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Old 01-17-2011, 12:24 AM   #1  
Running for my life
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Default What is different this time around???

I have lost quite a substantial amount of weight more times than I like to admit. Honestly, until this time, I have never thought about maintenance. I was never able to maintain a large weight loss because almost all of our supposed education about losing weight in this country does not include maintenance. Maintenance is really the most important part. Without it, most people will do as I've done and always be in a constant state of losing or gaining. I have literally been stuck in that cycle for the past 25 years or more.

The last time I lost a lot of weight like this was back in 2003. In 2004, when I had gained it all back, plus some for good measure, I decided to stop fighting it and start thinking of myself as a plus-sized woman. I started going to plus-sized stores and consciously decided to no longer care about my size or what I ate or drank. I always bounced back up to a larger size and I talked myself into the idea that I was meant to be a larger woman and I needed to stop fighting it.

Fast forward to 2010. When my moment came that I knew I actually didn't want to live with the weight, I also knew that I was going to have to do much more research and really challenge so many of the old weight loss myths and ideals of the past that had kept me stuck in the cycle. I have definitely done that this time, BUT, there is always this nagging little voice in my head that says, "most likely you will gain it back, you won't be able to maintain this for the REST of your life." I also will let my mind wander, look at the pics on my wall and wonder how fat I will look in a picture that will be taken in a few years.

I know it's weird and I know that negative self-talk is a huge road block to success. I try my best not to do it, but when I'm just letting my mind wander it happens.

What is different for all of you this time around, if you've lost weight in the past? Why is it that you know you will NOT regain the weight this time? I guess I just need to hear what other people say to themselves and how they keep negative thoughts from creeping back in.

to all of you.
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Old 01-17-2011, 12:57 AM   #2  
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I've made weight loss easier on myself. I knew how to punish myself with weight loss, but I didn't know how to pamper myself with weight loss. I knew how to make myself miserable while losing weight, but I didn't know how to make myself hapy losing/maintaining weight.

There were a couple discoveries that have made this time different, easier, and just a lot more pleasant (so pleasant I never have a reason to give up).

1. Birth control - without it, I have rabid hunger during PMS/TOM.

2. Low-carb - I find that for me, it controls hunger much better than other eating styles. If I'm not watching carbs to some degree, I'm going to get so hungry that 9/10 I'll find myself eating off plan.

3. Focusing on maintenance, realizing that "giving up" doesn't mean giving up on weight loss, it means accepting weight gain. I know if I gain, I'll end up worse than I started. I'll have to relinquish all the health, strength and stamina progress I've made. I'll get sleep apnea back. I'll be virtually house and bedbound, unable to take a shower without a shower chair. Unable to use conditioner on my hair, because it hurts so bad just to shampoo once. My autoimmune disease will likely come out of remission, and I'll have to go back on steroids...

When I feel like I can't lose any more, my reaction (this time, unlike any other) is not to say "what's the use, I'll never get to goal, so what's the use. It doesn't matter what I do..." because now I know it does matter. Every single pound matters, so when I think "I can't lose any more," I tell myself "that's ok, you can still keep off the pounds you've already lost."

And the truth is that weight maintenance is every bit as hard as weight loss, so while I'm trying to keep off the weight, I might as well try for "just one more."

I've lost most of my weight a few ounces at a time. I haven't even averaged 1 lb a week, but it doesn't matter how fast or slow I'm losing, as long as I keep it off.

I realized that I'm now succeeding "slower" than any of my previous failures. I gave up thinking "at this rate, I'll never get the weight off," and the rate I was losing when I quit was a lot faster that what I now consider success. I didn't quit because I was failing, I quit because I wasn't defining my progress as success. I chose to define slow success as failure, instead of seeing it as slow success.

