Join Date: Jan 2010
Update for 2014:
Bringing the list of 'Obstacles I give myself' up to date:
I can see some patterns in my dieting efforts that contribute to making it much, much harder to lose weight and much, much easier to gain it back:
1. (Inspired by a similar confession read in a Weight Watchers pamphlet I was reading recently...) Despite knowing that dieting is difficult, long-term, and despite being surrounded by people (at WW) who take two or three years to lose 80 pounds, I think that I am different.
2. Just because it was small (a very large bite, maybe, of a great-looking, yummy sandwich my husband bought), it doesn't count.
3. I ate it. Even though I track what i eat, I 'forget' that I ate it.
4. When I think dieting is too, too difficult, I think, 'I can't DO THIS!' Of course I can.
5. I change horses mid-stream. I decide it's more important to just exercise a lot.
6. I decide that 'fat clothes' aren't all that bad.
7. I decide that there's a key to dieting that others have overlooked.
8. None of the eating schemes satisfy the emotional eating, bored eating pitfalls and so I overeat anyway!
I give myself these obstacles. They are there, but when I handle them badly, it's on me!
9. When I realize a diet clashes with my lifestyle (or the need to exercise clashes with my lifestyle), I quit it.
10. Not realizing and living with the truth that 'What I have done in the past is what has got me to where I am now.'
11. I forget that calorie limits are like a budget.
(Update: I now realize there's room for everything in a weight-reducing diet. It's just that it's a SMALL room....)
12. Not paying attention to what fitday can tell me.
13. Noticing portion sizes and not making changes according to what I see.
14. I forget that this world is, as I navigate it, obesogenic, from what I can SEE.
15. I think I can concentrate on a task. And I can.
However, I notice that I cannot focus other times - and this is news to me because I'm just noticing this now.
I'm going to have to work on this one particular skill until I can feel that it works for me - after all, focusing on what I need to do to not overeat is a task, intending to exercise and then following through is a task. Breaking down bigger issues into smaller tasks is natural, but: my mind wanders!
If you eat 2 grilled cheese sandwiches, homemade with plenty of cheese and butter, and you don't count calories, or watch calories, or appreciate the effects of calories, do those calories count as a meal or a snack?
I am sure that I have very similar episodes in my past (even the not-too-distant past) but instead of thinking the secrecy of the eating was the problem, I think the naming of the eating is the problem. It's not a snack because it's not meal-time. Because calories count, and there are more than a few calories to two grilled cheese sandwiches (even one grilled cheese sandwich), it's a meal.
17. Instead of focusing on 'good foods' and 'bad foods,' double my attention to habits and behavior. It's easy to say 'change your habit' but I don't think I've spent even 1/10 of the time looking at habits that I've spent looking at food. There are TONS of books on amazon about habits and, basically, managing resources.
Habit is powerful. All the positive (and negative) reinforcement leads to some automatic behavior that falls right off the radar. Yet, people are influenced by advertising which aims to change their behavior and it's worth examining how that influence works and using it to my advantage!
This is discussed a lot on diet forums, usually because people blame advertising for selling us the wrong kind of stuff.
I live in a house without a TV, don't listen to the radio (well, OK, sports stations), don't get a newspaper delivered to my house, don't subscribe to any magazine other than 'Entertainment Weekly,' and I frequent dieting forums. But I still gravitate toward food that I will eat in larger portions and will put weight on me JUST because of calories in larger portions. Once again, it's all on me - I'm the one eating large portions! No one forces me.
I was listening to an old NPR podcast about the power of habit. The author of a book about habit said that certain things change our habits without our even realizing it. Going on vacation and becoming pregnant were two he mentioned. My kids are grown so I'm not about to try the second, but the first seems to work against me.... vacation means trying new restaurants. I think my next vacation, I will have to get out and really walk, do some reading, and then enjoy just one meal: dinner. My husband's the 'Where should we go for breakfast?' guy. It's going to be a challenge to make this change. Interesting thing about HIS habit: at home, he doesn't eat breakfast.