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Old 04-23-2007, 02:14 PM   #1  
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Default Staying on track while under extreme stress?

I'm very new here, but so grateful to have found such a supportive place

I'm a real newbie, and haven't had much chance yet to settle in and participate - but I could really use some advice. I'm in the very early stages of getting started on losing over 100 pounds, and just decided on a direction for myself. I am determined to succeed, no matter what - but would like some advice on how to NOT let other stress derail weight loss efforts.

The thing is, my mom is incredibly ill. She has just been placed in a hospice program - we don't yet know the full details of her prognosis, but we know that the news isn't good, and I'm trying to come to terms with this the best I can. I know that some people would shake their heads that I'm trying to lose weight at a time like this, and it's hard to explain - but I know in my heart that just because she is so ill isn't an excuse for me to stop even attempting to take care of myself. If anything, maybe it's a reason - heart disease and cancer is in my family history. I have a child, and need to be as healthy as I can be, and - at the end of the day - I'd also like there to be a chance that my mom will see me finally achieving some success at this, and making a good start to a hopefully longer, healthier life. Deep down, I know my ability to cope will be greater if I'm doing things to take care of myself.

That's the logical, rational part of me.

The scared little girl part of me just wants to cry, scream, hide under the covers all day and eat nothing but whatever might make me feel better. Right now, I don't feel that I'm in danger of allowing myself to do that - but it's a strong day for me, and it's the weak days that I'm worried about. This means too much to me, and I don't want what's going on with my mom to be an excuse for me to give up on myself - but I am scared about how I'll deal with the really bad days, and would like to get some ideas of ways to cope that don't involve food.

I don't mean to be such a downer after only a couple of posts here, but could really use some advice from anyone who knows where I'm coming from, or has any ideas to share.
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Old 04-23-2007, 02:31 PM   #2  
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Wow, so sorry to hear what you and your mom are going through.

I'd say you're right on both counts. During times of stress, we need, more than ever, to take care of ourselves. You will be able to cope with your stress best if you are healthy. On the other hand, emotional turmoil leads so many of us straight to the fridge...

My life's pretty calm at the moment, so I'm not speaking from experience, but I would guess that one of the things that would help would be to plan ahead. You know - have some healthy dinners (or Lean Cuisines) in the freezer, keep pre-chopped veggies on hand, etc. Don't let the cupboard get bare - then it's too easy to opt for fast food or other junk. And I don't know what your food plan is, but I wouldn't think that now is the time to try anything too radical. With the stress you're under, you want your food plan to be one that doesn't add more stress to your life, or take a lot of mental energy to follow.

And exercise would be really important - not just for weight loss, but for helping to deal with stress. Even if it's just going for a walk or something - this might not be the time to sign up for a new gym membership or whatever, but find something that you enjoy, that makes you feel good to do, and go with that.

Oh, and keep coming here, as much as you are able. When I'm feeling tempted to have something that I really don't need (for example right now), I find it very inspiring to come here and read something inspiring from all the people here who have been so successful at weight loss.

Good luck.
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Old 04-23-2007, 02:58 PM   #3  
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Janie Canuck has some good tips. I would add that at a very difficult time like this, the important thing is to make sure you have that good eating plan in place, so that food is the LEAST of your worries. Stock up on the healthy items that will help you with weight loss, and get rid of the "bad" foods that aren't on your plan. Make sure that you always have something good that you can eat. That doesn't mean you won't have a bad day and mess up, but it does mean that you have lowered the chances of that happening.

Also, do you get any exercise? Even just deciding to go for a short walk during the day can be enough to start with, and it will lessen your stress.

I sure wish the best for you and your Mom. You'll get through it--take care of yourself.

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Old 04-23-2007, 03:19 PM   #4  
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What a difficult thing to be going through. I can't even fathom it. I wish your mom all the best.

I really commend you for tackling weightloss at this very stressful time. You certainly have some very valid reasons for wanting to do so. You've gotten some great advice already.

A couple of things to think about: When forced to eat out, just try and make good and healthy choices at every turn. Keep your home stocked with healthy foods. Keep some healthy snacks on hand and available. Maybe make a bunch of healthy dinners and freeze them so that they're all ready to heat up, should you have no time to cook. Soups also freeze very well. Water bottles are good for when you are on the go. Walking is great exercise and a great stress reducer, as already mentioned. There are some fun exercise DVD's out on the market as well. With all that you've got going on you are bound to have some slip ups. I think the most important thing to do would to not beat yourself up over them and try to get back on track as quickly as possible. You've got to just do the best that you can.

