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Old 07-11-2008, 03:39 PM   #1  
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Default Overwhelmed by amount to lose-too tired to even start-how did you?

How did you motivate yourself to get started when you were so overwhelmed at the amount you had to lose, and too exhausted over countless times of failure to even try again?

I've been various sizes of fat for 30 years now, and have tried SO MANY things that haven't worked, most of the methods over and over and over again.

I'm now at a new "highest ever" weight, and feel and look terrible--yet, I'm too exhausted, emotionally and physically, to even get excited about trying yet again to lose enough to get back down to a normal weight.

How did you get the motivation to start again, to keep going?
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Old 07-11-2008, 03:46 PM   #2  
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My number one motivation was seeing recent pics of myself! That alone worked wonders. I think one of the biggest mistakes people make about trying to lose weight is that giving a time limit and not taking things one day at a time. Take things day by day. Make small do-able changes and over time you will see results. Focus on being heathier instead of lbs. Even if you start walking for 15-20mins a day that is something and you can work your way up to longer workouts.

You have to start somewhere. Good luck and trust me we have all been there before you got to search for the will power dust!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 07-11-2008, 03:57 PM   #3  
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I just broke it down into do-able measures! 5#, 10#, 13#, 20#, 23#, 25# sounds strange I know, but so far it is working! knowing that right around the corner i have something to look forward to has really helped me. i get to celebrate ALL my successes, not just the really big ones.

What motivated me? Seeing some pictures of myself and not RECOGNIZING myself in them! motivation enough for me!

I get the tired, exhausted, mentally and physically part, but you have to remind yourself that with every pound lost there is energy gained, and confidence. you really will begin to feel better.

20 pounds down and I feel 50X better than i did when I started. And I started really and taking it slow. started only 2x wk working out, now 3-4, you can do this and more!

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Old 07-11-2008, 04:02 PM   #4  
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I just got tired of dieting and regaining and decided to get serious about keeping it off. I did it 10 pounds at a time, it was too overwhelming to think of what I needed to lose. When I lost 10 pounds I started another 10 pounds ,etc.
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Old 07-11-2008, 04:13 PM   #5  
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Hello Truffle!
You're not alone. There are many people who feel the same way. I think it can be overwhelming if you are in a hurry to lose weight. I think my suggestion would be to start small. And take your time.
This isn't a race.
I started by adding fruits and vegetables. I had a terrible diet before I started to lose weight. Then I just modified what I was choosing for other groceries. Healthier stuff.
One thing just seemed to naturally lead to another.
I got really interested in learning about nutrition and picking and choosing what I felt the most comfortable with. The research kind of spurred me on. Because I am geek. hahaha
I started riding a bike and slowly stopped worrying about what other people would think if I wanted to take a walk or go to a gym. I thought it would be intimidating.
Best of luck and I hope you can find what is right for you.

Last edited by greeneggsandtam; 07-11-2008 at 04:14 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 07-11-2008, 05:06 PM   #6  
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I started a bit differently this time around. Forgive me if this gets long, but I do think the steps leading up to it help complete the story.

I had been up and own most of my adult life. As an adult my weight has ranged from 126-300. The last significantly successful weight loss was in 1997, I lost about 85 pounds on Redux. Which was then pulled from the market and there was no support. No one had discussed maintainence with me. It left me with a damaged mitral valve and in the next couple years I put on nearly all I had lost.

Then in 2004, I started working with a dieticain, and it was going well. But suddenly I got sick (IMPORTANT!!! NON DIET RELATED ILLNESS!!) It took 3 months to diagnose, major surgery and anther 6 months of horrid medication to cure. I quit seeing the dieticain...(I had 4 othr docs I was seeing regularly at that time) First I got depressed because I was sick. Then I got better and I had the mentallity that "Life should be lived to the fullest" But some how I confused that with "Life should be lived WITH THE FULLEST PLATE!!"

SOOOOO.....on December 28th, 2007 the local radio station was advertising a contest that would be starting in January. It was called "The FIt Club", it was a biggest loser type thing. Contestant got a free gym membership, some nutrition conseling, and the support of a DJ buddy. All you had to do was submit an essay of 100 words or less on why you wanted to be part of "The Fit Club." So I submitted the essay.

