Getting back into it after a bad month?

Francl27
Francl27 Posts: 26,373 Member
edited December 2015 in Goal: Maintaining Weight
Thanksgiving, a wedding, mix in PMS and the treats family has been sending over and my willpower is all but gone. I've been on MFP for almost 3 years and maintained for 1.5 year but for some reason it's much harder this year! Working out is not a problem at all and I'm constantly improving. But the eating... ugh. My measurements are the same (but I'm bad at measuring) and clothes fit the same but I'll be shocked if I haven't gained 3 pounds or 5 in the last 2 months since I weighed myself (TOM is due soon so I'll weigh after).

Anyone been there and how did you get back on track?
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Replies

  • ahoy_m8
    ahoy_m8 Posts: 2,831 Member
    edited December 2015
    Yes! Know what you mean.... I'm a long time maintainer, too, and having lots of unusual sweets around is really tempting. I didn't know chocolate covered oreo's was a thing. Yum! I'm also really, really bad at measuring. You are better than me, though, at avoiding the scale. Thanksgiving day I was at the rock bottom of my maintenance range (not really maintainable long term), and I'm 3-4 pounds over that now, which actually, is still a good weight for me and "in range."

    What I do:
    - Tell myself to hold out for the truly exceptional sweets. Oreo's notwithstanding. (Normally they aren't my thing.)
    - Tell myself to enjoy the exceptional treats with great vigor.
    - Count calories for the week. I've had unusual highs and lows to keep it on balance for the week. All good.
    - Throw in extra cardio only if I really feel like it and its a gorgeous day (to avoid burn out)

    The most important thing to me is keeping the perspective that even though the parties and treats everywhere feels out of the ordinary and throws me off, I am still a healthy weight and intellectually know how to maintain it. You are probably more in control than you give yourself credit for!
  • SuggaD
    SuggaD Posts: 1,369 Member
    You work at it each and every day until its easy again. That's my plan. I have a problem with over-eating yummy things that I buy in bulk at home or when I'm on vacation. This year was bad. It is hard to tell because my training regimen makes these lapses only recognizable for a few days. But I want to feel in control of my nutrition so that's my focus for 2016 and I'm going to work hard at it until its natural. I have a high maintenance window, so this over-eating (which I won't call bingeing) is really unnecessary and I only do it because I like the taste of the thing at the moment (either something salty or sweet and convenient...lots on hand) and I know if my weight fluctuates up briefly as a result, I'll be back to normal in a few days. Its a mental thing. And I need to win the battle as its keeping me from reaching certain long-term goals.
  • JustMissTracy
    JustMissTracy Posts: 6,339 Member
    You'll be ok...just start again tomorrow...and tomorrow after that....you know what you're doing, and have a handle on the hard parts....Life just gets in the way sometimes. No worries!!
  • LivingtheLeanDream
    LivingtheLeanDream Posts: 13,345 Member
    You wont know the 'damage' til you step on those scales, maybe you are over reacting and all will be fine....but if not, you know what to do, eat at deficit for a few weeks and all will be OK. Its easier nipping any gain in the bud IMO.
  • LivingtheLeanDream
    LivingtheLeanDream Posts: 13,345 Member
    ps why has it been so long since you weighed yourself? I think its good practise to weigh in regularly...I know for me if I wasn't stepping on the scales regularly I know I could easily slip into old ways....
  • ilovesweeties
    ilovesweeties Posts: 84 Member
    I have been attempting to maintain for 5 months now and in that time I have been 4 lbs below goal and 7lbs over. At that high point, I had a word with myself; I've been super-conscientious over the last few weeks and I am back to goal. The reasons I lost and gained were varied; a holiday, my birthday, a relationship break up, the resulting reconciliation, dark nights and less exercise, rediscovering my love of Double Decker bars and generally just not being mentally or logistically prepared for maintenance.

    To stop the rot, I have:
    • Gone back to weighing every day on my Aria scale linked to my FitBit account (avoiding that was the first sign I was starting to kid myself)
    • Planned out what 1500 up to 2200 calories actually look like in calories at each meal/snack, so I have a framework for what I need to eat on a particular day (i.e. when need to cut because I overindulged the previous day)
    • Planned out what the high deficit days will be to compensate for the inevitable festive gluttony
    • Stopped buying multipacks of Double Deckers
    • Set a new, lower weight goal (I am slim now, but I am pretty flabby without my clothes smoothing me out and I am not ready for recomp.)
    • Signed up for my first 10k next year to make sure I keep up my running
    • Gone back to strength training.

