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Confused & Conflicted

Saturday, February 04, 2012

I want to be able to eat what I want and not have to constantly say no to food. I want to weigh less than 170 pounds. I read that it's basically impossible to maintain weight loss and figure I might as well stop trying. I read that it IS possible and want to get in better shape for spring. I want to go for jogs more often than once a week or every couple of weeks, but when I run more often my hips and knees feel sore. I know I need to track my food intake to have any success. I know there must be a way to have success without tracking. I just don't know anymore.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRACYZABELLE 2/15/2012 5:35AM

    emoticon emoticon

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COWBOYMAMA 2/6/2012 6:13AM

    I can so relate to this! i am trying to get back on track.

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LIFESANATTITUDE 2/6/2012 1:22AM

    PLEASE PLEASE HANG IN THERE SUSAN! You and I are on parallel tracks-you CAN NOT GIVE UP.
ONE
DAY
AT
A
TIME!
We can DO IT!
As for the hip and knee pain, have you tried a running coach? Just a few sessions to see if there is a small correction you can make?
This journey doesn't have to be " all or nothing". I know that's one of my roadblocks. We are a work in progress.... Please don't worry about doing this "forever". Do it for today.
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SEEHOLZ 2/5/2012 2:52PM

    I think you can work yourself up to running more than once per week- maybe 3 days instead of 5 will work well, if you enjoy running that much. But, there is nothing wrong with doing the elliptical more??? Unless you're tired of it?

Have you thought about changing up your fitness and eating routine? Sometimes making some changes in both can help you feel refreshed or remotivated. It's really hard for me to not want to be a certain way I was before, both with regards to my fitness level and weight. However, I know with my injuries, that's not going to happen- at least not in that same way. I think changing up my routine helped me mentally when I needed it.

From what I know about you ( and I'm sure if I'm right) I think tracking works better for you- do you feel like you get sucked into tracking by eating predetermined foods though? Would eating what you want, but still tracking it help? It's so weird, because sometimes one thing helps and other times, something else and it really does get confusing, so I really feel for you Susan.

It's also really tough to be patient when it comes to this whole eating/tracking/exercising balancing equation- it'll get better- in time. You'll find your mojo again and maybe it'll be something new or maybe your old way, but it'll come together again.

I do also believe that people can maintain their weight- that one girl who went law school and left Spark always had really good insight on re-setting your metabolism. I think it might help you to seek articles that tell you you can, rather than get sucked into ones that tell you you can't. Even if it does turn out that we can't, it's much more motivating to think we can- at least for me.

No matter what, hang in there!

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MEADSBAY 2/4/2012 9:24PM

    Being healthy is (or should be) your goal for a lifetime-
and that means eating healthy (not depriving yourself!)
and staying active (not hurting yourself- if running hurts- find something else!).
I don't believe for one minute that maintaining a loss is impossible- many people do it- by adopting good habits for their lifetime-
not just until they reach x # of lbs.

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ALLISON145 2/4/2012 9:07PM

    I think the trick for you honey is to stop being distracted by the fact that someone says you "can't" and use it as fuel to prove to them that you not only CAN but you WILL. If you were badly hurt and your doctor said you couldn't walk again wouldn't you still try?

My best advice right now until you get your head on straight is to step away from the scale and focus on being healthy. Eat healthy foods until you are almost full but not quite. Try not to eat unless your tummy asks you to, not your tongue. Do something active every day, even if it's just walking. These are things we need to do for our mental health as well as our physical health.

I feel for how you are feeling right now, I really do. I was there for a couple of months during the holidays and plateaud / gained some. I want you to come out the other side of this on the right foot though, as I was lucky enough to do. Hopefully quicker than I was able to do it, which is why I'm reaching out with some advice. At the end of the day you'll do what you need to do and that may involve taking a break. The only thing you are absolutely NOT allowed to do, however, is give up hope. Period.

Cuz I said so.

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You inspired me greatly when I got serious about my journey, and I won't let you fall down now.

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-Allison

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MBSHAZZER 2/4/2012 6:47PM

    Susan, I totally hear your frustration!!! Everything you read or hear conflicts. I think you have tried or at least read about Intuitive Eating? Maybe that can work for you. I also think it's hard because (and don't take this the wrong way - this is just my impression) it seems like your hubby is not all that supportive and can eat whatever he wants without consequences.

