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Seeking help from those who have struggled for a while

ALG775ALG775 Posts: 233Member Member Posts: 233Member Member
Hello,

My first thread! I'm writing to ask people who have struggled with being overweight and/or obese for a long time for their thoughts on how they have managed when they have hit a difficult patch.

My story- I've struggled with my weight for most of my adult life- being overweight- and then becoming obese after two pregnancies. I have used food to soothe myself and I also eat just because it tastes so darn good! Despite being initially very skeptical that I would be successful losing weight this time, I was surprised to find myself down 55 pounds in a year. I gained 5 pounds and then maintained for just over a year- with an overall loss of 45-50 depending on the day. I was actually trying to lose back to 55 or even 60, but I didn't really want to eat any less food, so I was OK with where I was at.

About a year ago, I ran into troubles. A friend died unexpectedly- and I entered a rather stressful period in my life. I gained weight- Over the last year I have moved between an overall loss of 40-30 pounds. I fell back into similar eating habits- eating quite a bit at night- feeling like I can't stop myself and so on.

I have tried a number of things- but I haven't been successful. At the moment, I have decided to try and re-set. I have set myself at maintenance and I am working hard at allowing myself to eat at maintenance and feel good about it. I am also working at logging everything I eat again, and trying to take away the judgement and guilt- as I find that tends to lead me to more overeating and more negative feelings- and the spiral continues.

I am trying to celebrate the fact that I am still 30 pounds down. That I feel better and can move around more easily than when I was at my heaviest. I'm also reminding myself that dealing with my weight is likely to be a life long pattern- that I will have tendencies to go back to eating patterns that haven't served me well.

I am hoping- after a week or two of maintaining- that I can go back to a small deficit and lose that extra 20 pounds- slowly- as life goes on. I thought about posting this in the general weight loss forum- but it feels more like a maintenance issue (even though ultimately I'm trying to lose) as it's a realization that I will always have to be aware and pay some attention if I want to maintain my loss.

I would love to hear from those of you who have struggled what you do to give yourself the best chance at success. I'm hoping to learn from hearing your struggles, challenges and successes.

Thanks

Replies

  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Posts: 12,142Member Member Posts: 12,142Member Member
    It sounds like you've embarked on a really good plan.

    I can't say that I've had any super-big struggles, but we all have to figure out how to use our own personal strengths and weaknesses to work our way through losing weight and improving our health. For me, maintenance is a little mor difficult than loss, but I'm picking my way through it.

    Wishing you all the best! :)

  • MadisonMolly2017MadisonMolly2017 Posts: 4,223Member Member Posts: 4,223Member Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    It sounds like you've embarked on a really good plan.

    I can't say that I've had any super-big struggles, but we all have to figure out how to use our own personal strengths and weaknesses to work our way through losing weight and improving our health. For me, maintenance is a little mor difficult than loss, but I'm picking my way through it.

    Wishing you all the best! :)

    Beautifully expressed, Ann.
  • ALG775ALG775 Posts: 233Member Member Posts: 233Member Member
    Thanks for comment and support @AnnPT77.

    I think that it's a balance between knowing I have strengths and have ways of coping and adjusting while at the same time recognizing that I will never be done. A mix of confidence and humility...

    I think it's complicated by fact that I (and society) hold so many biases about what being overweight/obese mean.

    I have found the community to be helpful so I do appreciate you "listening".
  • FiveptsFivepts Posts: 689Member Member Posts: 689Member Member
    I can definitely relate to the emotional eating aspect as well as the up and down fluctuations. Moderation doesn't work for me. My brain doesn't moderate so I have to set clear boundaries, like not eating sugar or flour. That is the only way I have found that I can get off of the self-imposed roller coaster ride. Send me a friend request if you would like but please remind me about this post.
  • DancingMoosieDancingMoosie Posts: 4,479Member Member Posts: 4,479Member Member
    Succeeding in maintenance for me has been about sticking to a vigorous workout schedule and making healthy food choices. Yes, I still have treats and occasionally go overboard, but I make it up in other ways. Logging can help you know where you need to make those changes. Finding workouts that you enjoy and look forward to is beneficial. If I'm dreading the workout, I'm probably not going to enjoy it or stick with it. Strength training has also made a big difference in my body composition. I'm leaner, stronger, more confident. I was over weight for years and just thought that was where my body wanted to be. I had a large appetite and ate big meals, snacks, alcohol, soda, etc. I also had chronic back pain, acne, and high cholesterol. Losing the weight, strength training, and eating healthier foods helped my back, lowered my cholesterol, and my acne subsided(I also got a prescription for my face at the time, but it hasn't come back since.) There are so many reasons to lose the weight beyond just the scale.
  • girlwithcurls2girlwithcurls2 Posts: 1,766Member Member Posts: 1,766Member Member
    I can totally relate to your struggle. I spent many years in the area of "being ok with my weight" - which I wasn't. I also had the issue of knowing what to do while feeling guilty and judging myself - and not eating as I should.

