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5/2/13 2:58 P

I am going to say one of those dreadful things to hear but bear with me. I understand where your are coming from. I am currently living in a new city by myself that is really far away from my friends and family. I hate it. I hate even more eating by myself. Staring at the wall while eating is no fun. Have you tried looking at spark recipes for new ideas of things to cook? I have found that if I cook a variety of food even if I have to eat if or a week that the idea of I will be having something completely different the next week forces me to get through what I am sick of as leftovers even though I still like the food. Plus I have found if I give myself little treats then I am more willing to follow the changed lifestyle. Like instead of pizza, I will make a pepperoni sandwich so I don't feel like I am depriving myself of pizza. I know you are not looking for a buddy but I have found the people on SP very supportive. Even just posting a status or a blog post, that is one way to have people celebrate with you your victories. I hope this helped. You can do it. People will notice even if you can't see the changes.

BPETRIE7 SparkPoints: (9,546)
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5/2/13 2:41 P

Ditto, SANDRAPSKI. There has been great advice on this thread for everyone. It has been interesting to see how many married people have responded, clearly interpreting "Going it Alone" as the individual, personalize challenge of getting healthy, not "being single".
We all have hurdles, don't we? I have a better understanding of the challenges that married people are having when their family's needs differ from their own and frankly, more appreciation of the fact that I can eat, exercise, not exercise, sleep, socialize, etc, etc on my own schedule.

SANDRAPSKI SparkPoints: (27,191)
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5/2/13 10:12 A

Be kind to yourself.

There is a lot of great advice on this thread. I too failed numerous times, before my mindset changed to "I haven't failed, I just haven't succeeded YET (grin)."

I'd actually pretty much given up, nothing really seemed to motivate me - not rewards, not other people, pretty much nothing external, not even the desire to feel and look better. Then I read a book on mindfulness. Eventually I took a class (which candidly didn't do much more for me than the book but it did impose a bit of discipline).

The combination of slowly getting my mind off of food and problems (both real and imagined), access to SparkPeople for all the tools, and creating smaller, more attainable goals, helped me turn the corner. Now my life isn't about deprivation and focused on losing weight - because when you fall down, and we all do, you feel miserable and it becomes to hard to continue - it's about noticing things outside of myself. It's about recognizing and appreciating what I do well, about genuinely feeling good about what I'm doing well right now not what I messed up on yesterday or an hour ago.

I know this sounds a little woo-woo, but it really is about getting your mind in the right place. Some times the best way to get it there is to go for a walk without an agenda. Just walk. Ten minutes. Seven minutes. Two minutes. And no, this isn't about "tricking" yourself, it's about connecting with yourself without drama, without over-analyzing, without pushing expectations that you already feel like you're going to fail at.

On the pragmatic side, part of what I noticed about cooking for one is sometimes you just plain don't feel like cooking when you get home. I keep a supply of healthy frozen entrees (and desserts) for those nights. I also treat myself to happy hour (one glass of whine, I mean wine) once a week. I go out to lunch and save half for dinner or make lunch the big meal and just have soup for dinner.

It can be painful going out to a restaurant when you feel low, surrounded by couples and families, I bring a book or pick someplace that has outdoor dining - then you can indulge in people watching.

Good luck and reach out to anyone who commented - clearly we all feel for you!

DWSCHUYLER Posts: 1,135
5/2/13 6:38 A

Don't go it alone! The only one that knows I am actively choosing to live more healthy is my husband, but people in your life don't want to hear all the details. This journey is consuming a lot of my time and energy, but not theirs. For me, that is why Spark People is so great! While I occasionally have my down days, I feel more positive just logging on here!

5/2/13 6:05 A

I have a partner but he eats all he wants, the wrong things, at all hours AND IS A CARNIVORE!
He does not cook and I have learnt to cook some meat dishes for him but will not actually touch it.
He does so much for me and is very learned about electrics, many repairs that would cost a small fortune in Ireland, he does need time to pursue his artistic activities (he is a potter). My gift to him is to ensure he has that precious time.
He has learned much about vegetarian menu options and eats my food 3-4 Times per week, his choice.
NOW THE BAD NEWS,- he will only eat all the salts, sugars, creams etc and I do sneak in the healthy methods which is sometimes a cause for loud complaints......
He also tells me cheerfully that I am alright really, just fine.......and not to worry about size, weight anymore but to be happy now, not much time left (well thank you and I know you meant well and it was not supposed to sound quite like that).
So, not much support in battle there. Simply unable to discus angst and talk at length about feelings, get the little pushes, and yippees, and the endless and varied advice I get from spark and, of course, course the sparklers, so here I am. Here I stay.

5/2/13 5:39 A

Great tip, and, thank you.

FAIRYTALE3 Posts: 100
5/2/13 4:51 A

I am not single, but I might as well be. My current job keeps me on the road for 4 to 5 days per week. In a hotel room alone. In cities where I know not one person. My husband has never said one word about my weight. I can lose and he does not say a word. I can gain and he does not say a word. So, I put on 10 pounds in 7 months. I was so sad I would not even reset my weight on SparkPeople.

I reached out to the people around me (not my family cause I am 600 miles from home). I have been overwhelmed with the support from my co-workers. Some of them have weight to lose and some don't. In five weeks I am back to my SparkPeople weight and active on the site, because at night I can post and read here or eat.