I also agree with Jen - maybe try the C25K program and see if that helps with the aches and pains.

Good luck and don't despair!!

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SWEATONCEADAY 2/4/2012 5:55PM

    i think with the running you are doing all or nothing which is why you are getting achy? maybe you should start fresh with running and do couch to 5k or something and build up your running muscles slowly. just cause you can run for an hour doesn't always mean you should.

i know how frustrated you are but concentrating on being in better shape and eating as healthy as you can 90% of the time rather than losing/maintain is a great idea.

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PAPER_WINGS18 2/4/2012 3:52PM

    Susan. try not to focus on what "they" have said. Focus on you. If you put your mind to it, and I know you will, you CAN DO IT.

My WW leader says that our success at this is 80% nutrition, 20% fitness. So, focus on tracking or at least journaling what you're eating. One step at a time, and the rest will follow. Don't beat yourself up if you run once a week. Go east on your knees/hips, or maybe try some other form of exercise you enjoy that doesn't hurt as much.

You can do it.

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GETMETO50 2/4/2012 12:39PM

    you can do this but not if you give up...for me it is a patience issue and I am sure I am not the only one who wants it yesterday but I have to keep reminding myself that if I give up there will come a time yet again where I will jump back on the bandwagon and say to myself if I had just stuck it out I would have been where I want to be already...this is a daily journey and you will never get where you want to go by going backwards.
emoticon emoticon

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CARILOUIE 2/4/2012 10:46AM

    There is a book I constantly re-read called Flipping The Switch by Jim Karas. It addresses a lot of these feelings - I have them often. For me, it's a matter of deciding what I want more. Sometimes, I want to just have the cheesy dip and the beer. But other times, I get the salad because it's what I'd rather have.
Can you track just when you feel like it? Maybe you'll want to track more and more once you start...

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ALIENANGEL 2/4/2012 10:44AM

    I eat the same things everyday. boring. but I don't have to track and it keeps cravings down. There are no questions in my mind, the food is fuel. It is not a reward. It is not to make me feel better. It is to fuel my body.

so there is a way, but it is boring.

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It's not just calories in vs. calories out...

Friday, January 20, 2012

I apologize for stealing the blog title. I've seen the exact same title on others' blogs recently, and I agree! What I really want to write about is something more like, "My calorie intake seems to have differing impacts on my weight gain/loss depending on how much I weigh" but that's a bit of a mouthful. However, I'm going to talk about it anyway, and hopefully I can be at least somewhat clear in what I mean!

First of all, I've had a cold since Saturday. Just when I was thinking I hadn't been sick in a long time, it hit me. I've been eating OK during the day but overeating at night this week. Also, I went to the gym like normal up until Wednesday, when I decided to take a day off since my cold was making me feel run-down (oh the guilt!), and then yesterday rather than my usual hour, I just did a half hour, and just walking (4-4.5 mph with a 3 percent incline, so enough to make me breathe a little heavy, but not as intense as normal).

So like I said, I've been overeating at night. Probably taking in a good 3,000 calories per day. And yet, I'm maintaining my weight. It keeps bouncing from 169-168. Each time I cringe getting on the scale the day after a 169 weigh-in, worrying about seeing my weight go up to the 170s, I find out I've actually gone down a pound.

I am almost positive that if I ate and exercised exactly this much, but I were thinner, I'd be seeing big weight gains over the days.

Just wanted to mention that observation...if I'm making any sense here, I'm wondering if others have the same experience.

PS - After a practically snowless winter here in Boston so far, we finally got a few inches last night. It's sunny now and looks so pretty!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRACYZABELLE 1/31/2012 5:52AM

    It has been a crazy winter! I am worried about April!!

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AGREENSLADE79 1/26/2012 1:43PM

    It is so odd, and I know exactly what you mean! I have been sick so eating anything and everything I want to to make myself feel better, and have not been to the gym in a week, and so far (thank god) there has been no change at all in my weight. If only the calories in -vs- out was an exact science!

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FITGIRL15 1/21/2012 4:46PM

    My body is a complete MESS when I am sick... I could not use the weight / eating habits I observe when I'm sick to dictate anything about how my body will behave when I am well...