Then I went to buy a new outfit for the company Xmas party. I got something that "would do". The pants were size 26, they fit in the butt and hips, but the waist was a tiny bit snug...but I had no choice...it was the biggest size anybody in the area carried. I walked out of the store and gave up. I said to myself, "You are Really Fat. You have tried and failed too many times. Just accept that you are fat and accept yourself Hunny." I had already forgotten about my essay.

The Xmas party was Jan 5th, I was the fattest one there...out of about 300 people.


January 8th my phone rang. It was the DJ from the radio staion. I had been choosen to be part of "The Fit Club". Out of all the entries they picked 3 people...and I was one of them. Maybe if someone else believed in my I could believ in myself. This was my final shot.

But I had to get doctors approval. So I made an appointment. I nearly fell over when I saw 300.2 on the scale. My doctor signed the papers and gave me a look like..."Yeah right, good luck with this."

I sat my husband down before the contest and said, "This is it for me. I have reached bottom. I have to do it this time. I need your support. I will have this gym membership, the gym is 30 miles away, but you CANNOT b*tch about the gas I am using. You either have to eat what I eat or make your own. You CANNOT ask me to scoop you a bowl of ice cream. If you can't think of something truely supportive to say, the KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT." (this man has NO IDEA how to give a compliment. He thinks 'You're really pretty, for a fat girl.' is a compliment)

On January 21 the contest started. It lasted for 6 weeks, and in that 6 weeks I lost 18 pounds. I was not the "Grand Prize Winner". But what I took away from that contest was so much more!!! I am still in contact with my DJ buddy. I am still seeing the dietician for counseling. So far I have lost 62.5 pounds. I have had a few minor snags, but 'this time a round' I really feel I can do it. I take it one day at a time. I have tried to address why I eat, what I eat, when I eat it. I joined 3FC in Late Jan or Early Feb, I was amazed by the support and knowledge here. I read success stories daily!!! I would tell myself, I can be like that person. I still read success stories. Some I have read 5-10 times over. I hope that doesn't qualify me as a stalker!! I will have my annual appointment in September with my doctor. For the first time I cannot wait. My BP has been normal when I see my bari-doc every month. I am hoping my chlorestral is down to normal too. I am hoping by then I am overweight rather than obese!!

My family tree is full of addicts of all kinds. I finally realized food was my addiction. Unlike the others addictions I can't just walk away from mine and go on living. You don't need, cigarettes, alcohol, meth or cocain to live. Unfortunately I have to face food every day. I take it one day, one meal, sometimes one bite at a time. And like all of the ones in the family who have recovered from thier addictions I had to hit rock bottom before I was ready to get clean.

So there is my story so far. How do you get going??? Well you took the first step, you joined here, you asked for advice. Keep taking the small steps, accept that you will stumble, but know that you will get back up. As the old saying goes the Journey of a million miles begins with one step. Don't focus on the destination, just keep taking the next step.

You Can Do It!!!
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Old 07-11-2008, 05:19 PM   #7  
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THANK YOU for sharing your story, Kate, and thank YOU, Truffle, for asking this very good question. I read success stories, too -- they remind me that I can do this too. I'm early in my healthier life, but I know I can get healthier / thinner / hotter / stronger / more active. And I WILL!

welcome, truffle!
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Old 07-11-2008, 05:54 PM   #8  
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When any job seems large, feeling overwhelmed is natural, and breaking it down into manageable chunks is generally the best way to see progress.

Regardless, looking at how far you have to go can be discouraging. Looking at how far you've come is about the only way I know not to give up. So you've got to completely ignore the 131 lbs you want to lose, and look at the 1.8 that you already have, and build on that.

I've been at this for 36 years, since I was 5 years old, so believe me I know the feeling of overwhelming futility.

But it isn't futile. One of the things you need to know that if you approach this in the same way you did before, you will probably fail again. As they say, the definition of insanity is engaging in the same behavior, expecting different results.

So you have to try something new. Ideally, you know some of the reasons that you failed before, so you can avoid the same traps.

Do you end up feeling that you'll never get to your goal, so what's the point? Then maybe you need to stop looking at the end, and start thinking as each pound as a goal in-and-of itself. Even if you are unable to lose another pound, you could still maintain that 1.8 lb loss don't you think? So when you lose the next pound, instead of thinking "I have to lose 130 more to be a success," you can look at those 2.8 lbs and see them as a success worth maintaining. That way, you never have to "wait" to be a success, you are a success right now.

