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Old 05-16-2010, 04:10 PM   #1  
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Default on negative self talk and being the goddess of false starts.

Hi again, 3FCers...

So if I had a dime for every time I posted an "I'm starting over, go me, I'm the queen!" thread, I'd have...well, I'd have a roll or two. (Of dimes. I already have other kinds of rolls, but that's why I'm here, right?)

I'm back again, this time humble and without a trace of cockiness. I re-started this whole deal back at the beginning of December, and I was **** bent on not letting the holidays wreck me this time around. And they didn't. If I remember correctly I sailed through Christmas and New Years with a weight loss, and all the way into February I was flying. Then I wound up in the hospital twice in three days with back problems and everything unraveled.

I stopped logging in fitday, I stopped going to the gym. I stopped visiting 3FC. I started going out to lunch with work friends again. And although I wasn't binge eating or stuffing my face, I haven't been making the best choices either. (I don't believe in "cheating" or "being bad"...neither of those terms work for me. I do believe in conscious wise and unwise choices, though.)

From February to May I bounced around within a 7 pound range, and I'm at the high end of that range as I write this. It's been constantly on my mind, the guilt and the disappointment I feel with myself. In talking to my boyfriend last night he asked, "so what is it that's going to be THE thing that makes you commit once and for all? You've been 'kinda' losing weight for 9 years". (Let me qualify his statement by saying it wasn't meant with ill or hurtful intent...he's kind and loving and I needed a b*tchslap into reality.)

So I woke up this morning and ate like a person trying to lose weight again. I went back to fitday and logged my food -- horrified, btw, that the last time I did so was back in the winter. And I just got back to the gym. On the surface I'm doing exactly what I need to do, right? One step at a time, blah blah.

Then why do I feel so crappy? I mean, I know I should take comfort in the fact that I caught myself before putting on all the weight I took off. I mean, I've kept off 31 pounds which I know is an accomplishment. I should feel good about the gym, and the fact that I took measures to start working out again. But all I can think about is the fact that I re-gained that 7 pounds. That in the break between February and May I could have accomplished so much, and all I really have to show is a 7 pound gain and this nagging feeling of failure.

And that yes, although I went back to the gym this morning, I felt like I was going to die after 20 minutes. I refused to leave until I got in 45 minutes of cardio (at the point I stopped exercising back in February I was doing at least an hour of cardio and quite a bit of strength training 5 times a week) because the thought of only getting through 20 minutes made me too sad and, I felt, would confirm how much I backslid. That said, I had a tiny moment of clarity on the way to the leg press after my 45 minutes and literally was all "no WAY...I'll collapse". Out loud. So I came home.

I know I need some support here, but honestly I don't even know what I'm asking for. Has anyone else gone through something similar where you just diminish your accomplishments? With me I don't think it's self sabotage or anything, but whatever it is I know it's not healthy and I won't get where I need to go thinking like this.


Happy Sunday to you all, and thanks.

(ps...Sorry to be such a huge Debbie Downer. I assure you I'm a funny, positive person and I won't make y'all sit through these pity parties very often!)
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Old 05-16-2010, 04:48 PM   #2  
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Originally Posted by gloo View Post
Has anyone else gone through something similar where you just diminish your accomplishments?
I would imagine this is a pretty universal thing people go through. that's why we have all these threads with all the pep talk. I've gone through lots of ups and downs, weight loss wise and mood wise. You're on the right track again, with your eating and exercise, sometimes it takes a few jump starts, you're human. and it's human to feel disappointment with a setback.
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Old 05-16-2010, 06:25 PM   #3  
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The sanest thing you did -- aside from re-committing to getting yourself healthy -- was to leave that gym.

Sounds to me as if you were trying to punish yourself. As if you may think you need to "atone" in some way before starting out anew again.

I don't think you do, though. Do you? Really?

