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ASCHU2's Photo ASCHU2 Posts: 56
5/28/13 10:17 P

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This thread came along at the right time, as always with SP. I have received genuine and supportive compliments almost daily after 74 lbs lost, but the tone of them is starting to be,"are you going much farther...?" and "are you where you want to be...?" that I'm starting to wonder if my self-image is accurate. I feel good, I'm making gains in the gym, and I'm starting to really get a grip on my "new" body. I love the fun things I can do at bootcamp!

I don't feel crazy, obsessive, or deprived, but I definitely am consciously working on losing more weight every day, and those innocent comments make me feel like maybe I'm crossing over into unhealthy. I know I can go for more weight/lower body fat without feeling deprived, and my body has not signaled to stop yet, so why not keep going?

My sister, who has a natural sense of hunger signals (lucky), thinks I shouldn't keep tracking calories and weighing food my whole life, then I come on SP and the message is that even finding maintenance weight takes months, let alone keeping it off. Studies show that tracking is one of the secrets to long-term maintenance, but she thinks I'm going to start eating intuitively. I don't see that happening, but is that the only way to live healthy?

I'm really enjoying my new body, and I still have "baby panics" when I overeat and I'm afraid I'm going to go back to my old ways, or I have an off meal and bloat for a few days.

Thank you all for the discussions. I do have a long way to go to get used to my body and living a healthy, balanced life in this body. You all help so much!

I was 219 in August 2011. I am now 145-135 lbs and seeing if I can go any farther without feeling deprived. As of March, I went from 37% to 19% body fat, dropped from a size 18/20 to a 6/8, lost 38.25 inches all over, and love getting fired up for exercise goals!


Just keep swimming...

You only regret the workouts you didn't do.


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BELLA9999's Photo BELLA9999 SparkPoints: (2,190)
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2/26/13 10:22 A

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Thank you all so much for the wonderful advice. This has helped me move past the fraud feeling. I am settling in to my new weight and focusing on being healthy. emoticon

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; . . . who at best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” —Theodore Roosevelt


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JEP923's Photo JEP923 SparkPoints: (21,377)
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2/1/13 3:33 P

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What a great thread! I have felt the same as others here. I still get a little self-conscious when people tell me that I look thin (just happened today, actually). Like everything else, reconstructing our self-image takes time. Welcome to the team!

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WINDSURFNERD's Photo WINDSURFNERD Posts: 770
2/1/13 1:23 P

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Good analogy, NELLJONES! Thanks for reminding us that we CAN re-shape our own self-image...and already have! emoticon

A ship in the harbor is safe. But that's not what ships are built for.

- Anonymous


MJREIMERS's Photo MJREIMERS Posts: 3,644
1/31/13 8:10 P

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Congrats on your accomplishment! It takes a while to feel like YOU once you reach your goals. Give yourself time and try to continue eating healthy! Surround yourself with healthy choices so the not-so-healthy choices are less of a temptation. Protein also helps fill you up so that may be another option. Hang in there! Focus on YOU and how good you feel now. emoticon And it looks like there a lots of us here to help!

~Mako~


7 Days until:  Canal Run 10k in Hancock, MI
 
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VTRICIA's Photo VTRICIA Posts: 1,953
1/31/13 11:01 A

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I don't have much advice, just sympathy and support. We can do this! And thank you for voicing it so we have gained all these good ideas from those walking ahead of us.

5'7.5"

Losers Keepers Motivation for Maintenance:
teams.sparkpeople.com/Keepers


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NELLJONES's Photo NELLJONES SparkPoints: (203,673)
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1/31/13 10:13 A

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And remember we have been through this before. Way back (for me, WAAAAAY back) when we were pre-teens, our bodies changed into something we weren't accustomed to. We developed breasts (or some girls did), our body proportions changed. For some it was exciting but for some it was scary. The girls who developed large breasts didn't know how to handle it, didn't know how to handle the response. But we all managed to get to adulthood, we all became accustomed to our adult bodies. Growing up wasn't a choice. Losing weight IS a choice, but we still have to take the time to become accustomed to a different body, to different responses from other people. If we undergo those changes for the sole purpose of eliciting a certain response from other people, we will be sorely disappointed. If we undergo those changes for our own reasons, it will work out just fine.

Keep on keeping on, and this too will become waaaay in the past.

Nell

No one ever got up in the morning wishing she'd eaten more the night before.

Original Goal: 114. Current old lady goal: 106.


