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Where does quality of life meet weight loss?

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Old 05-26-2011, 08:51 PM   #1
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Default Where does quality of life meet weight loss?

I'm wondering what everyone's thoughts are on where quality of life meets weightloss...

I realized that with this time around with weight loss, that I would be doomed to gain it back if I did what I've been doing for the past 10 years...give up all "treats", count every calorie and inevidably create my own personal food prision. I can not live my life like that.

So I eat whole, nutritous foods. I've focused on my binging, my over eating, emotional eating, and mindless eating anything that is there and edible.
But I still have my coffee in the morning, with only fat free creamer, but I don't measure out the creamer. I have wine a few times a week, maybe a glass or two. Never anymore, just because I don't want to get drunk! lol. I also want to be able to enjoy a treat now and again.

Now I've been the same weight for about 2 weeks and if by next week I'm still the same weight I'm going to admit to myself that I'm plateauing and I really need to count some calories if I want to continue losing at a good rate.

But I don't want to live the rest of my life without some of the things I really enjoy. Coffee, wine, the occasional cookie or ice cream. I do realize that I can not sit down to an entire pint every night as I used to. But at the same time I dont want to spend the rest of my life mentally adding my days calories, wondering if I can have that glass of wine. Or measuring out 4 Tbsp of creamer in the morning...But that might mean that my weight loss will slow considerably at some pont, or just stop all together, at an ok weight, but not my ideal weight.

I'm pretty happy at my current size and weight, though I would like to lose some more and tone (I run, weights, just started spin and yoga) but I'm not super pressured to do so super quick. I'm comfortable in my clothes and I feel good. I don't want to start sacrificing those few things I truly enjoy to lose the next 20 super fast (though I'd still like to see them go eventually) I had no problem saying good-bye to things like pizza and fries, so its not like I haven't cut some things from my diet. (those foods I ate because they were there but never really loved)
But as I'm typing I'm drinking wine! I love my evening wine!



Where does quality of life meet your weight loss? Are you willing to count and sacrific everything to be that size 6? (random size I picked to make the point) Or would you stay the size 10 (my current size) in exchange for still enjoying some of your most enjoyed treats and not having to measure out your wine? lol
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Old 05-26-2011, 09:12 PM   #2
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Are you willing to count and sacrifice everything to be that size 6? (random size I picked to make the point) Or would you stay the size 10 (my current size) in exchange for still enjoying some of your most enjoyed treats and not having to measure out your wine? lol

To answer your question, absolutely not!
This is exactly why I am fine with (and almost committed to) slow weight loss.

I was always very small until a couple of years ago, so I know for me getting to a smaller size does not mean following a highly restrictive plan.
I'm losing with no restrictions (no counting or tracking calories), although I do believe in moderation. I'm definitely losing at a slower pace than others, but I'm losing!

For some people, the counting and tracking is the key to their success, but for others counting and tracking only hinders their success. Weight loss is so individual, it's always best to do what will work for you in the long term.
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Old 05-26-2011, 09:15 PM   #3
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I think I have to count for now. Maybe some day I won't, but for now I do. I do have an occasional meal off, though.
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Old 05-26-2011, 09:27 PM   #4
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Counting calories has given me a very high quality of life because I have not cut out anything from my diet.

My daily goal is 1500 calories and when I hit that I stop eating until the next day. I can eat anything!! Say I want 1500 calories of ice cream. That's ok but if I ate 1500 calories of ice cream that would be all I would have that day.

As a result I find myself automatically gravitating toward the lower calorie healthier foods because I get more volume. However I do plan ahead and when I know that my DW wants to eat out at Cici's Pizza Buffet, I cut back in other areas that day and I join her for pizza. When 1500 calories is consumed I stop eating. By eating this way and only limiting myself by calorie intake, I feel a huge sense of freedom.

I have tried many diets over the years and they all had one thing in common.
That was I was supposed to cut out certain foods. For example Atkins
restricted my carb intake. When my family was enjoying spaghetti I was looking on as a spectator and feeling deprived. With calorie counting I never have to feel deprived. Chocolate, OK - Pie, OK, Pasta OK everything is OK as long as I do not exceed my daily calorie limit.

Larry,
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Old 05-26-2011, 09:28 PM   #5
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For me, my weight loss journey started 5 years ago and it has been a slow process because I haven't wanted to give up the things I love. I did change the way I ate (because I ate horribly: McDonalds every other night, etc.), but I never wanted to give up my booze or my sweets!

