Living Maintenance general maintenance topics and discussions

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Old 12-04-2004, 09:44 PM   #1  
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Unhappy need some help-slipping

I posted on the support forum and got a response to try in this forum.

I reached my goal weight last year- after the initial hump, eating well became a habit, easy, and the weight felt great.

Over the last year, I've been slipping, slowly but surely- and I'm starting to gain. And try as I might to get back on the wagon it's not working!!!I'm really trying.

Any help out there to nip this in the bud??? Maybe the way I initially lost weight is not sustainable???? It was a nutritionist low-cal low- fat plan.

PS please help- I'm really getting sad and desperate

Last edited by wedded; 12-04-2004 at 09:50 PM.
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Old 12-04-2004, 11:24 PM   #2  
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Hi there, wedded
Breathe deep, don't panic! Wecome to Maintainers

Congratulations on your weightloss and maintaining it for so long. What are you doing differently now? Are you letting "licks, bites, and tastes" sabotage you?
Has your exercise program gotten dull and fallen by the wayside? What did you do that made you successful in the first place? Were you journaling all your food and maybe you've stopped? Were you weighing and measuring and after you'd been maintaining for a while felt that you didn't need to do that any more and maybe "portion creep" just bit you? Hmmmm...just trying to throw some ideas out here.

From your screen name, I'm guessing you got married recently. Of course, I could be waaaaay off base and you're celebrating your 25th anniversary
. But if you've recently had a change in lifestyle and living arrangements, that usually brings a change in eating patterns even if you don't notice the little extras that creep in.

Tell us a little more about yourself and maybe we can all brainstorm some ideas with you.

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Old 12-05-2004, 12:22 AM   #3  
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Hi wedded:

This fall, after a foot injury, I gained 20 lbs after having lost 115 and maintained it for 6 months.

I've lost about 10 lbs now by just easing back on the snacking and the larger helpings along with the return of my fitness walking 3-4 times a week for an hour.

I tried not to panic and make a mountain out of a molehill - something a shrink told me I do under stress, only he called it "catastrophizing".

Anyway, I found one or two eating behaviors that had become problems and I worked on reducing them. I also knew that when I got back walking that I could handle stress better and some weight would come off just because I was up moving about more and more.

When I reached BMI goal weight (still not sure it's right for me - might be too low at 52 cuz I struggled to maintain it for 6 months)..... anyway when I reached it I told hubby that I might have to loose 115 lbs just to stay there for a year. I was part serious and part joking - I was prepared to be up and down some 10-20 pounds a number of times before my weight really stabilized out. I had been overweight for many years, so I figured I'd be working to maintain for 4-5 years before I believed that I really conquered my weight gaining behaviors. I knew that some of my bad eating behaviors were just dormant - not really vanquished, and they'd be back. I've been dieting and gaining weight since I was 19. Seems I didn't learn Maintenance skills, just more and more dieting skills; and sad to say more gaining skills too. An ever increasing yo-yo. So for me, it is truly a success to be a 20 lb. yo-yo. For some people it's unthinkable... but for me it is a mark of my success at maintaining.

I found a quote from "The Thin Book" by Jeane Eddy Westin:

"No one changes a lifelong way of reacting overnight. Growth is gradual. Each time you withstand a negative feeling over which you would have formerly eaten, you become a little stronger for the next time.......

Each time you win a small battle against self-hate, hopelessness and guilt, you are stronger."

Still up a few, but maintaining 100 loss now for 10 months
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Old 12-05-2004, 11:51 AM   #4  
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Default Some ideas . . .

I lost weight easily when my husband was deployed with the reserves. When he came back, I was determined to keep it off, but it was so hard. Despite my committed efforts, my weight kept slipping upwards. I, too, became pretty despondent about it. It seemed nothing worked. I kept trying though, and became as informed as possible about the caloric content of foods and nutritional values. I kept exercising daily. I journalled everything. Looking back over those months, the problems seemed to stem from treats enjoyed with my husband and his family. I generally had no idea of the caloric content of these items and tended to estimate on the low side. For instance, I would probably never choose to have a piece of baklava now as a snack or eat from the bread basket before dinner. You can definitely sabotage your efforts by rationalizing that you are working hard and have enough of a calorie deficit to warrant an indulgence.

