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Old 02-18-2008, 10:31 AM   #1  
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Angry I need a kick in the pants!

Ladies (and gentlemen), this is my official cry for help. My weight has been bouncing around between 140 and 142, and I really need to get back to 130 because this is driving me crazy (and it's not an issue of just not liking the number on the scale -- my clothes actually do not fit me anymore).

I can't figure out where I am making excuses, and where there is something legitimately stopping me from losing this weight. Unquestionably, the majority of the weight gain is due to my thyroid problem. I gained about 3-4lbs from my wedding and honeymoon, and another 9-10 from the thyroid. After being put on thyroid medicine, I stopped gaining weight. For a large portion of January, I ate no junk food, and I lost 3lbs. I did have to have my thryoid dosage adjusted because they had given me too much, so that may be partially responsible for the loss.

Well, that loss ended there. I "know" what the problems are: I am eating junk that I don't need (even if I'm within my calorie budget, I shouldn't eat that junk), and I'm not working out enough to justify the calorie budget I gave myself.

This is where the excuses(?) come in. These are the things I catch myself saying:
* As long as I eat under 1800 calories, I should be losing weight.
* It's okay for me to eat this junk food because I had a small lunch/breakfast/diner.
* It's okay for me to eat this junk food because I feel bad about my medical problems.
* It's okay for me to eat this junk food because I ate it when I was losing weight the first time and it didn't stop me from losing.
* It's okay for me to eat this junk food because if I don't, I will just crave it more, and I will end up binging on a larger portion of it.
* I can't do more cardio because my knees and ankles hurt and they will get worse.
* I can't do more weight lifting because my wrists and elbows hurt and they will get worse.

Some of these are blatant excuses, some of them I don't know if they're just excuses or valid problems. When I was losing, I ate 1400-1600 during the week (sometimes a little less), and 1800-2000 on the weekend. I also ran 3-4 times a week for 30-45 minutes and did an hour of weight training/circuit training on the other days. Plus I was walking to and from school (1.5 miles each way). Now, I drive to work, don't usually do anything more active than making dinner when I get home, and manage to make it to the gym 3-4 days a week for 30 mins of either cardio or strength (usually cardio). When I try to up the intensity of my cardio I usually have to stop after a few minutes because my knee or ankle will start hurting too much. This happens regardless of whether I'm on the treadmill, elliptical, or bike.

I could use some info about the HIIT you guys have been talking about on the other thread -- maybe if I increase the intensity for a really short period of time I won't hurt myself? Plus I need a kick in the pants about my eating habits.

This is so frustrating because I know what I should be doing, but I'm just not doing it. Help!
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Old 02-18-2008, 10:45 AM   #2  
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Hey Jessica,

I can really sympathize with your junk food obsession. How about either going cold turkey for a couple of weeks and see what happens, or giving yourself a fixed allowance (like a 100 cal pack of something) if you stay on plan for the day? Nothing else allowed.

Other suggestions: up your cardio by 5 minutes to start. 35 minutes should theoretically have no more impact on your schedule or body than 30 minutes. If that works out, do 5 more. Or get around your excuse by doing non-impact cardio, like a bike, or even non-weight bearing, like in the pool.

But I think your post says you clearly know what your issues are. Make a commitment to yourself and do it for a day. And then another, and then another, and you'll be back on track soon.

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Old 02-18-2008, 12:50 PM   #3  
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No kicks, just a big . Most of us have been in your shoes and it's a scary place to be -- that feeling of being on the edge of a really dangerous cliff and thinking you're about to go over. The feeling of losing control and fear of going back to where we started is horrible. But Jessica, it's not too late to turn this around! You haven't let things get too far out of hand, like some of us have in the past (like when we gain 50 pounds because we don't weigh ourselves for a few months! )

Like Anne said, you've already identified the problems. You know what works and you know what doesn't. It sounds like your issue is just getting back to the things that work for you. Just like with our original weight loss, it's hardest to get started. But once you're back on track, it gets easier and easier. I'm guessing you used to really be in a groove with your eating and exercise and following your plan took almost no thought or effort?

