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3/20/14 1:35 P

Hi PattyMC!
I know there's tons of advice on the internet, on this site and even in this forum. And most of it is on spot. But sometimes all the advice in the world does not help. I certainly don't want to offend anyone by saying the but... What has worked for others may not work for me or you.
I have "yo-yo" dieted since I was a teenager. My mom had me on "egg & orange" diets, "grapefruit diets", "the Dolly Parton Diet", and on and on. Yep, I'd lose a pound or two but it would come right back. After I married and had my babies I tried every other diet available. "Adkins", "Banana Diet", "Fasting, eating, fasting" and so on. Same results.
When I was diagnosed with high cholesterol and put on meds for that I had side effects from the meds and couldn't take a single one of them. That's when I went on a low fat diet. Lost some weight but had horrible skin, thinning hair, etc. Now what?
I went to weight watchers but that didn't help because I could still eat whatever I wanted, count the points and drink broth the rest of the day. Not good nutrition!
Then came the diagnosis of Diabetes. I started looking at the glycemic index foods and decided South Beach diet might be a good step. I did really good on that and was able to control my blood sugars quite well. But I got really tired of not being allowed the starchy foods that I love such as mashed WHITE potatoes. Reached the point where I couldn't stand the taste of wheat flour, brown rice or whole wheat pasta. Although I know those are the best choices, it I can't enjoy my meal I don't want to eat it. And I also had to eat 2 cups of non-starchy veggies at each meal. Way too much food for me and I couldn't do it.
So I started just doing calorie counts and taking it easy on carbohydrates. Have done well with that. Revamped a ton of my "go to" recipes to fit into this way of eating and found that I can even enjoy many desserts other than sugar free jello. This has become a way of eating. I no longer think of it as a diet. This is just how I eat and now I actually can't eat the high calorie desserts and greasy fried foods without feeling really bad. (not mentally or emotionally, but physically).
I have learned to allow time for foods to start digesting and signals to reach the brain that says "I'm satisfied". I have found that I feel much better if I stop eating when I am satisfied than if I eat until I am FULL. I also drink lots of water, unsweetened decaf tea and crystal light during the day to stay hydrated and full. If I do have a craving or "wanting" for something high calorie I use the 3 bite rule. Take 3 bites and push it away. That normally satisfies me.
I found the Starks site a while back and I love it. So full of information, recipes, and easy tracking. Though I am within normal weight and body fat for my height, I still would like to get more toward the lower end. I know that less weight means lower blood sugar and less need for high insulin dosages. (I've been able to cut my insulin from 98 units per day down to 80 units or less on most days, depending on how well I have stuck to my eating plan).
Success is yours for the taking. Stop thinking diet and start thinking "healthy eating". Once you start getting healthier, your desire to go back to old habits will lessen and eventually be pretty much gone. Yes, there are days that I overeat. But it seems that most of the times that I do overeat it is on healthy foods. I just eat too much of them. Not like it used to be when I binged on cupcakes and candies!!!
Best wishes to you and yours. You can do it and you will do it if you really want it.

MJEFFERSON23 SparkPoints: (32,691)
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3/16/14 6:28 P

You can and you will succeed. Maybe try one diet or behavior change at a time, when you've mastered it, add another one. This helps a lot! Good Luck!

3/16/14 3:46 P

Patty, we gals need to stick together to get through this successfully.

Here's something interesting. You originally posted in order to get help/suggestions, but in doing so, led me to read comments that were inspiring and very helpful when I (almost) lost my willpower the other day. So by reaching on on these forums, you helped someone you never met. I guess everything happens for a reason?

PATTYMC Posts: 30
3/16/14 3:32 P

You guys have really given me some great inspiration. I know one thing, when I start to feel down I am turning to you all for support . Your words of encouragement mean so much!!! Thanks

ARCHIMEDESII SparkPoints: (200,064)
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3/15/14 3:59 P


Letting go of that perfectionist mentality won't be easy. If you're like me, your family was probably telling you on a regular basis that,"you can do better". If you worked a little harder, you could have gotten the A instead of the B.

I think we've all learned that passive aggressive talk isn't very productive. And neither is thinking with an all or nothing mentality.

No one is perfect. It's impossible to be perfect. As I tell members, you don't have to be perfect to be healthy. Every little bit really does make a difference.

