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How do you deal with the fear?

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  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Member, Premium Posts: 15,511 Member Member, Premium Posts: 15,511 Member
    sofrances wrote: »
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    Worry, worry, worry. Annoyance, stress, sense of unfairness, anxiety, resentment. It accomplishes nothing, it makes me feel bad, it doesn't make me more successful.

    Why waste my energy doing it? Worry, stress, anxiety don't improve anything. I'm far better off focusing my energy on what it takes for me, personally, to be satiated and happy with life at my experientially-determined calorie need. Everything else is a waste of my time and energy.

    Thanks @AnnPT77. That's the sort of stern talking to I needed. :smile:

    I think part of the problem - and I think this might be common to lots of people - is that this process has taught me to distrust my own capacity for self-reassurance. For years, my capacity for self-reassurance was an enemy, not a friend. "You're not that fat", "At least you're not as fat as that guy", "You're just well built", "One more won't hurt", "You can start a diet on Monday" etc. On and on, very comfortable and reassured, very happy, and all the while ruining my health and getting bigger than I would have ever thought possible.

    So although worrying is pointless, it almost feels safer than being reassured.

    I can't be the only one who has felt that, can I?

    (I probably need therapy :smile: )

    Therapy is a wonderful thing, like other useful tools to improve life (physical therapy, medical exams (and treatments when needed), dietitians, personal trainers, etc.). It should have no more stigma than any of those, if we choose to seek help with our not-yet-ideal thought patterns. Nowadays, there are phone or video versions, even. Much can be achieved in a few sessions of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, say.

    Beyond that, about the self-trust and self-reassurance: I can understand that. (Hey, I was obese for 30+ years!)

    An advantage you have in this case, if you choose to take advantage of it: You can treat weight management, nutrition, even fitness to a certain extent, like a fun science fair project for grown-ups. Base what you do on data.

    * Set a goal weight (in conjunction with your doctor, if you're uncertain).

    * Learn about your personal daily fluctuation range, and set a maintenance range accordingly, low and high weights. (A weight trending app can be a help in this.) You don't want to set an upper limit that you will bounce over frequently with normal water-retention changes; you want the range to encompass normal fluctuation so there aren't constant freak-out triggers. You may even want a rule that says something like "intervene if over the top end for 3 days continuously" or something - especially if your range is smaller.

    * If you want to keep calorie counting, you can do that, or you can use some other eating-management strategy (I think some have been discussed in the thread, but you can always look at threads here to see what others do, and figure out what will work for you).

    * Manage your activity level. Set an enjoyable, manageable schedule of activity ("exercise"), and keep it consistent. Numbers: 3 times a week cardio, 2 times a week strength (for example - use numbers that work for you).

    * Watch your scale weight, and adjust your eating. Recognize that if something changes (drive to work instead of walking to the bus stop,say), it might have an effect, and watch your data. Have a plan, mostly stick with it, change it on an intentional basis. (But an occasional deviation because of circumstances is no big deal - a droplet in the sea of your routine.)

    Self-reassurance need not be the guide, or the flaw. Use the data. On the psychological side, doing that with some consistency will build confidence in your own abilities, as a plus. None of this need be obsessive. Give it an amount of time daily or weekly, to do the processes that are essential, and keep it in that cubbyhole. It doesn't need more brain-share than it gets in the time it takes to do the necessary tasks. (Think about dental health: Betting you brush your teeth daily, possibly floss, maybe get a hygienist cleaning and dentist exam every 6 months or so, deal with any exceptional problem (broken tooth?) as the exception it is . . . but you probably don't spend much energy or emotion on dental health. It's routine. Bodyweight can be a routine, mostly, too.)

    An important fact to understand is that very quick large weight changes are almost certainly water weight and/or temporary digestive tract contents. You have to eat roughly 3500 calories over maintenance to gain a pound of fat (or move less, by the same extent). If 2 pounds suddenly shows up on the scale, and you didn't eat more or move less by 7000 calories in the last few days, it can't be fat, it has to be water/digestive waste.

    Actual regain tends to be slow creep, not sudden jumps. While that makes self-delusion easier, sticking with your maintenance range is the counter-measure. Intervene when you start to hover at/above the top end. Base it on data, not "feelings".

