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HAPPYMENOW58 Posts: 2,264
3/22/13 5:32 A

Just keep reading, sparking, posting, exercising, and praying......Seek....and you will find! The key is not giving up.....Something will click after a while.....You are on a health journey...It is not a straight, direct path...It veers in odd directions at times...You, the pilot, must steer the plane toward the desired destination. You can do it!

ZORBS13 SparkPoints: (201,777)
Fitness Minutes: (197,425)
Posts: 15,873
3/22/13 5:09 A

When you're truly ready to make a change, you'll do what needs to be done, no excuses.

"A man who wants to do something will find a way; a man who doesn't will find an excuse."
Stephen Dooley, Jr.

Edited by: ZORBS13 at: 3/22/2013 (05:22)
FTSOLK Posts: 1,403
3/22/13 1:28 A

So how do I know I'm ready?

Because I get myself prepared. I plan meals. I measure. I track. I shop for healthy foods. I do everything I possibly can to get ready. I get myself motivated to change my lifestyle.

And I fail. Again and again

I keep thinking I'm ready. I've thought I was ready over and over and over for the past 8 years. But how do I get ready and how do I really know I'm ready?

SIMPLELIFE2 Posts: 707
3/22/13 12:49 A

"Why can't I stick to a diet?"

Simply, because you are not ready.

I've read through this thread and it is full of defensiveness, justifications, excuses and complaints. You are not ready to change, so therefore, change will not happen.

People have offered advice, support and encouragement. I don't see acceptance of any of it or willingness to see a different viewpoint on your part.

"I just don't get why I can't stick to anything."
At first, it is hard. It is stressful. It is fraught with missteps. But you know what works? Consistency. Persistence. Patience. There is no magic method. No easy path. No way of having it all. And if you are not ready to wrap your mind around this, you wind up bouncing around from plan to plan just as you have.

"I'm actually HEAVIER than I was when I first stated trying to lose weight."
Perhaps you need to stop trying then. If you are an emotional eater, which it sounds like, you lose touch with your hunger and cues for fullness. The more you think about food, the more you want to eat. Unless you are doing heavy labor, your body does not force you to eat 4,000 calories. That's in your head.

So, let it go. It doesn't work for you at this time in your life and it seems nobody has the answers you are seeking. Stop dieting, tracking, working a plan, whatever you want to call it. But please try to be mindful of whether you are really hungry and stop a bit before you are full. And add a bit more exercise, an activity you enjoy, even if it's just cranking up the music and dancing in your living room. Perhaps you will find your balance this way.

But, you are not ready to stick to any kind of plan. I hope this will change for you in the future. I am not writing any of this to be mean. It comes from the heart and my own struggles. There was a time when I was not ready either. Please read this with an open mind. I wish you well.

FTSOLK Posts: 1,403
3/22/13 12:13 A






And I never said anyone on the board was naturally skinny.

BUNNYKICKS Posts: 2,433
3/21/13 11:08 P

And again I enquire - what is it exactly, that you hope to get out of these support boards?

Think on that a bit.

No one on this board is "naturally skinny" - remember that when you post. What you are experiencing is not unique or special, just the same old fight that ALL of us are COMPLETELY familiar with. You are not the only one that fights cravings and binging. You are not the only one that loves chips. You are not the only one that gets "really HUNGRY."

I find your posts to be completely frustrating. Most people on these boards are really trying, really struggling, to make important changes in their lives, trying to figure out HOW they can change and improve their habits, health and lives. In this thread, you have devoted almost every word you have written to explaining why you should be able to have the healthy slender body that you desire, WITHOUT making any meaningful changes, without struggle, without effort. I'm sorry if this sounds harsh or rude but I won't be contributing further to this thread, as it seems to be a waste of my time and yours.

MLS616 Posts: 157
3/21/13 10:18 P

and go to a Dr. Sounds to me like something is out of whack.

MLS616 Posts: 157
3/21/13 10:16 P

Eat more protein, less carbs.
Protein will keep you from being hungry.


Buy this book

FTSOLK Posts: 1,403
3/21/13 9:52 P

It stresses me out to the point where I cannot do it for more than a week without it triggering a binge. I just can't do it.

Besides, this is supposed to be a "lifestyle" and not a "diet." How many naturally skinny people do you know that count calories? The only people I know who count them are DIETING.


BUNNYKICKS Posts: 2,433
3/21/13 9:27 P

"It's trying to stay within a certain calorie range that stresses me."

Yes, you... and everyone else on these boards.

So, what do you want to do about it? What do you want to get from these boards?

FTSOLK Posts: 1,403
3/21/13 9:18 P

TRACKING doesn't bother me.

MEASURING doesn't bother me.

It's trying to stay within a certain calorie range that stresses me.

FTSOLK Posts: 1,403
3/21/13 9:16 P

It stresses me out because I get to the point where I eat enough so I'm not very hungry between lunch and dinner... but then I don't have enough calories for dinner, etc. So, the next day, I'll eat lighter in the morning and I'm starving- just so I have enough calories for dinner. In the past, in my earlier days of Weight Watchers, I would basically starve myself all day because I was afraid of wasting my points when I was going to need them later on.

