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Old 06-15-2006, 10:19 AM   #1
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Default Fear of gaining weight back

I come here and see all these wonderful stories of women who have lost over 100 lbs and I'm in awe. I've just begun my battle w/lossing weight and I'm down 10 lbs. However, I'm already freaking out about gaining it back... or not losing more.

I HATE being overweight. It's too stressful. I am so scared if I eat one wrong thing, the pounds will start piling on again. Rationally, I know that is not the case... but I'm afraid I will start eating my old way again. I don't want to be a yo-yo.

Ok, just stressing out right now. Thanks for listening.
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Old 06-15-2006, 10:35 AM   #2
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Sweety, you're not alone. I've kept my weight off for nine months and I still freak out about gaining it all back plus some. I eat one wrong thing, weigh myself the next day and expect to see the scale shoot up ten pounds. Of course, that's never the case. I think that that worry is almost a good thing though. I think that that worry of gaining it back is kind of what keeps us on track. Because if we WEREN'T worried about gaining it back, then we would become complacent and most likely would gain it back. My husband tells me that I obsess sometimes about the way that I look, about gaining weight back, etc. I tell him that I have to obsess because if I don't, I WILL become complacent and I WILL get fat again. Plus, I think my mind just hasn't caught up with my body yet. You'll get there, don't worry!
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Old 06-15-2006, 10:43 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luvthelighthouse
I HATE being overweight. It's too stressful. I am so scared if I eat one wrong thing, the pounds will start piling on again. Rationally, I know that is not the case... but I'm afraid I will start eating my old way again. I don't want to be a yo-yo.
Plan now for how you're going to keep the weight off. Now that I'm maintaining my weight loss, I still do exactly what I did to lose weight, I just allow myself more calories a day.

I still plan healthy meals in advance, I still pack my lunches on Sunday, I still food journal, calorie count, still go to the grocery store at least 3 times a week to keep fresh produce in the house, look up restaurant menus in advance, try to make healthy decisions as much as possible, plan a weekly treat meal (and don't let it spiral into a treat day/treat weekend), try to meet daily nutritional goals (5+ servings of vegetables, lean protein at every meal, 25% of the day's calories from healthy fats).

Previously, I had lost a significant amount of weight 3 times in my life and gained it all back. Each time I gained the weight back, I gained MORE weight. It was a heartbreaking cycle that made me feel like a discouraged, no will power loser. There was a lot of self hate.

This time, I wanted to set myself up for success. I started planning maintenance before I lost 1 lb. I knew I had to change how I ate forever, the only way to do that was to plan a lifestyle that I could stick to. I had to like the foods I ate, I couldn't feel deprived and I had to be able to stick with it for the rest of my life.

I still find maintenance terrifying. I am constantly afraid I will gain the weight back. I don't know when I'll feel safe, maybe after 5 years of maintenance when the statistics will be more on my side.
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Old 06-15-2006, 10:50 AM   #4
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I try not to use the word "lost" in reference to what I weigh now. If I say I lost the weight, it implies that I need to find it again! And I don't want to find it!

I try to think, "I've used 31 lbs of stored calories!" and that there is NO reason what so ever to store that much in my body EVER again! I haven't "lost" the weight- I used it for what it was meant to be used for. Energy for my body to run on. That's all. I certainly don't need to "find" it again!

Of course, this concept is too clunky to bother explaining to others very often, so I often just say that yes, I've lost some weight. But I didn't really lose it. I used it.
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Old 06-15-2006, 11:06 AM   #5
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The first time I got to goal, I kinda landed and thought "What the heck do I do now?!"
This time (thanks to the good advice I've gotten here) I have more goals ... plans like Glory said. I have goals for body fat percentages. I have a goal of gaining less than 4 lbs on vacation. I have goals for jogging and weight lifting.
I'm glad you've thought about this before you got there. Now you have time to think about more goals other than the number on the scale.
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Old 06-15-2006, 12:31 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MariaOfColumbia
I try to think, "I've used 31 lbs of stored calories!" and that there is NO reason what so ever to store that much in my body EVER again! I haven't "lost" the weight- I used it for what it was meant to be used for. Energy for my body to run on. That's all. I certainly don't need to "find" it again!
Maria, that was so inspiring. Semantics yes.. semantics are important since most of this is really mind over matter. Words influence the mind. I hope you don't mind but I've used your idea to edit my signature.

I used to think of this journey as weight loss. Then changed it to change in body mass... then weight control.... then most recently weight management.. Now I realize that weight management is not about losing or managing weight but using up and NOT storing unnecessary excess energy.

So I've used up about 17 pounds of unneeded stored energy and don't ever plan on replacing it. Plenty more stored energy on the waiting list to get burned up.. yup... burned!
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Old 06-15-2006, 12:39 PM   #7
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I'm scared too. But I realized that that fear had kept me from even trying. In fact, before I started all this, I told my husband "Why bother trying to lose weight, I'll just gain it back, like before."

He said "With that attitude, you certainly will."

OUCH! I was ticked at him, but he was right.

I'm still scared, but I hang out a lot at the maintainers forum and I'm trying to do the kinds of things Glory talked about to keep it off when I get there. This isn't about losing weight, but keeping it off.

