What are the mental hurdles you overcame?

One of the things that makes me cringe on this message board is when I see people make these absolute statements about their ability to have moderated healthy habits that are sustainable for a lifetime. A big part of the reason is that I know that these artificially created mental hurdles are what caused me to gain so much weight over time, and I only reversed those trends long-term when I committed to challenging those hurdles.

Some that I see often are:
  • I'm having an {insert emotion here} day/week/month and therefore I've been {insert bad health decision here}. Hopefully when the emotion subsides I can get back on track. I understand as well as anyone the connection between depression/anxiety/etc. and eating, but I don't think we need to accept it as a given.
  • I can't eat or drink {insert food here} without binging, so I have to avoid it completely. I think it's unreasonable to expect to avoid something we really like our whole lives, and I think part of learning new habits means forcing yourself to enjoy something in a more controlled way, lest we set ourselves up for later binges.
  • I can't do any form of exercise because I am too {busy/tired/full/etc.}. While exercising is not necessary for weight loss, it's benefits are undeniable for health. I think it's key to find a way to exercise that works around our lifestyle that we can do long term and enjoy.

My top 2:
  1. I can't eat healthy dinners because my family doesn't eat healthy. I have 3 young kids under 5, my wife cooks what's convenient not healthy, therefore my weight is just a victim to my circumstances. WRONG. Reversing this mentality and taking charge of my own diet was step 1 to my current turnaround and also key to getting the whole family involved with healthy habits. Plus, I always controlled my own portions and I was screwing that up all on my own.
  2. I can't exercise because I'm too tired. My kids are up all night, I work too many hours, I have to spend all my free time with kids and wife. WRONG. While I don't spend 2 hours at the gym, I can still find time to do a 30-40 minute run every other day after my kids go to bed. I can also walk the dog, which I should be doing anyways. While my fatigue is real, energy is not a finite asset. Exercising gives me MORE energy.


  • KiersonLeDane
    KiersonLeDane Posts: 3 Member
    I understand the struggle of sharing meals with others (for me it’s a boyfriend) who don’t have the same weight loss goals. I have let myself give in time and time again to the times that he would get fast food or something. Yesterday he wanted hot dogs, Mac and cheese, and baked beans. I ate a hot dog with no bun, a small helping of Mac and cheese and a low cal salad. Now to stick to this mentality!
  • Aint2Proud2Meg
    Aint2Proud2Meg Posts: 193 Member
    Definitely figuring out how to eat foods I would normally overeat. I would still overeat them in some circumstances, but I prevent that by drinking water/filling up on veggies before eating whatever rich food I would typically overeat.
    I also used to give up on logging quickly because I make nearly everything my family and I eat from scratch. It's not really to my credit, but the mfp recipe builder is the bee's knees.
  • toxikon
    toxikon Posts: 2,384 Member
    edited October 2017
    I've always been in the normal BMI range, so it's hard to push myself to lose weight. My fiance likes my curves too.

    There's nothing wrong with being a normal/average weight, but I would love to see what I look like at a lower weight and feel sexier and more confident. It's just hard to keep that motivation going because it doesn't seem as "powerful" as other reasons people have, if that makes sense.

    I haven't found a great way to overcome it, but with my wedding coming up in the spring, it's giving me a little boost of motivation.
  • kommodevaran
    kommodevaran Posts: 17,890 Member
    I don't like healthy food. WRONG. I had a skewed perception of what healthy food was.

    I don't like to exercise, so I prefer to just sit. WRONG. I don't have to be an athlete, but moving is good for me too, and when I don't feel pressured, I love to walk, dance, play, and sometimes even run a bit.

    I feel powerless, but at least I can eat this random selection of low-nutrient, high-calorie food. WRONG. I am strong, capable, and I value myself enough to want to take care of my body.

    I know I'm getting fat, but this doesn't count because nobody can see me eating it, right? WRONG. I will eat as if I'm in company, even when I eat alone.

    I'm a lousy cook, and I don't like to cook. WRONG. Boring food is boring to eat and to cook. Delicious food is fun to eat and cook. Geneally refusing to stick to recipes does not mean I can't cook, it means I'm a cook, not just able to follow a recipe.

    I can't resist cravings, I'm going to die. WRONG. Cravings can be annoying, but they subside. I don't have to do anything in particular. I can choose to just tolerate them.

    I should ideally never eat ice cream, chocolate, candy, cookies, chips, table sugar. WRONG. I can eat anything I want, but not everything at once, and not all the time.

    Scheduling and planning meals is too restrictive, I will feel like I'm in jail. It's also for families, and I'm single. WRONG. Eating regularly means that I'm feeding myself reliably, and I can still eat what I like; in fact, I have to plan and schedule in order to make room for all the foods I like. Living alone means that nobody can mess with my stuff, I get to decide every meal, and I have to plan to avoid waste, because many foods only come in large packages.