After much trial and error, the maintenance plan that seems to be working for me (4 months now!) is the Zone program. I respond well to eating fewer starchy foods and a little more protein. Sometimes changing your approach a little bit will get you excited by fitness again. You might check out "A Week in the Zone" and see if it's something you want to try. I would also suggest that you keep measuring, weighing, and writing down everything you eat and how your body responds. You can use to determine the caloric content. You might also change your exercise program to challenge your body in a different way. Finally, make a plan and if you stick to it for a week, reward yourself with a non-food item. (Accessories, books, or makeup always work for me.) Eventually, your husband will adjust to your new habits and make even adopt a few of them himself.

Some items I acquired that have helped me:

A digital scale that measures down to 1/8 of an ounce and 1 gram. I got the scale from King Arthur Flour.

Hand weights and a jump rope.

A Sony armband radio. I now take 45 minutes almost every morning to walk/jog and listen to NPR news. I enjoy this routine so much more than the very difficult interval work I was doing (and dreading!)

A small crock pot for cooking my steel cut oats overnight.

A taste for black coffee!

An extra set of measuring cups and spoons.

Stay committed, stay determined, and keep trying until you get it right! We're all in this together
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Old 12-05-2004, 02:09 PM   #5  
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Allie and Laura Leigh – great posts!

Hi Wedded! We’re glad you found your way over here to Maintainers. We hope you stick around with us, read some of the threads here, and post often. You CAN get that weight gain turned around and get back to maintaining! Like Mel said, it would be helpful if you could tell us a little bit more about your story – when and how you lost the weight and what you’ve been doing food and exercise-wise since you reached goal; what’s worked for you in the past and what’s changed. We have an Introductions thread here at the top of the forum where you’re welcome to post or just tell us some more about yourself here.

Please don’t be sad and desperate! You’re dealing with the weight regain NOW before you put all the weight back on, right? Believe me, a lot of us struggle with our weight and food issues, even after we reach goal and maintenance. It turns out that goal wasn’t an end or a destination for any of us – we’ve all discovered that maintenance is an on-going, lifetime process. None of us has ‘arrived’ at that point where we know we’re safe from ever regaining the weight.

You touched on something in your post that’s one of the keys to maintenance – finding a way to eat and exercise that you can live with for the rest of your life. You’ll notice, after you’re here for a while, that the Maintainers all lost/are losing weight in their own special and unique ways. I can guarantee that if you looked at all our menus and exercise plans for a week, they’d all be very different. Some here may have started with a name plan (and there’s lots of different ones that work) and then they’ve customized the plan to fit their lifestyle. Others, like myself, just counted calories. Some people just made better food choices. Bottom line - there’s no ‘right way’ to lose weight and there sure isn’t any ‘right way’ to keep it off for the rest of your life. You gotta do it YOUR WAY.

So maybe take a look at what’s worked for you in the past. What do you feel you can sustain, day-in and day-out, year-in and year-out? What’s hard? What do you miss? Can you pinpoint where you’re slipping up? Are you hungry? Tired? Sick of dieting? Burned out on exercise? Mad at having to do this for the rest of your life? Talk to us about yourself some more!

Wedded, my dear, you’ve found a group of people here who struggle with exactly the issues that you do and we’ll help you get back on track.
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Old 12-05-2004, 02:29 PM   #6  
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I am fairly new to maintaining, but I think the key to how I've kept it off is consistent tracking--every bite gets logged right away. For those weeks when I gained a couple of pounds, I could check back in my journal and see that I was eating (for example) more cheese and fewer vegetables. Then I could make that change and track the results.

I agree that you will find this a wonderful and supportive forum--it has made a huge difference in my life.
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Old 12-06-2004, 12:36 AM   #7  
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Thank you, thank you, thank you....oh- and thank you!!! All the suggestions are really helpful. It's hard to reach out for help sometimes and I can't tell you how much I appreciate your comments and support.

After reading your posts, so many things occurred to me that I never realized. I've tried to think about what's changed between then and now and realized that everything's changed.

I moved states and cities, went from living long-distance from a fiance to living with a husband, from a very active and demanding job that I loved, to a sedentary job that I'm luke-warm about, from a single lifestyle and social life to being married with few friends. Frankly, I'm a little depressed and probably comfort eating.

What Laura said about enjoying treats with her husband and his family really makes sense to me. Although, we both lost weight together, my husband is pretty off the wagon now and we're not really on the same "trying-level" anymore.