So, my advice...log on everyday, good day and bad day there is someone here with encouragement for you or maybe someone who needs encouragement from you. Don't be afraid of bad days they are going to happen, shake it off and keep trying. emoticon

5/2/13 4:22 A

I've been single for many years now and love to cook. Since making the decision to get healthy I still love to cook but have just changed the kind of things that I make. When people at work talk about how lovely my lunch looks/smells but say "I never think it's worth cooking just for me" my response is always the same. "If I'm not worth cooking well for, then who is?"

DUFFYDYER SparkPoints: (28,405)
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5/1/13 10:40 P

I agree that this is a great idea and I've suggested it several times to my mother. My Dad died 10 years ago and her eating habits are horrible because she doesn't like to cook for one. I hope you try it. I think it would be a lot of fun!

EARTHFIREFLY SparkPoints: (17,588)
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5/1/13 10:24 P

@BIETKA: That's a great idea! I'll have to see if I can find some people with whom to try it.... emoticon

BIETKA Posts: 3
5/1/13 10:10 P

I haven't done this, at least not yet, but I have an idea to address the problem of not being motivated to cook for one and/or not wanting to eat the same thing over and over (if freezing is not an option).
I'm not the only single person at my workplace. Several of my coworkers are divorced, widowed, or just never married. They're all either eating out or going home to cook for one as well. I've considered contacting a few of them and asking if they would be interested in putting together a cooking club where we each prepare one meal a week in a large enough quantity so that each member of the group gets a serving. By preparing and sharing one meal, we could have a whole week's worth of different foods. The upside is, of course, the variety, not needing to actually do all the cooking, not overeating because there's so much extra, and avoiding the temptation to eat out just because it's easier. The downside is that you wouldn't be in full control of the dishes and ingredients. I think if I ever do try to put this together, I'm going to try to get everyone to include the recipes with each dish so that I can still put them in the calorie tracker.

DIDS70 Posts: 5,368
5/1/13 5:31 P

Single here too, but I definitely agree with ANARIE. I don't have to worry about my SO or kids bringing in stuff I can't eat. I don't have to worry about making different meals. I can exercise when I want and not have to worry about bothering someone else. i do have a somewhat good support system. I do have a family that cares even though they may not totally relate to my lifestyle.

But for motivation, i use three or four different tracks--
I don't want to be on any meds of any kind. I feel they are completely toxic to my system and just cover up what they are supposed to prevent instead of curing it, so the only doctor I care to see is my chiropractor.

i want to spend quality time with the rugrats that my brother has. The one year old is full of energy and I want to be able to run around with him and show him a healthy aunty.

I don't want to spend my last years in a nursing home. Who wants to be with old people in a smelly place. I would much rather be taking a cruise in my later years and I can't do that if i make poor choices.

The last one-- kind of morbid-- but death doesn't do anything for me. I don't want to meet God any earlier than what He intended, so if that means getting off my a$$ and filling my fridge with healthy food and getting my adjustments and minimizing toxins in my body, then i will do it.

No, its not easy. no its not always fun. But it is ALWAYS worth it. I am SO WORTH IT. I got a precious gift from God and I have no right to throw it back in his face, so I will treat my body as a temple and cherish the precious gift.

So my dear, figure out what you want. Figure out the best way to get it and don't stop until you have it.

PUGGLEMONKEY SparkPoints: (13,087)
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5/1/13 4:22 P

I remember what it was like when it was just me, myself and I. There were times I felt that I could die in my sleep and no one would know for days. I didn't like the way my body looked and felt it would never change. Kudos to you for choosing to take care of yourself! I used to use my singlehood (and hate of cooking) to give in to my inner fast foodaholic. Now, ironically, I live in a house with 3 people (hubby and two tweens) who can eat whatever they want and not gain weight, while I am trying to shed almost 50lbs eating right and exercising - and cooking meals that all will eat. Please take this time to take care of YOU and focus on your needs. You may be surprised how quickly things can change - be ready :).

BROADBRUSH Posts: 1,806
5/1/13 4:21 P

first and foremost - YOU are your own cheering section. learn to rely on yourself and be sure to tell yourself the TRUTH. if you are slipping up - take stock and responsibility and get yourself back on track. if you are doing well - pat yourself on the back, look in the mirror and talk positively to YOU.
I have been going it alone for over 50 years - i have given up on having a colleague, friend or family member say anything positive to me - it is almost always a negative, a mean criticism, or a poor observation - they are never coming from a good place, a place of understanding or kindness. the same for many formal programs - they only want to SELL you something - so they are very biased and coming from a place of of interest. should you be lucky enough to have sincerity in your life - embrace it - that is rare. BB

JMB2LOSE SparkPoints: (14,042)
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5/1/13 2:11 P

Make it your goal to talk to one stranger (or person at work that you do not normally interact with) everday. You never know who you will meet or what friends you will make. Find activities that surround you with new people, like a cooking class or church. You will start making new relationships among those people, be less bored, build confidence, and you may find a friend who is also trying to get healthier. Ask someone at work if they want to go for a walk on your lunch break.