Now that I am counting calories, I am limiting what I eat and drink until I get down to my goal weight, but I don't give things up because that isn't sustainable...I want to be able to have a white russian or a candy bar now and again, and I want to be able to enjoy my favorite foods...I just don't need to do it every day. I'm being pretty strict right now, but once I reach goal I am going to be more lenient because then I'll be in maintenance...granted, that doesn't mean that I am going to eat whatever, but the sacrifices I am making right now won't have to be so firm once I've hit goal.
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Old 05-26-2011, 09:37 PM   #6
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Quality of life is very important. At your weight I would not give up a few choice items. I would do some reading and figure out what you can do long term that will give you the balance you are looking for.
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Old 05-26-2011, 09:39 PM   #7
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Great question. Right now, I do count calories. When I first started I measured my foods, but most of the time I just eyeball it now. I do not like to go over my calorie allotment, but in reality I probably would every single day if I counted my self proclaimed "free foods." I don't count coffee cream, a sprinkle of parmesan, or a single bite of Haagen Daz out of the carton a few days a week. So far, it has worked for me. I have not eliminated a single food, but there are some that I rarely eat, like ground beef, simply because I don't love it, so it is not worth the calories. But I have kept other calorie dense foods, like chocolate, cheese, butter, etc. To me, having the option to eat a little bit of whatever I want (within my calories), not having to count my coffee, and that occasional "free" bite of icecream, are what keep me on track. Without my "treats" I could not do it.
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Old 05-26-2011, 09:43 PM   #8
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Tracking/Counting my food diligently has actually increased my quality of life.

I don't mind needing to specifically budget in a food I want. Needing to track has never stopped me when there's a high calorie item that I truly wanted to have. In fact, I can visualize myself tracking my food for the rest of my life. It doesn't bother me, it just feels as routine as brushing my teeth.

Since counting would not be my problem....if the question was merely "Never eat treats again to be that size 6 or have an occasional treat and be a size 10".

Size 10. Always. I can't imagine NEVER having a food treat for the rest of my life. It would be unrealistic and unfair...probably even set myself up for failure. I imagine if I tried I'd be a size 6 for a little while, and then one night I'd explode and eat a whole cake.
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Old 05-26-2011, 09:51 PM   #9
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My quality of life while losing - and I'm about three years into it now, without a single significant break except for the last three weeks of pregnancy - has been phenomenal. I enjoy dessert and restaurant food, as well as lots of activity, and everything has been better since losing. For me, I know that I couldn't sustain this lifestyle if it didn't work with normal social eating in some way - I'd flip out and regain it all if I couldn't work life into losing. So I have taken the approach of very slow losses with plenty of little breaks where I simply work on maintaining and enjoying myself with food (like holidays). I have had no regain issues that haven't been managed within two or three pounds and controlled, and I also haven't sat out a single party without cake (unless I genuinely didn't want a piece) or changed my habits in any drastic way.

No, I made three huge modifications - I write down everything I eat, stick to a controlled calorie budget (it is a high limit, but still not me eating anything i want in any quantity I'd like), and weigh myself every day.

With those basic behavioral modifications, which I will keep going for the rest of my life, I have slowly but surely dropped my excess weight and continue to do so. For me, cutting out all carbs, desserts, fat, whatever, just wasn't going to work well for me. So I have a handful of foods I can't have in my home, due to binge issues, and everything else I work in with moderation, focusing on satiety and nutritional fuel. This also includes some ice cream and pizza, but it isn't the bulk of my diet.

For me, I guess, I knew I could never shelve the things I enjoyed about food completely, but rather seek a healthier balance where I could enjoy food AND life - because if I kept eating uncontrollably the latter half of that equation would be cut woefully short. Yes, I don't get as much junk as I'd like to eat, but the gains I have made overall have been incredible. I am so satisfied with my life and my appearance is regularly improving. I can play better with my kids, sleep more easily, and even enjoy a burger or cookies, but I refuse to let those foods rule me to the point that the other things I enjoy (like my health) are taken away.

To put it simply, there IS a balance where food and health can meet without significant sacrifices to either one, but for me I couldn't achieve that by committing to extreme, quick weight loss. Small adjustments to my calories plus permanent habits to help me stay aware and accountable for my weight combined to give me both the freedom to enjoy food AND significant quality of life.

It can be done, but the equation looks a little different for each of us. For me, I'd rather lose slowly over three years and enjoy my cake instead of be relentlessly strict for six month and struggle with learning maintenance behaviors after the fact. I know myself too well, to know that wouldn't work for me!

Quote:
Where does quality of life meet your weight loss? Are you willing to count and sacrific everything to be that size 6? (random size I picked to make the point) Or would you stay the size 10 (my current size) in exchange for still enjoying some of your most enjoyed treats and not having to measure out your wine? lol
To answer this, I'd say that if I looked good and felt good at my current size, and getting any smaller would require more strictness on my part than my current plan, I'd very likely content myself with being comfortably mid-sized, as it were, than strive for a number or size I couldn't comfortably or conveniently stay at. If my quality of life or appearance was negatively impacted at that size to the point it bothered me, I'd have to run the numbers to see if it made sense to lose more. But it would have to be a sacrifice I could comfortably make (like cutting out a piece of fruit a day or switching out a carb for a protein) and not one that would set me up for deprivation (which I would ultimately cave to, after a number of years, and then just regain back to the size 10 anyway!).
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Old 05-26-2011, 11:37 PM   #10
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Someone has a quote under their ticker that says something like: watching what you eat is hard. Being fat is hard. Pick your hard.