It doesn't help that, even though I cut my eating out back significantly, I don't always have the ability to plan too far ahead. My friend and I often don't know if we are going out until that afternoon or so (sometimes, we'll know an hour before we go).Therefore, I can plan on having one meal at home, but I might end up eating out. The same goes with church nights. We don't ALWAYS go out after church... and sometimes, we only get frozen yogurt or coffee instead of a meal (meaning dinner is around 10 or 11pm), but it's difficult to plan ahead when I don't know what's going to happen until closer to when it happens.

Granted, I am on a schedule now where I pretty much know I'm eating at home on Tuesday nights, so that is one day I can somewhat plan ahead completely.

But really, I don't do well with numbers in general... but at the same time, I realistically cannot switch to a completely all-natural, organic, no processed food, no fast-food diet.

And I know that making those small changes won't do a thing. That was partially my point. People say to make small changes,but when I suggest small changes I'm told they won't be good enough and I should completely change how I eat entirely rather than make small, gradual changes.

GRAPHICS2 Posts: 13,944
3/21/13 9:07 P

I think you are right, I don't want to see what I have eaten on paper.
I struggle with journaling. I have made some attempts, but the end result is always discouraging..I have not given up, I will try again, because deep down I know that is what I need to do to successful

BEVIEG41 Posts: 5,756
3/21/13 6:46 P

I agree with BUNNYKICKS - you find counting calories and/or journaling stressful because of the results on paper. But in order to lose weight you have to do some soul searching and figure out if you really want to lose the weight or find excuses that nothing works. I know that for me chips in the house are trigger foods and I will eat them all till they are gone, so I don't buy them or bring them in the house. Ice cream is the same for me, if it is in the house it keeps calling my name till it is all gone. So I don't buy it. The only snack I have in the house is graham crackers

BUNNYKICKS Posts: 2,433
3/21/13 6:22 P

Those kind of "swaps" aren't going to affect anything very much at all. I mean, it's great that you are trying to be mindful, but if you think swapping one kind of chip for another, or reducing the size of your chip bag from 9 ounces (1400 calories) to 7 ounces (1100 calories) is going to help you lose weight, you are only setting yourself up for disappointment.

What is it about counting calories that you find stressful?

I am suspecting that confronting, written down in black-and-white, the gap between your actual calorie intake, and the calorie range you'd need to be within, in order to see weight loss, is probably the part of "calorie counting" that is most stressful to see?

Stressful yes, but you have to be honest with yourself if you ever want anything to change.

Edited by: BUNNYKICKS at: 3/21/2013 (18:25)
FTSOLK Posts: 1,403
3/21/13 6:07 P

I had the genius idea to swap out chips and snack cakes for mini rice cakes and string cheese. Then, I realized that the rice cakes I bought have sucralose. It took about three rice cakes to nauseate me. I figured I could still have the sweet and salty/ soft and crunchy fix that way, but nope.

At least the soy crisps and pop chips are still safe.

I tried only getting small bags of chips, but that didnt work. Maybe I should try making lighter swaps (Popcorners chips, popcorn) that have fewer calories for the same serving size or just slightly downsize (get a 7 oz bag instead of a 9 oz one rather than going from the 9 oz bag to the 1.5 oz one)

FTSOLK Posts: 1,403
3/21/13 5:57 P

I don't think tracking is too time consuming. It just stresses me out.

BEVIEG41 Posts: 5,756
3/21/13 5:08 P

Small changes are good because they form habits. In order to lose weight (myself included) we have to grasp the idea that we have to make changes in the way we are doing things. I realize that weighting food and measuring it out and tracking is the way to go and it is time consuming but what is the alternative? When you think of quitting, remember why you started....Don't be upset by the results you don't get for the work you don't do. Every day is a new day and you don't have to give up the things that you like, but incorporate them into a new program and count the calories/points or whatever program you are on. Also remember to not reward yourself with food - you are not a dog. Today is a new beginning for me and I will follow all I can and focus. Remember you are not alone. Bev

RENATARUNS SparkPoints: (4,367)
Fitness Minutes: (2,155)
Posts: 1,379
3/21/13 4:07 P

I don't know what to say. I'm sort of like you in a way in that I had already made a lot of the "small changes" that people suggest before I ever did anything that actually changed my weight. I already didn't drink anything but water and coffee, no artificial sweeteners, probably ate more vegetables than the average American, and a few other things. And I still weighed far too much. I never tried any diets, named or otherwise, but I did try plenty of other things, and none of it ever stuck.

Something needs to change in your head first. For me it was a health scare, and deciding that how I was living was not how I want to be. that I wanted to treat myself right, essentially. The changes I made were both big (all but cutting out everything I consider junk food) and small (making almost no changes at all to what I eat when I'm eating real food -- no artificial-to-me diets here). I didn't even reduce portion sizes until a couple of weeks into it, IIRC. (I don't count calories or track food -- for me it's not a good thing.)

The initial determination carried me through the first six weeks that were the roughest physically, and by the time that mental armor started to wear off, things had become so routine that it's mostly only taken small mental adjustments here and there to keep on with it. (I've lost 25 pounds since mid-December.)

You need to find your reason, something that will keep you going through whatever change you want to make for yourself until that hard start-up phase passes and your body starts to adjust and you start getting positive feedback from how you look and feel. The closer you can keep it to how you're already living now, the easier it will be, which is why SP is so much about the "small changes" mantra. It's often easier to find something relatively easy to change if you start small, and success breeds success.

