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Old 11-05-2005, 04:24 PM   #1
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Default Choices, Obsession, And Dedication

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Old 11-05-2005, 06:11 PM   #2
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Wow Meg, yet again your insight simply amazes me. I could not agree more with everything you wrote. And because of this post, I will no longer allow myself to feel the least bit bad about my own "dedication" to living a healthy life. Thank you for putting it so clearly into perspective. Please put a copy of this post directly into the greatest posts sticky at the top of the forum, as anyone who is the least bit interested in weight loss, maintenance, and healthy living absolutely must read this!

Thank you!!
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Old 11-05-2005, 06:12 PM   #3
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"OUR choices make them feel uncomfortable about THEIR choices." Oh ain't that the truth Meg!!

People make me feel guilty for working out all the time!! They say, "well you don't work full time, you have TIME"... But I tell them all the time that when I worked full time I was at the gym at 5AM!! Made a point of getting there no matter what! It's a happy and willing choice I make daily with NO regrets. No regrets because I am in better shape than MANY of my friends at my age ...

I have to go I will post later again...
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Old 11-05-2005, 06:54 PM   #4
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Great post, Meg! There are so many individual definitions of obsession and dedication, which go in many directions. We're all individuals, with our own goals, and we learn what works for us. It's up to the individual to adapt their diet and fitness routines to their personal lifestyle, based on their own experiences, and there's definitely not a one-size-fits-all solution.

I don't like the word obsession, and I don't think it fits here. This is about sticking to the plan 100%. Why is that considered worse than someone sticking to it 80%?
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Old 11-05-2005, 07:25 PM   #5
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I'm so glad you posted that, Meg .

I've been sorta struggling with the whole idea of "obsession" lately. It's something that's bouncing around in the back of my head -- a kind of unformed "worry" -- and your post pulled it to the front of my head, which is great because I know I need to work it out.

I'm worried about getting obsessed. I'm worried that I am obsessed. I worry that I "won't stop" and will end up with an eating disorder -- which is a highly weird thing for me to be worrying about because I love food so much! I know it all stems from my Mom (whose anorexia I've posted quite a bit about already). I worry I might end up like her. Part of me knows it will NEVER happen, but another part of me wonders if I really know the boundary between obsession and healthy dedication. I've always had obsessive tendencies, which usually work in my favor because it means when I want to do something, I do everything possible to get it DONE. It's a huge advantage as a writer, and it served me VERY well as a teacher. But I also know it can get out of hand if I'm not careful.

I KNOW I won't turn into an "exercise bulemic" like my Mom was because (as you all know VERY WELL) I despise cardio. And her daily regime of jogging for 2 hours and swimming for an hour just ain't gonna happen. So it's the food thing I worry about. Some days I experiment with even smaller meal portions than normal, just to see what I can "get away with." Some days, I don't eat when I come home from the gym because I want to see how long I can last without food after exercise. Some days, the idea of eating (especially in the morning) makes me feel kinda sick. I've been exhausted lately, and I don't know if it's because I'm not eating enough or if it's a seasonal/clock-change thing. Or my nutty schedule?

I also really worry about my body dismorphic issues -- I'm a loose size 8 jeans now and I still don't see it. If I can't see that how am I going to know when to stop losing? Does that make sense?

Plus, I bought a scale and weigh myself now every day (I read the thread around here "somewhere" about using a scale as a maintenance tool). And my trainer's a bit worried about that cuz she's very anti-scale.

I like to think I'm just extremely dedicated...but I know obsession looms, too.

Sorry, that was more of a babble than anything else...

Thanks again for the thread, Meg. Food ( ) for thought, as they say!

(By the way, I registered with the National Weight Control registry! I kept 30 lbs off for 18 months before working on getting the rest off. I'm still waiting for my big packet of surveys!)
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Old 11-05-2005, 08:03 PM   #6
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Great post, thanks for sharing, I know I have had to deal with these issues myself as I am sure others have also. We have made a life choice, not "gone on a diet", others who see it and have seen us fail in the past, think it is the same ol same ol, but that isnt true....we have CHANGED ourselves this time...not just our food.
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Old 11-06-2005, 12:43 PM   #7
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Hmmm, I actually felt more obssessive about food BEFORE I started living this way. In fact, exercising the way I do now and eating properly actually makes me feel much more normal - I find that I "blend in" with the general public more. For the first time in a long, long, time I eat in a way that doesn't call attention to me.

I've not gotten any negative comments regarding my lifestyle being obsessive. Okay, maybe I've been teased a little about always having a measuring spoon in my purse. But it was all in good fun, nothing judgemental. In fact, most people speak of my lifestyle with a certain amount of envy (not jealousy) - they wish they were as healthy as me, all the while admitting that they aren't willing to make the changes to get there. And that really only comes from my friends who are overweight. I don't think my thinner friends and family see anything odd about my habits because they've always eaten and exercised the way I do now.