    I have to accept every time I'm offered food, and I should always buy if it's on sale. WRONG. People aren't offended if I decline politely, I don't have to explain myself (and create awkwardness), and nothing is a good bargain if it leads me to overeating, or croeds out what I planned (and want), or goes to waste.
  • shaunshaikh
    shaunshaikh Posts: 616 Member
    @VintageFeline I have a similar story as you. Weight/eating and depression have been intertwined with me, and honestly I've used it as an excuse at times to overeat or to avoid exercise. The depression is real, but eating healthier, exercise, and forming a more positive body image and feeling are part of the solution for me. I've had some big depression setbacks during my current journey, but I have refused to let them stall my health progress, and I think it ensured those setbacks were short lived. Also, there's nothing quite like that feeling after a run for me when the endorphins hit you to feel like it's all going to be OK.
  • holmkids
    holmkids Posts: 1 Member
    My biggest mental hurdle is the "you will fail" so why try. Still struggling with this one...
  • hydechildcare
    hydechildcare Posts: 145 Member
    My biggest hurdle was learning how to eat foods I love in moderation. At first I did have to do away with the carbs, chocolates, and other treats because I knew I didn't have the self control to stop a serving. at 1.5 months of not having those items I started bringing them back. So far so good. I don't have them everyday and I don't over do it on those things. In fact I surprised the crap out of my husband because I had a craving for salad. 2 months ago I was forcing my self to eat a salad.
  • kristen8000
    kristen8000 Posts: 747 Member
    My biggest mental hurdle was portion sizes. I told myself "I'm tall, I need more food". NOPE. I told myself that because I'm tall, 1200 calories a day wasn't doable. NOPE. (not that I need to eat at that level, but I found out after trying I could and it didn't kill me). Also, I'm tall/build wide, big boned, whatever excuse I could come up with for having an Overweight BMI. After losing 50lbs I found that none of those apply.

    These were my others - still struggle with all of them after 6 years.

    I'll start on Monday. Never actually started on Monday. The only times I've successfully lost weight was when I just started...now...

    If I don't weigh myself, my weight doesn't matter. Even though my clothes didn't fit, I felt tired all the time, and I knew I gained weight. Now, I weigh every day I wake up in my home. That number glaring back at me can't be ignored.

    I found myself eating food just because it tasted good. Or because it was there. Not because I was hungry.

    Unlike most people, I never considered food a reward, something I deserved, or used it for emotional support. That's what wine/beer is for. LOL

  • Need2Exerc1se
    Need2Exerc1se Posts: 13,577 Member
    For me it was simply just getting back into the mindset of not overeating on a regular basis.
  • WestCoastCyclist
    WestCoastCyclist Posts: 11 Member
    My mental hurdle was being proud of being the woman with a large appetite, the one who often ordered fries, didn't care about calorie amounts, and who always said yes to cake.
  • Graelwyn75
    Graelwyn75 Posts: 4,404 Member
    My main mental hurdle is feeling that almost all of my food has to be nutrient dense, and by the time I am done, I have few calories left to enjoy the foods I crave sometimes during the week. So, even if I really want a piece of cake or some chocolate, I will adhere to my routine of an apple and Greek yoghurt with some nuts and seeds etc. As a result, I tend to store all my cravings up and then have at least one binge over the weekend on the foods I had been holding out on during the week.

    I mean, I have a decently high calorie goal because I am maintaining, and sure, most would say I can afford an extra 300-400 calories since I am 18.2-18.4 BMI right now, but I feel I MUST get in my chicken, my vegetables, my one egg, my sweet potato mash or new potatoes and my apple and yoghurt every single weekday evening and that digressing from that would be a disaster. I think the fact I have Autism might contribute partly...the need for sameness and routine. But yeah. I am getting better in that I sometimes allow myself a little bakery fruit bread or a jam doughnut.

    Another hurdle is that I am very bad at dealing with portioning things like chocolate and cake. If I eat just some, I feel I might as well go all out and eat a load more. Annoying.
  • teags84mfp
    teags84mfp Posts: 49 Member
    1.) I already ate X calories over my goal, what’s the point? Then I proceed to make my 500 calories over into 1,500 calories over.

    2.) If I “mess up” during the week, I always used to only restart on the following Monday lol. No idea why but getting back on track on a Thursday never seemed logical to me so my 1 day over turned into 4 days over.

    3.) “I can just fast tomorrow” after a binge, but then restricting made me binge again a day later & created a binge/restrict cycle

    Edit: Omg how could I forget the biggest one- “I’ll be happy when I’m X pounds”. Postponing my happiness over a number on the scale is something I did for years and finally I’m over it. I learned self love & that even if I’m a size _____ instead of _____ I’m still allowed to be happy

    Edit 2: “This tastes so good, I want more” or “this cost X amount, I need to finish it”. I’m now in a place where I can appreciate a taste of something and not eat excessively. I also now look at calories instead of price. While I used to say “this cost 15$ it can’t go to waste!” if I was full. Now I say, “wow I’m full, I don’t need to use X calories”.

    Wow I had more issues than I thought lol. Thanks for this post- it made me see more progress in my mindset that I couldn’t see with weigh ins :-)

    Oh wow, I could have wrote what you said word for word. You have just decribed me and my mental hurdles perfectly.