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Lifelong battle or lifelong change?

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Old 07-11-2012, 11:50 AM   #1
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Default Lifelong battle or lifelong change?

Another thread got me wondering what everyone's opinions are about how our bodies may or may not be predisposed to gain back weight after we reach goal, or lose a significant amount.

Does it boil down to maintaining a strict diet and exercise only?
Does it require unusually low calorie diets and/or extreme amounts of exercise (more than an hour per day)?
Have we changed our metabolism, and therefore our long term success, by gaining weight in the first place?
How much does mental determination and positive attitude play a role in keeping the weight off?
Are some of us doomed to a failure already predetermined by our genetics?

Strictly philosophically speaking.....looking for others who might be pondering the same things. There is no right or wrong answer.
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Old 07-11-2012, 12:00 PM   #2
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Our culture has an eating disorder - lifelong maintenance requires defying that cultural convention to eat too much of the wrong things when not hungry. Toxins from grains, vegetable oils, and sugar exacerbate the condition, but maintenance on whatever path we choose still boils down to s choice to be subservise - it is REBELLIOUS to choose to remain accountable and not feel entitled t eat whatever we want in whatever quantities we desire. It is COUNTERCULTURAL to pursue fitness goals for the sake of self improvement instead of just relaxing until the bulge gets too bad and then doing a Bootcamp with a trainer.

While the 'ideals' of weight control and fitness are celebrated, the daily and ongoing work to maintain them is NOT ingrained in our psyches, and so maintenance requires consistent and conscious choices to do what need to be done to stay where we are. Results are often not enough, which is why so many people regain. There has to be commitment and motivation outside of just 'being small' to help us control ourselves when everyone wants us to eat when we're not hungry, socially gorge at parties, and 'don't you DESERVE a treat?!'

Maintenance requires a mindset change, I've discovered, and it's not an easy one to adopt when it flies in the face of what is common. Eating for hunger, nutritiously, for life... That's something few are willing to do.

I am reading an AMAZING book on maintaining losses that touches upon exactly this, and I cannot recommend it enough : http://www.amazon.com/Weight-Loss-Ap.../dp/B0068E5F0W

You can ignore the specific diet it focuses on, and still glean incredibly useful weight management principles. For as long as I've been doing losing and maintaining successfully, through a number if different strategies, Robin has still managed to blow my mind with new ways at looking at my weight issues and fixing them that hadn't *really* clicked before.
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Old 07-11-2012, 12:01 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChickieChicks View Post
Another thread got me wondering what everyone's opinions are about how our bodies may or may not be predisposed to gain back weight after we reach goal, or lose a significant amount.

Does it boil down to maintaining a strict diet and exercise only?
Does it require unusually low calorie diets and/or extreme amounts of exercise (more than an hour per day)?
Have we changed our metabolism, and therefore our long term success, by gaining weight in the first place?
How much does mental determination and positive attitude play a role in keeping the weight off?
Are some of us doomed to a failure already predetermined by our genetics?

Strictly philosophically speaking.....looking for others who might be pondering the same things. There is no right or wrong answer.
i tend to think those two questions are YES...but again, no right or wrong answers...ive been overweight since i was a child...i looked "chubby" but not fat in pictures as far back as 3 years old....could be genetics, both parents are overweight....but my sister is not, however she is an alcoholic with mental health issues and barely eats....i do think that being overweight my whole life has made it MUCH harder to take the weight off for good...after 30-some years of being overweight, it's taken me a year to lose 40 pounds but i've kept it off...

anyhow...i ramble...but those are my thoughts based on my experiences...everyone else, mileage may vary, know what i mean?
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Old 07-11-2012, 12:02 PM   #4
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And I realized I didn't answer your question directly - our bodies are not really as predisposed to weight regain as we think they are, if we actually eat ONLY when hunger cues indicate and stop when just satisfied. If we do that, on a nutritionally dense and trigger/inflammatory food light diet, maintenance can definitely happen. It defies the statistics, but it is far from impossible
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Old 07-11-2012, 12:21 PM   #5
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I continue to believe that most people regain weight because they start overeating again. I think some of us are predisposed to like food more and have a greater appetite than others, but if we learn to master these impulses I believe we can lose weight and maintain weight loss without too much of a struggle. I certainly don't require an unusually low-calorie diet or an unusually vigorous exercise regimen to maintain my weight after a 55-pound loss. I eat about 2,000 calories a day and exercise moderately about 150 minutes per week, and I'm 55.

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Old 07-11-2012, 12:30 PM   #6
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our bodies are not really as predisposed to weight regain as we think they are, if we actually eat ONLY when hunger cues indicate and stop when just satisfied.
Aye, there's the rub. Having been overweight for most of my 54 years, I feel like the biggest lasting damage has been to my hunger signals. I don't worry too much about my metabolism since I've been eating at just below maintenance (about 1800 cals a day), exercising about 90 minutes a day, and still losing (albeit very slowly). Maybe that won't be possible if I ever get to my goal weight but, if that's the case, I'd probably settle for being a little heavier and being able to eat a little more.