"This time," I've decided that regaining just isn't an option. When the scale goes up (and it sometimes does), I don't let it be a reason to keep moving in that direction (most of my life, I've spent it either gaining or losing weight rapidly). I remind myself that I know I can get back down to where I was, and I can even probably "lose just one more," but I try to always focus on the one pound in front of me, rather than the 150 or more I still have to go.

I've never lost this much weight before - even on amphetemine diet pills my prior record was 70 lbs (and two or three times of 60 plus, and thousands of times of 20 plus).

This is the longest non-upward trend I've ever experienced (6 years of losing and/or maintaining). Heck it's at least double my previous record (a few years maintaining a highest weight).

For me, not beating myself up for mistakes really had to be part of the equation, because I can't "hate myself thin." I have to see no-gains on the scale as successes just as important as weight loss. The more I have to celebrate, the easier it is to be excited and happy about my choices. When I was never pleased or satisfied with my results, I made myself miserable. No-loss weeks felt like tragedies, not successes. Even losing weeks felt like failure if it wasn't more than I expected it to be. Losing 1 lb felt just as bad as gaining 5. That was messed up thinking.

My doctor told me (when I was griping that I wasn't losing at least 2 lbs a week like "normal people") he told me I was being ridiculous - that most people don't lose any weight because they give up. I wasn't trailing behind "everyone else" I was at the head of the race, just by not giving up.

That thought really does help me. I know that I am doing better than most people, and far better than "the old me," just by staying in the game, and refusing to give up.

I don't see slow success as failure any more, I see it as a small price for success.
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Old 01-17-2011, 01:11 AM   #3  
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I've "started" the weight loss journey plenty of times but I feel like this is the first time I've started. I can read success stories without aching to just be done already, I can avoid eating the box of chocolates I'm holding onto to send to a friend and getting myself off the couch to go to the gym feels just a little bit easier than it ever did in the past.

I can't say much since I've just begun, but right now this journey is feeling fun. I get to think about my training schedule, what I'll eat, how I'll grocery shop, when I might buy a new pair of running shoes, etc. It used to feel depressing and neverending, even when I'd barely started. I'll hopefully post an update a year or less from now talking about how I stay motivated to maintain.
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Old 01-17-2011, 04:00 AM   #4  
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I have just started my diet, so I haven't lost any weight yet. I have lost a lot of weight in the past, but always regained it because I never thought about maintenance. The thing I'm doing different right now is that I'm seeing a dietician. Someone to keep an eye on me every two weeks, to keep me in the real world. I plan to keep seeing her, even if I reach my goal weight.
Good luck!
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Old 01-17-2011, 05:23 AM   #5  
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Really good question! When I first started this back in May, honestly those nagging fears were constantly in my mind. I have never lost as much as this time, but I have lost 30lbs or so several times and always gained it back -- with LOTS more for good measure.

I think what's different for me this time (and let me face it, I will never be certain that this is going to work FOR GOOD) is that I think I have grown up a bit finally at the tender age of almost 40. I took my obesity to new heights this last time, and it really scared me. I have come to really embrace the fact that I can keep on eating for instant gratification, slowly winding down to an early death, or I can watch my 10 year old become an adult. Literally that's the choice I am finally realizing that I make every time I binge out on something greasy. I'm not in my 20s anymore, I'm not "healthy despite being overweight", it has all caught up with me.

The biggest thing, though, because I've always THOUGHT I had great motivations to lose, is that I have a really good plan this time. In the past, I have lost 30 lbs eating NO fat grams but tons of carbs (that time I literally spent the evening lying on the couch fantasizing about food -- STARVING!), once a shake for breakfast, shake for lunch, sensible dinner -- same hunger. This time I am eating a really balanced diet full of nutrients my body wants, eating plenty of it, and have come to realize that when I splurge (which I WILL), it's only 3 days of cravings I have to beat before I'm right back to being satisfied and not hungry.

