View Full Version : Weight Loss Epiphany. . .


Amtram
03-06-13, 02:20 PM
I just canceled my Weight Watchers membership, even though I could stand to lose some weight about now. Whenever I have a conversation with anyone about my ADHD, I start thinking about how it affects certain aspects of my life, and that's what happened yesterday.

I often tell people I'm process-oriented, not goal-oriented. From an ADHD standpoint, that means that once I figure out how to do something, I'm not terribly motivated to finish it. When it came to weight loss, the weekly weigh-ins, the small successes, were enough to keep me at it. The reward of staying the same, though, isn't quite enough, which is why I've done this so often.

Plus, when I'm heavier than I want to be, I tend to "punish" myself - no new clothes, store bought or homemade (which would make me feel better) and not putting on makeup or going out because I don't like the way I look. Ironically, I don't punish myself by withholding high-calorie foods.

So I'm trying an experiment. I'm taking on part of the process, but not focusing on the goal. I've been doing this for about a week, with the thought that I wanted to lose a little before going back to weigh in - how stupid is that? I'm trying to eat things I know are better choices health-wise and weight-wise when I'm hungry, but not forbid myself anything.

This is eventually going to result in weight loss, but probably not as much as what I've lost before. At some point, I'm simply going to reach an equilibrium where I eat what I eat and I weigh what I weigh, and I'm mentally preparing myself to be satisfied with that.

I'm 52 years old, and I've accumulated a lot of extra fat cells over the years. I'm not going to be able to get back into size 4 jeans and stay there. It is what it is. (I hate that expression, but it applies here.) My blood pressure's good and my cholesterol is only a tiny bit high. So the eating right and exercise is the goal-free process. The weight loss is just going to be a possible benefit.

crystal8080
03-07-13, 12:24 AM
I know what you mean about the goal and process. Isn't it funny that we know the "secret" to weight loss. But actually executing it is another matter entirely. Intellectually we know that it is simple math. Calories in, calories out. No gimmicks or fad diets. Its just math. If you burn more than you consume --you will lose weight. I struggle with it too.

I have stopped trying to "lose weight". Now I focus on health. I exercise to relieve stress, it is an instant reward. I feel better right away. My brain resets. They always say the hardest part of working out is showing up. At least I have half of the equation.

My eating habits are what is sabotaging me. My appetite fluctuates with my moods. Sometimes I eat nothing. Sometimes I am genuinely more hungry. Sometimes I have an unsatiable urge to rummage through the cupboards in search of sugary food and go back for more and more. Despite this, I am still losing weight slowly.

Process over goal. Maybe the goal is the process.

Amtram
03-07-13, 12:11 PM
I also realized while responding to a message earlier (I think this was percolating in my mind before, but it stopped bouncing around and settled as I was writing) that it's one major obstacle when it comes to living in and appreciating the moment. In most other areas, I've managed to concentrate on just being and doing without giving undue attention to the past or the future.

When it comes to my weight, though, I think of it in terms of evidence of failure - it has roots in my past, obviously, but it's not all from failures. I also deny myself praise and rewards, making them dependent upon reaching a certain number goal on the scale. Holding off on pleasure in the present as a way of working towards success in the future isn't a very effective ADHD tactic, I've found!

I'm still very much limited by my physical and mental exhaustion from surgery, so piling more emotional baggage up is really not a good practice. There are a lot of associated habits I have to break, but we'll start with thinking about why I'm eating, and why I'm choosing to eat what I eat. I want to eat when I'm hungry, pick something that's good for me, and not eat more than I need to be satisfied. And I want to do that because it's a way of treating myself well.

String
03-07-13, 02:19 PM
I'm totally into figuring out processes (and not that good at goals). And I often get bored once I actually do figure out a process. I never thought of things that way. Thanks for saying that.

The only thing I can say about dieting are a few things that seem to be working for me. I make fairly simple, doable calorie intake and exercise goals. Nothing that's going to be killing me. Nothing that's going to be losing more than 1 or 2lbs a week. Then I set challenges to keep those simple goals for a certain number of days. I try to create habit streaks of 21 days or longer. I used to use a simple pocket notebook to count down the calories I ate and note my exercises. Now I use a free app on my phone. I just try to do simple things every day. And I try not to weigh myself too much during this time. Weighing yourself can be discouraging because you never know when you're retaining water (a meal that's a little too salty) or gaining some muscle.

I also stock my office with sparkling water and sugarless hot chocolate. Those two things have helped a lot.

Finally, I keep trying to lower my norm. My norm a few years ago was 25 to 35lbs overweight. I kept myself from getting out of that norm. My clothes fit a certain way. It was a plateau.

My norm the last year or two has been about 15lbs overweight. A plateau. I had to change some of my clothes sizes to start that norm. I definitely noticed when I would start to get out of that norm during holidays -- certain clothes didn't fit, loosened my belt -- and I worked hard to get back to my plateau.

My next norm is going to be the ideal weight for my size, bone structure, and muscle mass. Notice that I've been working at this for many, many years. This last change to the ideal norm has been going on for about three years. I feel like I'm only weeks away.

