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Old 05-16-2012, 02:24 AM   #1
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How do people do it? Lose weight? I mean, I know the mechanics, but I don't get how people can make themselves do it... How do they/you keep motivation going? How do they get over the seemingly impossible task of even the smallest goal? Just.......how?

I guess I'm just at a point right now where I'm facing what seems like this insurmountable wall of weight that I need to lose, I've been staring this weight down for most of my life, pushing against it and digging my heels in. Sometimes I make progress, but most of the time the weight wins. I'm only 28 but it feels like I've been in the ring, fighting for every pound for an eternity. It feels like I'm almost ready to give up and stop fighting. Any words of wisdom or motivation or whatever would be much appreciated right now.

I know this was more of a rant/vent than it was a question. If you've read through to the end thanks for listening.
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Old 05-16-2012, 02:27 AM   #2
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Never give up. That's all there is to it. It's a collection of meals and days and decisions... and just NEVER giving up.

You CAN do this, you WILL get there!!!
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Old 05-16-2012, 02:45 AM   #3
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I finally am succeeding because I stopped seeing only weight loss (and rapid weight loss at that) as success. So when I didn't feel successful because the weight wasn't coming off or was coming off too slowly, I decided that if I was going to fail anyway, I might as well be gaining - at least I'd get to eat what I wanted.

"This time" I changed my focus to "not gaining." I decided that I might not always be able to lose, but I could always strive to "not gain," and while I was at the business of "not gaining" I might as well try to lose "just one more."

And that's still my primary goal - "not gaining." Sometimes I spend months without the "just one more," other months I'll lose two pounds or more... but the one constant has been "not gaining." Even when I do gain, it's not because I've given up and decided to binge. So I keep working at the "not gaining" and try to lose the "just one more."

I've lost 105 lbs that way, and I'm confident that I'll be able to lose even more. Will I make it to my ultimate goal of 150 lbs? I don't really know, and I really don't even care, because the first and foremost is always "not gaining."

I also refuse to punish myself for finding this process difficult. Just "not gaining" is incredible success, and I marvel that I've been able to do it (after more than 30 years of failing at "not gaining" mostly because I wasn't every trying to not gain, I was always either trying to lose (fast) or "blowing it big time" with binges.

Just giving up the backsliding has kept me going, and it's just by putting more effort into "not gaining" than I ever did in the past at losing. I had convinced myself that only rapid weight loss mattered for anything and now I realize that "not gaining" is the real accomplishment. So I get to celebrate "not gaining" every day. This morning I'm up two pounds, so I could berate myself for gaining (but what good would that do, especially since I know this is TOM gain), but while I can't celebrate the last two pounds, I can celebrate the 103 lbs I haven't gained. So every day I get to celebrate some accomplishment, even if it's not the full measure of success I've experienced so far. If I backslide a little, I still have a lot of "not gaining" to celebrate. The only way I'd have nothing to celebrate would be if I regained every bit of my weight loss. And I don't let it get very far, because by celebrating the success I am managing (celebrating the 103 lbs even when I can't celebrate the 105 lbs) it gives me the motivation to relose those 2 lbs AND keep losing -- but it all hinges on celebrating the "not gaining" most of all.
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Old 05-16-2012, 03:38 AM   #4
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You have to make the commitment to yourself. You have to believe you can do it and anyone can do it so of course you can do it and you have to focus on small steps, don't look at the final target and think it's too hard, I'll never get there, think of each meal or each day.

Put yourself in control and not let it take control over you. You can control what you do and eat on any day. You will be challenged by different things along the way, but this is your test and you can be determined to stay in control and say no, I'm in control and I'm not going to let a craving or weakness beat me. I will have a substitute and not weaken and know I will feel guilty and bad about it.

It's all to easy to give up and say it's too hard, but what does that achieve and how will you feel?
Compare that to how you will feel if you commit yourself to getting to where you want to be and all the positive remarks you will get along the way, as well as the sense of accomplishment.
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Old 05-16-2012, 05:46 AM   #5
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There are so many people who have accomplished what you want to, right? They're all over even this forum. You've GOT to believe that there is no difference between you and those successful people. They don't possess anything you're lacking, they don't have magical powers, superhuman willpower, an inability to feel insecure..... they have the same tools you have. And what you have is enough, more than enough. Once you believe that you've already got everything it takes, half the battle is won. It's not about learning or developing something you lack.. it's realizing you lack nothing.