If you have food triggers, try to name them and avoid them.

If in-person group support helps, join a weight loss support group. TOPS is affordable (I'm biased, as I'm co-leader of my chapter. I LOVE TOPS and can't say enough wonderful things about it).

If games keep you motivated (you'll love TOPS) or you can invent your own. Sticker charts, little "contests" you challenge yourself to.....

Look for ways to make diet and exercise fun and exciting, not torturous.

Things I have tried (some more successfully than others)

Swimming (love it). I know that when you're overweight you're "supposed" to avoid swimming and being seen in a swimming suit - but if you can overcome that, it's one of the best exercises and one of the few that weight does not inhibit you from doing well. It feels wonderful to escape gravity for a while and be able to actually meet or exceed the abilities of many much thinner people.

Bicycling - I wasn't even sure I could bike at my size (I thought the bike frame might collapse), but I can. On a Walmart cheapy even (though I did have to get the biggest gel seat Walmart offered). I did follow the bike shop's advice to choose a bike with a very simple construction (fewer springs and other fancy "suspension" systems). We couldn't afford "good bikes," but when we can, we're buying from those guys. They were helpful and enthusiastic and didn't even smirk at the fat couple wanting to bike.

Belly Dance (hey, in the privacy of your own home, NOTHING is off-limits)

Geocaching (love the "treasure hunt" part of this. We need a new GPS unit, so I'm going to start looking on ebay where they seem to sell frequently for about $40 as opposed to the $150 plus new). Letterboxing, is apparently a low-tech version of the sport (google either, and you'll find out tons of info on both). I don't know why, but knowing that there's a "treasure" to be found (even if the best in the box is a scuffed, old happy meal toy) keeps me motivated to walk "just a little further."

Dog walking - I've started volunteering at the humane society walking dogs. We can't have a dog in our apartment (besides our huge, angry cat would object), so I love getting my critter fix at the humane society.

Farmers' markets - Great opportunity for walking, just getting out in the sunshine and getting really high-quality fruits and vegetables.

Scour this site for recipes and tips. It all adds up. It is rarely one big change or choice that gets you to goal, but thousands of small and medium ones.

The only two choices that can destroy your success is "failure" and "surrender." Whenever those words start to come up in your inner dialog, you have to be able to chase them away. There is no failure or surrender anymore. When you feel you have failed, you have to slap yourself (well, not necessarily literally) and show yourself the success you have accomplished. The only failure is surrender. Even backsteps aren't failure, you just keep picking yourself up and heading in the direction you want to go.

Some people fall down alot on their journey, some people don't, but either way you will be making progress, and it's progress not perfection that gets most of us where we want to be.

Good Luck, and keep on keepin' on.
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Old 07-11-2008, 06:14 PM   #9  
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OK - here goes:

I'm certainly not discounting anything anyone else has said, but you have to find out what works for you. I never really got it until I got it . I'd heard it said that you have to want to do it for you, and you'll know when it's time - and it's true. I had an absolute shift in my way of thinking. There may be a trigger - for me it was watching my father have a very difficult time at the end of his life and having my mom move to a nursing home, mainly due to weight issues, and not wanting the same for myself. You'll probably have your own trigger.

Rather than inching into things, I went whole hog, right off the deep end and started Fat Smash and walking like crazy. It's taken me about 13 months, but I'm down 94 pounds. If I can get this far, nobody, and I mean NOBODY has an excuse.

Enough of that - Kick yourself in the butt and get moving !!! Literally! You can do this!
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Old 07-11-2008, 06:23 PM   #10  
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If kicking your butt works for you, than go for it, but if it doesn't do not be ashamed to try a different way.

I always thought that you HAD to start strong and stay strong - that you HAD to go "whole hog" and be perfect from the start. And any wavering in that perfection meant I wasn't really ready or motivated enough. I didn't think "inching into things" was an option.

For me, realizing that I didn't have to be perfect to succeed WAS the shift in my thinking.

So the first real task is learning about yourself. What do YOU need to succeed? What it means for anyone else is completely irrelevant. If you don't know what your needs are, give it some thought and experiement.

Reading people's ideas and tips here will show you what has worked for other people. So, it can at least give you some ideas if you're not sure.

