Long post from a lurker

This is not my first MFP ride, I had great success when I first tried it out in 2013(ish), I lost about 50 pounds and was 'this' close to being under 200 pounds. Then one day I stopped tracking. No reason. It isn't like I thought I've got this and don't need to anymore, or that I thought it was too hard. I just stopped. Bad call. After that I tried now and then half hardheartedly; I'd have a good 2-3 weeks then a bad couple weeks (did everything 'right' and did not lose - at my size that's inconceivable). So I quit.

Of course I dieted before MFP. Did Weight Watchers in the late 90s. I remember being horrified at weigh in - I was 204 pounds. Boy wouldn't I love that today. Though I did have success the approach was annoying (I'm a CICO person, why would I convert food labels to 'points' and the meetings became tedious as people traded 'tricks' on how to eat more and be in their points. I did learn quite a lot though, I learned how amazing fiber is which I'm grateful for but gained back so much more weight than I lost. Then I had a big weight training binge about a decade ago and lost weight but even better put on tons of muscle....weighed 180 but was a size 14 (almost a 12) which taught me how the scale can lie, in the past I was a size 14 but was much lighter on the scale. That muscle weighs more than fat but takes up less room was awesome news! But I had trouble with the food part - it was so structured and rigid and when I got hurt I found another excuse to quit. Because muscle burns more calories (I was eating 2200 calories a day and losing size!) it took a few years to atrophy and gain back the weight. But I did. Which is what got me to MFP in 2013 like I already mentioned.

I suffer from severe anxiety and believe depression. I have tried therapy and had horrifying results (there is a case open with my State to investigate the incident). I will not go back. I know losing weight will not be a magic bullet but I also know how much differently I feel about myself and my reduced fear of humans when I'm smaller. When I was doing MFP in 2013 I was in a group for larger folks and it was a positive aspect for a while before it became a *kitten* show. The organizers/leaders/whatever were tyrannical and judgmental and it was very clicky. I see the group is still there but I am keeping clear.

I don't have a support system. The only family member that had my back passed a while ago. The rest are quite mean, not just unsupportive but actually mean. I've never had an interaction with them where I wasn't picked on or made the butt of the joke. I have had to walk away from them and have had no contact in a few years. Around that time I got divorced and my 'friends' disappeared. I have nobody to interact with outside of when I go to work and even then I'm orbiting other people. I have nice chats now and then but that's about it. I'm extremely private and shy and introverted, I mentioned the anxiety already. It's devastatingly lonely. I exist. I don't live.

So I don't have friends, I don't have family, I have just myself. And I had food.

I cannot help shake the belief that if I don't get my food issues and physical size settled before I'm 50 that I never will. Plus I have to eventually have some surgery to get mobility back (hard to walk at all, cannot do exercising). Losing the weight will help the surgery be successful and the recovery more bearable.

For whatever reason I joined on September 8th. At around the same weight I've joined before, I guess I have an internal point where my brain says please stop? So on Sunday September 8th at 256 pounds I set off on yet another journey. After 7 weeks I weighed in today at 236.4.

Will this be different? I don't know. I hope so.

I've lurked here the last couple of weeks and what I like about this group is there isn't a 'rah rah' automatic response. You all seem to be thoughtful and kind but still honest. I like that. I think you get a gold star for getting through this though. Thanks for 'listening'.


  • conniewilkins56
    conniewilkins56 Posts: 3,391 Member
    We are always here to listen...I have found this group to be very supportive....I hope you join in and share your journey...everyone has been very kind and all of the topics are very helpful...
  • maiomaio71
    maiomaio71 Posts: 231 Member
    Hello! Welcome! I've found this group amazing. I would have given up ages ago if I didn't have it. Even just lurking you get some great info.
  • merph518
    merph518 Posts: 702 Member
    A belated welcome, since you've been lurking for a while!

    I have family around, but no friends I'd consider close. I've been able to find a lot of support online, both here and in a couple other places. I hope you feel comfortable enough to participate and join in with the community here more, it's been a good resource for me.
  • NovusDies
    NovusDies Posts: 8,940 Member
    Now that you are not a creepy lurker anymore... Welcome.

    Congrats on the progress so far.