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PAM_COOPER's Photo PAM_COOPER SparkPoints: (14,405)
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1/31/13 1:06 A

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Hi, I am new to maintenance too and this was one of the things I planned from the beginning . . . at least mentally. I knew for this time (I have lost major weight more than twice . . .) to work I HAD to have a maintenance plan. Something I really didn't know about before. I can't say I didn't know about it, what I didn't know about was how to manage myself.

Give yourself space to adjust, as most everyone has said, it takes time. Think positive, see yourself as being healthy, fit and just normal--as you should. Unless, it is someone you already know, they assume you ARE that thin, healthy, fit person. Even if you are not quite 'there' yet, sometimes we have to 'fake it till we make it' which doesn't mean being a fraud, but believing you are that person in the mirror even when you don't 'feel' like that person. Then, forget the mirror, put the fears behind you, resolve to stay active and maintain and start living! Accept and respect the new healthier you!

There have been SO MANY good responses which have helped me already, so I'd like to thank everyone for helping me too.

Wiggle room on my weight! Getting consistent with exercise tipped the scales . . . in a good way~just don't think I need to lose any more--just get firm and fit!

SW: 275-276 Ht. 5'6"
GW: 135 (goal range: 130-140)
CW: 124.7
My focus is fitness!
(I'm getting there . . . )


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-AMANDA79-'s Photo -AMANDA79- Posts: 3,393
1/30/13 4:23 P

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It takes time. I still do my best to plan my meals and workouts each week. Posting on the maintainers daily check in is a great way to stay accountable as well.

~Mandy~
I'll make it to the moon, if I have to crawl.

Maintaining since August 2012

Central Time Zone


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MJZHERE Posts: 630
1/30/13 12:13 P

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It does get easier. Little past 4 months into maintenance and just blogged how I am finally feeling more comfortable. I, too, don't want food to be an issue but I see with time it is indeed becoming easier.

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LOVESTOWALK49's Photo LOVESTOWALK49 Posts: 705
1/30/13 8:43 A

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I find that I think of myself as fatter than I am. I'm shocked when people see me as tiny. Logically, I know I'm small. I've watched Biggest Loser and saw myself in the contestants. It doesn't matter that many are twice my weight. The words they say could come out of my month. The teasing, self-doubt, etc.

I have to remind myself that I'm not fat, when I start thinking I need to lose more weight. I might still be losing although slower. I keep having to adjust my maintenance weight down. I started at 130, then 128 and it's now 125. I'm still in the higher part of the normal BMI range. By BMI, I could lose twenty more pounds and still be in the healthy range. Still, by the calculations my body fat level is between 18 and 20 percent, so I shouldn't lose more weight.

It takes time to see your body as smaller. Give yourself time. Perhaps, test out this new weight before deciding to go lower.

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TINAJANE76's Photo TINAJANE76 SparkPoints: (61,645)
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1/30/13 7:50 A

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There's already so much great advice here. Like the others have said, it takes time to settle into maintenance and to understand that you really can make your lifestyle change permanent. With slightly less than a year of maintenance under my belt, I'm only just now beginning to feel like I can do this forever. Keep doing what you're doing and that feeling will come for you too!

My name's Tina. I lost more than 90 pounds between March 2010 and March 2012 and have been keeping if off ever since.

Central European Time (CET), Venice, Italy


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OOLALA53's Photo OOLALA53 Posts: 8,304
1/29/13 11:23 P

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Why should you feel natural at your new weight? You haven't actually lived the life of that body for long enough. That's fine, right? You knew it had to be for the long run.

It actually takes 2-5 years of the new eating habits before your chances of returning to old habits drops below 25% (so take the advice of those with less time on their plan with a grain of salt). Don't let that scare you too much- it's better to be forewarned so you're not expecting to have it all get completely easy and wondering why you actually still have to be conscious of your choices. I think one of the reasons people feel that maintenance is so hard is that they expect it to be routine too fast.

For myself, what greatly reduced the binging was eating very good meals, including portions of favorite foods, and reminding myself I had and would again when those urges came. What makes maintenance relatively easy is that I have never adopted any habit that would be only temporary, so only the minimum habit changes. Keep up your minimum rigidly. Then and only then, if you want to up your efforts, do so. Be gradual and consistent. And be hopeful that you are going to beat the odds.