Just be confident that you can and will find the path that will work for you, but don't beat on yourself or get discouraged, if it takes a bit of searching to finding it.
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Old 07-11-2008, 07:24 PM   #11  
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Truffle- I agree with the other ladies that you should just take baby steps when feeling overwhelmed with the thought of the number of pounds you want to lose. Another thing that helped me get there psychologically was knowing that the months were going to pass whether or not I decided to lose the weight, so I might as well see them pass and lose some weight at the same time. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to tell yourself "this is not a race." You WILL have days when you screw up. Everyone does. It doesn't mean you failed, it just means you have to get back on track. In the long run, the good days will far outweigh the bad ones and the scale will reflect that. Slow and steady is the way to do it. Every pound you lose is having a positive effect on your health, and if you think of it more in terms of health, not weight, you'll be less likely to quit when you have challenges.

GO YOU!!!!!
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Old 07-11-2008, 08:38 PM   #12  
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Hate to sound like an echo, but baby steps did it for me. My first step was to be conscious of my eating. I do not allow myself to eat in front of the TV, while reading, driving or anything else. I make sure to chew my food thoroughly, and I wait ten minutes before going back for seconds. I had a lot of problems listening to my body at first, but now when it tells me I'm full, I stop eating. The next thing I did was to reassess my snack foods. Now, instead of a Snicker's, I eat a small square of dark chocolate. Instead of cheetos, mixed nuts, etc. I started exercising ten minutes a day. It was an easy commitment, and it was also easy to incrementally increase my amount of exercise. Then I made small changes with each meal. I SLOWLY cut out all canned and processed food in favor of a whole food diet. I was then inspired to plant a small vegetable garden. Trust me, when you work to grow your food, you will eat it. To this day I do not count calories, or measure food, I simply eat when I'm hungry and stop when I'm full. I do not deny myself at all, if I want ice cream I eat it, but I eat half a cup and savor it rather than shoveling in an entire pint (or more) as was my former habit.
I do not know what my highest weight was. I believe it was over 300. When I started my progress, about ten months ago, I was a size 26. I am now a size eighteen and working toward a 12. Good luck, I hope this has been of some help to you.
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Old 07-11-2008, 10:45 PM   #13  
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i started with just drinking water, and all my success so far can be traced to this. i used to never like the flavour of water, coudlnt drink it despite how every diet says how important drinking water is. for unrelated to dieting reasons ( i.e i ran out of money to buy soda) i started drinking just water, nearly 3 mounths before i decided to lose weight.

the ability and want to drink water as your main beverage i believe at this point is not part of a diet but rather a prerequisite of.
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Old 07-12-2008, 12:36 AM   #14  
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I also had a slightly different experience from most of the others here -- in 2004 when I initially 'got serious' about my weight problem, I threw myself into it whole-hog. I began working out at Curves (a great place for people very new to fitness), I became vegetarian, I became conscious of everything I put in my mouth. I was looking at having to lose AT LEAST 120lbs (still working on it, but I'm down ab 80 lbs and I've been maintaining that for almost 3 years) and it *was* overwhelming, but for me, the only way I find I can approach something that big is to attack it.

BUT (and this was crucial for me) I ONLY ONLY ONLY weighed myself once a month. Between weigh-ins, I judged my success by how my clothes were fitting, etc. Not weighing so much was major for me because it kept me from obsessing about the NUMBER (and kept me focused on the BEHAVIORS) AND when I did weigh, it was long enough from the last weigh-in that I could see a real difference. You know your current weight; forget about the number for a moment -- take a full body picture of yourself -- and then get focused on behaviors and habits and what you do in a day, not on that number. And in a month, weight yourself again and then forget about THAT number and get back to thinking about your behaviors.

But we're all different -- probably the best bet for most people is to compartmentalize that number -- 130 -- into something that makes more sense and seems more doable. You don't need to lose 130lbs... you need to lose 10 lbs 13 times lol. Good luck! You can do it!
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Old 07-12-2008, 01:27 AM   #15  
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I won't repeat what anyone else has said... some excellent points to be made there. I just wanted to chime in and say I felt just like you 14 months ago... so just know that it is possible no matter HOW many times you've tried before.

Keep on tweeking how you handle it you will discover just what will work for you long term. Sounds like you've had some minor success in the past, and I believe that's an excellent sign that you CAN pull this off... Its just a matter of figuring how to keep up momentum.

Believe it's possible. Fake it at first if you have to...

The biggest key is no matter how much you screw up you have to dust off and keep going forward.
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