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CINCYDORA's Photo CINCYDORA Posts: 3,505
12/29/10 4:45 P

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Oh, Cpt! I think I really need to go read those articles you posted. Apparently I'm an angry eater. I got ticked off at a random Sparkperson who was being a jerk and my response was to eat a bag of chocolate instead of the grapefruit and candy cane I'd planned on. It wasn't even great chocolate!!! 800+ calories blown and I have to somehow resist the crud on the menu at the pizza place where I'll be meeting friends for another holiday gathering.

I cannot make myself be thin today, but I CAN be healthier by making a few smart choices. I focus on what needs to be done today and tomorrow takes care of itself.

You can complain because roses have thorns. Or you can rejoice that thorns have roses.—Ziggy

Thank you Sparkfriends for being my roses!


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CINCYDORA's Photo CINCYDORA Posts: 3,505
12/23/10 10:25 A

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I did some bad overeating yesterday. I'm not sure if it was emotional or just lazy, but given how high the calories went, I suspect holiday stress had a role. I'm particularly disappointed in myself because I haven't had the energy/desire to do our annual cd. It's the end of a 10 year tradition. I may yet do something online but with so little notice, it won't have the impact it did before. I feel the need to chronicle it here for future contemplation. It's probably going to be long and I won't be offended if no one reads further than the first paragraph.

On the positive side, my binge could have been worse. It started when I grabbed a leftover sandwich and chips at work. I justified it because I knew I'd be out really late shopping and wouldn't get to eat until 8 at the earliest. Then I ate another half sandwich, just because. I should have drank more water first because when I finally did I hurt so much! I was probably full after half of the first sandwich but was enjoying the indulgence of food so I skipped the water and had a diet coke. In spite of the pain, I grabbed a handful of chocolate popcorn that was in the break room. How self-distructive can I get?

I regretted it for the rest of the day. Fortunatly the extreme fullness passed by end of day so I wasn't too uncomfortable while shopping. I was fatigued and probably spent more than I should just out of weariness.

There was a late ball game I wanted to watch and I was really tired when I got home so I took a 90 minute nap, after which I was feeling hungry again. I did the stupid thing and gave myself permission to continue the splurge. The good part is although I decided on pasta, I loaded it down with veggies so over all it was pretty healthy. Just for comparision, yesterday topped out at just above 3000, and that included a snack I had after midnight, where as recently as November I was able to put away 5000 without dicomfort. So my physical ability to binge seems to be decreasing. If I can behave over Christmas, perhaps I can maintain that.

Of course, my calm is currently damaged because as I type this my sister's flight was delayed. She is still stuck in Europe, and flights out are being delayed across the board, some cancelled. I'm heartsick contemplating the possibility of her not making it home for Christmas!!

I cannot make myself be thin today, but I CAN be healthier by making a few smart choices. I focus on what needs to be done today and tomorrow takes care of itself.

You can complain because roses have thorns. Or you can rejoice that thorns have roses.—Ziggy

Thank you Sparkfriends for being my roses!


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CPT.SPACEMONKEY's Photo CPT.SPACEMONKEY Posts: 4,904
12/8/10 11:03 A

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actually appointment is today... getting ready to leave wish me luck. :)

"We are defined by the choices we make." Tyler Durden


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CINCYDORA's Photo CINCYDORA Posts: 3,505
12/6/10 9:20 A

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Good for you Cpt. I'm sure it's been hard to come to this point but at least you aren't giving up.

Do you ever feel like you are playing whack-a-mole? I get one issue under control and another pops up. I chase down all the other issues and the first one pops back up again. I can choose to get frustrated and angry or just laugh at the chaos and keep whacking away.

I'm aiming for laughter.

I cannot make myself be thin today, but I CAN be healthier by making a few smart choices. I focus on what needs to be done today and tomorrow takes care of itself.

You can complain because roses have thorns. Or you can rejoice that thorns have roses.—Ziggy

Thank you Sparkfriends for being my roses!


