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Old 06-12-2012, 07:23 PM   #1  
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Default Do I need to get excited about the journey?

Hello everyone, just having a delurk to whine. Sorry.

It seems as though for the last couple of years I've spent my time in a cycle like this... a number of days (say a week, usually less, NEVER more) of tracking my food and feeling excited about my healthy lifestyle - at these times I say things like "It's so easy, how come I thought it was difficult!".
I'm not brutal and strict - I try to count calories and aim to come in a range between 1600 and 2000. Regardless, it's followed by some sort of slip up, which leads to a couple of weeks of intermittent bingeing and general poor eating and no exercise. At the end of this 'cycle' I'm usually a couple of pounds heavier. Sigh.

So, one step forward and two steps back. And this pattern has really dulled my enthusiasm. I feel completely disempowered, and I think I've lost all belief in my potential to lose weight. Right now I can't even bring myself to care (but deep down, I know I desperately want to lose weight) - I just feel massively apathetic.

However, I've come in at 1649 calories for the day. I've achieved it just by going through the motions - I've not had any massive cravings to fight otherwise I expect I would have given in to them. Now I'm wondering if I have any chance at all of succeeding when (a) I don't believe I can, and (b) I have absolutely no sense of excitement about the journey ahead, (c) I don't even think there's going to be a journey - am sure I'll be back on the chocolate biscuits in a couple of days.

Or maybe - just maybe - am I more likely to succeed if I don't care so much? If I just go through the motions without a massive emotional investment, aren't I less likely to go off the rails? Is the excitement actually a detriment as it makes every 'attempt' a big deal rather than a day to day lifestyle which is sometimes a grind?

I don't know. I'm just confused. I don't know how to get the belief/excitement back even if it turns out you guys think I need it.
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Old 06-12-2012, 07:36 PM   #2  
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I'm not excited about anything every single day. I have days that I just go through the motions with my food, days at work where I slog through and spend more time on Facebook than my actual work, days when my cat annoys me and I'm sick of cleaning tiny dishes.

But I made a commitment to my weight loss, my job, my cat, etc. and so I keep at it. My commitment keeps me strong even when my enthusiasm fails.

I don't find counting calories thrilling. I don't find running thrilling. But I run because what is thrilling is doing something I couldn't do last week, or a year ago and seeing what my dedication got me. Same with counting calories. Or balancing my check book. Or brushing my teeth or any of the mundane tasks in our days.
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Old 06-12-2012, 07:47 PM   #3  
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I think belief and excitement come from seeing and feeling results. If you knew you lost some weight or felt like you had a bit more energy you would be pleased with that. Using a tape measure and seeing a difference has to make you excited and feel like your on the right track.

The only way to get where you want to go is by being committed and focused. There will be times when you feel up and down, but you have to treat the down times as a test of your commitment. Slow steps are the key. Focus on one meal at a time, one day at a time. Work out better options for when you may be strayed. Get rid of those chocolate biscuits or any of those things you'll want to binge on. Write yourself a weekly list of meals and snacks on paper and stick to them. There is always something you can do to help you along the way, but if you get stuck ask us and we will try and help anyway we can.

You can do it, feel good about yourself knowing you have the control to do what you want. No-one else does.
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Old 06-12-2012, 08:27 PM   #4  
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I don't think you have to be excited but you do have to care. It is a huge mental journey - I think much more difficult than the physical.

As you do one day at a time the days become easier. I find that I've gotten into a pattern now. Junky food does not taste good to me. That's not to say that I don't have treats. I'm not going to give up completely on things I like - I'm going to have a piece of cake, but not the whole cake. I had a piece of pizza at a birthday party on the weekend and ate a whole bunch of veggies with.

I started out a little bit heavier than you. And I'm not doing this quickly - but I am doing it. And at our size it can be very discouraging because you have to lose a lot before people notice. Even now at 65 pounds lost only 3 people outside of my family have said anything. But I can see it and I can really feel it. I am healthier. I ran up a flight of stairs today - ran, not held onto the railing and took one step at a time....and it felt really, really good.

