Does it really get easier?

  • I know this question has been asked a million times, but I must have missed it. Does it get easier? Let me explain....

    I'm on day 1, again, and the cravings are coming on stronger than ever this time. Mostly it's because the holidays are coming (and for me, it's 4 parties, 4 days in a row till Christmas!), so I know another "day 1" will be coming next week too. Anyways, I heard that after a few weeks of eating less and more healthier, it gets easier, and the cravings die down. I don't get to that point (obviousy, because of all the "day 1's! LOL!) because I always give in. The old habits and comfort foods are so hard to give up, as I'm sure most of here can relate to.

    Is it true? Will my cravings get less and less? I really want to form better habits, but worried I can't make it there and I'll fail again. Please share your postive stories of getting past the first few weeks.

  • Well, in my opinion, you shouldn't look at it like Day 1, you should look at it as the first day of your new life. And I can testify that if you look at it that way, it will get easier. Don't think for one second that I don't crave mountains of cheeseburgers and pizza, because I do. But, for the majority of the time, my choices are on the healthier side, because I have chose to live a healthier lifestyle. No one here has ever said DON'T EAT or You can't have that. Enjoy yourself, but do it in moderation because, in my experience, if you deprive yourself, you're chancing a binge later. And I'm not going to sacrifice my hard work for three pieces of cheesecake...ya know?

    So good luck, and just think that everyday that you live healthier and wiser, you will be that much closer to hitting your goal...

    Much Love,

  • Hi Heidi!

    My two cents, it does get a whole lot easier if you can meet a few requirements:

    1) Find/design a program for yourself that you LIKE. Imagine! Liking "diet" food! For me, if I don't enjoy the food, I'm not going to stick with it. So find healthy foods you enjoy and build a plan around that. It can take some trial and error, but success means changing your life, not eating cardboard for a few months and presto! Same thing goes for exercise (my biggest struggle).

    2) You have to believe you are capable and can do it. Thinking you are probably going to fail because you have in the past sets you up with a reason to fail before you've even begun.

    3) Avoid all or nothing thinking. If you give up the first time you stumble, you're definitely not going to make it very far. Life is full of mistakes. You just have to learn how to avoid making the same mistakes more than once. If you shake it off, learn from it, and keep going, you will succeed eventually!

    Cravings come and go. I try to think of something else until they pass. Usually I think of how much better I feel since giving up whatever I'm craving. Oh, and I change the channel when food ads come on. Those start me craving stuff I don't even like!
  • In addition to the excellent advice above...

    I think it does get easier. Right now, I've been having a tough time making as good choices as I did last year. But my choices are a LOT better than they used to be, and one major difference is that I am perceiving them as CHOICES.

    You don't have to make the perfect choice every time to lose weight, but you do, I think, have to commit to making good choices most of the time.

    That goes for food and exercise.

    And finding a plan that works for you IS really important!
  • Yes it does get easier. That doesnt mean there aren't cravings or relapses but...well, I feel like crap when I dont exercise and while I dont always get off the couch I KNOW for a fact that exercise is what I need and eventually that gets me moving again.

    I sometimes crave bad food. And I sometimes give in to the craving. But I dont like it as much as I used to and I can more easily see a direct connection between how I treat myself and how I feel.

    I will say that it is easier this time than ever before...not to say its easy but I managed to learn a few things in my previous attempts and it seems to be coming together.

    Of course ask me again when I reach my psychological weight barrier (where I have repeatedly sabotaged myself) ...right now I am just taking off "baby weight"
  • Personally, I agree with haveing a LITTLE something you enjoy when you have a very strong craving. Don't finish it all if you can help it and know your triggers, and plan accordingly. Just remember to take it one day at a time. You'll be fine!

    Don't misunderstand me, I'm not saying if you crave a whopper, get a whopper Jr.... lol. What I mean is get a lower-fat burger as an alternative! And try to eat only half of it. Or something equivalent and eat some healthy snacks so you're not starving and increase your tempations.
  • Isn't there research that says it takes 21 days to form a habit? In other words, don't feel disheartened because you repeatedly seem to back track. You've got psychology working against you!

    I'm agreed with everybody else on the cravings. Eat a small portion of what you want. And eat it slowly. Actually enjoy what you're eating. There's not even any point in having something you crave if you're just going to eat it in one mouthful and not savour it!

    Also, buy better quality food. You're far more likely to be satisfied with one small piece of fine, highest quality swiss chocolate than you are with one small piece of fat laden, stuffed with lactose and vegetable oil "chocolate" (if you even dare to call it that!!).