3/15/14 1:24 P

I really like the book 'The willpower instinct' by Kelly McGonigal.
It offers a lot of insight into WHY we get so tempted to go off plan and lots of good suggestions to prevent it.
One of the things she says is that making a plan to lose weight is, in a way, a 'treat' for us just like having a piece of candy or a pizza could be a treat for us. In other words it prevents you from actually doing the work that needs to be done. She offers strategies to counteract this, and many more tips.

LOVEXAVIE SparkPoints: (42,867)
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3/15/14 11:03 A

Like CARRIEANEW said, I look at times when I've "gone off plan" as simply practicing better habits.

Think about it: a master painter, a concert pianist, major league ball player - they all got to the top of their game by what? Practice! None of them started out being the best at their craft; they had to keep at it and practice...hone their skills...develop techniques, etc.

It's the same with learning to live / eat healthfully.

Portioning has always been my challenge. It may always be (I can really pack it away!), but I can see that it CAN be done w/ some diligence, better choices and I absolutely do not have to "be perfect" (like there is such a thing anyway - lol).

I also second the notion that you just have to give up the whole beating yourself up bit. SO unproductive. I have found you've got to stay positive & the wailing, flogging, etc are a huge waste of time. Just brush off your hands & say, "Oh well! On to my next healthy choice" & let the bad stuff go. It's that easy; we all just make it harder! I sure did anyway.

Hang in there, keep the faith and just keep one foot in front of the other. You're smarter than this silly thing that's got you down right now and you really can do it.

Oh, and Linda? Fantastic advice, sister! You are ROCKING it!!

PATTYMC Posts: 30
3/15/14 10:08 A

Thanks Carrie and Lindaannb1. I am really going to try and remember the baby steps do matter. Congratulations on losing 10lbs!!! That is amazing!!! I need to learn that I will never be perfect and to tell myself this is not an over night accomplishment. Thanks again everybody!!!

LINDAANNB1 Posts: 519
3/15/14 9:25 A

The baby steps really do work ! Give it a try. I never thought I would be on here giving people advice but here I am. I was given the same advice you have as I have been in the same place as you many times. I am an all or nothing person, go gungho for awhile then find excuses why I can't continue. Lose, gain, lose, gain etc.....
I have been given great advice on here many times and have finally decided to try some of the advice I have been given. The most important one, BABY STEPS. It really works. I now drink water instead of pop 95 % of the time, I have switched to whole wheat/grain instead of white, I am eating more fruits/vegies and less junk food I still have a lot of changes to make, a lot of weight to lose. I am trying not to freak out if I eat something I shouldn't and just say oh well, I'll start again tomorrow, next week or whenever.
I still am not eating perfectly, I still have something once in awhile that I know I probably shouldn't eat but for the most part I am eating better and It is paying off !!! I have almost 10 pounds off.
It really is about making those small changes, learning that one not so healthy meal or day means I have to quit and start gain next week....
I won't lie, it is not easy, nothing in life worth having is but it is so worth it. Along with being excited about seeing the number on the scale go down, I am feeling better physically and mentally. Eating better really does make a big difference.
Good luck to you, don't give up and keep looking to your spark friends for advice and support, it really does help. We are all in this together emoticon emoticon

3/14/14 7:31 P


I am facing similar struggles and really appreciated the advice that others provided. As you said, there were some profound and insightful comments. One thing that I thought of as I was reading this thread is how strange it is that we beat ourselves up when we fall away from our good habits then return to try again.

We (I) look at that yo-yoing as a failure; something we abandoned. Another way to look at it is that profound growth takes practice and exercise. What we originally saw as failures were, in fact, a form of warm-up or practice. We were exercising ourselves by having that experience on a temporary basis.

Now that we've done that a time or two, we're ready for the real thing. Let's do this, Patty. It's our time.



PATTYMC Posts: 30
3/14/14 5:18 P

You both have said some profound things, that I think will really help me. I know I need to stop beating myself up and take the time to mentally change my behavior. I am going to stop classifying the day as good or bad, I will try to live in that moment as it comes. I love the idea that gratitude should be considered more. I will refer back to your messages often. I know I will need some reminding. And one last thanks, everything you said makes me feel genuinely cared for. I rarely post anything to the message boards or any community area. And I am so glad I did this morning.

Thank you!!!

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3/14/14 4:03 P

One more quick thought -

No bad or good days. Just now - this moment - and what comes next.

The past is done, and the whole day is too much to take on at once.

