Thoughts, Epiphanies, Insights, & Quotables

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  • conniewilkins56
    conniewilkins56 Posts: 3,390 Member
    I either lose weight or gain weight so I guess the last six months has been some example of victory ….the only thing I have learned is that if I binge then I need to take the pounds back off again….the thought of doing this the rest of my life ( probably between 15 to 20 more years ) is rather sobering!….you do not see many women in their last years of life weighing over 300 lbs out and about!…I guess that is why I want to get the rest of this weight off once and for all….I want to be one of those older ladies out and about at a healthy weight!…
  • 96254KG
    96254KG Posts: 3,259 Member
    That's such a great aim, Connie! With intrinsic motivation like that, and support from your pals here, you can definitely succeed!
  • PAV8888
    PAV8888 Posts: 11,427 Member
    I've run into some real life issues here so I'm having trouble posting

    To begin with and by the sounds of it you're showing a few signs of having drawn things at their speed limits.

    Discussed elsewhere this is not weight loss and done it is integrated long-term weight management

    I have not found clearcut answer of whether everyone is affected by the increase hunger signals and by adaptive thermogenesis and by changes in hormones and neurotransmitters and how long it takes for these to resolve including if these ever resolve without a period of weight gain

    At the same time there are hints and anecdotal evidence

    One of the biggest predictors of continuing to maintain is length of maintenance without major regain

    Is this self fulfilling? Maybe. But I think that things do resolve after time

    The anecdotal information is that immediately following weight loss and let's face it that's whether fast or slow appetite enjoyment of food subconscious hormonally driven signals do get us ready to eat back and regain.

    The bounce back may be harder the sharper and longer the loss

    Whether luck or design my own path was a year of incredibly slow loss at the end of the faster losses. We are talking less than a pound a month

    Which was then followed by another year of very small losses while trying to duplicate the previous and only going down like three or four lbs for the year Almost all of it in the first 4 months

    And then if you will the realization that hey pretty much maintaining and should keep going

    Throughout this remember I had been playing with what I was eating and f e introduced strategic fats and carbs that I had reduced (potatoes first, noodles but not pasta, etc)

    And there's no question that in that time frame especially into the second year let's just say that my quest for the diet brownies severely decreased upon eating a couple of normal ones 😹 (reduction in degree of food ideations caused by deficit)

    And realized that by keeping at it the underlying urge had reduced. Assumption hormonal rebound or acceptable equilibrium

    Note that even a slow weight reduction in 2020 +we are talking about a measly 4lbs of weight trend+ over 4 months below the levels maintained since 2017 was followed by a distinct seeking everything in sight phase for about 8 months and classic yoyo to 1lb above previous equilibrium before the "urge" subsided

    So knowing what to expect.... and it still doesn't work because hormones not conscious

    But we seek to regulate with conscious behavior

    So the hamster supervision has to continue I would say, conservatively, to the 2 to 5 year mark

    And you're applying external regulation to your unconscious urges (hence my reliance on metrics and logging to bring visibility)

    And it's easy to be complacent. But primary, I think, this is not weight loss, but long term weight and self management which is very worthwhile to do as we age 👍

    And I have to go deal with real life issues!🤷🏻‍♂️
  • Yoolypr
    Yoolypr Posts: 1,681 Member
    I’ve maintained my over 100 lb. weight loss for over a year now within +/- 5 lbs. But it was only through constant logging, planning and vigilance. Not obsessive but mindful. I still have the last 25 lbs to go and need to step up my planning.
    What I’d love to understand is WHY. Why is food and weight a struggle for me when others can thoughtlessly maintain a reasonable BMI? Hubby, for example, does not gain weight, is not enormously active or careful about eating and snacks all day long. I have two sisters who nibble chocolates and pastry all day without gaining weight.
    The best I can deduce is quantity of food, frequency and some internal mechanism that stops them from overeating. I obviously don’t have that nor can hope to acquire it in this lifetime. But I do wish some research could definitively explain WHY.
  • conniewilkins56
    conniewilkins56 Posts: 3,390 Member
    Although we have a degree of control over our weight and lifestyle, we don’t have control of our height or body sizes and shapes…I am from a long line of robust,strong large framed farm women from mostly Germany on my mothers side…my dads side were smaller framed except for my dad who must have been a surprise to his small in stature parents!…I am always going to be tall, have long legs and big arms!…genetics are so weird!…my mom was tall and had a dark complexion, her only sibling was petite with blue eyes and blonde hair with a fair complexion…and yet her two daughters, my cousins and I are all similar in height and body shapes!…their brother is tiny and petite….we are really screwed up lol
  • PAV8888
    PAV8888 Posts: 11,427 Member
    Connie: our general shape vs weight is a different story.

