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Always gaining or losing -- never maintaining!

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Old 08-09-2011, 10:42 AM   #1
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Default Always gaining or losing -- never maintaining!

The title kind of says it all! I'm either in weight loss mode or pack-on-the-pounds mode. There is never any in-between with me! I try to be "moderate" in my eating, but it results in a gain. Then I say "forget it", and totally indulge, resulting in a bigger, faster gain. I'm tired of the cycle!

I now need to be in the losing mode again, because I'm starting to gain back the weight I worked so hard to lose a few years ago. I've done reasonably well with keeping it off all this time, but it's creeping back, 10 lbs at a time. Clothes no longer fit, I'm needing bigger pants sizes, the whole 9 yards.

I don't really know why I posted this, except that I need to hold myself accountable. Anyone else out there like me, and always losing or gaining with no in-between?? I know it's this "extremism" that's gotten me here in the first place. I know I'm going to always, always struggle with food.
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Old 08-09-2011, 11:18 AM   #2
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I'm like that too. I pack on the pounds until I suddenly realize I'm fatter than I've ever been. Something will finally click and I start losing weight, until I lose my mojo and start gaining again. In my case, I've never even gotten close to a goal.

When I was in my 20s, really before this cycle started, I gained a bit more slowly (~25 lbs over 5 years). I'm 38 now, and in my 30s I've been at a low of about 155, in my first weight loss attempt after my son was born, and at a high of 220, this past winter. So on paper it looks like I gained 65 lbs in 8 years, but in that time I also lost 70 total lbs in 3 separate weight loss attempts, for a total of 135 lbs gained in 8 years. Yikes! I hate that I gave up those other times, but I guess without them I would have reached nearly 300 lbs, so I can't be sorry I tried.
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Old 08-09-2011, 11:39 AM   #3
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Gee -- sounds very familiar. I have yet to find the key. My current plan is to tinker with IF in maintenance when I get (back) to goal. Failing that, I am also going to try to keep my "redline" lower, so that if the swing does happen I can reign it in sooner.
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Old 08-09-2011, 11:45 AM   #4
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Yup! Up until 4 years ago (when I reallly started packing on the pounds), I was always an average of 120 pounds, fluctuating 10-15 pounds either way. Every day was (and still is) either a diet day or binge day. No in between, b/c apparently I am incapable of eating in moderation. The reason I gained so much weight was simply b/c my binge days started to outnumber my diet days, until almost every day was a binge day. Now I'm losing weight b/c about 75% of my days are on plan. But it's SUCH a mental struggle.... it all comes down to willpower with me. And like you said, I believe that this is a struggle I'll fight my whole life. Sucks, but remember YOU are in control of your weight, and you are strong enough to get there even if it's a tough battle!
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Old 08-09-2011, 11:58 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by RJ 1980 View Post
The reason I gained so much weight was simply b/c my binge days started to outnumber my diet days, until almost every day was a binge day.
This is exactly what happened to me! That's why I was only able to maintain a 50+ lb loss for about 5 months. I am really working diligently on changing this this time around as well. A lot of members on here can relate to the diet/gain cycle, with trouble maintaining, and the reality is we are going to have to be diligent, conscious, and mindful everyday forever. I think I was in denial about this the last time around, but I have slowly come to accept it as fact this time around. What's great about 3FC is that there are a lot of maintainers who stick around, they don't just lose the weight and leave. That's helpful and something I will need, I'm sure. The maintainers board has some great tips. I have posted multiple times about my fear of maintenance so please know that you are not alone!
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Old 08-09-2011, 11:59 AM   #6
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You attitude is defeating you. If you have a positive attitude that you can do this, half the battle is won. If you think you are a binge eater, that's what you will do.
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Old 08-09-2011, 12:39 PM   #7
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I think we do this because it's what we're taught, like a deep-seated tradition or even ritual. We don't ever see anyone maintain, we only see gaining and losing (mostly because the people who are maintaining don't look any different than the people who've never had a weight problem - and usually they don't advertise that they are maintaining a large weight loss).


We also don't teach or even value weight maintenance very much. We tend to see a "no loss" week as every bit the failure as a gain. And there's also this culturally perpetuated tradition of deciding to go for the worst failure. If we're going to fail, we might as well fail big.

The logic WORKS if you think of a failure to lose as being every bit as bad as a gain. If a no-loss is as bad as a gain, it does make sense to keep eating until you can "start fresh."

For most of my life (dieting since age 5), nearly 40 years of weight loss, I was always rapidly losing or rapidly gaining. Over time, on the same level of comittment to diet and exercise, the weight loss became less rapid, and the weight gain came faster.

