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PACAROLSUE SparkPoints: (4,521)
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4/1/14 8:46 P

LILSPARKGIRL, I think if you teach/show your young daughter healthy eating habits she will carry that into adulthood and won't have to worry about her weight too much. Encourage her to eat more vegetables and fruits and avoid empty calories in snack foods. Don't try to make her clean her plate if she's not hungry. This teaches overeating.

MARTHA324 SparkPoints: (171,784)
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3/31/14 3:55 P

I feel for you as I've been there and done that too many times to count.
One thing I've learned is that for me I need to track my food. It keeps me accountable. It is a balance though between being watchful and being obsessive and I haven't quite figured that out.

Another thing that helps me is that I am not and wasn't on a "diet" - instead I decided to choose healthy foods more often than not and move every day. Over time I've changed what I like to eat and honestly prefer the real foods more than processed. You can do this!

3/31/14 2:40 P

Thanks again - I am mulling over how some people subconsciously monitor their food intake. I am wondering if most have parents that did the same and how I can be a role model for my youngest without having her be concerened about body weight. I need to think about how to make sure they aren't linked. She is a super active and doesn't need to worry, but if it's part of and she decides to no longer be active, I'd like for her not to gain like I did(my oldest is an adult now).

SAMMI-SAM SparkPoints: (26,311)
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3/29/14 1:21 A

great job! you are now an inspiration....

MARAGRAM Posts: 4,844
3/28/14 9:30 P

Tracking I do faithfully, and the weight doesn't always come down. I have been at the same weight for a month, but today gained a pound. However, during that month I lost 2 inches on my waist and and inch on most other areas.

3/28/14 2:16 P

Tracking is probably something I'll always have to do. Or at least consciously thinking about what I have eaten. Have I already eaten a few pieces of cheese today? I already ate that sandwich so I should probably not eat another bread based meal.

I do love that I can eat so many things without having to track - cucumbers, peppers, celery, etc. That helps big time and makes me feel less of a slave to food and takes some of the constant stress I feel about what I'm putting in my mouth. That, in itself, is not healthy. So by being a bit more choosy about what I eat, I can lay off the strict tracking some.

At the end of the day, like so many said, it is way better than dealing with costly health problems (and new clothes!) :)

RENATARUNS SparkPoints: (4,367)
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3/28/14 12:47 P

Good luck!

I'd just like to add that even those of us who do eat naturally and normally to all outward (even inward!) appearances still have any number of rules and self-checks with which to keep themselves honest. Those might include the types of food they eat (and types they don't eat), might include measured portion control for some or all items, might include consciously scaling down the amount of food eaten in social situations or having rules on how and when to eat ...all kinds of things. But it's a continuum, it's not all or nothing. Some whose biggest issue is portion control might in fact decide to track everything, permanently. Others with better portion controls (or a more forgiving metabolism) but whose major issue is snacking might do just fine by putting limits on how much of that they will allow themselves. Yet others might need to do nothing but eliminate certain problem foods. We all do something. (I do probably a half dozen things, even though I have never tracked.) It's just a matter of meeting our own personal challenges as honestly as we can.

And then staying honest I think is important too. Keep getting on the scale. Don't let a "maybe water weight, but maybe not" 2 pound gain turn into 5 before you've even noticed, especially if you're not 100% confident of your daily routine otherwise. That way you can experiment with your lifestyle and with your various "rules" to see what really is necessary for you and what you can let go of, without giving away everything if you miscalculate.

3/28/14 12:08 P

Thank you for all of your thoughtful posts. It gives me a lot to think over. emoticon

ONECALMMOM Posts: 6,258
3/28/14 12:08 P

I feel your pain! Procrastination takes over and is a menace! Getting back to what works can be challenging but necessary to take you to where you want to go.

ICEDEMETER Posts: 1,332
3/28/14 11:17 A

I definitely think that any of us who have been overweight have already proven that we are not capable of maintaining a lower weight *without* thinking about what we eat. We're all going to be different in whether we need to keep tracking every bite or track occasionally; measure every item or measure just some or measure occasionally; pre-plan every meal or plan some with others "free". Regardless, we all still will have to THINK about what we eat in order to keep the weight off.