FTSOLK Posts: 1,403
3/21/13 2:58 P

Honestly, while tracking sodium probably is a good idea, just tracking calories alone is almost too much for me to handle without going insane.

I have been on Weight Watchers several times, but even if I eat all of the right foods, reach my GHG, and don't waste points on junk, I'm STILL hungry. And it's not like my diet would change much if I were counting calories- I'd just measure out my serving of berries a bit more accurately since I'd have to count it.

Thing is WW, South Beach, and Spark all suggest the same ideas: whole grains, fruit, vegetables, lean proteins, low-fat/fat-free dairy (although, this is the one area where I do deviate. Full-fat cheese just has more flavor). Paleo does eliminate the grains, but it also focuses a LOT on natural, whole foods (including grass-fed, organic beef, etc).

They all have good foundations for healthy living, but they approach them differently. Weight Watchers uses a Points System and Good Health Guidelines to steer you in the right direction. Sparkpeople uses calorie counts and other tools in the same way (including the "plate method" of meal planning). Paleo and South Beach guide you based on a list of foods you can and cannot eat. However, Paleo does have the 80/20 rule where you can deviate... and in Phase 3 of South Beach, they expect that you are so in touch with your healthy habits that you can treat yourself to foods that were previously off-limits without needing as much as you did before to satisfy yourself.

I honestly don't have a problem with losing weight when I stick to a healthy eating plan. I was on a Paleo diet for a week and I lost 6 pounds (not measuring or tracking anything). I've lost a total of about 60 to 70 pounds combined on Weight Watchers. I can lose weight.

The problem is, I can't seem to stick to anything long-term... but I don't see how making small gradual changes actually makes a difference.

BEVIEG41 Posts: 5,756
3/21/13 2:15 P

Hi HONEYLISSABEE - I am new to this and I am a WW member and what I noticed that no one has mentioned SODIUM intake. I was on a YOYO syndrome, and my WW leader had me journal for a week and bring it in, she looked at my weekly journal and said I was consuming too much sodium. Well I was flabbergasted as I do not even have a salt shaker in my home. I went out to a B&N bookstore and bought a book on nutritional values for all foods, and had to journal for the next week and keep my sodium at 1500 mg a day, figured that would be a piece of cake. HA, boy was I surprised. My first day, I was within my WW points but had consumed 4500 mg of sodium, by the end of the week I had it down to 1500-1700 mg of sodium and had lost 7 lbs. I know when I watch my sodium I lose weight. That could be your problem. Fast foods, restaurant food and packaged food are full of sodium and will derail you in a heartbeat. Chinese Food takes 48 hours to rid your body of the sodium. I hope this is helpful. Also as we get older our metabolism changes. Bev

FTSOLK Posts: 1,403
3/21/13 1:13 P

And, no, I am not looking for permission to drink soda again. I'll admit, there are times when I would love a Mountain Dew Code Red or a blue raspberry slurpee, but overall, I'm ok with not drinking soda anymore.

I just don't see how small gradual "lifestyle" changes work when doing the "right thing" in making gradual changes had the OPPOSITE end result from what I was hoping to achieve.

FTSOLK Posts: 1,403
3/21/13 1:11 P

Thing is, when I gave up soda, I just gave it up cold-turkey. I never cared for the diet stuff, so I just cut it out completely. However, I still drank juice, milkshakes, smoothies, etc. I also kept drinking Izze soda because the ingredients are just carbonation and juice.

I gave up liquid calories a couple years later. Originally, I was going to allow myself to have a frappucino at Starbucks on special occasions (like if I went out with a friend other than my best friend), but when the opportunity came, I still decided to order an unsweetened iced tea. Now, I still drink milk (regular, unsweetened almond, unsweetened almond/coconut, sweetened coconut, and sweetened soy) on occasion, but I've pretty much cut the sweetened stuff out of my diet completely (I didn't drink cow's milk for a few years, and unsweetened soy is nasty; I still only drank it plain once every few months or so- it was mainly used in cereal). Once every few months, I will order a decaf soy latte or coffee from Starbucks. (But to give you an idea of how often that happens, I'll say that I probably haven't had any since November or so).

I stopped eating artificial sweeteners cold-turkey as well. Same with the switch from regular yogurt to Greek.

But whenever I've tried to switch out potato chips and snack cakes or cut them from my diet like I did with the other things (some things I removed by elimination, others I swapped) I end up giving in and going back to my old ways, and I just don't get it. I don't know how I was able to give up soda like that with no effort, but I struggle with doing the same for potato chips.

BUNNYKICKS Posts: 2,433
3/21/13 12:46 P

I am not sure what sort of support you are seeking... you keep coming back to "I weighed less when i drank soda" - are you waiting for someone to give you the OK to add soda back to your diet? That's unlikely to happen on these boards.

You are an adult, you are in control of the choices you make for yourself.

You do not HAVE to lose weight or "be thin" - we are all worthy people regardless of our dress size. If you are looking for validation that you are a good person just as you are? Well - you are! You do not HAVE to change a thing!

If you WANT to change something about yourself, you first need to understand that it is HARD, there are no shortcuts, there can be some discomfort along the way, it isn't "fair" and it isn't fast and it isn't easy - and that's where these Support Forums come into play.

