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Old 08-03-2010, 02:35 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Mental Fitness - Overcoming Emotions & Negativity

One of the challenges that I've faced throughout my life, when trying to diet, was my mind psyching me out.

I consider myself a positive person, and it's not that I don't think I can succeed at getting healthier, but I obsess over things to the point of sabotage.

For example, I recommitted today to my weight loss & exercise goals, and I think I made a really great effort. I feel good about everything I ate & did today. But one of my personal goals was to curb my late night eating -- specifically 'not eating after 8pm'.

Since I spend a lot of time on the computer, for both work & recreation, I find myself looking at the clock a lot. Now that I know I want to not eat after 8pm, the minutes since 8pm have been ticking by so slowly! LOL

I'm trying not to focus on it, but it's like my mind locks on to it and won't let go.

Other challenges I have mentally are visualizing my long term goals. I have done everything from cutting pictures out of magazines to listening to motivational 'mind power' CDs... and while, again, I believe I can achieve goals... I have a really hard time seeing myself thin. I've been overweight my whole life, so I really have no reference point.

So, I'm hoping by talking to some of you -- especially those of you who have experienced some long term success with your goals -- how you've overcome your mental blocks or hurdles along the way.

Sorry for such a long post, but thank you for reading and sharing your experience.

Best always,
Smoosh
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Old 08-03-2010, 08:46 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Hello Smoosh,

I'm not a long way into my journey yet, but I understand your feelings on mental fitness and trying to curb the late night grazing.

I don't really know how I stopped my late night eating though. I just stopped when I started my new lifestyle. I think it was the understanding that I'd eaten my calories for the day, and I didn't want to undo all the hard-work I'd done. My desire for weight-loss is greater than my desire for food. I think that's something you should be asking yourself when you're heading for the fridge at night. (Sorry to be blunt, but it helped me.)

I think it's important to concentrate on small goals to begin with. It's really great when you start reaching and smashing through those goals. For example I've reached 3 mini-goals that I've set myself since I started. To lose my first 14lbs (1st), to get under 280lbs (20st) and to manage 30 minutes on the elliptical/cross trainer. My next goals are to lose 28lbs (2st) and drop a dress size. All small, but achievable and it helps to keep me motivated!

I hope you continue to do well, and start losing weight soon!
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Old 08-03-2010, 11:31 AM   #3 (permalink)
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First and foremost keep in mind that you are trying to change your fat habits into skinny habits, and that of course takes time. They say it takes at least 21 days to learn a new habit (maybe twice that if the habit is good for you), and 21 days to give up an old one (again, maybe twice that if the habit was bad for you). What I did when I first started doing this was to change my habits one or two at a time, that way it was less overwhelming. So I started off by not dieting for 3-4 days, just logging what I ate, when I ate and where I ate. After that I had a really good idea of what my eating habits were, and started working on the worst ones first.

One of the things I do to keep myself from eating at night is to get ready for bed, brush my teeth, put on pjs and curl up under the covers with a good book. I don't like crumbs in my sheets so normally I don't eat in bed, and once I'm there I'm done for the day. If I'm not at home, sometimes I chew peppermint sugarless gum, the closer it tastes to toothpaste the better, cause it makes me feel like I've brushed my teeth.

Often times when I have a bad case of the munchies, I'll drink a big jug of water and see if that doesn't do the trick. Often thirst feels like hunger, so if you drink water the munchies sometimes go away. You also might want to look over your intake for the day and see if you are getting a big pile of carbs sometime during the day (lunch maybe?) that is leading to a carb crash at night. Typically I don't have this issue late at night because I have a low carb lunch.

One thing I do to keep myself motivated and keep things in perspective is to always have a piece of clothing that doesn't fit. Something just 1-2 sizes too small, and very very cute, and usually it's something I bought new expressly to motivate myself. You would not believe the euphoria I get when it finally fits, it lasts for weeks, and I get it every time I put it on, and it gets even better when once it's gotten too big. I also get rid of clothing that is too big. I do not want to be that size again, therefore I do not need it in my closet. I think always having 3-4 sizes of clothing in my closet has been a form of passive aggressive sabotage for most of my adult life. So no more, when it's too baggy it goes - end of discussion.
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Last edited by almeeker; 08-03-2010 at 11:40 AM.
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Old 08-03-2010, 01:41 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks for the replies so far. =)

I tend to be a night owl, staying up on the PC until midnight or sometimes later, either working or gaming. So, that's usually 4 - 5 hours after my 'chew-few' (curfew for food, lol... just made that up ).

But I will try drinking more water if I feel hungry. Sometimes I have even gone to bed earlier to avoid eating, though I roll around the bed restless for a time until I can fall asleep.

Some things I have done to help myself stay focused are:

- Posted a magnetic white board on the fridge telling me to THINK before I eat and make GOOD food choices.

- Since I'm on my computer A LOT, I put a motivational weight-loss wallpaper on my desktop. Hopefully this will reinforce my goals.

- Got my hubby involved. He wants to lose some weight too, though not as much as I do. But I stressed to him that I really need his help and want to do this.