    It is funny. I was looking for some pics of his house for my dad and the search brought up a series of pictures of me (at that location) in April 2015.

    Well into weight loss, just about a full 12 months into "trying to lose some weight" and 16 months after starting the "I've got to move more" process. I just looked up my weight and I would have been between 198 and 195lbs. I ended 2015 at 166. 2016 at 157. 2017 at 155... and stayed around there more or less, though I have to admit to being closer to 157/158 now as opposed to anything else.

    Point is not that... point is that when I saw the first pic in the series I saw the same me that I see today except for the angle that was making me look fatter... oh, wait a second, I then realized looking at the rest of the pics that I **WAS** fatter (you could easily see it from the side shots especially but the back and front ones too)... but it was the same body/body type/issues that I do or do not like! (Take a guess which side of the liking fence I'm on!:wink:)

    Same body... just more stuffed and much less resilient and able to be moved around.
  • 96254KG
    96254KG Posts: 3,259 Member
    My observations of 'naturally slim' women is that they simply don't eat as much as I do, and they burn more calories.

    I used to think they'd just been dealt a better hand than me, and could eat limitless amounts of food and forego all exerise, and remain effortlessly slim. Then I observed them more closely.

    My three main 'test subjects' were my mom, my MIL and my best friend. All three have never been overweight a day in their lives, yet they never diet and never do any formal exercise. I've spent countless hours in the company of all three, so I've observed them up close and personal in numerous settings and on multiple occasions.

    My secondary test subjects were the 7 women that I shared an office with for six years. Four were 'naturally slim'; three were overweight or obese. We spent 40 hours a week together, so there was ample opportunity to watch the dynamics around food and activity.

    My observations?

    Eating-wise, the 'naturally slim' women seemed at first glance to eat a lot, but it was deceptive. They actually snacked far less than the overweight/obese women, and the food they snacked on tended to be less calorie dense or more nutrient-rich. Less sweets/biscuits/cakes/crisps, more fruit, nuts etc. They saved most of their eating for actual meal times, and then tended to select nutrient-rich foods. If they chose less healthy food, they tended to eat a smaller amount, and didn't indulge too frequently. It didn't seem to be conscious 'dieting'; it was more a case of being attuned to their bodies' needs. Often they'd say they were hungry, but then still delay eating for an hour or more, until it was an actual meal time. They seemed to have a greater propensity and ability to delay gratification, and to tolerate hunger without it affecting their mood, concentration or performance. Food didn't seem to snag their thoughts and play on their mind - if there were unhealthy snacks available, more often than not they could happily ignore them or just take a little and then seemingly forget about the remainder.

    Activity-wise, the 'naturally slim' women in the office were noticeably more active than the overweight/obese women. They fidgeted, they had ants in their pants, they were constantly up out of their chairs at the slightest excuse, as if sitting still was an effort and a challenge. If an errand needed to be run, you could guarantee that one of the slim ones would offer to do it. Anything to avoid sitting still for long. Similarly, my mom, MIL and best friend are on the go from breakfast til bedtime, rarely sitting still for long, always keeping busy with some task or other. They burn a ton of NEAT calories just from constantly moving around, even though they don't formally exercise. They couldn't sit still through a whole movie if their lives depended on it.

    None of this is scientific evidence, just my anecdotal observations of 7 'naturally slim' women and three overweight ones. Not a whit of empirical proof. But interesting to me nonetheless, and endlessly thought-provoking.


  • PAV8888
    PAV8888 Posts: 11,427 Member
    But I challenge you whether this was "natural" behaviour vs "I don't mind doing things this way" behaviour vs conscious "management".

    My own experiment indicates similar observations but a higher degree of "management" or "rules" among the "naturals".

    "I am not hungry so I won't continue eating and finishing this delectable dessert and I don't seem to mind it".... vs ME: what you mean you not eating that dessert? OF course I'm not hungry... but I am not stuffed either to the point of not being able to move! And the dessert tastes good. Surely we won't leave it for another person or another time? Or pick one treat a day? Of course I'm having it... and another... and another! <--- hmmm.... supervisor hamster has to step in here and try to derail the freight train!