5/1/13 11:35 A

I'm not cooking for one (for two, actually), but I usually make a solid base and then vary it... For example, last week I made quinoa in my rice cooker--about 4 cups worth. We had it as a side with a little soy sauce that night, then used leftover chicken, some fresh veggies and a couple of eggs, and made chicken/quinoa fried 'rice'. We skipped a night, then made a quinoa 'mac n cheese' and had hamburgers and broccoli with it. I'll do similar things with a quantity of brown rice, or cook up a whole mess of chicken breasts, have them with rice one night, use them in a soup, do salads, make Chef Meg's Nutty Noodles (now called something else, but the recipe is the same:
il.asp?recipe=1355626), make chicken-and-black bean quesadillas with the last few shreds on the last day...
The suggestion to freeze things is always good, too--I do that with soups, chili, lasagna (and lasagna roll-ups), and I've done the 'make a whole bunch of crockpot meals in baggies and freeze them' deal...
It does work--I promise!!

BLBST36 Posts: 351
5/1/13 11:11 A

Thank you all for your kind words and advice. I will have to keep coming back to this thread for the extra push I need :)

2009GETINLINE SparkPoints: (17,691)
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5/1/13 9:58 A

"All the single ladies"...Put your hands up. emoticon .

Cook in bulk and freeze. I cook on Sundays after church. Wednesday I do a roast, cut in servings and freeze. Use the freezer bags that lock, the ones that zip leaks.

Play music, learn lyrics, get involved in a hobby.

But before you get started:

1. Take a shower to wash the day's good/bad away. This is YOUR TIME. 2. Talk to our Creator, thank them for the day of learning. 3. Comb your hair, put on sweats, T-shirt. 4. Get some dinner in and dance to some music. 5. Call a positive person, and laugh. 6. Get the next day started, iron lay-out clothing/shoes/jewelry. Watch a show on TV, read a book, Come on SP.

Eat a snack or the rest of your dinner. Reflect on your day. Wash your face, brush your teeth.
Turn the lights out listen to the night sound and allow it to relax you...Good night

Life is fun, not sorrow.

Edited by: 2009GETINLINE at: 5/1/2013 (10:01)
MIZZKINS Posts: 120
5/1/13 8:48 A

Dear BLBST36,
I am single and have tried and failed in the past too. What has worked for me this time is focusing on being happy first, love yourself now and I promise the desire to be healthier will follow. Seriously, fake happiness if you have to (I did) and you might find it starts to sink in. Be your own best friend. What would you tell her? Tell it to yourself. Change your negative thoughts to positive ones over and over until it becomes automatic. Try new things people suggest in blogs, celebrate small successes, and remember its hard. But that's okay because its hard for most of us and we're all with you. You can do this!

5/1/13 7:18 A

Losing weight and trying to becoming the healthiest we can be is incredibly lonely because the only one who can actually do the work is ourselves!

I made the decision to love myself and want the best for myself and the rest of my actions including joining SP and doing it differently the 2nd time around all sprang from that. I have to be happy with myself and love myself because no matter what amount of weight I lose or how healthy I become, it is not going to fix any problems if I don't love and want the best for myself.

Joining SparkTeams has been incredibly helpful in making me realize I am not in this alone. I also stepped way out of my comfort zone of being observant and shy and started to "friend" people. Then I chose to make a positive blog post each day about something I am trying to learn, master, or remind myself of so when I need inspiration I can look back through my posts and find it.

Half the work I've done during my time here has been to sync up my brain and body so I can continue on my journey. I am an Emotional Eater and am working hard to recognize what drives that and do my best to not let it get the best of me.The biggest obstacle I face in all this is myself! I work hard every day to make sure I don't get in my own way and sabotage myself.

It is only within the last 10 pounds that co-workers have even started to say something to me and some haven't said anything. I'd like to think that if they didn't say I was getting too heavy, they're not going to say I'm getting too thin, but I just don't think they pay attention! Heck, it even took me awhile to pay attention. I still kept choosing clothes that were too big and taking them into the fitting room until I had an epiphany moment where I actually "saw" myself in the mirror -really "saw" myself the way I look now and I cried because I just couldn't believe the transformation.

I made a promise that I would track all my nutrition even if I went over the caloric limit, use a digital kitchen scale and measuring spoons to portion out my food, drink at least 64 ounces of water a day, and move my body. Eight months later I am *almost* at goal. I also have made peace with the fact that if I have to do this the rest of my life I am good with it. So full speed ahead with moderation instead of deprivation, and eating healthy as opposed to dieting.

And those SparkFriends I made and still make? They're the ones who celebrate all the victories large and small with me because they understand the journey we're on.

I wish you much success!

Edited by: AUTHENTICALLYME at: 5/1/2013 (07:24)
5/1/13 7:11 A

The only thing I have to add to all the good advice is to go out and find a class that you think you might like - you'll meet people who are in the same boat and have something that keeps you accountable. Plus, there's all the endorphines that get released. Never a bad thing.

Enthusiastic trainers have really helped me keep on the straight and narrow, and I find that if I've worked out I tend not to want to undo that good work with mindless eating.

Good luck.