Have you decided within yourself, that you WANT to make a change?

It seems to me, that you are holding on to two conflicting desires - a) lose weight and b) continue with your current eating patterns. The reality is this - you cannot have both a) and b) at the same time. You are an adult, it is up to you to choose a) or b).

FTSOLK Posts: 1,403
3/21/13 12:12 P

I don't buy that "people in North America aren't hungry" thing. Hunger is a feeling of discomfort or weakness caused by lack of food, coupled with the desire to eat. ANYBODY can be hungry.

People in North America, however, are not STARVING. There is a difference. (And that is still a general statement because there are people in North America who are starving- some by "choice" (including eating disorders like anorexia), some due to circumstances out of their control).

I agree that, maybe I should swap out chips for popcorn (although, I do LOVE this one particular brand of barbecue chips). I wish there was barbecue popcorn. I would love to find a brand of light microwave popcorn that doesn't have any hydrogenated oil. I've stopped eating microwave popcorn because of it. I might try out the homemade microwave popcorn recipe or get an air-popper instead, but it would be nice to have a store-bought alternative to turn to. It's just easier to pick up microwave popcorn at the store on my way to a babysitting job than it is to air-pop some and pack it in a ziplock bag.

And, I actually don't eat ice cream too often. Now that the weather is getting warmer, I might be getting frozen yogurt more often, but I really don't eat ice cream much. I do eat a lot of popsicles and ice pops, etc... but that's only when I'm sick. Hey, frozen treats soothe a sore throat.

I do prefer homemade baked goods, but the store-bought stuff is just so much more convenient. It's faster. It takes less work. I wish there was a homemade recipe that was as quick and easy as buying a box at the store.

Thing is, before I gave up soda, my weight was pretty consistent. I didn't really gain weight, so you'd think cutting that out would result in weight loss. But instead, I started gaining weight.

ICEDEMETER Posts: 1,332
3/21/13 11:47 A

Yup, I thing I'd be starving on that day, too.

What I think I'm seeing here (and I could be waaaayyy off base, so please don't take it to heart) is that you're 21, you want to have the same good times and "lifestyle" as your friends, and you want to lose weight --- and you're not willing to sacrifice the one to get the other. Which, frankly, makes perfect sense to me. I've never been one to make sacrifices!

You've already made some great changes in what you eat regularly, so it seems like you'd be open to making some more. A few changes that I made that didn't leave me hungry were:

- having popcorn instead of chips every day, and I find the popcorn way more filling
- having either a 100-calorie frozen yogurt bar, or a plain yogurt with added sugar, cocoa, and almonds instead of the ice cream every day
- home-made muffins instead of store-bought snack cakes, which gives me way more fibre and protein, taste better, and leave me more full

Just these changes might make the difference between gaining and maintaining.

As for not changing the lifestyle, well... hmmm... have you tried looking at the calories on a monthly basis instead of a daily basis? If, to lose weight, you need to average around 1500 calories a day, that would give you 45,000 calories per month. Say you want to allow for 3000 calories twice per week to allow you your nights out, this would be 24,000 calories for treat days, thus allowing 21,000 calories for the remaining 22 days. Not really enough for you to not be starving for most of the month, is it? Even if you changed it up that you burn 1500 calories per week with walking and can add that back in to your food, then you're still looking at 27,000 calories for 22 days, or 1228 per day. It's going to take a lot of effort on your part to figure out what to eat in order to be satisfied on that.

What it comes down to, is that only you can decide what is most important to you, and what efforts you are willing to make.

Are you willing to make some trade-offs (say, one night out at 2000 calories and one at 2500 --- leaving you at 1500 cals per day for the rest of the month), work out a bit more in order to keep your muscle mass and burn a few more calories, be a lot more patient in how long it's going to take (1/2lb per week, at best), and do a little research in to what will keep you satisfied at 1500 cals per day? If you are willing to do that, then eventually you'll be successful at losing some weight.

If you're not willing to do that right now, then accept it, accept yourself and your body as it is now, and continue to enjoy your life and your lifestyle as it is. You know that you've already made some healthy eating changes, and you can continue making changes like that, knowing that they are helping to maintain your health, even if not your weight. Once you decide that changing your weight is a priority to you, then you'll make the changes that you need to your lifestyle in order to let losing weight happen.

Oh, and beating yourself up about it won't magically change losing weight in to a priority for you, so please don't do that. I personally believe that major lifestyle overhauls like this should come at a time when you are happy about the change itself (not just the potential result of that change) - trying because you "should", or someone else wants you to, or you are coming from a negative mindset, doesn't seem to be successful in many cases. It often seems to lead to a really bad cycle of "failure" that doesn't appear overly happy to me.

Personally, I'm all about finding the joy in life. If I wasn't thoroughly enjoying finding fabulous new foods and recipes, learning to cook (finally!), learning about nifty little health tips, and getting back in to shape to enjoy my favorite activities (and incidentally losing some weight while I'm doing this)... well, I wouldn't stick to it either.

Best of luck to you in finding the balance that brings you joy!

