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The fear of gaining it back

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Old 04-23-2010, 07:23 PM   #1
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Default The fear of gaining it back

I was recently reminding how often people who lose a good deal of weight gain it all back and sometime/usually more. This fact TERRIFIES me to death! How do we deal with this, how do we keep ourselves from being one of these statistics? I want to know this BEFORE I hit maintenance, learn the hard lessons before it's too easy to forget them. Please everyone weigh in.
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Old 04-23-2010, 08:46 PM   #2
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Even thought I now what my mistakes were in the past and I have promise myself never to do again, I also have that fear...
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Old 04-23-2010, 09:54 PM   #3
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Yes, I have that fear too. I think for me it is a fear of success, learning how to cope with the successes positively. I am so used to overeating in response to so many different emotions.
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Old 04-23-2010, 10:02 PM   #4
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I know how you feel.

This is the second time in my life I have lost over 80lbs. I was an average 150lbs in high school and gained back all the weight I lost plus more after I met my ex. A year ago I was depressed and I honestly didn't think I would be able to get back down to my previous weight. Now that I am almost there I am terrified of how I looked/felt when I was at my highest weight of 300lbs.

I just keep telling myself to not give up. If I was able to do this for the second time in my life at the age of 23...I can continue to lose weight and keep the weight off. I have no excuse to hide behind and I control how much weight I gain and lose.
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Old 04-23-2010, 10:08 PM   #5
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It took me 5 years to figure out how to NOT gain at Christmas time.

That's when I realized that I'd be better off in my losing journey to just become ok with practicing maintaining skill when life got crazy.

Because life WILL get crazy, life doesn't stop, and rather than go nuts trying to keep practicing losing skills nonstop in my weight loss journey, I'd be better off over the long run.

That way the losing journey isn't so stressful, and when I get to the end I will have been sharpening my maintaining skills along the way when I was sick, going to special things like weddings, etc.

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Old 04-23-2010, 11:01 PM   #6
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You can come post in the maintenance forums and talk to people who are living lives in maintenance mode

For me, I made a rock solid, 100% decision to change how I ate forever. I re-commit with every meal I plan, every lunch I pack, every bad snack I avoid. It will be 6 years in July and I am just as committed as ever.
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Old 04-24-2010, 01:01 AM   #7
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When I lost and re-gained (about 80 pounds, and then I gained more on top of that) it wasn't as much about what I did after I lost weight as HOW I lost the weight (by starving). Now because I'm doing it the right way and trying to change my lifestyle instead of just starving myself, I think it'll be much easier to keep it off. Even the last couple of days when I was off-plan, I didn't eat as much as I used to.

Trust yourself and continue to make good decisions! I think you'll do great!
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Old 04-24-2010, 01:52 AM   #8
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I am sure I've said this before around here, but I'll go ahead and say it again.

Millions of people lose weight, and the statistics I've seen suggest that 95-98% of them gain it all back and then some. But you know, 2-5% of millions of people is still...a heck of a lot of people. So, by changing my life in such a way as to create the conditions for, first, losing weight, and then maintaining that loss, and finding I actually prefer living my life under those conditions, I have set myself up to have the best chance of being among the 2-5% who do keep the weight off. I've been at this for 18 or 19 months now, and I like it. I like eating a limited, but entirely adequate and satisfying quantity of healthy food and being active and getting plenty of exercise. It's not a hardship, and only rarely do I resent having to walk past the pie. The only part of this process that I would really consider to have been difficult, after the first couple of weeks while I was adjusting to it, is having to wait it out. I was in a very deep hole, and since I was changing my life, and not simply trying to crash the weight off as quickly as possible, for fear of triggering a rebound, as had happened in the past, I knew it was going to take a lot of time to get to my goal weight. So that occasionally gets frustrating, but the alternative is just unthinkably awful.

I think a little bit of fear one could all-too-easily find oneself amongst the 95% who gain it all back is probably a good thing. I use that scary statistic to remind myself that I have to keep up my commitment. If I falter in that commitment, I could cause that to happen. Not that it could happen to me, but that I could cause that to happen. I think that's the distinction that needs to be made, when contemplating the possibility of gaining back all the weight you've lost.
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Old 04-24-2010, 08:02 AM   #9
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What a great thread. I've thought about this a lot from the very beginning because I am using a meal replacement system and most people think that increases the odds of gaining it back. I am 100% sure that I will not though. I remember reading a post from loribell early on and she commented that it was up to you if you gained the weight back. I constantly remind myself of this fact. I won't gain the weight back because I won't let myself!