    I think the best thing is to avoid trying to answer any big questions and just keep ending most days in a deficit and allow them to answer themselves.

    I am not sure how our brand of support stacks up with other groups but I hope you find what you need here. You seem like a good fit for us... well... assuming we all have time to read your posts. :wink:
  • DogMom919
    DogMom919 Posts: 58 Member
    Welcome to LL....this is indeed a very kind and supportive group...for me, kindness is really important. I think you have come to the right place.
  • Hubzilla
    Hubzilla Posts: 27 Member
    Hi there, Lurker! Jump on in the water’s fine!
  • hansep0012
    hansep0012 Posts: 385 Member
    @FitByFifty1970 - welcome.

    For me, this is a long term commitment to getting to my goal weight and maintaining it for the rest of my life. This translates to me having a stake in our LL community and being a positive influence as best as I can.

    Our LL community is a big part of my support and I enjoy reading the posts and commenting as I have time.

  • cheryldumais
    cheryldumais Posts: 1,907 Member
    edited October 2019
    @FitBy_50 you are so welcome here. I have been on MFP since 2015 and I can safely say that the people are amazing but this group is even safer than the other boards. I think @NovusDies deserves credit for his input there. I started out originally at 251 pounds and finally got down to 143. It took me 2 years but I was 59 when I started. I have gained back about 15 pounds of late due to quitting vaping in May but I am on the wagon and working to get back down. Any of us would be happy to listen when you need to talk and to cheer you on when you're struggling. We've either been where you are or are there now and we understand the struggle. It's not the same for someone who only has 20 pounds to lose. No offence to them but it's hard to understand some of the weird and painful things we deal with. Anyway just wanted to chime in that we are glad you're here and that it really is a safe place to share your struggle.
  • FitByFifty1970
    FitByFifty1970 Posts: 127 Member
    Thanks everyone. I'm overwhelmed and grateful for the support. I'll post more at some point.
  • Hubzilla
    Hubzilla Posts: 27 Member

    Now, I did lose focus and gain 200 of my 350 hard lost pounds back for awhile. Why did that happen after 7 years? Like a lot of things in life, I lost sight of what was really important. I started making one bad choice after another. Stress, depression - I just lost focus on the fact that anything I had to face in life, I would be better able to face it healthy.

    I stopped doing the things that had made me successful in the first place.

    Same here for a 100 pounds.
  • FitByFifty1970
    FitByFifty1970 Posts: 127 Member
    SO I guess I'm just 'creepy' now that I'm not a lurker? ;-)

    I have been reading a lot of posts here (you folks are prolific so I will fit in..haha) and what I seem to be drawn to is the lack of 'rah rah' that I mentioned but to clarify it's not that you aren't supportive and encouraging of each other but that is has substance. And you also seem to kick some butt if they need it. I like that.

    Something interesting keeps popping up after binge reading some threads (certainly not all)...very often people will post 'I lost X pounds' and immediately follow it with how much more there is left to go. I know I've been guilty of this and I want to actively stop it. Just ending with the positive. In another group for 200+ pound women (still just lurking there) it is similar. Makes me wonder about the psychology of being large and needing to apologize for it and taking away from our accomplishments.

    On the other hand it hit me quite hard how on the way down we're kinda proud (being under 240) but on the way up we're disgusted with ourselves (omg I'm over 230 pounds, football players weigh less).

    What a mind Eff.
  • Learning to control our thoughts and emotions is such a huge part of long term “permanent” weight loss! The mind is everything!
  • amkita
    amkita Posts: 183 Member
    @FitByFifty1970 I'm not sure if saying how much is left is always a negative thing--it can be helpful in terms of goal setting to think about where you're headed. but yeah, addressing how your brain fits in to the process is important. it can be a struggle to stay positive about what is a difficult, slow process.

    it's definitely interesting though, and now that I'm roughly halfway to my overall goal, I feel like my brain is split more evenly between how far I've come and how much is left, versus feeling more forward focused previously. it feels like a shifting perspective, and though I think I've done a decent job at framing it as positive overall, there have been times that I'm not super jazzed about it.
  • NovusDies
    NovusDies Posts: 8,940 Member

    I consider thinking of how much is left as generally negative or at least unhelpful for me. It takes my focus off the tree and puts it back on the forest. For me the tree is the day I am living and the little bit of progress I can make today. I suspect others can deal with it in a different way that is more manageable.