Listen to your self-talk, even if the voice isn't clear. Maybe write down what it is saying, so it can't get passive-aggressive behind your back. (Which is what it is doing when it whips your butt in the gym like that.) Take a look at the nasty stuff you have written & then rip it in two. Get rid of those "angry parent scolding a child" things.

Then smile. And mean it. Because you did something good today. And also, you stopped yourself in the middle of a "purge" -- which is really what you were doing by overexercising so hard. You saw you were physically punishing yourself & you stopped it.

Welcome back. We're all here to help.

Last edited by saef; 05-16-2010 at 06:25 PM.
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Old 05-16-2010, 07:16 PM   #4  
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Where weight loss is concerned, it's normal to feel crazy. We're taught to. Not intentionally taught - but we grow up, watching and hearing and eventually reading about how weight loss is done. Even the way people usually fail - we learn that too. We don't consciously follow our own (or other people's) bad habits and mistakes, but we learn them nonetheless.

Even the negative self-talk we do, isn't only (or maybe even primarily) because we "lack self esteem" but because we follow the examples of those who have gone before us.

I truly believe that one of the reasons weight loss success is so illusive, is because success is not part of our education. We hear/see/read very little about the long-term success stories, and we don't have those people in our lives as daily role-models. But we do have a lot of experience with failure.

I am not blaming society for my fat, but I did have to unlearn things I didn't even know I believed. Silly myths and traditions, that were guiding my behavior even without my realizing it (For most of my life, diets almost always began on Monday - no one told me that diets MUST begin on Mondays, but years of watching the people in my life start diets fresh on Monday soaked into my brain, without my really understanding why).

When I ate off plan, no one told me "you might as well gorge on whatever you can get your hands on, because you blew it for today. You can start fresh tomorrow morning (or if it was later than Wednesday or Thursday - you can start fresh Monday)."

No one told me I had to do it that way, (I was in Weight Watchers at 8 years old, and I've dieted almost every Monday of my life since I was 5 years old - I'm 44 now), so I've had decades of experience with this, and I've learned from other dieters, that this is the way dieting is done (the way it's supposed to be done).

In every society there are mixed messages, and unwritten rules, things we know we "shouldn't do," but that we all do anyway, just because it is the most popular way to do things. We shouldn't speed, drink to excess, or overspend, either, but we do if we've learned those habits (mostly from other people starting with our parents).

Dieting is a lot like that. We learn a lot of things we know we shouldn't do, but we do them anyway - and not because we're stupid. It's one of the ways people learn. We know it's not effective, parents know that when they say "do as I say, not as I do," that it's unlikely that their kids will follow the "better" path. Mimicry is a much stronger teacher than overt lessons.

Again, this all sounds like I'm blaming society for obesity. Not exactly true. I'm just stressing the strength of lessons we don't know we've learned (sometimes they're the most powerful, because we blame ourselves and think we're crazy - somehow broken because we're making decisions we don't understand why we're making).

Thinking I was crazy didn't help me unlearn the obesity-perpetuating habits. Blaming myself didn't help me unlearn them. Blaming society didn't either. However, recognizing that those habits were destructive, but entirely normal did. I had to become comfortable with being unusual. And had to learn unusual ways to unlearn bad habits, and learn good ones.

Peer pressure is a powerful influence, but it's also often very subtle. You don't realize you're following everyone else, most of the time. Learning to think outside the box. Learning to be a freak and not be ashamed to treat yourself like one...

To lose weight, you often have to choose to be weird - maybe even very, very weird. People look at what you're eating, and scrunch up their face and ask "Why on earth are you eating that," or look at what you're not eating and say "just a little bit won't hurt, I made it just for you, and it will hurt my feelings if you don't eat it." They don't even have to say those things out loud, we can often see it in their reactions.

