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LindaF
@fessmom

Posts: 3
Joined: Jun 29, 2017

Staying Motivated for the Long Haul

Posted by @fessmom, Jun 29, 2017

My biggest obstacle to maintaining a healthy weight is a seemingly invisible “switch” that goes on and off in my brain. When it’s “on” I am in the zone and can avoid the most decadent temptations and will exercise faithfully. But, about a year to 15 months into my healthy lifestyle, the switch turns to “off” and I lose focus and revert to my bad habits of poor food choices (both in what I eat and how much I eat) and I become more sedentary. I am at that point now and I feel a slow panic building as the number on the scale inches upward. I know what I should do, but I am at a loss as to how to get my mojo back. Suggestions, anyone!?

REPLY

Hello @fessmom, and welcome to Connect! First, I think you touched on a subject that even avid active exercisers struggle with. I say this, because I am in the same boat. Although, I must admit, your ability to control urges for a year is impressive in itself, as I tend to go a few strong weeks and then have a bad week.

I’d like to invite @ihatediabetes to this conversation as she has gone through the Mayo Clinic Diet Experience. I hope that she will share some of her insights that she learned on how to create better habits. She has done some really cool things over the last 6 months being part of this program.

@fessmom, if you don’t mind me asking, is there anything in particular that sets you off of your course? When you get stressed, holidays, or something as simple as boredom? Is it a health issue?

Thanks for the welcome @JustinMcClanahan.

This isn’t the first time I’ve been in this situation and I honestly don’t know what sets me off course. Ironically, it seems to occur when I reach a milestone–as if I run one lap of a race and “forget” I’ve got more to go! My concern is that once I get off course, it can take YEARS for me to get back on track. I don’t want that to be the case this time.

I, too, look forward to hearing what @ihatediabetes has to share.

Thank you.

@fessmom, I just came across your message. I am attaching this link and I encourage you to have a look.
http://diet.mayoclinic.org/diet/success-stories
I rely on the book as my guide. I am learning to make better food choices. And also how to incorporate some healthy habits into my daily routine. The Mayo Clinic Diet is actually a life long path to healthy eating, and weight loss/management. I am motivated to stick to it because I like the positive effect on my own health.
There is also a newsletter that I think that you might especially enjoy!. It offers encouragement, as well as suggestions for how to keep on going when veering off course.
@fessmom, After looking, what did you learn that might help you?
Looking forward to hearing from you, Rosemary

Liked by IWantToBelieve

@rosemarya

@fessmom, I just came across your message. I am attaching this link and I encourage you to have a look.
http://diet.mayoclinic.org/diet/success-stories
I rely on the book as my guide. I am learning to make better food choices. And also how to incorporate some healthy habits into my daily routine. The Mayo Clinic Diet is actually a life long path to healthy eating, and weight loss/management. I am motivated to stick to it because I like the positive effect on my own health.
There is also a newsletter that I think that you might especially enjoy!. It offers encouragement, as well as suggestions for how to keep on going when veering off course.
@fessmom, After looking, what did you learn that might help you?
Looking forward to hearing from you, Rosemary

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Thank you for the link, @rosemarya

I have been following the Mayo Clinic Diet since March 2016 – I lost 40 pounds and have been taken off diabetes medication, but have gained 10 pounds since April (which, ironically, is when I stopped taking Metformin!) Knowledge is not my issue – follow through is. If I’ve learned anything, it’s this: every day for me will be a struggle and there are times when making healthy choices is easy and other times when it’s all I can do to force myself to step away from the fridge! My goal is to shorten the “out-of-control” periods and increase the “focused” periods in the hopes that one day healthy habits become second nature to me and every day I’m in control and focused.

Thanks for your post. Enjoy your day!

Linda

@fessmom, I am glad that you are reaching out for help with your dietary/weight issues. Unfortunately I am also in a slump right now also. I have not gained, for which I am extremely grateful. But I am going through the cravings. What works for me is to make sure to eat a little something 6 times each day. I have compiled a list of better choices and really focus on that when my initiative fails. My main dietary focus is on lean meat protein, above-ground vegetables (except no green leafies or pumpkin/fall squash); fresh fruits (melons and stone fruit), and grains. I do not eat much prepared foods and try to avoid all preservatives and chemical additives to my food. Also, there are very few ‘fast’ foods that I will eat. I use grains for starches in my diet. I have coffee-water (2 oz coffee with 6 oz water) and room temperature water available all day. I keep bananas and at least one other fresh fruit on hand at all times. My primary protein sources are lean meats. I limit my nuts to walnuts, macadamia nuts and sunflower seeds. I rarely reach for a second helping. I have learned my serving sizes (general rule of thumb: palm of your hand or size of your fist). I substitute rice cakes for bread and rarely eat anything made with flour (including pasta and crackers).

Please be aware that I have worked into this dietary stance after 40+ years. My first step all those years ago was to drop sugar (baked goods). Luckily I liked sour and salty foods so that was relatively easy for me when I was given my first diabetic diet. I was surprised by how much sugar is in ordinary things like ketchup, canned soups, cereals, etc. Secondly I started watching for ways to cut fats. After that I added other limitations to my diet as needed. I currently limit: carbs, fats, dairy, fiber and oxalates. Just remember, I worked into this over 40 years, not all at once.

