The obstacles I give myself
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. I will take half a year to lose 80 pounds. Sure! Also, once it is gone, that weight will be gone permanently and won't come back - and it will be easy!
2. Just because it was small (a very large bite, maybe, of a great-looking, yummy sandwich my husband bought), it doesn't count. I'm guessing all that salami and cheese and mayonnaise and olive oil is somewhere around 50 calories. Sure! Do that a few times a day. Sure! It 'never happened' (almost).
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. I have the Weight Watcher stickers that show I lose x amount of pounds. Then I fall off the wagon. And get back on a different wagon (see #5).
5. I change horses mid-stream. I decide it's more important to just exercise a lot. I lose some weight doing that, but it's not 80 pounds. Not even close. And my eating habits take a back seat to the physical activity emphasis - in fact, I justify that I can eat more because I'm more active. Then, for some reason, I skip days of exercising - for the same 'life interferes' reason that I decided dieting was too hard. When exercising recedes in the background, food is already in the foreground and I've really not lost much weight at all. I say, 'I really don't like to do xxxx (some type of physical activity)' the same way I say, 'I really don't want to eat low-fat cheese.' For some reason, that sounds better than the Nike slogan, 'Just do it!'
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. I decide to give up amounts of X for life and that will make dieting easy and even fun. After some success (cut things out of your food choices and you will lose weight - take your pick of what to cut out - it doesn't matter what...) This means all the stress of dieting comes back. I give up Chinese food, Indian food, Mexican food, I only can go to x kind of restaurant, I can't eat fast food unless I narrow my choices to one or two items, I can't go to this or that kind of get-together because there will be too much alcohol, sweets, carbs, whatever. I feel like the only way I can make the diet work is if I stay home with my own refrigerator packed with select items.
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!
since you read my story, I was curious to find out about yours, so here I am!
Well, what you describe just sounds human to me. You know, just normal, human attitude. And there is nothing wrong with being optimistic (that you will lose those pounds faster than others, for example :) ).
I have no clue how WW works, I just thought you might find handy a trick I do. I bought a large straw basket and filled it with stuff that I can snack on but is also healthy (and in my case, vegan). So I have in there now apples, clementines, cucumbers, small containers with dried fruits and nuts (but I suspect that is not the best choice for weight loss, still it's better than a burger, as they are packed with nutrients). Now, I live in the Netherlands (but I am Greek), so the climate here allows for fruit to be out the fridge. This way, if I keep the basket close to me, I do not get tempted to go to the kitchen and grab that dark chocolate spread :D
Thank you for sharing your obstacles and your insights - I found it encouraging to know someone else experiences some of the same struggles that I do (not that I'd wish them on anyone, though!).
In the spirit of this thread, I thought I'd share one my own:
My biggest obstacle has always been my habit of comparing my rate of weight loss to other people's. I'm slowly getting better about it, but I still do it. And, of course, most people seem to lose faster than I do, and I have a tendency to get discouraged about it. It's silly - how fast other people lose has absolutely nothing to do with my weight loss, but yet I compare them anyway. :mad: I get so mad at myself about it! Sometimes, I'm just too quick to think, "Yes, I've lost 90 pounds, but it's taken me 2 years" - as if the worth and value of the achievement is dependent on time, which it's not!
Thanks for starting a great thread and a place to vent and share. :)
Good tip! WW is basically counting calories and eating less, moving more. Every few years, they 'tweak' the plan a bit. Now, the emphasis has shifted to fresh fruits and veggies, so I'm eating more of those than ever. They do fill you up! I do keep more bananas, apples, and any other discounted nice fruits around for snacking.
Ninety pounds and forty-two pounds - you've both got me beat! This past week, the person who weighed me at WW said, 'This makes a five-pound loss!' What she doesn't realize is that I've gone to WW for so long that I have actually lost 24 pounds over the years I've been doing WW - and then going to other diets, and then returning to WW!
I congratulate you both for stepping out of your own way to lose the weight. It's a slow process for me to take it off and keep it off.