I have a poster on my fridge that says:

If you want to do something you'll find a way...if you don't you'll find excuses.

Good luck!
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Old 06-12-2012, 08:30 PM   #5  
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I think we're "taught to fail" at weight loss, because we learn what we see and hear. "Do as I say, not as I do," is a familiar saying - but that's not what people do - they learn to do what "everyone else does."

We've all probably had jobs were the "employee manual" included rules that no one followed, and we learned pretty quickly to do what everyone else did (in fact, if we tried to do it "by the book" fellow employees, and sometimes even management would make it very clear that the "real rule" was to ignore the book and do it the way everyone else did it.

Weight loss is like that. We learn to follow the "unwritten" rules, and do what everyone else does, so the unwritten rules of weight loss that we learn are things like

Follow your plan perfectly or not at all (if you can't be perfectly "good" then you might as well really mess up and start fresh tomorrow)

If you make a mistake, decide the whole process is hopeless then gain it all back and try again (but the only appropriate starting over point is after you've gained all the weight or more back).

If you've been perfectly on plan for the past 7 days, and the scale registers a gain - the situation is hopeless you'll never succeed, give up.

If you've been not been perfectly on plan for the past 7 days, and the scale registers a gain - the situation is hopeless you'll never succeed, give up.

You can enjoy your food, or you can eat on plan - you can't do both. If you like it, you shouldn't eat it, and unless you hate what you're eating, you won't lose weight.

No matter what you're eating, if you're eating on plan, think about all the food you "can't have."

The only "good food" is stuff you can't eat. You must be miserable until you can't stand being miserable any more (and when you can't stand it anymore - conclude that the situation is hopeless and give up).

If you lose weight, celebrate by eating high-calorie foods to reward yourself.

If you gain weight, punish yourself with thoughts of self-hatred, then console yourself with high-calorie foods.


To successfully lose weight, you have to "unlearn" all the messages and traditions that contribute to failure. You don't have to feel a specific way. You don't have to have a specific level of interest, motivation, or excitement. You don't have to be perfect all of the time (or even most of the time) to start making progress - you just have to do better than you've done before. You won't lose quickly if you make a lot of mistakes, but you'll lose so long as you're eating a little less and moving a little more. Even if the weight doesn't come off - it will if you keep working at improvement (doesn't have to be drastic, doesn't have to be perfect, just has to be consistent).

There is no magic, and gaining isn't a sign that you've been "bad" or are doomed to fail. Sometimes you're going to gain for no good reason, and that's just the way it is. If you allow yourself to be discouraged when the numbers aren't perfect, you're going to give up.

Don't sacrifice everything good in your life or put your life on hold while you try to lose weight. If you do, you're going to overreact to disappointment. When the weight loss slows, or you have a small gain you're going to give up, because the effort will not seem worth it. Do not put in more effort than you're willing to continue with even if you don't see results (you WILL see results, but if you depend on the results to motivate you, your motivation is going to wax and wane. Make your motivation independent of weight loss and the weight loss becomes a reward for the healthier choices. Know that even when the weight isn't coming off, the diet and exercise changes are doing all sorts of other amazing things for your mind and body.

Hang in there - no matter what your motivation level. If you can't muster the enthusiasm to keep trying to lose weight - at least decide to maintain your current weight whatever it is. The energy it takes to "maintain" your weight (to keep from gaining) isn't much less than that required to lose, so if you're going to put in effort to maintain your weight, you might find yourself losing without trying.

Do not under any circumstances believe for a second that not losing or losing slowly is no better than gaining. We're taught to think "If I can't lose any more, I might as well give up and let myself gain, because only goal weight matters, and if I can't get to goal, if I'm going to be fat anyway, I might as well at least get to eat whatever I want and accept being as ginormous in order to be able to do so."

Even when you can't imagine losing another ounce, be determined to keep up what you HAVE lost (even if that's only one pound). If you gain, do not think for a minute that gaining it all back is inevitable, work at "not gaining more."

