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struggling to stay consistent with healthy living

sheakatherine23sheakatherine23 Member Posts: 8 Member Member Posts: 8 Member
hi all -- over the last few years... i've gained over 30 pounds. it's hard for me to look in the mirror and love the way i look. I used to love how in shape i was, and now it's tough because I don't eat great and while i go to the gym, i'm not consistent. some weeks i'll go all 7 days and have great workouts, but i can also go 2 weeks without going and eat horribly. is anyone else struggling? i keep giving into temptations:/

Replies

  • VegjoyPVegjoyP Member Posts: 1,449 Member Member Posts: 1,449 Member
    First of all, if that is you in the profile picture you are extremely beautiful! Here are some tips that can lead you to the right path;
    - Identify "trigger" foods and keep them out of the house. Do you find yourself bingeing on certain things? Even if they are "healthy"? Sometimes a "health halo" can give us an excuse to over eat.
    - Are you setting realistic and doable goals for calories and/ or exercise? Over training and under eating can lead to quick burnout and fatigue.
    - Are you getting enough sleep?
    - Are you getting enough of all the macronutrients?
    - What is your motivation? Is it life long and for health?
    - Do you have exercises you enjoy?
    - Are you being accountable or do you plan ahead?
    - Are you "self sabotaging" yourself for reasons you may not realize.
    - What expectations do you have? Are they achievable to you?

    There are a lot of ways to stay on track. Maybe think about these questions and see if it gives you insight on what to do to sustain lasting results. Remember to that a day that is "off" is just a day. Get up the next morning and start again. Don't let it defeat you and derail it all together. We are on a journey and this is lifestyle change.




















  • sheakatherine23sheakatherine23 Member Posts: 8 Member Member Posts: 8 Member














    Trigger foods could be anything - but mostly candy. Especially those cadbury eggs! I binge on candy mostly, i find i don’t eat meals, i eat snacks. I’ll have usually a bowl of cheerios for breakfast... try to go to the gym, then i will come home and have an early dinner which will be a pasta or something or i’ll order something to eat. I feel like i have realistic goals but idk:/ i’d like to lose a pound a week, which i know is possible but then i give into food temptations :/ and i gain it all back. It sucks. I sometimes enjoy being at the gym, i hate cardio but i force myself to do it. I know i don’t take as much protein as i should, so i’ve been putting protein powder in my drinks to help.

  • sheakatherine23sheakatherine23 Member Posts: 8 Member Member Posts: 8 Member
    I try to work out in the morning, because knowing if i don’t, it won’t happen at all. So i try to make it one of the first things i do, and when i do that, i’m good! But sometimes i have a really busy day or work takes over or something comes up, and i can’t go in the morning and by the time the afternoon comes, i say ehhh i’ll go tomorrow
  • sheakatherine23sheakatherine23 Member Posts: 8 Member Member Posts: 8 Member
    It sounds like for you it is all or nothing, it might be more manageable to start small.

    'Don't eat great' is a bit vague. To lose weight you just have to stick to your calorie allowance, it doesn't actually matter what you eat. Although longer term nutrition is obviously important.

    Pick a thing for this week. Maybe it's to go to the gym three times, or go for a walk in the park if you don't feel like it, or try to eat an extra portion of fruit/veg every day.

    Don't beat yourself up, we've all had a lot going on. Don't know where you are but I have found the latest lockdown in the UK brutal. Feeling much better now it's starting to lift and spring is arriving, these things have an impact. Just have to ease back into better habits.



    Usually my intake is fine but yesterday i went over 1,205 cals :/ like i feel horrible but i just couldn’t stop eating.
  • penguinmama87penguinmama87 Member, Premium Posts: 263 Member Member, Premium Posts: 263 Member
    It sounds like for you it is all or nothing, it might be more manageable to start small.

    'Don't eat great' is a bit vague. To lose weight you just have to stick to your calorie allowance, it doesn't actually matter what you eat. Although longer term nutrition is obviously important.

    Pick a thing for this week. Maybe it's to go to the gym three times, or go for a walk in the park if you don't feel like it, or try to eat an extra portion of fruit/veg every day.

    Don't beat yourself up, we've all had a lot going on. Don't know where you are but I have found the latest lockdown in the UK brutal. Feeling much better now it's starting to lift and spring is arriving, these things have an impact. Just have to ease back into better habits.