    Understand: I'm not deprecating emotions as an important thing in life, in many ways. But right now, managing those seems to be part of your personal struggle toward continuously improving health and happiness.

    You're doing a great job with the self-insights and information-seeking. You can do this, you can be one of the long-term bodyweight success stories. And you can prove that to yourself: Just do the practical, concrete things that need to be done, with reasonable consistency.

    Wishing you all the best!
    edited May 28
  • NovusDiesNovusDies Member, Premium Posts: 7,714 Member Member, Premium Posts: 7,714 Member
    sofrances wrote: »
    Doesn't it annoy you guys that no one seems to know this stuff for sure? To my mind, the obesity crisis is the second greatest crisis facing humanity, second only to climate change (although I realise that this view may be coloured by my own personal struggles). It feels like it weird that no one knows basic things like "how long does adaptive thermogenesis last".


    The fact that it is hard to quantify actually just helps me marginalize it. I respect it enough to act prudently but fretting over it will not be productive. It is kind of like loose skin. Do I want to die early to avoid it? Nope.

    From what I understand BMR moves slightly based on feast or famine. I have spent a good deal of my life in feast so is it not just as reasonable to assume that my BMR was elevated before I started losing and when I am weight stable for a period of time it will just be whatever normal was supposed to be for me in the first place?
  • rheddmobilerheddmobile Member Posts: 5,402 Member Member Posts: 5,402 Member
    After three previous occasions of regaining after a major weight loss, I am terrified of regaining. I’ve been at normal BMI 3 years now and I’m still terrified. In the past, two factors led to regain: gradually switching over to eating more like my husband, and major disasters: being unable to exercise due to injury/lupus flare, or having to deal with high stress situations such as the death of a parent. I still haven’t had a true flare this go-round, so I’m petrified that if I find myself bedridden for a long period of time, everything will come unraveled. And knock wood I haven’t had to face any major crises that lasted more than a couple of weeks at a time. However, I have had major injuries - a ruptured Baker’s cyst and a seriously messed up Achilles’ tendon - which stopped me from running or lifting for months at a time. And I didn’t gain weight during that time. In addition, I have my husband on board now. He doesn’t tempt me with high calorie foods, and he enjoys exercise and healthful eating himself. I just have to trust that if disaster strikes, I will be ready to cope with it, because I have the skills and the tools I need now. I have yet to face a major crisis, but I have handled minor crises which disrupted my schedule by substituting quick HIIT workouts for longer ones, and cutting back my calories. I have learned to mostly find something reasonably low-calorie and satisfying to eat even when trapped in the food swamp that is the medical district. (A food swamp is like a food desert, but whereas in a food desert there are no grocery stores selling fresh food, in a food swamp there are twenty junk food emporiums on every block.)

    You develop the tools you need, the support you need, and the skills and habits you need. You are as prepared as you know how to be. That’s the best you can do today. You can’t do anything about tomorrow until tomorrow comes, so it’s a waste of resources to fret about it. As Jesus said, “Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof!”
    edited May 28
  • sofrancessofrances Member, Premium Posts: 60 Member Member, Premium Posts: 60 Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    sofrances wrote: »
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    Worry, worry, worry. Annoyance, stress, sense of unfairness, anxiety, resentment. It accomplishes nothing, it makes me feel bad, it doesn't make me more successful.

    Why waste my energy doing it? Worry, stress, anxiety don't improve anything. I'm far better off focusing my energy on what it takes for me, personally, to be satiated and happy with life at my experientially-determined calorie need. Everything else is a waste of my time and energy.

    Thanks @AnnPT77. That's the sort of stern talking to I needed. :smile:

    I think part of the problem - and I think this might be common to lots of people - is that this process has taught me to distrust my own capacity for self-reassurance. For years, my capacity for self-reassurance was an enemy, not a friend. "You're not that fat", "At least you're not as fat as that guy", "You're just well built", "One more won't hurt", "You can start a diet on Monday" etc. On and on, very comfortable and reassured, very happy, and all the while ruining my health and getting bigger than I would have ever thought possible.

    So although worrying is pointless, it almost feels safer than being reassured.