Here's a little more about me: Late in 2002, my doctor told me I had high cholesterol and I needed to lose weight and it kicked me into gear. It occured to me that it wasn't just vanity anymore, I was 28, and feeling the emotional and health effects of the extra poundage.
So my husband and I both went to a nutritionist. She made out an eating plan, 1500 cals, low-fat, and with the motivating factor of an upcoming wedding we started on it. We lost weight about 2 lbs per week, stuck to it well after the wedding. At the time we were living apart for that year due to a new job opportunity for him, although we'd lived together for about 2 years before that. It was a crazy year for us, my career was taking off, his job was new, living apart, and the wedding planning.
Early this year, we had to make a choice, and we made the choice for me to quit my job and move to the city he had moved to. I got a job here and just been adjusting ever since. I even did ok until I started slipping this summer.

What worked in the past and what's different? After thinking about it- it's hard to admit- but you know what I've lost: FEAR!!! When I was losing the weight I was motivated by an upcoming wedding date- and I'd be *@[email protected]#$ if I wasn't going to look good on me wedding day. Is that a horrible way to do it?

What's hard and what can I sustain? That's a problem too...I did what the nutritionist told me for a year- and you know what was hard, I didn't have any cravings so it wasn't that: it's time ,boredom, and portability. I'm finding I don't want to eat that way anymore because I've run into those road blocks: to stay on that diet I am either eating foods that I'm bored stiff with or I can make the foods interesting which takes all my energy and time.
For instance for lunch: 2 veggies portions, a starch , and 3 oz of meat. How on earth do you fit 2 cups of vegetables and 3 oz of meat on a single slice of bread. And the site of a baggie filled with raw vegetables makes me ill now. I can't think of any more interesting combinations for that prescription.

Oh- And I miss cheese......and mocha coffee drinks, and eating at mexican restaurants, and just ordering pizza because it's 3 am and there's nothing in the fridge, and fried things, and the convenience of not having to think about it..........

whew- that was good to get out.

So I just blabbed a whole lot about things- I'm starting to realize the causes, but I'm still not sure how to fix it.

But your words have been very inspirational- and I do have to realize that growth is gradual, it doesn't happen overnight- (it's so depressing to backslide) but it's not as easy at first appears. And there are other people going through and have gone through what I am. And it's not the end of the world. And I can do this! Right??????
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Old 12-06-2004, 06:57 AM   #8  
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I do have to realize that growth is gradual, it doesn't happen overnight- (it's so depressing to backslide) but it's not as easy at first appears. And there are other people going through and have gone through what I am. And it's not the end of the world. And I can do this! Right??????
Absolutely right!!! You can do this and we'll do everything that we can to help!

Wedded - thanks for your answer; it's really helpful! I have LOTS that I want to say but don't have time right now (I'll be back), but in the meantime you MUST read this thread called 'Marriage and Maintaining' from someone who sounds like she's in your shoes:

In the meantime, I hope you get lots of ideas from the others here.
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Old 12-06-2004, 11:01 AM   #9  
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After thinking about it- it's hard to admit- but you know what I've lost: FEAR!!!
I dunno, a healthy dose of fear never hurt anybody. Your cholesterol could skyrocket again, you have a better chance of gaining all the weight back than someone who had never been overweight, and when we gain weight back we usually gain extra to go with it. So be afraid, be very afraid. But only if it helps. LOL

Walking's good, for both health and marriage. Take long walks with your husband. And it's ok to order pizza. But my guess is you probably used to order it like I did...once a week or more? Remember that pizza is a treat, not a lifestyle. Well, it becomes a lifestyle for some of us and that's why we end up here.
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Old 12-06-2004, 02:34 PM   #10  
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oh honey.. i'm so late to everything these days. but after reading your last post about the boredom, i just gotta suggest DOING IT DIFFERENTLY!! where is it written that lunch MUST be a sandwich?????

even just dumping 3 oz of tuna on a prebagged salad with some decent dressing could be better than a dull old sandwich and a baggy of veggies.. add a couple of crackers on the side, or a few low fat croutons for the starch...

chili and salad. other leftovers...

raw veggies? ya don't have to eat them! roast them instead with some seasonings. make a good sized pan and use them for sandwiches, in salads and pasta dishes, top them with a little good parmesan or romano as a side dish. find some different seasonings..

use hummus as a salad dressing [i've gotten into this phase in which i HATE salad dressing - it happens every once in a while]. or as a dip.