    Usually my intake is fine but yesterday i went over 1,205 cals :/ like i feel horrible but i just couldn’t stop eating.

    1205 is really a minimum number - if you're regularly eating under that, I'm not surprised it's hard to keep it up, which would make overeating to compensate more likely. How did you arrive at that as the correct intake? It's likely possible you can eat more and still lose weight.
  • cwolfman13cwolfman13 Member Posts: 38,994 Member Member Posts: 38,994 Member
    hi all -- over the last few years... i've gained over 30 pounds. it's hard for me to look in the mirror and love the way i look. I used to love how in shape i was, and now it's tough because I don't eat great and while i go to the gym, i'm not consistent. some weeks i'll go all 7 days and have great workouts, but i can also go 2 weeks without going and eat horribly. is anyone else struggling? i keep giving into temptations:/

    Maybe find somewhere between going 7 days per week or not at all. "Healthy Living" doesn't have to mean hitting the gym 7 days per week. I'm in the gym no more than twice per week for the weight room and that's it...if I was trying to fit in 7 days per week in the gym, that would just be a non starter isn't remotely necessary for "healthy living".
  • sheakatherine23sheakatherine23 Member Posts: 8 Member Member Posts: 8 Member
    1205 is really a minimum number - if you're regularly eating under that, I'm not surprised it's hard to keep it up, which would make overeating to compensate more likely. How did you arrive at that as the correct intake? It's likely possible you can eat more and still lose weight.[/quote]

    No like i went 1205 cals OVER my already cal intake:/ i’ve been feeling gross all night and morning . I’m back home visiting my mom and was out and i haven’t been here in a while and wanted to grab some food i haven’t had in over a year. :/

  • sheakatherine23sheakatherine23 Member Posts: 8 Member Member Posts: 8 Member
    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    hi all -- over the last few years... i've gained over 30 pounds. it's hard for me to look in the mirror and love the way i look. I used to love how in shape i was, and now it's tough because I don't eat great and while i go to the gym, i'm not consistent. some weeks i'll go all 7 days and have great workouts, but i can also go 2 weeks without going and eat horribly. is anyone else struggling? i keep giving into temptations:/

    Maybe find somewhere between going 7 days per week or not at all. "Healthy Living" doesn't have to mean hitting the gym 7 days per week. I'm in the gym no more than twice per week for the weight room and that's it...if I was trying to fit in 7 days per week in the gym, that would just be a non starter isn't remotely necessary for "healthy living".


    Do you see a weightloss or a toner body though? Are you eating healthier or just staying in budget?
  • penguinmama87penguinmama87 Member, Premium Posts: 263 Member Member, Premium Posts: 263 Member
    No like i went 1205 cals OVER my already cal intake:/ i’ve been feeling gross all night and morning . I’m back home visiting my mom and was out and i haven’t been here in a while and wanted to grab some food i haven’t had in over a year. :/

    Oh I'm sorry I misunderstood! Yes, I've had days like that before and it's really rough. If you have a day like that, you could take a weekly approach to your calorie budget - if you take 200 out of the next six days, then you've mitigated the overage. Or if that's too steep (depending on what your calorie deficit is now), accept that you're not likely to lose as much and cut out 100. Or just start over and know that today's a new day. One day, or even many, isn't going to spoil everything forever unless you let it. But I understand how easy it is to let your mind go there. Usually once everything works through my system, and I get a good night's sleep, I feel a lot better physically and can get going again with my mind in a much better place.

    You can work up to including more intentional exercise. Most of my activity is part of my daily life. I have found, personally, that a fitness tracker helps me be more intentional about getting movement in through the day. I like having set times to just go be active, but due to the newness of living this way and the realities of my daily responsibilities, that doesn't always happen. Two mottoes I like to live by: "don't let perfection be the enemy of the good" and "comparison is the thief of joy."

    I hope this is helpful! :)
    edited April 6
  • janejellyrolljanejellyroll Member, Premium Posts: 25,227 Member Member, Premium Posts: 25,227 Member
    It's really discouraging to think "I've got to eat healthy for the rest of my life" or "I've got to get to the gym seven days a week and have great workouts" (at least for me!).

    This sounds kind of like the "either/or" thinking that kept me struggling for so long. I was either on a diet or completely off one. It was not a very loving way to treat myself!

