Weight Busters: Take the First Step of a Thousand Miles

By , SparkPeople Blogger
I was overwhelmed by the comments on the But What if I Can't Lose Weight blog. So many of them expressed many of the same feelings I have had over the years. While having hundreds of people that feel the same way and share the same frustrations can provide reassurances and support, it doesn't provide answers, which is what many of us really want.

Last week I was reading an interesting article entitled, Wanted: The Best Diabetes Diet for Optimal Outcomes from Today's Dietitian online. The author reviewed the research related to various dietary practices manipulating macronutrients in order to achieve optimal outcomes for glucose control, weight management and lipid profiles. The title caught my attention and I read with excitement to find "the" answer that could help those with diabetes as well as many others like myself that have glucose intolerance concerns. What did I find?

After reviewing recommendations of the American Diabetes Association and various diet protocols that included various macronutrient regimens from high fiber vegetarian eating, to higher fat MUFA (monounsaturated fatty acids) diets , the author ended with a very bleak conclusion. The bottom line was what many of us already know, "a number of healthy diet patterns may be effective for maintaining good glycemic control" and "no one can truly say which diet is best." Ok, not what I was hoping to read but it did make me think. Many of us are looking and praying for someone to tell us THE answer. To tell us the right diet regimen, correct macronutrient combination and exercise routine that will move us from frustration to success. We try different things that work for other people or that are "suppose" to work and when it doesn't work for us, we quickly move on to something else in hopes that the next thing will. It made me wonder if we are the people that keep all the fad diet companies in business. We are tired of working hard and eating right to see little benefit so we seek something, anything that will provide us with the success others have found. We have become like hamsters in the wheel, running, running, running but going nowhere.

Well, there is good news. Living a healthy lifestyle is more than a number on a scale or a body fat percentage and we are much more than a number. There is no perfect diet, secret pill, supplement, routine or regimen. Yes, I know that sounds negative and disappointing but the sooner we stop looking and expecting there to be a "best diet for optimal outcome", the sooner we will learn to listen to our bodies and find what individually works for us. As the old Chinese Proverb so eloquently points out, a journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step and for us nothing is instant. It will take time, patience and persistence to make our journey and there is much to learn about ourselves along the way.

What is one lesson you have already learned about yourself as a result of having difficulty reaching your weight goals?

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What is one lesson you have already learned about yourself as a result of having difficulty reaching your weight goals?
...I've learned that I'm a failure in all aspects of life... Report
I have learned I need to exercise regularly and eat healthy. PERIOD. There are no shortcuts or miracles. Take one day at a time and keep moving forward. Report
I lost 130 lbs when I was young. I kept it off for 7 years - enough time to marry and have a baby! With the baby I put it almost all on again and as the years flew by I added more. I, luckily was never bothered by my weight (emotionally), but now , at 55, the aches, energy loss and decreased stamina make me feel old. I have begun to change that with the help of God and SPARKPEOPLE. I am learning what works for me, which is higher protein, lower carbs and smaller, more frequent meals each day, as well as keeping myself hydrated. SP helps me keep track, and after only 12 lbs, already feel my energy returning. AND my daily aches and pains have subsided !
We need to tune into ourselves to know what our bodies NEED and what works for our bodies and our lifestyle. We all must accept a LIFE CHANGE - FAD DIETS do not work. Healthy eating - that is what works!
Good Luck to all on your journey. Report
Thanks for the reminder that I'm more than just a number on the scale (or my BMI - or any other number). I'm trying really hard to measure success with things other than numbers. Report
Thanks, Tanya, for the Weight Busters Club articles. I will be reading them with much interest.
Your description of what I'd like: I'm "looking and praying for someone to tell us THE answer. To tell us the right diet regimen, correct macronutrient combination and exercise routine that will move us from frustration to success." Yep, that's me. If I only had the correct numbers to plug in, then all my struggles with weight would become easier. Hah!
I've learned to be persistent. And your articles remind me that I need to start listening to my body more carefully and try out different plans, giving each one a month or so to see if that will work.
Keep the information coming. The encouragement and the suggestions are most valuable. Report
my lessons

If you want it... you need to make the commitment
I am powerful not a victim
I'm worth it. Report
I'm so glad you closed with 'there is much to learn about ourselves along the way.' It is always encouraging to come here and reaffirm that there the number on the scale does not determine self worth. I encourage everyone to keep this in mind, not only for themselves, but when dealing with others. Often we make value judgments against other based on appearance that we don't want other people to make about us simply because we have been conditioned to do so. It's time to be more mindful and stop this. Report
I've learned to keep doing what is healthy for me. Report
I have learned taking care of myself is a gift not a punishment. I deserve a healthy life and exercise and getting rid of that white stuff in my life has helped.