Good luck to you and your mom and your family.
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Old 04-23-2007, 03:28 PM   #5  
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Suejenn you have received some great advice. I am going to touch on the non-eating and exercise portion of what you are going to be going through. The next while for you will be tough -- I have been there with my husband, my father and one of my best friends. As a matter of fact it was during my husband's illness I put on so much weight -- I just couldn't deal with anything else -- I was heavy before he got sick -- I just allowed myself to fall to pieces.

You have choosen a great path to get healthy even with the immediate future looking so bleak. Allowing ourselves to make excuses is just not healthy for now or for the future. Eating right and getting some exercise - just getting in a good walk during the day is good for you is very very important.

If you want someone to talk to I am here just send me a PM and be kind to yourself and your family.

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Old 04-23-2007, 03:41 PM   #6  
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suejenn, I am very sorry to hear what you and your mother are going through. I've been through Hospice with my mom living with me. It was a very rough time. At that time, I had just reached my goal wt. (the first time) and I let the stress get take over and subsequently slowly regained the weight. I wish I had known of this site at the time because I feel it might have been able to help me. There is wonderful support here for weight loss and all other problems too.

I want to wish you the very best. Your reasons are completely noble and understandable. Please forgive yourself when you have slips and don't beat yourself up. As others have mentioned even a short walk helps with wt. loss and helps to relieve some of the stress. Hugs.
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Old 04-23-2007, 05:15 PM   #7  
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When you're stressed out it's mostly because of outside things, things that you can't controll, so when you're feeling especially weak remind yourself that what you put in your mouth and losing weight is one of the few things you CAN control, take comfort in that thought and enjoy it, it will honestly make you feel better when you decide to eat an apple instead of that icecream!
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Old 04-23-2007, 06:49 PM   #8  
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suejen, so very sorry to hear about your mom. Its hard to imagine what you're going through right now. Its a time where you need to be kind to yourself. No feeling guilty when you slip up. No beating yourself up if you don't follow through on your plan.

Being kind to yourself also means eating as healthy as possible. Maybe focus on eating as healthy as possible but not really worrying too much about portions or calories right now. Though I would "try" to make them reasonable I wouldn't be too hard on myself if I felt hungry or just wanted to eat more. But lots of healthy stuff like fruit, low fat yogurt, oatmeal, omelettes, chicken and other meats, skim milk, plus veggies (which I can't say I really eat myself much but I try to eat the few I like sometimes) will make you feel better.

I guess to summarize I'm suggesting trying to be healthy but not being too hard on yourself or actively and strictly try to lose weight. I think it will just happen without much focus if you eat healthier (that only works at first though, later you have to start getting more strict to keep dropping).

Throwing in a 30 minute walk 5 days a week would also energize you and your weightloss plans.
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Old 04-24-2007, 01:49 AM   #9  
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Thanks so much, everybody - for your well wishes, and all of the great ideas. I was feeling inspired tonight, and spent the evening clearing out my freezer, fridge and pantry of all the things I don't want to be eating anymore. I made a meal plan for the week, and will shop for it tomorrow - easy meals, but all from scratch and with fresh ingredients. I will plan to cook enough for leftovers, which I'll package up and freeze - super idea, thanks!

I do want very much for this to be just the "new way that I eat" rather than a diet - and I would like very much not to have to think too much about the food. Your advice to plan ahead is key - I think that by having a couple of standby snacks on hand at all times, and some things in my bag for when I'm at my mom's, I'll be able to keep myself from getting too hungry or being tempted to stop by the drive thru on the way home.

I haven't being doing much in the way of exercise, but that's starting to change -I've been walking each day just to clear my head, and really enjoy it so I think I'll keep going
It's going to be tough - I'm under no illusion there. But I really hope to make it! Your support means so much....thanks
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Old 04-24-2007, 08:37 AM   #10  
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suejenn - I sent you a PM, so check your messages

The short summary of it is - I went through an extremely stressful time in my life after my cancer diagnosis. At that time, it was more important to get used to my new medication (with all those *great* side effects), try to get less stressed, and eat healthy. I wasn't worried about losing weight. I just focused on maintaining. To me this meant getting my water in, eating my veggies, and not eating junk food. I tend to keep a whole foods/natural diet so I just stuck to that and didn't eat much processed food. I gained back about 5 pounds over 3 months. Not too bad. If things get too stressful, this is what I would recommend. Put your focus into your mom and her health, and if it gets too hard don't quit your diet but maybe shift most of your focus from it to her. I wish you and your mom the best of luck.
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