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Old 02-04-2011, 08:51 AM   #61
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Okay, hello! My name is Heather and I'm a regainer.

Quick version of my story. Overweight as kid and teen, and ballooned to obese in college (220s). Fast forward to me at 39 weighing about 300 pounds. In 2005 I started this journey and lost 123 pounds. It didn't seem that hard. I wasn't depriving myself, and was exercising regularly for the first time in my life (though I didn't really love it... or I have a complex relationship with exercise). I made it down to about 173 late in 2006 and maintained that weight for well over a year (into 2008).

At first the regain was slow, but now I'm up to about 220, having gained 17 pounds last year. So, clearly, this isn't working.

I haven't ever given up on all my new, good habits. I've continued to exercise regularly (though not as regular and as intense as before) and to eat reasonably. Just a bit too much most days, and there ARE some days where I don't care.

As I've read through this thread, "I don't care" has really resonated with me. I've had moments over the past couple of years where it feels like I'm in a dream, watching myself eat something that leads to trouble (always heavy in carbs, and I don't mean veggies!) -- and it's like I'm talking to myself asking "WHY ON EARTH are you eating THAT??" and the answer comes "I don't care. I want it." It's like the little greedy girl inside of me is able to take over at times and she turns off everything else.

So, I'm maintaining a weight loss of 70+ pounds, but am not happy with how I look and feel. And I feel like that old weight loss mindset is fleeting. Where did my commitment to this go? Why does it crumble like a cookie in the face of... a cookie??

I think I COULD lose again if I just did what I used to, but I can't maintain that for more than a few weeks at best...and I feel like it's more of a mental thing than a physical thing.
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Old 02-04-2011, 01:12 PM   #62
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MBN, what are your goals? I don't mean, what is your weight goal--I think that's clear. It's more like, what are your overall goals? Is it to have ever faster times on your runs? To always fit your "skinny jeans"?

I've been wondering about maintenance goals. Maybe the goal of "always weighing X plus or minus..." needs some additional elements, like lifestyle. Perhaps the scale isn't the best measure of success--or shouldn't be the only one.
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That's a profound question ... Ultimately, my goal is to have a good quality of life, for as long as possible. I want to be able to have adventures - hike mountains, kayak oceans, cycle valleys, run races - in my 80's and beyond. I want to be coolest Grandma ever, and make my grandkids work to keep up! I want to be able to put my own bag in the overhead bin. I don't want to be limited by my weight or physical condition and kept from doing the things I want to do. I recognize that there are factors out of my control that may impact these goals, but I'm going to work as hard as I can to manage the factors *in* my control!! I've been heavier in the past and I've been limited by physical condition, fears and insecurities. I've worked and sweated and am reaping the rewards right now. I don't ever want to go back.

Can I have adventures at my current weight -- absolutely. 125 is a perfectly normal and healthy weight for my age and height. But .... I've gained 15 lbs in the past year, I have to change my ways or I will be right back where I started. And, short term, it is about performance. I was also perfectly healthy at 110, but it was way easier to run and hike. I liked that feeling. It's more fun when it's easier.

Somehow, I need to get a handle on my relationship with food. I still really like all of the sweet/fatty/junky stuff. I have trouble controlling myself, I'm no good at the "just a little" approach. I tend to be "on" or "off" plan, in a big way. I don't want to have to think about it, I want my calorie balance to be naturally self-regulating. But it's just not.

The exercise/activity part of my life is right on -- I love it, it's part of my lifestyle, it's just "what I do". But the eating part is still very much a work in progress.
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Old 02-05-2011, 03:58 AM   #63
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MBN - I totally notice the 'lighter' feeling when I am 10lbs thinner and jogging. It does make it all easier and it is SO much nicer for the knees. I'm sort of using that as a key to not eating something silly and having smaller portions:

I tell myself that I am only going to continue to hinder my lifestyle a bit if I don't get a bit thinner. I'm sort of in a similar position to you - I am a healthy weight and can do what I want, but running is just so much more enjoyable a few pounds lighter!