SANDYBREIT Posts: 1,125
5/1/13 12:37 A

As EARTHFIREFLY said, all the good advice has probably been given...

single or not, changing our lifestyle isn't easy. We want to fall back into our old comfortable habits, use food for comfort, lie around the house instead of exercising, grab a burger and fries at McDonald's instead of cooking something healthy, whatever. It IS hard to cook for just one, and it's hard to be motivated to cook when you're alone (at least it was for me, when I was. I kind of deteriorated into eating Kraft cheese slices and hard boiled eggs for a while -- I did lose weight though -- maybe I was onto something there). Then, when you aren't single, you're cooking to please someone else who might not be thinking healthy food is the way to go, and eating more than you would otherwise because it's there... well, I'm sure you see my point.

The really good thing is, you AREN'T alone after all -- you found Spark People, and this is a very large and supportive community! Participate on some teams that fit your interests, join a challenge, read some success stories, get out and exercise (whether "out" is to a gym, or to your own back yard, or on a treadmill or exercise bike or whatever in your own house). In the end, the only thing you really have control over in your life is your own choices --


EARTHFIREFLY SparkPoints: (17,588)
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4/30/13 7:55 P

This is such a lovely thread! ^_^

I think all the good advice has probably already been given, but for what it's worth, I am also single and also live alone (unless you count the cat), and I know how easy it is to feel a real sense of isolation in your endeavors whether or not you've got supportive local (or non-local) friends/family. I guess the trick is to really think about what sort of support you need (phone calls, emails, letters, groups on SP, people you can meet with in person, a random stranger giving you a smile, etc.) and don't be afraid to ask for it!


4/30/13 7:16 P

I'm single. I lost over 30 lbs before coming here, and yes, while I am at a plateau, I haven't gained those pounds back, and it has been nearly a couple of years.

1) whether you are with others or single, you have to do it for yourself. In any case, I've seen enough posts here about significant others (spouses, parents, whatever) trying to sabotage weight loss efforts. So being single isn't necessarily a detriment.

2) When I go out to eat, I try to find the menu online before I go there. I may not pick the salad all the time -- I do want to feel full -- but I pick the healthiest alternatives -- often two appetizers and no entree. Or one appetizer and the salad. If you have something with enough substance during the meal it is easier to resist desserts -- get a coffee at that point if your friends are induldging.

3) When you are home alone, cook. I cook all the time, and I do not have the same thing every day/night for a week. I may make a base meal, which I will dip into often that week, but I adapt it every meal, if only by what I grab off the spice rack. Or, okay, today mushrooms get added into that portion of chicken stew, and tomorrow it's broccoli.

4) When I want people to celebrate small victories with me -- I call them up on the phone (many of my best friends are not local), or less effective but still worthwhile -- I e-mail them. And then two nights ago I went out to a restaurant that had just re-opened after a fire two or three years ago -- and the hostess recognized me and exclaimed happily about my weight loss, which was something she simply observed and I hadn't brought up! Small victories (and maybe I patronized that place a little too often in the past???) but I will take them.

Much hope and success to you!!! You CAN do it.

Edited by: ARTEMISTHEGREEK at: 4/30/2013 (19:20)
MAMABIRD13 SparkPoints: (2,687)
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4/30/13 5:34 P

I'm not single, but I wholeheartedly agree with the advice to do it for yourself, and to feel the freedom instead of feeling like single makes it harder. My kids aren't little anymore, but two college boys are still living at home, plus hubby. Three of us are/ought to be losing weight, and one can eat anything in sight with no effects. I also second the thought that where someone else can leave half a candy bar around forever, it calls to me to eat it - that night! So I struggle with food choices, and I've had a hard time getting exercise in between work, college classes, and family responsibilities. I think we each have our own obstacles, and I think asking the SP community for help is a great idea!

LDHAWKE SparkPoints: (19,069)
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4/30/13 5:04 P

You are not alone. You have all of the Spark People to inspire, encourage and advise you. You can come here anytime when you get down, post a message and we will be there to support you. What you need is a new mindset, like I had to do in December when I was told either I quit smoking or I will end up with emphysema. I changed my way of thinking and was determined to do it. I picked a start date and stuck to it. I am now 4 months smoke free and it has been a challenge, but I am determined not to fail. I am doing it for me and nobody else. Itís the same with sticking to your new eating plan. Come to Spark People and log in each and every item of food you eat on a daily basis. You can track your progress to see what you may be doing wrong. You can also earn Spark Points too! Celebrate small victories on here. Tell us what you achieved, whether itís another weight loss (no matter how small or large) or completing your exercise program for the day. Spark People has some great exercise videos so please, check them out.

Plan your day ahead of time and stick to your schedule so that when you do come home from work, your evening is mapped out.

I am not single but I might as well be when it comes to my eating habits. The hubby does his own thing and rarely eats what I cook. But I still cook for myself and I do it in bulk on the weekends. I usually make 3-4 recipes that serve 6, divide them up into individual freezable containers and then freeze some for the following week and keep some out for the current week. That way I rarely eat the same thing two days in a row. I can always rotate my frozen portions.

Please keep us updated on your progress and donít hesitate to ask for help.