Edited to add: Sheesh! I forgot the most important thing! As some others mentioned, please see your doc and find out if you might have some underlying medical issue or vitamin deficiency that might be driving your hunger. It may be that adding a supplement to correct a deficiency might be all it takes to make this much, much easier for you.

Edited by: ICEDEMETER at: 3/21/2013 (11:55)
NIKKISCHROE SparkPoints: (1,946)
Fitness Minutes: (255)
Posts: 43
3/21/13 11:42 A

I also am a chronic snacker and feel hungry. I've added more protein and it helps with might be retaining fluid due to hormones...that often happens to me! Just try different things:) look up recipes that taste great, but are good for you-cakes baked with apple sauce, muffins made with can have a little more and feel satisfied... Don't give up!

NATALIYA30 Posts: 35
3/21/13 11:15 A

I am sorry but children in Africa are hungry. North Americans are not. Someone said in comments below that being a little hungry won't kill anyone. But I see that you really do feel hungry (all caps gave it away lol) so maybe it IS a medical issue you are not aware of. My friend has thyroid issues and her appetite and eating habits change all the time. She is now getting medical help so I am sure things will go back to normal for her.

FTSOLK Posts: 1,403
3/21/13 11:06 A

What I eat is my DIET. Plain and simple.

And I eat 4,000 calories because I am FREAKING HUNGRY. It's not that I plan out a 4,000 calorie menu. I just EAT until I'm full and sometimes that is 4,000 calories later (but usually, it's closer to 3,000 calories).

I don't give up because I am not seeing fast results. I give up because I am HUNGRY.

And drinking tea when going out to eat with friends makes a lot of sense. Right now, I have a temporary part-time job. I get out of work at around 7:30. So, if I go out after work, I guess I'll eat dinner around 10 or 11 when I get home.

MLS616 Posts: 157
3/21/13 11:02 A

I completely agree with your second post re: defining a diet, etc.

And did someone say "cutting calories long term will never work"? we ARE cutting calories. Let's face it people. You're on here with a restricted caloric intake.

That said - I would suggest you look into your hormone levels and talk to a doctor. It's very possible you are suffering from being out of balance and unfortunately, this might take a long time to reverse. If you have become insulin resistant, then you will want to look very closely at following a low GI diet. This means you can eat quite a lot, but you typically can't eat processed/refined carbs such as breads, white rice, cakes, cookies, etc. and keep potatoes off the list. First thing I'd do away with are sandwiches. Try the same ingredients on a salad, or some type of seed crackers...there are lots you can get in the deli. For treats eat a small amount of chocolate (small amount). It is low GI, but it is high fat so you still need to be careful.

I lost at least 15 lbs doing this, and it did not seem at all like a struggle.

Maybe this will help.


RNONTHERUN79 SparkPoints: (16)
Fitness Minutes: (50)
Posts: 2
3/21/13 10:56 A

Stop viewing your lifestyle changes as a Diet and start thinking as eating towards your goals. When you start any new workout program or change your eating habits your body goes into shock especially if its conditioned to eating junk and being sedentary so it retains water terribly plus you build muscle and all of this weighs more than fat. but if you can find it within yourself to push through 3 weeks you will see results.
The thing is we can all give you pointers on here be supportive, motivating but its up to you on weather or not you stick to it. Your battling yourself right now. So its your choice who you want to win? every day its a choice and its your choice to make? Being healthy in an unhealthy world is hard. Push through and you reap huge benefits, giving in and giving up is easy. Do you have it within yourself to fight and push through??????

JILLWOLVERINE SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (3,503)
Posts: 53
3/21/13 10:50 A

The thing that works for me is reminding myself that it's not like I'm never allowed to eat junk food again, or never allowed to eat a little bit more than I should again. That kind of thinking is overwhelming and then I cave-- I think trying to commit to any of those diets would be the same for me, it's just too much to commit to when you are at the most vulnerable stage of your lifestyle change! I take it one day and one choice at a time. If I am craving something I shouldn't have, I ask myself-- do I really NEED to have that RIGHT this minute? Can it wait? Is there something else better for me that also sounds good right now? I can still eat it another time if I have to have it, but RIGHT THIS MINUTE do I need it? 90% of the time, it can wait or there's something better for me I can be satisfied with. The 10% of the time where I really do just have to splurge, I can do it without feeling guilty because I made good choices all those other times. You don't HAVE to go cold turkey or commit to some radical diet on day one to lose weight, I think that sets you up for failire. Just take it a little at a time. I started with eating the same foods I normally eat in smaller portion sizes-- when I realized I could be more full with fewer calories by eating better foods, I slowly started making those changes as I went along.

And for me, I can't stick to anything easily until I do it every day for 4-6 weeks. So whenever I start, I tell myself the first 4-6 weeks will be hard but if I can muscle through them it won't be hard anymore. It doesn't stay as hard as it is in the beginning forever and it's important to remember that and not let the initial struggle intimidate you.