I want to get rid of my 'big clothes' as soon as I can, but unfortunately my budget is limited right now to purchase new clothes. I do sew, limitedly, so I was thinking I might try to alter some clothing as I lose weight, and get more longevity out of some of my fave attire.
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Old 08-03-2010, 02:48 PM   #5 (permalink)
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If you enjoy frozen treats then this tip will be right up your alley. I LOVE frozen treats like popsicles and italian ice.

I bought some crystal light frozen popsicles mainly for the purpose of curbing late night cravings and if I had a craving for something after 8:00 then I would get one of those and savor it. If you eat it fast then it won't make much difference. They only have 15 calories per popsicle, so it's not going to hurt to have one. Crystal Light now makes italian ice cups!! They are ohh so good! Those have 35 calories per cup.
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Old 08-03-2010, 03:10 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Oooh that's a great suggestion! I didn't know those popsicles were so low-cal. It might be just the thing to take the edge off, that water just doesn't satisfy. Thanks for the tip!
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Old 08-03-2010, 11:58 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Just wanted to pitch in about the late night eating...I don't set a time after which I don't eat anymore, but I did make it habit to not eat 2-3 hours before bed. I would think, even if you eat dinner at 8pm, if you're up for another 4-5 hours you would be hungry. I personally eat every 2-3 hours as it is, so going to bed 2-3 hours after I eat dinner, I'm just starting to maybe get a little hungry. But I just go to bed and forget about it. Maybe get yourself to go to bed earlier. Or if you know you'll stay up, you can plan a healthy snack, as long as you're still done eating a few hours before you go to sleep. Even cut up veggies or something wouldn't be an awful thing. Just a thought!

Oh, and one of my fav snacks is sugar free hot cocoa mix and water. It's a little thin, but still chocolatey and delicious, and only 20 cals.
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Old 08-04-2010, 12:27 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Hi Smoosh...I am a night owl, too. I generally eat dinner about 6:30 but don't head for bed till about 1. That's a lot of hours. After trial and error, I hit on planning for snacks or small meals, and I usually have two or three between dinner and bed, though not too close to bed. One is always what I consider very low impact, like cucumber, celery, or carrots. For the others, I look at my pie chart and see what I need in order to balance it out. Usually it's protein or fats, so I'll go with something that provides that, like pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, or nuts. The bonus is that those take a long time to eat, too. Other things that I can spread out and make last a long time include cherries, popcorn, goldfish crackers, mini pretzels...but only if my carbs aren't too high already. My other trick is to do my workout at night; that way I'm less inclined to eat junk that would negate the good work I just did. I just make sure it fits into my calorie allotment for the day.

About the clothes...do you have any thrift stores near you? Many have nearly new clothes, and you can get them very cheaply, then maybe even consign them back when they get too big.
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Old 08-04-2010, 02:42 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wannabefitgrl View Post
Just wanted to pitch in about the late night eating...I don't set a time after which I don't eat anymore, but I did make it habit to not eat 2-3 hours before bed.
Thanks for that tip Wannabe. I was thinking that perhaps setting a time wasn't a good idea, especially because I obsess over it, but I can definitely try not to eat 2-3 hours before bedtime. I'm pretty consistent with getting to bed by 12am or 1am, but going any earlier doesn't really work for me. I'll have to try the hot cocoa too as a way to satisfy any chocolate cravings.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cjohnson728 View Post
My other trick is to do my workout at night; that way I'm less inclined to eat junk that would negate the good work I just did. I just make sure it fits into my calorie allotment for the day.

About the clothes...do you have any thrift stores near you? Many have nearly new clothes, and you can get them very cheaply, then maybe even consign them back when they get too big.
Thanks for the great suggestions Cassie, about the snacks too. My only hesitation in working out at night is that I can see myself putting it off and then just saying, "Oh well, I'll workout twice as long tomorrow." Which of course I won't... I'm famous for procrastinating. LOL I am trying to get my exercise in as early as possible in the day, since I'm not that fond of it, thinking that maybe if I'm still half-asleep when I do it I can trick my body into liking it. hahaha j/k But seriously, I do want to get it over with as quick as possible so I can enjoy the rest of my day. Someday I'll be a fitness junkie. Someday!

The consignment shop idea is another great tip. When I go in to the city I'll have to look into some of those places.

Thanks again!
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Old 08-04-2010, 04:17 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smooshmcsmeesh View Post
I want to get rid of my 'big clothes' as soon as I can, but unfortunately my budget is limited right now to purchase new clothes. I do sew, limitedly, so I was thinking I might try to alter some clothing as I lose weight, and get more longevity out of some of my fave attire.
We're on a limited budget too, so I've had to get rid of things just a few at a time, and to buy new things a few at a time. And so far it's been fairly workable. I've gotten some things at Goodwill, and dropped things off there and at a consignment shop as well, but I've also allowed myself some new things. Believe it or not, skinny women pay a lot less for their clothing than queen sized women, you just have to shop the sales racks. I've gotten deals on new things that actually cost less than an older used version at Goodwill.
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