    I replaced it with goals that felt a lot more attainable, like "I'm going to get at least fifteen minutes of activity each day." Sometimes that might be a nice walk in the sunshine or a yoga video. Other times it was a more traditional gym workout. As I got more into it, making my activities longer and more challenging (most days, not every single day) became something that I WANTED to do.

    Saying "I'm going to eat healthy" made me feel like a loser when I ate a piece of candy or wanted to eat some french fries, so I replaced it with different goals that didn't rely on black/white categories.

    Everyone is different with goal setting, but I find that when I think of goals in terms of what I want to do (eat lots of vegetables, for example), it's much easier than goals that rely on what I'm NOT doing.

    So you went over your calories and you don't feel so great today. Maybe once you've had a chance to get some water and a bit of activity (nothing that makes you feel worse, but some walking or stretching), you'll be able to think about what exactly happened and what you might do differently if you find yourself in that situation again.

    Like @penguinmama87 said above, "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Don't let your perfect hypothetical diet and fitness routine distract you from the really GOOD and achievable diet and fitness routines that you could have, routines that allow for rest days and sometimes eating more calories than other days.
  • littlegreenparrot1littlegreenparrot1 Member Posts: 479 Member Member Posts: 479 Member
    Mmm, cadbury eggs. I'll have a bucket of those please.

    I'm going to share a few things that I find helpful, this is the result of 20 odd years of trial and error.

    I will not do things I hate. There is no point booking myself in for a hard core fitness class with jumpy music, flashing lights and someone shouting. Other people love it, I will leave after about 4 minutes. I will run for hours outside but not on a treadmill. If I can't bring myself to do anything else I always feel better after a swim and can cope with it. If you hate the cardio you're never going to stick to it. Try some yoga, trail running, a kettle bell class, a dance class. Eventually something might stick, or not and that's fine to.

    I need some rules. During a period of depression years ago I decided that dinner had to be something my mother would recognise as proper food. Toast was not enough. Regardless of what I felt like doing I could not continue to just eat toast and chocolate biscuits (I know this is obvious, I was not in a good place at the time). It doesn't have to be complicated or take a long time.

    I have to frame things carefully, I do better with what I will do, rather than what I won't.
    So for example, I am not going to try to go for a swim after work today, I will. the decision has been made.
    I have also already decided what dinner will be after I get home, if I'm floating about with no plan that is when I end up buying something massive on the way home.

    I am maintaining these habits because I enjoy it, I feel better, I want to be able to have adventures for many years to come. It is not because it is somehow a punishment, because if I didn't like it I wouldn't do it.
    I lose a bit of weight along the way, and that's great. But what I gain is about more than the number on the scale, so I benefit anyway and will keep them up. Win win.
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Member, Premium Posts: 19,493 Member Member, Premium Posts: 19,493 Member
    1205 is really a minimum number - if you're regularly eating under that, I'm not surprised it's hard to keep it up, which would make overeating to compensate more likely. How did you arrive at that as the correct intake? It's likely possible you can eat more and still lose weight.

    No like i went 1205 cals OVER my already cal intake:/ i’ve been feeling gross all night and morning . I’m back home visiting my mom and was out and i haven’t been here in a while and wanted to grab some food i haven’t had in over a year. :/

    So, when you set your calorie goal, how much weight did you say you wanted to lose per week? (Or, how many calories under maintenance calories do you believe your routine goal is?)

    If - to use an example - your goal calories are for losing a pound a week (which would be eating 500 calories daily under estimated maintenance calories), eating 1205 above goal cancels out weight loss for the day you do it, then next day, and a little bit into the following day. You will have delayed reaching goal weight by just slightly over 2 days. Big whoop-tee-doo, if you ask me.

    For me, that's not worth catastrophizing and feeling guilty/bad over - let alone getting discouraged and maybe giving up. If, as you say, it was a rare case of wanting and enjoying foods you don't usually eat (in those amounts), on a special occasion, it may have totally been worth that small delay. (Only you can say.)

    Just to give one small example, while I was losing weight, I decided to eat freely on my birthday (60th!) at a restaurant dinner party a friend hosted for me. Wine! Tempura! Edamame! Sushi rolls! Potstickers! Carrot cake cupcake with frosting! I had to estimate, but figure I ate 3354 calories that day, when my goal was about 1500. So, about 1850 over goal. Totally worth it!

