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HAWKMOON269's Photo HAWKMOON269 Posts: 48
2/2/09 4:58 P

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Thanks everyone for your replies and your thoughts, it's a personal relationship for everyone but it's helpful to hear how other people relate to food post weight loss!! I think a huge part for is learning to trust myself again.

I do think that food should be a source of pleasure -- when I was obese I wasn't eating food because it was pleasurable but I realise now because of either boredom or emotional problems. Also an unhealthy relationship to food but in a different way.

All-time high weight: 260 lbs (April 2006)
SW at Spark: 225 lbs (May 20 2008)
Goal weight: 160-170 lbs, reached December 2008

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SHRLZI's Photo SHRLZI Posts: 4,088
2/1/09 7:51 P

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Individual differences may enter in here as well... I have read reports of research that shows different densities of taste buds on different people's tongues... people who become professional chefs, wine-tasters, etc. actually have more taste buds than the rest of us!

...there is a place in you where you have never been wounded, where there's still a sureness in you, where there's a seamlessness in you, and where there is a confidence and tranquility in you. ~John O'Donohue
being.publicradio.org/programs/2010/
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LEELYNN2's Photo LEELYNN2 SparkPoints: (43,883)
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2/1/09 2:48 P

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I'm with PHOSPHORUS on this one... I think it's evolutionary memory Food = safety = cooperation = belonging = happiness. It's been a matter of life and death to us for so long that I don't see the connection fading away after two generations of plenty. And I don't think it would be safe for it to fade away because I'm not so sure it won't be an issue again shortly.

I don't know of very many families that food isn't a vital part of the bonding and ethnic pride. maybe pride isn't the right word...

I'm glad to be in maintenance and be able to just be careful most of the time and allow for those Family and friend food moments.

"Motivation is not something you find or lose, have or don't have. It is the product of how you see yourself in the world: active or passive, effective or ineffective, powerful or victimized, normal or pathological."
Coach Dean

"I hold this jagged stone in my chest of keepsakes" AUNTMOUSE


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PHOSPHORUS's Photo PHOSPHORUS Posts: 124
2/1/09 11:38 A

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It may just be an agree to disagree thing then :)

I love food, and I love eating out and celebrating with food, and I also love to cook and to make really good food. I can remember what I had to eat on special occasions for years.

e.g. On my tenth anniversary we went out with the kids, and I had marinated beet salad, a second mixed greens salad with duck foie gras crostini, and an appetizer-sized portion of crab cakes. Plus we started the meal with a bottle of Prosecco (italian bubbly) and I ended it with double espresso, although my husband and kids split the flourless chocolate torte and the ice cream, I decided I'd had enough.

I think I'll remember that meal for a long time. And I won't apologize for it :-) It was very satisfying especially since it was part of my successful weight loss; I didn't overstuff myself and remembered not to order dessert since I'd indulged somewhat in the main parts of the meal.

Being okay with being hungry since 5/13/08.

5/13/08: 148, BMI 30
11/16/08: 108, BMI 22

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NANCYJAC's Photo NANCYJAC Posts: 11,488
2/1/09 11:36 A

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One thrives with a healthy body and mind. Food provides fuel for both. One also thrives on human interaction. Requiring food in order to have or enjoy human interaction is surviving, not thriving.

Motivation without information is useless.

Willpower is nothing more than wishful thinking.

Discipline is practicing something until it becomes a habit.

There is a big difference between surviving and thriving.

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NANCYJAC's Photo NANCYJAC Posts: 11,488
2/1/09 11:26 A

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I'm certainly not challenging anyones religious beliefs. There are many religious beliefs that have developed around fasting or avoidance of certain foods as symbolic gestures. The only point that I was trying to make is that being able to enjoy celebrations and fellowship without depending on food to create that enjoyment is very liberating. When I remember special occasions, I remember who I spent them with, what we did, what was said, etc. I don't have a clue what or if we ate.

Motivation without information is useless.

Willpower is nothing more than wishful thinking.

Discipline is practicing something until it becomes a habit.

There is a big difference between surviving and thriving.

Tutling Our Way to Success http://teams.sparkpeople.com/turtling
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PHOSPHORUS's Photo PHOSPHORUS Posts: 124
2/1/09 11:16 A

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I was reflecting on the bit in the signature above:

"There is a big difference between surviving and thriving."

