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ANARIE Posts: 13,199
3/14/14 11:00 A

You're asking the wrong question. "Why can't I do this?" is a silly question, because it's false. Anyone CAN do this. You have done it at times. Ability is not the issue at all.

Your question needs to be, "Why DON'T I do this?" So why not? If you ask it that way, accepting that of course you can but you just aren't, the obstacles (and excuses) start to disappear.

So today, why don't you? Get up on time, sit down and plan out a healthy menu based on foods you have in the house, throw away any foods that might trip you up later in the day, schedule your workout and set an alarm to remind you, and also schedule in half an hour or so to look for some sort of long-term activity unrelated to weight loss where you can meet some people and have some defined work and responsibilities.

That last thing might be the key. Humans need to be busy. When you don't have something you have to do later, then you decide you'll do everything later. You find yourself putting off even the things you *want* to do.

So commit yourself to something that has to be done at a certain time. Find a part-time job, even if it hardly pays anything at all. Or find a volunteer job-- offer to sort clothes at a charity resale shop, or walk dogs for elderly or disabled neighbors, or pick up trash or run a cash register at a National Park. (The national parks always need volunteers, and it looks fabulous on a resume and also gives you a background check that makes it easier to rent apartments, get future jobs, etc. If you live anywhere near a national park, national historic site, etc, it's a great thing to do.) Or sign up for a community college class. It doesn't have to be something academic if you don't want; they teach things like furniture upholstery-- which would quickly pay you back the money you spend taking the class.

The point is to have something you're committed to doing with part of your time, so you have to structure the rest of it, too. It's a lot easier to put on your shoes and go out for a walk in the morning if you can't say, "Oh, I'll do it after lunch." Believe it or not, when you have less free time, you get more done in the free time you do have.

HICALGAL Posts: 21,675
3/14/14 5:44 A

old habits die hard...personally, there is no 'how' to do it. we're all different and we all have our strengths and weaknesses. dont compare yourself to anyone here. just go at your own pace. if you screw up..dont' start over...start where you left off.

eventually you'll find what works for you IF you're willing to do the work. wanting something badly isnt the same as working for it. it takes blood, sweat and tears but in the's worth it. all the best! emoticon

JHAACK39 SparkPoints: (12,343)
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Posts: 282
3/13/14 4:05 P

Just checkin in Armywife to see how your thread was going.

It sounds like you know 'how' to do it. It looks like you've been doing it too on your ticker! Motivation is indeed a brutal little beast. But, as several have said, make sure you set yourself up to succeed with attainable short term goals. Achieving a goal feels good. Then as someone noted when you see a difference in the way clothes fit, or what the scale reads, that's just bonus "feel good". Feeling good is what we all want.

As for the 'food' side of things. I've said this before. I was (still am), "the food guy". I could astound friends and family with my eating prowess. I was "the guy" who always won the pancake eating contest at the Cub Scout event. Or ordered the rib dinner for two for myself. Able to down a single pint in 4 swallows.

It became a part of my sense of "me". I was extremely worried about "losing" that part of me.
I love food. I love eating lots of it. And delicious things. Nice restaurants. Elaborate home cooked meals. The funky donut shop. A non-discriminating foodie.

But, I've found my "food life" is comprehensively better. And I can explain it this way.
Old Lunch:
Two ham sandwiches. Whole wheat bread. American cheese. Mustard. Some chips/pretzels. An apple.

Not too terrible, right? But really, not exactly what I would call "deluxe". I realized that most of the food I was eating was something just shoved down my gullet because it was time to eat. Sometimes something 'decent' like that, or sometimes a burger and fries, or some BBQ or something.

But, with just a little 'thought' (and not a whole lot of extra effort), my lunch became:
A little turkey or ham on Healthy Life whole wheat (70 calories total for the two slices and a far better fixins'-to-bread ratio)...and then......onions, bell peppers, fresh jalapeno, poblano, Anaheim, pickle, some kind of veggie relish, Penzey's Sandwich Sprinkle (the dust of the Gods!), funky brown mustard, peppercini, sometimes cheese-sometimes not, a pile of spinach, and whatever else sounds good.