Perhaps you are maintaining weight because your body is working extra hard to try to make you better, and it needs the extra calories to do it's thing. If you ate less, you would be losing weight... but typically that weight returns once the virus/whatever is making you sick, has been fought off.

Feel better soon!!! emoticon

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NO1JESS 1/20/2012 7:31PM

    Sounds like you are maintaining well! Smart not to overdo it while you have a cold so you can bounce back and get back to your routine quicker!!

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ZIRCADIA 1/20/2012 4:19PM

    Well you know your BMR changes with your weight - a bigger body burns more calories while sedentary than a skinny one. Fat /muscle ratio is relevant as well. More muscle = more burn.

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MEADSBAY 1/20/2012 2:44PM

    I don't pay much attention to daily fluctuations as sodium, hormones, muscle growth, etc. can impact that so much- I can go up or down 2-3 lbs for no apparent reason.
But, weekly trends mean more to me.
I even record my wt on the first and last day of every month to watch for long term changes.
We only had a coating of rainy snow on the coast of RI but now they're saying 4-6 inches tomorrow some time.

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Comment edited on: 1/20/2012 2:44:46 PM

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GETMETO50 1/20/2012 12:54PM

    I find that because I am low calorie most of the time that I can have quite a few high calorie days and I still lose weight. The key is to not have them regularly. I see a lot of people exercising their brains out and eating low calorie and not losing anything and they wonder why...

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MBSHAZZER 1/20/2012 12:09PM

    Susan, you are definitely on to something - reason being that the less you weigh, the lower your caloric needs. So, if you were at 135, say, you would see much more of a swing from overeating than when you are at a higher weight.

Stay warm!!

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Jeff Ainslie from Fat2Fit Emailed Me!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Hi Susan,


Our entire show is based around a philosophy of gradual and permanent lifestyle change rather than going on or off a diet plan, and as in our name "fat2fit" we are not just about weight loss, but also becoming a fit and strong person. One of the reasons why dieting below a person's Basal Metabolic Rate is so damaging is because of muscle loss, and since muscle is so metabolically active, it slows down a person's metabolism. If you have only listened to one show, you might think that our entire philosophy is based on one study, but there are hundreds of studies published every year related to weight loss. We often bring up weight loss studies and discuss individual ones, but we often find it best to discuss "meta-studies" which pool together larger groups to pull out trends.


Off the top of my head, one study that we talked about on show 128 showed the rate of weight loss possible without muscle loss. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2155857
1 If you read through the abstract, you will get the idea of why it is hard for the general public to make head or tails about the statistical significance or interpretation of all of these studies. There is also not a shortage of studies since there hundreds of universities and colleges around the world pumping out Masters and Doctoral students in fields ranging from kinesiology/phys ed, nutrition studies/dietitian and of course medical.


As to your individual experiences, maintaining weight loss is a challenge for everyone. No matter how fast or slow you lose weight, if your lifestyle hasn't changed to that of the thinner person you want to continue to be, your weight will return. Our whole philosophy is to start living at your maintenance level right now and then never "go off" a diet when you hit your goal weight.


A 2000 calorie diet was most likely not a starvation diet. When a person eats below their own BMR, which is required to keep a person's basic bodily functions going, that is considered a starvation diet.


I thought that I would respond in person because you put so much effort and thought into your post!


Good Luck,


Jeff Ainslie
Fat 2 Fit Radio
Fat 2 Fit Power Tips










On Sat, Jan 14, 2012 at 8:37 AM, Susan wrote:

Hi!
I discovered your podcast this morning and wrote a blog post about your rebuke to "The Fat Trap" in the New York Times. I've pasted part of my blog entry below. I'd love your feedback on this. Is there any chance that you could email me and let me know if you happen to address my thoughts in your podcast? Thank you so much!

"Basically, the NYT article is saying that it's almost impossible to maintain weight loss, and the Fat2Fit podcast is saying that the article is sensationalist junk because the weight loss described in the article is based on extremely low-calorie diets. The Fat2Fit guys use the same studies that The Fat Trap woman uses to support a different conclusion: that slow weight loss based on lifestyle changes can be maintained.

My conclusion? People are going to believe what they are going to believe, and view any evidence through the lenses that they want! Frustrating!