Edited by: JILLWOLVERINE at: 3/21/2013 (10:52)
NATALIYA30 Posts: 35
3/21/13 10:49 A

One of my friends was on Jenny Craig for a time. And you know that with that plan you really need to stick to their food and not eat out. My friend still went out with us but only had tea. We knew why, we supported her and we still got to spend time together. I am sure your best friend would understand your struggle and support you, too. Instead of going out to eat you can bring a snack and go for a walk. There are really so many things you can do to help your situation. You quote Jillian Michaels so let me ask you this: what do you think she would say and tell you to do? First look inside and try to understand motivation behind your actions, and then get to work. She'll probably yell, too - that's what she does :)

I also agree with another comment asking about the amount of calories you consume on different days. 4,000? Why would you need so much? And I also hate the word "diet" - I know it's the way anyone eats but to me it sounds like I need to deprive or limit myself. Instead I developed healthy habits. And if I want a donut I will think how much I need it and what will it take to "undo" the damages. Sometimes I won't have it at all, sometimes I will have a half.

My point is - you understand what has to be done and how. You are just not consistent. And only you can change that.

GRIZ1GIRL SparkPoints: (201,314)
Fitness Minutes: (261,080)
Posts: 2,243
3/21/13 10:46 A

Graze on healthy foods until your stomach shrinks....and you can eat normally without feeling "starving"--and remember, a little hunger won't kill you!

And absolutely positively--EXERCISE DAILY! You can't lose weight just worrying about food! Ya gotta workout too! :)

FTSOLK Posts: 1,403
3/21/13 10:27 A

This is the kind of day that will leave me starving:

Oatmeal and chia seeds mixed with a cup of Greek yogurt and layered with berries

A Chobani champion tube and a clementine (from my lunch if I had a late lunch break. This snack wasn't always eaten).

A sandwich made with laughing cow cheese, ham, and carrots on a sandwich thin with a large side of cucumber slices, blackberries, a cup of butternut squash soup.

A pepper jack cheese bar with grape tomatoes

A grilled chicken breast with barbecue sauce, roasted sweet potato, and a bag of steamed broccoli

BUNNYKICKS Posts: 2,433
3/21/13 2:00 A

Well... consider then, that perhaps cutting out the soda calories has slowed the rate of gain from what you would have experienced, had you continued to have it along with the chips. Clearly if you are still gaining weight, you are still taking in more calories than your body is expending... cutting out soda is a good first step but if you want to make a serious attempt to change your weight, that alone won't be enough. Look, it's just reality - it is difficult to impossible to lose weight while regularly consuming "a bag of chips and a box of snack cakes."

If you find you are "shaking with hunger" you might need to look at increasing the amount of *healthy nutritious* food you consume. If you try and cut back too far, leaving yourself ravenous, you will set yourself up for grabbing anything and everything in sight. We've all been there. We know how that goes. The skipped breakfast, the 200-calorie lettuce-and-skinless-chicken-breast lunch... and the freaky-crazed hunger that sets in by mid-afternoon. I've done this. Lots. The way I avoid it now is to ensure I eat a well balanced breakfast and lunch, each meal containing sufficient calories, protein and fat. When I eat well early in the day, I don't get those overly-hungry symptoms that you describe, and that i totally know what you mean, because I have been there.

FTSOLK Posts: 1,403
3/21/13 12:35 A

When you put those two sentences side-by-side, you can see the reason the scale isn't moving downwards. It would be unrealistic to expect that it would! Cutting out Slurpees and replacing those calories with potato chips is only going to keep you spinning your wheels.

So, you need to ask yourself - why do the potato chips mean more to you than your own good health? I see from your sparkpage you refer to yourself as a "binge eater" - why do you do this? Have you considered investing some quality time with a therapist that could perhaps help you explore the root issues? Emotional eating is a difficult thing to get a handle on - there are no easy answers, and it may well be worth it to consult a qualified professional for assistance in getting a handle on it.

I wish you well with your journey.
Thing is, eating snack cakes and chips is something that I was doing before I made those changes. When I was a freshman in high school, it didn't take long to realize that I could spend $2-4 on a tiny overpriced meal at my school cafeteria OR I could skip lunch, spend my lunch period in the library surfing the web (on a side note, my lunch period was at around 1pm and I got out of school about quarter after 2), and buy TWO bags of potato chips for the same price on my way home. So, I didn't REPLACE soda with chips. I had BOTH soda and chips and I replaced the soda with water and kept the chips the same.

I am unemployed, so I cannot afford therapy sessions. And frankly, I have no desire to see a therapist about anything ever again. In fact, if I do see a therapist it should be about my paralyzing FEAR of therapy, etc.

Thing is, even eating a CRAPLOAD of vegetables, whole grains, grilled chicken breast, a little fat-free dairy, etc I'll still be HUNGRY two hours later. Then, I'll go eat a bag of chips and a box of snack cakes like I did before and I'm NOT HUNGRY ANYMORE.

And we're talking stomach growling, hands shaking, legitimate hunger.

FTSOLK Posts: 1,403
3/21/13 12:22 A

I'll admit, I'm not the best when it comes to fruit and veggies. It just happens that the two closest grocery stores to me have a pretty BAD produce department, so I avoid fresh produce there. I know that's really no excuse, but I do prefer fresh produce over frozen, and sometimes I don't make it to the Farmer's market.

I will say, however, that I am always good about making sure I have some fruit or veggie in my packed lunch.The lunch might be pepperoni and cheese with crackers, but I'll still throw in a can of drained pineapple (packed in juice) at the very least.

And I know that my calorie intake varies greatly. Now that I'm unemployed, there are days when I only eat two meals because I don't get out of bed until after noon. However, I have the tendency to go from eating a healthy balanced diet one day to binging on junk food the next.