My best tips are: Read the ingredient labels. Make a list of foods you wish to avoid and another of foods you wish to eat. Pair your lists with 1 no/1 yes food. Pick a set and work on that until you feel you have made it a habit, then add another set. Limit yourself to one helping per meal. Learn what foods have hidden sugars, fats and salt. Learn what words manufacturers use that actually mean sugar. Stop using sweeteners, they increase your cravings and add chemicals to your diet. Learn what foods are naturally high in fats. Write your intended diet down for reference and occasionally keep a journal of what you are eating and when to cross check your desire with your actual.

I also have had times when no matter what I did my weight went up. A big part of mine was medications and lack of knowledge. Peanut Butter is good, right? Not necessarily, it is quite high in fat. Yogurt is good, right? Not necessarily, the probiotics may not be active and it may have sugar or sweetener added. My hardest time is after dinner. I like to peck. I have started eating sunflower seeds in the shell because it takes time to get that little seed out of the shell and calms my pecking urge without adding many calories. I sometimes substitute popcorn for a meal.

Good luck and keep asking.

@fessmom We all have those struggles. I lost a lot of weight, my incentive being to lower my BMI before the liver transplant which I hoped to have, and now have had (transplantiversary coming up on 09.23). I kept it up afterwards for a while but I’ve really been struggling recently. I think just today I may be back on track. It’s so difficult though. You have to find some motivation. For me now it’s my daughter’s wedding and an upcoming vacation.
My dear son is my biggest cheerleader. When he was home during the summer he reminded me that the pleasure of eating something tempting was over very quickly but the results were there and harder to reverse. Of course he himself is very disciplined and an exercise addict. I have a fitness tracker and when I go occasionally go way over the goal I have set I will take a screen shot and message it to him. His boss has the same fitness tracker and my son tells me that I would “crush” his boss. 😉 He gives me incentive too. I do wish I had someone I could really sort of go back and forth with, encouraging each other. Maybe we should start a conversation for that, for people who are struggling to lose weight… or is this just that?
The last time before my recent loss when I managed to lose a lot of weight was when I was working at the Inn and I had all of these tiny young woman working for me. I was determined to get out of plus sizes and I DID. That was such an achievement for me because I had been a “plus” for quite a while.
OK, here I go… my weight had at some point, probably about 15 years ago, been up to 235. I was at 145, have now put on about 8 pounds that I HAVE TO LOSE because I have a whole new wardrobe and I will not buy another wardrobe in the next size up, that would be admitting defeat.
Good luck, private message if you want and we can encourage each other.
Oh, and regarding exercise. I belong to a health club and do pool exercises a lot. When I do not make the class I go later in the day and job/march/ up and down a lane as vigorously as I can, swinging my arms to make it a cardio workout too. It helps my knees and everything. I sometimes go to the gym but I HATE the gym, it makes me feel totally inadequate. I find that going to the class or on my own gives me more energy afterwards. If I do nothing then I end up feeling sluggish, but some days admittedly I do nothing. I love the class I go to, there is a great group of women (and a couple of men) in there. The W and F instructor is fabulous and she will be 70 next month. She never lets you stop all through the class which generally goes 50 – 55 minutes. Then I do a bit on my own to burn up some additional calories.
Now it’s late, I will not make the 9:00 class tomorrow morning so I will probably head to the dreaded gym. UGH. I know it’s good for me, so I do try to do it a couple of times a week.
JK

I have been trying to lose weight for along time. Not eating procced foods, sugar and salt. Well it seems pretty hard when everything has those things in it. I will drink more juice but not more than a half a glass to take medicine. I try to drink at least 2 32oz. of water and maybe one coke a day. Then as far as fruit l buy a lot but sometimes to get to eat it everyday. I know that doesn’t help. And l like to eat green vegetables. I like beans but my husband doesn’t and l will eat yogurt and tapioca pudding. I guess that doesn’t help either. Then for breakfast l eat cereal, toast and slmetimes bacon or sausage but very really. Just when you a craving and sometimes pancakes. But not always because l hate to wait. And then l will walk my dogs and l have a little boy in the neighood who likes to walk with me. But its been awfully hot here the highest in the 100’s and sometimes in the 80’s in the evenings. When you don’t want to walk because you can’t drive and when someone comes home and you just have to get out. So what can a person do? And it seems like everytime l weigh myself up and down. And l think it might me sometimes the medicine and the doctors tell you to lose weight. And l have asked my doctor wish meds is causing me to lose weight. Its like a whrilwind.