    [BTW how is derailing a train a good thing now?!?!?!]

    Anyway. I think that we do not necessarily give full credit to the degree of weight management other people apply.

    AND, even if "they" don't actively spend time and effort managing their weight and we have to... so what?

    Forget Disneyland sizing (or hanging upside down in the pirate boat at Expo 86 with the thigh restraint undone and only the shoulder cage holding me inside). At age 48 I turned down a free whitewater rafting trip because I couldn't physically do it. And sort of went... so I am planning to eventually retire and do... what? What exactly given that I'm already curtailing what I do based on my current but potentially controllable with effort physical limitations?

    So if there is a higher management effort/price to pay than someone else... oh well. Investing in one's self and all that jazz! :wink:
  • Yoolypr
    Yoolypr Posts: 1,681 Member
    I agree about genetics and slimmer people able handle food quantities, hunger, movement better. I guess what I still can’t figure out is what makes one go from simply overweight to severe obesity as I did. Why could I not see or stop that from going so far? The pounds kept piling on and somehow I couldn’t stop. Photos and mirrors surely showed me the truth but it didn’t register in my brain. I still can’t really perceive my current size. It’s a true blind spot. So I think there’s a psychological component.
  • PAV8888
    PAV8888 Posts: 11,427 Member
    edited October 2021
    Psychological component for sure. Especially for the move from overweight to obese. At least for myself. And I was 100% believing that to NOT be the case. No emotional eating here. Whatsoever. Except when agitated whether anxious/worried, or more often pissed off! as it turns out after some serious self observation! :lol:

    But after 100lb loss don't be surprised if it takes brain a good year to catch up with your current size. I know that it was at least that long before I stopped checking if my second leg would fit in my pants....
  • conniewilkins56
    conniewilkins56 Posts: 3,390 Member
    Oooooo light bulb moment here!…..I knew I was obese….I know I am still overweight BUT I have myself trained to only look at myself in the mirror from the chest up!…I do not have a huge chubby face and I think I have learned how or trained myself to only look at the smaller picture instead of the big picture!…that being said, my family is made up of a lot of large people!…my husband is 6’1” and our son is 6’8”…. Next to them I do look small or normal sized!…in a group shot I never stand out as “ bigger”… put me next to my slim and trim daughter in law and I look like a giant!…our own perception of ourselves can be as much a help as a hindrance….maybe an extremely obese person really doesn’t realize how large they really are!….they know but they don’t KNOW!

    Does this make sense?
  • conniewilkins56
    conniewilkins56 Posts: 3,390 Member
    Years ago we were celebrating our daughters confirmation at church….our family took up one entire pew, maybe 12 of us…during the service I noticed the people in front of us and started counting bodies!…20 of them!…yep, 20 people in the same size pew as we were in and they were not crowded!…( but we were prettier! )
  • Yoolypr
    Yoolypr Posts: 1,681 Member
    Obviously your family was much better looking than the small crowd in front!
    My family is all average sized so at my heaviest I was very noticeable. But my size didn’t prevent me from having a good life- happy, long marriage to a loving husband, terrific son, successful career, supportive family, even kind and loving in-laws. Maybe that’s why I allowed myself to get so big? No one was complaining except my body. And like Connie, I never truly saw myself even in the mirror.
    Lots to think about here as I work on the last pounds this year. 🤔
  • 96254KG
    96254KG Posts: 3,259 Member
    edited October 2021
    Threads like this - full of wisdom and experience - are treasure to me!

    PAV, I agree that the 'natural behaviour' definitely has an element of conscious management. As I said in this thread about my MIL, there is more management going on to maintain these slim physiques than us fat folks notice - it's just done without any fuss, fanfare or demonstrable signs of discontent.
    https://community.myfitnesspal.com/en/discussion/10798208/what-did-you-need-to-learn#latest

    Amongst my slimster test subjects, there was also definitely a greater emphasis on food rules. I can't have chips today because I had them yesterday. I never eat after 7pm. I make it a rule always to leave half of every dessert, I never snack between meals etc...

    What I think is less consciously managed is the NEAT burn. I don't think my test subjects deliberately and consciously moved more in order to ramp up their calorie burn. They moved more because they have more energy to burn. Because they get cold sitting still. Because they're naturally fidgety. Because in some cases they're 'highly strung' or have type-A personalities that can't tolerate disorder and so feel consciously compelled to get up and tidy...

