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Old 09-18-2003, 07:50 AM   #1
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Question Keeping the weight off

Has anyone successfully ever kept their weight off and if so HOW???

I know it is a total life change, but what about the emotional stress eaters, is there any hope?

I wish just once I could lose my weight and keep it off and still enjoy life. I like food and use it for comfort and pleasure. http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/confused.gif

I have lost 60lbs and gained 25lbs now I have lost 10 of that and am on my way back down, but can I keep it off this time??? This is sooo depressing to me!!! I wish for once I could lose the fat and keep it off! If I could do it, I would help others!! It is so hard and people born thin don't know how blessed they are!!

Help??? http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/dizzy.gif
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Old 09-18-2003, 08:25 AM   #2
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For comfort/pleasure eating, you really do have to change your lifestyle to encompass these areas. Those of us for whom eating is a pleasure (not so much the act, but sampling new dishes, etc.), you really have to adopt more of a "eat to live, not live to eat" philosophy.

In changing my habits, I focused more on eating well than eating a lot. In America, there's such a fixation on quantity over quality. More is better.. bigger is better. As a result, we shovel poor-quality food into our mouths thinking, "This is tasty, I want more." Part of the key to my weight loss was learning ot eat less, but eat better. As I mentioned in another post, Saturday is the day I allow myself to have anything I want. Since I haven't had desserts all week, the cost of many snack-type items has been saved from my grocery bill. So, I can allow myself to purchase a piece of gourmet cake or something. Normally, I would consider $6 for a slice of cake expensive, but when you consider that I probably saved $10 by not buying cookies, cupcakes, chips, and such, the cost of those items goes to my one great weekly treat. The gourmet cake is probably a little better in terms of ingredient quality, too... rather than having 80 billion preservatives and additives and such. (I should note I buy my desserts from a whole-foods store, so it's all natural ingredients.)

The other choice for me is Krispy Kreme. We can get those at the grocery stores here, but they're stale and cold. By not buying the easy ones, and waiting until my free day to go get some from the KK store itself, I can have a couple of hot, fresh donuts, rather than several cold, cruddy ones.

As Americans, we're really kind of raised on excess. The media hounds us to buy-buy-buy all of the junk it cranks out. When it seems we start to wise up a little, it cranks out something else... still junk, but now NEW, EXCITING junk. Oooooh.

Case in point.. going back to desserts. We have so many cheap cookie and cake products in America that they practically have two long aisles in any grocery store. It's mass-produced garbage that has more chemicals in it than anything. Now take some desserts I had at the Restaurant Marakesh when I was at Epcot.. four small pastries consisting of flaky crusting, nuts, honey, and similar ingredients. No nougat.. no air-fluffed chocolate.. no red dye #9. Simple, small, and infinitely more satisfying than a bag of Oreos.

On top of ingredients, our senses are constantly under assault. In the area of food, everything you can buy ready-made is overloaded with flavor... super sugary, super salty.. whatever, it's overboard. Compare a bag of Keebler cookies to something you'll find at an international bakery or whole foods store or such. True, gourmet cooking has a lot of powerful flavors in it, but much of it also has very refined, subtle flavors... mixes of flavors that give you something different with each bite. The subtlety gives you a chance to taste the ingredients and the methods they were prepared by, rather than attacking you with basic sugary sweetness.

I'm not saying you'll lose weight by switching from Oreos to gourmet desserts. I'm saying that by chosing quality over quantity, you can help reduce your intake while increasing your enjoyment of the little bit of naughty stuff you do eat.

As for comfort eating.. as Dr. Phil says.. you don't give up one bad habit.. you simply replace it with another, better habit. I used to be a comfort eater to a degree. I wouldn't bury my face in a tub of Ben & Jerry's because I had a bad day, but I would nibble in response to stress. And in graduate school, that stress is constant.

One thing that made the break for me was my "conversion" to Buddhism. I put that in quotes because one really doesn't convert to Buddhism. It'd be too long and involved to go into what I mean, so just leave it at that I say "converted" because it's the easiest word to describe it. Anyway, I'm Zen Buddhist. Meditation is key to any sect of Buddhism, but in Soto Zen Buddhism, we call it "shikantaza," or "just sitting." With the daily practice of meditation, stress gets to me a lot less, so I'm less prone to eat in response to it. If things start to feel out of control, I don't reach for the snacks.. my first thought is actually "I need a good sit."

Of course, you don't have to be Buddhist to reap the benefits of meditation. You don't even have to be so new-agey as to think it has any mediphysical benefits. Meditation can be as simple as just sitting quietly, for as little as 5 minutes a day. The idea with Zen is you're training your mind to be quiet... to tone down the noise of worrying about the future, obsessing on the past, wondering about the present.. not to mention those annoying songs that get stuck in your head.. that constant babble of radio static we have in our brains. Meditation can be as simple as learning to quiet that noise, so the stresses of the world around us don't have a foothold in our already present internal stresses.

Of course, you can look into other habits to de-stress. Meditation is what I do, though, so I offer tht as an example. Finding an alternative to eating in the face of stress can be as simple as singing a song to yourself that tells your brain "I'm stressed.. I'm going to choose not to be."

 
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Old 09-18-2003, 10:08 AM   #3
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it's funny that you mentioned spirituality, because that is exactly what i was going to say!

for me, it is just Christianity, but here is my mentality. (if you don't believe in God, this may not work for you!) I have to decide if I want to keep putting food up on a pedistal. That is really the problem, I overeat because I love food. But I started putting up signs in my kitchen that read "who do you worship? God or Food?" Basically, that means, if you let food be so influential, it really will start to be the driving force in your life.