    Exercise turned out to be really important to me. If I don't exercise, my diet is disordered, but if I am active, my eating is much better. Good luck!
  • kristen6350
    kristen6350 Posts: 1,094 Member
    My advice. Start weighing once a week. I know if I stop doing that because I think it's going to be high, or at that moment it doesn't matter, I always go a bit off the rails. To see that number staring at you once a week typically starts the motivation to not eat that piece of cake...

    Maybe find a new fitness goal that will crank up your excitement? Something new to keep your motivation up.
  • Francl27
    Francl27 Posts: 26,373 Member
    edited December 2015
    ps why has it been so long since you weighed yourself? I think its good practise to weigh in regularly...I know for me if I wasn't stepping on the scales regularly I know I could easily slip into old ways....

    Oh I gain water weight like crazy, so I weigh myself the week after my period so I can compare from month to month... but last time my period was late then it ended the week before I was away for a week end so I didn't get to. This month it will be the week after Christmas though so it should be fine.
  • Francl27
    Francl27 Posts: 26,373 Member
    Ok so got time to read this thread... thanks for the advice guys. I'm REALLY struggling because honestly... the Holidays and whatnot are not even the worst issue, it's those crazy PMS. I'm just struggling so much because I'm SO HUNGRY so I know that realistically speaking, it's only really possible for me to maintain a deficit 2-3 weeks a month, which usually isn't a huge deal except that every single Holiday and the wedding have fallen in those 'easy' weeks this month, so I haven't been able to have a deficit at all... which is why I'm guessing I have gained (I was 6 pounds heavier or so at the doctor 2 weeks ago but that was after lunch, and the day after I flew back from a wedding, so there was probably a lot of water weight involved).

    Trying to tell myself that I was 17 pounds away from the overweight category so it's not a huge deal even if I gained 5 pounds. But I'm just very discouraged right now... Hard to be positive about being able to cut again when you leave a restaurant after a 800 calories meal of soup, chicken, and a lot of veggies (ok and one 160 calories breadstick) and you're still hungry... so hungry that it's hard to focus on anything else.. and it happens for 10 days before my period every single month (I know, I know, a lot of people here think it's an excuse or whatever, but I'm REALLY hungry and when it gets too bad my willpower is all but gone because I just want that horrible feeling to go away).

    Fitness really isn't an issue for me. I've been cranking up the workouts (I actually need rest days now though because my legs work a lot). Honestly without that I'd probably be obese still. And I WILL step on the scale a week after my period ends, as I've been doing for a year... and I will get back to a small deficit as soon as it's reasonably doable (which is in a couple days once TOM shows up). I'm just not sure it's enough and it's honestly pretty miserable to spend your life either eating at a deficit or starving from PMS.

    Just so discouraged right now. I honestly wonder how I've managed to maintain for so long in these conditions. I mean I know I can't blame it all on PMS obviously because I love treats, and it would obviously be easier if I didn't have any, but most days if I even have 200 calories of bread or a breadstick or something, I'm going to have to go to bed hungry, because if I'm not PMSing I need to keep a deficit. It's just not a way to live, especially for someone like me who just really loves food and sweets.

    TLDR - I'm just not sure having a plan is going to cut it, it's kinda hard to maintain when you're hungry most of the time. But I'll try...
  • ammo7
    ammo7 Posts: 188 Member
    It sounds pretty miserable to be hungry all the time - and so it's extra-incredible that you've been able to lose weight and maintain. That's purely down to your own willpower, so you're awesome.

    I can definitely relate to those ravenous times. For me, it's become manageable by figuring out what things fill me so that I can choose my calories wisely. Also, I feel a lot less miserable because I drink a lot of diet soda (maybe I shouldn't drink so much, but oh well) and other super low calorie options like jello and 25-calorie hot chocolate. I just feel happier being able to have something when I'm so hungry. So maybe you might be happier too, if you have some more super-low calorie things available.

    I'm glad that you're keeping things in perspective, that it's not a huge deal to gain 5 pounds. Sure, you wish those 5 pounds weren't there. But I bet you know how to get rid of them. Slow and steady wins the race. It doesn't matter if you only keep a deficit for part of each month, you know you can lose the weight if you don't go overboard too much on your hungry days.

    It can be hard to get back on track, but maybe knowing that you've been capable of being on track can help you feel less discouraged. You *know* you can do this. You've got this, and you'll be fine :)
  • PamOliva
    PamOliva Posts: 101 Member
    Great job with your weight loss and maintenance. Have you experimented with foods that provide more satiation? Or figured out if some foods are too triggering, ie causing some rebound hunger? I'm at maintenance but have learned to tolerate hunger much better than I used to. One of the things they taught me in my program this year (Precision Nutrition) is that "Hunger is not an emergency." Simple but the truth. There are also treatments for PMS that might be worth exploring. I'm so glad that phase is behind me!!
  • noraron
    noraron Posts: 31 Member
    I've found this thread really helpful - I'm not in the same situation as the OP, as I'm still miles away from reaching goal, but after several good months of weight loss the last few weeks have been pretty awful. I feel like I've just lost that psychological drive that made it feel possible to eat well and exercise consistently, so it's really helpful to read everybody's advice here.