Another thing I do is remind myself that I will be working on my weight forever. I will always be planning, eating vegetables, foregoing junk food and drinking lots of water. When I make it to maintenance I will have a little more healthy food every day but that is the only difference. An alcoholic will fight that problem the rest of their lives and never stop going to AA meeting. I will fight the "foodaholic" problem for the rest of my life. But I know that I will win the fight from now on.
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Old 04-24-2010, 08:28 AM   #10
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The thing that really turned my head around was finally(!) understanding that both historically and practically, it is not *normal* to eat out/eat fast food/eat microwaveable snacks every day. (Just think back to your grandparents---how often did they eat out? Own a microwave?)


Both historically (and practically!) it's not normal to salt all foods. (think fourteenth century, when salt was worth its weight in gold).

So much of what we eat is not *normal*---it's abnormal. We really do live in an abnormal culture vis a vis food.

And it's up to us to get off the cultural floor, brush the dirt off our backsides and say: you guys out there are a bunch of *freaks* and I'm going to go get an apple. See yas....
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Old 04-24-2010, 10:36 AM   #11
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I think about it every day. If I do have slipups, I take precautions by working out more, or eating very clean the next few days. I also work out at least 5 days a week, no exceptions. More if I'm able. I take the thought of it's something that must be done, up there with going to work. I may not want to go to work, but I have to so I can pay bills, I may not want to work out, but I have to so I can get the body I want and deserve.
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Old 04-24-2010, 10:41 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glory87 View Post
You can come post in the maintenance forums and talk to people who are living lives in maintenance mode

For me, I made a rock solid, 100% decision to change how I ate forever. I re-commit with every meal I plan, every lunch I pack, every bad snack I avoid. It will be 6 years in July and I am just as committed as ever.
Glory, do you avoid "bad snacks" 24/7 or do you allow yourself something every now and again? Ice Cream on a hot day, popcorn at the movies, birthday cake at a party? I was just wondering. For instance, I am having a girls night out tonight with some girls where we are going to eat at a Mexican restaurant, and then to the movies, I doubt I will get dessert while at the restaurant, but I do plan to eat there, even though it's not the best food for you....I think socializing is by biggest downfall with food.
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Old 04-25-2010, 05:16 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BornToFly View Post
Glory, do you avoid "bad snacks" 24/7 or do you allow yourself something every now and again? Ice Cream on a hot day, popcorn at the movies, birthday cake at a party? I was just wondering. For instance, I am having a girls night out tonight with some girls where we are going to eat at a Mexican restaurant, and then to the movies, I doubt I will get dessert while at the restaurant, but I do plan to eat there, even though it's not the best food for you....I think socializing is by biggest downfall with food.
I think the worst thing someone can do is look at food as "good" or "bad". Bleh. I keep my center knowing that in order to gain ONE pound I must first consume 3500cals more than what I burn and that is just not going to happen because i keep my diet tight. I know what I consume, alternatives to please me. I personally watch my calories everyday, and right now I eat in a deficit because I still want to lose weight, however, one day a week I do eat at maintanence so that I can go out, be social, have drinks ect. I typically dont like to eat out and if I do I make the best choices I can and I dont go over board. Its a balance. The reason why people fail, or gain the weight back is because they dont make it a lifestyle. They resort to a short time of deprivation and then flip out and make horrible choices when they reach their goals. So. Go out. Have fun. Share dessert, eat less dinner to have dessert. Me? I dont do dessert because Id rather have a drink. But there is no need to look at food as "bad" and avoid the things you like rather than learn how to practice moderation.

