Monday, July 25, 2011

This Weight Loss Thing is Hard

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I hate feeling like a failure. I hate sitting here, eight months after I promised myself I would make big changes to find that I’m no different than I was then. I find this in all areas of my life but the biggest area is with my health. It’s the most noticeable part, so it’s not surprising that it gets the most attention. Or lack thereof.

Weight loss is hard. It’s a long and arduous journey of ups and downs, highs and lows. It’s a completely transformation of yourself, both inside and out. It’s reforming what your brain has been ingrained to tell you to do and eat and say for the past 20-something years of your life.

Yet I know it’s possible. I have seen others do it and I have had firsthand knowledge of the power it can have in the transformation of my mom. She went from a woman who could only shop in plus-size stores, who was winded from walking up one flight of stairs, and who was afraid the next time she went to an amusement park, she wouldn’t be able to fit in the rollercoaster to someone who doesn’t even resemble that person. She’s lost 80 pounds and kept it off. She’s run a marathon and is training for her second. And while she still struggles with being healthy, she makes the better choices more often than not.

I live with this woman. I have all the inspiration, motivation, and support behind me. So why is it still so hard? Why am I still struggling? Why can’t I get this right?

There are weeks when it doesn’t feel like such a struggle. Healthy eating and gym time feels normal. But then there are those weeks when everything I do feels like a battle. Cravings crop up when I least expect them and my ability to withstand temptation is at an all-time low. I don’t want to give in, but it’s just easier than dealing with the tempting thoughts 24/7.

It’s not that I don’t know what I need to do to lose weight. I do. Drink lots of water. Eat lots of fruits, veggies, and lean protein. Indulge every so often. Exercise. Track what you’re eating, plan out your meals. Yadda, yadda, yadda. I know what to do, but it’s the implementation and seeing it through to the end where my brain gets trippy.

I read a quote a while back in one of the fitness magazines I read:

Don’t trade what you want most for what you want at this moment.

What an incredible statement. I need this to be the mantra for my life. I need my focus to be on weight loss and leading a healthier lifestyle. I need to stop looking at what’s going to satisfy me in the here and now and start imagining how much better I will feel when I hit my happy weight. And remember how much better I feel when I’m following the plan and working out consistently.

I’ve noticed how a lot of people seem to have a problem with letting their eating habits become obsessive and controlling when they track what they eat. Everything revolves around what they are eating. In a way, I need to embrace an obsessive tendency towards tracking and what I’m putting into my body. What I’m doing right now is not working. I’m letting my past control my future. One of my Weight Watcher Leader’s favorite sayings is “If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always got.” I’m the poster child for that statement.

Changing your lifestyle is scary stuff. It’s not for the faint of heart and takes more grit and determination than I feel I possess. I see how others have transformed and just wonder how they maintain motivation over the long haul. How they don’t let things like vacations and celebrations get in the way of their lifestyle. The answer is easy, of course. It is their lifestyle. It is their normal.

I don’t know where I’m going with this post. I just know I’ve been on the program since the early January and I’ve lost 6 pounds. Six freaking pounds. It defeats me when I see a sentence like that. I know that it’s good that I’m still trying and still at a loss, but it still defeats me. To hear of people who have been losing weight for the same time and have lost three or four times the weight I have is defeating. I know I have my own journey to go through and I knew it would take a lot of kicking and screaming before I finally submit to being healthy and losing weight. I’m a stubborn individual and I don’t like change.

The truth is, I need to take a long, hard look at my eating habits and change what doesn’t fit. What isn’t helping me towards my goal. What is losing the battle for me. I can tell you easily that it involves not drinking enough water, not eating enough in the morning, snacking on things that don’t fill me up, and allowing little things to trip me up like bad news or big celebrations. Plain and simple. Bottom line. I need to start thinking skinny and remembering my number one goal. I want to be healthy and I want to look at my body and be proud of it.

Right now? I’m just defeated.

26 comments:

  1. RedSoxGirl107/25/11, 6:27 AM

    How do you do with eating a small amount of whatever it is you want? I know this doesn't work for some people but for me I find it allows me to have that taste, but doesn't allow me to go crazy.

