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belovedspirit 05-10-2013 12:45 PM

Losing weight over months/years and staying patient
I have a question about losing a large amount of weight (especially to folks who have done it (although all thoughts are welcome!)). How do you stay patient while losing the weight when it takes months upon months or years to achieve?

For example, if I lose about 2 lbs a week, I can expect to reach onderland by December. That is freaking DECEMBER...! I know the time will come, but it seems SO far away. So much so that I wonder how I can keep this up day in and day out? I can handle healthy eating as a lifestyle, because that is what I try to do in my regular life anyway. But how do I handle the motivation to create enough of a calorie deficit to lose weight, how do I keep up the intent to lose weight, and the energy to believe I can do this *day after day* all the way until December and beyond?

Sorry if this is partially a whine. :o I feel nervous about being able to actually achieve this. And the possibility of not being able to scares me, because I feel so tired of failing at it. I'm afraid if I fail I won't pick myself up again this time. :(

Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

Mozzy 05-10-2013 01:12 PM

This is how I look at it:

The time will pass anyways. I can either get fatter, get fitter, or stay the same.
I make the decision everyday that I'd rather put in the effort to get fitter even if it takes months or years or the rest of my life.

Good luck on your journey!

Candeka 05-10-2013 01:23 PM


Originally Posted by Mozzy (Post 4737247)
The time will pass anyways. I can either get fatter, get fitter, or stay the same.

This ^^.

Issaknits 05-10-2013 01:33 PM

I've decided to keep an open mind about my weight loss this time around. In the past, I've been so obsessed about the number that I'd get discouraged when I didn't meet my goal, so I'd just give up.

This time, I'm focusing on how I feel. Scale didn't budge this week? That's okay, you can run a mile a minute or two faster than you could before and your clothes fit better! It took me six months to lose twenty pounds, and it's going to take a lot longer to lose the rest of what I need, but for me, creating small mini-goals like quickly walking up several flights of stairs without getting winded or finally fitting into clothes that I've stubbornly kept in the back of my closet for years help out a lot.

sluggerbean 05-10-2013 01:44 PM

Each day I wake up and re-commit myself to weight loss. I choose to keep going. I totally agree with Mozzy; the time will pass anyway so I might as well make healthy choices.

Does it get easier? Some days more so than others. For me it is staying present and making a conscious, deliberate choice to eat healthy. Do I stray? YES!! I would not be human if I didn't.

The main thing is to take it one day, one meal, one choice at a time. Don't get overwhelmed by how much you have to go; break it down into manageable chunks. Hope this helps! :hug:

lunarsongbird 05-10-2013 01:59 PM

I think it also depends on shifting your mindset....

As I was reading your post, I was thinking...."Holy cow...belovedspirit is going to be in ONEderland THIS December. Only months away! By next year- she will be in an entirely new chapter in her life! How exciting! That time is going to go by in a flash!"

bargoo 05-10-2013 02:11 PM

I planned on losing 10 pounds at a time . Each time I lost ten pounds I started the next 10. If I had ever thought I needed to lose 90 pounds that would have seemed impossible.

kaplods 05-10-2013 02:23 PM

I truly believe we're taught to be frustrated and impatient with weightloss and to expect rapid results (2 lbs per week may be safe weightloss, but it's not at all even close to average weightloss even for those of us starting in super obesity (over 300 lbs). We're taught to expect extraordinary weight loss, and we're taught to quit in frustration long before our losses fall to average, largely because we don't know what average really is, and we quit thinking we're failing even as we're doing exceptionally well, or at least pretty good.

A mindset that has helped me is to celebrate "not gaining" every bit as much as losing, because that really is half the battle, sometimes 90% of the battle. I try not to think about when I might reach my ultimate goal weight, and it really doesn't matter nearly as much as not gaining, and eating foods that are doing good things for my body besides weight loss.

When you stop worrying about dates and deadlines, and expect weight management to be a long, up and down, life-long battle, you don't have to work at patience, because impatience and frustration are a factor of unrealistic hopes and expectations - wanting something now because you deserve it now, or because you think everyone else (or at least everyone important) already has what you want.

Elladorine 05-10-2013 02:31 PM

December seems so far off for me as well, but for completely different reasons. :preg:

I keep my focus on making each day as healthy as possible with my choices. Sit and watch TV or go for a swim? Have a donut for breakfast or a homemade smoothie? Have a slice of pie for dessert or fresh berries? Grab a Bic Mac and fries or a chicken wrap? The choices and possibilities are endless, and I've made the decision to feel good about any choices I make and how they affect me, both short-term and long-term. And I made a commitment to myself to keep up with the healthier lifestyle, regardless of the results. In other words, if I didn't lose for the week I still have to keep on trucking. In the past, not having a consistent loss was considered a failure and made me give up. Instead, I remember that healthier decisions have to be a way of life and is something I cannot give up on; trust the process and the weight loss will happen on its own.

