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Old 02-06-2013, 10:24 AM   #1
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Default Over-thinking weight loss

I have started weight loss programs before but never stuck with them too long. I think for me a big part of weight loss is mental, and so I start overthinking the whole thing and get discouraged and quit.

Anyway, so my biggest concern has always been about maintaining after reaching goal. I know that sounds crazy and I'm not sure I can even explain what I mean. As I'm counting calories or points, depending on what plan I'm on, I attack it with everything I've got, 100 percent, the diet, the exercise, everything spot on. Then I worry about, am I eating few enough calories to lose? If so, when I get to goal, am I supposed to eat more during maintenance? If so, how much and will I start gaining again? If my body gets used to the low amount of calories during the weight loss, will I have to continue that amount for the rest of my life just to maintain?

Like I said, it's really hard to explain my fears. I have always over-worried about everything, and sometimes it paralyzes me into inaction. I guess I don't really need answers to the above questions, just support and maybe other people out there kind of understand where I'm coming from.

Does anyone else out there just over-think any aspect of your weight loss journey? What has worked for you to just get over it?
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Old 02-06-2013, 10:32 AM   #2
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I'm with ya! I'm SOOOO with ya! I actually started March 22, 2012 at 219.8 pounds (not my highest weight, but close to it), I'm also 5'6" and am now very near (with in a couple pounds) of your goal weight. So I feel like I can speak with very strong experience here.

I've dealt with fear throughout, and am still dealing with it, big time. A while back though I decided to say basically "screw you, fear" because it was hindering me from doing things I really and truly wanted to do. I always ask myself -- what is the worst that could possible happen? And my worst case scenerios never outweight the actual desire to do what needs to be done.

In short, do it anyway! In spite of the fear, in spite of the worry, in spite of yourself. Don't be your own roadblock!
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Old 02-06-2013, 10:32 AM   #3
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I finally had to put all the thinking aside and decide to just DO IT. I've had similar thought about "is this going to be something I can maintain. If I just get to goal and then balloon back up then what's the point. I've never been able to maintain a weight within 10 pounds, so will I just keep bouncing around for the rest of my life?"......and on and on it goes. I recently decided that I'll figure out what to do when I get to goal, but for now I'm just going to eat healthier and not rely on the scale to tell me if it's worth it.

You can do this! Just think of how thankful you will be in a year that you started and stuck with it!
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Old 02-06-2013, 10:38 AM   #4
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I am beyond obsessive about this whole thing. I should have my jaw wired shut around "normal" (aka non dieting) people because I can't shut up. A HUGE HUGE HUGE HUGE part of that is the fear of failure. The fear of bragging up my loss only to put it back on and then some. It's crippling, and it's what kept me from trying for a long time. But you know what? I also used to fear finding out that I couldn't lose the weight. That I would try and get nowhere and be fat forever. But I tried anyway, and guess what? I've lost. A lot. I still fear maintaining, but knowing I've beaten my fear of never losing makes me more confident that I can maintain.

The other big thing is switching your mindset from the diet being a "temporary" thing, as in something you do until the weight is off and then you go back to normal, to resigning yourself to the fact that this will be a life time thing. Actually "resigning" isn't a good word, because you need to be excited about it. Your calories will go up and you'll have some more leeway, but you're always going to have to monitor your weight and health.

My advice? Stages. Set mini goals. I didn't do anything all at once. I cut out pop the week before I officially started my plan. I stuck to just dieting for the first two months before I added in exercise. I even took a two week break a few months in because I was frustrated. But I felt so much better on plan that it was easy to go back. I had really high hopes when I started, and some of them weren't realistic. But now I record every single NSV (like today when I realized my wide calf boots are too wide - or early on when I still couldn't "see" my loss but could easily fit into a stadium seat that pinched so bad it made me cry when I was at my heaviest). I set "ten pounds by" instead of "goal by" mini goals, and I focus on things like making it to the pool every day or going a month without falling right off the wagon.

Looking at the big picture is daunting and discouraging. I still have at least 130 more pounds to lose, and when you've been at this for as long as I have, it seems like such a long hard road. So instead I focus on the fact that I've lost 95 pounds already, that I can lug four cloth bags of groceries up my steps without feeling like I'm going to die, and that I can actually see my eyes without my chipmunk cheeks.

Focus on the little things. You'll get there.
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Old 02-06-2013, 10:42 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Radiojane View Post
I am beyond obsessive about this whole thing. I should have my jaw wired shut around "normal" (aka non dieting) people because I can't shut up. A HUGE HUGE HUGE HUGE part of that is the fear of failure. The fear of bragging up my loss only to put it back on and then some. It's crippling, and it's what kept me from trying for a long time. But you know what? I also used to fear finding out that I couldn't lose the weight. That I would try and get nowhere and be fat forever. But I tried anyway, and guess what? I've lost. A lot. I still fear maintaining, but knowing I've beaten my fear of never losing makes me more confident that I can maintain.