    For me - I just woke up one day and decided it was time. I made a CHOICE to take control of my life. I knew what to do - it just required doing it. The problem is no one does this until they are ready. Once you are ready, it all is actually pretty simple (don't confuse that with easy).

    The good news is that you seem to be ready. It seems you are making the choice. Stick around here. Post, and ask questions. This community will support you.

    ^^^
    The same for me. I slid backward over the past 3 years or so, putting on about 10 pounds. It wasn't fun to turn that train around, but I know how to do it and what it will take. I had never in my life thought I could lose weight. Until I looked at how much I was eating and lowered it to a reasonable amount. Maintaining is challenging for me because I don't want to weigh everything for life, but honestly, I might have to.
  • slw37slw37 Posts: 51Member Member Posts: 51Member Member
    I have trouble when it comes to "new lifestyle" versus "diet". Like many people, I have gained and lost the same 25 pounds a dozen times... always backsliding into bad habits. So here I am, starting for the 1000th time. I always think that THIS time will be different, and hopefully it will.

    The best thing about this forum is that people get it and understand the struggle. So just get back on the horse and let's ride!!
  • cheryldumaischeryldumais Posts: 1,777Member Member Posts: 1,777Member Member
    Congratulations on your loss and on keeping 30 off! I am also very sorry for your loss. Losing a loved one has come up more than once in the forums so you aren't alone. But you are back on track now.

    I was always the kid at school that was a little chunky. Never really overweight to the point of people noticing but a good 20 lbs over. I got married and gained another 10 then another 10 then.... Well you get the idea. Pretty soon I topped the scales at 251 pounds (I'm 5'5" Tall). Over the years I tried every diet going. Eventually my health started to suffer from my weight so at the ripe old age of 59 I decided enough was enough. This time I changed my lifestyle. I've maintained a 100+ pound loss for over a year now.

    I think you have the right idea. Lose slowly and find things you can change for life. One common thread in the maintainer's comments I see is making changes they can live with for life. So often folks try to lose fast and they don't learn how to keep it off. Instead they go to crazy low calorie counts or try to cut out whole food groups. Most of the successful maintainers make slow sustainable changes.

    As for stress eating you are going to have to find a way to cope with that. It happens to all of us at some time or another. Maybe some counselling would help I don't know. But you can be guaranteed that you will encounter stress again in your life. Now is the time to plan for how you will handle it while things are calmer.

    Good luck and keep coming back to MFP there are so many helpful folks here.
  • ALG775ALG775 Posts: 233Member Member Posts: 233Member Member
    Thank you to all for your responses. I really appreciate the support offered on MFP.

    I am just completing my first week of maintenance and believe I'll be on track over the week. I'm also logging what I eat- even if I go over a particular day- which is a success.

    I am working on taking it one day at a time and reminding myself to treat myself to the same compassion I tend to show others.
  • swim777swim777 Posts: 535Member Member Posts: 535Member Member
    Fivepts wrote: »
    I can definitely relate to the emotional eating aspect as well as the up and down fluctuations. Moderation doesn't work for me. My brain doesn't moderate so I have to set clear boundaries, like not eating sugar or flour. That is the only way I have found that I can get off of the self-imposed roller coaster ride. Send me a friend request if you would like but please remind me about this post.

    I agree that I’m just better off avoiding some things. If I have sugar..I want more. I can’t seem to eat sweets reasonably. Actually, it takes a good two weeks for me to get past craving certain things. I’ve always thought don’t call foods bad, but I know for me, some are easier to avoid especially when I’m struggling. (Bread, pizza, chips, candy, soft drinks)

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