1 monster sandwich that is ultimately more fulfilling, WAY more tasty, and twice as fulfilling as the two previous sandwiches which were just 'something to eat'. And that fulfillment kept me from going off to the burger barn or pizza shack.

My "food life" is way more interesting with just some thought. It becomes a challenge. How much food can I get on my plate for X calories? Sure, there's some bombs in there I've cooked up. But there is a really vast, entertaining, and delicious food world out there that I was missing out on.

Keep fighting. Stay the course. Questioning and fear is part of the game/journey. But so is conquering. And conquering is really REALLY fun and rewarding. Get out and conquer.

ERICREH Posts: 4,160
3/13/14 8:48 A

You aren't the only one with that problem.

LOLA_LALA Posts: 659
3/13/14 8:19 A

I really believe it's easier to get started and maintain momentum some times more than others. Don't chastise yourself; just be certain that if you don't relinquish that desire to lose weight, you'll eventually find it easier to get in gear and keep pushing onward.


LISAMARIE5266 SparkPoints: (6,800)
Fitness Minutes: (10,576)
Posts: 4
3/13/14 8:01 A

ARMYWIFEKASS93 Good morning.

Let's get started. Plan what you are having for breakfast. Today I had cheerios with banana. If I get hungry I will have a snack before lunch a few saltines and cheese. For lunch left overs a pork chop and broccoli and for dinner I don't know yet (have to check the freezer)something that will fit in my remaining calories. If I am below the high end of my calories for the day I will have an evening snack popcorn or low fat yogurt, banana.

You can do it. Plan and track before you know it the planning and tracking gets easier and easier (especially with the recent on Spark trackers) and you will automatically know the calories of foods you have a tendency to eat.

Get started today is the first day of feeling better, the first day of you being in control of what you eat and not the food being in control of you.
You can do it
Best wishes

ARMYWIFEKASS93 SparkPoints: (4,384)
Fitness Minutes: (781)
Posts: 150
3/12/14 9:22 P

Thank you so much for the link to the book, I actually just downloaded it on my phone and began reading it. I have only gotten threw the introduction and I can already tell that it is something that will be helpful to me!

LISAMARIE5266 SparkPoints: (6,800)
Fitness Minutes: (10,576)
Posts: 4
3/12/14 8:34 P

Make it be about choices that will work for you. You like Taco Bell it is a trigger, maybe you need to stay away or maybe you can make a different choice at Taco Bell. You want to be able to stick to it. I love McDonald's Big Mac Meal so instead of getting the meal I get a Big Mac which is 550 calories and a diet coke 0 calories, instead of the meal at over 1000 calories. While McDonald's isn't the best choice for good health it isn't something I am willing to give up. That 550 calorie Big Mac isn't far off from a 400 calorie lunch. So for breakfast that day (if I know I am going to McDonald's for lunch or dinner) I will have oatmeal 100 calories and an apple less than 100 calories which makes up for the extra calories from Big Mac. If it was a surprise stop at McDonald's I will try to make up either at dinner or give up a snack or breakfast the next day so I can stay within my calorie range for losing weight. Then I don't feel deprived. I rarely miss the French fries.

In that book he gives example of what you can have instead at different places ( like two Mcgrills in place of) not sure about Taco Bell since we don't have a local one. He also suggests you can add exercise and suggest that foods should lists calories and say if you eat this at 500 calories you will have to walk for 2 hours to lose those calories. That doing that for some people keeps them from over eating.

Edited by: LISAMARIE5266 at: 3/12/2014 (20:38)
DEBBIEPHEIFER57 SparkPoints: (5,902)
Fitness Minutes: (3,459)
Posts: 554
3/12/14 8:32 P

Your Faith is inspiring, I look to Jesus everyday in everyway. I pray to him for my weight loss to! Even if we falter as we journey through this life, he will never let go of your hand.