    On another note, I think it's better to go slowly with a getting fit/healthy routine, I bet a lot of those people who have lost 3 times the weight you have are not the people who have kept it off. Good luck!

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  2. That's a really great quote and can be applied to a LOT of things. I think with big change like this, it's all about breaking habits that got you to this point and really focusing on making new, healthier ones - again, something that can be applied to lots of different areas, but especially things like weight loss. The good thing is you see what you need to do, as well as your true priority - have faith, you'll get there!

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  3. When I entered my relationship with my husband, I started gaining some massive weight. I went from 122 in March of that year to 131 in June of that year to 156 in August of the following year. It's been so hard to peel off the pounds and while I had managed to get down to 142, I put most of that weight back on and it's excruciating to take off. So, I'm hoping you can get healthy and be proud of your body because the last thing I want is for you to feel defeated.

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  4. YOU. CAN . DO. THIS. That quote is a great one! Keep at it. You've lost 6 pounds...that is awesome. So what if it took you 7 months. You are keep at it. not giving up. I know you can do this! I'm always here if you need anything :)

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  5. I'm totally feeling you on this one girl. I've only been trying to commit for 2 months or so and it's NOT easy, but you already knew that! Cravings are really hard to cut out, but I did hear somewhere that if the "diet" you're going for isn't working for you, you need to try something different, cut something different out of your diet. If you're following a specific meal plan and still finding yourself craving certain foods, maybe you're missing certain vitamins and nutrients that you aren't getting from what you're already eating. Try something else. I hope that helps. 

    A friend of mine who's lost lots of weight, put some back on, and so on and so forth and said that she is "alternating her life style", not dieting. By completely changing the way you eat and getting excited about the food you're making for yourself, making sure you get the right daily intake of everything you need, maybe you'll see that the cravings you're getting are being satiated by something new. 

    Anyway, if you're already doing all of that then completely disregard my comment! I don't think there is ANYTHING tougher than changing the way you eat, and I officially know that first hand. Right now? Craving some toast with nutella. Life sucks sometimes. I'm going to go eat some yogurt instead. But you CAN do this Steph and you just will. You're persevering through and you'll see that one day it won't be as hard as it is now. :)

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  6. girlwiththeredhair7/25/11, 11:20 AM

    I agree with Kelly - sometimes slower is faster!! Don't let yourself get defeated because THAT'S when you start to go off track with healthy habits. I know you can do this!!! 

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  7. I do like that suggestion a lot! I think my problem is I have to be in the frame of mind. If I have something around to just have small amounts of, I can do good with that and not binge as long as I'm following the plan with my full heart. I'm not a fan of completely cutting out my favorite foods so it's definitely something I've tried to incorporate.

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  8. You can do it! Promises.

    I have a really hard time reading blogs about weight loss because I've really never had a weight problem. Sure, I've always wanted to lose that extra five pounds, but I also hardly ever put in the effort. I eat good for the most part, but I also love fatty foods. But just because I'm thin, doesn't mean I'm healthy. I've really tried to swap carbs and fatty foods for veggies and more nutritious foods.

    I wish we lived closer because we could help each other. :)

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  9. I'm sorry you're feeling defeated, Stephany. Not only because it feels yucky to feel defeated, but also because it's discouraging and you lose motivation and momentum. 6 lbs is wonderful. You're still ahead. Keep moving forward and forgive yourself the backslides. We're cheering for you.

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  10. I can definitely relate to this. It is hard and it's all about will power and our desire to do it. I don't like change too and it sucks but we both know it has to happen in order to be healthy. 

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  11. Exactly! I know what unhealthy behaviors I need to break and I also know what I need to do to change them. Sometimes, I just lack focus but I know I'll eventually get there. It's just going to take me longer than most.

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  12. I needed to read this today; before our engagement party I was being healthy. I was doing right. And then I totally fell off the wagon. Big time. I realized it this morning looking in the mirror. I've over indulged and under-worked out. I have another work trip that is sure to trip me up but once it's over, I'm so back at the working out. I'll start the eating healthier this week but in order for me to personally see any results, I have to workout too. I guess it's a good thing, but the self-discipline. Must get better at it =) Thinking of you!