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CPT.SPACEMONKEY's Photo CPT.SPACEMONKEY Posts: 4,904
12/3/10 11:47 A

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Cincy, I sooooo understand this. I have taken some steps to try to own up to my own emotional eating because although it might not been a big issue in the past...

It is now.

I am starting counseling with a food addiction counselor on Monday. I will let you know how it goes and I am sure you will be hearing from me along the way.

It is going to be an interesting journey for sure.

:)

"We are defined by the choices we make." Tyler Durden


*************** Team Leader - Project Mayhem!****************

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CINCYDORA's Photo CINCYDORA Posts: 3,505
12/1/10 11:53 A

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Here's a new discovery: I don't just eat because I'm bored but to procrastinate. It's really hard to exercise or do serious housework on a full stomach. I've been eating so much lately that I've let both go. The sad part is I eat until I'm full, sit until I'm hungry, then use being hungry as another excuse not to do my chores!!!

Time to give up on chores and focus on being healthy. I spent last evening baking yet managed to eat less than the previous night, even while sampling the goods. Staying busy is the key but it's hard to make myself be busy on the dark, cold winter evenings. The good news is I only have 3 weeks left until the winter solstice when the evenings will start getting lighter, which always cheers me up. I just need to minimize the damage I do in those next 3 weeks.

I cannot make myself be thin today, but I CAN be healthier by making a few smart choices. I focus on what needs to be done today and tomorrow takes care of itself.

You can complain because roses have thorns. Or you can rejoice that thorns have roses.—Ziggy

Thank you Sparkfriends for being my roses!


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CINCYDORA's Photo CINCYDORA Posts: 3,505
11/19/10 11:08 A

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This is more of a public journal entry for my own future reference than an attempt to share some insight with others. It's a rather meandering review of my own process so I hope no one feels forced to read and comment, although I always welcome comments for anyone with the time and desire to slug through to the end.

First let me admit I still haven't reviewed the material Cpt referenced in the original post but I fully intend to go through the exercise. I've been doing very well avoiding emotional eating/binging but I think that's the best time to reflect on the problem, not when I'm in the midst of it, desperately trying to climb out of the hole.

The important piece of this for me right now is not so much how to get rid of the urge but how to control it. So many times I'm in mid-binge and I know exactly what I'm doing. What I lack is the desire to stop. When I'm trying to fill the emotional hole with food it is very difficult for me to act upon the multitude of alternate suggestions offered by my head. There is true enjoyment in the food, at least to start, and the alternatives aren't usually as attractive.

With the cold weather, the dark evenings, fall allergies sapping my energy and the physical toll running is taking on my body, I've not only been less active but hungrier. Being less active means more down time for my mind to wander. Less exercise means I often don't drink as much liquid as I should so my stomach is emptier. It's all a recipe for binging.

It starts with the "I'm cold, tired, and I've been burning extra calories so I should eat more" train of thought. Being cold means drinking less water so when I'm done eating my stomach grumbles for more. My head knows it wants water but my tongue wants food. So why, even though I had calories left in my budget every night, did I not binge this week? Monday and Wednesday were the exact type of day that would inspire a binge. But Wednesday I somehow convinced myself not to eat another black bean patty, even though I could have snuck one in and been just under my calorie limit. Instead I convinced myself to drink water. After a glass or two the beans already in my tummy swelled up and I was so full I could barely bend over. But no physical feeling prior to drinking the water suggested that would happen. Something in my head made me act appropriately. Monday was even more dramatic because instead of a 2nd grilled cheese, which again would have just barely fit in my budget, I had a bowl of veggies with a chaser of water, and ended up significantly below my max. Again, full tummy to the point of bloat and no further desire to eat.

These were not completely conscious decisions. I had the usual internal debate that comes when the binge urge awakens. Why this time did I listen to myself? I would have thought that activity was the key but I didn't decide to walk or do yoga or even just get off my butt and clean. Why? If I can figure out why perhaps I'll have another weapon in my arsenal to fight the binge urge.