JANIEWWJD SparkPoints: (586,610)
Fitness Minutes: (352,847)
Posts: 16,657
3/12/14 8:05 P

It doesn't matter how many people are backing you!!! You have to want to do it!!!! Good luck and God bless you!!!!

ARMYWIFEKASS93 SparkPoints: (4,384)
Fitness Minutes: (781)
Posts: 150
3/12/14 7:17 P

Thank you all for your personal stories and achievements. I agree that for me, I need to avoid the food that triggers cravings for me. Mine main one is taco bell, it is right across the street from me so it is so easy to go right across and get some. Even when I have perfectly good food in my house.
The good news is we are going to have to cut back on the eating out with getting a new car, so I will have less money for eating out. The budget is actually going to be tight for awhile.

You are right Youtube is awesome when it comes to finding workouts. I kind of want to look and see if there are any classes around here. I feel like maybe working out with other people might help me out a bit.

I guess I just need to learn to start putting myself first, I have spent my whole life taking care of other people. So it is going to be a hard transition for me. But I can't take care of them till I take care of myself.

I will have to check out that book! I am in the need for a good read, and if it is free I might as well give it a look.

Thank you all again for your great advice!

FLORADITA SparkPoints: (64,375)
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Posts: 541
3/12/14 7:09 P

So many of us here have lost and gained, lost and gained. In fact losing weight can be easy, you can lose weight on almost any diet but it is the keeping it off that is so very hard.

A couple of years ago I realized that I wanted to finally lose weight and keep it off but I also wanted to become healthy and fit. I used to focus on being thin and I would get thin....for a while. So I focused on becoming healthy and fit and that has changed everything. It seemed like a daunting task as I had more than 80 pounds to lose. I did exactly what Eelpie said, baby steps. Instead of denying myself certain foods, I added healthy foods, I upped my veggies, drank more water, reduced the junk food and slowly added exercise into my life. Without counting calories and just making those simple few changes over a course of two years I lost 40 pounds. This year I decided to really focus on the last 40 pounds and found Spark and started tracking my calorie intake and increased my workouts from 3 days to 5 days. My goal is to be a lifelong athlete and become fit and healthy for life. It took time to create new healthy habits, they are slowly but surely becoming a part of my every day life. Yes, I slipped up from time to time but then you just keep going and it starts to become as routine as brushing my teeth every night and taking the garbage out to the curb on Fridays. The biggest barrier and reason we give up is because we want the results right now when the reality is it is a long process.

A good friend of my daughter, an absolutely beautiful young woman who weighed over 400 lbs went on a very restricted diet and lost 60 lbs in 9 months. She said she was hungry, irritable and miserable the whole time. She then made the decision to aim for 20 lbs a year by eating good whole foods and exercising but in a gentler less restrictive way. Her thinking was that 20 lbs a year for 5 years would equal 100 lbs. Much more doable and enjoyable. She has spent her whole life morbidly obese so taking 5 years to lose 100 lbs was well within her reach.

It was this young woman that help me realize that all of our life, weight loss, marriage, careers, having children is a journey and not a race. During this time I have tried many new things, new recipes, new hair styles, different types of work and new ways of thinking about health and fitness. There is no magic bullet or secret but it is up to you to find what works for you and your life. When we are young all of our goals have a sense of urgency, we compare ourselves to our peers and think we should be where they are etc. But we are where we are and our paths are ours to explore. So find ways to enjoy this part of the journey, try new healthy recipes, new foods, experiment with eating a few vegetarian meals a couple of nights a week, cut out sodas and lattes a few days a week, try different exercises, zumba, sports, train for a 5K etc. and have fun while you are exploring. You will find out what works best for you. Keep coming to Spark for support, read the success stories for inspiration and soon you will become a success story yourself! Keep at it, you deserve to be your best self.

EELPIE Posts: 2,700
3/12/14 7:08 P

@ Lisamarie - Welcome!!

You said "It was my hobby it was my job at first."

Funny - I treated it as my job, too!! I learned and researched and read the threads here as much as possible, and tracked my food and for real, for the first month I put as much effort into it as if it was a part time job (like 2 hours a day) - because deep is my job!!!