    I also observed that they all seemed to have nuturing personalities - perhaps with an underlying element of martyrdom. So they would prioritise the needs of other people and demote their own, taking pleasure in waiting on other people, getting up to fetch them things and keep them supplied with food and drink etc but never serving themselves anything.

    And re your point about being happy to spend time and effort managing my weight for the rest of my life - yes, I absolutely agree that the trade off and the extra investment of effort is it worth it for the overall higher quality of life.

    @Yoolypr I share your mystification and perplexity. Where we differ is that I was always ABSOLUTELY aware that the pounds were piling on, but I felt completely and utterly unable to do anything to stop it. I'd sit on the edge of the bed and poke my fat rolls, saying out loud to myself 'You MUST do something about this!', and then I'd put on some clothes and go downstairs and stuff my face. Even as I was eating something calorie-laden, I'd say to myself: 'You're so going to regret this when you finally get your act together and start losing weight, because you'll have a huge amount of weight to lose, not just a pound or two.' Or I'd say to myself as I eyed up a cake: 'This could be the cake that finally tips you over the edge into diabetes! Don't eat it!' And then I'd go ahead and eat it anyway. Nothing I said to myself made a jot of difference.

    So definitely some dysfunctional pyschology at work there.

    As for body dysmorphia, that's something I've never experienced. I've always been pretty good at judging how much space my body takes up. I can usually guess accurately what jeans/dress will fit without looking at the label, and I'm good at judging that I'd be able to squeeze through gap A, I'd get stuck in gap B and I'd breeze through gap C without touching the sides.

    Maybe that has something to do with the fact that I'm surrounded by people who all take up more vertical space than I do. I'm under 5'1, so I'm used to being the shortest person everywhere I go - and that makes me hyper-aware of how much horizontal space I take up. At my heaviest, my girth was only 10 inches less than my height.

    Luckily, like Yoolypr, my weight hasn't stopped me having a full, loving and happy life. But it has limited my options at times, and caused me to miss opportunities that I would've embraced with gusto if I'd been slimmer.

    And one final point - I never look in mirrors! Even if I'm standing directly in front of one (e.g. when I'm brushing my teeth). I may even seem to be staring into the mirror but my thoughts are off somewhere else, so I never SEE myself in it. Which explains why my husband has got into the habit of checking me over before we leave the house, as if I'm a toddler. He's the person who tells me if I have spinach stuck between my teeth, or hair sticking up bizarrely on one side of my head, or a smudge of soot on my chin. He'll send me back to the mirror to check the offending blemish, and I'll come back and it'll still be there, because even going to the mirror specifically to address the spinach/cowlick/smudge I'll still forget to look!

    So much to think about and unpick in this thread....
  • 96254KG
    96254KG Posts: 3,259 Member
    edited October 2021
    I've been mulling this thread over all morning.

    I don't watch TV much, but I DO like documentaries that showcase the awesome achievements of ultra-endurance cyclists. The type of men and women who cycle solo and unsupported around the globe to break the world record; the type who think that cycling from northern Alaska to the southernmost tip of Patagonia is a fun way to spend the summer; the type who decide to ride the trans-continental race in under 7 days. These athletes aren't like normal people. They have almost super-human tolerance for pain, discomfort and tiredness. They positively thrive on testing themselves to their limits. They itch for the next challenge, the next adventure, the next leg-burning, lung-busting trip. We mere mortals can only watch in amazement.

    But, thinking of mere mortals, clearly there is a huge spectrum covering the lengths to which ordinary people are willing to push themselves.

    My eldest sister is at one extreme of the spectrum. By her own admission, she abhors effort of every kind. Physically, she avoids anything that works up a sweat, because she associates sweat with unpleasantness, lack of femininity, suffering. She never pushes her boundaries. She has zero tolerance for pain, discomfort, effort. This aversion to effort extends to all areas of her life. She is a lifelong low-achiever, who has never been able to dig deep when the going gets tough, be that with a diet, a job, a marriage etc. She is one of life's perennial quitters.

    Is it a coincidence that she's by far the most overweight person in our overweight family, with a BMI north of 50? Is there a cause/effect correlation? Is she fat because she dislikes effort? Or does she dislike effort because she's fat? She says she disliked effort even in early childhood, when her weight wasn't an issue - the obesity didn't develop until her late 20s; but she's hated pushing herself her whole life.

    Clearly there are psychological or genetic factors that influence how active someone is willing to be, what pain threshold they're willing to tolerate, and how much they enjoy or dislike physically pushing themselves.