When taking little side-trips to other diets, I do lose weight fast in the beginning, I admit.. Then, whatever the diet is proves to be too challenging. I'll add number 9 to my list:
9. When I realize a diet clashes with my lifestyle (or the need to exercise clashes with my lifestyle), I quit it. I think, I'll just go back to WW. Which I do. But any reduction of calories is going to mean 'tweaking' ingredients of recipes I commonly use, learning to deal with emotional eating, cutting my portion size down. I know this already. It's not an intellectual exercise, choosing what variety of diet. It's just doing those few things, and if they were easy for me, I never would have gotten fat!
Thank you both for the kind words, and big congratulations to the 2 of you for your successes as well. Both are big achievements.
Frenchhen13: 90 pounds in two years is SO WONDERFUL! I'm at 42 pounds in two years!
And you know what? That is every bit as awesome! I really enjoyed and related to what you wrote about honesty - often, it truly is harder to be honest when it comes to giving ourselves the recognition and props we deserve than it is to downplay our achievements.
Kathy13118: It's just doing those few things, and if they were easy for me, I never would have gotten fat!
Ain't that the truth! There's a saying that is humorously relevant to weight loss, and it definitely applies here: Q: "How do you eat an elephant?" A: "One bite at a time." ;) It is difficult. I have always found it better to take it one day at a time as opposed to keeping a very long-term view. Especially in a moment of weakness, I find it easier to power through it by realizing "I can work out today," or "Right now, I can resist the urge to eat even though I'm not hungry." Usually, I don't even consider the long-term goal; I just focus on the moment. Prioritizing all those little things that add up to success is no small feat, either, but I think being mindful of every moment has played a big part in my success. Not sure if this helps or not, I'm just sort of "think/writing out loud." :) I think simply being aware of your obstacles is about 75% of the battle, and it's great that you posted and shared them. You certainly motivated and inspired me, and am sure you've done the same for many others. Just be sure to be honest with yourself and give yourself the credit that's due! :)
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.'
I could reflect on this every single day and it would keep me grounded in my current dieting efforts. No one forced me to 'cheat'; no one put me in an IMPOSSIBLE position. I have free will and I could have stuck to my resolution about eating breakfast in that restaurant that featured gargantuan portions and butter over everthing! I could have stayed home while everyone else insisted we ALL had to go. Since when does my value as a person in relationships depend on how sociable I am, dining out, no matter how delicious that restaurant's food may be?
That's just one example of a dieting mistake. It's my diet. Not my family's diet. I didn't tell them what they could or could not eat. But when it came to telling myself what I already knew, I caved and gave in to what turned out to be a feast.
I DID that. I have free will and I used my free will to go along with the crowd. Because I knew I'd enjoy the food - for the moments it took to eat that food, anyway! But it set me back in my dieting efforts. I can't blame anyone else. It wasn't that I was on the wrong diet. It wasn't that someone forced me against my will. It was all me.
11. I forget that calorie limits are like a budget.
Today, I weighed in at WW and saw that I was up half a pound. Ugh. I headed straight for McDonald's, for a Big Mac meal. I threw all the 'eat this instead of that' talk right out of my head, and just WENT for it! I had been thinking about a big hunk of saturated fat all day. I was going to have it, come hell or high water. So I did... have the Big Mac meal.
When I approached the drive-up window, I thought, 'Last chance to change your mind and just get a coffee, go home, and have some cottage cheese and baked potato with high-monounsaturated-fat margarine.' I thought, 'Dang, I will deal with the consequences later' and I ordered the Big Mac meal.
This reminded me of how I always pay my credit card bill in full. I hate being in debt. Why is it that I can respect the dollar more than I respect the calorie?
If I don't have money, I can whip out my credit card, but I've already made paying in full my habit. If I can't afford the calories, I basically act as if I am the bank AND the banking customer, all rolled into one. Sure, it's just money, we'll work out some kind of payment plan.
It hasn't sunk into my psyche yet: calories don't work that way. I can promise to exercise my butt off to make up for some Big Mac attack, but there has to be a support group for people like me who make empty promises and don't follow through when it's 'work it off time' and the pounds are still there. Oh, yeah... Weight Watchers. Well, one day at a time, right?
That's a good point, Kathy. I am a pro at playing mindgames with calories, but I am nowhere near that fast and loose with my bank account. If it can be rationalized, I rationalize it. I convince myself there's a way I can compensate, or this once won't matter. But I do that time after time after time nowadays. I understand that achieving and maintaining control in this regard involves a whole new mindset, but it sure seems a slow time coming.
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