LISAMARIE5266 SparkPoints: (6,800)
Fitness Minutes: (10,576)
Posts: 4
3/12/14 6:58 P

We have all been there. It took me many years to finally get it together and make it work. Now I am hoping it will stick. I got up to 200 lbs which was scarry because I was always the skinny one until I hit my 40's when my mom died, family moved away, lost job and children grew up and left for college etc. 20 years of eating and sadness. Then one day I woke up and said enough and started gave myself a time line 10lbs set it in my weight goals on Spark trackers and it worked. Down to about 145-146 want to get to 135. What worked for me was constantly coming here (and other diet forums although spark pages is my fav) and reading other peoples story how they did it and how they were doing and even little bits and pieces of their lives. This is the first time I have commented, I wanted to tell you keep coming back and keep reading.

Surprising as you start to lose weight, clothes start to fit better, people start to notice it gives you incentive to keep going. I have had bad days the last two I say I ate too much (at the high end of calorie range) which I didn't want to do until I hit the 135 but I know tomorrow I will try again because it feels so good to not have tight clothes, to be able to wear clothes from long ago and knowing it will be fun shopping again where you will look good in almost anything and knowing now that I'm 60 I want to be healthy and live a long life. Just keep getting up and trying. Don't waste a minute of your life (like I did) life is to short. You look beautiful in your picture now get healthy for your family you want.

Also I just read this book it is free for kindle on Amazon. The Automatic diet by Platkin.

Yes it is just another diet book. It is a quick read but I found some things that anyone can do.

For example he tells of a client who ate ice cream every day. He tells his client to substitute 10 low calorie ice creams and find the one that he really likes that he could live with eating every day. 10 because if you pick one you may not like it and quit. Find the one you like eat it instead of the higher calorie ice cream every day and you can lose 18 lbs in a year by really doing nothing.

I related to the eating out of boredom and the eating to self soothe in the book and knew I had to break that pattern. Stressful last two days got me eating at the high end of my calorie range but I stopped myself from going further.

Just start. I started by giving up sugar, (I grew up on sugar is was the main course and I was skinny) no donuts no cake no ice cream. Once you give it up for a week you don't crave it. If you eat it again you have to go through the craves again until it is out of your system. It doesn't mean you should never have it just know the signals you will crave it but again if you stick through the 3-7 days you won't crave it. Then I came here calorie counting and tracking, tracking weight, fitness and nutrition.

If I can do it you can do it. It was my hobby it was my job at first. You have to dig the dirt to get the fruit you have to work hard to get a pay check. I weighed every day. The first week I lost 3 lbs then it went to 2 lbs a week now I'm at maybe 1/2 to 1 lb but that is ok. I'm getting there and even if I stop here and don't lose another lb or it takes me another 6 months to lose the last 10 lbs it just feels good. I'm in control, I can walk down the stairs better, I look better and I feel better.
Just wanted to add. It isn't work anymore. It is just being conscious of what I am eating and getting rid of old bad habits. I still come here for motivation. Thank you to everyone who has ever posted. You helped me get here
Good luck

Edited by: LISAMARIE5266 at: 3/12/2014 (19:06)
EELPIE Posts: 2,700
3/12/14 6:53 P

I get bored of workouts FAST!

Youtube has a billion of free videos - all different kinds - pilates, yoga, strength, zumba, dance, walking, you name's on there - with all different instructors. Don't like the one you are on - on the side bar is other suggestions, just click another one.

There are a ton of different hobbies. Try one that benefits you - like jewelry making, or beading, or stained glass kits, or tye dye kits - you can make yourself neat inexpensive stuf!!

KRILL14 SparkPoints: (52,899)
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Posts: 368
3/12/14 6:47 P

Armywife, I think at least in my case and probably for others certain foods can be addictive. I can be on a diet for a full year but if I eat just one cookie I'm going to eat the whole box and not stop there. The only way I stay on a diet is if I totally stay away from sugary treats. I ignore the articles that say you can eat small amounts of your favorite foods and still lose weight - not in my case! When I first start a diet it feels like I am in withdrawal. Once I get past the withdrawal symptoms I am good to go. Maybe there is a food or foods that set you off that you will need to stay totally away from.
Good luck!

