Question about focus and mental setbacks

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  • Hi Devin, Stacey and StrongWlld,

    It's so frustrating! But I have been thinking about the reasons I quit a lot this time, hoping to get answers and suggestions from others, too. I cut back my calories to no more than 1,500 (some days was 1,200 and others 1,500-depending on appetite) and lost about 1.5-2 pounds a week. That wasn't fast, but it was fairly steady, with a few plateau's along the way.

    Even when I lost 22 pounds, I felt like a new person was emerging. I wonder if the fear of losing me as I knew me was really an issue. I kept thinking, I was a good person fat, why do I have to be thinner? This is ME. Yeah, too fat and unhealthy! I think as I would have gotten to use to the changes, that would have worked itself out....I know I would have gotten use to a new "me" with a little time. But I never got that far!

    So what does happen to our drive and motivation? Maybe I never saw it as a lifestyle change, although that was the goal. Maybe I still saw it as a diet.....a means to an end, not the end itself. When does it really become a life-style change, not just another diet?? Not just a "I have to do this because I'm fat?" but instead "I want to do this every day because I deserve it?" Even though I said the latter to myself, it didn't matter, I still quit. Or does that never really happen for some people and we have to just keep faking it until we make it? It might always be a mental struggle, but we have to just DO IT anyway?

    As for the addictive nature of sugar, I think it's true. I've gone to Overeater's Anonymous meetings and read the literature. I gave up sugar and white flour once for a few months and, again, lost about 25 pounds and quit when someone baked me a birthday cake! I had a harder time with the no-sugar diet than when I used FitDay and just used moderation/natural sugar, etc. I think junk food follows the same addictive route- the more of it I eat, the more of it I want. I'm never satisfied! I find that if I stick to fruits and other naturally sweetened foods, I'm fine, no cravings kick in. It's only processed foods and pastry-type sweets that send me over the cliff!

    Whatever it is, it's really making me mad. I am once again taking the road to a permanent life-style change of eating better and losing weight knowing I really want it for a lot of reasons. This time, I am going to be very aware of the internal dialog that goes on every day, along with the stress I'm under, to help me avoid that wall or at least be able to get around or climb over it to keep going forward!

    And strongwlld, you're absolute right! It was ME that screwed up! Probably for a lot of reasons that need to be dealt with once and for all! I need a plan, if someone offers me food, this is what I will do (and not be swayed)! Or if I start thinking I'm fine like I am, I need to cut that crap out, or at least say something that makes sense to me so I can move forward! But when the motivation goes, then what??? I need a plan for that this time, too!

    And, I am very open to ideas and tips that would get me through the most difficult part of this process for me - the quitting stage!!!!
  • Sherry,

    I think we have to learn exactly how to eat again. I truly believe that is my problem. I mean, I know what I am supposed to eat; I eat clean and healthy. But remember, many, many years we turned to cake, cookies and all the junk food for comfort or even just to be able to eat it cause we COULD!! But sugar and white flour are like a drug to me now, and the faster I realize this, the sooner I'll lose my weight for good. For me personally, I can't stop at ONE cookie or ONE piece of cake. It's like it triggers something in my brain to KEEP eating these foods - and in large quantities!! Sherry, it's beyond frustrating. So, what's gonna be different? Well, I picked out a good oatmeal raisin cookie recipe that is vegan and contains NO white sugar. My plan is to completely stay away from white flour/white sugar for one month, to detoxify my body from these elements. Then, if I really feel like I NEED something sweet and "bad", I will bake these cookies and keep them in the freezer for those "moments". I also will purchase some very good, high quality dark chocolate and allow myself one ounce every now and then, especially if I am attending parties where junk food prevails.

    I think we also need to learn to be very patient with ourselves and give ourselves a break!! I know I can be very hard on myself. One minute, one hour at a time for now!! WE WILL DO THIS!! It's always gonna be a complete lifestyle change. Always. We have to really understand that
  • I think that it is important also that weight lose can not be looked at as a punishment. Thats why my wife can not get into weight lose cause she always looks at it as a punishment or a burden. She hates the way she looks but hates to change even more lol. So I have not tried cutting out sugar all together, but I have cut it back. Cutting it out all together feels like punishment to me heh.
  • Yes, sugar, cookies, doughnuts, cake make us feel better in the short term, I think it's the endorphins. But crunchy vegetables, fresh fruit, perfectly cooked salmon, chicken, etc. (health food) makes us feel better in the long term. If you've been eating healthy for a few weeks you feel more alert, more alive, more energy. So try something different next time you are anxious, sad, lonely, bored. Go for a walk, call a friend, drink water, drink green tea. Exercise also releases endorphins, so try exercisng for just 5 minutes, it might change your mind about caving in to cravings.