Thing is, I don't have peanut butter often, but when I do, it's unsweetened.

I don't cook pasta often, but when I do, it's whole wheat.

Unfortunately, only eating out once a week is not realistic for me right now. If I go to church on a Wednesday night, and my friends and I go out then, then it means I'm stuck at home on Saturday night when I could be going out with my best friend.

However, the amount of water I drink when I eat out is INSANE, so the sodium really doesn't do much to impact my weight

LOVEXAVIE SparkPoints: (42,867)
Fitness Minutes: (48,271)
Posts: 2,450
3/20/13 8:00 P


You sure sound like you've got some good habits going there.
Where are you at in terms of fruit & veggie consumption? I didn't see any mention of that. I know I sound like a broken record, but that's the one thing that accelerated my weight loss into overdrive.

Also, I'm curious about how some days you could be 1500 or so and other days 4000.
Granted, we all have days periodically where we have a special meal or treat planned, etc.
But I took what you wrote to mean that your caloric intake regularly varies a LOT.

When I was focused on losing, I'd eat at the high end of my Spark range of1200 - 1550. Yep, there were days I'd go over but unless it was a birthday or Christmas, etc., I wouldn't go over 2000, which is 500 over my upper range.

Maybe if you narrowed the range of your caloric window, so to speak....have the window of range be 400 or 500?

Just a thought.

But especially try a minimum of 7-9 servings of mainly veggies and some fruit. Hopefully that will help.

Good luck!!

PS: I know you cut down on going out to eat a lot (that's great!) but while you are focused on losing, maybe cut that even further to once a week or every 10 days? Depends on what you get, of course, but if it's typical fast food fare that has a lot of sodium in it, that may be affecting you.

Edited by: LOVEXAVIE at: 3/20/2013 (20:46)
BUNNYKICKS Posts: 2,433
3/20/13 7:45 P

"I don't think wanting the scale to move in a downward direction is "unrealistic."... I almost always resort back to my old ways of snacking on potato chips and snack cakes."

When you put those two sentences side-by-side, you can see the reason the scale isn't moving downwards. It would be unrealistic to expect that it would! Cutting out Slurpees and replacing those calories with potato chips is only going to keep you spinning your wheels.

So, you need to ask yourself - why do the potato chips mean more to you than your own good health? I see from your sparkpage you refer to yourself as a "binge eater" - why do you do this? Have you considered investing some quality time with a therapist that could perhaps help you explore the root issues? Emotional eating is a difficult thing to get a handle on - there are no easy answers, and it may well be worth it to consult a qualified professional for assistance in getting a handle on it.

I wish you well with your journey.

FTSOLK Posts: 1,403
3/20/13 7:20 P

Right now, my primary exercise is walking. I usually don't go longer than a few says on a strength training program.

I am FATTER than before. I weigh more and I am about 4 sizes bigger than I was when I first started trying to lose weight. My body fat percentage has also increased.

I don't think wanting the scale to move in a downward direction is "unrealistic." I've been incorporating small changes over the past few years in addition to trying and failing at different programs (I can track calories for about a week before I'm too stressed out to continue).

I wouldn't say I'm on a plateau. I honestly cannot stick to any kind of diet plan long enough to plateau. Calorie counting stresses me out and cutting out foods (even if I say I can't have dessert at lunch but I can have some when I go out for dinner) doesn't last for me. I almost always resort back to my old ways of snacking on potato chips and snack cakes.

BUNNYKICKS Posts: 2,433
3/20/13 5:17 P

Ok what do you mean you "can't stick to a diet" -

You list a bunch of changes you have made, and have stuck to!! And your health will be better for it.

I think what you may be trying to ask is, "why is the scale not moving" which is a different animal altogether. There are two or three usual suspects:

a) overly optimistic/unrealistic expectations for how fast the scale "should" move.
b) portion sizes (healthy foods in too-large quantities may make you healthier, but not lighter)
c) "splurges" (the things we convince ourselves we "deserve" after "being good for x days" - can undo our progress)

How long have you been stuck on this plateau?
Are you weighing and measuring and journalling (all with maximum honesty)?
Are you having moments of "to hell with it" excess?

I think only YOU can answer the question, "why can't i..."

Getting to the root of that question can be very difficult but I believe is almost essential to being able to get on with the process of changing one's life.

ERICADURR Posts: 243
3/20/13 4:00 P

All of those are good things! You may weigh more, but that doesn't mean you're fatter. Do you take measurements of your body? Have you ever gotten your body fat tested? Scales are only one part of the equation, and an unreliable one at that. Also, how do you FEEL?

SP_COACH_NANCY SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (112,042)
Posts: 46,222
3/20/13 3:33 P

What are you doing activity-wise? Are you working out at an intensity high enough to promote weight loss? Are you strength training? Are you getting quality sleep? Managing stress?

All these things can affect the number on the scale.