If junk food is at the root of most of your weight gain, my opinion is to get rid of the junk food completely, at least until you can control it again. I'm not a moderate person and can't do single servings of certain foods. Some people can, but I can't. I do much better going cold turkey because then I lose my cravings and I don't feel like I'm constantly fighting myself (I hate that feeling!) If you're like me, better to stay away for a while.

As for exercise, let me sit down and write up some info about interval training on the other thread, probably later this afternoon. If you're limited in the cardio you can do, it's worth trying to increase the intensity in order to cut back on the time. Can you lift weights without pain? Because that would certainly help compensate for limited cardio, especially if you lift with minimal rests and keep your heart rate elevated.

But in the end, Anne nailed it when she said to make a commitment to yourself for a day. And to take it one day at a time. Some people actually write contracts to themselves about what they'll do each day - would that be helpful? Post here every day, good and bad, and start stringing the good days together. I remember reading someone who said to think of it like a brick wall. Every good day is another brick in the wall, and as you build it taller and stronger, it will get strong enough to withstand any force.

Whatever you do, keep posting and we'll help you through. You can do this, Jessica!
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Old 02-18-2008, 01:08 PM   #4  
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Thanks guys, it does really help to know that I'm not alone and that others have struggled with the same things.

Anne - I just sent an email to DH telling him that junk food is no longer allowed on weekdays. I'll try to avoid it on weekends too as much as possible, but in my weight loss before the only thing that kept me on plan during the week was knowing I had my "cheat" meal coming up to satisfy my cravings. Mostly I think if DH helps me out this will be easier -- sometimes I don't even think about wanting junk or sweets, but then I see DH eating chocolate and all of a sudden I need to have some too!

Of course my resolution has already failed. One of my coworkers just came back from three weeks in China with all sorts of exotic candy, and it would have been really rude to refuse. So at least I took a teeny portion of the candied vegetables (teeny = one bite).

Meg - You are right, trying to halt at 10-lb gain is probably much easier than trying to reverse a 50-lb gain! I have been there before too -- the first time I lost weight I lost 30lbs, only to regain 40. Convincing myself that I can survive on fewer than 1600 calories per day is really hard. I keep thinking "but I'll be hungry!" all the time. Then again I know that I'm like Megan in that both of us eat better when our exercise is on plan too. I am going to try to get rid of the junk. I don't know if it's what's responsible for keeping me from losing, but I do know that I'm eating too much of it.

I can do some weight training but not others. Pretty much anything that relies on keeping my wrist stable and holding a dumbell or something in my hand is out. If I try to do bicep curls I get a really uncomfortable popping sensation in my elbows. Lunges and squats have caused trouble for my knees even if I barely squat down at all. But on the other hand, I have no trouble with any abs or back strengthening, and I can do leg lifts with no problem. I can do some of the upper body machines that don't require grabbing things (like the deltoid machine or the pectoral fly). And any strengthening exercises that don't involve holding a weight or putting my weight on my hands are okay too (considering how weak I am, some of them I wouldn't even be able to do if I tried to hold a weight).

I will definitely keep an eye out for your post on interval training. I loved running intervals before my knees started getting messed up so if I can find a good way to do it pain-free I am all for it!

I'm also scheduled to see my new doc again tomorrow, so maybe she will have some more insight into what is causing this problem. Hopefully the answer won't be that it's all in my head!

I already hopped on the bike for 15 mins during my lunch break so hopefully that will help put me ahead of the game, for today at least.
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Old 02-18-2008, 05:57 PM   #5  
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Jessica - I know you've been round and round and round trying to determine what it is that is bothering your joints. Without knowiing, it's so hard to push it. Have any of the docs suggested physical therapy? Just throwing this out there. If it's not doing any damage, it seems it might help you get some strength back.
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Old 02-19-2008, 04:50 AM   #6  
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So how did the rest of yesterday go, Jessica? Good luck with the new doctor today! Keep looking for answers ... they're out there.
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Old 02-19-2008, 05:01 AM   #7  
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I can only say good luck, because I'm not really in the right place to give advice these days. :| I hope you'll get back on track without too many problems.
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Old 02-19-2008, 07:21 AM   #8  
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Jessica, I have worked with several women with carpal tunnel and others with profound arthritis. There are resistance exercises you can do, but you need to find a qualified trainer to teach you.