So, I'm trying to remember that "I DO care" everyday and trying to take little steps to lose a few pounds and jog easier. This includes my own form of calorie counting (not so meticulous, I'm going through a time in my life where meticulous calorie counting is not in the cards for me.... and lets face it, I'm quite good at counting in my head, I've had a lot of practice):

I only have 2 rules and I can easily recall the rules:

- always have a wonderful, big fruit smoothie for breakfast: about 300 calories. This gives me energy, it makes me feel amazing - and I know I am doing a service to my body. It also tastes good. Funnily enough though, I still sometimes have to force myself initially to drink the smoothie, even though I love it. Sometimes I want something salty, or my mind tells me I want something salty or cheesy or bready! I do my best to stick to my simple plan.

- after dinner, I am finished eating for the night. No night snacking. Quitting night snacking was just as bad as quitting smoking! If I were to take up night snacking again, I'd really pack on the pounds.

When I follow these two little rules, which are not 'too' much, I feel optimal and know I can lose a bit. These rules are my transition away from meticulous calorie counting (which works, but I'm just a bit worn-out on).

Heather, I love how you described the problem that we are ALL having:

"And I feel like that old weight loss mindset is fleeting. Where did my commitment to this go? Why does it crumble like a cookie in the face of... a cookie??"

I study philosophy and even Plato knew that earthly things, including humans, are always in the process of 'becoming'. We are not static, we are always changing. Why should we expect our diet and exercise to stay the same.... I mean, if it never changed, we'd be doing ourselves a disservice. I think all of us in this thread are going through the change you described: we have lost that amazing weight loss mindset (at least we lost the power it had for the beginning of our dieting/lifestyle change) and now we are trying to find an alternative mindset to help us lose the last 15 lbs or so.
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Old 02-05-2011, 08:16 AM   #64
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Nicely said, Bonnie. Maybe I need to make some new rules for myself...
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Old 02-05-2011, 08:19 AM   #65
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I haven't run amarathon yet - this will be my first one. So far the longest run I have managed is 8 miles.

My training was going really well till just before Christmas. I must have a muscular weaknes just below my right calf muscle, as I have 'pulled' that muscle there severl times, and it takes a while (about a month) for it to heal enough for me to run on it. Thing is, I only found that out through trial and error, as I don't know if its healed enough to run on it, till I run on it - and find that it's not. And then it's too late!!

So, just before Christmas I went and pulled it didn't I? I freaked as I knew I couldn't afford to take too much time off my training. So I left it for two weeks, and tried again. I managed two minutes' running before it went again!!

So I knew I had to leave it for the full month it took LAST time to heal.

That month was up last week and I have very carefully started running again this week - so far so good. But my training is WAY behind schedule.

My aim at the moment is to continue with the training and basically just try to get round. If I hurt my leg again I will unfortunately have to pull out.
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Old 02-05-2011, 10:51 AM   #66
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While I don't run like I used to, my doctor said that being lighter is better for a runner as it does put less stress on the joints--like knees. He recommended that for me to run, I should weight 135 or possibly less. That's a weight that is practically impossible for me to maintain. So I've decided on maintenance of 140-143, which for me is possible, as long as I keep my mind on it. A few days of losing my mind toward maintenance and I'll find myself above 145. So here I am this morning, totally out of my mind! However, I've lost over 6 pounds and only have 4.5 to lose to make my first goal which is set for 2/14. I guess I need to find my mind somewhere!

Thinking back to when I was losing or maintaining, I have come to the realization that during that time I was a lot busier and there were several nights each month that were too busy for me to eat a decent dinner. And I do remember days when my lunch consisted of a baggie full of carrots, celery and pea pods and perhaps an orange. These days, I'm much more mindful of having a balanced meal, however, I do realize that I need to cut something out and I'm still leaning toward lowering my carbs by cutting breads, pasta and rice--at least until I'm back to my maintenance weight. I guess that is my alternative mindset.
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Old 02-05-2011, 03:13 PM   #67
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Hey Heather! I'm glad to see you posting. I remember when you reached your goal.

Evidently quite a few people have had the "I don't care. I want it." experience. I wonder what it takes to slow things down long enough to remember that really, one does care about being fatter. Choices do have consequences, just as they always did.