And as cemetarysiren said, the fear may help us from becoming complacent!
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Old 06-15-2006, 01:30 PM   #8
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I'm scared too, and it's been more than four years at goal for me. And I never want to lose that fear. It's what causes me to make good choices, day after day after day.

Maria, what you said about 'using stored calories' is pure genius! Like Jayde said, words are very powerful in framing our actions and reactions. And yours are an awesome way to frame weight loss!!
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Old 06-15-2006, 02:24 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MariaOfColumbia
I haven't "lost" the weight- I used it for what it was meant to be used for. Energy for my body to run on. That's all. I certainly don't need to "find" it again!
Love it! I think Christiane Northrup once said something similar ... think of all the stored energy you have, and what that energy could be used for.

I have dreams about gaining back weight I've lost. I used to dream about starting smoking again after I quit, too.
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Old 06-15-2006, 03:03 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phantastica
I have dreams about gaining back weight I've lost. I used to dream about starting smoking again after I quit, too.
I've been sober for 22 years now, and I still occasionally dream about getting drunk. I never dream about smoking, although the smell of a cigarette being smoked ...

I regard this as the opinion of the insane part of me, which does not want to be well. I ignore it when I'm awake, the dream is its revenge.
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Old 06-15-2006, 03:07 PM   #11
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I'm at 4 3/4 years of maintenance, and I'm scared almost every day. I think the fear is helpful, as long as it isn't paralyzing me from living what I consider a normal, healthy life. Normal for me is a lot of exercise, weighing the cost/benefits of social eating and drinking, and being willing to forego situations and people who are toxic to my lifestyle.

The statistics may say that something happens at 5 years, but I really think that it's more a matter of accepting the total lifestyle change and accepting that the fear could be reality.

Somewhere along the line tho, you, or at least I did realize that I have the skills and tools to cope with a slip or even a 3-4 day blow out vacation.

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Old 06-15-2006, 04:48 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KristasMom
I regard this as the opinion of the insane part of me, which does not want to be well. I ignore it when I'm awake, the dream is its revenge.
I used to have these dreams about smoking right after I quit... I remember on night in particular I woke up in a sweat and actually thought that I had started smoking again. I was relieved when I woke up all the way and realized it was only a dream. A nightmare. I never noticed when they went away.. but thank goodness they did. It would be horrible to have one of these again.. about weight. But now I know that it isn't only me that has had them I feel more sane.
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Old 06-16-2006, 03:28 PM   #13
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I'm glad you all liked that! I'm going to start using Jayde's turn of phrase, actually. I've burned 31 lbs! .... or maybe... I've burned 108,500 stored calories!
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Old 06-16-2006, 03:40 PM   #14
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The first thing I do every morning when I wake up, before I get out of bed and before I'm fully conscious is feel my hipbones and my waist. Just to check I haven't put 100lb on overnight. As you do, obviously.

I've only been around this weight since February. Statistically that's probably not too bad, but I'm still not secure in my relative thinness, and I'm still scared every day that I'll fall into the all too common yo-yo pattern. I've never tried to lose weight before, and now I've done it I have nothing really to guide me.

What I know will help though, is that I have set myself behavioural goals rather than weight loss goals. So I'm running a marathon in September. I'm not the sort of person who signs up for something like that with the intention of walking. If I'm going to do it, I'm going to do it well, and I'm going to run as close to every single step as I can possibly manage. So that's going to keep me exercising. Not the lure of more pounds off or smaller clothes, but the thought of the medal at the end. If anything I'll be exercising more than I did when I was losing, and eating equally well, but I don't resent that any more.

I used to worry about doing this for the rest of my life. But now I look at what "normal" people eat and I don't want to eat it. It's too processed, too salty, and just not as good as the food I make for myself. Even more, I look at the "normal" people who eat "normal" food and realise that they're fatter tha I am now. Having watched the people I previously thought of as "normal and thin" I realise that they're just as careful with food as I am. With a very few exceptions, the people I know either eat well, exercise, or are fat. I don't look on it as having to be restrictive for the rest of my life any more. I look on it as doing what has to be done, in the most enjoyable way I can find. By changing the way I think about things like that I'm trying to reduce the emotional triggers that will get me back where I started and beyond.

I still have that nagging doubt. I got fat before, what's to stop me doing it again. Simply put, knowledge. Last time although I knew that I could eat better and exercise more, I didn't have the wealth of knowledge and experience I've found here and learned from my own experiences. Now I have all the tools I need I'm more confident that maintenance is possible.
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Old 07-02-2006, 01:13 AM   #15
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Hi!

A friend of mine has managed to keep off the 100* pounds that she lost nearly 20 YEARS ago. She told me that the single most important thing that she does is weigh herself EVERY MORNING. If she's gone up a pound or two, she eats less and exercises more. If she starts to feel less firm, she increases the exercise. If she wants to eat something special like a Peanut Buster Parfait (her weakness!), she plans for it and eats fewer calories that day and the day after. She told me that she thinks of those extra pounds that she lost as the enemy. She watches for that enemy by keeping a daily ritual of weighing herself.

I know that I had a handle on my weight until I got lax and stopped weighing myself. (I didn't want to know that I had gained weight and THOUGHT I could just "tell" from the fit of my clothes.) That obviously didn't work for me as well as I THOUGHT it was working because I put on 100 pounds over the course of my 30-year marriage!

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