The other big thing is switching your mindset from the diet being a "temporary" thing, as in something you do until the weight is off and then you go back to normal, to resigning yourself to the fact that this will be a life time thing. Actually "resigning" isn't a good word, because you need to be excited about it. Your calories will go up and you'll have some more leeway, but you're always going to have to monitor your weight and health.

My advice? Stages. Set mini goals. I didn't do anything all at once. I cut out pop the week before I officially started my plan. I stuck to just dieting for the first two months before I added in exercise. I even took a two week break a few months in because I was frustrated. But I felt so much better on plan that it was easy to go back. I had really high hopes when I started, and some of them weren't realistic. But now I record every single NSV (like today when I realized my wide calf boots are too wide - or early on when I still couldn't "see" my loss but could easily fit into a stadium seat that pinched so bad it made me cry when I was at my heaviest). I set "ten pounds by" instead of "goal by" mini goals, and I focus on things like making it to the pool every day or going a month without falling right off the wagon.

Looking at the big picture is daunting and discouraging. I still have at least 130 more pounds to lose, and when you've been at this for as long as I have, it seems like such a long hard road. So instead I focus on the fact that I've lost 95 pounds already, that I can lug four cloth bags of groceries up my steps without feeling like I'm going to die, and that I can actually see my eyes without my chipmunk cheeks.

Focus on the little things. You'll get there.
I always love your posts! So full of just honest, heartfelt, experience. Your perspective on things always leaves me with a some food for thought!
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Old 02-06-2013, 10:46 AM   #6
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Thank you Stephanie. I appreciate those words from someone that's such a huge inspiration to me
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Old 02-06-2013, 11:01 AM   #7
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Thanks folks! I knew I could count on 3fc peeps to know where I'm coming from and offer great advice. I honestly don't think I could do this without you all (and I've been around here a lot longer than my stats say, I just took some time off and forgot my username, lol).

Stephanie: It's nice to see that someone who has been as successful as you had the same worries yet overcame them. Your post reminds me of that old Nike slogan, Just Do It. It's simple but it really says it all. In fact I tell myself that while I'm exercising sometimes, just to keep going.

Mccull83: See? The Nike slogan again. What you said about how I will feel a year from now, that is so true. Only until now, I have said to myself, "darn it! Look where I would be now if only I had stuck to my plan that I started a year ago." It's time to reverse that.

Radiojane: Wow, you have accomplished a lot! I get a little scared when I read things like "not a diet, it's a lifetime plan", but I am starting to see that's true. Maybe I've always wanted "just a diet", a little detour for awhile to get in shape so that I could then go back to living my normal life. But I'm starting to realize that it was my normal life that got me where I'm at today, so it all has to change, and in a sustainable, enjoyable way. And boy, you sure hit the nail on the head about the small goals instead of the big goals. I cannot come up with anything small at the moment, but I sure do know that when I look at the entire goal, I get very overwhelmed and discouraged. But you and so many others are an inspiration, so thank you.
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Old 02-06-2013, 11:05 AM   #8
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Honestly, the way I've done this is by playing the mental game of "just lose 1 pound... surely you can lose 1 pound, right? Don't worry about the rest. 1 pound, that's all. You've got this."

And when 1 pound seems too daunting? I go to the 1/10th of a pound (which is the level my scale measures at). So my mental game moves to "just lose 1/10th of a pound... blah blah blah"

Don't worry too much about the end-game yet of maintaining. Just start losing. The rest will follow. I promise.
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Old 02-06-2013, 11:08 AM   #9
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U don't have to explain it, I get u completely. I am one pound from goal and have the same fears. I put myself into weight loss 100% too. I am obsessive compulsive and feel I need to obsess about something to complete it. I do notice that as I have come closer to goal I have been changing a bit, cheating a little bit. I have to wonder if my goal is scaring me so I am detouring myself. Funny thing it has not worked, I guess because I still stay under calories and if I cheat I make myself work off the exact number of calories the junk had. It's a good thing I still have another goal in mind of building lean muscle, because if I woke up tomorrow at goal I don't know what would happen. I am right there with u fearing what will be, I know I can't go back to the way things were but have to start including some things I have elimanted. But will I find a happy medium
Or end up at square 1. I think I am going to have to refer to maintenance as a goal so I keep going. Well I understand u without a doubt and I guess only time will tell and we can make adjustments from there. Best of luck
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Old 02-06-2013, 11:11 AM   #10
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Quote:
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You can do this! Just think of how thankful you will be in a year that you started and stuck with it!
Ditto to this. My 47th birthday was in April and I went into it with the mindset that when I turned 48 (2 months from now) I want to look back and be able to say that 47 was the year that I turned things around...

I feel like I've done that, and then some!
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Old 02-06-2013, 11:11 AM   #11
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The other big thing is switching your mindset from the diet being a "temporary" thing, as in something you do until the weight is off and then you go back to normal, to resigning yourself to the fact that this will be a life time thing. Actually "resigning" isn't a good word, because you need to be excited about it. Your calories will go up and you'll have some more leeway, but you're always going to have to monitor your weight and health.
This. A thousand times this.