Learn to value, celebrate (really, really celebrate) "not gaining" as much (or more) than losing. Anyone can lose weight, keeping it off is the real accomplishment, so throw yourself a flipping party every time you get on the scale and don't see a gain. Get on the scale a dozen times a day to celebrate "not gaining." Yes you'll see a "gain" after eating - but that's the weight of the food in your stomach so you'll learn to compare today's "after lunch" weight with last month's "after lunch" weight (don't compare today's weight to yesterday - compare it to 4 weeks ago afteer lunch. Weight can fluctuate, and if you compare a month ago to today you're going to have a more accurate picture of what's going on than if you try to compare it to yesterday).

Learn what "normal" really is. Most people do not lose even one pound a month, because they give up before the month is over. Just "staying in the game" and losing 10 lbs or less a year, puts you in the top 10%, not the bottom, so remind yourself that even what feels like dismal failure is often rip-roaring awesome success.

Unlearn all the garbage we've been taught. Teach yourself to do and think differently. That's the hardest part - choosing to succeed even when we've been taught to fail.
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Old 06-12-2012, 08:33 PM   #6  
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It seems you have the calorie part worked out and you need to focus on HOW to respond to a "slip up." Slip ups will happen....have you focused on how your response will be different next time? SOmeone on here said that you wouldn't throw yourself down the steps just because you slipped on a single stair. My two cents....
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Old 06-13-2012, 07:35 AM   #7  
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Queen of swords I read your post with a bit of a smile because that could have been me writing it! Get excited ...do a few weeks...... exercise well....then bang. Usually about 4-5 weeks in the enormity of the amount of weight I have to lose hits me I start to binge ....then a few weeks later I am back a few pounds heavier and even more angry at myself for not being able to do such a simple thing as lose weight!!! Weight Watchers slimming world etc annoy me because it ain't as simple as calories in and out, the biggest battle is a psychological one.
I read a book called The fat girls guide to life by Wendy Shanker . It is the exact opposite of a diet book but reading it made me start to want to be a bit nicer to myself and be a bit healthier and exercise a bit and ..........It's about getting the focus off food and dieting and when you are "good " and "bad". "Bad " is going out robbing old ladies not eating a whole packet of chocolate hob nobs!
My advice for what it's worth is go easy on yourself, move around a bit and try....if you can..... to eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full.
If you do what you have always done you will get what you always get!
Good Luck!
Come over to the UK pages....we are very friendly!
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Old 06-13-2012, 04:32 PM   #8  
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Hey There Queen of Swords... you need motivation?
How about thinking about all the things that feel good when you can make your body do what you want.. I am not talking about climbing everest.. for me it's the little triumphs, like fitting into a movie theatre seat easily, buying only one plane ticket for my body, easily putting on a seatbelt, walking around the store or being in long lines and not sweating! Yeah.. improved health, Yeah smaller Body, Yeah stronger legs! (wink wink.. yeah healthy libido!) That can be a great movitator too The first time I lost a lot of wieght.. I had a HUGE crush on a man. It helped.

Great advice from everyone.. just keep on going.. we all slip or slow down.
Sometimes for years.. but here I am again too.
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Old 06-13-2012, 04:47 PM   #9  
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Thanks everyone!

I feel a bit better today after reading all your responses, so I can see a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel!

So it's very interesting to consider the difference between commitment and motivation - it wasn't something I'd thought about before and I think it shines a bit of a light on the problem as I don't think I've made that commitment at all, so that motivation (which comes and goes) is what I've been relying on exclusively.

And the other thing is the black and white thinking - if I've not had a perfect day then I may as well give up, if I've not lost as much weight as I 'should' have then I may as well give up, etc... I can identify with that and the 'start again tomorrow' attitude.

I do think the motivation will start to gather momentum if I can start to see some results... but it's been so long since I've registered more than a couple of pounds' loss and right now is my highest weight. So I guess that even if I'm not very motivated right now, if I just put up with that until I start feeling the weight loss, then I might get a better buzz from that. And I will certainly start my list of motivating things - number one is that I'm desperate to take my kids on a roller coaster, I love roller coasters!