    I can't be the only one who has felt that, can I?

    (I probably need therapy :smile: )

    Therapy is a wonderful thing, like other useful tools to improve life (physical therapy, medical exams (and treatments when needed), dietitians, personal trainers, etc.). It should have no more stigma than any of those, if we choose to seek help with our not-yet-ideal thought patterns. Nowadays, there are phone or video versions, even. Much can be achieved in a few sessions of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, say.

    Beyond that, about the self-trust and self-reassurance: I can understand that. (Hey, I was obese for 30+ years!)

    An advantage you have in this case, if you choose to take advantage of it: You can treat weight management, nutrition, even fitness to a certain extent, like a fun science fair project for grown-ups. Base what you do on data.

    * Set a goal weight (in conjunction with your doctor, if you're uncertain).

    * Learn about your personal daily fluctuation range, and set a maintenance range accordingly, low and high weights. (A weight trending app can be a help in this.) You don't want to set an upper limit that you will bounce over frequently with normal water-retention changes; you want the range to encompass normal fluctuation so there aren't constant freak-out triggers. You may even want a rule that says something like "intervene if over the top end for 3 days continuously" or something - especially if your range is smaller.

    * If you want to keep calorie counting, you can do that, or you can use some other eating-management strategy (I think some have been discussed in the thread, but you can always look at threads here to see what others do, and figure out what will work for you).

    * Manage your activity level. Set an enjoyable, manageable schedule of activity ("exercise"), and keep it consistent. Numbers: 3 times a week cardio, 2 times a week strength (for example - use numbers that work for you).

    * Watch your scale weight, and adjust your eating. Recognize that if something changes (drive to work instead of walking to the bus stop,say), it might have an effect, and watch your data. Have a plan, mostly stick with it, change it on an intentional basis. (But an occasional deviation because of circumstances is no big deal - a droplet in the sea of your routine.)

    Self-reassurance need not be the guide, or the flaw. Use the data. On the psychological side, doing that with some consistency will build confidence in your own abilities, as a plus. None of this need be obsessive. Give it an amount of time daily or weekly, to do the processes that are essential, and keep it in that cubbyhole. It doesn't need more brain-share than it gets in the time it takes to do the necessary tasks. (Think about dental health: Betting you brush your teeth daily, possibly floss, maybe get a hygienist cleaning and dentist exam every 6 months or so, deal with any exceptional problem (broken tooth?) as the exception it is . . . but you probably don't spend much energy or emotion on dental health. It's routine. Bodyweight can be a routine, mostly, too.)

    An important fact to understand is that very quick large weight changes are almost certainly water weight and/or temporary digestive tract contents. You have to eat roughly 3500 calories over maintenance to gain a pound of fat (or move less, by the same extent). If 2 pounds suddenly shows up on the scale, and you didn't eat more or move less by 7000 calories in the last few days, it can't be fat, it has to be water/digestive waste.

    Actual regain tends to be slow creep, not sudden jumps. While that makes self-delusion easier, sticking with your maintenance range is the counter-measure. Intervene when you start to hover at/above the top end. Base it on data, not "feelings".

    Understand: I'm not deprecating emotions as an important thing in life, in many ways. But right now, managing those seems to be part of your personal struggle toward continuously improving health and happiness.

    You're doing a great job with the self-insights and information-seeking. You can do this, you can be one of the long-term bodyweight success stories. And you can prove that to yourself: Just do the practical, concrete things that need to be done, with reasonable consistency.

    Wishing you all the best!

    Thanks @AnnPT77, this really helped a lot.
  • sofrancessofrances Member, Premium Posts: 60 Member Member, Premium Posts: 60 Member
    Thanks @dolphinie13. That's definitely helpful, especially the bit about picking lifestyle changes that are sustainable for the rest of one's life.
  • GBO323GBO323 Member Posts: 332 Member Member Posts: 332 Member
    Truth vs Feelings matter here. Go with what is true regardless of how you feel because that will
    Keep You successful. The hard numbers say if you take in the amount of calories you need to maintain then you will maintain. It may take a couple of weeks to figure out what that number is but it works.
    It is natural to feel concerned or worried for that simply because you don’t know what you don’t know yet. Trust the process… It works in the loss and it does work in the maintenance.