I'm now 46 and I'm trying to not repeat all the health mistakes that I've made in the past. Some things are a lot easier. For example, I've counted calories before and I'm pretty good at it now. I also have a base fitness level to work with. I guess I'm saying what most people say: take baby steps. Also, learn from all you've tried in the past.

Good luck. Sorry if I wrote too much. Maybe something I said will help. Doing relatively easy things each day to improve diet and fitness is one of the easiest things not to do. Most of us try to make it too hard.

akko
03-13-13, 12:07 PM
Have you been reading books on intuitive eating Amtram? Because it sounds like it's what you're doing. I think that's amazing! Good for you! :) I found Geneen roth's books incredibly helpful to stop being compulsive and obsessive about food. Now no food is off limits, but I end up eating healthy 90% of the time, and my weight is stable and average for my height. Keep up the good work!

Agley1600
06-21-13, 06:53 AM
Following are the weight loss tips
1. Early morning drinking water
2. Early morning walk
3. Take exercise for at least 30 minutes (Running, Stretching)
4. Eat balance diet and avoid eating
5.Green tea....

SquarePeg
06-21-13, 10:59 AM
Having suffered from bulimia in my late teens but totally cured after therapy I feel sad when I read posts like this.

Women especially use their weight as a guide to how good, worthy, beautiful, clever a person they are and therefore what do they deserve.

Lets just say you jump on the scales and discover that you have put on a few pounds, immediately your mood plummets, you feel bad, guilty a failure and you punish yourself. You feel like s*t so you are even more determined to look like s*t. so you donīt get your hair done, wear make up, best clothes etc and live in misery.

On the other hand lets say you jumped on the scales and found you had lost 5lbs, you would feel fantastic, happy, a success, motivated, you would skip around the room, get all dressed up etc.

Letīs say you woke up one morning, you had been eating healthily, felt slimmer and were happy, then you stepped on the scales and found you had actually put on weight. What would happen to your mood then? Regardless of how you felt the minute before weighing yourself, you have allowed the reading to bring you crashing down.

Stepping on those scales and reading your weight is the deciding factor on how you are going to feel and treat yourself. Crazy isnīt it?

So although Iīm totally free of any eating disorder, that doesnīt mean I never put on a few pounds I put on nearly 5 stone each pregnancy and it took over a year to lose each time. I didnīt like being overweight but it didnīt make me feel guilty, miserable, a failure or most importantly, out of control.
People often feel that if they can control their weight that they are in control of their lives, so failing to lose weight somehow feels like being out of control.

What it means is that I can eat what I like without feeling guilty, if I eat chocolate for breakfast, which I often do, I donīt feel I have to stare all day. I eat what I like when I like because I donīt have any emotional connection to food any more, like before. I have lost half a stone since starting concerta and donīt feel any happier whatsoever.

Your goal or process should be inner peace and acceptance rather than weight.

emily848
06-21-13, 02:36 PM
I'm thinking about joining FA. I've lost 40+ pounds over the last 10 months, mainly because I wasn't hungry for about six months. The last couple of months I've been hungry again and it's been hard to control my eating. I'm really concerned that I'm going to gain the weight back.

A big part of my problem is lack of planning. Like last night, I had 1/2 a bag of sunchips with cream cheese for dinner and then a box of Annie's Bunny Graham snacks (910 calories for the whole box). I don't have the patience to plan meals, shop, or cook.

When I meditate regularly, I plan my eating better, when I plan my eating then I eat better. My biggest concern about FA is that it is a very regulated eating plan that requires a lot of pre-planning - which is what I'm the worst at. I'm hoping the highly structured nature of it will be helpful though.

A few months ago I was able to bust open my box of size ten clothes that haven't fit me in two years. I could stand to lose another 10-30 lbs, and I don't care how slowly that happens, but I don't want to grow back up and out of the size tens again.

Canadian Mess
06-21-13, 04:20 PM
I've completely given up on the scale- it's a terrible indicator of health. It doesn't tell you how much fat, muscle, organ and bone weight I have.

So like you, I made very simple but effective goals- I will eat healthy (have at least 3 veggies/fruit a day, drink milk, get adaquate protein and carbs and will not eat out often), I will work out almost every day (3 days strength training, 3 runs/walks) and will go to bed by midnight at the latest.

My measure of success is how I feel and inches in circumference around my arm, belly, hips and thighs. It's a good determinant of how well I am doing.

I've only been at it a few weeks so not much has changed and I am impatient but I go by a good saying "You've been living your life all a long sitting around gaining weight- you can't expect to lose it all overnight, it'll take time."

emily848
06-21-13, 04:40 PM
I tell myself pretty much the same thing "you didn't gain the weight overnight and you're not going to lose it overnight." I'm really working on maintenance now that I have lost a bunch of the weight.

It's so hard for me to eat veggies and fruit because I have to plan ahead to buy them & then eat them before they go bad. It's also hard for me to follow a regular exercise routine. I tend to be really sporadic with that. Me & my nephew have been trying to play tennis recently, so that's been pretty good exercise, but it doesn't do much good if I'm eating poorly.

I've had pretty good luck with keeping black beans and brown rice around as a main diet staple. Often mix with bacon and/or eggs. But, I slacked off on cooking the black beans this week, so it's been a really bad week for eating for me. Feeling bad about it. Just had six pieces of bacon for lunch. Ugh.