NINAG47 SparkPoints: (12)
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4/30/13 4:49 P

You can do it :). I live alone, too, but it's all about celebrating those little things and staying active. The best you can do is look up recipes or think of healthy recipes that might be fun to recreate and then designate time to prep a few meals at a time. It saves you time and energy to do other things around the house, or meet friends, or be active outdoors! :)

BPETRIE7 SparkPoints: (9,546)
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4/30/13 4:06 P

Go for it! KC1

KYLIECAT1 Posts: 1,021
4/30/13 3:50 P

BPETRIE7 Although this advice was not aimed in my direction , I like and Im going to take it ! greedy aren't I ! emoticon

BPETRIE7 SparkPoints: (9,546)
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4/30/13 3:20 P

Hi, fellow singleton. I have lived alone for nearly all of my 60+ years and feel your frustrations. A couple of tricks to share...I cook all my meals pretty much and make a point at dinner to set the table and plate the food as it would look in a fine restaurant. Even take out the good china now and then. A nice candle or some flowers, stemware, cloth napkin etc. When I have people over and do this, it says I want you to have a good why not do it for yourself.
As for exercise, go out where people are also walking and running. Smile, say hello to as many as you can. Your form, posture, speed all improve because people are watching you have a good time. Or, they might think your crazy. Seriously, I have had great conversations with folks out on the walking trails and usually feel very much a part of the civilized world when I come home. Good luck, do something different today.

BBMOM9992 SparkPoints: (472)
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4/30/13 3:18 P

I'm single too and it's hard! Fortunately, I do have a couple of friends who motivate me. At the same time, going home alone is lonely and there is no one there to hold you accountable for what you put in your mouth. (I have a 20 y/o daughter, who is away at college 9 months out of each year.) Personally, I am able to talk myself in and out of things very easily, especially when I am home alone. But food is no longer my crutch. I love reading so I whisk myself away with a good book when the desire to binge because of my loneliness comes over me. Also, I ask myself daily - "how do I expect someone else to love me and treat me right, if I don't love me and treat me right?". So in order for me to feel comfortable in the skin I'm in, I need to make this change in my life.

Recently, I joined a ladies only gym that offers a variety of exercise classes. There are no machines, only classes. Although they do have the big scary mirrors, I love it anyway! emoticon

You WILL celebrate your small victories everyday with everyone around you. You reducing body and growing confidence will shine. emoticon

LJS61571 SparkPoints: (3,077)
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4/30/13 3:16 P

i didn't take time to read the previous replies, so i may be just restating what everone else has aleady said, but DON"T go it alone! even if none of your friends or family are currently changing their eating/excercise habits ( but ask them anyway - they may want to and just need some one to get them started!) they can still be a support system for you! they can encourage you, and keep you motivated. they can give you new recipes to try. they can help take measurements, go with you to shop for new clothes, celebrate your achievements and pick you up after a letdown. ask a friend if they are interested in an evening walk a few times a week. it is such a great time to catch up with each other as well as get in some excercise. and not to mention of all else fails, you are not alone bcause you have all of US here on sparkpeople! good luck to you!

4/30/13 1:59 P

I totally agree with JMB2LOSE if getting a dog is feasible for you. When I got mine, my exercise numbers went WAY up because I needed to take her out twice a day. Now that I have a house with a yard, it's down to once a day but even when I don't feel like walking or running, I know she wants and needs it. So not only does her presence motivate me to get moving, I also have this little (okay, 55 pounds isn't that little!) buddy that always makes me feel good. It's such a win win.

And I'm not single, but my I'm in a long distance relationship so most of the time I'm alone. I agree with so many others who've posted, it's SO much easier to eat healthy and exercise when I'm not with him! He's encouraging but he eats whatever he wants and I hate to leave a warm bed with him in it to go for a morning run. I definitely eat better and workout a lot more when he's not around.

You can do this, it's tough and it takes time to change your habits, but you don't need anyone to make this happen!

CHAAGY59 Posts: 5
4/30/13 1:43 P

ANARIE has it right. At the end of the day, we are all alone in this, and you have to make up your mind to do it yourself. I have a wife at home who is supportive, but at the end of the day, she won't force me to do what I need to do - it's my willpower that needs to drive my eating and fitness decisions.

In some ways, I feel bad, because the things I do affect her (which is the negative of being with someone). She doesn't need to lose weight, she's in good health, but because of me, we don't go out to eat as much anymore (maybe I'm not as spontaneous or fun!) and a lot of what I do revolves around me me me... me getting healthy. I have to ask her to hide the yummy stuff. She's the kind of person that can eat half a chocolate bar and just put it in the pantry and forget about it. For me, that chocolate bar screams at me to eat him!! I'm lucky I don't have children yet, because I can imagine that get's even harder.

Whether you are single or with someone, you need to make the change for you. And you need to do what it takes to get you where you want to be.

There's a lot of good advice in this thread:
- Stay mindful. Make the effort to log in here daily. Track your food. Read the message boards. I find it incredibly helpful even if I'm just lurking and reading posts here. It helps me to keep my mind on my own goals. I read success stories to keep me motivated, but also failures, because that's a fact of the weight loss journey. You might, and probably will, hit setbacks... but if others can bounce back... so can you!

- Preparation is key. You need to prepare yourself with a plan for meals throughout the week. Plan for it all, including snacks. Plan for events (celebrations, business lunch, etc) that happen. What is your eating plan going to be like? How about some fitness? How do you fit that in? I find routine very helpful at this stage.

- Get the tools you need. When I started my own weight loss journey - I bought a new scale to weigh me, a new scale for weighing food, and a set of measuring cups and spoons. I used to think 'it's only crazy people who measure their food to this degree', but call me crazy! For me, I can't eat intuitively... yet. I need to measure and weigh out my portions and calculate my food. Nowadays, I can eyeball it, but I still check frequently. I'm beginning to be a master at eyeballing what 30g of cheese looks like! 100g of chicken breast!