    Also, don't see going to a party as having to start all over again. If you enter the room with that mindset, you're setting yourself up for weight gain. Make smart choices- drink a couple of diet sodas, white wine spritzers or lite beer instead of calorie packed cocktails. Position yourself away from the buffet table and go and make conversation instead. Eat and drink slowly. Parties can be hard to deal with, but they're not impossible!
  • Hi there,

    Brother, is right before Christmas a hard time to be starting or what? Most people are doing good just to maintain at this time of year. So first of all, what you're trying to do is tough.

    I have to disagree with the folks who say "just have a little" of what you crave, only because for me, there is no such thing as "just a little." It always leads to more. I have foods that I really can't afford to take even a bite of right now! I don't have them in the house.

    But I think it may be that you need a plan to follow--do you have one? It helps me to plan what I CAN and WILL eat, not what I CAN'T eat. Otherwise it's too much like punishment. Also I know how many calories I can have, and I track them so I know where I'm at. This helps avoid unconscious overeating--100 cals here, 100 cals there. . . . It also helps avoid UNDEReating, because eating too little food doesn't help!

    It does take awhile for cravings to die down, and when you start out you may find that you are hungry now and then. If you are following a decent plan, you shouldn't feel really hungry all the time, and there should always be something you can have as a snack that won't blow the whole thing.

    And then you just have to keep on.

    Good luck!

  • Last night was really hard, but I think I did ok in the end. I was in the kitchen a lot, just standing there talking to myself. Why was I trying to find something to eat when I wasn't hungry at all? What was causing me to want to eat?

    What I was feeling was a pain in my chest and a sense of urgency. Anxiety is a big problem with me, and it felt like I was having a panic attack. I usually have these late at night and the only thing that helps is to eat a peanut butter sandwich, so I eat one. Things calmed down a little, but I still went to bed anxious and with small chest pains.

    This is the typical pattern with me and I have such a hard time jumping this hurdle. I think I did yesterday with the sandwich because I stayed around my 1500 calorie range for the day, but I know another attack is around the corner. So it really isn't cravings for particular foods that I hope will get easier, it's the pains in the chest and urgency to eat something, anything that I hope goes away, or at least deminishes enough to live a normal eating life. I am so tired of eating hords of amounts of food to make the pain go away. I want to eat normal amounts of food and feel content when I go to bed, not wishing I can find something more to eat.

    I doubt anyone knows what I'm talking about, as it's confusing to me also. It's like I'm fighting an addiction, and the addiction always gets satisfied. What I really want most of all is to be able to go to bed at night without feeling like my heart is going to beat out of my chest. I want to eat less, move more, and not be in such pain.

  • Heidi, I've been there, standing in the kitchen sobbing because I felt I needed to eat, not because I was hungry, but instead because I also see the types I foods I crave as an addiction. I don't have the chest pains, but it's different from a craving, more powerful. I can't predict when they are coming, but I know that I feel so fantastic the next day if I don't give into it and so horrible about myself if I do. I wish I could tell you why I'm not feeling it right, now, but for me it is easier when the foods that satisfy that need are not in the house. I can't have one bite of one of those trigger foods. If I do, it's all over. One piece of bread from a loaf and before I know it I've eaten all of it. Or cookies, or cake, or chips, or... You get the picture. That's why you need to decide what plan is best for your body. And your body includes your brain. If you use peanut butter to soothe the anxiety, I wouldn't have it in the house. I'd also encourage you to talk to a professional about the anxiety. They can help you to understand where it comes from and if necessary, give you something to ease it.

    Take care! And congratulations on making it through your first day! Just take one small step at a time and I swear it'll get easier.
  • Hey Heidi,

    You might want to have a talk or exam with your doctor, just to make sure things are OK from that point of view.

    You can plan your daily calories so that there is still something you can eat in the evening, if that is your worst time. Remind yourself that 1500 calories is not starving. Also, have some foods on hand that you can eat at almost any time. I find that baby-cut carrots are good, because I get to chew something crunchy, they are sweet, and after I eat several of them I don't feel like eating more. Plus they are not high in calories (6 = 23 cals). Also, I've found a glass of 1% milk before bed can be helpful if I'm still feeling like eating.

    Keep going--you need some practice at realizing that you are OK without having to stuff yourself. But do consider seeing your doctor if you keep having chest pains or panic.

  • It does get easier.... after Christmas.... lol