I really appreciate what the Fat2Fit guys are attempting to do. After reading "The Fat Trap" a few days ago I think my food choices have been subconsciously affected (as in, "Well, my body has a different response to food now that makes it harder to resist cravings, so I might as well eat ___.") I mean I don't think I've been going off-the-rails crazy with that approach, but I certainly wasn't making any progress toward a lower weight with my choices. And I realize that the Fat2Fit guys are trying to give hope to people who have struggled and want to lose weight and keep it off. However, I have two major problems with what they're saying in that podcast:

1) The studies they discuss really don't support their argument. OK, so someone eats 500 calories per day for X number of weeks and then hasn't maintained their weight loss the following year. Does that study show that slow, less extreme methods of weight loss are the key to maintaining weight loss? No! It only shows what it shows - that it is difficult to maintain weight loss caused by a 500-calorie-per-day diet. In order to really show that a "lifestyle approach" causes maintainable weight loss better than other approaches, there would need to be several groups of subjects, each of which is guided through different weight loss approaches, and then there would need to be a statistically significant difference between the weight loss maintanence of those different groups. Duh!? (If anyone knows of any studies like this, please let me know!)

2) My personal experience seems to disprove what the Fat2Fit guys are saying. I have gone from about 170 to about 135 pounds slowly while eating maybe about 2,000 calories per day and exercising an average of an hour per day. I'd call this a moderate approach - not a "starvation diet" in the sense that they are using the word (although in a way it kind of IS starvation though, because I was taking in fewer calories than I was burning, which is necessary for losing weight but it really did make me gradually hungrier and hungrier), and I STILL managed to gain it all back. More than once. In fact, I didn't really see that much of a difference between my moderate approach attempts and the times I lost weight using a greater calorie deficit (maybe 1200-1500 calories per day). So, I just can't agree with the Fat2Fit guys.

In the meantime though I'm still not giving up on myself. I still firmly believe that I can be the fittest and healthiest version of me that I can be by making healthy choices."

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRENTDREAMER 1/16/2012 10:50AM

    "As to your individual experiences, maintaining weight loss is a challenge for everyone. No matter how fast or slow you lose weight, if your lifestyle hasn't changed to that of the thinner person you want to continue to be, your weight will return. Our whole philosophy is to start living at your maintenance level right now and then never "go off" a diet when you hit your goal weight. "
* Amen! I like his thinking.

I feel like losing a lot of weight and drastic changes is a good thing if one is dealing with potential life threatening conditions and their doctor feels as though this will save them from a stroke or heart attack.

Anything less, I say "enjoy the ride". Go slow and make it more permanent

Comment edited on: 1/16/2012 10:52:53 AM

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MEADSBAY 1/14/2012 6:47PM

    How cool.
Still as clear as mud, though.
I am increasing my calories for the next two weeks to see what happens.
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MBSHAZZER 1/14/2012 5:28PM

    Susan, I am commenting on both blogs... how cool that that the podcast guys emailed you back! Like I said on your original post about the Fat Trap article - everyone is an individual. You and I are about the same age and height and I guarantee that if I followed your plan or vice versa, we would have vastly different results.

I also think that people have more success with long term weight loss if they take a moderate approach, for two reasons. #1 - because a moderate approach is one that you can live with long term and #2 - because you don't mess up your metabolism and cause your body to think it's starving and thus hang onto every calorie you give it.

Have an awesome weekend!



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CARILOUIE 1/14/2012 3:26PM

    Yahoo!

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ON2VICTORY 1/14/2012 1:41PM

    Hey, that is sooooo cool that you got an answer. I love these guys, they are amazing. They have a dedication to helping.

love it!

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The "Fat2Fit" Rebuke to "The Fat Trap"

Saturday, January 14, 2012

On2Victory posted a link to the "Fat2Fit radio" podcast that discusses the New York Times' "The Fat Trap" article.

This is the link to the podcast (you'll need to skip ahead to 20:40): media.blubrry.com/fat2fit/p/www.fat2
fitradio.com/media/podcasts/f2f137.mp3


And again (I linked to the article in my last entry, too) this is the link to the NYT article: www.nytimes.com/2012/01/01/magazine/
tara-parker-pope-fat-trap.html?_r=1


And finally, this is the link to On2Victory's post: www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=4678216


Basically, the NYT article is saying that it's almost impossible to maintain weight loss, and the Fat2Fit podcast is saying that the article is sensationalist junk because the weight loss described in the article is based on extremely low-calorie diets. The Fat2Fit guys use the same studies that The Fat Trap woman uses to support a different conclusion: that slow weight loss based on lifestyle changes can be maintained.

