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Old 06-18-2017, 11:20 AM   #1
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Default How has your approach to and perception of weight loss changed over time?

This is more of a question for people who are losing weight slowly and have been at it for a long time, like for over a year up to many years. It would also apply to people who have already lost and are now maintaining, I suppose, what your perception was during versus your perception afterwards. I find that when I come to the forum now I look at topics differently than when I started. I think the mentality of weight loss changes with time and how far one has or hasn't come in that amount of time. We change our minds, we change habits, we may stop doing one thing and start doing another, we may find something that was once important or essential isn't that important, we go in and out of that desperate feeling, we might get more relaxed about the journey or more uptight about it, we might discover unhealthy foods that don't negatively affect our weight and healthy foods that do, we learn things that are specific to our own bodies instead of just general information, etc. I was just curious if anyone wants to share their experiences of how they approached weight loss in their earlier stages versus how they approach it now after being on a journey for a very long time. I think this is more of a personal thing rather than weight loss advice for others.
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Old 06-18-2017, 01:43 PM   #2
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Hmm, I think I qualify as someone who has been at it for a long time. It has been mostly the same few pounds coming on and off the whole time, but I think my habits have improved as my metabolism has slowed down with age, or else it would be more than the same few pounds.

I've become more comfortable with controlling what I eat to some extent. In my 20's, I remember it seemed like it would be really difficult/impossible to consistently resist buying 3 donuts for the sale price at the donut shop. Now it wouldn't cross my mind to buy more than one.

I've mostly stopped buying whole regular sized boxes of cookies, which was a normal thing to buy back then. But occasionally I still do it (sometimes several times over a month or two) and still can't control eating them all in a couple of days. As I'm writing this and the item above, I realized both partly had to do with changes in my economic situation. I got a better paying job after my 20's, and could pay less attention to the cost of my food in my 30's. Then I moved to a higher cost of living area and went back to occasionally buying some cheaper things, like a regular size box of cookies that provides more immediate satisfaction and costs half as much as fancy littler boxes. (Obviously I try not to, but it is more challenging to attend to both cost and health.)

I changed from focusing on low fat to calories at some point, even though it seemed like it would be impossible at the time.

I think more about my long term health now. I make at least some effort to avoid artificial sweetener and artificial color, while when I was younger, I wouldn't worry about artificial sweetener and wasn't really aware of artificial color.
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Old 06-23-2017, 06:45 PM   #3
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I didn't consider the cost factor. That definitely effects how and what we eat. I am the the same about laying off the artificial colors, not 100 percent of the time but a general practice. I've never liked artificial sweeteners but I've found that I can still enjoy desserts made with regular sugar, just half of it in the recipe which is sweet enough. I haven't tried low fat but I started out low carb and was eating things by the serving size. Now I'm not as particular. It's like I know what I can get away with. My habits are better but in some ways worse. Knowing what I can get away with has become a free pass to eat certain types of foods that aren't typically healthy, but they don't actually hinder my weight loss so I do it anyway.
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Old 06-24-2017, 02:02 PM   #4
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Yes, I guess I've never worried about eating unhealthy foods that don't effect my weight loss. I figure there aren't very many of them, so I'll just enjoy it if I have enough calories left for some kind of snack or dessert. (Of course, sometimes I have it when I don't have enough calories left too, but my goal is not to)
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Old 06-24-2017, 05:05 PM   #5
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I've only dabbled in calorie counting for a month or so but could not stick with it. Has it become 2nd nature for you to count calories, like now you do it without really thinking about it? Do you think you would eat a similar amount of calories even if you weren't actively counting them or do you find that it's something you have to stay on top of to avoid eating too much?
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Old 06-28-2017, 10:55 PM   #6
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Well, I don't keep careful track of calories all the time. I am familiar with it enough that I remember calorie estimates for the foods I normally eat, and have guesstimate of which foods will be likely to be lower in calories when I eat out at a place that doesn't have nutrition info (it's impossible to tell for sure at places that don't have nutrition info though). Sometimes, I round things up or down to the nearest 50 calories to make it easier. So, I can estimate what I had for the day in my head. I find that I'll forget things if I don't write them down at some point in the day, so when I get more focused on loosing weight, I write it down for a while. I have a bunch of familiar meals that are good amounts of calories, so when I'm not carefully counting, I'll know they are probably good.

Calorie counting definitely lets me drop weight when I get motivated enough to stick to it for a bit, and I think it helps me understand what is relevant to work toward with improving my habits. I'd ideally like to improve my habits enough that I don't have to track much though. One of the main things I've been working on for years is getting in the habit of eating more vegetables, since they're so low in calories. If i measure them, it's usually to try to get myself to eat more of them. At one point, I was trying to have at least two cups of cooked vegetables for dinner, and at least a serving or two for lunch. More recently I was cooking a good amount of them for a veggie/egg breakfast scramble. When I eat enough, the veggies fill me up enough that I don't eat higher calorie things. Lately, i haven't been measuring at dinner but I think I've been having a good bit- a head of broccoli or a medium-ish zucchini with onions. (I know that's too vague to really give you an idea since the size varies so much.) A big part of the struggle for me is finding time and energy to chop them up all the time. Huge trade off in price to buy them chopped so I hardly ever do, I don't know.
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Old 07-10-2017, 02:05 PM   #7
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In my personal experience over the past 20 years or so, the thing that has changed the most for me is my perspective on dieting. For a very long time, I saw it as something that was a negative and unpleasant experience, to be suffered through and only brought about by copious amounts of willpower. My goal was only to lose weight so I would look better, and health wasn't even a consideration. As I've gotten older and given a lot of thought to the whole process, I have begun to see it as a positive and loving action toward myself, one that will improve my poor health and make me happier. The idea of wearing smaller and prettier clothes is still exciting to me, but the main point (to me) of losing weight is to be in good health and be a good role model for my daughter and hopefully for my husband as well. I want to lose weight now so I can be healthy and live a long and pleasant life.
I have tried many different diets, including the cabbage soup diet, keto, slim-fast, and calorie counting. Calorie counting seems to be the most effective for me and the least restrictive. Restrictive diets always end in failure for me!

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Old 08-29-2017, 03:04 AM   #8
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When I was younger (way younger), my weight loss program (if you could even call it that), entailed going to the gym 1 hour, 3x a week. Period. Now that I'm older, I approach weight loss in a more mature perspective, focusing on sustainability and long term results rather than quick fixes. I am also more concerned about getting proper nutrition and eating a more balanced diet. Naturally, I've cut down on carbs and sugar, but I don't completely avoid them. I'm into the quality of life so I try not to feel like I'm depriving myself. Essentially, as I got older, I made more of an effort to live a balanced life. Balanced with good health, enough exercise, proper nutrition, and general well-being.
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