special coffee drinks... well, many places - starbucks, panera bread, to name just two -now have sugar free syrups. i often order tea bag chai because the chai latte mix has way too much sugar. some people make the tea with milk, but i ask them to make it with water and add 2-3 tbs steamed milk. works great! it's a treat, but a forgiving one.

pasta salad instead of bread. or wasa crackers [yeah, i'm weird].

it's about substitution and experimenting. but good heavens, woman - you have been through about HALF of the 'most stressful life experiences' possible in a year... sounds to me as if you are in the process of learning how to live ALL OVER AGAIN. and eating is one part of this process...

there's no question, you have a lot of work to do, between the job, the move, the wedding, the eating, etc etc etc. please be gentle and PATIENT with yourself...

it's all an adventure...
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Old 12-06-2004, 09:00 PM   #11  
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Hey wedded,

Your prescribed lunch is similar to how I eat--and I happen to love sandwiches!
How do I do it? First, I use lite 9 Grain Bread at 40 cal/slice--so you can have 2 slices! Next, I trade 1oz. of meat for 1 slice lowfat cheese (there are lots of great ones). Next the veggies. I hate raw veggies and found it hard to eat enough--until I started making veggie soup! I make a big pot once a week, starting with low sodium vegetable broth adding any and every kind of veggie, cut into bite sized chunks. It can be seasoned any way you like, but my favorite is with curry powder. Make it really chunky, store in the fridge and just scoop out 1 1/2 cup, zap in the microwave to heat and it's really great!!! Easy to take to work, also!!!

Just one idea, out of endless possibilities! Good luck to you!
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Old 12-07-2004, 10:28 AM   #12  
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Hi Wedded – back again – thanks for taking the time to let us know what’s going on with you. Wow – what a whirlwind year you’ve had! No wonder you’ve had trouble maintaining focus - everything that worked for you before has changed. It’s like you’re back at the beginning and need to figure out new ways to make diet and exercise fit in with all the changes in your life. What worked before isn’t going to work now.

So I just blabbed a whole lot about things- I'm starting to realize the causes, but I'm still not sure how to fix it.
That’s the great thing about posting here – sometimes just writing things out makes them a little clearer and sets us on the path to thinking of solutions. And then you've got all of us to help with ideas!

You got some great suggestions about trying to make what you’re eating less boring. We really have to enjoy what we’re eating or else it’s impossible to stick to, long-term (as you’re finding out). Suggestion – if you’re missing cheese, mocha drinks, and Mexican food (and whatever else), figure out a way to put them in your food plan. The nutritionist gave you a good basic food plan, but it’s not magic or written in stone. You can change it to suit your likes and needs, especially if you count calories and keep approximately the same calories and/or protein, fat, and carb ratios. Some people do a once a week treat meal (or day); others just figure out how to eat what they like on a daily basis. Do it YOUR way - because you’re going to be doing it forever if you want to keep the weight off.

About the fear factor – I have to agree with almostheaven – I don’t WANT to lose the fear. Being afraid of going back to where I was definitely keeps me on track. I don’t ever want to forget how it felt to be obese; those memories will keep me from regaining the weight. Along those lines, I don’t ever want to lose the guilt factor either, like if I eat something that I shouldn’t. If I just forgave myself and moved on (like some people recommend), I think I’d do it way too often and forgive myself right back to 257 pounds. I WANT to feel guilty, be mad at myself, and feel like crap if I go off-track. Crazy as it sounds, I think that fear and guilt can be useful emotions in maintenance (at least for me).

It sounds like the wedding was your goal and you’re floundering a bit now that you’re past it. Can you think of some new goals or something else to focus on? They don’t have to be weight related, necessarily. Sometimes a fitness goal works better, like an achievement or just exercising a certain number of times a week. Is DH still losing weight or watching what he eats? Can the two of you sit down and brainstorm ways to make this work for the two of you? (it's so much easier with your spouse helping! )

I think you're going to be just fine, Wedded. Maintenance isn't a one-way street - for a lot of people, there's some regain and loss and regain and loss. It's a continual process of learning about ourselves and what we can sustain as a lifestyle for the rest of our lives. Because the biggest lesson I think that any of us here at Maintainers has learned is that this HAS to be for the rest of our lives if we want to keep the weight off.