DEBBIEPHEIFER57 SparkPoints: (5,902)
Fitness Minutes: (3,459)
Posts: 554
3/12/14 6:39 P

ArmyWife, I am a 56 year old woman who has 2 grown children, health issues stopped me abruptly from working Sept of 2011. I am on disability and want to get off. So I work real hard on my problems, but I am not ready and when I am told this I shed a few tears! Then my counselor is apologizing, she should not be she is telling the truth. I can not handle my health issues, the fact I am my husbands caregiver and go back to work. We call it a full plate, I am so fortunate. But if I do not start taking care of me, I am not going to be able to care for my husband, he is in a power chair on a respirator. So not only does he need me at a moments notice but he can't really help around the house either. Funny how I can type this yet not get it in my head that working outside the home is not going to happen. I am not selfish, I think it is what I have done since my husband became ill, so I feel guilty because I can't be in two places at once! If you don't take care of you, you can't care for others, no matter if it is a husband, your family or maybe aging parents! You Can Do It! Bless you, Deb emoticon

ARMYWIFEKASS93 SparkPoints: (4,384)
Fitness Minutes: (781)
Posts: 150
3/12/14 6:38 P

I think honestly I am having a pity party a little bit because I am sick. I have had a sore throat for a couple days, and I am having my lady problems.

Maybe once I get to feeling better I will be able to get up and going again.

You are right though, I am doing this for myself, and I do need to find a hobby. I am just not sure what. I get bored really easy. And that may be why I get bored of my workouts. I need to find a variety so I am able to change them up often.

EELPIE Posts: 2,700
3/12/14 6:05 P

". I think I big thing is for me also is that I have so many people following my journey on here that I don't want to mess up and let them all down also. "

Like...followers? Groupies? Hunny, everyone is here for themselves. Besides, you won't be the first to struggle here, the first to slip up here. Are you dong this for them? Or for you? Be honest here. If you aren't doing this for you, and you alone....your not going to have a lot of success - it's like people who can b*tch at them about it until you are blue in the face, they won't quit until they are ready. Maybe you aren't ready yet?

It's hard being away from family and friends. But you need to get busy - looking online for local clubs to join, church groups (if religious), gyms membership. If all else fails - the people here can become your surrogate family for a while, too ;)

Other than that - you need to find a hobby. You can post here for ideas if you need to. What do you like to do?

Edited by: EELPIE at: 3/12/2014 (18:06)
ARMYWIFEKASS93 SparkPoints: (4,384)
Fitness Minutes: (781)
Posts: 150
3/12/14 5:56 P

Thank you both for replys. I am sorry I do not think I actually said thank you in my last post. It means so much that there are people here trying to help. I think I big thing is for me also is that I have so many people following my journey on here that I don't want to mess up and let them all down also.

I think a big reason I am not able to stick to things is I am still struggling with the move. I am 2,000 miles away from my family and it has never been that way. I am alone all day and have still not met many people here. And when I am left alone I guess I just let everything catch up to me which makes it 10 times harder to do.

EELPIE Posts: 2,700
3/12/14 5:53 P

Why don't you just focus on your health for a while? Nothing else. When you have a better handle on that...add another one.

No one can help you start, though. That's a decision you have to make for yourself.

One day I looked at myself nekkid in front of the mirror. From all angles. I looked hard. I looked long. I looked at my butt, the rolls on my back, my tummy that looked as though I was 6 months pregnant....and that was my moment.

That was the moment that I had had enough of myself, and decided to do something.

Baby steps worked for me, cause it was soooo easy to stick too that it seemed almost effortless, and then I started to see results, and that motivated me more.

Without realizing it, I lost 5 pounds. So, I built upon the baby steps, little by little, and it just got easier for me.