Every time I think I'm ok and can have a normal relationship with food, I find myself binge eating for months at a time and gaining all my weight back. So yes, I'm in somewhat of a food prison, but I suppose I prefer it over a body prison. But, that's just me and I have a horrible addiction to food that I just can't shake.
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Old 05-27-2011, 12:22 AM   #11
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Quality of life means a lot to me. I do count calories, but I don't track them. What I mean is I count them in my head, I don't write them down. I used to obsessively write them down, but it wasn't worth it to me anymore, I found I could count in my head as easily as writing it down. That has really helped me.

But I go out to restaurants, eat ice cream, etc, I just don't let those things be what I center all my attention on. I'm not going to kill myself though to get to some magical low number.
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Old 05-27-2011, 05:03 AM   #12
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I never really thought about that. When I started my new life-plan I decided every change would be for life.

If there was a thought of me returning back this whole thing had no meaning to me. 9 months later I actually cringe at the idea of fatty fast food with its mystery ingredients, I don't want to see another carcass on my plate again even though I used to enjoy them a lot and I really don't want to live without my daily variety of fruits.

I don't know why. Perhaps I actually never liked food as much as I thought.
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Old 05-27-2011, 05:26 AM   #13
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You've been doing this for ten years, you evidently know what does and doesn't work for you, you've lost 60lb, you're 3/4 of the way towards your target. That sounds like a resounding success to me, and I wouldn't let a little thing like a 2-week plateau, which is entirely normal, cause you to lose faith. If the plateau stays for two months, it might be time to see if there's anything you can change without turning the dieting into a prison, but I really wouldn't worry yet.
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Old 05-27-2011, 07:48 AM   #14
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My quality of life is better now than from where I started. I learned that simple carbs are my enemy and with taking them out of my diet (I was having blood sugar issues), I feel so much better. I don't crave them and since they make me feel bad, there's not even the urge to go there. Who wants to feel bad?

I try to get in an hour of exercise every day (at least), but it doesn't have to be at a gym pumping iron. Some days it's cleaning the house (like today will be). Many days recently it's been working in the garden, or taking brisk walks. I don't feel I need to jump around at a video of I'm being active in other areas of my life. ALL of that is adding to increased fitness and you betchya gardening and cleaning can get that heart pumping!

I eat very sensibly every day and join my family for dinner every evening. I just skip the rice or bread, but eat the protein and veggies. When it's a birthday at home I will eat a piece of cake. WHen it comes time for Thanksgiving and Christmas, I will enjoy the holidays and treats. I just know that progress will slow down a bit during those times, but in no way am I willing to give those things up.

Now, I do count what I eat for two reasons. It helps me keep track and it's kind of fun, but I measure NOTHING. I've been cooking from scratch for years, so I know what a 1/2 cup looks like or a tablespoon. With 18 years of cooking, I'm pretty good at that eyeball approach.

Really, this approach has been pretty painless so far and completely sustainable.
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Old 05-27-2011, 08:53 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GlamourGirl827 View Post
Where does quality of life meet your weight loss? Are you willing to count and sacrifice everything to be that size 6? (random size I picked to make the point) Or would you stay the size 10 (my current size) in exchange for still enjoying some of your most enjoyed treats and not having to measure out your wine? lol
This is one of the big questions that keep coming up for me -- not only regarding my weight & appearance, but also in many other aspects of my life. That is, how much of my ease & comfort am I willing to give up in order to obtain something that I want -- the nice-to-haves, not the "needs" -- like a body that is more aesthetically pleasing, or an excellent performance review? How to balance out stress & the demand on myself for high achievement? I make these choices every day, even every hour.

Everyone works out her sacrifices & her non-negotiables. For me, I don't care if I have wine, ever. (Mostly I drink it on social occasions, because so very many of my friends take their wines seriously & pride themselves on being judges of it & take great care in serving high-quality wine to their guests, which they have searched out after much time & effort. For these people, I'll drink a single glass.) But I don't like counting calories strictly, and so I stick to whole foods & avoid eating an awful lot of things -- I never eat ice cream, candy or cake any more, for example. And that's okay. In return, I don't count out the nuts in my handful, one by one, and if I want a little more meat at dinner, I take it.

I've been through an eating disorder & I believe I may be a little saner now than I was -- though I'll always have to be vigilant, because I think it's just in remission, due to my personality & my tendency to go through cycles of compulsions. But having once been dangerously underweight has also taught me that I need to demand less of myself. To keep my weight down about 20 more pounds lower than what it is -- no, I don't like what my life is like when I try to maintain that weight. Yes, I look at other people on this forum who are my height & who reach & maintain a lower weight & I feel momentarily frustrated & ready to cry. But that's them, and I'm me, and I know what trying to stay there does to my state of mind & my body. I'm willing to live a certain way, but not in another way. But I guess life is just a compromise between what you aspire to & what you actually can get. Why should weight & appearance be any different?

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