My conclusion? People are going to believe what they are going to believe, and view any evidence through the lenses that they want! Frustrating!

I really appreciate what the Fat2Fit guys are attempting to do. After reading "The Fat Trap" a few days ago I think my food choices have been subconsciously affected (as in, "Well, my body has a different response to food now that makes it harder to resist cravings, so I might as well eat ___.") I mean I don't think I've been going off-the-rails crazy with that approach, but I certainly wasn't making any progress toward a lower weight with my choices. And I realize that the Fat2Fit guys are trying to give hope to people who have struggled and want to lose weight and keep it off. However, I have two major problems with what they're saying in that podcast:

1) The studies they discuss really don't support their argument. OK, so someone eats 500 calories per day for X number of weeks and then hasn't maintained their weight loss the following year. Does that study show that slow, less extreme methods of weight loss are the key to maintaining weight loss? No! It only shows what it shows - that it is difficult to maintain weight loss caused by a 500-calorie-per-day diet. In order to really show that a "lifestyle approach" causes maintainable weight loss better than other approaches, there would need to be several groups of subjects, each of which is guided through different weight loss approaches, and then there would need to be a statistically significant difference between the weight loss maintanence of those different groups. Duh!? (If anyone knows of any studies like this, please let me know!)

2) My personal experience seems to disprove what the Fat2Fit guys are saying. I have gone from about 170 to about 135 pounds slowly while eating maybe about 2,000 calories per day and exercising an average of an hour per day. I'd call this a moderate approach - not a "starvation diet" in the sense that they are using the word (although in a way it kind of IS starvation though, because I was taking in fewer calories than I was burning, which is necessary for losing weight but it really did make me gradually hungrier and hungrier), and I STILL managed to gain it all back. More than once. In fact, I didn't really see that much of a difference between my moderate approach attempts and the times I lost weight using a greater calorie deficit (maybe 1200-1500 calories per day). So, I just can't agree with the Fat2Fit guys.

In the meantime though I'm still not giving up on myself. I still firmly believe that I can be the fittest and healthiest version of me that I can be by making healthy choices.

PS - Thank you, On2Victory, for the thought-provoking link!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ON2VICTORY 1/14/2012 10:45AM

    MY friend, I could never get upset with you just because you disagree. We are all in this together. There are so many factors that contribute to weight loss, maintenance and the dreaded regain that to sum it all up would be pretty difficult. That's why I love SP because they also try to condense the methods of successful people and share them and allow people like you and me to interact and work together.

I also like efforts like the National Weight Control Registry and what they are doing. Studying a group of subjects over time and look for common threads in what makes them succeed in the long term regardless as to the method used to get to a significant loss.. I know I sure don't have it down pat, that's for sure :)

I treat myself as if I were an alcoholic. I'm a food addict, I can tend to binge if upset and I admit it. That said, I approach each day with the idea of keeping myself a free man. Food can be a powerful servant or an awful tyrant.

Love you my friend and keep going no matter what. Never give up.

emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 1/14/2012 11:36:09 AM

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TATYPREZ 1/14/2012 10:08AM

    Thank you for posting this! I was really angry when I read the first article a few days ago because who in their right mind thinks that eating 500 calories a day is ok and the new article is exactly what I was thinking. Thanks again for posting it

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My Fault vs. Not My Fault

Saturday, January 07, 2012

A warning - what I'm saying here is probably controversial and I'd be surprised if everyone who reads it agrees with me, but this is what I believe and hey, it's MY blog. :)

I found these links on another Sparker's page last night (EWESTCOTT's - you should check out her blog, she has some really insightful thoughts about this stuff: www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal.asp?id=EWESTCOTT
):

www.nytimes.com/2012/01/01/magazine/
tara-parker-pope-fat-trap.html?_r=3&pa
gewanted=all
www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive
/2010/05/beating-obesity/8017/4/?singl
e_page=true
onpoint.wbur.org/2012/01/05/keeping-
off-the-fat


I don't want to oversimplify, but the most relevant nugget of information I took away from reading/listening to these articles/podcast is this: Gaining back weight after losing it isn't my fault. Other readings I've encountered in the past and especially my own experience have also led me to believe this is true. My body wants me to weigh a certain amount and will fight for me to get back there after I've lost weight. I don't fully understand the forces that cause this, but I've read enough to believe it has a lot to do with hormones and genetics and that it goes so deep that even decisions that seem like free will are, to some extent, dictated by these forces.