Your calories are determined by your starting weight. As you lose, they will re-adjust down. The less a person weighs, the less they can consume to lose weight.

If you are easily staying in your range every day - aim to stay at the lowest part (1900) every day.

If you are looking for motivation to work out....try the mirror trick! It still works for me to this day.

JHAACK39 SparkPoints: (12,343)
Fitness Minutes: (8,592)
Posts: 282
3/12/14 5:46 P

EELPIE....very nice and thoughtful reply!

I am in complete agreement.
Don't look at "the end". To some degree, there is no end. But if you have a huge overarching goal, it's going to always seem impossibly far away.

Achieving a goal is rewarding and can become addictive. Set small ones. That are attainable within a week? 2 weeks? Or even a day or two.

Huge believer in that 1-2 week range like EEELPIE is talking about. You can do ANYTHING for a week or two right? Give it a try. You'll very likely see results on the scale, or at the very least "feel" them in your outlook and overall contentment at achieving something.

Also, don't be afraid to slip up. Great chances to learn.

ARMYWIFEKASS93 SparkPoints: (4,384)
Fitness Minutes: (781)
Posts: 150
3/12/14 5:41 P

I didn't mean goals like what I want to focus on each day, I just mean in general. Like getting healthy, and having kids a stuff like that so I don't believe I have to many.

I have tried to take baby steps and I fall off before it even becomes routine.
My food tracker on here is between 1,900 and 2,300 I just believe that is to much for me. I stay within my range everyday, I just can't see how I can be losing when they have it set so high.
Working out is also not hard for me, I actually for the most part enjoy it, its just getting the motivation to actually get up and do it.

I just feel myself shutting down all of the time, I feel like I will always be stuck here cause its almost like I don't have the willingness to change.

I just feel like something is wrong with me.

EELPIE Posts: 2,700
3/12/14 5:28 P

"I have so many goals" - Probably too many.

"I wish I could just reboot my mind and start over, but I don't know how to do that." - Baby Steps

"but I really don't know how... " - Baby Steps


Start at the beginning. Start gradual.

Start tracking your food to get a handle on what you are eating. Start to slowly bring down your current intake.

Track for a few days to see how much you currently eat. Look at what your range is as given by sparkpeople (on your nutrition tracker, where you track your food).

Let's say it's 2000-1500, and you are eating 2600. OK. Start bringing it down. Do 2400 for 2 days. Then 2200 for 2 days. Then 2000 for 2 days, then 1700 for 2 days - then aim for 1500-1700 per day.

Each time you decrease your intake (every 2 days) add another glass of water to your intake - Say start at 3 per the time you are eating 1700 per day, you should be drinking 8 glasses of water per day.

As you start going lower - you will begin supplementing your diet with more veggies - this will be gradual. You will also be gradually phasing out junk food and processed food.

Notice the word is gradual.

Gradually start introducing exercise.

Try this: . In your own your own pace. Try for 5 minutes. Then 6. Then 7. Then 8. Then 10......

On the side bar - you will see other of her videos. After you conquer this one, try outside (when warmer), or try a different video.

Baby Steps.

Aim to be down into the lower part of your calorie area and doing 10 mins of exercise day in 2 weeks time.

*Come and read the boards here every day, for 10 minutes, 2x a day.*

That's all - do this for 2 weeks. This is all you need to focus on in the next 2 weeks - nothing else.

Then come back here. And repost. We will talk you through the next 2 weeks!!!

Edited by: EELPIE at: 3/12/2014 (17:29)
ARMYWIFEKASS93 SparkPoints: (4,384)
Fitness Minutes: (781)
Posts: 150
3/12/14 5:09 P

I just don't get it... I have so many people behind me. Pushing me to keep going, motivating me, and wanting the best for me, but for some reason I can't do it.

I have so many goals, but they just take the backseat to when I want food.

I let myself get this way because of food and I am just going to stay this way if I can't get my head straight..

I wish I could just reboot my mind and start over, but I don't know how to do that.

And I know what you are all gonna say, if you really want this its not gonna be easy you just have to do it, but I really don't know how...

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