I've lost about 150 pounds (which has taken years to accomplish), and was hoping to finally work my way to my goal by next summer since I only average a 1 pound loss per week. And even that has to be further postponed since I'm now pregnant (so talk about having to be patient)! I could choose to relax and go hog wild with my eating since I can't focus on losing right now anyway, but I'm continuing on my healthy lifestyle regardless because of my commitment and will get back into being at a calorie deficit sometime next year.

It can totally be done! :) Just don't get too focused on the numbers or on losing such-and-such by a certain date. Instead, focus on how long you can stay on-plan. For my reboot I challenged myself to stay on-plan for a full year ("on-plan" for me is keeping a fitness journal and continuing to do my best, even after the occasional slip-up) and have been going strong for 14 months. Despite the fact that I'm at my lowest weight since junior high(!) I think I'm more proud of my changed mindset than my actual weight loss.

Lecomtes 05-10-2013 02:50 PM

I see some serious wisdom being shared in this thread...heeding it! Thanks for sharing ladies!

joefla70 05-10-2013 03:58 PM


Originally Posted by bargoo (Post 4737337)
I planned on losing 10 pounds at a time . Each time I lost ten pounds I started the next 10. If I had ever thought I needed to lose 90 pounds that would have seemed impossible.

You know, I never really thought about it much until now, but I kinda do this too! I mean, 10 pound goals / milestones are big for a lot of people, but what I have noticed myself doing lately is do WHATEVER it takes to get to the next 10 pound increment loss... then ease up a little bit and give myself a break. I NEVER go off plan. But sometimes I will eat a little bit more of a certain item that I typically only have as a once-in-a-while treat. Some days I "take the day off" and eat a little bit less restrictively.

But then when I get impatient with the pace of my weight loss, I get obsessed again and make a commitment to do whatever it takes to take off the remaining pounds to get below that next 10 pound increment.

Unicorn67 05-10-2013 04:05 PM

"The time will pass anyways. I can either get fatter, get fitter, or stay the same.
I make the decision everyday that I'd rather put in the effort to get fitter even if it takes months or years or the rest of my life."

This is going up on my fridge!! What wonderful words of wisdom.

Nikel1979 05-10-2013 04:33 PM

This is the first time I've been able to stick with it and not give in to the frustration. The difference for me is that the focus isn't losing weight. I started with the focus of training for a half marathon, and the weight just came off. I did hit a plateau, but I was in the middle of a string of half marathons so I just kept doing what I was doing. Now I'm starting to focus on losing weight. I'd like to get at least 25 lbs off by the time fall classes start. I'm still working within the fitness mindset though. The less I weight, the faster I'll run. With marathon training looming, I'll take any speed boost I can get. I just added swimming in too as cross training. Plus I do some yoga and strength training. My more athletic body doesn't tolerate junk food as well, so it's becoming much easier to avoid.

I also don't focus on the big goal. Saying I want to lose around 75 more lbs is overwhelming. Focusing on how far I've come rather than how far I have to go helps. I also break it down into smaller chunks, usually 10-15 lbs. Seeing how fast my ticker can move losing 2 lbs on a 15 lb goal is encouraging. 2 lbs on a 75 lb goal is a less impressive jump, if I look at it big picture. For me, 15 lbs isn't a scary amount, and I only have to do that 5 times.

thnknthin1 05-10-2013 04:44 PM

I agree with the other posters here. If I would have looked at it when I first started back in January 2012 on how far I had to go, I probably would have given up. But, I am soooo glad I didn't. Like others have said, you take it one day at a time. Yes, there will be those tough days and you just have to stick thru it and know it's a temporary feeling. The feeling you get seeing those numbers go down on the scale and clothes getting looser is the absolutely best feeling in the world. THAT is what keeps you motivated.

I knew I was in it for the long haul and accepted it. It was hard when I first started but it got easier and easier, now it's second nature. Just keep reminding yourself why you're doing this, keep notes and pictures around the house for reminders and inspiration. Like Mozzy said, time passes either way. Make the best of it! Stick around here for extra support and motivation. Good luck! :hug:

newleaf123 05-10-2013 04:48 PM


Originally Posted by bargoo (Post 4737337)
I planned on losing 10 pounds at a time . Each time I lost ten pounds I started the next 10. If I had ever thought I needed to lose 90 pounds that would have seemed impossible.

I do this but take it in even smaller increments. I really focus on 1 pound at a time, even 1/10th of a pound at a time. I really just work to try to get my scale lower each day, even if it is only minuscule, since all those tenths of a pound really do add up.

Even as recently as this morning, I so hoped to break into 154.x. But before I got on the scale I reminded myself -- I was 155.2 yesterday; I will be happy with 155.1 today. So when I saw 155.0 I was able to say YAY rather than BOO.

Sounds silly, I know. But you do what you've got to do...

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