With all of that said, I have a few things going for me. First, I've not always been obese and therefore haven't done a lot of yo-yo dieting. Plus, I am relatively young. I believe that these two things contribute to my being able to lose weight and maintain that loss with a relatively low amount of exercise. I hit the gym on a regular basis (most days, in fact) but most of my calories are burned through general activity. I may not be a gym rat but I am very active - nobody accuses me of obsessively exercising for playing freeze tag with my kids. It is understood that my going to the gym everyday is because I enjoy it as "me" time. Secondly, I eat healthily 99% of the time but I've not cut out any foods. So far (knock on wood ), I've been able to enjoy the occasional treat without it leading to a full blown binge. I tend to be able to tell when something is going to trigger that behavior in me and those are the only times I go out of my way to avoid junk. So, anyone familiar with my eating habits doesn't see anything that would appear out of the ordinary. Newer friends who aren't aware that I've been losing weight for some time tend to think I am one of those people who can eat anything I want without gaining weight (if they only knew!). But, it is because they only see me at school functions, parties, etc. - the 1% of the time that I'm NOT eating healthily. Even then I don't eat a lot. But, I remember all too well thinking the EXACT same thing when I saw the thinner moms eat one fun size snicker and somehow in my mind it seemed like they were shoveling in chocolate and never gaining an ounce. It was all so distorted.

I realize that my experiences may be the exception to the rule. Maybe I'm just lucky? I don't know. What I do know is that if there was ever a time I could have been accused of being obsessive or compulsive it was when I drove through Wendy's for a combo meal as a SNACK and had dessert after almost every meal.

Interestingly enough, I AM accused of being obsessive and compulsive in other areas of my life. I am the most organized person I know. I have always been a planner and I need things to be just so. My sister, who lives with no order whatsoever, has a favorite saying for me - ORGANIZED PEOPLE ARE JUST TOO LAZY TO LOOK.
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Old 11-06-2005, 03:12 PM   #8
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I was just posting about this in my journal a few days ago. I had an episode of back pain last week that made me cut down on my exercise for a few days. (I have a defect in my lower back that still causes pain from time to time. I have to be very careful when this happens to avoid being laid up for weeks) On day three of moderating I was starting to feel very very antsy.

It wasnít even like I had cut out all my activities. On one day I biked to work, but skipped the pool. Then I tried biking the next day and it flared up in a worse way. So day three I didnít ride my bike and it was pouring down rain so I didnít walk on my lunch break. All of a sudden the panic really started to flare. I have to make it to the pool tonight!! my inner minder shrieked.

I made a casual comment to my sister that I really needed to make it to the pool or I wasnít going to get any exercise in that day. She rolled her eyes at me and said ďobsessive much??Ē I started to get mad, but then just as quickly started to worry that she was right. Iíve been thinking about where that line is a lot lately, between mindfulness and obsession.

This thread makes me feel better about the whole thing. Itís not unreasonable for me to worry about slipping back into sedentary habits. Itís good to get uncomfortable when I canít work out, it just means that my new habits are well established
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Old 11-07-2005, 06:40 AM   #9
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Tani I know exactly how you feel! I'm feeling a bit under the weather and I think it would be wise to skip the weights and running tonight. But I'm scared that if I don't do it tonight, I won't ever do it again! As Ilene knows I've just started running and I really want to persevere! I've been on a running kick before and it's petered out after about 2 sessions!

I don't feel in any way obsessed with the plan at the moment. I take out a packed lunch if we're going to be out on a weekend day and I allow myself a meal out or two in the week. I do occasionally get an obsessed comment from DF but he is naturally thin and really doesn't understand the issues I have with food. He can eat till he's full and stop and then eat again when he's hungry. I clearly don't have that self control yet, but I'm practising!

We're off to Japan at the end of the week. I'm "obsessing" about coping strategies! I can't imagine how I'm going to cope! Every holiday I go on I end up putting on 7lbs! I'm packing my skinniest jeans to measure the bulge and I might take some coping food with me like protein bars (if I can find them in the shops before I go) or something like that! Needless to say the food journal's going with me!
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Old 11-07-2005, 11:37 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2frustrated
We're off to Japan at the end of the week. I'm "obsessing" about coping strategies! I can't imagine how I'm going to cope! Every holiday I go on I end up putting on 7lbs! I'm packing my skinniest jeans to measure the bulge and I might take some coping food with me like protein bars (if I can find them in the shops before I go) or something like that! Needless to say the food journal's going with me!
At least as places to vacation go, you're going to have lots of healthy food options in Japan. I love Japanese and Vietnamese restaurants here because I always know that there will be at least *some* healthy things on the menu to choose from.
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Old 11-07-2005, 11:43 AM   #11
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Hmm well you'd think! But I don't like sushi much and DF is vegetarian so I reckon we'll be eating at Mac D's! AAAAARRGH! I'm actually looking forward to it, I've done my research, I think I'll be able to cope with noodles and stuff! Who knows, I might even try sushi! I've gotta start liking soups... It seems everything's in a soup!

I might come back totally converted to Japanese eating, along with Miso soup!
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Old 11-14-2005, 03:55 PM   #12
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Mel,

You should thin about putting this in "Best of Maintainers", it's one of those posts that I (and I'm sure others) will want to reread on occasion.

Thx for posting it.
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Old 11-14-2005, 06:41 PM   #13
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Thanks E - I'lll put it in Best of Maintainers since Beverly suggested it also.

And I'm really Meg .

(it's OK, everyone mixes us up -- poor Mel!)
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Old 11-14-2005, 07:59 PM   #14
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Oh I know that I just forgot to tell my fingers.
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Old 11-15-2005, 08:47 AM   #15
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Mel,

great post! Also very encouraging. I think that if people call what you do "obsessive' this really means that since they cannot figure out how much it means to you, they think it means less and therefore your efforts are out of proportion. I fully disagree of course, because the only one who knows how important the issue is, is the "obsessive" person.
I think a lot of people would call me obsessive about a lot of things. But these things are important to ME, so i am entitles to my behaviour.

Again, great post! Thank you for getting me thinking on this.

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