If food is only a fuel, we're surviving on it. If we can (without making our bodies unhealthy) use it to feed not just our bodies but our whole selves, then we can thrive on it.

Just a thought.

Being okay with being hungry since 5/13/08.

5/13/08: 148, BMI 30
11/16/08: 108, BMI 22

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LADY_DONKEY's Photo LADY_DONKEY SparkPoints: (63,429)
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2/1/09 11:04 A

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That's very interesting. Would a Thanksgiving get-together be any less special if I served sandwiches instead of a roast?

When someone comes over, why do we offer them something to eat and/or drink? For fuel? Or for other reasons?

I'm not sure food is just fuel. Why do I want hot soup on a cold night after a busy day? Why do I want hot oatmeal in the winter when cold cereal would suffice?

So I think to some degree, yes, we do seek comfort in food.

Lady Donkey (you can call me LD) is 5'3"

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Success is the best revenge. --- Lady Donkey

Unhappy women do dangerous things. --- Desperate Housewives


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PHOSPHORUS's Photo PHOSPHORUS Posts: 124
2/1/09 10:44 A

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OK, well, maybe it's about religious differences too.

I'm a Catholic Christian. You may or may not know this, but bread and wine is part of our worship in a very specific and concrete way, and we believe that God gave that gift to us, and that He knew what he was doing when He gave us Himself ... in a form we can eat.

So as for me, I believe that food is, sometimes, identical with Love.

Of course, I'm aware that not everyone shares that belief, and I aim to hold all people in respect. But I believe it to be true, and that may explain why I cannot help but affirm that food was meant to be about fellowship, love, and hospitality.


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5/13/08: 148, BMI 30
11/16/08: 108, BMI 22

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NANCYJAC's Photo NANCYJAC Posts: 11,488
2/1/09 10:21 A

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I respectfully disagree. Mankind made fellowship, love, and hospitality about food, not God. There is certainly nothing wrong with eating during the course of these things, but it is not the food that makes it fellowship, love, or hospitality. And as I said, there is nothing wrong with enjoying what your eat. But depending on food to be able to create and enjoy fellowship, love, or hospitality is really just a bad habit.

Motivation without information is useless.

Willpower is nothing more than wishful thinking.

Discipline is practicing something until it becomes a habit.

There is a big difference between surviving and thriving.

Tutling Our Way to Success http://teams.sparkpeople.com/turtling
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PHOSPHORUS's Photo PHOSPHORUS Posts: 124
2/1/09 10:08 A

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Yeah, maybe it is a semantics difference.

I suppose I should also acknowledge that it could depend on the individual and on the nature of their (pre-weight-loss) food addiction. Maybe some people will never be able to enjoy food as more than a source of fuel without treading into dangerous emotional territory.

Still, I believe the good Lord made food not just for fuel, but for fellowship, celebration, for showing love and hospitality to each other, even as a form of art and as a form of worship. Some people might not be able to enjoy it in all those ways, because of an underlying disorder, but normal human behavior (what we should aspire to be healed enough to partake in) enjoys food in all those ways, and it's not a bad thing, it's a good thing.


Being okay with being hungry since 5/13/08.

5/13/08: 148, BMI 30
11/16/08: 108, BMI 22

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NANCYJAC's Photo NANCYJAC Posts: 11,488
1/31/09 11:46 P

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Maybe it is a difference in semantics. One of the great enlightenments in my life was viewing food as fuel....nothing more and nothing less. That doesn't mean I don't enjoy my food...I certainly do...the two aren't mutually exclusive. But I don't seek pleasure from food. Enjoyment is finding the best any given moment has to offer, whether it is food related or not. Pleasure on the other hand is sought after, from people, success, sex. It is what you look for when you want to feel good. And the better it makes you feel, the more of it you want. Since we need to eat for fuel, we should eat what we enjoy but not seek it out as a source for pleasure in an of itself.

Motivation without information is useless.

Willpower is nothing more than wishful thinking.

Discipline is practicing something until it becomes a habit.

There is a big difference between surviving and thriving.