    When fear knocks on the door open it with faith and there’s nobody there.
  • ahoy_m8ahoy_m8 Member Posts: 2,007 Member Member Posts: 2,007 Member
    suzesvelte wrote: »
    sofrances wrote: »
    sijomial wrote: »
    Why wasn't it important enough to you to do something about it?

    I didn't want to calorie count. It seemed like an unnatural way to live your life, I resented having to do it when other people didn't seem to have to.

    See - this is where you are wrong - and you do yourself a disservice by thinking "it's not fair!" ... because everyone who is skinny/slim pays some attention to maintaining that. They may not have the same struggle and it might be easier for some ppl than others, but we live surrounded by excess food in the modern world. Literally no-one stays slim without being aware of their own in/out balance of calories, even if they don't count them like you do they will be doing some maths and making some alterations on a daily/ weekly basis to make sure they stay around their happy weight. Things like doing an extra aero class cos they're having a special night out or accepting a slice of birthday cake at work but skipping their evening meal to compensate for it.

    ...

    QFT. No one knows what another person goes through to maintain successfully. It's a pet peeve to hear "It's easy for you," which even my own mother says. I used to hear it as, "You can't do anything difficult that requires persistence and tenacity; you can only do easy *kitten*." I've learned to hear it as, "You're so adept you make it look easy." Every now and then I meet someone fit who is enjoying dessert (or some other treat) who expresses chagrin at those who assume he can do so without any self regulation to offset the splurge. There are lots of us out there!!
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Member, Premium Posts: 15,511 Member Member, Premium Posts: 15,511 Member
    suzesvelte wrote: »
    sofrances wrote: »
    sijomial wrote: »
    Why wasn't it important enough to you to do something about it?

    I didn't want to calorie count. It seemed like an unnatural way to live your life, I resented having to do it when other people didn't seem to have to.

    See - this is where you are wrong - and you do yourself a disservice by thinking "it's not fair!" ... because everyone who is skinny/slim pays some attention to maintaining that. They may not have the same struggle and it might be easier for some ppl than others, but we live surrounded by excess food in the modern world. Literally no-one stays slim without being aware of their own in/out balance of calories, even if they don't count them like you do they will be doing some maths and making some alterations on a daily/ weekly basis to make sure they stay around their happy weight. Things like doing an extra aero class cos they're having a special night out or accepting a slice of birthday cake at work but skipping their evening meal to compensate for it.

    MFP is for life, if we want to make it stick, cos if our own ability to balance our in/out tally isn't quite good enough we need this for support and encouragement.

    Personally I have never got to my goal but I have foudn MFP a great tool to encourage the awareness I need to drop the pounds I gained and keep trying to that goal weight!

    Endorsed.

    For me, one of the benefits of having a wide range of good friends** is seeing this pretty graphically. Some of my friends - folks around them would say - are "naturally thin". They've always been a reasonably healthy weight (all the way up into 60s/70s now in some cases). They don't calorie count or necessarily do anything quite that explicit, but they have different habits that help them maintain their weight. For example, some I know will cut back on snacks and such if their waistband starts getting a little snug, or they tend to fall in with the bird-like lunch habits of their always-dieting co-workers out of social solidarity, among other things. For sure, it isn't magical. They may not calorie count, but they have weight-management strategies.

    ** I hang out with groups of on-water rowers, and groups of artists. It isn't universal in either group, but the active people are more likely to be managing their weight, and the artists are more likely not to be. And, speaking as someone who was athletically active with the rowers for over a decade while staying obese despite that, the difference is not simply exercise - no matter what some not-so-active people may believe.
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Member, Premium Posts: 15,511 Member Member, Premium Posts: 15,511 Member
    suzesvelte wrote: »
    sofrances wrote: »
    sijomial wrote: »
    Why wasn't it important enough to you to do something about it?

    I didn't want to calorie count. It seemed like an unnatural way to live your life, I resented having to do it when other people didn't seem to have to.