I have learned the people in my life are not harrassing me about my weight, that they love me enough to stand up and show their concern.

I am no longer embarrassed about my situation. I am no longer in it, I am moving out of it, right now. Report
I am learning that this is a process that is going to require "baby steps". I didn't get fat overnight and I'm not going to lose the weight overnight. I've got a lifetime of unhealthy habits that I need to turn into healthy ones. I need to take this journey one day at a time and not beat myself up when I have a day that isn't perfect. Report
First, I have learned that I must be patient. Slowly but surely the weight is coming off. I have learned that eating more fruits & veggie really do make me feel better. That exercising, even if it is just walking 30 mins a day has its rewards. My mind & body is responding to my little changes. I am actually enjoying life! Report
The lesson I have learned about myself?
I have learned that I am in control, I can blame things on other people, but that is not what is causing me to not lose weight.
I have learned that I do have the ability to do this, all I have to do is apply that ability to get the results I am after.
This is my journey and I have learned that I am the ONLY ONE that can make things happen..

I am now trying to live in a No Excuses Zone when it comes to my health..I am borderline Diabetic and I don't want it to go any farther.. Report
I have to be consistent no matter what and know that when I drop the ball it will bounce all over me... Report
I have learned that if I want to be healthy I have to stop guessing what will make me healthy and start getting some facts. While there might not be a perfect diet or workout regiment, I know that eating junk and sitting all day isn't going to make me healthy. Spark has provided me with a lot of material and tools to help point my first step in the right direction toward a healthier life... and for that, I'm grateful. Report
I think one of the biggest things I've learned about battling my weight issues is that I have a tendency to quit. I finish very little of what I start and it took a long time for me to acknowlwdge that. I am now on a journey of small steps. I am learning to set these smaller attainable goals rather than impossibilities. Hopefully, and its looking good so far, Spark will help! Report
I do get this answer. I take TAIslim, weight lose product. It give me energy, makes my life free, helps me with deal with diabetes, and very testy. I can lose and keep it, eat all what I want and as much as I need, be free from hunger, able to go to vocation abd weekends, never worry about getting out of track of food intake. Report
It's very easy to become complacent about maintaining good habits especially if the scales show a loss "for no reason at all." I have learned it is not about one day or one week's success that makes us win ---It's about sustainable changes in our diet and exercise habits. Report
I have learned life happens and you are given a brand new fresh day to make it right again.
Don't beat your self up that only gives you the right to eat more and have more things to be upset with.
Baby steps will take you there, Giant leaps will get you in trouble every time. LOL
Hugs Martha n tx Report
One day at a time...Learning to love rearranging my schedule daily to fit in superfood prep, fitness moves, and motivation, etc.etc...A committment to a healthier lifestyle will help me meet my goals all the way around. I believe. Report
Although I still want to lose weight, I am trying to get to the place where I listen to what my body says instead of always telling it what to do.

I was astonished the first time I realized that, when I eat slowly and pay attention, I suddenly lose the desire to keep eating even if it is a real treat. The trick is for me to pay attention. What a revelation!

That is where I want to go and, as someone else mentioned, weight loss is then a side effect. Report
I have been trying really hard to focus on eating nutritious meals, watching my portion control, keeping my body well-hydrated and being more active. There are so many benefits to living a healthier lifestyle that have nothing to do with whether or not I am shedding excess pounds. My cardiovascular health is better than it was 6 months ago, for example.

While I sure do wish that those excess pounds would wander off and leave me alone, I understand that weight loss is a by-product of what I do to live a healthy life, not the goal. When I keep that in mind it is a little easier to accept that the number on the scale doesn't want to budge.

It's a journey...a life-long journey. Report
i love evry1s comments. When I start properley I'll keep y'll posted to. Report
I have learned that mistakes are okay. I don't have to be perfect anymore. Thanks for all the great info. Report
So many times I find myself measuring who I am on how heavy I am. Society has put such pressure on us to be "thin." I constantly have to remind myself that the way I look is just a small part of who I am. Why can't other feel the same? Report
Great post. The first step is the most important, and the most difficult, and the most often avoided. Glad we are all here to share your insights! It means we each took that first step. Report
I think Amber512 wrapped it up nicely. I too am learning that I can measure my success at reaching my lifestyle changes in so many ways. Weight loss is just one. Report
What I learned during my 3 year journey(and 143lb weight loss)is to be patient and realistic. If I had set out to lose over 100 pounds in a few months instead of giving myself 2 years, I would have lost 30-40 pounds and then gotten frustrated that it wasn't happening, and given up. This time around, I got a notebook and wrote down every Monday for 2 years from Monday January 2, 2006 and set that as my time frame. By putting my focus further down the road, I was able to keep motivated and stay in the moment. I never hit a plateau, I always lost weight, even if it was only a fraction of a pound and I kept going forward. Report
I've learned that if I'm happy, peaceful, and love myself, I consistently make better food and exercise choices. Report
I have learned not to measure my results with:

1. the scale but I let how I feel be gage.
2. other people, everyone is diffferent and so is how our bodies and systems function. Report
Comment #109: Confusious says, "It doesn't matter how slow you go as long as you do not stop"

I go slow. Sometimes I do stop. I think that's okay, as long as you just take a short break and start again. Report
I have learned
1. I have to exercise (mostly just brisk walking) daily
2. to be accountable for everything that goes in my mouth.
3. to look at the average of a week - keeps me from obsessing daily and giving up if I have a "bad" day.
4. Drink my water
5. spread out my "feedings" throughout the day.
6. get my sleep
7. don't compare myself to others

Guess what - it's all here on sparkpeople.
Thanks guys/gals
Frances Report
After years of dieting, the lesson I have learned which has been only recent is that I had been setting myself up to fail. The unrealistic deadlines for losing weight, the fad diets, there are no shortcuts. I want these changes to be life long so I will take my time and do it right! Report
I've learned lots of things! First, my genetically inherited stubborness has attributed to my persistence. I'm less than 5 lbs from my goal weight and I'm not going to quit this time. I'm going to get those pounds off and keep them off! See me in 5 years and see if I'm still maintaining my weight. I promise you I will be!
Second, I wish I'd been athletic when I was younger because it's not such a bad thing and I've come to enjoy it and I'm anxious to try new fitness activities.
Third, I can live without the salt shaker and Dixie Crystal. I experiment with seasonings now and sugar free or low sugar tastes just fine now. I can tell if something is salt or sugar loaded because I can taste it and it's not good to me!
Fourth, I can live without meat for 10 days at a time. I've become a vegaholic and a fruit freak. Not going vegetarian because I still love a good burger be it turkey or beef.
Finally, I want to preach the gospel of healthy living. I'm even considering starting a walking group. I want to encourage and motivate; not ridicule or tease people with weight issues. I want to help them as much as I've been helped, motivated and encouraged. Yes, I'll tell them all about SparkPeople! Report
Confusious says, "It doesn't matter how slow you go as long as you do not stop" Report
I have learned that due to a number of health issues, that any loss is a gain and I will not obsess or condem myself because it's a slow loss. Rather I concentrate on the fact that I have learned so much about eating healthy and the exercise I can do without bringing on a fibro flare that sets me back for weeks or months.

Go, Spark People! Thank You for all you have done for me. Report
I am learning about myself right now as I struggle with weight loss since being so ill and learning of my hypothyroidism that I want to stop obsessing about the scale (the idea that "diet" means restriction) and concentrate on eating well and being well. With that attitude adjustment, I hope the scale numbers take care of themselves. Report
I have had SO many people give me "helpful" infomation on the newest diet that they have heard of, alot of them are thin & have never needed to diet a day in thier lives. I always tell them that I know what works for me...I eat healthful foods & only when I'm hungry. Now, I've lost over 20 lbs. Everyone is different, I have always said that. Report
I learned the same lesson that MSFATAL learned! If I eat within the 1,200-1,500 calorie range I starve, but I lose a pound a week when I eat around 2,000 calories a day. Even then, I need the occasional "cheat day" (when I eat far more than normal) or I start to feel progressively tired and lethargic. Report
I have learned that the 1200-1400 calorie diet most people talk about being the optimal calorie intake for weight loss didnt work for me. Once I upped my calories and fat grams I started losing weight. Report
I am just starting but I have to say that reading what others are experiencing is already helping. I have felt that I was unable to lose weight. Now I realize that I have to concentrate on what I can do, not what I can't and that a goal of walking around the block once three times a week may not be a big thing to anyone else, but for me, it's OK. Report
I crave salty carbs and when I go into town the fast food resteraunts always tempt me. I am a stay at home mom and I try and only go out when absolutely have to.
The last few times I went to the doctor she has warned me of my blood sugar, and warned me that I needed to start thinking of my weight or I was going end up with diabetes like a lot of people in my family. I have tried different things in the last few months, and just not motivated to eat right. I have now learned of this website and I am so motivated now. I am so ready do this to loose the weight and keep it off. Report
The most important lesson I've learned is to focus on what I can do to make myself healthier, not on what I shouldn't be doing. For example, I stopped drinking diet soda by focusing on drinking more water. If my goal is to drink 8+ ounces of water a day, there's not as much room for soda. If my goal is to eat 5-8 servings of veggies a day, there isn't as much room for fatty snacks.