Tutling Our Way to Success http://teams.sparkpeople.com/turtling
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PHOSPHORUS's Photo PHOSPHORUS Posts: 124
1/31/09 11:20 P

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But food *is* a source of pleasure. I think learning to take pleasure in it without going overboard and gaining weight again is key to having a healthy relationship with food. Being afraid to take pleasure in eating isn't any healthier than it would be to eat for nothing *but* pleasure.

Being okay with being hungry since 5/13/08.

5/13/08: 148, BMI 30
11/16/08: 108, BMI 22

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NANCYJAC's Photo NANCYJAC Posts: 11,488
1/31/09 10:17 P

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It also seems that part of the issue is mindset. Food as a source of pleasure is what gets a lot of people in trouble in the first place. Why would you want to go back to that habit?

Perhaps you see it as an obsession because your preoccupation with calorie counting is an external rather than internal process. If it feels like a lot of work and effort to you, then it hasn't become habbit. It should require not more effort or focus than brushing your teeth.

Edited by: NANCYJAC at: 1/31/2009 (22:20)
Motivation without information is useless.

Willpower is nothing more than wishful thinking.

Discipline is practicing something until it becomes a habit.

There is a big difference between surviving and thriving.

Tutling Our Way to Success http://teams.sparkpeople.com/turtling
30 Minute Fitness http://teams.sparkpeople.com/30minutefit




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NANCYJAC's Photo NANCYJAC Posts: 11,488
1/31/09 10:15 P

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I don't think this is a new problem you have developed. If you didn't have a heathy relationship with food while you were losing weight, that is where the problem began. The idea is to establish healthy habits in order to lose weight (among other things), habits that you don't adopt temporarily just until you have lost weight. From what you said, it seems you didn't do that, and so need to do that now. The process is the same even if the goals are different. Take it one thing at a time, and practice the habit until it becomes second nature and a habit that you can easily sustain.

Motivation without information is useless.

Willpower is nothing more than wishful thinking.

Discipline is practicing something until it becomes a habit.

There is a big difference between surviving and thriving.

Tutling Our Way to Success http://teams.sparkpeople.com/turtling
30 Minute Fitness http://teams.sparkpeople.com/30minutefit




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PHOSPHORUS's Photo PHOSPHORUS Posts: 124
1/26/09 9:17 P

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Has someone recently TOLD you you are being obsessive?

I think giving up the weight loss habits too soon is the reason so many people regain their lost weight... they think "I'm done, I can stop dieting/exercising/planning/whatever" and before you know it the scale starts creeping up again.

I think it's perfectly fine to keep planning and being careful. Just remember that you're not planning to lose anymore -- you are planning to stay the same. If anything you will be better off if you plan and measure for a while, because you will learn how many calories you need to maintain your weight, and you can plan to cut back if your weight starts to creep up and increase calories if your weight starts to creep down. Me, I wish I had the discipline to keep counting and planning a little longer! I'd rather be proactive than reactive.

If you are hoping to return to enjoying your food as a pleasure (as well as tracking it!) maybe you need to read some foodie books, books that celebrate the joys of good eating. Real Food by Nina Planck comes to mind, and Why French Women Don't Get Fat, and Michael Pollan's In Defense of Food. Plus any number of great cookbooks! Take a cooking class! Subscribe to a great magazine about food and wine! Have fun with it!

Being okay with being hungry since 5/13/08.

5/13/08: 148, BMI 30
11/16/08: 108, BMI 22

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WINDSURFNERD's Photo WINDSURFNERD Posts: 770
1/25/09 1:29 P

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I've read lots of good advice here. I also obsessed for several months after hitting goal...I think it's natural to worry about regaining.

Try thinking of food as fuel for your healthy body, neither pleasure nor punishment. When I crave, I ask myself what's really behind that...as a confirmed sweet-tooth there's usually a ready answer!

Good luck to you on your ongoing journey!

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

- Anonymous


LISANELSONRD's Photo LISANELSONRD Posts: 76
1/25/09 11:55 A

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Hi Hawkmoon269,

Congratulations on reaching a healthy weight! That is great! Here's one tip to re-establish a healthy relationship with food. . .it's not impossible!

First, I think planning ahead is smart. If you find yourself constantly counting calories (and even writing them down) wean yourself away from this by planning meals for the week ahead of time. This way you cut back to one day a week focusing on the calories and servings and then throughout the week you don't have to worry about it - you know you are within your calorie range because you planned ahead. Hopefully, after several weeks of this you won't spend everyday worrying about the calories.