    I definitely get PMS hunger, too, and it's really hard. I find the only way to deal with it is to distract myself by doing something v absorbing, like drawing or reading a book, or by very slowly eating something small and delicious.
  • Francl27
    Francl27 Posts: 26,373 Member
    ammo7 wrote: »
    It sounds pretty miserable to be hungry all the time - and so it's extra-incredible that you've been able to lose weight and maintain. That's purely down to your own willpower, so you're awesome.

    I can definitely relate to those ravenous times. For me, it's become manageable by figuring out what things fill me so that I can choose my calories wisely. Also, I feel a lot less miserable because I drink a lot of diet soda (maybe I shouldn't drink so much, but oh well) and other super low calorie options like jello and 25-calorie hot chocolate. I just feel happier being able to have something when I'm so hungry. So maybe you might be happier too, if you have some more super-low calorie things available.

    I'm glad that you're keeping things in perspective, that it's not a huge deal to gain 5 pounds. Sure, you wish those 5 pounds weren't there. But I bet you know how to get rid of them. Slow and steady wins the race. It doesn't matter if you only keep a deficit for part of each month, you know you can lose the weight if you don't go overboard too much on your hungry days.

    It can be hard to get back on track, but maybe knowing that you've been capable of being on track can help you feel less discouraged. You *know* you can do this. You've got this, and you'll be fine :)

    Nah I didn't have this issue when I was losing, it only started when I got down below 132 pounds. I don't know how I would have lost otherwise! And yeah I typically try to avoid sweets or 'empty' calories when that happens, but often I still end up hungry after eating 2200 calories, and that's when at that point my willpower fails because it seems that if I'm going to be hungry, might as well eat something that I really want... I've even tried the 'major cheat meal route because I'm going to be hungry anyway' and had 1000 calories of pizza or something and I was hungry again within 2 hours. It just sucks.

    I don't know if there are treatments, the only things my GYN recommended was the pill (which I can't take, and it made things worse when I had it), or Xanax, and I'd rather not go that route (plus I'm not sure it would actually help? I mean, with the 'going crazy' part of PMS probably, but the hunger? I don't know). I've tried magnesium pills and it didn't change anything either.

    So the problem is exactly that I don't know for sure that I can do it :( As I said, I didn't have this problem when I was losing... and now I'm not sure that my willpower is that good that I'll be able to basically stay hungry most of the time just so I don't gain weight because of PMS. I mean there are two kinds of hunger for me, the normal 'not a problem I can wait' hunger and the one that makes me hangry... and that's the one I have issues with, obviously, lol.

    It's seriously so bad that I didn't dare have breakfast this morning because I was worried that it was going to set me off again. Bleh... The worst part is that often I don't even want to eat anything, but I have to, otherwise I'm too weak...

    Anyway, everyone's heard too much of my PMS problems. Thanks for the advice and I'll definitely follow it as much as possible once PMS is over (tomorrow, I think!).
  • AbsoluteTara79
    AbsoluteTara79 Posts: 266 Member
    edited December 2015
    How does your diet look? I know that once I left the overweight category the methods I used to lose weren't as effective anymore. Just not eating enough veggies/fiber/etc. Maybe open your diary?

    And shut down that new products thread! Every time I wander in there to lurk, I leave hungry! Lol.
  • Francl27
    Francl27 Posts: 26,373 Member
    How does your diet look? I know that once I left the overweight category the methods I used to lose weren't as effective anymore. Just not eating enough veggies/fiber/etc. Maybe open your diary?

    And shut down that new products thread! Every time I wander in there to lurk, I leave hungry! Lol.

    Lol lately I see things posted in that thread and I just tell myself.. nope, can't fit that in!

    I eat a ton of veggies and protein and fiber. It's frustrating. The week after my period though I can be full on 1500 calories some days so it's much easier as a whole, it's just frustrating because then I feel guilty if I have ice cream because I'm too low instead of 'saving' more calories.
  • lucyloutoo
    lucyloutoo Posts: 522 Member
    I have no advice for you at all, but I'm sorry you're having such a hard time.
    I've noticed your name in the posts and you always seem to be sensible but with good humour.
    Hope you sort it soon.
  • HippySkoppy
    HippySkoppy Posts: 727 Member
    Francl27 wrote: »
    Thanksgiving, a wedding, mix in PMS and the treats family has been sending over and my willpower is all but gone. I've been on MFP for almost 3 years and maintained for 1.5 year but for some reason it's much harder this year! Working out is not a problem at all and I'm constantly improving. But the eating... ugh. My measurements are the same (but I'm bad at measuring) and clothes fit the same but I'll be shocked if I haven't gained 3 pounds or 5 in the last 2 months since I weighed myself (TOM is due soon so I'll weigh after).