If I focus on not eating ice cream, I'll notice every person I pass that is eating ice cream and obsess about how tasty it looks and how much they seem to enjoy it. Then I'll splurge on cheese and crackers which isn't what I want but it feeds the urge to binge. Then I'll feel bad about myself and end up eating 1/2 gallon of ice cream anyway. Or I'll get a low fat ice cream that doesn't taste as good and eat 10 times as much as if I'd just said to myself in the first place "you can have all the ice cream you want but remember there are other things on your list you need to eat."

When I can focus on the positive and express every goal in terms of what I need to accomplish, instead of what I should avoid, then it is easier to keep on track. Report
I had learn that it takes a LONG time to do the right thing, so I know my journey will be a long one and that is OKAY with me at this time, I know I am in better health that last year . :) Report
Being consistent with my exercise has helped me keep the re-gain routine I pulled earlier this year. I have no set date in mind when I plan to achieve my goal weight, but I have given myself a mini-goal of a four to five pounds off in three weeks. I will then reevaluate myself and set another goal and work to achieve it. My problem is that I want it off three months ago when I had originally planned. I cannot tell you how hard I was on myself, but I don't plan to go that route again. As RIVERHAG says, it is an ongoing journey. Report
So many people worry about losing weight- how much? how long will it take? will I be able to keep it off? Know this- once you make the decision to eat healthy and start exercising and stop worrying about those questions, you will start feeling better. I've learned that if I eat the right kind of foods in the right amounts and continue a moderate amount of exercise, the weight seems to take care of itself. I don't worry about how long it's going to take or wheither or not I'll be able to keep it off. I just concentrate on eating right and exercising. Report
I've learned that I love the way I feel when I put good things in my body, and when I use my muscles to do exercise. I've learned that I don't like how I feel when I eat junk and skip the exercise. I've learned to love my new body, and I've learned that I'm a perfectionist, so I need to be kinder to myself by not making unrealistic goals. I've also learned that I am a real creature of habit, and I need to keep the junk food out of the house; I can't just eat one bite and save the rest for later. I've learned that I monitor my weight the best by keeping a daily food and exercise journal, as well as having once-a-week weigh-ins. I've learned that I need to feel that I'm being held accountable, even if it is my scale holding me accountable for my actions! And I've learned that I eat when I'm stressed or bored, and to watch for those emotions so that I don't undo all my hard work during the week, and to pamper myself when I'm feeling that way, so that I acknowledge my feelings without using food to abuse my body. Report
I have learned that at 46 I want to become athletic. I am no longer content to sit on the sidelines and watch- I want to play! It's more a lifestyle change than a diet. I need to be patient, the weight will come off (again). I also learned there are a lot of wise people here at sparkpeople! Report
I've learned it's ok to drop 1 pound a week. Or a 1 pound a month. As long as I am exercising and eating right, my body is making changes. It is hard to accept, but I lose weight slowly. I need to concentrate on the other benefits of a healthy lifestyle: better sleep, better mood; more self confidence; better blood chemistry; clearer skin and on and on Report
I have learned that I have to continually listen to my body, especially as I get older. That I need to be diligent in tracking nutrition, and exercise, done consistently, in order to honestly see what else I need to look at when things PLATEAU. I have learned that it is most important, having done these things, and accepted any other challenges (pain, physical limitations, etc), I must KEEP ON KEEPING ON, and look for ways to adapt to do so.
This adventure in regaining my health has taught me many things. First of all, I agree there is no one perfect 'diet'. I know I could lose weight following a number of different plans. What works for me right now, and probably will remain the food plan I follow forever, is to eliminate sugars, flours, potatoes, rice (white foods). When I consume any of those items I get sick, lethargic and gain weight at an alarming rate - as much as 6 pounds in 3 days with only small additions of these foods. Since it also takes me longer to lose weight now that I am in my mid-50's, getting sick, feeling icky and gaining weight is just not worth it. I may still take a bite of wedding cake, but I won't/can't eat a whole piece. I don't miss what I view as unhealthy for me, but it has taken me years to get to this point. I agree knowledge is power, as long as I continue to view it as supportive rather than punitive. Report
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