MBN, I think you have wonderful goals about staying physically active. And yes, it really is easier to get around when carrying less weight! I can certainly attest to that.

But our bodies do adapt to both more and less weight. Bones, joints, muscles are not static things.

bonnnie, I wish I had your resolve about nighttime snacking. That really has been a big part of my downfall. When I was losing, I did plan for a snack in the evening, and I didn't have any trouble sticking to the snack I had planned. These days, I have a much harder time with that. I do tend to pick the snacks I want to eat more of, though. I think that's where things go off course.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alinnell
So here I am this morning, totally out of my mind!
alinnell, you crack me up!

I haven't run in quite awhile. I did get to where I could jog on the treamill for a minute or so--but now that my back is a problem I kind of don't dare. And speaking of my back, this past week it has been really sore. I guess I overdid something, so I am still going to the gym on schedule, but leaving out certain exercises.

Robsia, do you have a sports doctor you could see about your leg? There must be a better way of evaluating it than going out for a run and re-injuring it again. Anyway, I would hope so!

Now I want to talk about Super Bowl plans. Yes, I do watch, and I have watched during weight loss and during weight gain. I am planning ahead. Here are the foods I'll be eating:

- personal size Lean Cuisine pizza. (The only kind that gets into the house!)
- baby carrots w/ measured amount of hummus for dipping.
- single-serving bag of Sunchips
- lots of seltzer and diet cola (I always dilute cola with seltzer)
- lowfat popcorn
- beef jerky
- green olives

This counts as both dinner and evening snack, and if I eat all of those things I know that it comes to 800 calories. The rest of the day's meals will be essentially normal--nothing over the top.

It will be just me and my partner--no party situation where others will be bringing a ton of other foods. Thank goodness!

This is how I've learned to do Super Bowls, and it demonstrates one of the bonuses of weight loss and maintenance: One does come up with some strategies for dealing with events, and these can be used forever.

Jay
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Old 02-06-2011, 10:41 AM   #68
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Hi All,

I'm feeling it may be a little premature for me to join here, as I'm still not really sure I've entered maintenance, but all week I've been watching the scale leap upward.

My story in a nutshell is that on the way to a normal BMI of 164 I just stalled out at 188-190 last August. I kept fighting the good fight but nothing was working. Finally back in November, I went off plan over Thanksgiving and gained 6 pounds seemingly almost overnight. Got back on track and lost the six, but still didn't go any lower.

Two weeks ago I had this huge really important meeting where I was basically getting vetted to see if I looked good enough for my boss to put me out in front of the media.... totally stressful but I felt really good about it. I never could have pulled it off at 295 pounds....

Since then, I've just been kind of in a trance-- not back to my old habits, but still going overboard with certain foods. Was holding steady weight-wise, and then all of a sudden, I wasn't. Now, I'm back up 6 pounds..

This whole past week, I just felt like I wanted to relax. I even skipped the gym for four straight days. I just felt worn out. I LOVE working out, and yet, somehow, just relaxing the eating rules and skipping the workouts felt like pampering myself. It was just such a RELIEF to take a little time off.

And then I questioned "why does it feel like a relief?" After all, when I'm strictly on plan, it always feels really good. When I workout, I'm always glad I did.

I think it takes a lot of mental energy to stay on plan, and my mental energy is spread really thin-- I basically juggle two full-time careers in totally different fields while raising 4 kids. Meanwhile, my mom cries if I don't want to spend time with her and my husband can't go to the grocery store unless I make the list....shutting off the "should I eat this?" conversation makes my mind a teeny bit less crowded.

That's why I think maintenance will be a bear for me. Like most of us, I have MANY things competing for that front and center spot in my mind. When I weighed 295 it was URGENT for that subject to occupy center stage.... now, it's not so urgent, and yet, I have no illusions about the reality-- I could gain back the weight in less time than I spent to lose it, and THAT CAN'T HAPPEN.
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Old 02-06-2011, 11:08 AM   #69
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ubergirl -- You're welcome here! And you are so right about the "front and center" spot. When I was successful at losing it WAS front and center. It felt good to be able to prioritize some other parts of my life. But that's not helpful for the weight.