For the first time, I'm really coming to realize how food plays a part in my coping, and I'm actively searching for other coping mechanisms. I had an expensive plumbing emergency a couple weeks ago, and could actually visualize how a feeling of numbness to it would have come over me if I ate 2 Big Macs. Recognizing it and trying to find alternatives has been eye opening. I still haven't figured that all out yet, but I'm constantly learning.

Thanks for the thread, I think I have needed to put these thoughts in black and white to realize that this time really WILL be different!
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Old 01-17-2011, 06:58 AM   #6  
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I do Weight Watchers, so the maintenance is built into the plan. And it's a sustainable plan, without restrictions or weird menus or off limit foods. There's nothing I'm not eating that I'll finally be able to have when my weight loss is "done" (I had sushi and pizza last week and still lost), there is no wagon to fall off of. There's just me and my smaller servings and better choices.

I lost about 20 pounds with it in my early 20's and those stayed off for 10 years. I have no reason to think that once this weight is off it won't stay gone.
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Old 01-17-2011, 07:48 AM   #7  
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Hmmm...I like this thread!

Ok...let's see...what's different this time (I'm also a repeat offender here..lol!) Lots of changes..lots!

This time...

1. I'm not following anyone else's "plan" (atkins, southbeach, etc.), I'm focusing on just monitoring my intake and output.
2. I've discovered it's ok to eat CARBS!!!!
3. I can eat CARBS in moderation and still drop massive amounts of fat!
4. I've learned that no single solitary food in any amount will cause me to FAIL!!!
5. I've learned the JOY OF COOKING!!! AND that herbs and spices are what really make food taste good, not SALT and MASSIVE AMOUNTS of FAT! Also, that most fastfood restaurants use the latter because its CHEAP, not most effective
6. I've learned that YES, I CAN eat my favorite Jamaican food restaurant and still lose fat!
7. I've learned that there is NO substitution for a healthy balanced whole food nutrition and moderate exercise.
8. I've learned that there is no MAGIC PILL or SUPPLEMENT that will aid in fat loss and that it is a gimmick perpetuated by the supplement industry to pray on desparate overweight people (especially geared towards woman)!
9. I've learned "portion control" is how I control my weight, again, NO MAGIC FOODS or combination thereof.
10. I've learned the value in keeping my sodium below 2,000 mgs/day. I've learned that by doing this I can avoid ridiculous fluctuations in the scale and the similtaneous needless bloating and Goodyear Blimp sensations I normally felt.
11. I've learned how to RUN...and I mean really RUN...5.4 Miles RUN..Woo hoooo!!!! and I actually love it...who knew????
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Old 01-17-2011, 08:16 AM   #8  
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What's different this time is that I am losing weight for my health.

In the past, whenever I lost weight, it was because I was limited in resources (the poor diet!) or my mother wanted me to lose weight or I decided to eliminate one type of food from my diet.

My approach has been different this time around. Instead of focusing on some goal weight that I may or may not reach, I'm focusing on how I'm feeling better, how my health issues are being addressed.

My weight loss, like kaplods, has been glacial.

It's only recently that I noticed I've lost 25 pounds since September 2009, 30 pounds total since I reached my highest weight. I have been focusing on just one more pound that I didn't realize that it's been TWENTY FIVE pounds.

The fact that it's been really slow, with lots of plateaus, has been great for me. Instead of getting worried that my plateau is lasting 4 months, I look back at that time and realize that during that time (even when there was no progress) it forced me to experience "maintenance". I was still watching what I ate, I was still exercising, all the things I need to do when I reach my goal weight.

I think that's switch was also important, to realize that I'm changing my life because once I reach my goal weight my changes have to continue. I can't go back to eating the way I was eating before!!!!!

P.S.... kaplods, you are really an inspiration.
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Old 01-17-2011, 09:27 AM   #9  
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I'm 49 years old and have gone through the lose-and-gain cycle a few times.