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  13. Thanks so much for your comment, Natasha! I know I'm going to have bad weeks and good weeks, so I just need to remember my number one motivation to get me through those bad weeks.

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  14. Thanks so much for the supportive comment! It means a lot to have support and people pushing me. I need it. :)

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  15. I've really tried not to think of what I'm doing as "dieting" and in fact, hate that word. I've tried thinking it more of changing my lifestyle and just making changes slowly along the way. I just feel like I've stalled and haven't made forward motion with new eating habits. I just think it should feel easier now, and it doesn't. Some days, it feels so incredibly hard. Bah. I'll get it together some day.

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  16. I can't tell you how many times I WISH I was naturally thin. My brother is and I hate him for it. ;) I wish we lived closer, too. And not just for the healthy aspect. Hehe.

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  17. Weight loss is hard.  Really hard.  If it wasn't, we wouldn' thave such an overweight population.  There are nard choices to make, but it helps that you live with someone who has been through it and knows that it's important to make healthy decisions.  I think the best thing to do is to sort of avoid things that youknow you can't control your intake of - you 'trigger' foods.  I know that I can not buy any sort of chips or things like that as I will not be able to stop myself from eating WAY too many. 

    You will figure it out eventualy, though.  It just takes time.  I was a religious tracker, and wrote down every single thing that i ate.  Now, years later, I don' thave to do that.  I have started tracking on my fitness pal just to make sure I am getting the right balance of carbs/fat/protein.  I think it helps to get into that 'obsessive' habit of tracking and measuring everything out, etc.   You don't have to do it forever, but it helps to get this kick started, IMO.

    GOod luck!  Just remember, YOU CAN DO IT.  You have to believe in yourself!

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  18. That statement is amazing & one I need to keep in mind, too. I have such a difficult time with weight loss - I can hardly even bring myself to TRY. I went to the doctor today, & I'm the heaviest I've ever been. It's awful, just awful, & I, too, feel totally lost. Why can't I figure this out?

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  19. That's what I'm trying to keep at mind - yes, it's only 6 lbs but it's still a loss. And if it takes another 7 months to lose 6 lbs, well, at least I'm at a loss. Even if it takes me 3 years to lose 40 lbs, I still did it. I need to remember that, but I get caught up in what I'm *not* doing and how I'm *not* losing big amounts like I see others. I just have to keep my head up and keep on truckin'.
    Your support means the world to me, Linda.

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  20. The quote is so, so true. I love how it's applicable to so many things in one's life. I think discipline is good, but too much obsessing is going to hinder your efforts. Determination is key though.

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  21. Indeed. I just like to whine about it too much, I guess. I need to just buck up and DEAL with it like a big girl. :)

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  22. I'm glad to hear other people fall off the wagon. :) Sometimes, it feels like everyone gets healthy and stays there and never has any trouble with it. I know it's not true, but just like everyone pretends their relationships are hunky-dory, it would be nice to hear how other people have issues with their eating. Not just people who I know are struggling to lose weight, but people that always eat healthy under every circumstance. How is that even possible? 

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  23. Yeah, yeah, I know. Sometimes, I need a good head-smacking and I think this comment was what I needed. :) You're the best at making me see reality. Just gotta stop complaining and DO IT.

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  24. I love that quote. I am SO bad at doing that.

    Right now, I'm trying to focus on looking at food as FUEL rather than as a treat. Instead of thinking about all the things I "can't" eat, I'm trying to find new things that I can try/look forward to the things I "can" eat.  I find that I always want what I can't have. So I try to steer clear of labeling anything as 'off limits'.

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  25. Tell me about it!! But you can do it! I know you can. :)

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  26. I totally know what you mean about allowing food to be a reward (for doing something well) or a consolation (for something bad that happened). I struggle with it too! We have to just start thinking about food as fuel, pure and simple. I am always inspired by your journey and even if you're not where you want to end up, I always think you're on the right road! Keep up the hard work--even just thinking about it and putting it into writing is part of the work!

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