Edit to say : until I started seriously calorie counting it was hard to not have certain things. But now... I have a bodybugg, I know relatively what I burn through exercise, and the relative calorie count of most things and I ask myself " is it worth it" most times, answers are no.
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Old 04-25-2010, 07:42 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BornToFly View Post
Glory, do you avoid "bad snacks" 24/7 or do you allow yourself something every now and again? Ice Cream on a hot day, popcorn at the movies, birthday cake at a party? I was just wondering. For instance, I am having a girls night out tonight with some girls where we are going to eat at a Mexican restaurant, and then to the movies, I doubt I will get dessert while at the restaurant, but I do plan to eat there, even though it's not the best food for you....I think socializing is by biggest downfall with food.
To clarify, I am 100% committed to eating how I eat for the rest of my life. But, how I eat does include indulgences and treats. I don't eat any foods I consider "bad". My "bad" foods include stuff like movie theater snacks, fast food food, sugary soda, most packaged baked goods - foods that I have eliminated from my life because for me, it was easy and I don't miss them. I would expect other people would make other choices to fit with their lives. I don't believe there is one correct path.

Now that I am in maintenance, I do have treats and a nice dinner in a restaurant once a week, almost everything I eat is "on plan" but for me, a nice dinner with dessert is just as "on plan" as greek yogurt for breakfast. I also eat very carefully during the week to "afford" these treat meals, though. That really is key for my maintenance.

Even though I am eating more indulgently that usual (glass of wine, dessert) I am still mindful. I would never order cheesey enchiladas at a Mexican place,
or any chips! or something like a Bloomin' Onion at Outback, I am just too aware of calories to do it! Plus, it's hard for me to stop eating tortilla chips once I start, so I just don't start. For mexican food, when I'm eating strictly on plan (which I did during weight loss) I would get a bowl of black bean soup (no cheese), pico de gallo and some soft flour tortillas and make my own soft tacos.

For movies, I take a snack with me, because there is no movie theater snack that is worth it to me for the calorie cost/enjoyment ratio. Now, molten lava cake in a restaurant? that is a calorie/enjoyment ratio that works for me. Movie theater popcorn which I never really liked and never ate even in my old life? Chocolate snacks which now taste waxy to me? Twizzlers? Always hated them. I've started telling myself that I don't need a snack in a movie, but if I do want one, I usually eat dried mango or a Cliff Nectar bar. I usually only take a snack if I am going to be in the theater during normal snack time. Movies are not a reason to eat! I am trying to break the movie = food association for me, but YMMV.

And of course, I am human. I have occasional slip ups where I do eat things which I don't plan to eat, social situations are the toughest for me too. I would say I'm 95% on plan, 5% "oops!" The other key for me is forgiving myself of occasional lapses (someone brought in chocolate covered macadamia clusters to work from a HI vacation, I had one last week - not on plan, but not the end of the world, either) and getting RIGHT BACK on track. I never think "well, I goofed up today, I'll just start over tomorrow." I know the madness of that approach for me. Tomorrow becomes Monday, which becomes next month etc etc.

Even still, I don't eat my "forever no's" - ever. Because, to repeat, they were easy to give up and I don't miss them. I didn't even try to give up dark chocolate or red wine or peanut butter or the occasional scoop of ice cream. Because I would miss those foods and it would be hard!

What works for me might not work for anyone else, I deeply feel this path is very personal and has to fit each individual. Mine works beautifully for me, March was my fifth maintenance anniversary!
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Last edited by Glory87 : 04-25-2010 at 07:44 PM.
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Old 04-26-2010, 08:20 AM   #15
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I worry about this as well. The most weight I lost was about 80 pounds and like so many others over the years I gained it back plus some more. Then I yo-yo'd for some years after. But back then I busted my tush by exercising seven days a week and really restricting my diet. I viewed it as a process that I just had to get through and that I would figure out how to maintain it once I was thin.

But now I am much more focused on a total lifestyle change than I am just losing weight. I'm limiting my caloric intact but I'm trying to eat in a way that I would be happy to the rest of my life. I'm trying to find alternative recipes and products that give me healthier alternatives to higher calorie foods that I love. I'm hoping that by the time I hit my "maintenance weight" I won't have to figure out how to live my life in maintenance I will already be in the habit of healthy living.

Right now when we are motivated to change in our weight loss journey is an excellent time to figure out how we can make changes that last. People can endure a lot if they know it is short term, but making lasting change is much harder.
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