So tell yourself, whatever the first step is... putting on your gym shoes, throwing out junk in the fridge, simply looking up diets online... you CAN "just do it". And like someone else brilliantly said, it's a collection of those little decisions and steps.
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Old 05-16-2012, 07:26 AM   #6
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For me the biggest thing was finding my trigger (I discuss it in detail here). Basically, I was addicted to sugar and once I cut that out of my life everything else slowly fell into place afterwards (ok really short version of the story!).

I've always loved exercise and fruits/veggies so getting those into my life was not that hard, more of just putting forth the effort but it wasn't a struggle. I also had to accept some things:
- calorie counting doesn't work for me, it makes me anxious and food obsessed
- slow weight loss DOES work for me and as long as I stick with it the weight comes off, even if it's slower than others
- daily weighing helps to decrease anxiety for me and allowed me to understand my body's natural weight fluctuations. it was also a great reminder of why I'm doing this and focused me for the day

Basically, I did small changes that led to bigger and bigger changes. It hasn't been quick (I'm almost 2 years into this and am still not at all) BUT I've had consistent weight loss (well, a few ~month plateaus but no gains) and now am pretty close to goal.

However, I do think you have to be honest with yourself, look at your habits, what you struggle with and go from there. Finding the trigger is really vital.
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Old 05-16-2012, 08:46 AM   #7
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I love your question because it gave great responses. I think that we all have it in us to accomplish and I wholeheartedly agree that the successful people are just like us....we're all real people having started from pretty much the same place. We struggle daily with our weight, our choices (diet & exercise). Thank you for posting this question....it brought the wonderful, honest, and inspiring responses from the members above
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Old 05-16-2012, 09:05 AM   #8
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I know that feeling completely. I've been there and lived it. What you need to find is what works for you - not following some diet from a book to a T as that is what worked for that person, but finding the mix of things that work for you.

For me, I found the #1 key was getting enough sleep. If that was in place, the rest got a lot easier.

Second was getting rid of sugary carbs - not really low carb, but around 120 and below net carbs a day keep me from craving sugars - and more importantly, always pairing carbs with protein. I also don't shun fats either (mostly healthy fats I consume though).

THird, was realizing how important exercise was - it lifts my mood and if I feel better, I'll make better choices - just as when I get enough sleep, I feel better and make better choices.

Those three things are what work for me. With those together I could probably follow whatever "diet" (as long as it wasn't a sugary diet) and it would work. Without those three things in place, no 'diet' will work.

I can see whenever I struggle, it's usually because my sleep is suffering. For me, sleep is probably 66% of it, followed by 17 percent exercise and 16 percent low carbing it.

Others find it's just the carbs. Others find it's something else.

But here I am sitting around 165 pounds and not feeling like this is a "hard" thing to do and I'm flabbergasted with myself for not figuring this out earlier. (I'm 42) and have been overweight my entire adult life. Very overweight.
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Old 05-16-2012, 09:06 AM   #9
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I know! When you look at what you have left to lose, it can be daunting! When you think about how much more you think you should have done, it can be frustrating!

Coming from someone who just got over a motivation slump, along with the realization that I've been doing this for a long time, I think my best advice is is fake it 'til you make it. Just keep trying. When the motivation isn't there, start each day like today is the day you'll get back on track. Treat each meal, and each obstacle the same way. Eventually, it's going to work. Then your progress will push you forward. You can do it!!
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Old 05-16-2012, 09:18 AM   #10
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I remember having the same feelings. How the heck did people lose weight? I remember seeing others do it and getting mad—when was it my turn? Finally I watched as one of my best friends started shrinking and I knew it wasn't out of the realm of possibility.

I had to sit down with myself and say: "ok, we need to stop with this crap of making excuses. You're fat because you eat too much."

I had made so many excuses throughout the years. I exercised, so I figured I just couldn't lose weight or something. I liked food—why should I cut back? I figured I had a slow metabolism, thyroid problem...anything but REALLY facing the music and realizing that I ate too much.

When I accepted the fact that I was eating too much, it became much easier to find ways to change that. I knew there were foods I didn't want to give up and dating my fiance (boyfriend at the time) helped me realize that thin people enjoy themselves—they're just able to do so in moderation. I realized that he didn't just have a fast metabolism, he just didn't gorge himself as much as I did. Also I needed to remember that he is a tall man and thus had an advantage in that department

When I faced the music, when I was honest with myself, it helped me move past any mental barriers I had placed that prevented me from losing weight. I cut my portions, eventually began calorie counting and here I am today.
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Old 05-16-2012, 09:40 AM   #11
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I just focus on the "doing it" and not the "how." Sometimes if I think about it too much, I feel so overwhelmed - about how will I ever get to goal? What will I look like at goal? Why is my scale stalling? Unless things get really bad.