As for the food, yes, most of us have been there. My advice also is to go cold turkey. Take out all the "it's okay" statement from above and put in "it's NOT okay". The first couple of days are hard...you need to keep repeating "it's not my food"..."i don't want to hurt my body" or what ever works.



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Old 02-19-2008, 08:29 AM   #9  
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Oh how I feel for you. Doesn't do you much good, but I understand you completely. It all seems so simple, doesn't it? Remove the junk food, keep the calories in check, add in some exercise and the weight will just fall off, right? Yeah, real simple. (I hope you're catching the sarcasam).

So clearly you know what to do, it's just a matter of doing it. How about starting a simple journal? Whenever you feel the need to eat the junk or the whatever, you write in there why you shouldn't eat it. You can reread it and add to it when the urge to eat the "forbidden" foods comes up. This was so helpful to me, especially in the early stages of my journey. I know it sounds corny, but it really "works".

Also can you make a vow, a really, really strong vow, that no matter what for one day you will stay within your calorie budget and not eat the junk? NO MATTER WHAT. Use self-talk. "I made a vow, I simply CAN NOT eat XXX. PERIOD". Then make it another day and another. I'm sure you know this, but the further apart between episodes, the easier it gets and before you know it, you this period will be behind you.

Hang tough. These things are going to happen from time to time. Good for you for recognizing it before it gets out of control. You can reel it in NOW. Right now. I know you can. And you know you can. Oh, and I sure hope the doctor had some answers for you.
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Old 02-19-2008, 09:43 AM   #10  
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Pat - I actually had one doc tell me he didn't think physical therapy would be useful at all, and other say it might be. I'm going back to my new doc today so we'll see what she has to say.

Meg - the rest of yesterday went pretty well! I got in a good workout (with the extra 5 minutes Anne suggested), made a healthy dinner, and when I got hungry again after dinner I had a glass of skim milk instead of all the other options. I came in at 1584 cals not including my vitamins (which add another 40 or so since I take the chewable kind).

Kery - I read your post in the chat thread. It sounds like we are in the same boat in a lot of ways. It's really hard to try to eat right when there are so many other things going on in your life!

Mel - How does one go about finding a qualified trainer? I know of one guy who used to be a physical therapist who is now a trainer, but he's at this personal training-only gym that you have to sign up for an extended number of expensive sessions in order to go there (my mother in law used to go to him). I tried looking online but all I found were isometrics exercises.

Robin - Thanks for the encouragement! Today is going to be day 1 with no junk.
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Old 02-21-2008, 12:20 PM   #11  
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I knew there was a "kick" icon in there somewhere! Jessica, I can totally relate to your frustrations b/c I am in a similar place right now. It is even harder to pull yourself into line when you feel like you're dealing with health problems, and dealing with someone else's food needs and desires in addition to your own, and so on, and so on...

So maybe we could kick each other in the pants, because I'm also 10 lbs over where I want to be, and I feel like I'm dealing with a lot of hormonal issues with my body right now, and I also usually cook for my BF and he sometimes likes to get treats and eat less healthily than me.

It sounds like you know what you need to do, and food quality is a big issue for you right now. You know you need to stop making qualifying statement about letting yourself eat certain foods, junk food and candy in particular. I am a very all-or-none person. I can't eat foods candy in portions, and leave the rest sitting there. And eating a small amount of candy has never, ever staved off a later binge for me. So I know that telling myself "* It's okay for me to eat this junk food because if I don't, I will just crave it more, and I will end up binging on a larger portion of it" just won't fly. Your body certainly might behave differently than mine, but if it does act like mine, I have to remind myself of this and it helps me not take that first bite of candy or sweets. If I do, it creates a vicious "sugar cycle" and I have to "detox" for several days before I stop craving simple carbs.