- Tell people. It makes you more accountable. Tell people your goals. Tell people what you're doing. They really can't help you. But at least they know and you know they know.

- I do find that being with someone helps me celebrate my victories. I just lost my first 30lbs recently, and hit under 200lbs. I haven't been this weight since high school. So wifey and I went out to celebrate for the day (which in my mind means FEAST!!!). I totally ruined my eating for that day... but it was mindful. I knew what I was doing, and the next day, I was back on plan. So try to find someone to celebrate with and even if you can't, don't forget to celebrate the big wins! My next celebration happens at 180lbs!

GOOD LUCK! You can do it! emoticon

JMB2LOSE SparkPoints: (14,042)
Fitness Minutes: (10,295)
Posts: 120
4/30/13 1:35 P


If it is an option, maybe you should get a dog; he will be your pal that will MAKE you get outside and walk, go to the park/beach, and motivate you to find cool hiking trails on the weekend. He will be your reason to keep going outside, and a furry friend will fill your house with positivity. You won't feel as alone, and you will have something else to concentrate on. I know it sounds ridiculous, but until you fall in love with a pet, you cannot understand how much they change your life for the better. :)

JMB2LOSE SparkPoints: (14,042)
Fitness Minutes: (10,295)
Posts: 120
4/30/13 1:32 P

I also found it much easier when I was single; shopping for and cooking only healthy options that I liked was so much easier. Meal planning was also more simple. I could watch whatever I wanted while I exercised (which kept my workout going longer).

4/30/13 1:26 P

I 100% agree with what ANARIE said. I am married with three kids and it is a daily struggle resisting the junk food that lives within my cupboards. We literally have an ice cream bucket overflowing with candy from Easter (thanks to my MIL), ice cream in the freezer ALL the time, and oodles of chips. All of which would not be allowed if it were just me. Granted we also have fruits and veggies in the fridge/on the counter at all times as well, it's just that when there's junk food, it's sometimes just easier. I don't think my kids would have a hard time if I got rid of it, I think the hubby would.

I would also say that until your mind and body have had that "ah-ha" moment, you will continue to struggle. You have to do this for you and only for you. Three years ago, I had that moment and lost 47 pounds. I then gained each and every one of them back when I got pregnant with my youngest (he just turned 18 months). Not sure what's going on but this time it's much harder for me to keep control, especially around all that sugary junk.

One thing that's helping me out this time around is focusing on change, not results. There's a quote at the top of my SparkPage that has become my mantra. I also made a "healthy habits goal tracker" that I can focus on the little changes I'm trying to incorporate like drinking 8+ cups of water, MORE fruits/veggies, LESS sugar (as in candy, cookies, and ice cream), and exercising daily. Something about being able to check off the little box on paper really motivates me to keep going.

emoticon emoticon

JAMIRBLAZE Posts: 1,429
4/30/13 1:09 P

I'm single, and some ways, it's easier because I don't have to manage someone else's demands on my time to exercise or to try to find a balance with someone else's eating habits.

I plan out two weeks of meals, snacks, etc., in advance. Then I do a wholesale store or Walmart run for the staples for those meals and produce to make the first week's. On the weekend, I make 2-3 dishes to eat for the week. I vary sides, etc., to make it work for me. I also will rotate in some frozen staples (like veggie patties, chicken gyoza, etc.) or go out with friends to spice up my week, but I generally cook recipes that I love eating. For example, this week - I do a green smoothie for breakfast, I made cabbage rolls for lunch (filling, tasty and 2 servings of veggies and lots of protein), and beef and potato chipotle salad to have for dinner. Sides range from an apple to a greek style cucumber salad to steamed carrots. Next week, I have seasme chicken lettuce wraps and maple mustard pork planned as well as some leftover cabbage to steam. I'll evaluate my veggie/fruit situation at the end of the week to determine what, if anything, to get for sides. Many of my recipes come from Eatingwell or are inspired by Spark.

Ultimately, I don't do this for other people's approval. I do it so that I can celebrate a below normal BP reading at the doctor's office (which for someone with anxiety and a family history of hypertension is a huge victory). I do it so that I'm not the one that has to sit down for a break. Even though I hate it 100%, I strength train to help with lingering issues from old back and knee injuries. I like being strong. I have adopted a healthy approach to eating, so that I don't feel guilty about a special meal out because I'll be back to my routine the next day.

You have to find what motivates you to do the healthy lifestyle for you - what motivates you and how you can take pleasure in what you are doing for yourself.

RY669450 SparkPoints: (4,078)
Fitness Minutes: (3,202)
Posts: 12
4/30/13 12:37 P

Stay motivated and focused! I am alone on the new learning life style as well. It takes amazing strength to be independent while losing weight. Let me know if you would like to have a buddy in this journey. Use this site as much as you can. It helps a lot!

HILLSLUG98239 SparkPoints: (42,801)
Fitness Minutes: (78,705)
Posts: 1,149
4/30/13 12:26 P

What is your motivation for changing? Keep focused on why you're making healthy choices. Thinking that no one will notice is self-defeating. Your doctor will notice when you get your next blood test. Your co-workers will notice you have more self-confidence and you have a glow about you. Your online friends will notice you're not around as much because you're out living your life in the real world.