I'm starting to ramble, but my point is only that you're not crazy - you're entirely normal, and that may be your problem. You need to learn to be a little crazier, a little weirder (it's not so bad, once you get started).
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Old 05-16-2010, 09:10 PM   #5  
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Originally Posted by kaplods View Post
To lose weight, you often have to choose to be weird - maybe even very, very weird. People look at what you're eating, and scrunch up their face and ask "Why on earth are you eating that," or look at what you're not eating and say "just a little bit won't hurt, I made it just for you, and it will hurt my feelings if you don't eat it." They don't even have to say those things out loud, we can often see it in their reactions.
Oh, this is so true!! I wish that I had realized 10 years ago that no matter what the people around me thought, or said, I needed to eat healthy and take care of myself. I'm just now realizing that it's up to me to make the choices that will put me on the path toward weight loss and better health. I have to be brave enough to, as you've put it, choose to be weird

I'd like to say thanks to each of you for your posts, especially the first one in this thread. This is my first post here, and I look forward to reading more threads, sharing and getting support along the way.
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Old 05-16-2010, 11:01 PM   #6  
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I'm with Saef here - it sounds like you were punishing yourself. It's hard to separate out the "I'm fat" from the "I'm bad."
Someone said to me something along the lines of .. you've been beating the crap out of yourself for 30 years for being fat. How's that working for you?
It's one thing to push yourself in a good way, whether it's eating a spinach salad instead of fries or going to the gym. But if you push too hard, you'll hurt yourself and that's not a good place to start.
The negative self-talk is THE hardest thing for me to stop. I just have to get up and keep going.. We're glad you're back.
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Old 05-17-2010, 09:07 AM   #7  
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Congrats on the restart. I just restarted too.. but instead of 7 pounds, I gained back 43 of the 44 I had lost!

I tried to jump in where I left off.. an hour of cardio in the morning, a family walk and hitting the weights downstairs every evening... yeah not gonna happen that way... Day 1 I was 5 minutes into the workout and I was almost on the floor... out cold! I was dizzy, ready to vomit, and then in tears because I had let myself go. I pushed on for another 5 minutes... half arsedly cooled myself down and collapsed onto the sofa! I went back to a 1 mile WATP video.. and I'm still using 1 miles every day.. in a week I will up myself to the 2 mile videos.. a few days a week.. prob. 2 at first.

You can't punish yourself, you are human, and we learn from our mistakes.
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Old 05-17-2010, 09:41 AM   #8  
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Ah, I could write a novel. But I'm going to sum up with thus.... if you spend all your time looking back, you are facing your future hiney first. While facing the future face first does not guarantee success, it does help you trip less than going at it hiney first.

I re-gained that 7 pounds.
This is a fact. It is what it is. Accept this, and be ok with it just being what it is.

Don't waste energy what iffing this. What if you gained 10? What if you'd restarted when you'd gained 3? All that "what if" stuff is fruitless. Stop "what if" and focus on "what IS."

That in the break between February and May I could have accomplished so much, and all I really have to show is a 7 pound gain and this nagging feeling of failure.
Again, dwelling on the "what if" and "could have been"... It's a time and energy wasting puddle. You can go around and around that puddle, spend a lot of mental, emotional, physical energy, do a lot of miles... but you are not moving forward in your path.

You poking at the "what if I had stayed on track... I could have...." stuff is giving you the feeling of failure.

You can't change the past behaviour. You can only change the present and future behaviour.

Perhaps if you stop poking at it and beating yourself up over it those bad feelings would also stop. Let it be what it is, and move on.

I felt like I was going to die after 20 minutes. I refused to leave until I got in 45 minutes of cardio
It's just another thing to accept as fact.

"I did not tend to my fitness. It has declined and I'm not at my former level."

You aren't treating yourself very kindly or allowing your body to heal and build back up. Overreaching can set you up for injury and hon -- that REALLY will sideline you.

Again, focus on "what IS" and how to move forward from there. If you are at 20 min workout, great. Build it to 25 or 30 first.

Just chill out. You will get there if you stay on your path and keep moving forward.