I've worked hard to lose weight several times only to gain it back just as many. I truly believe now that it's not my fault that this has happened. But am I saying I'm giving up, and just letting myself be overweight and unhealthy? No! Not at all. I'm just saying that I am seeing my struggles now with greater than ever clarity.

I present to you my "My Fault vs. Not My Fault" list:

*It's not my fault that every time my weight has left the upper 160s to lower 170s range (whether above or below) that it has eventually returned.

*It IS my fault if I choose not to exercise.

*It's not my fault that I get extremely hungry when I eat fewer calories than my body wants, and that it becomes harder and harder to fight this hunger the lower my weight gets.

*It IS my fault if I choose to feed this hunger with junk food.

*It's not my fault that it seems harder to make healthy choices when I'm tired or stressed.

*It IS my fault if I don't do something to make myself better rested and less stressed.

*It's not my fault that my left knee hurts when I run on the treadmill.

*It IS my fault if I let an excuse prevent me from exercising at all.

I could go on and on with this, but I think you get the point. I don't like being overweight, but I think that to a large degree I don't really have a choice. Sure I can temporarily lose weight and be thin, and I can use that ability to my advantage if I have a special occasion coming up. But I really don't think my biology will let me stay there. But what I CAN do is stay at the lowest end of my natural range for the long term, or maybe even a little bit below it. I can eat right, track calories, drink water, exercise, get enough sleep, and combat stress. I believe that I can be healthy DESPITE my weight.

Sigh! emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ON2VICTORY 1/14/2012 10:54AM

    That DOES it, you are getting a hug right now!

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That is a great that you are identifying and separating those things that you cannot control vs those things that are in your power to control everyday. focus on what you CAN do and that will give you power.

keep going my friend.....ok second hug...
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IAMZBEE 1/11/2012 10:15AM

    Overall, i think you've got the right mindset in your last sentence... stick to a new lifestyle change that you have control.

Personally, I don't buy in into the genetic predisposition to be a certain weight. We all have control over our body and it is our responsibility to ensure that we are feeding it the right stuff. When we don't feed it the right stuff, we eventually go back to where we originally were.

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ROGUE_1 1/10/2012 7:45PM

    Whoa VERY interesting! Thanks for sharing the link... I am going to read it now!

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WATERMELLEN 1/9/2012 8:09PM

    Hmmm. I've been really interested in the Fat Trap and the science underlying it too . . . and blogged about it.

But I've also found it reassuring to know that the degree of vigilance required to maintain weight loss isn't "obsessive": just "necessary".

And . . . the resource which has helped me most in this regard (which I also mentioned to EWESTCOTT) is "The Diet Solution" by Dr. Judith S. Beck: techniques from cognitive psychology to learn how to "think like a thin person". It's a 6 week program and about a year ago I blogged about it through the 6 weeks. Really really helped. It may not be "fair" that I have to work that hard to maintain weight loss but . . . it's a reality.

(Came over to check you out because you mentioned on that blog about "popular blogs" that you don't get many comments on your blogs: and you should!! You're a great blogger!!)

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GETMETO50 1/9/2012 5:26PM

    being overweight in and of itself is NOT an indicator of health...I know pleny of unhealthy skinny people...however being morbidly obese can and usually will cause many health problems...being overweight might or might not depending on many factors. I think the problem is there is so much information out there with differing opinions it is hard to know what is truth and what isn't...every person is different, genetically, physically, mentally etc so I think it is up to every person to figure out what is best for them. We don't have all the answers but no one answer is right for everyone.
I think we should all just embrace our bodies as they are while trying to make them better, stronger, healthier etc.
Thanks for writing this blog...I am sure there will be plenty who will disagree but as long as you are doing what is right for you it really isn't anyone elses business.

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ALLISON145 1/9/2012 2:53PM

    I've seen the same study Damien quoted - can't remember where... that body chemistry changes in dieters vs. non-dieters. So, I agree with the overall point.