There are some obvious reasons why I was able to squelch the urge: I was eating healthy, high-fiber foods and drank at least 2 cups of water. I'm not sure I'd have been able to stop eating if I'd been eating potato chips or some other unhealthy snack, even if I followed them with a whole liter of water. I do think that striving to reach my freggie goal helped on Monday so sticking to my Sparkstreaks is a good strategy.

Still, I need to meditate on why I was able to convince myself to drink the water when in the past I've consciously ignored the thought that doing so would stop the binge. The healthier food part is a bit easier: there's so little junk food in the house and I've been able to come up with some slightly healthier quick food options that meet the crunchy carb urge. My current fave is grilled cheese made with whole grain bread, lite laughing cow cheese, spinach and pepperoni and just enough butter to crisp the bread. I'll add tomato paste if I have it. It's pizza inspired and with the salt and crunch plays right into my current snacking jones. Full of sodium, yes, but lower in fat than chips and the spinach gives me fiber and a serving of veggies. And there's always cheese powder on air popped popcorn if nothing else is in the house. As long as I'm not eating it regularly, it's a satisfying treat.

So that's what I know about my urges so far. My current tactics for avoiding emotional eating binges are:
-don't be bored in the first place
-keep the house stocked with healthy, easy to prepare foods
-learn to appease the craving without giving in to it
-drink water after eating to ensure full expansion of the food in the stomach
-mind my spark streaks

I cannot make myself be thin today, but I CAN be healthier by making a few smart choices. I focus on what needs to be done today and tomorrow takes care of itself.

You can complain because roses have thorns. Or you can rejoice that thorns have roses.—Ziggy

Thank you Sparkfriends for being my roses!


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FRENZTI_QUISTIS's Photo FRENZTI_QUISTIS Posts: 2,048
11/16/10 2:39 P

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My fiance and I had a talk about this recently. We are both emotional eaters.

I am also an all or nothing type person. That is why I have been struggling with an eating disorder for 20 years.

I know what I need to do...but I still don't have a healthy relationship with food. I have quit smoking, overcome alcoholism, and gotten off drugs...but my eating problem is stronger than all of those combined.

CAN'T STOP WON'T STOP

food is not the enemy

I CAN...I WILL...I AM!

If you want to do it, you will find a way, if you don't want to do it, you will find an excuse.

" The principle is competing against yourself. It's about self-improvement, about being better than you were the day before." Steve Young

Arise and be...all that you dreamed!


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CD826200 Posts: 71
11/14/10 9:54 P

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DoomedGirl,
I totally got your number on the "all-or-nothing" mentality. I think that's why I don't have problem losing weight, but I always put it back on (plus some) when my 1200 calorie-a-day, zero carb diet turns me into a soulless, calorie counting monster (I THINK that's how my husband put it...). Or when I start feeling deprived and get pissed off enough to stuff 2 gallons of icecream and a bag of chips down my gullet to fill some hole that food can't fill. So, I get what you're saying. That's why the Sparkpeople nutrition tracker has done me so much good. If I track them right, I can make sure I'm being consistent...which is my biggest problem and I can see in BLACK AND WHITE that I don't need anymore food today, that my body doesn't need it. OR that I absolutely need more food if I want to run that half-marathon next week.

DOOMEDGIRL's Photo DOOMEDGIRL Posts: 41
11/8/10 9:41 A

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Ok, Capt, don't know if this is exactly what you had in mind, but it sure helped me look at my behavior lately and realize that I am not powerless over this and everything that is "going wrong" right now health/food wise is a choice on my part and not something that is being done *to* me.

First...