Sure I have regained because I went through stressful times and didn't know how to lose or maintain my weight during hard times, but now I am working on handling stress better - but I kept going because what else is there? I have learned time and time again that there will be some part of me that feels unhappy about my weight. Some people accept being my weight, and that's fine, but I know that I am much happier at my old size.

So I just don't think too hard, unless times get hard, and just do what I do. I wake up in the morning, thinking "ohhh mannn I feel so lazy. Don't want to go to the gym" as I get ready instead of thinking "ohh man. crappy day, let's skip the gym." I figure, no matter what my mentality is, my body will lose, gain or stay the same either way - lack of motivation doesn't affect my body's fat burning, so even if I feel down, I still keep doing what I do.

When I first started, I remember making a blog about losing 60+ lbs and feeling so unhappy. I did it by not thinking too hard about it-I would try various ways to eat less and if it didn't work and I hated it, I tried another way. Other than that, I didn't think too hard.
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Old 05-16-2012, 09:47 AM   #12
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One thing that worked for me was to focus in on the moment, and just make the best choice I could make at the moment I was making a choice.

This applies not just to in-the-moment food choices, but choices about how you plan your eating and how you spend your time.

So, sometimes it just means choosing to pass up some nice goody that is available to me, or choosing to get my regular turkey sandwich instead of whatever special is served at the cafeteria that day.

Sometimes it means choosing to go to the market and spend time planning and cooking during the weekend, so that I know I will have on-plan meals for the week in my refrigerator.

Sometimes it means choosing to plan ahead when I know I am going somewhere, so I don't get caught out without "any other option" but to eat off plan. Choosing to be conscious of my environment in that way, make sure I have an apple in my bag, that kind of thing.

Sometimes it means choosing to go to the gym when I'd really rather stay in bed (if it's the morning) or just go home (if it's after work).

Whatever the choice, I concentrate on the choice in front of me. Not the number of pounds I had to lose, not the length of time it was going to take. By focusing on one choice at a time I made the whole process less daunting. I don't have to be perfectly on plan for a year or 3 years or the rest of my life - I just have to make this one choice the best I can. Then the next time I make a choice, I do the same thing.

That's how I lost my weight, one choice at a time for more than 2 years, and now that's how I'm approaching maintenance, too.
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Old 05-16-2012, 11:43 AM   #13
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I think that seeing results is what keeps people motivated. Once you adapt to the lower calorie intake and start seeing the numbers drop on the scale, a natural motivation kicks in and the process becomes less difficult.

I suggest you promise yourself to stick to a diet for just TWO WEEKS. At that point, you'll probably feel a little less hungry than when you started and you'll have lost some weight. Chances are you'll want to continue.

Good luck and keep us posted.

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Old 05-16-2012, 11:51 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by berryblondeboys View Post
I know that feeling completely. I've been there and lived it. What you need to find is what works for you - not following some diet from a book to a T as that is what worked for that person, but finding the mix of things that work for you.
^^THIS^^

It's more about commitment than willpower, and more about what you do 80% of the time than what you do/don't do 20% of the time. It's about paying attention to YOUR body, YOUR caloric needs, YOUR taste, YOUR idea of exercise. Always remember, what works for someone else may not work for you. And if you keep tweaking your plan, you'll find a way to do this, and it will work for you because it's YOURS.
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Old 05-16-2012, 12:02 PM   #15
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I agree with all the replies!! It's not necessarily how, but just doing it. There's no right or wrong way as it depends on each person, but it's finding your reason for wanting to do it and the personal satisfaction that comes with it.

I didn't follow a plan, I just decided one morning that I was done being obese, and that I needed to do something, NOW. And I have not yet looked back, nor do I think I will.

It's one day at a time. I do suggest on setting tiny goals to start with. 1lb. 5lb, 10lb, and so on... don't worry about the long run yet, just think that in a week, you'll be less than you were the week before. And every pound, every inch, counts. If ever the scale doesn't budge for a while, don't worry. It will. Listen to your body, listen to your mind.

And don't give up. Most importantly. We all have cheat days, we all have no-nos but it's the effort that matters.

You can do it, just keep your head up! xo
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