I've been stewing over your situation though and it strikes me funny... you have always been the one that I whine to because you can lose on 2100 calories a day when I have to dip below 1500 to move an inch. Maybe if you go back and look at the content of your food logs there's something different about the macro ratios between when you're consciously "dieting" vs. when you are "eating what you want?" I.e. maybe when you're watching what you eat your protein and veg content is WAY higher than your refined carb count... I have done some reading that says the body processes whole foods differently than processed foods so that may be making a difference? Or maybe it's as basic as when you are tracking you're not mindlessly snacking? Could be you have a mindful setpoint vs. an "eat freely" setpoint. Sorry, just thinking out loud. Wish I could help you on this one! Personally I haven't 'let go' for a long enough period of time to find out of my set point is 20 pounds higher or not...I'm afraid to!

-Allison

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SWEATONCEADAY 1/8/2012 9:46PM

    i believe this with you. however, there is a difference if you are at a healthy weight (range) for your body. someone being overweight and abusing their body by not eating well and not exercising should not be using this excuse (i don't believe this is you in anyway) by weight i don't really mean the number on the scale though. if you are healthy and are treating your body respectively by eating nutritious foods and exercising then whatever number on the scale or size your clothes are don't matter.

the only time i was able to maintain under 135 has been when i either starved myself (disordered eating) or when i was running crazy mileage and couldn't eat as much as i was burning. even at my skinniest i was a size 2 and i still weight 127lbs.

the only reason i really want to by lighter is for running. i felt so much better when i ran when i was lighter and was faster. however, running is just one part of my life and i need to be happy in more than one part of my life.

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MBSHAZZER 1/7/2012 6:24PM

    Susan, I totally agree with you. We are not all the same... we come in different colors, shapes, sizes. No one ascribe responsibility to someone's eye color, skin color or height, so what is it about weight where we feel like it's 100% under someone's control? It just doesn't make sense!

I do believe we all have a set point and that it's very difficult to get very much above or below that weight. But I also agree that just because someone's set point is higher than the "norm" (which continually changes anyway) does not give them license to just give up!

So, yes! Keep exercising and making good food choices... because even if you don't see a huge change in the scale, you will feel fabulous!

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PAPER_WINGS18 1/7/2012 4:22PM

    Great blog, Susan! Very informative, and I definitely agree with you. My friend has lost 75+ pounds, is at her goal weight, and she says that even after keeping the weight off for...3 years now, eating is still a struggle for her. She has to constantly day in and day out say NO to (insert "bad" food here), and she says the only thing that stops her is knowing that she CANNOT GO BACK to the way she was living. It will always be a struggle to fight against our genes/hormones/whatever it is, but as you say, there ARE things in our reach that we CAN control. Great insights here, girl.

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SEEHOLZ 1/7/2012 2:43PM

    From my own experience, which ended up in being anorexic, I know that gaining 80 lbs in 1 year was 100% triggered by a starving body- my body's hormones were controlling my actions to a large degree and then I made the junk food choices, which made me feel like crap and depressed, exponentiating this effect and creating essentially a run-away train. It was my choice to eat these things and hence I do believe that it's important to take full responsibility for me gaining those 80 lbs, but that said, all the cards were stacked against me and who knows, maybe if I actually had it in me to fight that weight gain at the time, I would have ended up in a mental hospital with a mental breakdown, because that's where I was headed. I also believe that gaining 25 lbs between early 2009 and 2010 was partly my fault, but again triggered by a huge hormonal imbalance and exhaution/ burnout, bad advice and my inability to control my food intake. It started with me not taking the time to properly recover from a marathon which I ran really hard- and which left me pretty much physically fatigued. I think that triggered some kind of hormonal imbalance, severe overtrain syndrom, which caused my female hormones and appetite controlling hormones to be completely out of whack, as well as my sleep pattern and then I chose to use to to try to regain my energy, as my body was utterly exhausted, while working full time, going to school, teaching at the Y, etc. Looking back, I felt out of control and yes, I am responsible for that, but again, I think this article hits home for me, when it says that these different metabolic/hormonal changes, make it a lot harder to someone to loose the weight and keep it off.
I agree with that part 100%, not because I have given up on myself, but because I have experienced it- TWICE- really badly and a few times on a much smaller scale and I wish I had never started to diet- EVER! Looking back, it was 100% the wrong choice and knowing now what I know, I would discourage most people who are not too overweight, to ever diet.
I could go on and on, but I support your thoughts 100% Susan and I refuse to live the lifestyle of that woman in that example. Yes, today I weigh 176 lbs when I really want to weigh 160, but I get compliments from people and my DH thinks I'm sexy and while I know that loosing weight would benefit me with my ailments, I also know that living a life at peace with my body is way up on my priority list and I am so much more happier now than I was when I was thin! For me, the food obsession and constant hunger/thoughts about food were not worth it- they were killing my soul! We are all different and I totally respect that woman in the article, but it's just not for me- been there, done that and I want a higher quality life even if that means being "overweight" to a certain degree. Ultimately, I think we all have to find our own level of balance with regards to # on scale and the amount of effort it takes to stay there- that's a very personal decision, which might change over time :-)
Thanks for this article- it was very reflective for me!
I say- DO YOU!!!