Coach Nancy

FTSOLK Posts: 1,403
3/20/13 3:19 P

I cut out soda/liquid calories from my diet (except for occasional whole milk- I drink maybe a quart in two to three weeks at the very most; usually less than that).
I removed artificial sweeteners (including Stevia).
I only cook with olive oil or coconut oil.
I don't eat white rice (except in rare occasions when I get sushi and brown rice sushi isn't available- and even then, I prefer sashimi).
I only eat natural/unsweetened peanut butter instead of the sweetened stuff.
I only eat high-protein Greek yogurt (0% and 2%)
I only cook whole wheat pasta at home.
I drink a minimum of 68 oz of water (unsweetened, flavored seltzer included) a day. On most days, I drink more than that. I also drink a lot of unsweetened tea- especially at restaurants.
I cut back on eating out from 5-7 days per week to only 2-3 days on MOST weeks.

All of these are "small changes" that are suggested people make in order to make lifestyle changes...rather than "dieting" and I'm actually HEAVIER than I was when I first stated trying to lose weight. I weigh more than I did when I was drinking gallons of soda and slurpees and frappucinos every week.

ERICADURR Posts: 243
3/20/13 3:15 P

I think the reason you aren't sticking to it is because you're not stuck to anything *long enough* to see results. Generally, people stick with stuff that works and develop a routine to enable those healthy habits. I agree with the previous poster about slowly adding good habits, but it seems like you have a defeatist attitude (which I sometimes, admittedly, also have) and this is likely sabotaging your efforts toward maintaining healthy habits. Start small, develop a habit, and don't throw it out the window when you stray from the habit.

Honestly though, you need to ask yourself why you can't stick to a diet, not the community of sparkpeople. Only you can answer that question.

FTSOLK Posts: 1,403
3/20/13 3:09 P

"Because diets don't work. You have to make healthy eating a permanent way of living."

A diet is the kinds of food someone eats. Someone can be on a diet of processed junk food, but it is STILL a diet. The different commercial "diets" I've tried (INCLUDING calorie counting on SPARKPEOPLE) are just guides I've put into place to help me develop healthier habits (ie: Weight Watchers to help with portion control, eating more fruits/veggies/whole grains/lean protein, etc.

"This doesn't mean you can't enjoy an occasional treat from time to time"

I had Cheesecake on Weight Watchers (real Cheesecake, not sugar free crap). I ALWAYS indulged in treats.

"Over-restricting calories will eventually backfire"

My daily caloric intake varies greatly from day to day, so it's difficult to gradually cut back from my daily intake when one day I might eat 2,000 calories and the next I eat upwards of 4,000. If I ate 4,000 consistently on a daily basis, I could cut 200 calories from that.

I've gone with the caloric intake goals of Fitbit, Sparkpeople, and MyFitnessPal before. I've never been on a diet where I've had to eat fewer than 1,200 calories- and I usually eat at least 1,400-1,500 calories when I am trying to lose weight by counting calories.

3/20/13 3:03 P

I hear you!

I agree with Coach Nancy. You also have to stop thinking about it as a diet. Think about it as a lifestyle change. I recommend that you make small changes and go from there. Decide you are going to have another cup of water until you are able to reach 8 cups per day instead of having a candy bar have half, add a fruit or vegetable to a meal for a few days, then add another fruit or vegetable until you are getting your recommended amounts, switch from full milk to 2%, then 1%, to skim (or just do one phase, depending on if you can handle the change in taste), switch out regular bacon for turkey bacon, etc. I don't know what your like, so what I mentioned might not even appeal to you.

I find that is the best way to do it-slowly. I have always been one to say to myself that I'm going to start tomorrow, not eat this, exercise this hard, etc. When I wake up the next day, it doesn't happen. Remember to NEVER deny yourself any treats (once in a while is ok-I find that if I don't have some sort of chocolate, even if it's one kiss, at least every day, I go overboard the next day) and if you miss an exercise, don't beat yourself up over it. Just pick yourself up the next day and try again.

Also, you may not see changes in the scale for a while (you will be feeling better and may see it in your clothes). For most people this takes time.

emoticon It just takes time and if you have to, like I mentioned, just take it slowly.

SP_COACH_NANCY SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (112,042)
Posts: 46,222
3/20/13 2:50 P


Because diets don't work. You have to make healthy eating a permanent way of living. This doesn't mean you can't enjoy an occasional treat from time to time. In fact dietitian's recommend eating well 80-90% of the time and the rest are for those moments when you want to splurge a little. This journey is about changing the way you view food. Over-restricting calories will eventually backfire, so your goal is to make a small calorie deficit from your diet and expending a little more from your activity. This may take you longer to reach your goal, but you will never have to diet or start over again as this will be your way of life.

Coach Nancy

FTSOLK Posts: 1,403
3/20/13 2:41 P

I just can't seem to stick to any diet. In the past few years, I have tried:

-South Beach (only did about a day of Phase 1 twice)
-Weight Watchers 360
-Weight Watchers PointsPlus
-Weight Watchers Momentum
-Counting Calories through Sparkpeople
-Counting Calories through MyFitnessPal
-Just making sure half of my plate is made of vegetables
-Vegan (I made it about 6 days on the Daniel Fast)

For some reason, I've managed to eliminate artificial sweeteners and liquid calories from my diet. I managed to stick to a 10,000 step streak for about two months before I temporarily lost my FitBit. I only cook with Olive Oil and Coconut oil. However, I haven't been able to stick to any kind of eating plan for more than a week or two at most which means I don't see any results.

I just don't get why I can't stick to anything.

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