    See - this is where you are wrong - and you do yourself a disservice by thinking "it's not fair!" ... because everyone who is skinny/slim pays some attention to maintaining that. They may not have the same struggle and it might be easier for some ppl than others, but we live surrounded by excess food in the modern world. Literally no-one stays slim without being aware of their own in/out balance of calories, even if they don't count them like you do they will be doing some maths and making some alterations on a daily/ weekly basis to make sure they stay around their happy weight. Things like doing an extra aero class cos they're having a special night out or accepting a slice of birthday cake at work but skipping their evening meal to compensate for it.

    MFP is for life, if we want to make it stick, cos if our own ability to balance our in/out tally isn't quite good enough we need this for support and encouragement.

    Personally I have never got to my goal but I have foudn MFP a great tool to encourage the awareness I need to drop the pounds I gained and keep trying to that goal weight!

    Endorsed.

    For me, one of the benefits of having a wide range of good friends** is seeing this pretty graphically. Some of my friends - folks around them would say - are "naturally thin". They've always been a reasonably healthy weight (all the way up into 60s/70s now in some cases). They don't calorie count or necessarily do anything quite that explicit, but they have different habits that help them maintain their weight. For example, some I know will cut back on snacks and such if their waistband starts getting a little snug, or they tend to fall in with the bird-like lunch habits of their always-dieting co-workers out of social solidarity, among other things. For sure, it isn't magical. They may not calorie count, but they have weight-management strategies.

    ** I hang out with groups of on-water rowers, and groups of artists. It isn't universal in either group, but the active people are more likely to be managing their weight, and the artists are more likely not to be. And, speaking as someone who was athletically active with the rowers for over a decade while staying obese despite that, the difference is not simply exercise - no matter what some not-so-active people may believe.
  • NovusDiesNovusDies Member, Premium Posts: 7,714 Member Member, Premium Posts: 7,714 Member
    suzesvelte wrote: »
    sofrances wrote: »
    sijomial wrote: »
    Why wasn't it important enough to you to do something about it?

    I didn't want to calorie count. It seemed like an unnatural way to live your life, I resented having to do it when other people didn't seem to have to.

    See - this is where you are wrong - and you do yourself a disservice by thinking "it's not fair!" ... because everyone who is skinny/slim pays some attention to maintaining that. They may not have the same struggle and it might be easier for some ppl than others, but we live surrounded by excess food in the modern world. Literally no-one stays slim without being aware of their own in/out balance of calories, even if they don't count them like you do they will be doing some maths and making some alterations on a daily/ weekly basis to make sure they stay around their happy weight. Things like doing an extra aero class cos they're having a special night out or accepting a slice of birthday cake at work but skipping their evening meal to compensate for it.

    MFP is for life, if we want to make it stick, cos if our own ability to balance our in/out tally isn't quite good enough we need this for support and encouragement.

    Personally I have never got to my goal but I have foudn MFP a great tool to encourage the awareness I need to drop the pounds I gained and keep trying to that goal weight!


    It is a matter of perspective.

    I count (pun intended) myself lucky that I now know how to log my food correctly and I have used this and other knowledge to change my life for the better.

    People that do not yet possess this knowledge who currently maintain at a healthy weight are at risk of gaining or losing if something changes in their activity or food circumstance and they do not adapt. I have known many people who were at or close to a healthy weight that experienced the "middle age spread" and most have not been able to get it back off yet.

    So is it fair that I am at less risk if I continue doing it and they are? Or is it unfair that I have to count my calories and they do not?
  • sofrancessofrances Member, Premium Posts: 60 Member Member, Premium Posts: 60 Member
    suzesvelte wrote: »
    sofrances wrote: »
    sijomial wrote: »
    Why wasn't it important enough to you to do something about it?

    I didn't want to calorie count. It seemed like an unnatural way to live your life, I resented having to do it when other people didn't seem to have to.

    See - this is where you are wrong - and you do yourself a disservice by thinking "it's not fair!"

    I know that now. I only wish I had known it 10 years ago! :smile:

    Unfortunately, I'm very prone to self pity and "why me!?" thoughts. Or even "why us!?" i.e. why are human beings so messed up that, after millennia of struggling to reliably get enough to eat, having finally achieved that utopian goal, now millions of people die from having *too much* to eat! If it wasn't tragic it would be hilarious.
    edited June 11
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