I happen to be following a plan that even provides specific instructions for how to lose the weight, how to consolidate your loss, and then how to maintain. And the fact is that maintaining doesn't look all that different from losing. I proved that to myself last year - after losing 65 lbs in 6 months on my plan, I went off it and in just over a year, gained back all but about 5 of those pounds. Because I went right back to my old habits, the ones that had put the weight on in the first place.

Sometimes I think I just want to be able to eat "normally" - and then I realize I can, but I have to redefine normal. I can eat normally for someone maintaining a healthy weight!! I've watched friends do that, and I know that how they eat on a regular basis isn't the way I ate!!

So ironically enough, I think part of what is helping me get past the fears is having proven to myself that whatever weight I lose will come right back if I am not vigilant. It doesn't mean maintenance is exactly the same as losing weight - there will be room for some added flexibility, and a chance to enjoy the ocassional treat foods. But they have to remain treats and not a daily routine. Learning to accept that and live within those guidelines is an ongoing process, but I also have decided I am not willing to accept the alternative of not trying, just gaining more and more weight, and having my health suffer.
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Old 02-06-2013, 01:10 PM   #12
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I lost the majority of my extra weight BEFORE discovering 3FC and I think that was a GOOD THING - information overload can really delay actual getting stuff done.

With exercise I got overwhelmed with information overload and read about lifting weights online for MONTHS AND MONTHS before ever trying to lift an actual weight.
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Old 02-06-2013, 01:54 PM   #13
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I think a lot of people have similar personalities. You're looking for the BEST way to do something. With weight loss - we're bombarded with advertising on how we can pay $$ to find out some secrets or best plans. We want to have all the answers before we start.

I was the same way.

Eventually I became educated enough to know that this is an extremely simple topic. Every question has an answer - often the answer is it doesn't matter. I'll answer your current questions.

Then I worry about, am I eating few enough calories to lose? Probably. Monitor your progress and you'll find out.

If so, when I get to goal, am I supposed to eat more during maintenance? You'll eat the number of calories it takes to maintain, in a range. After a while you'll be able to estimate fairly accurately. Intense tracking will no longer be needed.

If so, how much and will I start gaining again? If my body gets used to the low amount of calories during the weight loss, will I have to continue that amount for the rest of my life just to maintain? It doesn't work this way. Fat loss or gain is an equation of energy and our metabolisms don't slow down much.

I would advise you to go to Lyle Mcdonald's site and read an article a day there. They are all free. I would start with this one.
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Old 02-06-2013, 02:13 PM   #14
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Quote:
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Honestly, the way I've done this is by playing the mental game of "just lose 1 pound... surely you can lose 1 pound, right? Don't worry about the rest. 1 pound, that's all. You've got this."
This. A bazillion times over.

I know I'm only at 11lbs lost (not knocking it, it just still feels like I'm at the beginning, 2 months in), and I have 89lbs left to get rid of.

I've just hit my first plateau, and I think it's from over analysis and getting in the way of myself. So, I've decided that as long as I can maintain for now, that will have to do. And when I've talked myself down off the ledge I'll "just do it" and get started on the next 1lb. I learned so much about putting my head in the sand while I was gaining weight, so I'm sure I have denial techniques to spare when I only want to think about that 1lb and not the other 88 that follow it!

What I've found useful is to restrict my analysis. I count my weight, and that's pretty much it. I pay attention to how I feel, and try to get stronger. Mentally and physically. All that stuff that can't be counted, like my knees not cracking when I bend down, being able to touch my toes, being able to run from the corner to the bus stop. I honestly think that getting used to these little things and normalising them will make maintenance so much easier and more natural. If I ever get there. Which for the first time I believe I will, because it's only 1lb away! (at a time, sure, but try to ignore that part, just imagine if maintenance WERE only 1 lb away )
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Old 02-06-2013, 02:16 PM   #15
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I am so glad to found this thread today. i was actually coming on to say HELP! I feel like I am obsessing too, and seeing everyone else obsess reminds that I am normal.

My problems are guilt, fear and obsession. The guilt is that I weighed 152 a year and a half ago and ballooned after my marathon injury. The fear is pretty self-explanatory. I keep saying "I will lose weight. I am losing weight" instead of "I am trying". But still. And the obsession is weighing myself CONSTANTLY. I totally understand weight fluctuation, but it doesn't matter. I have a post it on my scale saying only weigh on Sundays and I've even had my boyfriend hide it for me. Still, I find the scale. I weigh in pre-workout and if it hasn't moved, then screw the workout, right? It's not working anyway! (Not actually, but that's what my brain screams).

I really appreciate everyone sharing their stories and experiences. Radiojane, I saw in another post how you amazed at how our identities are so closely knit with our perceptions of our bodies...I agree- it is pretty insane.

I'll just chug along, I guess. Some days, I am a tiger. Today though, I am a kitten. I am afraid today and it feels good to admit it.
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