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Old 08-01-2011, 11:10 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default It takes over your life

Your weight does, that is. Many of us got big by NOT thinking about what we eat, so the only way to lose the pounds is to start thinking about it. If you have a large goal in mind, then this thought becomes a borderline obsession, doesn't it? And to keep it off, we have to keep obsessing over calories, forever and ever.

I read a while back that when studying the habits of obese and healthy weight individuals, both groups splurged about equally on special occasions. The difference is that the thing people ate less the day afteward, so that the calories still averaged out. They did this whether or not they verbalized that they were aware of it.

So is that the difference between a big girl like me and my skinnier counterparts? Are they truly thinking more about it than I think and just making it look like an automatic process? Will it ever become automatic for me? I hope so, I am so tired of thinking about my weight every day of my life. I am so tired of obsessing over food: what I ate, when I ate it, when I can have some more. I would love to be able to wake up and just automatically make the right choices without overthinking, but I'm afraid that ship sailed years ago.
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Old 08-01-2011, 11:52 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I totally agree. Now I'm obsessing about calories AND meeting my recommended daily intakes.
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Old 08-02-2011, 01:32 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I know, right? It's like some sort of insane, multidimensional Sudoku puzzle trying to make all the numbers good.
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Old 08-02-2011, 01:58 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Hey Spooky, you bring up some interesting things. I'm not quite as active on the forums perhaps as much as I should be (I should be more involved because everyone here is so lovely), but your post really hit home to me and I wanted to throw some thoughts your way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spookycheeseofdoom View Post
Many of us got big by NOT thinking about what we eat, so the only way to lose the pounds is to start thinking about it.
Agreed - mindless eating and, essentially, mindless living creates a lot of problems, not the least of which is obesity.

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...this thought becomes a borderline obsession, doesn't it? And to keep it off, we have to keep obsessing over calories, forever and ever.
I think the line between being incredibly driven and focused and "obsessed" is pretty thin, if not entirely invisible. Pick your word - I pick "focused," although I'd be a liar if I said I never felt like my drive towards living healthy was a bit excessive at times. It's very hard to find balance. But I do disagree about having to obsess about calories for all time. I think that the more we practice anything (in this case, portion control and mindful eating), the better we become at it and, although we will never be able to do it "automatically" per se, it becomes more intuitive. More on this momentarily...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spookycheeseofdoom View Post
So is that the difference between a big girl like me and my skinnier counterparts? Are they truly thinking more about it than I think and just making it look like an automatic process? Will it ever become automatic for me?
I, too, get tired of that feeling of obsessing - some days I do honestly simply feel driven and focused; other days, yes, I absolutely feel like it's a rather unwelcome obsession. But this business of being healthy and eating well will never be automatic, for the same reason you mentioned above - (to paraphrase): to lose weight (and to maintain a healthy body), we have to be mindful of what we eat. Being mindful of ANYTHING takes a great deal of patience and effort. The payoffs are huge, but so is the effort required. Not to say that I have it all figured out (I definitely don't), but if it's any consolation to you, I can honestly say that after about a year and a half of this lifestyle change, I find it a whole heck of a lot easier to listen to my body (that is to say, myself, since I don't like the separation of body and mind, but that's another story altogether! ). I think the reason why the thin people in that study ate less the next day seemingly "automatically" is simply because they listened to their bodies and were in tune to their hunger cues. And yes, that takes practice!!

Since I'm on the topic, I have found the book "The Miracle of Mindfulness" by Thich Nhat Hanh to be absolutely life-changing. It's not about eating, it's about everything.

I wish you much encouragement...and mindfulness.
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Last edited by changeisgood29; 08-02-2011 at 01:59 AM. Reason: Clarification.
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Old 08-02-2011, 02:01 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Well, I've been at it for 14 months now and I think it does get easier. I don't obsess as much these days, but I do still log everything.

I don't know if I'll ever dare to live w/o journaling everything, history tells me that I hadn't better try. Perhaps those with a less serious case of food addiction and/or compulsive eating disorder can do so after losing a lot of weight.

At this point eating fairly healthy is just second nature. Yes, I splurge once in a while but even then I don't go crazy and I still log the calories. I'm sure for some of us we'll need to be aware of our destructive tendancies forever (like a recovered addict) and some of won't.

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Old 08-02-2011, 02:33 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I've started recording everything I eat and the end of the day instead of throughout, and even when I think I "cheat", I'm still pleasantly below where I thought
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Old 08-02-2011, 03:38 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I'm not nearly there yet! I log what I eat before eating, just to make sure I'm on track. In fact, I have already made up my breakfast AND lunch for tomorrow and logged them ahead of time, just to help keep myself on the right path.

The sad thing is, I am not uneducated about nutrition. Heck, I have taught classes on nutrition. I have just fallen to a myriad of excuses for mindless overindulgence.

Thank you all, I appreciate knowing I'm not the only one who gets tired of having to ponder my food all the time.
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Old 08-02-2011, 03:38 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I've been reading a very old book (written almost 30 years ago), 'The Dieter's Dilemma' by William Bennet. I think I've read this book at least 5 times. Every time I read it, I'm at a different place in my life and I focus on a different part of the book.

In the book, he talks about what researchers observe as differences between obese people and non-obese people. He says that it seems, according to at least one study, that obese people aren't tuned in to internal cues about food. That is, they do get hungry, and they do respond to food. But they don't respond as well to the internal messages that say, 'Now, that's enough, you're full.' Sure, they stop eating, when they are a little past that point when they could have stopped eating because they were full. The slimmer person stops when they feel full and not beyond that point. Sometimes, even a bit BEFORE that point.

When I was reading that, it occurred to me that I don't think I've ever left food on the plate that I liked, that I thought was very tasty, no matter how full or 'un-full' I was. It didn't matter. That's still the case! It's not something that Dr. Bennet mentions, but I think I'm going to start focusing on that one behavior I have that I don't think does me any good. Let's just say that eating a large portion of something yummy doesn't seem to be tied at all to hunger or appetite - for me.
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Old 08-02-2011, 04:17 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I've heard that before in Bio last semester, it has to do with a chemical imbalance. It causes you to be out of sync with your appetite. There was a 5 year old who had this imbalance, and he was extremely overweight. But when they gave him this chemical, and, without any real "dieting", he lost a ton of weight.
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