ARCHIMEDESII SparkPoints: (200,064)
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3/14/14 11:41 A

Hi, Patti !

Perhaps the reason you end up in the same cycle is because you're setting goals that are too ambitious. Doing that just sets a person up for failure.

I give all new members one piece of advice and it's this,"Dont' look at good health or weight loss with an all or nothing mentality". If the only healthy thing you did for yourself today was drink 8 glasses of water, that's still a step in the right direction.

Remember, you're trying to change habits learned over a life time. That's not going to happen overnight, a week, a month or even a year. Change takes time. Thus the need to be patient with yourself and your body. Don't try to do everything at once or you will end up frustrated. Set some simple goals first.

Example, if you're not eating 6-9 servings of fresh fruit and veggies, set a goal to eat 2-3 servings each day for one week. If you're not drinking 8 glasses of water, set a goal to drink 2-4 glasses each day for one week. If you're not exercising, don't try to do an hour a day. Set a goal to take a 30 minute walk each day for one week. Once you've achieved these goals, then you set new ones.

And that's how we learn to create healthier behaviors. Don't go in with an all or nothing mentality or you will keep failing. Good health isn't all or nothing. Every little bit does make a difference.

Also, don't expect instantaneous results. That's another reason people get frustrated and give up. They wonder why didn't they lose 1-2 pounds the first week. they wonder why they have weeks they don't seem to lose anything. What they are experiencing IS perfectly normal. the weight doesn't magically drop off the minute we decide we need to lose and yet, that's what everyone wants. And when people don't get what they want, they give up.

That's no good.

Take baby steps literally and figuratively.

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3/14/14 10:53 A

Hi Patty,

I am no expert, but it seems to me that change involves both beginning the new and letting go of the old. But letting go leaves a void. Nature abhors a vacuum.

If eating is your source of comfort and solace, and you take away that way of coping, how can you possibly succeed?

1) Part of your plan needs to be finding alternate ways that work for you. Sure, you can "take a walk" like all of the articles suggest, but if it doesn't make YOU feel better, it becomes one more thing you can feel bad about. Find the calorie free things that really do help you feel comforted. My mother used to call frivolous books "mind candy", because like eating candy, she found comfort in reading. It took her away from her troubles. I'm not saying that you ought to start reading, but really study yourself and come up with what works for you.

2) Suggestion one is the quicker fix, but for the long term there is something deeper to be addressed. Ask this: "What is causing so much discomfort that I need to be comforted so often?" It seems to me that there are three ways to address this: Clinically, Practically, and Spiritually.

Clinically, see if you are depressed. Depression is treatable.

Practically, when you find what triggers your emotional eating - see if you can't eliminate the triggers. What can you do to have a happier more fulfilling life? What needs to be added? What needs to be let go of?

Spiritually, develop your capacity for gratitude. Gratitude is like a muscle, it grows with exercise. Keep a gratitude diary. Either when you wake before you get out of bed, or at night before you get into bed, make a list of things for which you are grateful . Write at least three things, and try not to repeat yourself. Make it a practice before meals to take a moment and acknowledge all of the people who participated in getting that food to your plate, from the farmer, and the trucker, to the workers at the packaging plant, the shelvers at the grocery, the check out people, and your own hands (if you are eating at home) or the cook and waiters or counter people if you are eating out. Gratitude fills us when we tap into it often.

I don't know if these suggestions will help but I have one more:

Forgive yourself. Recognizing a mistake and seeing it as an opportunity to make amends, or a change, helps us move in the right direction. Dwelling on the past, or beating ourselves up over it rarely helps us move forward. This isn't a one time trip to a certain destination. This is a life long journey. Be a better traveling companion for yourself. Don't let your inner voice bicker and pick at every little thing. Talk to yourself the way that you would talk to a good friend or a beloved. Be kind. Wherever you go, there you are. Like the person you are as well as the one you want to become.

Best wishes for getting off the cycle and on the road.


PATTYMC Posts: 30
3/14/14 10:04 A

It seems my life is a never ending cycle of the same behavior. I get all gung-ho about being healthy and losing weight......then I always do the same thing. Go right back to my emotional eating and comforting. I need to some how conquer the bad days and turn them into more good days. I have read a ton of articles on spark and it seems I have the right tools and info I need, but some how I always ignore it all. I am feeling pretty low about myself and feel I will go one more summer with covering up and hating my body. Why can't I succeed at this?

Feeling like a failure,

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