I had to stop seeing "no loss" as a failure equal to gaining. I decided that it wasn't failure at all.

You can see a no-loss as a failure or you can see it as successful maintenance. I chose to see it as a success. My main goal is no longer weight loss. My main goal is weight maintenance. My first obligation is to not gain. Because the work is almost the same, I might as well try to lose "just one more pound," while I'm at it, but that's BONUS. The weight maintenance is my goal, the extra weight loss I achieve as a result of my work, is all extra.

It's a radical concept. For me, weight maintenance is so much more important than weight loss that I'm losing very slowly, and it wouldn't hurt for me to put more effort into the weight loss. But that's not the real point. The point is that I never have the temptation to binge until the next "start fresh" opportunity, because there is no starting fresh, there's just picking myself up and moving forward.

I've used the analogy many times before here, so some of you may be sick of it - but weight loss is like mountain climbing. When you stumble, it doesn't make any sense to throw yourself off the nearest cliff so you can "start fresh."

But we don't look at weight loss like mountain climbing (or even like learning to play a musical instrument). In our culture, dieting is pass/fail - and often when we fail the first test, we screw off the rest of the semester, because we don't think we can pull up our grade.

Weight loss isn't pass/fail. Every pound counts, every bite counts, and once you really believe and live that, rapid gaining no longer has to be part of the equation.

Oddly enough, I'm not afraid of weight gain any more. Even though my weight loss is excrutiatingly slow, without the backsliding, it's always moving towards my goal. Even if it's only 1 pound per month, I'm still moving foward and not leaping off cliffs anymore. If I had only learned this when I was 20, I would have reached goal weight long ago.

For me I had to put "not gaining" ahead of everthing else, even ahead of losing.
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Old 08-09-2011, 01:15 PM   #8
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Quote:
I'm like that too. I pack on the pounds until I suddenly realize I'm fatter than I've ever been. Something will finally click and I start losing weight, until I lose my mojo and start gaining again. In my case, I've never even gotten close to a goal.

this is my history too - and I think it's very common.

One of the big things that attracted me to the plan I am currently following (the Dukan Diet) is that is actually has a stage in between weight loss and maintenance called Consolidation. In Conso, you start to add back in some of the foods that you eliminate during the active weight loss phase. I like that it gives some clear cut guidance on exactly what food to start adding, and how often, and it also tells you how long this Conso phase should last (it's 5 days for every lb you've lost). The idea is to get your body adjusted to the new, lower weight, and also to get your head adjusted to what a new "normal" way of eating without being on a weight loss diet looks like. Eventually, you move to the final phase which is even more flexible, but at least for me, I'll have spent something around 2-3 years either actively losing or in this Consolidation phase, so I know that what feels normal to me at that point will be quite different than the "normal" that put my weight at over 260 lbs. And I am hoping that having this additional time and guidance will be the change that finally gets me to AND KEEPS me at a healthy weight.
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Old 08-09-2011, 01:33 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QuilterInVA View Post
You attitude is defeating you. If you have a positive attitude that you can do this, half the battle is won. If you think you are a binge eater, that's what you will do.
If only it were that simple.

I agree that your mindset can have a huge impact on your success. If you change your inner monologue to something more positive - tell yourself you're worth it, instead of saying "I'm fat." Tell yourself you can do it, instead of saying you've never been able to do it before. THAT can do wonders.

However, saying that what is being more and more often recognized as an eating disorder can go away just by thinking about it? Probably not going to happen. There's a wee bit more to it.
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Old 08-09-2011, 05:02 PM   #10
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Also familiar to me, only I landed in a mental health facility it was so awful for me. Anyway, for the first time I'm not crash-dieting and trying to stay on my meal plan - which is very sensible and "normal". It's hard for me to eat that way because I'm used to either feeling starved or stuffed. But I'd rather feel healthy, I don't like extremes.
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Old 08-09-2011, 05:40 PM   #11
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I am exactly the same, i started in Jan and lost 40lbs got loads of compliments and started to believe them , i lost focus and tore a muscle and slowly slipped and suddenly 3 wks later and 8lbs up grrrrr

had to give myself a stern talking to on Sunday cos i was slipping into my bad old ways...

suppose as everyone says here its a journey and we'll get there eventually, just gotta kick youself up a gear when the lbs start to creep //

best of luck gettin back on track
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Old 08-10-2011, 10:25 PM   #12
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Thanks everyone!

I've been on track this week, which is a very good thing! I'm hoping to get more active on these boards again to help me stay on task!

The support here is really so great!
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