I wonder how possible it is to change one's core personality? I have always been a bit of a quitter (there - I'm being honest!) and perfectionist, tending to give up completely if I'm not 100% 'good'. Both those things are going to trip me up so I really do have to change. Hmm. Well, at least I feel a bit more optimistic and lots more enlightened!

Thanks ever so much for all your replies - I'm going to keep re-reading them to try to make sure it's all carved into my head. And I may well head over to the UK board although the lurking habit is very strong

Cheers, QoS
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Old 06-13-2012, 04:54 PM   #10  
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You don't need to be excited, but you need to be committed. This journey, despite all the fantastic benefits, is not all rainbows and unicorns. Some days it's just a great big PITA! That said, it's worth it. There will be small victories and big ones, scale victories and non-scale victories. You need be be able to appreciate each one along the way, no matter how small, because some days they're all you have to carry you to the next day when the rainbows and unicorns magically reappear.

Take it one day at a time, one good decision at a time. They all add up. You'll slip, you'll fall. You'll get up, pull up your big girl panties and you'll make another good decision that leads to another good day.

And last but certainly not least, have patience with yourself. Weight loss is not a straight line. You'll lose, you'll gain, you'll get stuck along the way. You'll once again pull up your big girl panties and you'll make another good decision that leads to another good day. Rinse and repeat.
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Old 06-13-2012, 07:39 PM   #11  
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For a while there was a quit smoking campaign that used the tagline "never quit quitting" and I pretty much took that attitude when I decided a few years ago that it was time to take of 100 extra pounds I was carrying. So at at 49-51 (yes, took nearly 2 years), I was able to do something I had not been able to do in the previous 20 years.

The big difference was I committed to my plan for healthy living, rather than committing to lose weight. I didn't even weigh for the first 72 days and once I did, only weighed in once I month. But I was very disciplined about keeping track of my calories in and out even when I went off the rails I saw the numbers of calories I would then need to adjust and it would stop me from completely going crazy for days. If I "lost it" one day, I could work extra hard over the next week and bring the average back to where I wanted. But I knew if I ate all I wanted for 2 days that it would take weeks to end up back at the same place and that helped put on the brakes.
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Old 06-14-2012, 11:37 AM   #12  
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Ah Queen of Swords so you really are me!!
The 100% thinking thing is my biggest downfall. Slog myself walking or nothing at all. 1200 cals or several squillion.
How do you get out of it??? Well acknowledging it in the first place is a start.
We sound quite similar and I find that if people haven't started to notice my weightloss with a month( which they won't because too much wibbly flesh remains)and if my weight loss is anything less than spectacular I get demotivated. We set ourselves up for failure if that's what we are expecting!
This time I am trying to take a more long term view. If I slip up or can't exercise I am still overall leading a healthier life than I was 4 months ago.
Can you change your core personality??? I hope so because that is precisely what I am trying to do.......less dependency on food and more respect for myself.
Good luck my lovely.
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Old 06-14-2012, 06:34 PM   #13  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mountain walker View Post
Ah Queen of Swords so you really are me!!
We've got another thing in common too, judging from your location - Cymru am Byth! (I live in England now but am South Welsh born and bred )

It's SO good to hear that people who have the same issues as me are actually managing to crack it, you've lost a very decent amount of weight so hopefully there's no reason why I can't do the same, if I get my head on right! I shall hang on to your coat tails
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Old 06-15-2012, 10:31 AM   #14  
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QOS what are you doing in England? Come back to the green Green Grass of home!! Sorry had to make a Tom Jones reference!
I lived in England for 12 years and always missed Wales. Of course it did rain alot less in Hampshire and you could get on with things alot quicker becuase random strangers wouldn't stop you in the street for a chat!!
I am at the end of my 7th week ( had a few false starts before that though!!) and it is becoming much easier! I don't feel the call of the biscuit tin when I am in the house on my own now and exercising is becoming easier.
Of course nobody at the school gates has commented even though hubby says I look slimmer ( of course he sees me naked and the people at the school gates don't....at least not usually!!) Weigh in Sunday ( only doing it every 2 weeks).
Good luck!!
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