All the best,
Lisa

Edited by: LISANELSONRD at: 1/25/2009 (11:57)
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FOLEYARTIST1's Photo FOLEYARTIST1 SparkPoints: (0)
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1/25/09 9:36 A

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HAWKMOON269, I know what you mean about obsessing and feeling it's unhealthy. There definitely IS a line between ace planner and joyless obsessive. Like others have said, we're all different--and to me that means the line is in a different place for everyone. What would be normal and feel okay for some people is obsessive and feels upsetting for others, and vice versa. What I would say is, if you feel like things are wrong right now, respect that feeling. Don't go cold turkey from tracking, because you're new to maintenance and you don't want to go out of control. But back off or change direction a little if you need to.

How about this? Set a 5-lb maintenance range if you haven't already. Then, for a week try tracking just water and fruit/veggie servings. Be good and really get all those veggies in, whether the number you're looking for is 5 or 7 or 9 or whatever. Then check your weight and see where you are in the 5-lb range. And check your mood and see how you feel, whether you've used it as a carte-blanche to splurge all the time, etc. If you're still in the range and you feel better about your eating, and you're not splurging too much, then hurry! If it works, then maybe for you, you don't need to track your calories unless you find yourself above or below the range--and then you can get right back on the horse and start tracking every bite until you're back on track.

Also, something that has been a problem for me is realizing that sometimes it's not that I have an unhealthy attitude--it's that friends and family have an unhealthy attitude about my eating, and it's bringing me down. So I think we have to be mindful of to what degree we're the problem, and to what degree others are the problem.

I think most people on this board will attest that the first six months of maintenance are an exercise in experimentation. All of us get into our groove a little differently. Good luck--and check in with us and tell us how you are doing!

Pre-South Beach Weight (August 2006): 160-165
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FRAN3ORD's Photo FRAN3ORD Posts: 958
1/25/09 7:15 A

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I'm almost at a healthy weight. My goal right now is to eat healthy foods, which was pretty hard due to personal circumstances. I more or less stayed on track and didn't count many calories. 1st I was under stress, which was bad for me and it's a wonder I didn't gain weight. But now I'm very relaxed and dropped 8 lbs. I'm on my own now, and I find it's hard to eat healthy...my main goal. I had been gone from this site for some time, but I knew I could find the key to good nutrition here.

Belle- 5ft 3 in.

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LEELYNN2's Photo LEELYNN2 SparkPoints: (43,883)
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1/23/09 8:10 P

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my thoughts are that since everyone is different, we will all have slightly healthy relationships... The longer I maintain the habits of regular exercise, minimum of 5 fruits and vegies a day, min 8 glasses of water a day, the more trust I have in myself and the less I worry about it.

I think that trusting yourself is a huge part of it...

I trust that I will pay attention and if the scale goes a little higher than I want, I have the skills to bring it back down... I trust that I have the strength of character to maintain those 3 crucial habits.

Time builds trust.

"Motivation is not something you find or lose, have or don't have. It is the product of how you see yourself in the world: active or passive, effective or ineffective, powerful or victimized, normal or pathological."
Coach Dean

"I hold this jagged stone in my chest of keepsakes" AUNTMOUSE


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SHRLZI's Photo SHRLZI Posts: 4,088
1/22/09 5:48 P

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Hawkmoon,
First of all, emoticon kudos to you for reaching your goal!!

Like the other posters, I think it's good and necessary to plan what you eat. I met my goal, stopped tracking, and gained weight. I went from, and occasional cookie is ok, to ice cream is ok, to pastries are ok, to it's ok to eat just any restaurant meal... not just occasionally but a couple times a week... with a result I didn't like. I've been trying to find a balance, too. I liked what one poster said about the difference between planning and obsessing. Planning meals is just a fact of life, like brushing your teeth.


emoticon

...there is a place in you where you have never been wounded, where there's still a sureness in you, where there's a seamlessness in you, and where there is a confidence and tranquility in you. ~John O'Donohue
being.publicradio.org/programs/2010/
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TRYINGHARD1948's Photo TRYINGHARD1948 Posts: 19,906
1/22/09 3:29 P

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I'm with most people in feeling that to have a healthy relationship with food we do need to know what is in the food we are eating. I have a fairly basic menu each week so I now have a pretty good idea of what the calories for the day are but I still fill My Nutrition page. If there are new additions to the menu or if I am going out to eat I do make sure that I have an idea of what is going to be available. Try to relax a little and know that we all feel very vulnerable as we enter this new stage on our journey. I have only been at goal for about seven months and am still fearful that I will gain again.