Last edited by astrophe; 05-17-2010 at 10:39 AM.
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Old 05-17-2010, 10:26 AM   #9  
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WOW! Let me just start out by saying this is a GREAT thread!

I can relate to you and everything you are going through. As I read your post...I kept saying..."Hey I do that!"

Personally I have found that my pattern with failure is that I start something and get obsessed with it. I decide...I am going to eat X amount of calories per day and exercise X amount of minutes a day.....and I do. I usually do really well for a week or maybe even a month...but if the weight doesn't come off steadily or quickly enough I start tweaking my plan....cutting more calories...adding more exercise....until I am so burnt out because that is all I ever think about.

I think one the keys to success with weight loss is to develop a plan and NOT obsess about it....if you flub it up one meal or one day....Oh well...get back on track that next meal or that next day and work out a little harder or a little longer to make up for it.

Sometimes I feel like weight loss is a I have to hurry up and do it...but really its NOT! I too have dieted forever it seems but the only thing I have to show for it is steady weight gain and failure. I see myself in the mirror, and I don't even recognize myself anymore. I know what it takes to stop all of it but for some reason I don't. I always feel half hearted about my weight loss efforts.

What we have to remember is that we didn't gain it all in a month...or even one if it takes 3 years to get it off....then so be it! I think back to 6 months ago and what if I would have started then....and then I think back to a year ago and think....what if I would have started then...and I know someone has already said not to play the what if game....but my point is that time really does fly by....lets not be sitting here this time next year thinking....what if I had stuck to it a year ago....instead lets! look at all my progress!

If you cut 500 calories a day you will lose 1 pound a week...or 52 pounds a year! Think how easy it would be to cut 500 calories a day....that could be cut out one 20oz soda a day and exercise for 30 minutes a day...or it could be to simply cook rather than eat out! It sounds too easy to be true right? Well weight loss really is that easy...its us that make it hard...myself included!

Good luck with everything!
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Old 05-17-2010, 10:48 AM   #10  
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I can relate completely! In fact, I have been doing SOOOOO great since the beginning of the year, but I got sick a little over a week ago. I couldn't breath very well (thank you allergies) and TOM hit me... the doc put me on steroids and told me to take it easy. Well, I kept to plan eating and with my water... but I wasn't able to exercise without hacking up a lung. Come Saturday, I had to go to a wedding... I gould feel myself spinning out of control, I didn't act on it, but I could feel it. So I went home and got on my elliptical for an hour. Maybe a little more then I should have done, but I went at an easy pace. I felt better. The point is that I could feel myself wanting to slip back into old habits, and I hated myself for even feeling that way. I know how easy it would have been to "go there". I have been there all my life. I do well for a while and something derails me, and within a week I am completely back to my old habits.

Remind yourself every morning, yesterday is behind you, whether good or bad, you can't change it. It is only today you have control over. Make it a good day. Love yourself, know your limits and strive to just a little better (don't try to do it all at once).

We are all here for you and make this a clean healthy start. Quit beating yourself up for the last 3 months, you can't change them.
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Old 05-17-2010, 04:43 PM   #11  
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Thank you, thank you, thank you for taking the time to respond so thoughtfully. You brought up things that never occurred to me, which is just what I needed.

It never crossed my mind that I might be punishing myself with the gym...I thought of it more as hey, I used to be able to do this, I should be able to do it now. But what you said makes complete sense. Saef, likening it to a purge is spot on and a very, very powerful analogy. I totally get it, and you're right.

From embracing my inner freak to not obsessing or beating myself up (mentally OR physically) and not living in what if's (dude, seriously...this might be my biggest problem in life in general) -- great advice here as always.

I feel better today. I have a plan, which is crucial for me. Logged everything this morning, going to the gym tonight, not thinking about what I could have done better in the past. Forging ahead like a good little soldier

It helps so much to know I'm not alone in this, and that others share these sometimes scary, always confusing moments.

Finally, welcome Em! Stick around, this is a magical place.

Happy Monday, y'all. xoxo
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