    What happened? Well, I was late in the weight loss process by then. I'd had a somewhat indulge-y week overall, but the previous week my lowest daily weight had been 129.2 pounds. The morning after that 3300 calorie extravaganza, I weighed 132.2. Yikes? Nah. I just got back on my normal eating/exercise routine, which included a moderate calorie deficit. Five days later, the scale said 128.8, and normal progress continued from there.

    In my experience, I don't usually see as big a fat gain as the math would predict, from a single very rare way-over-goal day. (Not everyone experiences that, but I'm not the only one.) I do routinely see a multi-pound scale jump the day after the indulgence, but that's mostly water weight. It takes a few days, up to a couple of weeks even, for the water retention to sort out (could be longer if premenopausal), and if I went back to my healthy routine, by the time the water nonsense disappears, there isn't much impact on overall progress, with a calorie deficit in the picture.

    In your case, even if that *whole* 1205 calories, not just the amount over goal, turned into fat instantly (it wouldn't), the fat gain would be a hair more than one third of a pound. If your normal loss goal is a pound a week weight loss, the theoretical fat gain would be more like half that. How much guilt and self-disgust is that worth, really? (I vote "none", especially when it's water under the bridge.)

    Personally, I don't like the "make up for it" mindset. I feel like it can worsen my relationship with food and eating, maybe set up a restrict/binge cycle. I like this strategy: Log it; consider whether it was worth it (10 minutes max); if it wasn't worth it, figure out how to revise your future approach in similar situations to avoid it (if it was worth it, no revision needed); then just get back on your healthy routine. It'll be fine. (I'm in year 5+ of maintaining, 125-point-something pounds this morning.)

    Guilt and feeling bad are totally optional, burn no extra calories, and feel yucky. Why go there? Besides, in the big picture, one day is a drop in the ocean. The majority of our days determine the majority of our progress.

    I think others have given you good advice about creating an overall sustainable, practical routine that's achievable and ideally even enjoyable (not extreme, punitive-feeling and unachievable); and about recognizing that occasional deviations from routine are not "failure", just real life.

    Now, just get back on your healthy routine as soon as you can, and let the past go. Everything will be fine.
  • cwolfman13cwolfman13 Member Posts: 38,994 Member Member Posts: 38,994 Member
    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    hi all -- over the last few years... i've gained over 30 pounds. it's hard for me to look in the mirror and love the way i look. I used to love how in shape i was, and now it's tough because I don't eat great and while i go to the gym, i'm not consistent. some weeks i'll go all 7 days and have great workouts, but i can also go 2 weeks without going and eat horribly. is anyone else struggling? i keep giving into temptations:/

    Maybe find somewhere between going 7 days per week or not at all. "Healthy Living" doesn't have to mean hitting the gym 7 days per week. I'm in the gym no more than twice per week for the weight room and that's it...if I was trying to fit in 7 days per week in the gym, that would just be a non starter isn't remotely necessary for "healthy living".


    Do you see a weightloss or a toner body though? Are you eating healthier or just staying in budget?

    I do a full body weight lifting program at the gym twice per week...where lifting is concerned, more isn't always better. Hitting each muscle group twice weekly is all that is really necessary outside of elite physique goals like being a body builder or a competitive lifter...and even then, the "magic" that comes with lifting actually comes with rest and recovery.

    I lost 40 Lbs years ago and maintained that for about 8 years before COVID...I put on 20 Lbs during 2020 and I've lost 12 of those Lbs in the last 7 weeks or so. I don't count calories or prescribe to any particular diet...my budget is easily 3,000+ calories for maintenance and around 2300-2500 to lose weight. I eat what I consider to be a healthy diet in the context of my diet as a whole...I also have a pretty broad definition of "healthy" and it goes well beyond endless salads and plain chicken and steamed broccoli...in other words, it's not bland, it's not boring, and it is delicious.

    I don't "workout" often...like I said, a couple days per week in the weight room for about 45 minutes and I usually do a couple of cycling specific workouts per week on my bike and indoor bike trainer...also about 45 minutes a piece. This for me is highly dependent on my goals (fitness goals). At one point in time I was trying to get my squat and deadlift up to 2x my body weight so I spent an extra day in the weight room for a period of time (and ran a training program commensurate with that goal)...mission accomplished, so I don't need to keep training that way. I was also very engaged in endurance cycling for 4 or 5 years which required many long hours and miles on my bike to comfortably perform my cycling events. That is not something that interests me any longer, so I don't train that way any longer...there are other things I like spending my free time on. Moral of the story is that I let specific goals (generally fitness related, not scale) dictate my training (if any).

