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For those who have lost and gained and are losing again (what I've learned)

RelCanonicalRelCanonical Posts: 3,039Member Member Posts: 3,039Member Member

I'm not done losing yet, but I feel like I've made mental improvements I've never expected, and wanted to share what I've gone through.

On the right, two before pictures of highschool and college. I've never been a thin person, even back in elementary, so the first successful attempt (on the left) was novel to me. More importantly, I made mistakes, and ended up failing because of them.

This post is mainly about what I've learned, in the hopes it might help someone else, or at least have someone relate. These things don't apply to everyone, it's just what I tell myself based on my own mistakes.

I failed rather spectacularly in my first attempt. "Spectacularly" meaning I developed a pretty bad case of binge eating that caused me to gain all of my weight back in about half the time it took me to lose it. It took about 3 years of recovery in outpatient therapy (and a job change) before I felt ready to lose again.

Here's a list of things I learned. If you'd like context, don't be afraid to ask. I was going to write out more but man, it was become a novel and I was like, "people are not going to read this. NEEDS MORE LISTS".

First, the practical things I tell myself to stay sane this time around:

1. I needed to include more calorie-dense foods. They're not as evil as I was inclined to think.
2. I needed to make my goal more flexible, and include more maintenance days for treats.
3. I needed more variety in my diet, flavors of jello don't count as "variety".
4. I needed to let other people use the damn elliptical at my tiny apartment gym.
5. I needed to realize that 5am wakeups for above elliptical use are not my deal, and I wasn't going to get used to them.
6. I needed to not even flirt with the idea of eat-all-the-things days. Those treats should have been spread out throughout my diet (see #2).

Those things are honestly more silly than anything. They were the symptoms of the things below.

Last, but not least, the mental things I tell myself to stay sane this time around:

1. I can rationalize obsession like nobody's business, especially with things considered to be good habits.
2. Just because I tell myself that weight loss won't solve my problems, doesn't mean I actually believe it. I need to believe it.
2.5. My body image and self-esteem issues will not be solved by weight loss. In fact, weight loss may make them temporarily worse.
2.5.5. It's the good habits that make me feel good, not the actual results (although the results help).
3. Weight loss doesn't make me a better person. It fact, I probably became a worse person - so hyperfocused on weight loss that everything else became lost.
4. I need to work on goals that have nothing to do with weight loss. I've learned my goal is to take better care of myself, not to lose weight. Losing weight is just part of me taking better care of myself.
5. I am not a pusher, an all-or-nothing-er, a 100%-er. I like to do things as lazily as I can while still meeting my goals. I am pro at moderation, and I require it.
6. I will have to live with my urge to binge eat the rest of my life, but I have good ways to cope now. That's a big part of life, just learning how to cope healthily.


  • RAinWARAinWA Posts: 1,601Member Member Posts: 1,601Member Member
    Well done! You have a wonderful sensible approach.

    And you look awesome.
  • effervescent11effervescent11 Posts: 29Member, Premium Member Posts: 29Member, Premium Member
    Great lessons! Thank you for sharing. You look amazing!
  • RelCanonicalRelCanonical Posts: 3,039Member Member Posts: 3,039Member Member
    LAT1963 wrote: »
    Digesting your advice & hoping to benefit from it.

    I'm on day 4 of this attempt to lose weight. tore ligaments in my feet so can't exercise. So far the calorie restriction is not too bad--I know my satiety hinges on fats and ignores sugars so I tend to let my fat grams exceed the default target so long as my net carbs is low and calories are okay, and that keeps me from getting too hungry. I'm using MFP's target as my top for calories and 50 cals below that as my bottom of a range so that I don't under-eat and get ravenous the following day. Hope that sounds right to the rest of you. I lost 0.4 lbs each of the first 3 days but gained it back overnight last night despite hitting targets all 3 days, so I'm thinking its a hydration issue.

    But it's hot today and I really want to binge on melon, and I can't because it's not in my calorie budget for the day. I could probably eat 300 g of melon in one sitting but it's about 150 calories to do that and I just don't have room for it today.

    PS: I think 138 looks better on you than 130. Your arms look better to me at 138 (but maybe you're lifting weights now to have better muscle tone).

    Weight can certainly be a variable thing due to water weight, so I think you're on the right track! I only weight once a month because I just don't care for the fluctuations. I've just had to learn to trust the process of logging as to its accuracy.
  • RelCanonicalRelCanonical Posts: 3,039Member Member Posts: 3,039Member Member
    So much great in one post!

    (I noticed your numbering ;) ) LOL
  • puffbratpuffbrat Posts: 2,443Member Member Posts: 2,443Member Member
    I love this post! You have made amazing progress and provided a lot of useful tips that we all need to be reminded of sometimes. And you look phenomenal!
  • healthierlisehealthierlise Posts: 1Member Member Posts: 1Member Member
    I loved reading this post! So much of it chimed with me. Well done!
  • brenn24179brenn24179 Posts: 1,801Member Member Posts: 1,801Member Member
    what ways have you found to cope now rather than eat? I found journaling helps me or drink something rather than eat and take that walk!
  • LAT1963LAT1963 Posts: 1,281Member, Premium Member Posts: 1,281Member, Premium Member
    (follow up--313 g of hami-melon this morning (106 cal), but its in the budget today. fwiw)
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