I adore my husband and he does a great job of supporting my fitness goals, but I ate a far healthier diet when I was single. I was a vegetarian for years, and then added a little bit of meat. Now I'm back to the typical North American diet with animal products being a part of every meal. I could continue my pre-married diet, but it would be a lot more work. (There are times I cook things (like greens) that I don't expect him to eat. I've even cooked two separate meals at dinner. He cooks, too, and I usually eat it without considering the nutritional content.)

I'm inclined to keep my weight loss and fitness goals private, so I understand why you think you're going it alone. I recently decided to celebrate my 50th birthday in September 2015 by completing an Olympic-distance triathlon. I ride a lot, but I'm fat, I cannot run a mile, and I hate swimming. I've been telling a lot of people around me about my plans. I'm doing this to make it harder (or at least more embarrassing) to back out. I'm even thinking of telling a few people I dislike so that failure will be truly humiliating. My point is, if you're truly committed, consider telling a few acquaintances about your goals. It may help you avoid temptation.

Most important: You need to believe in you can do it. You can, and you will. emoticon

Edited by: HILLSLUG98239 at: 4/30/2013 (12:26)
APPLEPIEDREAMS SparkPoints: (166,376)
Fitness Minutes: (78,972)
Posts: 8,874
4/30/13 12:06 P

You have all of SparkPeople to celebrate victories with! When something awesome happens, post it in the Woo-Hoo thread in the Results section. Lots of people will cheer you on.

ANARIE Posts: 12,981
4/30/13 12:05 P

EVERYONE is going it alone. You're the only person inside that body, and you're the only one who can do anything about it. Those of us who are single are incredibly lucky! It's much, much easier to do it when you don't have someone else hanging on to you and dragging you back.

Look at it this way. You can try any new food or new recipe that strikes your fancy, without worrying about whether somebody else will like it. You don't even have to worry about them whining because you spent money on something they didn't like. You can swap mealtimes around to find a good schedule for yourself, and not have somebody whining, "Where's my dinner? I'm hungry NOW!" You can go to the gym or out for a walk or a run at 6 in the morning, 6 in the evening, or 2 in the morning. You don't have to wait for somebody else to get ready or watch him pout because you went without him. And let's not even talk about the junk food in the house. If there's anything tempting in your house, it's because YOU bought it and brought it home. If you're willing, you can have a house without a single bite of anything unhealthy anywhere in it. If you're married, you have to decide whether to ask him to give up treats because YOU are, or somehow try to figure out how to resist the Tub-o-Cheetos sitting in your kitchen.

And maybe best of all, there's no one around to doubt you or make you doubt yourself. You can start something new and never have to worry about someone you love rolling their eyes and sighing, "Again?" If you try something, decide it's not working, and switch to something else, you don't have to deal with, "But I thought you were doing Atkins? Where did that cereal come from?" If you've adjusted your calories and done some extra exercise so you can "afford" a slice of cake or something, you don't have to hear, "Uh, are you supposed to be eating that?"

As others have already said, cooking for one doesn't present any more challenges than cooking for two. If you don't want to eat the same thing multiple days, just divide the recipe. Go to someplace like BedBath&Beyond and you can buy mini cooking utensils-- single-serve pie plates to make a healthy quiche, miniature skillets the right size for a one-person frittata, etc. In fact, you can even find usable kitchen ware in toy stores! You can get a one-quart slow cooker for $15 and have stews, casseroles, healthy bean dishes, etc waiting for you when you get home from work.

I lost 50+ pounds and have kept it off for eight years, and I'm single. I really, honestly don't think I could have done it if I were living with someone else, not even roommates. It's never easy, but it's a lot easier when you're not dragging someone else.

So... In your head, change "going it alone" to "absolutely, 100% FREE!" You are completely free to do this exactly the way you want. No one can get in your way!

JENSTRESS Posts: 5,059
4/30/13 11:38 A

Well, I think that each journey is an individual thing and it isn't easy no matter what.

However, cooking when you are single, it is tough. Or it was for me back then. I recommend you get a few things from the store that are easy meals. Chicken Breasts, (then freeze in single servings) pork chops, even steaks, and then easy serve sides. Rice, frozen veggies, and lunches could be leftovers or anything else. I use my leftover meats at dinner for meats in salads, which I have for lunch (or if I was single, probably dinner sometimes.)

I think the PP give you good advice, and it can be hard to stay in and cook for one and do the dishes and etc. But if you can do it, you will get some great rewards!

YOJULEZ SparkPoints: (15,981)
Fitness Minutes: (120)
Posts: 2,171
4/30/13 11:34 A

You should check out the meal plans I post in my blog. I live with my significant other, but he travels for work almost every single week, Sunday through Friday. So basically, during the week, I am alone...unless you count the dog :) I am not eating the same thing for dinner once this week... I've gotten pretty good at cutting down recipes and I buy just enough produce for me so nothing goes to waste. I do cook one meal that serves 4, eat one for dinner and eat the other 3 servings for lunches, but I don't mind doing that as long as I don't have to eat the same thing for dinner too. I eat out for lunch once a week, and I have another dinner that serves 2 so I have one more set of leftovers for another lunch. I hate to say it, but I'm kind of enjoying it being just me... I can experiment with new foods, cook what pleases me (like spicy food!) and just do my own thing without worrying about him.