    Other than that, I'm just an active person as much as I can be and enjoy playing outside...regardless of specific training objectives, I've long been an outdoor enthusiast and most of my recreational activity is active. You don't have to be a gym rat to be lean, healthy, and fit. I enjoy hiking...dabbled in some rock climbing for awhile but it got too expensive...I often spend hours on a weekend chasing my kids around the pool and diving for "treasure"...I'm an avid scuba diver (though I haven't been able to go anywhere for awhile)...I enjoy riding my bike, mountain or road without any particular training protocol in mind...like I often just like to get on my bike and ride to the bike in coffee shop for a couple cups and ride back or take my hard tail to the mountain foothills and tool around on the trails for a couple hours.

    I've been taking my boys to the skate park regularly for quite awhile as my youngest in particular is very good with his free style scooter and free style bike (he's a student of the sport and it wouldn't surprise me if he becomes very, very good)...bought myself a scooter as well, so I just go scoot around and play with them at the skate park for a couple hours a few times per week and I'm learning some fun tricks. Or we'll go down to the fields and kick the soccer ball around or throw the football around or play frisbee. I like spending long Sunday afternoons kayaking the river or up to the lake with the family. I walk my dog pretty much every morning while I watch the sun rise and drink my coffee, etc, etc, etc. Basically, I'm not much of a sitter arounder. If I'm not at work, I want to play.

    TL/DR: Nothing wrong with being a "gym rat"...but it isn't at all necessary for being a lean, healthy, and fit individual...and frankly, the vast majority of the population isn't going to find spending 7 days per week hitting a gym to be very appealing or fun. Being active and participating in life is hella fun and has the added bonus of also being really good for your overall health and wellness.

    Even if one fancies the gym (I'm not one of those people), there is a good happy medium between 7 days per week or just not going at all. That's called an all or nothing mentality and can actually be quite detrimental to one's goals...particularly long term.
    edited April 6
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Member, Premium Posts: 19,493 Member Member, Premium Posts: 19,493 Member
    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    hi all -- over the last few years... i've gained over 30 pounds. it's hard for me to look in the mirror and love the way i look. I used to love how in shape i was, and now it's tough because I don't eat great and while i go to the gym, i'm not consistent. some weeks i'll go all 7 days and have great workouts, but i can also go 2 weeks without going and eat horribly. is anyone else struggling? i keep giving into temptations:/

    Maybe find somewhere between going 7 days per week or not at all. "Healthy Living" doesn't have to mean hitting the gym 7 days per week. I'm in the gym no more than twice per week for the weight room and that's it...if I was trying to fit in 7 days per week in the gym, that would just be a non starter isn't remotely necessary for "healthy living".


    Do you see a weightloss or a toner body though? Are you eating healthier or just staying in budget?

    I'm not Wolfman, but totally endorse what he's saying above (as a 5'5" 65 y/o woman, I endorse it on a somewhat lower calorie budget personally, though!)

    I wanted to add this, plain and simple:

    Weight loss is about calorie balance. Eat somewhat few calories than you burn, and you'll lose fat. (You burn calories just being alive, doing daily stuff, exercise is on top of that). If it's a small amount fewer calories than you burn, on average, fat loss will be slow. (I intentionally took off 10ish vanity pounds recently over a whole year, which is around 100 calories daily deficit). If it's lots more calories less than you burn, you'll lose weight faster . . . if you can stick with it. Way too fast, no one can stick with it. The happy answer is somewhere in the middle, for most of us: Satisfying loss, but not punitively difficult because so, so few calories.

    Looking more toned is a combination of two things: Doing some exercise that challenges your strength, so you get some healthy-looking muscles, and losing down to a healthy body weight where those muscles show in the way you personally prefer. I was quite active when obese. I didn't look "toned". I looked blob-y, frankly. But when I lost weight, it turned out that there were some cute li'l ol' lady muscles under the fat, and poof, people started commenting on my "toned arms" and stuff.

    Weight loss and "toned" are related things, but not the same thing; and it's not one vs. the other. You pick your priorities, then you pick a path that will get you there, at a sustainable but satisfying pace.
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