Sandy



"Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself. Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections but instantly set about remedying them -- every day begin the task anew."
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SARAH_VW's Photo SARAH_VW Posts: 7,111
1/22/09 2:35 P

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I don't think there will ever be a time in my life where I am no longer counting calories, planning meals and feeling guilty about splurges. That's just what it will take to maintain my weight. Maybe that's not to best approach, but it's definitely a healthier relationship with food than I used to have, when I was stuffing my face with whatever I pleased. A lot of people in my life do think I'm obsessive about food because they see me measuring out my cereal, reading nutrition labels before deciding whether to eat that cookie I've been offered, etc, but at the same time watching these people eat half the box of cookies isn't healthy either so it's all relative. Maybe someday I'll be in tune with my body enough to know whether I've eaten the right amount of food, but for now I'm okay with where I'm at.

If your system works for you and you're within a healthy weight range, and not trying to achieve or maintain an unrealistic weight, I wouldn't worry about it being unhealthy.


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MSDIANE's Photo MSDIANE Posts: 3,469
1/22/09 1:26 P

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I have been on maintainence for a few years. For me to keep the weight off I need to plan and be responsible. I don't think that is unhealthy just reality. There are people that don't enjoy food as much. My son and husband will for get to eat and when they eat they get full right away. I don't. When I don't plan I gain...it's that simple. It's a matter of knowing yourself and your patterns.
It may help if you have some go to foods. I always keep beans, eggbeaters, ww yogurt, fruit, and veggies on hand. Good luck.

Our Greatest National Resource is the Minds of our Children... Watler Elias Disney


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HELIEPOO's Photo HELIEPOO Posts: 26
1/22/09 12:20 P

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I had only reached my goal last month, I obsessed about food to the point I lost control and gained, which was exactly what I didn't want. I spoke to some nurses and my family doctor about what is a healthy relationship with food. They all suggested that planning meals in advance is healthy, in fact many people without weight issues do so to make one grocery trip. They also suggested the daily journal of tracking until you feel comfortable, which could take months or years and not beating yourself up if you miss a day.

I took away is obsessing about every bite isn't good, you get into the cycle of guilty eating and eventually gain. That it is ok to plan a menu and keep a journal of food, exercise and how you feel. That I need to allow myself to still take pleasure from food and a meal that tastes great, and in order to do so plan in advance of what I would do to counteract the extras. I think there is a difference between being aware of it and obsessing.. it's just a really fine line.

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1/22/09 12:15 P

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That's a real balancing act. I didn't really go without anything when I was losing weight. I just figured it into my day. And when I ate something unplanned I would find out it didn't always ruin my day as much as I thought. So, I don't really worry about the calories, but I'm still conscious about them. At Christmas I tried not tracking and just eating according to a plan. It worked pretty well, but I needed to get back to tracking. I think in the end its finding what works for you. Just remember its going to take time.
Cindi

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1/22/09 11:59 A

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I think I've resolved to the fact that if I want to maintain this "lower" weight, that I will be resigned to measuring out my food for the rest of my life.

Maybe I'll get to the point of where I can "just tell", but the times that I've tried to go by instinct and "gut feeling", I overeat and gain weight (outside of my maintenance range). I don't know what "full" feels like any more unless it's the result of a binge. I seldom feel true hunger any more unless I've skipped a few meals.