    I've heard it takes 21 days to create a new habit. We need new habits to replace the old ones. It's hard when we sabotage ourselves, or allow others to sabotage our weight loss. And yes, we are fine the way we are, we are worthwhile human beings, but "fine" is not good enough. We want more than "fine" we want to look great and feel great.
  • StrongWilld - You can do it! There is a lot of literature out there to support the fact that eating sugar and white flour creates more cravings for sugar and white flour. I also read Sugar Blues, too. And if I eat it, I feel the intense cravings for more right after I am done. For me, it is mostly after eating pure sugary stuff like icing on cake and poptarts! I can eat 6 poptarts in a row and keep wanting more. Same with donuts and cookies. So there is something definitely to that, but like Devinfear, giving up all sugar was ultimately too much of a change for me, and again, I quit. But I support you and your efforts, too, and know the road you are choosing to take is also a great, healthy one!

    Devinfear, yes, I think you're right about the punishment idea. At some point, every time, I also started thinking, why can't I eat what I want to eat, all the tasty sweet food that I'm used to eating?! Or it's a holiday and I'm entitled to eat! If that happens under the right circumstances, like maybe I'm also sick of the food I'm eating or a going through a stressful time, then I get lax and even feel justified and eventually just don't care. I just give up and quit. This kind of thinking needs to be stopped or at least fixed! So, I'm going to be aware of this completely and, when it begins, I am going to remember to take a good look at myself and ask myself how do I really feel about being fat. Because that's what my body is, fat, and that is not healthy...plain and simple. Is it really a punishment or a gift to myself?

    mandevil7 - yep! I completely agree with the healthy eating = feeling better. Been there, done that! My problem (and what I really really really wanna fix) is that after 21 days (or 3 months or whatever), the good habits are gone and replaced with an evil eating machine that will try to bite off your arm if you get between me and a strawberry frosted poptart! I want more than fine, too!!!!

    Let's do this together!!!

  • Quote: Hi, I am kinda new here. Have used FitDay for years tracking and losing/quitting and gaining. My last successful run was Aug. 2009-Nov. 2009 when I lost about 22 pounds, going from 217 to 195. It took almost 3 months to accomplish, but my mental state was strong and focused. I wasn't hungry and exercising felt good and productive. Then I don't know what happened! It doesn't really make any sense. I hit some mental roadblock that eventually made me give up completely. I have regained about 16 of those pounds and I am back on FitDay. After that much time, I would think the habit had been established and the fact I was seeing results (smaller jeans, compliments, etc.) that I would be even stronger. Something happens that makes me lose the initiative, the focus, the obsession. No amount of motivational talk has helped. Now I fear trying again...only to possibly fail months into it. Unless I can figure out a way to get through that time that somehow sneaks up on me and sabotages my motivation.

    For those of you who have faced this and have overcome that obstacle, please, please tell me what you have done to get over that bump in the road and continue to lose weight. I would really appreciate hearing how you handle this successfully. Thanks! And Good Luck to everyone here trying and Congrats to those who have figured it out and been successful!!
    Sherry, I am, pretty much, right where you are. It almost sounds identical. I did great last year too and lost it for a bit. I was supposed to start back watching my weight in January, for the new year, but that passed by. Now I find today is a good day as any to start again. So here I am. I did go to workout today, and just did a few weights, and the bicycle for 30 minutes. Tomorrow I will go again and continue until it becomes a habit. I enjoy working out and watching what I eat. When I begin to see "any" weightloss, or curves, I'll be encouraged to continue. Much luck to you Sherry. Keep in touch, so that we can continue to encourage each other.
  • Hi Lainey,

    Yep, here we are, aren't we?! heh! Today is as good a day as any, I agree. As you can see from the length of my posts, I am really trying to figure out how to overcome the greatest obstacle I face: LOSS OF MOTIVATION followed by QUITTING. I am not quite as mad as I've been in the past few days because I've got lots of motivation right now and I've been eating so much better and exercising each day. I feel good and ready to just continue this plan and look for answers every step of the way. I think whatever happens that makes me quit must be fixed or why even bother? That's what really brought me to the forums and to find others who know how it feels to be so frustrated after trying so hard to then just quit. I'm so sick of it! grrrrr..... I have no idea what I will feel like posting or when, but I think if I'm honestly going to succeed then I will need help and support from others and I can try to give it, too. I would like to join a weekly weigh-in or start a clean one, whatever works! But my MAIN goal is to figure out how to overcome loss of motivation so I can be successful in losing weight (yeah!!) and taking better care of myself. Good luck, and, yes, let's do this together!!!!