This is going to sound ridiculous, but I feel like I'm going to be less fun if I stick to my goals. I'll be the one who doesn't go out drinking any more, I'll be the one who is picky about the restaurants we go to, I'll be the one who is obsessing about food again. Then of course, there's the fact that there's no time. Right now, I am working full time, in school full time, raising an 8 year old autistic child, and desperately trying to maintain a small social life. I wake up, go to work, go to class, do some homework, and go to sleep. I don't watch TV anymore, I rarely get to go out, I don't play around on Facebook or any of that anymore... there's nothing left for me to cut unless I start sleeping even less than I already do. The old "I just don't have time" really feels true to me. I have an all or nothing mentality, or at least I use that as my excuse. When I make one slip, I so often use that as a reason to beat myself up or start over tomorrow and then just blow the rest of the day. I've been at this long enough to know that is not the right way to make long lasting change. I guess, in general, my biggest struggle is thinking that I want to do this (take better care of my body and lose weight) and then finding every excuse in the book NOT to do that (bad food tastes better, it takes too much time, I don't want to give up alcohol, why shouldn't I stay fat as long as I'm healthy... you name it, I've used it)

Now...

I need to examine my motivation for wanting to be healthier and lose weight. Instead of focusing on the positive steps I can take, I make a choice to focus only on the negative things that are holding me back. While it may be true that I don't have time to go to the gym anymore right now or cook elaborate meals, I am using that as an excuse to not do anything. I have reached a stage where I am simply whining about my problems and using them as a reason to wallow in self loathing rather than choosing to step up and make even the slightest shift in a positive direction. I choose to make bad decisions and negative emotions a cycle, when I could with only a little more effort make positive decisions and emotions a cycle. I need to be honest with myself about why I am making the decisions I make. I also need to start looking at how these cycles begin so I can recognize them earlier and cut them off before they run out of control.

And from this re-write, I can see that...

Small steps are ok! If I am consciously working on making positive decisions and offering myself positive feedback for them, even a small step forward is better than another step back. I may consider journaling my thoughts/feelings around eating and my body for a while to see how they correlate to my eating. If I can find patterns around the days things don't go as well, perhaps I can find ways to cut the cycle short.


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CINCYDORA's Photo CINCYDORA Posts: 3,505
10/26/10 10:11 A

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As I posted yesterday in the daily check-in thread, I am becoming more aware of my prime triggers: lack of sleep, not enough water throughout the day and refined carbs. I can usually survive one of those things for a day or two but rarely do I survive 2 or 3 at once. I've been practicing the 'I' part for some time. It's the WHY that trips me up.

I can be sitting on the couch in the evening with an empty glass of water and rather than refill it or go to bed I sometimes let myself grab some random refined carb and overeat. I work hard to keep temptation out of the house but we always have something on hand that I can binge on. I can tell myself not to make such and such, not to eat it, not to eat a 2nd helping, to go to bed, to drink water instead of eating, and I can ignore all those self warnings and forge ahead with the binge.

I've narrowed it down to 2 primary factors: boredome and addiction. Refined carbs have this wonderful numbing effect on my brain and sometimes I just go nuts. It'd be like trying to recover from alcoholism while having to drink a glass a day and keep the house fully stocked with alcohol. How can you control an addiction to something you need to live? I've learned that exercise and staying away from packaged foods helps a lot.

As for boredom, I think that's the one that gets me. Sometimes I'm bored, feeling lazy, but it's too early for bed or I don't feel sleepy. I eat to feel sleepy but then I'm too tired to go to the bed, then I start to wake up more and get hungry and repeat the cycle.

I guess it's like any other muscle muscle: the more you use it, the stronger it gets. I just keep practicing. And the more I do, the more often I am able to move out of the resting position and do something active, or at least move myself to bed and get some sleep.

I cannot make myself be thin today, but I CAN be healthier by making a few smart choices. I focus on what needs to be done today and tomorrow takes care of itself.

You can complain because roses have thorns. Or you can rejoice that thorns have roses.—Ziggy

Thank you Sparkfriends for being my roses!


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CPT.SPACEMONKEY's Photo CPT.SPACEMONKEY Posts: 4,904
10/25/10 12:33 P

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Okay... I did my homework... anyone else care to join????