We're glad you're here - keep posting!
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Old 12-07-2004, 11:18 AM   #13  
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Originally Posted by wedded
When I was losing the weight I was motivated by an upcoming wedding date- and I'd be *@[email protected]#$ if I wasn't going to look good on me wedding day. Is that a horrible way to do it?
that's where I am right now- my wedding on 3/5/05- I'm gonna look good- the honeymoon, all of that... and it's easy- you've been there, you know. But I'm also doing it for myself. I knew I needed to lose weight/ get back in shape- I would get winded going upstairs! the wedding was just the push that I needed.

Meg's right though- gotta set some new goals for yourself now. I already set one for after the wedding (my 25th bday) because I know I'll slack off- and goals keep me on track (so far) even if it's just fitness goals or going to the gym 3x a week. gotta set something.
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Old 12-07-2004, 11:39 PM   #14  
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Hi Wedded and all,

Fear can be a powerful motivator. It has been for me. Alas I no longer feel as fearful so I have had to find other motivators. Its smaller sized cute clothes for me right now that I get at the thrift store and have hanging all over the house in plain sight.

Meg said: << I don’t ever want to lose the guilt factor either, like if I eat something that I shouldn’t. If I just forgave myself and moved on (like some people recommend), I think I’d do it way too often and forgive myself right back to 257 pounds. I WANT to feel guilty, be mad at myself, and feel like crap if I go off-track. Crazy as it sounds, I think that fear and guilt can be useful emotions in maintenance (at least for me).>>

I agree emotions are powerful motivators. The concept of forgiveness however is complex and we each handle it differently (just like everything else). To me forgiveness does not mean what has happened is acceptable, but that I just dont want to beat up on myself about it. I also can feel bad and mad and just plain p*ssed when I go off track, and haate it when it happens. But its over and these feelings are something to learn from too. If one goes off-track, to be successful one has to learn something from it or else indeed one will continue to go off the same track over and over again if everything stays the same. No doubt about it. Mindless forgiveness is worthless in my opinion. But I do want to responsibly forgive myself for food indiscretions so I can learn and do better next time. I forgive myself so I can more rationally focus on what really happened and come up with a better solution for next time. To me forgiveness is not a blank check for any and all behavior but rather another tool for solving a problem.

One of the more interesting things I have learned from this maintainers forum is how very many ways people have come up with solutions that work for themselves. This is such an individual pathway. Yet again one size does not fit all.

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Old 12-10-2004, 02:44 PM   #15  
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Default Bored with food, not me!

First, I have to thank Meg for pointing us all to the marriage and weight thread. Wow -- did I recognize myself there. The original poster talked about feeling competitive with her husband regarding food. I can relate. I want to eat everything he is eating, and resent not being able to. A few things seem to work. I tell myself that I can eat like a man if I want to look like one I also get up from the table when I am through, rinse my plate and go to another room. My husband can graze for an hour and a half. If I stay in the room, it is just too tempting. At first, he didn't like not having me to keep him company, but he understands now. Also packaging up the leftover, before I sit down to eat helps as well. Sometimes, he will ask me if he can have more of the pre-portioned veggies and chicken or pork and apples, or whatever. I just say that it is for tomorrow night and he can have toast with almond butter or whatever else is handy but not already placed in tupperware.

Second, with all the variety out there in food choices, you can really look forward to your meals. Treat yourself to some new diet books and try a few of the lunches. I like the Zone books and the Okinawa books. The Omega Plan also has balanced meals. Today for lunch, I brought a salad made of spring mix (pre-bagged) lettuce, 1/4 cup canned chickpeas, pre-sliced mushrooms, 1 oz. low-fat jarlesberg cheese, 3 oz. chipotle deli-turkey shredded and a dressing of 1 tsp. ev olive oil and 2 tsp. chardonnay vinegar. For dessert I had a cup of organic grapes.

Another idea is a seafood salad of 6 oz. of shrimp, crabmeat, or whatever you like mixed with a T. of Nayonnaise and stuffed into a half of an Ezekial bread pita. Add lettuce if you like and round out the meal with an apple and 9 roasted almonds.

Both of these lunches are 300 calories or so and balanced with carbs, fat, and protein.

I love trying new veggies, new seafood, and new fruits. Be adventurous with you healthy food. Try seasoned tofu products for a lean protein. Make an eggwhite, egg salad with no-fat yogurt dressing.

What you are attempting is hard, but you can do it!
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