Even though they don't generally discuss it, most of the "naturally thin" folks that I know also *think* about what they're eating - and make conscious decisions all of the time about whether they are really hungry, what food they really want, and when they've had enough.

I'm one who will be weighing and measuring and tracking the majority of foods for the rest of my life. That is what works for me.

A good friend who most would consider to be "naturally thin", runs for fun, but eats very consistent planned and measured meals for breakfast and lunch every day, and allows dinners to be whatever she wants. She's never been overweight, but still has to *think* about what she eats in order to maintain that.

The Man (my partner) lost 60lbs a few years back by consciously limiting his portions. He still visualizes his portion sizes, weighs himself regularly, and tweaks the portions if needed. He definitely has to *think* about those portion sizes to maintain his weight.

You obviously know how to lose weight, so now your challenge is going to be figuring out what works best for you to maintain that weight loss. I'm afraid that it does mean that you're going to have to *think* about what you're eating forever, but what form that *thinking* takes is going to be what you find works best for you.

Strong thoughts for what is hopefully your final journey down the scale!

EELPIE Posts: 2,700
3/28/14 10:51 A depends.

I'm a second timer here, myself. Eons ago, when I hit my goal weight...I stopped tracking within days....then stopped working out...then stopped weighing myself. I went back to my old eating style, and I regained the weight...and then some.

Ok, so here I am round 2, almost at goal. Maintenance? I dunno yet.

Maybe tracking 3 times a week?

Maybe every other day?

Maybe mon-fri and having weekends off?

Maybe breakfast and lunch every day, and having a sensible dinner?

Maybe no tracking, and if my weight starts to creep up 5 pounds, go back to tracking?

Whatever it is, tracking works for me...and literally it takes me less than minutes a day, unless I'm eating out or eating something totally new. So doing it for 5 mins a day, 5 mins 3x a week, or 5 mins 5x a week keeps me from re-gaining weight and having to start all over's kinda a small price to pay. For me, at least.

3/28/14 8:49 A

For me the secret is paying attention, that means tracking when I feel like I am making bad decisions, planning my meals, and exercise. I doubt that "normal" people who can eat whatever actually exist. It doesn't have to be chore. I still eat foods that I love and splurge a little, but keep track of portion size is always going to be a big deal.

NIRERIN Posts: 14,131
3/28/14 7:57 A

the secret is that there aren't all these normal people paying no attention to what they eat and maintaining. yes, there are some people that do it a lot more intuitively than others, but most people measure in some way. and when they say that they aren't paying attention or doing anything, it tends to be a variant on the truth. the people that aren't measuring have found ways to measure without really measuring. they know that when they make a favorite casserole they need to cut the butter down from 2 sticks to half a stick. they follow the bikini proportions to their meal when they serve themselves. they know that measuring lettuce/celery/zucchini/kale/mushrooms/etc isn't worth the effort, but they do have to use a measuring spoon for olive oil/granola/avocado. they remember that a portion of soup in their soupbowls only covers up to a certain decoration. while they don't measure all the time, they do periodic spot checks to make sure that their portion sizes aren't creeping up, and if they are they go back to measuring. they pay attention to making sure that the little extras they have aren't double the little extras that should have [and that overspending is something that most of us do across the board. every time i get a tax refund i seem to want to split it up into parts to take care of various things, but somehow when all those little parts get added back up they add up to more than the total refund. it's the same with food. it's so easy to allow yourself an extra 50-100 cals, but you can't do it at every meal]. eating the way you gain is something you can do for one or two meals when you're maintaining, but you do have to eat a balance of the meals you ate when you were losing if you don't want to gain overall. you can't keep going back to the way that you eat when gaining and not expect to gain. so you really have to find a new middle ground of lighter old favorites or old favorites mixed in with the new favorites. so if you love fried chicken with fries, split it up to make it manageable for maintenance. bake the chicken if you can, but if you can't then have fried, but have the fried chicken with steamed broccoli. have the fries you love, but have them with roasted fish and veggies. look at a food you love but know isn't the best choice and do two things. first is to find a way to make it a little lighter and more easily able to fit into your loss ranges. if it works in your loss ranges, it's easier to swap it into your maintenance ranges. the second is to find something to pair it with that makes you eat a little less of the higher cal food and has a bit better nutritional bang for the buck.
making up some little rules can help too. perhaps no more than one fried food per meal or snack. or maybe if you have something deep fried you need to have something steamed with it. only eat half of your meal when eating out, 1/4 if it's a chinese place or other place where food is served family style, even if we order it as though it were a one person portion of food. to get there one thing you may want to do is to compare what you eat when you're losing and what you've been eating as your pounds and their friends have come back. consider those bookends of where you should be. when you stop actively losing do you start using half a bottle of dressing on your salads? do you forget what veggies are? do you just deep fry everything? do you just eat a portion and a half plus more creeping? what's making the difference between your gain and loss ranges is what you need to pay attention to. and for those that "aren't measuring," they have identified the biggest issues in how their eating differs and made up these little rules or changes and they follow the little rules or changes. and what the little rules and changes really are are ways to measure without hauling out the cups and spoons and scales all the time.
and there are people who just need to track forever. it's no different than being lefthanded or a whiz/dunce at calculus. some things are just easier/harder for some people. i think the only reason that having to track forever is treated like a dirty little secret is that there are so many people who, in the short term, find great success with fad diets and magic pills and hard work just seems silly when you can lose 20 pounds in ten days by taking pill x with no other effort. but what that quick fix doesn't take into account is that if you stop taking the pill at ten days you'll be up twenty two pounds by twenty days. and people just don't add up all the time that junk wastes in reaching a sustainable solution and count that against the quick fix. so the slow and steady 20lbs in ten months by tracking seems less than ideal, so people don't want to admit to it. it's just like if a guest complimented you on how nice your bathroom looked. how many people would you admit to that it took you six hours on your knees with a toothbrush to get your bathroom into that state? one or two maybe, but not most. we're conditioned that a lot of things should be easy for us and we should do them without effort and to say that you had to make an effort to do it is to say that you aren't as good as everyone else. when in reality everyone else is making an effort too. it's saying that you're making an effort that's taboo.