The two biggest differences for me this time are

(1) Unlike the other times, when dieting meant constant hunger and deprivation, this time I devised a plan that would be sustainable for the long-term. The only difference between my weight-loss regimen and my weight-maintenance regimen is the number of calories (which I think I'll be fine-tuning for the next several months).

(2) I incorporated regular exercise. I walk about a mile and a half or a little over 30 minutes, six times a week, absolutely every week. I've been thinking of incorporating strength and flexibility exercises but haven't acted on that yet.
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Old 01-17-2011, 09:37 AM   #10  
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This time instead of starving myself or writing off whole food groups or trying to burn 1000 calories in one workout session, I'm eating moderate amounts of healthy food and cooking for myself a lot. I'm also exercising regularly and with vigor, but at a pace that is sustainable. I've been addicted to exercise for just over half a year now - long enough that a habit has been formed. It's just what I do now.

I've not reached goal or begun maintenance yet - been hovering around the same weight for two months - but with the introduction of new types of exercise and figuring out how my mind works, I still feel like positive changes are being made.
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Old 01-17-2011, 09:46 AM   #11  
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This time:
  • I'm not challening myself to lose X pounds by a certain date... I've told myself plain and simple, that "It's coming off at whatever rate I can manage."
  • I'm not endurance-style crash dieting. I will eat something 3 times a day.
  • I've accepted that I must make permenant changes to my food content and how it's prepared.
  • I don't "just eat less of stuff." I pay attention to fat, protein, and fiber levels.
  • I track my weight and have an accurate understanding of sustainable progress.
  • I have stopped dining out at night, and only sporadically will for lunch.
  • I read 3FC, and pay attention to the advice of successful losers!
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Old 01-17-2011, 09:58 AM   #12  
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Really good thread. Thanks for making me think about this again.

- My environment has changed. Previously, my weight-loss attempts all happened around family and friends where emotional eating (including bingeing) was the norm. I'm no longer in that environment - in fact, I'm around healthier people who generally care about fitness. Not to an extreme, but enough so that I feel supported in my goals. I'm still close with my family and some of those friends from before, but a little distance has helped me.

- I found a sustainable plan (calorie counting) where knowledge is power. I have learned what a portion size is and how to include any food I want in my daily eating. At the same time . . .

- I've gotten honest with myself. I can have chips in the house and eat a few at a time, no problem. The same cannot be said for ice cream - I would eat my tracked, allotted portion, then obsess about more the rest of the evening. So, no ice cream in the house. It's not worth it to my sanity.

Also, since you mentioned negative self-talk, a HUGE tidal shift in my thinking happened when I read The Complete Beck Diet for Life. Dr. Beck bases her techniques on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and there are exercises in the book for positive self-talk, dealing with temptation, and making realistic changes. I didn't follow the program exactly, but going through those exercises really, really changed my thinking from "I don't know if I can" to "this is something I can definitely do."
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Old 01-17-2011, 10:08 AM   #13  
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I guess, for me, I just can't afford not to do it, and do it for real this time. Sitting on the edge of Diabetes, my husband having diabetes, 2 little girls to be around for....not to mention arthritis in my knees...things HAVE to be different, otherwise my health is going to take a huge hit. I was more fortunate than my husband, I got some warning, what I do with that is up to me. I choose to listen, and get the weight off.
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Old 01-17-2011, 10:25 AM   #14  
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A couple of differences for me this time are:

1. my Dr. has told me to do it for my health, this is a first for me
2. I am focused on triger foods and just not eating them and if I do realizing it
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Old 01-17-2011, 10:50 AM   #15  
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One big factor is that my husband is doing it with me. When I see him making good choices, than I want to do the same.

We also both love to cook, always have, and are now having fun discovering recipes that sound delicious but that are healthy and will suit our plan

The wisdom I get from here is a big part too. A huge part. When I refocused and started to lose again after a huge gain, I made only 2 rules for myself. Weigh every day and visit this site every day. These two actions seem to lead me to making sure I continue to make the right choices all day
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