I'm not a big believer in the power of positive thinking, but I do think that those of us with eating problems need a lot of determination to ignore whatever pressures make us overeat and to stick with what we know is a healthier diet.
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Old 07-11-2012, 12:37 PM   #7
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New York Times article regarding one diet over another - the low fat, high fat, no carbs, yadda yadda yadda question.

http://tinyurl.com/6mt293q
sez in answer to the following question -

Question: "So for many people, something happened early in life to set their sensing mechanism to demand more fat on their bodies?"

Answer: "Yes."

To which I can say - see it really IS all my mother's fault. bwa-ha-ha!

His solution - eat less, a lot less, and move more. Where have I heard that before...?
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Old 07-11-2012, 12:39 PM   #8
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I am going for a lifelong change.

I want to eat within a calorie range I can maintain at, I want to keep active, I want to be healthiest I can be!
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Old 07-11-2012, 12:43 PM   #9
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ChickieChicks ,thank you for this thread, I've been writing a lot in my food journal lately about a "lifestyle change" vs. a "diet." For me, this is not a battle to be won but rather a change in my lifestyle-- one that is healthy and fresh and good. And not extreme.

I do think genetics play a part but for me, even more powerfully, attitudes about food and hunger were definitely more "nurture" than "nature". I learned throughout my childhood that extremely large portions were OK and that food could be used almost as an emotional substitute. Like Arctic Mama pointed out, maintenance is going to require conscious choices. That's something I'm wrapping my mind around. The thing is, though, that shouldn't be a revolutionary idea for me. That is what many people at a normal weight do. But I've lived so long thinking that it's normal to eat nutritionally empty foods (and lots of them), that yeah, it's a bit of a epiphany to make healthy choices. *shrug* I'm glad I'm thinking about this now rather than later-- I want to live a healthy life.

Definitely going to check out that emotional eating rebab book, btw. Thanks!
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Old 07-11-2012, 12:47 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by froggydawgy View Post

Question: "So for many people, something happened early in life to set their sensing mechanism to demand more fat on their bodies?"

Answer: "Yes."

To which I can say - see it really IS all my mother's fault. bwa-ha-ha!
Ha!

Seriously, I've been thinking so much lately about my weight issues and how they relate to my mother's own issues. It's a little bit mind-blowing. I've been acknowledging and learning from the past. The most important thing, though, is for me to move forward.
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Old 07-11-2012, 01:00 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freelancemomma View Post
I continue to believe that most people regain weight because they start overeating again. I think some of us are predisposed to like food more and have a greater appetite than others, but if we learn to master these impulses I believe we can lose weight and maintain weight loss without too much of a struggle.
I agree with this.
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Old 07-11-2012, 01:09 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freelancemomma View Post
I continue to believe that most people regain weight because they start overeating again. I think some of us are predisposed to like food more and have a greater appetite than others, but if we learn to master these impulses I believe we can lose weight and maintain weight loss without too much of a struggle.
This. "Overeating" of course varies depending on genetics. But with a maintenance calories diet of healthy "real" foods, I don't think many people would be obese.

My personal goal is "learn how to eat right and exercise now while I'm still young and my body/metabolism is forgiving!"
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Old 07-11-2012, 01:15 PM   #13
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None of us are doomed to failure.

The most important part of this journey IMO is learning how to sustain it - and that is the lifelong change.

Now, I won't say there aren't 'lifelong' battles along the way - I got to goal many years ago (2004 if I remember?) but having 2 kids since then (and not being 20 anymore), has made it a harder battle as time goes on.

Losing the weight as a single young 20 year old gal was a lot easier than being 30 with 3 pregnancies in 2 years.

I can only assume that certain life events will challenge me further- such as aging, injury, etc.

But I learned that a lifelong change means you can DEAL with these "lifelong battles", if that makes sense.

If I had been skinny all along, I might have cried and given up after gaining 40lbs with my first child and struggling to lose much harder than I thought. But I knew I could do it, IF I STUCK TO MY LIFELONG CHANGES.

I hope that makes sense.

It's what I tell myself, as I'm at 146lbs right now 7 months pregnant with #2

But most of all, I look at my inspirations here. 50,60,heck almost 90 years old, and these women are doing it. They show us it can be done. My mom did it recently, and she is in her 50's with a hip replacement. She's RUNNING and 50lbs lighter! We're never doomed.
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Old 07-11-2012, 01:25 PM   #14
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I think there must be a lifestyle change, if I go back to mindless, undisciplined, eating whatever I feel like whenever I feel like it, I will gain weight.
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Old 07-11-2012, 02:15 PM   #15
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My problem is that I was using food and overeating to sedate myself after a long, stressful day. I'm replacing overeating with walks but I'm sure it would be easy to slip back into that habit. I also was totally overwhelmed with exercise options: tennis, jogging, elliptical? I settled on walking, elliptical and strength training and have gotten into the habit of that too. One day at a time . . .

But yes, I'm very worried about how I will maintain once I reach my goal!
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