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Old 05-01-2012, 07:43 PM   #6
kaplods
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Wausau, WI
Posts: 13,383

S/C/G: SW:394/310/180

Height: 5'6"

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I immediately get on the scale, because I know that a person cannot gain more from a food than the food weighs. In fact, it's only possible to gain about 90% of a pound from a pound of fat, and only about 40% of a pound from a pound of carbs or protein, and 0% from a pound of fiber or water.

As a result the food weight is always going to be significantly more than the fat weight that is possible from that food, so by getting on the scale immediately, I have what I used to call a "start fresh" or "do-over" point, but since one of my mottos has become, "there is no starting over or starting fresh, there's just moving on. So now I call it my "moving on" point.

But in my mind, I now have a new number to compare the future number to (and I get to celebrate as I see that number go down).

When it comes to weight loss, we've all been taught to binge after a mistake, but if we treated mountain climbing like we do weight loss, no one would ever survive it, because when you stumbled you'd have to throw yourself over the cliff so you could start fresh from the bottom.

With weight loss, you've got to learn to pick yourself up and keep moving forward or you'll never reach your destination (and most of us don't because we keep throwing ourselves to the bottom so we can start fresh).

Another destructive weight loss myth that is difficult to "unlearn" because it's so pervasive, is that only the ultimate goal counts for anything. Getting close to goal counts for absolutely nothing, and gaining is seen as no worse (or very little worse) than not losing. So when we feel like we can't lose, we feel that we might as well be gaining (and at least then we'd get to eat what we want and not worry about exercise).

But the fact is not losing (that is maintaining) is not only better than weight gain, it's also better than weight loss.... yep I said BETTER - because if you can lose but can't maintain the loss, the yoyo dieting that results may be worse for your health than just being fat, and because when you regain, you tend to gain more than you lost in the first place (so in a very real sense, I dieted my way to nearly 400 lbs).

And yet, while maintenance is the most important part, there are very few books or even chapters in books dedicated to the subject (Refuse to Regain is one of the only two books I've ever found on the subject. It was an epiphany book for me, and I highly recommend it to anyone - even if they're not at goal weight yet, because weight maintenance truly should begin with the first pound lost).

By making maintenance (not gaining) more important than losing, I ALWAYS have the motivation to keep going, and hardly ever have the temptation to transform a small screw-up into a big one. Because when I gain 5 lbs, maintaining the 100 lb loss is much, much more important to me than punishing myself for the 5 lb gain.

My first goal is "not gaining," and my second goal is "losing just one more" and then when I add that one more pound lost, it becomes just another pound to "not gain."

I don't always think I can lose more, but I'm always pretty confident that I can keep off what I've lost so far... but to do that I have to do almost the same amount of work as I need to do to lose, so I can't "give in" to the binge or I'm undermining both goals, the small goal (weight loss) and the much bigger, much more important goal of not gaining (weight loss maintenance).

The cultural tradition of "starting fresh..." (tomorrow unless the week is mostly over in which case starting fresh Monday unless the month is almost over, in which case starting fresh the first of the next month, unless the year is mostly over then starting fresh at the first of next year....

These aren't just idiotic things we've decided to do for no reason, we do these bizarre (as welll as destructive and counterproductive) "rituals" because we've been taught to. It's the way weight loss is traditionally done in our culture, and the traditions and rituals are so ingrained, we don't even know why we're doing it, we just do it because that's the way weight loss is attempted in our culture. It's just the way things are, and the way we subconsciously end up believing they should be.

It takes conscious effort and conscious creating of new and effective rituals to take the place of the old, ineffective and destructive ones.

Maybe weighing yourself immediately isn't your best new ritual (some people can't get past the ritual of beating themselves up over the number), the important thing is creating a new ritual that is more important to you than the old one. It's hard, because it's human nature to follow along with everyone else, but when it comes to weight loss you can't be a sheep, you've got to be top dog/alpha wolf. You've got to be independent of the cultural brainwashing we've received - but to make that change you've got to recognize the destructive rituals for what they are. "Autopilot" and you've got to get rid of as much autopilot as you can, because most of our autopilot instincts (when it comes to weight loss) are wrong.
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