Do you want to be controlled by food? Is it worth it? Is that extra cup of ice cream worth the guilt you will feel later? I guess for me, I just weigh my options.

In terms of keeping it off, I lost 20 pounds back in 1998. Although sometimes that escalates up 5 lbs or down 5lbs, I consider it "keeping the weight off."

I also buy more clothes when I am skinny, so my thoughts are, if I have spent all this money on all these clothes, I want to be able to keep wearing them. So, I just make sure that even if I do go through ups and downs with food and exercize, I always get back on track eventually.

Since April of this year, I have gained 8 pounds and now i've lost all 8 (lost it by the start of Aug). I did it with my new mentality and with the help of this board!

not sure if i helped you at all, but do I get an A for effort??

 
Old 09-18-2003, 10:10 AM   #4
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Yes I am a christian and I am a strong believer. I have strong faith and I never thought of it that way before. Maybe that is what God has been trying to tell me, I was just too into myself to hear Him.

Thanks!!
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Old 09-18-2003, 04:01 PM   #5
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i think it really helps when you put signs up near food or where you eat. i always eat when i'm watching TV, so i put that sign above my TV... just to try an discourage myself from becoming a victim of my own stomach.

it helps to keep me in check. it's harder to ignore things when they are all around you.

i'm just going to give you a quick verse that is really helpful.. 1 Samuel 16:7

 
Old 09-18-2003, 07:10 PM   #6
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I too worry about keeping the weight off. So far I have for a year. How I've done it is to PAY ATTENTION to my weight. I eat less than 1400 calories every day. If I gain 2 pounds, I go back to eating less calories until it's gone. It's too hard to go ahead and keep on gaining and not do anything about it. It's just so much easier to lose 2 than 20.

You will never be able to just forget about food. You will always have to think about what you put in your mouth or you'll end up right back where you were. It never changes and it truly does suck sometimes.

I try and cherish the times when I over eat. Such as if I go out for a big dinner or eat something horribly fattening, I cherish it. I just remember that it's something I can only do occasionally and I don't worry about it.

 
Old 09-18-2003, 09:10 PM   #7
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Hey notorious - good verse! I have put on a little bit of weight since school finished nearly a year ago, becasue i am not as active at Uni as i was at school. is it an okay thing to ask God if he can help to lose weight? or should i just be praying that i keep encouraged to go on a morning walk and cut down on junk that i eat?

Thanks, and take care,
~D~

 
Old 09-21-2003, 06:14 AM   #8
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Lindarella,

Thanks for that advice, I think that is what I knew all along, that you have to keep a constant watch on 2 lbs, or it will get out of hand QUICK!!! So glad you wrote!!

Thanks!
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Old 09-22-2003, 09:22 AM   #9
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There is a movement now that is what I guess you could call a "Christian-based diet." It basically does what you've said.. asks the person what do they worship more, God or food?

(BTW, being Buddhist doesn't preclude believing in a higher power. I just don't believe the Christian faith has all of the answers when it comes to defining what God is. From a Buddhist perspective, God is just something our simple human minds cannot describe, and any words that attempt can never succeed. Christian, Hindu, Muslim... all are different descriptions of the same higher power. To borrow from Taoism, "The god that can be described is not the true god." So, when people ask "Oh, you're Buddhist.. so you don't believe in God?" I say "Actually, I do.. I'm just don't bother to attempt to define what God is.")

 
Old 09-22-2003, 09:32 AM   #10
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In response to the previous post:

Sorry, I totally disagree, I have a very personal relationship with God the Father and I feel sorry for people who are deceived in their beliefs. They are only short changing themselves. I have seen miracles before my very eyes, I would challenge a buddist to say the same thing, they can't. Budda isn't alive, but the Almighty God is! This topic isn't even about God, it is about weight loss, I think you took the opportunity to boast about your beliefs, so I am taking this opportunity back to let you know that there is a God and one day every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord!!!!!!!!!
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Old 09-22-2003, 10:14 AM   #11
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Hi Rikimaru,
I meant to say hi to you before....I always like your posts. They certainly appeal to the latent buddhist in me. Yes, sadly still pretty latent, but its always what i feel closest to on the religion spectrum. I'm just curious, what are you in graduate school for? Oh and I wanted to ask, what about those of us who cook? I like your thoughts about quality over quantity, but a common trap I fall into is eating too much of what I've made...I do make very good food but when its just sitting there after my one reasonable piece, it some how magically keeps get nibbled throughout the day. I can see how getting a slice of cake would work, but what to do when you make a cake? I'm being a little absurd, I know, but really I think this is a big problem from many people who don't have big families, but end up with a meal for such. (and god, and lets not even start on the "clean your plate" syndrome!) Maybe we should design recipes and bakeware for one, huh? Then I could make myself that slice of cake...get all the happy from cooking, but none of the dread from looking at the scale the next day! Blahblahblah, I really just wanted to say, I'm babbling today...just can't stop, it seems!

 
Old 09-22-2003, 02:43 PM   #12
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wow, sorry, didn't really mean for your question to end up about religion, i was just telling you what has worked for me recently! I just have such a hard time with over-eating that I needed some change in my thought process.

and to answer your question.. i do pray every day that God keep me strong and help me to not get off track in terms of my diet and exercize. But i also don't sit around and do nothing and expect weight loss. if you want, you should check out a book called "prayer walking". it has some really interesting thoughts on exercize.

i LOVE that verse, it is so true and helps me keep everything in perspective! (1 Samuel 16:7)

 
Old 09-22-2003, 02:47 PM   #13
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Thanks! I do exercise and try to do the right thing, it is the binging that has me bound. Got any advice for that?
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