It sounds as if your new dr. is much more helpful, and willing to try different medications and techniques, to help figure out and treat your pain. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you that your pains will lessen. I think it's a great idea, if you are financially able, to try to find a physical therapist who can work with you. Could you do anything else to try and increase your physical activity? If you walked for 10 minutes at lunch, without decreasing your gym workout, would that exacerbate your joint pain? Park farther away in the parking lot at the store? Always take the stairs?

You've already gotten a lot of good advice from the masters around here. Hang in there! You can do it. We are all here for you!

And I need to take my own advice. Stop eating candy crap! And I'm going to go walk for 20 minutes since it's lunchtime...
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Old 02-22-2008, 08:37 AM   #12  
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Jessica, how is the "no junk" plan going?
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Old 02-22-2008, 09:57 AM   #13  
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It's going pretty well. So far I have gone three days with no sweets. We are planning on going to a maple fair this weekend so there will probably be my one treat for the week.

Weight is back to what it was two weeks ago (140.8). I still have a long way to go though! Plus because of the queasiness from the new medicine I've been munching on plain toast all day long. At least it's whole wheat.
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Old 02-22-2008, 01:10 PM   #14  
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First I'm thinking about the exercise portion. I have a friend who has a lot of joint pain issues and she has found water aerobics a big help, if that's possible for you. Or there is just plain swimming. You don't have to be good at it. Actually, the less skilled you are as a swimmer, the more calories you burn, kind of interesting! Stay away from using flippers, hand paddles, etc. They can be hard on your joints, esp. knees and shoulders. And then there is always just walking in the pool. Harder than people think!

Are dance classes possible? Not the gymnastic moderny type of stuff, I'm thinking of a low impact salsa class I've taken. Time goes by fast, it's fun, and you really do move. You can also do routines at home, depending on your favorite type of music.

I agree with the cold turkey method for junk food. I have been restricted in my diet due to diabetes issues and I often think that's a hidden blessing. I have a built in restriction I can refer to (such as, this food will kill me, don't eat it). But I know many diabetics eat small portions of "bad" foods - I just can't do that. It is too tempting.

Maybe when the junk food urge comes along, or your hand is reaching for that candy, or you find yourself rationalizing, you could say, I will wait 15 minutes and if I just can't get this out of my mind, I will go ahead and eat it. I think you may find that in 15 minutes the urgency or the impulse will have faded. I have used this technique not for food but for other issues and I was skeptical, but it really has helped me.

Another thing that has helped me when I am struggling (I think of a nice big package of cookies a well-meaning relative sent me for Xmas, and my hand just jumped into the box before I knew what was happening) is to stop myself, and to say out loud (if the situation allows) some pre-determined phrase, in my case, "Step away from the ---whatever---". Makes me stop and think. Then the 15 minute thing comes into my mind and I can handle the urge.

Lastly, instead of trying to avoid thinking about junk food, think about it all the time for some assigned period of time every day. Make yourself list foods, think about them, imagine yourself selecting them at the store, etc. Don't go off the subject and do it for a while, you will be surprised how long, say, 5 or 10 minutes can be if you force yourself to think of nothing else. Sort of removes the forbidden nature of the subject from the mind and when you confront the real thing, it's not as novel, forbidden, enticing. Sort of restores it to being just another thing in the landscape.

I can't say it will do magic, I won't say it's easy to do this, but the technique has worked for me (I usually use it when I'm feeling sorry for myself - I just stop and wallow in it. "I can't have that chocolate cake, it's just not fair, I love it so much, others just eat and eat, I can't, life is unfair, etc. etc.) I whine until I bore myself and moving on to something else is a relief.

Note - don't do this where someone can hear you! It prompts interesting responses, to say the least!

Regarding personal trainers, our local hospital has a wellness program which includes a sessiion with a physical therapist, who would evaluate a person and suggest exercise for their particular situation. Maybe there is something like that near you, or else the hospital has a referral program that could lead you to something like that? This worked well for my friend with the joint pain/exercise issues.

Don't know if this helps or is crazy, but they have all worked for me. It takes a lot of strategies to get through life! I hope for the best for you.
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