Also, when I first started trying to lose weight, my SO was barely in the picture, and we were long distance so I had nobody there to be encouraging or to help me out day to day. Most of my friends in the area I was living in were married with small kids, so they were too busy to pay too much attention to me.

What motivated me was just wanting to be better. I had recently undergone some other life changes so this was the next step. And, people DID notice. It's sad, but the smaller I got, the nicer people in clothing stores were to me. Guys paid more attention to me when I was out and about. Just those little things were very motivational for me to keep going. I also found that once I became happier with myself, other aspects of my life fell into place. I don't think I would have this successful relationship had I not become happy with myself first, and part of becoming happy with myself was losing the weight.

Edited by: YOJULEZ at: 4/30/2013 (11:35)
SINGERA9 SparkPoints: (4,307)
Fitness Minutes: (8,109)
Posts: 105
4/30/13 11:22 A

I'm not single, but I did start on this journey alone. My suggestion, DECIDE that your satisfaction and joy in what you're doing are EXACTLY what you need to keep going. When you do that, you'll be amazed at the number of people who will be motivated by you and suddenly very supportive of you.

As for getting the motivation to cook, there are lots of websites and resources now for cooking for one. You absolutely don't have to cook a family style meal and then suffer through it for the week. Many companies offer singly wrapped portions of protein. It's easy to make smaller portions of sides. You don't even have to cook, to be honest. There are lots of semi-homemade things that require little to no prep time.

You can do this! Good luck to you!

BITHOO SparkPoints: (10,719)
Fitness Minutes: (3,359)
Posts: 386
4/30/13 11:13 A

I actually found it MUCH easier to lose and stay at a given weight when I was single! I had more time to dedicate to exercise, didn't need to please anyone else's palate or schedule, and didn't need to keep foods in the house for people other than myself. I'm also not really into dinners and dinner foods, so when I was single I ate a larger meal during the day and then snacked in the evening (fruits, cheese and crackers) and wound up eating fewer calories! Now, though, I feel an obligation to prepare "family dinners," which my family enjoys -- so long as I prepare "meat/starch/veg" combos... sigh.

SUSAN_FOSTER Posts: 1,229
4/30/13 11:05 A

I am single. I was single when I lost my weight (10 years ago), and I've been single all the way through the maintenance process.

I don't eat the same meal all week. Most of the time it's a meal, then leftovers the next day, maybe a day or two later. I either cut the recipe in half, or most of the time I cook, portion the food out, and freeze the portions I don't eat. Healthy frozen meals, ready immediately!

I celebrate my victories with my family. But at the end of the day, you need to celebrate for yourself. If you are not happy in your skin, change. It's not easy, but it's worth it. It's worth it for you; it doesn't have to be for anyone else.

LISS741 SparkPoints: (27,095)
Fitness Minutes: (18,978)
Posts: 337
4/30/13 10:22 A

I can completely relate to what you are going through. I am single and live alone as well, and I had to come to the realization that I am doing this for myself and no one else. I want to be able to look in the mirror and love what I see, not just like it or tolerate it. I always get the "oh you have such a pretty face," now I want the "you have a beautiful body and face". I find that when I cook for myself I buy my food more tailored to living alone. I buy all my chicken individually packaged (Purdue chickens are really great). I make a starch that I wouldn't mind eating two days in a row (rice, potatoes, ect.) and then I make a different veggie every night for dinner. So really the only thing that I repeat in a week is the starch. I found some really great recipes on SP for chicken too.

It is so easy to get discouraged when you look at the scale and see the same number or that you fluctuate a little, but remember that you are doing this for you. If you want this to be the last time that you have to do this, then you have to switch you way of thinking. You are not going to get an overnight fix, but you are going to gain a healthier lifestyle. Make small goals, like I am going to drink all 8 glasses of water today, or I am going to skip on the desert at lunch today. When you start to have small victories you will see them add up to larger ones.

You can do it! Stick with it and remember the positives always out weigh the negatives. Good luck!

NENATO2 SparkPoints: (185,001)
Fitness Minutes: (165,143)
Posts: 7,376
4/30/13 10:08 A

I'm not single, but I don't eat the same thing until it is gone. I make individual lunches and put them in the freezer for work. I keep a variety so I don't have to eat the same thing.

I hope you get to feeling better about all this soon. It is so worth it to be healthy.

I'm doing it so I can stay mobile - hopefully, until I die. Yeah, I'm looking 60 in the face. emoticon

BLBST36 Posts: 351
4/30/13 10:05 A

Hey all:

I am trying to do this on my own and have failed miserably in the past. I really want this time to be the last, but I already see myself going to old habits (not tracking, going out too much, etc). I think the hardest thing is that I am single and don't see a change in that in any near future. I am not looking for a buddy or anything like that - tried it, didn't really keep me "accountable" or motivate me or anything. I don't have many close friends to turn to, either.

I am not happy in my skin and I want to change, but there is always a part of me that says why care, no one will notice.

I am wondering if there are any singletons out there with advice. How do you get the motivation when every evening you go home alone, cook only for you, have to eat the same thing for a week, have no one to celebrate small victories with you, etc?

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