    Anyone been there and how did you get back on track?

    Been here logging for over 4 years and maintaining nearly 3. The 2nd year of maintaining I could have written your exact words.....

    I felt burnt out from logging, weighing food and even the exercise.

    Food no longer was just food it was a number to me and I had a hard time coming to terms with the knowledge that I was going to have to do this forever if I wanted to maintain my loss. I felt 'different' from other people, annoyed and burdened......so I stopped doing all of it. No weighing, logging etc. I kept up with the walking that I loved and dropped the higher intensity cardio that I hated and just lived with a little distance from the mindset I had previously.

    The outcome was not pretty though.....

    I found I am useless at estimating portions. Without the accountability of logging I gained......not catastrophically but still I then had to turn around and run the gauntlet of a deficit again and that truly sucked.

    If I could have my time again I would never have stepped away from the scales.....this was a serious mistake for me. Having a break from logging food is one thing but having no idea where your weight is heading is a whole other kettle of fish, you have admitted your measuring tape skills aren't the best.....so avoiding the scale for 2 months is probably not in your best interest.

    Other than that I second the idea about giving other exercise types a go and see if lights your fire.

    I wish you well on this, just know that you are alone may be helpful.....you are a seasoned successful MFP'er so I am sure you will figure out the right way for you in no time.

    Cheers and Good Luck.
  • HippySkoppy
    HippySkoppy Posts: 727 Member
    @Francl27 I have now read the whole thread plus your extra replies....please feel free to ignore my rambling further up thread as what I have said isn't going to be of any help to you at all.

    I think @HappyCampr1 has a very valid point about raising you weight up so that you get to eat more. You will still be in the healthy BMI zone and it may help combat these terrible hunger cycles you are enduring.

    Other than that I offer my sympathy.....you have incredible determination and willpower to have come this far and gone on for so long experiencing the hunger to the level of which you speak.

    The only other thing I can think of - although I am not at all sure if this even possible, seeing that this 'hangry' is all around the time of your period could you get some testing done to see if all is in order hormone wise?.....could it be related to peri-menopause?.....I dunno just throwing these ideas out there for you to think about. Change of life stuff does weird things to your body.
  • Francl27
    Francl27 Posts: 26,373 Member
    Yeah people have mentioned peri-menopause but my GYNs have just shrugged it off (seen two different ones since it started). And even if it's that, there's not much to be done about it I believe. The joys of being a woman.

    What saves my sanity really is exercise (I've tried a lot of different things, actually, but just doing stationary bike while watching shows or zoning out on the treadmill at the gym while playing solitaire and listening to my music has been the best... I can't run anymore because of my right foot, but I walk at a pretty high incline and been increasing it regularly). I've started adding some rowing for a change too, and I still throw weights here and there.
  • cake21
    cake21 Posts: 13 Member
    I have been attempting to maintain for 5 months now and in that time I have been 4 lbs below goal and 7lbs over. At that high point, I had a word with myself; I've been super-conscientious over the last few weeks and I am back to goal. The reasons I lost and gained were varied; a holiday, my birthday, a relationship break up, the resulting reconciliation, dark nights and less exercise, rediscovering my love of Double Decker bars and generally just not being mentally or logistically prepared for maintenance.

    To stop the rot, I have:
    • Gone back to weighing every day on my Aria scale linked to my FitBit account (avoiding that was the first sign I was starting to kid myself)
    • Planned out what 1500 up to 2200 calories actually look like in calories at each meal/snack, so I have a framework for what I need to eat on a particular day (i.e. when need to cut because I overindulged the previous day)
    • Planned out what the high deficit days will be to compensate for the inevitable festive gluttony
    • Stopped buying multipacks of Double Deckers
    • Set a new, lower weight goal (I am slim now, but I am pretty flabby without my clothes smoothing me out and I am not ready for recomp.)
    • Signed up for my first 10k next year to make sure I keep up my running
    • Gone back to strength training.

    Exercise turned out to be really important to me. If I don't exercise, my diet is disordered, but if I am active, my eating is much better. Good luck!

    Just wanted to say thank you very much for this post. Once I'm back at goal weight (I was at maintenance a few years ago and let it go for various reasons) I'll follow this.