifetime, or if there's an easier lifetime healthy eating plan that might be better for you. But no, I don't think there's ever a time where I will just get to quit planning and making healthy choices... that's how I got overweight to begin with.
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Old 10-22-2009, 02:45 PM   #3
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Well, you're really asking two questions, I think.

The first - will I have to be vigilant for ever - I think that, from my perspective, losing the vigilance about weight maintenance means regain. So even though I got to goal, I still follow most/all of the strategies I used to lose weight.

The second - will it be HARD forever - that's a different question. Again, my experience is that once you get into a habit of doing something consistently (counting, planning, strategizing, exercising, etc), it gets easier. That doesn't mean it's always EASY, mind, but it IS easier to do things once they become habits. So my maintenance habits are ingrained enough, now, that they are usually mostly automatic.

Now, the flipside of that is that, if I get OFF my plan and start deviating from those habits, I have to WORK again to re-establish them. And I'll have to do that, I think, forever. But the more I stay on my plan, and the more days in a row I have ON plan, the easier it is to stay on that plan out of habit and routine.
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Old 10-22-2009, 02:53 PM   #4
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You will always have to be aware of what you are eating, plan for social occasions and exercise. Exercise is a huge part of maintenance. I've kept a food journal since 1971 and ever time I quit, I gain. There is no going back to your old way of life.
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Old 10-22-2009, 02:55 PM   #5
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I'm nowhere near my goal or maintaining, but I think the answer is, yes it will always be hard and something we will have to work at. Darn it!!! Why couldn't we all just be born lucky like those jerks that get to eat whatever they want and not gain an ounce?!? UGH!!!!
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Old 10-22-2009, 02:58 PM   #6
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Yikes, I just re-read my post and it is not at all helpful or positive! Sorry about that.

I think mandalinn said it much better than I could! It won't ever be easy, but it will become automatic. I can't wait for that day!!!!!

Good luck with your goals!!
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Old 10-22-2009, 02:58 PM   #7
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I agree with mandalinn82 for the most part. If you revert to whatever it was you were doing with food before you lost weight, you'll very likely regain weight. I have had to learn this lesson the hard and typical way--spent many years losing and regaining and wondering why... Well, I had to find a new way to eat that would work long term. Food cannot be about limitless choice in my case!

I am a firm believer, though, that it doesn't have to be as hard as some folks make it out to be. Again, it's those mental habits. Anyone can pretty much follow a food and exercise plan if they are committed to doing so--but when the going gets rough, those mental or emotional habits can really sabotage things. So it's helpful to look into the why's and when's of eating--for example, boredom, upset, to feel better, to celebrate, etc.--and work on ways of countering or at least moderating those impulses.

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Old 10-22-2009, 03:02 PM   #8
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There are different kinds of hard.

Personally, I thought it was hard to be obese. I was sluggish, depressed, had a lot of self-hatred. Shopping for clothes to wear to events was hard, meeting people I hadn't seen in a long time was hard, seeing pictures of myself was hard. Walking around on a warm summer day in a skirt was hard, terrible chafing. Walking around on a city tour was hard, knees and hips would start to hurt. Being confident naked in the boudoir was hard.

Estimating my calories, packing lunches and eating a healthy breakfast every day? No harder than flossing.

Pick your hard.
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Old 10-22-2009, 03:09 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fattybobatty View Post
Why couldn't we all just be born lucky like those jerks that get to eat whatever they want and not gain an ounce?!? UGH!!!!
I'm convinced people that eat whatever they want without weight gain just don't want nearly as much as I did. I'm certain of it. Because if they would eat like I did - they would gain weight - and lots of it.

Anyway, it does get easier because it becomes natural and second nature to you. It's just automatic. This is how I live now and what I do. I wouldn't dream of going back to my old ways. I was miserable, unproductive, sad, lethargic, inactive, self-conscious, in pain, anxiety ridden and a slew of other things. Never mind that it becomes your "new normal" and just what you do, but the rewards are so over the top phenomenal that you won't want anything to ruin it.

I've also learned great habits to keep me on track. I've got strategies and coping skills to learn how to navigate life in a society laden with high quantity/high calorie foods. I know what needs to be done and I know how to do it. And I'll gladly do it. Gladly.

But yes, I will always have to be diligent, careful and mindful of what I eat - forever. But I'm more then okay with it. I find this whole healthy lifestyle to be a joy and a pleasure. I don't look at it as a burden. I think that is a BIG key right there. To find the joy in this. And I have.

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Old 10-22-2009, 03:34 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glory87 View Post
There are different kinds of hard.

Personally, I thought it was hard to be obese. I was sluggish, depressed, had a lot of self-hatred. Shopping for clothes to wear to events was hard, meeting people I hadn't seen in a long time was hard, seeing pictures of myself was hard. Walking around on a warm summer day in a skirt was hard, terrible chafing. Walking around on a city tour was hard, knees and hips would start to hurt. Being confident naked in the boudoir was hard.

