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NANCYPAT1 Posts: 60,098
11/6/12 7:01 P

The first thing I usually recommend is that you start by tracking the food you are CURRENTLY eating - look for patterns and things that shock or surprise you. You might find a lot of easy solutions. For instance cutting out sodas or changing portions to the recommended portion sizes can both make huge differences without much effort. The stress and eating mindlessly can be helped with a PLAN - IF you make a plan and keep adjusting it so it works better for you, you can outsmart your eating mindlessly. Having healthy snacks more convenient and more available than unhealthy ones, having those snacks everywhere you are likely to eat - desk, purse, car, gym bag, etc. are all places I keep healthy snacks. I have done your job and also currently am a special ed teacher who works with kids in middle school who have MAJOR special needs.

Now, having said that, exercise is important but for weight loss, it is about 80% about the food you put in your mouth not the exercise since that accounts for the LOOK but only about 20% of the weight you might lose. You already have that pretty much under control though if you ride a bike to work and walk your dog and are working on some other options too. Tweak things if you find them not working well.

QUIXOTIA SparkPoints: (775)
Fitness Minutes: (245)
Posts: 16
11/6/12 5:59 P

Hi everyone,

I've joined the community in hopes of finally achieving my goals and finding a new, healthy lifestyle that I can stick to. The problem is, I am scared to start because I have had failures with my goals in the past and am afraid of letting myself down again.

I want to lose the 40 pounds I've gained in the last 5 years. My clothes don't fit, I don't look like myself in photos, I am tired and lethargic, and have body pain I've never had to deal with before. I turned 30 this year and am feeling afraid to continue down a road of declining health as I watched my parents do as I grew up. I am a social worker and it seems like everyone around me who has been in the field is overweight and unhealthy. I don't want to end up that way. I don't want things to get worse for me than they already are.

I have several challenges to try to work through. I binge-eat for comfort (a counsellor I see regularly just cancelled our appointment tonight, and I ate half a container of hummus and half a box of crackers. I wasn't even hungry). I don't exercise (other than biking to work and walking the dog). And I have anxiety that makes it hard to get out to work out, but also gets worse when I am sedentary. It's as a result of those three things (and others I'm sure, but those are the main ones) that the weight just keeps piling on.

Another challenge is that I work two jobs and live in a tiny apartment. I find it hard to find time and/or privacy to work out (either at the gym or at home).

Last year, I went to the gym regularly for a few months. I lost a few inches. I was feeling more energetic though frustrated about the slow pace of results. It was a particularly stressful time in my life and had a couple anxiety attacks at the gym; I never went back.

Later in the year I hired a personal trainer that I was really excited about, but it turned out that she was pretty unprofessional. She cancelled several of our standing appointments, and talked about her upcoming wedding plans nonstop. I got sick of it and just stopped going.

I've started taking 1:1 Pilates lessons to try to build some core strength (starting from the ground up). I also go to a very gentle yoga class once a week. I walk my dog and cycle to work (about 5k round trip). Other than that, I am sedentary.

I know a lot of people have achieved great sucess through this site. I guess I feel like I don't know how to do it. I am particularly worried about losing patience with my progress, getting derailed by a bad day, and the feeling that I have right now which I liken to standing at the bottom of a giant hill, knowing I have the entire way to go.

I really welcome your feedback about how to get started, how to push through the times when you feel like you aren't making progress, and how to stay positive through the challenges of the changes I'm trying to make.

Thanks for reading.

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