    For me the trick (this time) to some of the less helpful thoughts that pay me a visit is to recognize them for what they are. If I recognize it then I can work to keep myself from dwelling on them or, worse, acting on them.

    Basically some of this is learning more about yourself so you can make less of yourself. Might be nice if I had come with a user's manual.
  • FitByFifty1970
    FitByFifty1970 Posts: 127 Member
    @amkita I should clarify - I didn't mean the 'only X left' as a judgement if that is helpful for people. If using the end goal motivates you - that's awesome and I support it, and you, 100%. If losing sight of the win today and not giving yourself credit because the end goal is barely visible even if you squint super hard then that's my issue with its use. To me, to see it so often in groups where the X is substantial it seemed like a negative. Like 'only' or 'just' (eg I only lost .5 or I just stayed even) - it seems larger folks are apologetic for still being fat.

    @NovusDies - I have had plenty of ex boyfriends and an ex husband that would have paid serious $ for a user manual of me. Thing is, if they merely paid some attention it would all be clear (I'm fairly straight forward). I do know myself but I don't know the 'why' which to me I thought was key to long term real success. But for now I have to accept it simply 'is' and figure it out as I go. You and so many others have created an amazing group - it's unlike the others I've been stalking. I'm grateful.
  • conniewilkins56
    conniewilkins56 Posts: 3,391 Member
    If I knew the “WHY”.... I would bottle and sell it....I have found that lately I do better if I don’t think about how long or when....I am going day to day and some days hour to hour....no one in this group has ever said how easy their journey has been....they just prove that it can be done!
  • NovusDies
    NovusDies Posts: 8,940 Member
    One of the things I have, thankfully, given up is my impatience for answers to the mental part of this deal. I can either figure it out in time or work around it. It is not like I am going to be at goal tomorrow and even if I was there still would be plenty of time. Fat weight doesn't change up or down very quickly.
  • FitByFifty1970
    FitByFifty1970 Posts: 127 Member
    You folks are right and I will have to just accept that I don't know why I am the way I am, that's very unlike me but it has to be done I guess. That will be a hurdle. I cannot imagine not doing that though it will be interesting to try. I think having the massive anxiety issues and a very analytical/logical approach to everything makes me almost need to figure out the puzzle that is me....like I'll find the key at some point to unlock all the answers (I'm almost imagining it's like the novel Ready Player One) but apparently that's not going to happen. What will I do with all the free time if I'm not jumping through mental gymnastics.....
  • NovusDies
    NovusDies Posts: 8,940 Member
    You folks are right and I will have to just accept that I don't know why I am the way I am, that's very unlike me but it has to be done I guess. That will be a hurdle. I cannot imagine not doing that though it will be interesting to try. I think having the massive anxiety issues and a very analytical/logical approach to everything makes me almost need to figure out the puzzle that is me....like I'll find the key at some point to unlock all the answers (I'm almost imagining it's like the novel Ready Player One) but apparently that's not going to happen. What will I do with all the free time if I'm not jumping through mental gymnastics.....

    I think you have to figure out the areas you struggle to work around. In the beginning I had to figure out how to get a better handle on my alcohol moderation. I was moderating it physically by not having nearly as much. I wasn't moderating mentally because I still wanted it more often than I was drinking it. It took some trial and error but I finally realized that the key to me is to allow myself to drink at any time. I am the same way with food. If I say anything is off limits I want it more. If I allow everything there is no internal rebellion and no sense of urgency to eat or drink it. It seems like a latent immature aspect of my personality but I am (mostly) okay with it existing as long as I can work around it. That one key flipped a switch for me and I went from drinking every couple of weeks to going months in between anything.

    On the other hand I don't really worry about cravings. I have a system for weeding out ones that will not linger. Anything that does linger I just plan to indulge. I don't get them that often so I don't really care. I avoid fighting with myself as much as possible. I do not like the odds because it is always 50/50 that I will act in a goal-oriented way.