    Is this down to nature or nurture? My parents both had a very strong work ethic - they believed working hard was a noble, character-building quality. Both were always willing to push themselves beyond their physical limits, even into their 80s and 90s. Neither ever had a weight problem. But they indulged their children, and never pushed any of us to stretch our boundaries. Of their four daughters, 3 of use have battled obesity all our lives.

    We'll probably never fully understand the physical, psychological and emotional factors that lead one person down an active, strenuous, challenging path and another down a path of ease and indolence. Is it possible to switch from one path to the other, just by sheer effort of will? Possibly - but the motivation would have to be enormous.

    My sister always says that if someone could synthesise willpower, grit and fortitude she'd be the first in line to buy some. Until they do, she has to rely on her inner reserves, and the tanks are empty.

    My mind is buzzing this morning as I mull all this over....
  • lauriekallis
    lauriekallis Posts: 3,317 Member
    This thread is so very thought provoking. These two ideas really caught my attention this morning:


    "...I agree that the 'natural behaviour' definitely has an element of conscious management. As I said in this thread about my MIL, there is more management going on to maintain these slim physiques than us fat folks notice - it's just done without any fuss, fanfare or demonstrable signs of discontent."

    Yes - I've observed this also, but wasn't even really conscious of it until you mention it! This is an attitude I really need to emulate. And I will learn how to. I think we all will because of how much effort everyone is willing to put into this - the self awareness, honest reflection, and determination to make the necessary changes required to be lighter and fitter and healthier.


    MIRRORS! Wow. Me too - I have lots of mirrors in my house because it tends to be a bit on the dark side, and small. I don't tend to see myself in these mirrors. But when people visit for the first time - some mention the mirrors and clearly are compelled to look at themselves and may comment about how odd it would be to see yourself so much. When I check out new clothing (or take a selfy to send my good friend who lives too far to see often) I "look" in the mirror or point the camera in that direction - but still don't really "see" me. Not until a long time later maybe when I look at the picture and consider my "size" from the distance of much passed time.

    I have no reliable concept of my the size of my body. The change rooms being closed because of the pandemic has been a real challenge as I've shopped for new clothes during this past year. Losing 100 pounds called for new clothing - but wow it was hard! And my "awareness" (or lack of) changes from day to day - sometimes hour to hour. Sometimes I cannot believe I will fit into a piece of clothing that looks so "small" and then the next moment I'm horrified by how enormous my jeans look.



  • PAV8888
    PAV8888 Posts: 11,427 Member
    edited October 2021
    Some things are transient: size changing and awareness/lack of awareness as you change weight + a certain time frame is pretty normal

    But having learned to habitually not see ones self is a different longer term issue

    I spent 35 years trying to "save" effort, optimize "wasted" movement. And then a couple of years trying to be as inefficient as can be (physical limitations notwithstanding, because these do exist, obviously, the NEAT maximization thread in the main forums was quite interesting). It has definitely made a difference to be deliberately inefficient at times!

    And a reminder as I am limping along and as I was thinking way back about maintaining in my 80s 😹: it's what goes in that counts first. In the end way more (when directly considered) for weight control, though activity definitely helps my mood.

    Btw: small Halloween candy is evil 👿 🐹 they are so small, what 45, 50, 60, 70 Cal each that anyone can fit them, right? 😇

    WRONG🤬

    (I'm preaching to MY 🐹, maybe they'll listen)

    Because they're tiny they don't rate the consideration a full size bar would receive. And they last even less long than the already too short lasting for their calories full size candy bars!

    So will the tiny Twix (or other "fun size" bar) ever be consumed without friends? Of course not! But eat three and you're already at a full bar's calories. And eat one of each kind and you're closer to a bar and a half --- or more (there's 5 in the house 😇)

    And then there's sales 🤬🥺🙀
  • 96254KG
    96254KG Posts: 3,259 Member
    Selling chocolate at sale prices should be a criminal offence! Crimes against humanity...
  • Yoolypr
    Yoolypr Posts: 1,681 Member
    Yup - 50% off the day after Halloween. Of course you need to be at the Walmart at the crack of dawn and fight off the half- crazed chubby ladies. I’m skipping Halloween altogether. 😈
  • PAV8888
    PAV8888 Posts: 11,427 Member
    Sadly... there's always enough half priced ones available at the stores I go to.... even at the crack of midnight!
    Will my 🐹🐹🐹s act smart(er) this year? 🤔