There has be a way to find a balance!
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Old 02-06-2011, 02:52 PM   #70
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My superbowl plans are for a big platter of raw veggies and dip (but I'll stay out of the dip), cheese and sausage on crackers (I'll limit all of that) and later on I'm heating some shrimp tempura with a mango sauce.

After a really interesting day of eating yesterday I am now only 3 pounds from my 2/14 goal of 157. I have to be good today to keep off the loss that I've experienced.
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Old 02-07-2011, 02:47 AM   #71
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alinnell - your doctor said you needed to be at most 135 before starting jogging? AND you are 5'8"? That's Crazy! Also, I know the 'busy mind-set' and not having time some days to eat all three meals... and how it makes weight loss easier.

Maybe I need to fake being busier.... I mean, I have tons of work to do, but it is sedentary work, unfortunately. Sedentary work makes me hungry! I think I will change my locations of studying a few times a day - making an illusion that I am body is busier. Library, then cafe, then home, then back to another cafe.

I do think being busy is a super important component to weight loss that isn't really discussed on this forum.

ubergirl - I know the feeling of needing to "urgently' lose weight.... and I don't have it right now either! I remember getting up to 185/190, which for me is much heavier than normal, and I was teaching in a college town in the midwest.... the rest of the population was 50,000 undergraduate students - the girls all looked like they belonged in Hollywood. I REALLY stuck out like a sore thumb. I felt an urgency to lose. It worked.

But yeah.... I think a question that we all need to try to answer is: Is it possible to 'cultivate' this urgency until we reach our goal? Or would that be too extreme?

P.s. Something inspiring: I was at the zoo yesterday during the monkeys' feeding time. The workers filled the monkey area with wonderful, colorful fruits and veggies. I'm sure they were organic too! The monkeys' enjoyed the fruits and veggies so much- and I thought, if only I were always smart enough to eat like the monkeys! Nothing fake, no preservatives, no chemicals....
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Old 02-07-2011, 08:47 AM   #72
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I do think being busy is a super important component to weight loss that isn't really discussed on this forum.
So true! I'm a big time emotional eater, and one of those emotions is boredom. Deliberately keeping myself busy and coming up with projects is really important to my weight loss. But it's a slippery slope. Too busy, and I just freak out from the stress of being so busy and then overeat out of stress, or fall victim to the "I don't have time" to eat healthy syndrome.

The "I don't care" idea resonates with me too. During the internal struggle, some part of me (skinny Megan, yelling from the little room fat Megan has escaped from and shoved her into? that would explain the faintness of the voice) is still yelling "But you will care tomorrow! And you will feel horribly guilty and defeated!" Alas she rarely wins.
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Old 02-07-2011, 08:57 AM   #73
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P.s. Something inspiring: I was at the zoo yesterday during the monkeys' feeding time. The workers filled the monkey area with wonderful, colorful fruits and veggies. I'm sure they were organic too! The monkeys' enjoyed the fruits and veggies so much- and I thought, if only I were always smart enough to eat like the monkeys! Nothing fake, no preservatives, no chemicals....
Bonnie - There is actually this crazy documentary about this doctor who raised all his kids (I think 6 or 7 kids) in an RV and they never went to school and just traveled around surfing. Anyway, he went to a zoo one time and decided that his kids would only eat what the gorillas ate or something. The kids had to eat this multi-grain gruel every morning. They said it was gross but your comment just reminded me of the movie.
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Old 02-07-2011, 09:25 AM   #74
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bonnnie--the monkeys aren't smart. They can only eat what they are given. Toss in a cheeseburger and see what they eat first!

More later--I've got a busy morning here. (Lots to say about busy-ness!)

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Old 02-07-2011, 09:43 AM   #75
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alinnell - your doctor said you needed to be at most 135 before starting jogging? AND you are 5'8"? That's Crazy! Also, I know the 'busy mind-set' and not having time some days to eat all three meals... and how it makes weight loss easier.
No. He said it would be easier on my joints if I weighed less while jogging. At the time I was around 148 and feeling like I should be around 140 and he said 135 would be better if I was going to continue running a lot. I've decided on my own that 135 is not realistic in my case.
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