So I plan, I measure, I exercise, I eat. Is it healthy? I don't know. But I'm happy and by measurable parameters I'm healthy (weight, BMI, b.p., etc.), so I guess it's working.
emoticon

Lady Donkey (you can call me LD) is 5'3"

Hope is not a plan. --- Oprah Winfrey

What people say about you is more a reflection of what is in their hearts than what is in yours. --- Lady Donkey

Success is the best revenge. --- Lady Donkey

Unhappy women do dangerous things. --- Desperate Housewives


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TERRIEJO53's Photo TERRIEJO53 SparkPoints: (64,780)
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1/22/09 11:57 A

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I think I have a healthy relationship with food. I don't think planning out my meals for the day the night before is obsessive. I plan so I don't have to spend the day doing mental calculations of how many calories I'm eating ... I already know. I also go on line to check out the restaurant's menu and nutritional information before we go out. It gives me the chance to make up my mind about what I'm going to eat before I get there and see something carried out of the kitchen that would be a totally unhealthy choice for me. If we go to a friend's house for dinner I estimate my calories, and log my food when I get home. If I go over my calorie range I go over my calorie range. It's just one day over after many, many days right on target. I don't really give it a second thought, I just wanted to know how I did. That's why I'll continue to use the nutrition tracker ... I like to know how I'm doing so I can head off trouble before it turns into a trend and then pounds.

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MICHINMEDIA's Photo MICHINMEDIA SparkPoints: (30,697)
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1/22/09 11:57 A

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counting your calories is smart and healthy. Your doing the right things for you. Give yourself a break from the mental smack down.

http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/calori
e_calculation101.asp
THEGARDENCHICK's Photo THEGARDENCHICK Posts: 6,203
1/22/09 11:52 A

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I still do that to a point after 2 years in maintenance. One thing I found to help was to follow a healthy routine all week with all 3 meals being prepared by me. I bring lunch and make our dinners. But Friday is date night. Has been for 10 years. And it is my night off. I do go over, some days I stress, but mostly I have gotten to a point where it use it as a tool. Knowing that I have date night makes me rethink a bad lunch or a tempting night out during the week. I would rather spend the calories having a good time with my husband and cousins who go with us. Now the 2/3 pound burger and fries last week was a bit over the top. But it was good and nothing an extra day of cardio won't solve.

Don't set your limits until you have tested them...

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HAWKMOON269's Photo HAWKMOON269 Posts: 48
1/22/09 11:30 A

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By healthy I mean that I would rather not be obsessed with calories and be constantly making mental calculations and constantly thinking about how I will control my calories. Of course it's good to be aware of what you're eating, but at the same time, it's driving me crazy to constantly be thinking of food as something containing x number of calories as opposed to something that food is delicious and a source of pleasure, or something that's good for you!!

All-time high weight: 260 lbs (April 2006)
SW at Spark: 225 lbs (May 20 2008)
Goal weight: 160-170 lbs, reached December 2008

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CINDILP's Photo CINDILP SparkPoints: (80,184)
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1/22/09 11:13 A

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I guess I'm wondering what you mean by a healthy relationship with food. I plan my food and consider that a healthy relationship. For me a unhealthy relationship with food is what put the weight on in the first place. So, the healthy habits I learned as I lost weight is a good thing that I don't want to stop.
Cindi

Edited by: CINDILP at: 1/22/2009 (11:16)
Cindiļ

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RAYNNE413's Photo RAYNNE413 Posts: 462
1/22/09 10:38 A

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To be honest, I've lost hope of ever reaching that point. I don't see myself ever having a "normal" relationship with food because I'm so scared of regaining my weight. I do the same thing. I can't even go out to eat with friends without looking at the calories beforehand and spending the entire time trying to figure out how many calories I'm eating.

All that we see and seem is but a dream within a dream.

- Edgar Allan Poe


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HAWKMOON269's Photo HAWKMOON269 Posts: 48
1/22/09 10:35 A

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Hi all,

After having been obese since childhood, I weighed in at a healthy weight about a month ago, but have found that I'm having a really hard time re-establishing a healthy relationship with food. It's not that I think that food is the enemy, I just find myself kind of obsessed with it, constantly planning what I'm going to eat etc etc, and feeling guilty! This is probably a hangover from my weight loss journey, as well as years of overeating, but I know that this obsessiveness isn't a healthy attitude towards food!

I'm trying to think of food as something that is pleasurable, as well as eating right as something that fuels my body. Does anyone have any tips on how to re-establish a healthy relationship to food now that you're at a healthy weight?

All-time high weight: 260 lbs (April 2006)
SW at Spark: 225 lbs (May 20 2008)
Goal weight: 160-170 lbs, reached December 2008

Ticker shows maintenance range


 current weight: 156.0 
 
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