*"The goal of weight loss is incompatible with recovering from disordered eating." Center for Clinical Interventions
*The No S Diet saved my emotional life! Four years and counting. nosdiet.com/ *Be happy with this moment. This moment is your life.
*Get to the next meal hungry!
www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/groups_i
ndividual.asp


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FISHPOND7's Photo FISHPOND7 Posts: 1,191
1/29/13 3:22 P

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Bella, Sorry to hear that you've been so sick. And welcome to At Goal & Maintaining. You've come to a good place. One of the earlier posts mentioned changing your focus, and that is good advice. If it's not just all about the weight and looking "hot" but changes to being all about your health, your fitness, and increasing your abilities (in sports, for example) then perhaps that "feeling like a fraud" feeling won't be so overwhelming. When you think about it, it really SHOULD be all about being healthy and being fit. The weight will then naturally take care of itself. Perhaps you could set a goal for yourself in an area other than weight and inches. For example, by July 1 you could run a 5K or 10K. Or learn a new sport (rowing?? kayaking??). Plan to hike a strenuous trail or reach the top of a mountain in your part of the country. Doing what it takes to reach those goals will help to take your focus off the pounds and put it on getting as fit as you can to accomplish the challenges you've set, and that will put you head and shoulders above most of your peers. Now THAT's something that you won't ever feel like a fraud about. Yay! And good luck.

~ Beth~

You can exercise until the cows come home, but unless you also eat right you'll still be a cow coming home.

"Right is right, even if everyone is against it, and wrong is wrong, even if everyone is for it.” William Penn, circa 1686


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CATMAGNET's Photo CATMAGNET SparkPoints: (38,918)
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1/29/13 12:50 P

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I completely understand, because although I did lose the weight while healthy (I'm so sorry that you were sick with pneumonia! Sounds dreadful!), I still don't feel like my new body is completely real either, and I've been bingeing a lot this month myself. Fortunately, I've been VERY lucky and there hasn't been a lot of weight gain from it, because of all the exercise I do, but it's not a healthy way to go through life.

I also don't think that you're a fraud because of the way you lost the weight. You lost it, that's a fact. Now it's time to maintain that loss! :)

Another thing: I wouldn't put too much stock in the whole BMI thing, since BMI doesn't take into consideration what your body composition is. What is your fat percentage in relation to lean tissue? That may be something to focus on more in order to make sure that you stay healthy than the height/weight thing.

What I'm doing is heading back to therapy to learn better coping mechanisms than the "escape items" (food, work, SparkPeople message boards, exercise, booze, etc.) and to get a better grip on my body image, especially in the light of the loose skin, stretch marks and areas of my body that are now mishapen because of my 130+ pound weight loss.

Is there an Employee Assistance Program at your work? That is how I'm getting back into therapy is through the program through my employer. It's free for me, and I can have as many visits as it takes to get a handle on the specific issues that I have. If it was more of a mood disorder situation, I would have to use my regular mental health benefits, but that isn't the case here...and it doesn't sound like it's the case for you either.

I wish you the absolute best. It's not an easy war to win, but we will be successful! emoticon

Jane

Camp Good Grief 5k 2012 - 31:50
Gobble Wobble 5k 2012 - 30:00
Turkey Trot 4 Mile Race 2012 - 38:38
Ugly Sweater 5k Fun Run 2012 - 27:19
Move-It Memphis 10K 2013 - 55:36
Germantown Half Marathon - 2:08:53
FedEx St. Jude Classic Fairway 5k - 4/13/2013
Pittsburgh Half-Marathon - 5/5/2013


HOUNDLOVER1's Photo HOUNDLOVER1 Posts: 7,910
1/29/13 11:58 A

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Congrats on reaching your goal. There are two things I would highly recommend as they worked great for me. The one is to lower carbs and eat a lot of healthy fats, incl. saturated fat because this will make you full and you'll probably lose a little more weight as well. The other is to worry less about your weight and more about your bodyfat to lean muscle ratio. If you exercise a fair amount you can change your shape in a very positive way without changing your weight. Being strong and lean vs. weak and lean makes a ton of difference for your self-esteem and your ability to enjoy life. I can speak from experience as I had been normal weight for many years but had lower than average muscle and higher than average bodyfat for my size. emoticon
Birgit

You can talk to God all you want and that's great, but the changes happen when you start listening to him.

BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN OTHERS.




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ONEKIDSMOM's Photo ONEKIDSMOM Posts: 6,912
1/29/13 11:47 A
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First of all, congratulations on reaching the maintenance phase! It truly is a different kind of challenge than the losing phase.

I can't remember where I first read that it takes about a year for each 25 pounds lost to adjust to your new body size. When I hit my first goal, or was coming close, I joined this team. After some consideration I decided that I liked the level of eating / activity I was at, and decided to let my body decide its own natural weight. It surprised me by dropping another 20 pounds or so over the following six months.