PACAROLSUE SparkPoints: (4,521)
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3/28/14 7:18 A

Many people say to get rid of your fat clothes so you don't grow back into them, but I see it differently. I always keep at least 1 size up, because I know from experience that anyone can have a regain from time to time. So that one size up is there to get me through it. The only thing worse than regaining is having to go out and buy new clothes in a bigger size.

SLIMMERKIWI Posts: 26,158
3/28/14 6:06 A

I know that I have to track all of my food. I became quite overweight eating really healthily, and not really eating a lot - just too much for me. It is a very fine line for me between losing, gaining and maintaining. Fortunately for the tracking, I have been maintaining for 3 years - and aim to stay there long-term. There is nothing wrong with admitting to ourselves, or even to others, that we need to do this to continue our lives at a healthy weight.


MANDIETERRIER1 Posts: 17,065
3/27/14 11:17 P

I know that I will have to track for the rest of my life.

3/27/14 10:59 P

Mara, thank you so much for the empathy and kind words. It's just so hard to have been here since 2006 and to repeat the past every 3 years. I need weight loss to be something I can do forever. I'm seeing girlfriends - some younger than me - end up with medical issues from a rebounding scale and it's scary.

I suppose I can say I found the secret - track and monitor forever. I think that sounds easier than surgery or chronic health issues.

MARAGRAM Posts: 4,844
3/27/14 10:17 P


Unfortunately that is something many of us are aware of. It is so easy to get off track, and even when you do everything you are supposed to do, the pounds on the scale can stay the same.

You just have to know that this is a lifestyle change, not a diet per say.

As a foodaholic, I cannot be around some food without overdoing, so complete purge of kitchen was necessary. My DH does get stuff that I would rather not have, and don't overdo at most times. I go for baked goods--bagels, etc. I do have them, but only ones that will fit in my nutritional tracker.

It is hard, but emoticon !

emoticon ,

3/27/14 9:59 P

So this is my 3rd time on Sparkpeople. I have the same pounds that I keep losing finding me and this time they came with 10 friends. For some reason I can't seem to be a normal person without tracking food and planning meals.

I was pretending it wasn't that bad but when my husband ruined all of my pants by helping with the laundry, I went shopping and found the 16's I had been wearing were all stretched out because now I'm in an 18w. I left without buying anything but at least I have woken up.

How is that for reality?

So is that the secret? That I have to measure and track for the rest of my life? That I can't eat without thinking about it?

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