I am really struggling with keeping my diet and exercise under control right now. Stress takes over and I forget every wise choice I need to make. If I get enough sleep, plan ahead, cook ahead, I do just fine. If even one of those things are out of place then it all goes to hell and a hand basket. So I kind of know what I need to do in that aspect. That’s the easiest for me to deal with. The part where I get derailed at is when I don’t eat often enough during the day and then by the time I get home I am starving. I seem to be able to control the portions but then I give into comfort eating at the end of the night because it makes me feel better. As far as exercise goes... I really don’t know what is up with that. I have NO motivation to do it right now. I had it for a couple of weeks but I think that depression gets in the way and it’s just easier to sleep than it is to get up and do something. I use being tired as an excuse. Then at night I use not being able to sleep as an excuse not to exercise. I don’t know why the desire is not there and the guilt just makes it even worse. I KNOW what my body will feel like and begin to look like if I will JUST do it. I keep telling myself that the reason I can’t work out right now



... okay... Re-written: I let stress take over and I don't make wise decision. I don't take the opportunities to plan well. I let other things become priority over taking the time to make good decisions. The comfort I get from eating outweighs the benefit of doing well at the time I do it. I let depression make those decisions instead of me. I make excuses not to exercise. I don't make exercise a priority in my life.



Problem solving:

I let stress take over and I don't make wise decisions. Stress makes me forget to eat during the day making it hard not to binge.



Solution: Find ways to relieve stress during the day. Exercise... take my medication for depression. (it can't work if I don't take it) Go for a walk at lunch, listen to music, do breathing exercises. Set my timer on outlook to eat every 2.5 hours. Promise myself I am going to get on eliptical EVERY day... even if it is only for 5 minutes so I can develop the habit again even if it is all I do. I did that with food journaling. It became a habit and worked. This will too. Just do it!


"We are defined by the choices we make." Tyler Durden


*************** Team Leader - Project Mayhem!****************

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CPT.SPACEMONKEY's Photo CPT.SPACEMONKEY Posts: 4,904
10/21/10 5:02 P

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Emotional eating for me brings up so many... well... emotions. LOL It makes me embarrassed that I can’t control what I eat. Let me rephrase that... It makes me embarrassed that I CHOOSE not to control what I eat. There is anger, guilt, resentment, embarrassment, and shame all associated with that decision. All these emotions do is hold me hostage. They prevent me from going forward. So how do we change this?

First, we need to take responsibility for our own actions and start using “I” in our thinking instead of things like, the gym is to far away so working out is difficult, or stress from work and home makes it impossible to eat right, or my personal excuse right now .... Exercising would be easier for me if I had someone to work out with on a regular basis. The article states that This is “victim” thinking.

(Check out the full article here: www.sparkpeople.com/resource/wellnes
s_
articles.asp?id=690&page=2
)

Thinking like a victim denies us the ability to take self-responsibility for our actions. If you change that thinking to something like this, “ I don’t eat right because I don’t make planning ahead a priority before I go grocery shopping” It makes the problem clearer and makes finding a solution to it easier to see. It brings real problem solving skills to the table for the first time for many of us. It brings into focus that only YOU can solve the problem.

This won’t happen overnight and it will take some practice... but try this little tool to help make it a little easier for you.

Try journaling the next time you have an issue with your weight loss journey.

Pick any issue you are having problems with.
write freely about it and try to define the problem. JUST WRITE. DON’T WORRY ABOUT SOLVING THE PROBLEM HERE.
Then, take a few minutes and go back to it and re-read it...
Are you in charge or is it in charge of you? Are you the victim?
Then go back and change passive verbs to active verbs - ex. Change, “ eating right is difficult because home and work issues get in the way,” to “I don’t plan ahead when grocery shopping so I don’t make wise food decisions later”
NOW... go back and find solutions to the problem. Now that the problem is defined you can solve it... “What can I do to plan ahead?”

If you do this whenever you are having a problem It won’t take you long to change your pattern of thinking and do it automatically.

Feel free to post here! I will be working on a few of mine this week and posting as well.