Comment edited on: 1/7/2012 2:47:48 PM

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DAMIENDUCKS 1/7/2012 12:03PM

    Oh, I wish I could find the study to share with you, but I read a study recently that followed a small sample of people who lost over 30 pounds and did full on blood panels and tests on a regular basis to see if body chemistry changed after losing weight (admittedly it was a very small study) but they found that your body chemistry (i.e. hormones and thus enzyme balances and everything) DOES change. So for ex, they compared a 135 lb woman who had lost weight and was maintaining and a 135 lb woman who had never lost over 30 pounds and maintained her weight naturally...both ate about the same # of calories and exercised about the same amount of time, but the woman who HAD lost weight reported being far hungrier all the time and having to consciously think about food a lot more than the woman who had never lost weight. And the blood tests they ran backed her up...she had higher levels of hunger-inducing hormones/enzymes, etc. than the woman who had never lost weight. The study had only been running for 7 years, but the researchers found that the changes persisted for at least that long (though some men started having their body chemistry match that of non-weight-losers after about 6 years of constant vigilance and maintenance).

So long story short, I agree with you. There are definitely forces beyond our control in this whole weight loss game. BUT! (And sounds like you're on the same page here, too...) But there are things that are totally in our control that we can do to keep up our health no matter what our weight is doing!

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NINJALINDA 1/7/2012 11:59AM

    I certainly agree with the main point of your blog - we have a LOT of genetic predispositions that we have absolutely no control over, and the best thing we can do is to control what we DO have control over. How much this affects weight loss or gain, or my ability to reach my 'goal weight' and stay there - who knows? But like you, I'm doing everything in my power to fight the good fight and be healthy, if nothing else!

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JOYELYSE 1/7/2012 11:56AM

    I really like this! It's spot on. Thanks for posting. I thought I'd really reset my body to the 130s until the whole back sugery debacle. I'm hoping to get back down there streadily, since I showed that I could maintain it for years. The back injury was not my fault. Neither was a lot of the lack of exercise that followed. Self medicating with mini candy bars was.

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MEADSBAY 1/7/2012 11:35AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
I'm with you!
It's not an excuse- it's an explanation.
And they did explain that it can be done (wt loss and maintenance)
but the cost is high-
as in dedicating one's life to the cause.
emoticon

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LIFESANATTITUDE 1/7/2012 11:28AM

    I haven't checked out the article YET but I've often wondered the same thing "does my body have a set-point"? I like the fault list too. I'm not willing to give up on the weight loss though...I feel so much happier at a lower weight. Have a nice day!


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FITGIRL15 1/7/2012 11:17AM

    I'm sorry this is so hard for you, Susan! I guess I'm on the OTHER side of the fence on this topic then you... but I can completely understand why someone who has this type of thing (yo-yo weight loss) happen to them, would seek out some explanation for it! I'm lucky, but perhaps it is because I've only ever dieted maybe twice in my life, and that was about 10 years apart. I think it has a lot to do with a healthy metabolism (I know you eat plenty of food even when you are dieting, but maybe there is another factor coming into play here, hormones???)

I like your list though... despite gaining weight that may be beyond your control... getting to the gym and eating right to maintain your health (not necessarily your weight) is something that you can consciously choose every day! :)


emoticon

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