Estimating my calories, packing lunches and eating a healthy breakfast every day? No harder than flossing.

Pick your hard.
YES! This.
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Old 10-22-2009, 03:35 PM   #11
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For those of us who had bad eating habits, I think the hardest part is learning how to be healthy. I've been re-training myself over the last 12 months and the proper way of eating is starting to sink in. I'm almost at my goal, and I hope to be able to ditch the precise calorie counting in the future and "eyeball" what I should be eating with a good estimate of how many calories it has. I've learned not to eat a serving of pasta meant for an entire family, not to have a burger and fries 3 nights a week, and not to drink venti frappuccinos from Starbucks every day. I have quite a few healthy foods that I rotate through each week and I will just stick with them when I'm maintaining. If I want to add something new, I hope to calculate the calories just once so it stays in my brain. I've learned that treats are just that. Treats. It's ok sometimes but not every day. My hope is that these new learned behaviors will stay with me and make it easier, and that when I get a craving I will be able to give in to it just a little bit.

Some days are harder than others, like yesterday when my roomie came home with a bacon & pineapple pizza while I was working out. What did I do? I had a slice of pizza. For a few minutes it felt like the end of the world but when I calculated out the calories that were in that slice, it came to 295. Not nearly as bad as I thought it would be. And I cut out the granola bar and tea I was planning on having later. It was worth it to me to make that trade. But that means that for today there is no pizza, just chicken and veggies. For me, it's about trade offs and really enjoying the treats. I savored every bite of that pizza! In the past I would have sucked it down and gone back for more.
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Old 10-22-2009, 03:36 PM   #12
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thats a good question.. Like others said after awhile it becomes habit. We can't ever go back to huge portions or high calorie foods or the weight will come back. For myself, I hope eventually its a habit that when I do eat something that's not so good the portion will be controlled, a few chips, a few m&ms, a couple bites of cake.. and I'll be happy with that, not feel guilty and not go on a binge

Learning how much a portion is, learn to turn down food pushers, know what you can or can not eat, what to eat when eating out, knowing the calories of most foods and just jot it down.

One of my favorite video workout trainers said one time she "no longer eats for pleasure" and I'm trying to train myself to have that mindset..

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Old 10-22-2009, 03:39 PM   #13
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I have to agree with Robin, even though I'm not at goal yet, it does get easier over time. For instance I never used to eat breakfast or pack my lunch for the next day. Now it is second nature to do that so that I don't find myself starving at 9 a.m. and ready to make a McDonald's run. I feel weird if I DON'T exercise now. But I do remember a time about four or five months in when it just seemed tiring to do and tiring to think about doing for the rest of my life.

The good news is that it does get easier. I think I will probably always struggle with wanting things like pizza, ice cream, etc. so I'm not sure that aspect of it ever gets easier. But the planning, counting, exercising and what not is just kind of something I want to do now... not something I'm forcing myself to do.
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Old 10-22-2009, 03:48 PM   #14
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It is both harder and easier, I think.

Easier
* Great habits they carry me a long. Hey - it's Sunday, time to go to the grocery store! Just like Sunday night is laundry night, it is WHAT I DO. Hey, it's Monday morning, time to make lunches!
* I have a lot of wonderful, reliable food choices. I know what to order at Chipotle, I know what to order at P.F. Chang's, I know what foods to avoid. I have my favorite recipes, my favorite salad dressings
* I have the support here on 3 Fat Chicks, particularly the Maintainer's Forum - people who GET ME. If I post about being upset about eating a huge pile of chips and crab dip they both support me and kick my butt
* I know what leniency I have with the scale. A nice dinner out with a glass of wine and splitting a dessert? Scale might bobble for a day. A week in Vegas eating at buffets and snacking on gelato? Oh yeah, that's going to be tougher to rebound from.

Harder
* Maintenance for life is a looong time to keep it up
* Occasionally, I have a very whiny WHY ME, I want to eat scones like a normal person pity party
* Social situations can still be tough, "food as love and celebration" can also be tough, especially with families
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Old 10-22-2009, 04:19 PM   #15
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LOL - I was just having this conversation with my husband, because I had a backslide recently and I'm in recovery now. He wanted to know why it is so hard for me.

I had to explain that I tend to naturally overeat - just a little bit normally, but occasionally a lot. I will always have to measure my food and log it if I want to maintain the weight I want. And I'm lazy - I don't always want to take the extra time to do that.

As I'm naturally lazy, I would rather snuggle in bed than get up at 5 am to work out. But I like the way I look and feel when I do it, so I try to get my tail moving.

Additionally, some foods will probably never be allowed in my house. I have found that there are a couple of foods that I have absolutely no restraint around. I have to keep them gone.

I think some of these things will always be a battle for me. But it's worth it, and as you get better and better tools, it becomes less work.
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