Edited by: CPT.SPACEMONKEY at: 10/21/2010 (17:03)
"We are defined by the choices we make." Tyler Durden


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BACK2TERI's Photo BACK2TERI SparkPoints: (0)
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10/21/10 3:56 P

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I'm ready for the homework. This topic has been on my mind a lot the last 2 weeks. I find myself often eating for no reason...well other than stress. And it's not the good stuff I crave. It's not the apples, grapes, yogurt in the fridge. Its chips & dips, burgers, sweets, etc. I'm fighting off the urge to make a cake as we speak. I purposely haven't bought the Halloween candy yet because I don't trust that I won't eat it all in the next 10 days. That's why I'm sparking now. Just trying to distract myself until the urge passes. Would love to hear how others deal with the situation.

Have a great day everyone.

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CINCYDORA's Photo CINCYDORA Posts: 3,505
10/21/10 3:51 P

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I am looking forward to this! I am learning that emotional eating isn't the stereotypically Hollywood eating a pint of ice cream while crying. I know I expressed this elsewhere recently but I recently learned that eating while bored is a form of emotional eating. That's really my problem. So the answer is to not be bored.

Weeknights are the hardest because work is so draining. I have to set my goals very low. I am taking daily walks in the evening around the time I would normally start snacking and that has helped. Turning off the TV and opening a book is another good tool. In the interest of full disclosure I will also admit to using alcohol to stop eating. In social situations that doesn't work but if I drink 1 1/2 ounces of a strong drink like cognac or a Manhattan, it helps to trigger me to stop eating. The trick is to ONLY drink at that specific time so that I have a sort of Pavlovian response. That's easy for me to do becuase I rarely drink at home.

Those are my tricks. What I need to learn is how to make myself practice those tricks when I find myself eating out of boredom. I've done better this past month than I ever have in my life, but last Monday I found myself pulling the same old trick, staying up late and eating crackers.

I look forward to the homework assignment!

I cannot make myself be thin today, but I CAN be healthier by making a few smart choices. I focus on what needs to be done today and tomorrow takes care of itself.

You can complain because roses have thorns. Or you can rejoice that thorns have roses.—Ziggy

Thank you Sparkfriends for being my roses!


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CPT.SPACEMONKEY's Photo CPT.SPACEMONKEY Posts: 4,904
10/21/10 3:10 P

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Let's talk about emotional eating for a moment... Do you do it? Do you know how to stop it? Do you recognize when you do it?

Emotional eating has so many negative connotations that many of us won't own up to it. IMHOP i truly believe that there isn't a fat person out there that does NOT emotionally eat.

If we were truly happy... we wouldn't be overweight -PERIOD! Think about that for a moment....

If our lives were balanced appropriately... we would have time or make time to take care of ourselves. SOMEWHERE along the line we let some part of our lives take control over us and we gave up trying to get it back. The path of least resistance won.

The question is... how do we change it? How do we take back control and responsibility for our own lives and decisions?

Simply knowing what to do to lose weight it is not the answer. If it were, we would all be skinny right now. We all know move more and eat less...

I would also like to think that we also know HOW to do it since we have been on spark for a while.

Well... I am kind of stuck. I know what to do... I know how to do it (i did it before) but I am stuck in that gray area of not knowing how to make myself WANT to do it again.

Charles schultze said it best when he said "The minute you start talking about what you are going to do to lose, You have lost."

I unfortunately have lost at this point... BUT... I am here... and I am working on it.

I will post a little later this week... maybe this evening about the homework for this subject. It's gong to be based on the first article in this series... Putting the I in our sentences... accepting responsibility for our decision.

I am at a point that I recognize I have bigger issues than just losing weight. If I didn't, I would have been able to control the weight gain after surgery.

I am learning that food... at least for me... is an addiction just as bad as drugs or alcohol is for other addicts. I have to figure out what my triggers are and what drives me to do this... Maybe through this series of articles and through your help... I can figure this out. I am willing to be up front and honest about everything I write here and put it out there if it will help others and help myself!

Oh this is gonna be fun......... get ready monkeys!



"We are defined by the choices we make." Tyler Durden


*************** Team Leader - Project Mayhem!****************

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