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Old 03-21-2014, 03:29 PM   #1
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Default The Constant Anguish that You Might Fail Again: Tips to get over it.

I started my diet in December, I've lost 19 lbs, I'm doing great and feeling great. My looks are improving, same for my stamina and my confidence.
One thing is bothering me though. Even though I seem to be doing fine, I have this ever present feeling that I MIGHT fail again.
I'm the kind of person who worries about things a lot. I can't help projecting back and looking at all my failed attempts and asking myself: What if I get tired of making efforts daily? What if I get bored with my new lifestyle? What if I'm taken off my antidepressants? What if I start making bad choices? What is expecting me at the end of my journey? What if...what if... what if...
I'm putting myself down "unnecessarily" but maybe I don't know...
What can you suggest for overcoming that unjustified constant fear of failure? I'd really love to get rid of that annoying feeling. I NEED to continue my diet with enough serenity and confidence. Maybe I could gain that through 3fc members' experiences/tips. Thanks for giving me a hand.
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Old 03-21-2014, 05:33 PM   #2
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You get over it by not failing. That is, if you never end your effort and never, ever call it quits, then it's just up or down in the process and you've never failed. As soon as you give up, you've lost.
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Old 03-21-2014, 07:51 PM   #3
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The longer you stay with it, the more you'll trust yourself and not have those constant thoughts of failing. I've been maintaining for about 2 1/2 years now, and I mostly trust myself, despite going through some tough spots (currently going through one).

For now, thought, try countering the negative thoughts with some positive thoughts. Every time you start thinking, "What's the use? I'm going to fail anyway" (or some version of that), counter it with something like, "I have control of what goes into my mouth. I choose to succeed." It sounds hokey, but I truly believe that countering negative internal thoughts has an overall positive effect. Do this every time you have a negative thought.

Originally Posted by Arctic Mama View Post
You get over it by not failing. That is, if you never end your effort and never, ever call it quits, then it's just up or down in the process and you've never failed. As soon as you give up, you've lost.

ITA----I think the main difference between successful (read: longterm) maintainers and those who yo-yo perpetually is the maintainers do not give up. Ever. They keep going even when they have a regain, even when they can't exercise because of an injury, even when they eat the house down for a week while PMSing. They view such circumstances as temporary blips within a lifelong journey, not major catastrophes that derail them until the next diet.
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Last edited by lin43; 03-21-2014 at 07:54 PM.
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Old 03-21-2014, 08:11 PM   #4
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The other two are right. Success breeds success and an attitude of success but a tiny bit of fear isn't a bad thing. Its when it dominates your life that its a problem.

Success gives you confidence in yourself but if you get too confident then you think that you can eat that bit of cake or whatever and pretty soon, you are doing it every day and then more often than that even. So you need to know what caused you to fail last time.

What food is it that triggers your failures. And work on ways to avoid going down that path.

I think, for me at least, it may be a lot like cigarettes which when i quit 17 years ago, i knew deep down i could never have another one again and i was prepared to do that. I know its a bit harder with food. But i am trying to do something like that with my worst trigger foods.

I have an out clause where i can eat them in a restaurant situation with other people where i know the immediate risk is so low i am not likely to lose it rich there. But the risk becomes what about after that day, will i start thinking i can have some sweets just a little a day or occasionally. I know now i can't so i have these rare occasions when i can eat them and they are many to be rare, not once a week. Because i can't do once a week.

So this is the way i am building confidence that my diet will work for me. You may think of a similar way.

But that might not be enough to knock out those feelings you've got. For those you have to work on the way you think.

You obviously have anxiety issues and you have to work on those in order to minimise them. Learn how to do mindfulness meditation. Learn the technique and then even if you find your practice failing, use those techniques of changing your point of focus to take your mind of your worrying thoughts. Its a question of dropping the worrying thought and letting it go. You may have to do this a lot and it can be effortful and tiring but you can get better at it.

And you have to work on other ways of developing better thinking patterns and habits. Have you used cognitive behaviour therapy techniques.

I know it all takes a lot of handwork but at least if you know the techniques really well, they will be available to you when you need them.

Another thought i know that people with OCD obsess about things they are afraid they might do and which they are fearful of. The thing is those people are not really in any danger of doing those things because those things are so against what they believe is right. It goes against their values. But it means they live in constant pain worrying they might. They think they are closer to danger than they actually are.

Tell them you want to stay on the antidepressants. I have been on mine for many years now. I have given up trying to go off them because the depression always returns. Talk it over with your doctor right now. Don't live in fear of that. have a good chat about it. Tell you are afraid they will do this to you and it will cause you to put on weight again. this is something that you could and probably should be reassured about.

Also try to learn yoga or tai chi in a class situation. (not ashtanga yoga which is fast paced and doesn't teach much in the way of mindfulness i think, but something slower and more considered like Iyengar).

One other more direct thing is to just whenever those doubts arise, just let that it go. Say to yourself, don't be silly. And let it go. Switch your focus to something else completely. If nothing else comes to mind, switch your focus to your breath and take several deep breaths while focusing on the feeling of that. You have to want to stop this habitual thinking.

I used to spend a lot of time thinking about my appearance, at one point some years back i realised how much it was hurting me and i stopped doing it. I look in mirrors less often. Also when i got over my depression looking at myself does not distress me so much. So just let those types of thoughts go. Create new mental habits.

I hope something in here is useful.
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Old 03-22-2014, 03:11 AM   #5
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I worry about this too. I used to be afraid that if I missed a day exercising I would never do it again. I still try to never miss a day. Knowing that you have changed inside and using that as a strength helps. I found it has helped to know what might cause failure...reverse engineer it then you can plan how to avoid it. I know for me it could be stress and worry that would drive me to eat. However these last few weeks have been a nightmare personally and professionally, and I worried I would fall..but because everything else is so rough I was happy there was this one thing I could control and the one thing that was going good. It is different for everyone but be strong, believe in yourself!
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined. –Henry David Thoreau

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Old 03-22-2014, 07:44 AM   #6
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I don't think about failing because I don't think in terms of success and failure. I don't categorize food into good and bad, thus no matter what food I reach for is appropriate. I've stopped judging myself for the decisions I make over food, the incessant internal critic who pats myself on the back when I eat an apple and who berrates me with self negative thoughts when I eat a cookie. When I was trodding that line then yes, I was either succeeding or failing (mostly failing).

If you treat yourself the way you would a friend, with encouragement and compassion you're most likely to feel free of the angst of failure. If your best friend skipped a day of exercise would you call her a failure? No. You'd tell her to get out there tomorrow. If your sister told you that she ate a whole box of cookies would you scold her? No, you'd hug her and ask her what's going on? If you can live your day to day life exhibiting compassion to yourself then you live angst-free and in the proper place to make beneficial deicions in terms of food and exercise.

"If you pay attention to when you are hungry, what your body wants, what you are eating, when you've had enough, you end the obsession because obsession and awareness cannot coexist." - Geneen Roth

Last edited by Palestrina; 03-22-2014 at 07:45 AM.
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Old 03-22-2014, 04:47 PM   #7
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My experiences developed in me no worries about failing because I always begin again - every single day. It can't be helped - it happens every single morning when I wake up. I will always have another chance, until the day I don't. I'm no Pollyanna - I have a tendency toward depression - but better physical health helps keep it at bay and the truth I've found is we really do have unlimited opportunities for success.

As has already been mentioned, a succession of small victories will give you the sense of pride and accomplishment that are entirely your own (for the rest of your life) and can help you through tougher days.

Lastly, "What if..." is a pressure you don't need. Negative self-talk will get the best of you, so try to love yourself better
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