The moral of the story is be patient with yourself. It's hard NOT to feel like a fraud when you still see yourself as your starting weight... OR when you know your current behaviors will lead back to gains. After your illness your body probably WANTS to put a few pounds back on to make up for the rapid loss... poor body doesn't know the difference between illness / famine and extreme diet.

So, deep breath... focus on behavior and let the scale do what it's going to do. Get back to your tracking, and feel confident in your range and you won't feel like such a fraud. Look at yourself in the mirror, and love what you see. Begin to accept that when someone calls you "thin", "small", or "tiny" they mean well... and begin to accept that they *might* just be right... perhaps after all those years, you're finding your true frame size as you shed the "armor" you wore for so long.

It's OK. In my third year of maintenance I still have panic moments when I lose my behavior for a few days... because I know how fast I am capable of regaining. But... my closet is full of small clothing now... and it really *is* my body size. And I'm now all right staying here.

emoticon emoticon

- Barb

Defeat is temporary: giving up makes it permanent! Never give up!

Max lifetime weight 224.5

Maintaining with 122 marked as "goal" since October 2010


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LIVIN2LOVE1's Photo LIVIN2LOVE1 Posts: 391
1/29/13 11:03 A

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I had trouble too. You're not alone. In the middle of my journey I loved the compliments. Towards the end, nearing goal, the compliments made me uncomfortable. I felt like I was drawing too much attention. Once I switched to maintenance, my focus became more on becoming stronger, faster, and trying even more new foods and recipes. At that time I readjusted my goal weight from 135 to 125 and I am 5'5".

I'm also an emotional eater. I think it will take me a lifetime to find more constructive ways of dealing with my emotions. There just doesn't seem to be a one size fits all (other than food) for dealing with my emotions. Food always soothes. I am constructing a list of other options than food. I'm a fast learner and I bore easily so the list must be long. Like I said... this may take a lifetime.

Kim


Great men are said to have four things in common: they speak softly, have a capacity for hard work, a deep conviction for their cause, and a consuming belief in their ability to do it.
John D. Hess, Writer

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TANYA602's Photo TANYA602 Posts: 990
1/29/13 10:41 A

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Congratulations on reaching your goal! I know that for me, once I reached my first goal, I readjusted my thinking about fitness and nutrition and decided I was ready to go for another 20 lbs. Once I lost the first few under that new goal, I felt motivated all over again. I've since readjusted the goal again, as my body is telling me it likes the weight I am, while I can still tone and work towards maintenance.
I hope you are clear of the pneumonia, and I feel strongly that you will work thru the food issues. Is your BMI in the "healthy" range? Maybe, with the weight you are now, you might want to pretend you are starting over at SP. Create a new vision collage? Reset the articles so that you can read them and earn points again, and focus on articles in the nutrition and maintenance section? And wear your new weight with pride
emoticon

Tanya
San Diego, CA

"Somebody said they saw me, swinging the world by the tail
Bouncing over a white cloud, killing the blues."
Robert Plant/Allison Krauss


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NELLJONES's Photo NELLJONES SparkPoints: (203,673)
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1/29/13 10:40 A

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There is no magic in reaching goal. We tend to freight anything we badly want with attributes it cannot have. Goal weight doesn't mean absolute happiness and freedom from care. It doesn't mean fame or riches or whatever we dreamed. I thought that when I reached goal I'd be one of the "cool kids", but I was out of school, married and with a baby, so "cool kid" didn't make sense. Which doesn't mean I didn't want it. I went through the "it's too late how could I have missed it??" syndrome. But staying at goal one day at a time, life went on to other joys and sorrows. None of which had anything to do with my weight, but I was so used to blaming my weight for everything that it took awhile to separate weight from the rest of my life. Just as getting your college degree, which took a lot of work, doesn't guarantee the job you want right away, what happens next after hitting goal requires other goals. It will all work out. I've been there.

Nell

No one ever got up in the morning wishing she'd eaten more the night before.

Original Goal: 114. Current old lady goal: 106.


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BELLA9999's Photo BELLA9999 SparkPoints: (2,190)
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1/29/13 10:24 A

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Hi everybody. I just reached my goal of 140 lbs (5'4), although I feel I want to change it to 130, my doctor told me I still need to get my BMI better.
I've been getting so much attention and positive compliments, which is great, but I lost the last 15 lbs in Nov. and Dec. when I was sick with pneumonia. I still feel like a fat person, and the new body is a fraud. I've been overeating lately with this stress. I feel like I still have issues and can't control my eating at times. I really would love to go through life feeling easy with this whole thing and having food not be such an issue in my life.

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; . . . who at best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” —Theodore Roosevelt


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