@rosemarya @fessmom I neglected to include some of my best helpers in losing weight.
I have a fitness tracker. You set what you want your goal to be and it lets you know how you are doing. It really pushes me to get to that goal and beyond.
Next, I use myfitnesspal to track everything I put my mouth. I have not been doing that recently because I know have been not eating correctly but I am getting back on track with that too. It also syncs with my fitness tracker and adds to my allowable caloric input, the amount being dependent on how much exercise I have gotten.
Last, I have a scale that tells me BMI and fluid retention. I know it is not professionally accurate but it does give you a good gauge of things, primarily my fluid retention (you have to have bare feet for that to work). If I gain weight and then see that my fluid retention is high I don’t feel as bad. It measures fluid against BMI so when my fluid retention is high, my BMI is low, like in the teens and we all know is not true for me. Still, it does help me. When I start seeing my weight going down it spurs me on to stay with dieting. Sometimes if it goes up I sort of throw in the towel but I getting beyond that mindset now.
This type of scale is not as costly as you might expect. Mine is a Tanita that I got on Amazon and if I recall it was around $45.

I have included a screenshot of one day this week with my fitness tracker. I took this to send to send to my son. I did really well that day, one of my all time bests.
JK

2017_08 misfit

@techi

I have been trying to lose weight for along time. Not eating procced foods, sugar and salt. Well it seems pretty hard when everything has those things in it. I will drink more juice but not more than a half a glass to take medicine. I try to drink at least 2 32oz. of water and maybe one coke a day. Then as far as fruit l buy a lot but sometimes to get to eat it everyday. I know that doesn’t help. And l like to eat green vegetables. I like beans but my husband doesn’t and l will eat yogurt and tapioca pudding. I guess that doesn’t help either. Then for breakfast l eat cereal, toast and slmetimes bacon or sausage but very really. Just when you a craving and sometimes pancakes. But not always because l hate to wait. And then l will walk my dogs and l have a little boy in the neighood who likes to walk with me. But its been awfully hot here the highest in the 100’s and sometimes in the 80’s in the evenings. When you don’t want to walk because you can’t drive and when someone comes home and you just have to get out. So what can a person do? And it seems like everytime l weigh myself up and down. And l think it might me sometimes the medicine and the doctors tell you to lose weight. And l have asked my doctor wish meds is causing me to lose weight. Its like a whrilwind.

Jump to this post

@techi, You have clearly described a struggle that many of us have been discussing! As you have noticed, you are not alone. The roller coaster weight is indeed frustrating. But the real important thing that I have been told to focus on is how I feel.

I realize that we are each dealing with different, and complicated, health issues/medications. So how we feel is entirely personal.

Is there any one thing that you are doing that has worked to make any improvement in how you feel? I would be interested to hear from you about it.
Rosemary

@contentandwell

@rosemarya @fessmom I neglected to include some of my best helpers in losing weight.
I have a fitness tracker. You set what you want your goal to be and it lets you know how you are doing. It really pushes me to get to that goal and beyond.
Next, I use myfitnesspal to track everything I put my mouth. I have not been doing that recently because I know have been not eating correctly but I am getting back on track with that too. It also syncs with my fitness tracker and adds to my allowable caloric input, the amount being dependent on how much exercise I have gotten.
Last, I have a scale that tells me BMI and fluid retention. I know it is not professionally accurate but it does give you a good gauge of things, primarily my fluid retention (you have to have bare feet for that to work). If I gain weight and then see that my fluid retention is high I don’t feel as bad. It measures fluid against BMI so when my fluid retention is high, my BMI is low, like in the teens and we all know is not true for me. Still, it does help me. When I start seeing my weight going down it spurs me on to stay with dieting. Sometimes if it goes up I sort of throw in the towel but I getting beyond that mindset now.
This type of scale is not as costly as you might expect. Mine is a Tanita that I got on Amazon and if I recall it was around $45.

I have included a screenshot of one day this week with my fitness tracker. I took this to send to send to my son. I did really well that day, one of my all time bests.
JK

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JK, I too have a fitness tracker. I love it. When I first got it (Christmas), I was shocked to see how little I move throughout my work day at the computer. While I workout regularly, I was shocked to learn that the rest of the day I’m sendentary. Not good. Now I have my tracker set to remind me each hour to get up and move — at least 250 steps or stretches or something! Inspired by another discussion with you and others in the Transplant group, I used my tracker to monitor my water intake. Surprise again. I wasn’t drinking enough. Now I am and feel much better for it.

The physical data is tracked automatically. The water intake is self-recorded. Now that I’m consistently drinking enough water and I realize how much that actually is, I no longer track my water intake. It became tedious. I spot check every once in while.

But tracking my calories…I just can’t get started. The water intake was easy. Water is water and I just had to record the amount. Counting calories seems like a real chore, not only to track, but to figure out how many calories are in everything that I put into my mouth. Have you got any tips or inspiration for me? I’d like to give it a try.

@contentandwell

@rosemarya @fessmom I neglected to include some of my best helpers in losing weight.
I have a fitness tracker. You set what you want your goal to be and it lets you know how you are doing. It really pushes me to get to that goal and beyond.
Next, I use myfitnesspal to track everything I put my mouth. I have not been doing that recently because I know have been not eating correctly but I am getting back on track with that too. It also syncs with my fitness tracker and adds to my allowable caloric input, the amount being dependent on how much exercise I have gotten.
Last, I have a scale that tells me BMI and fluid retention. I know it is not professionally accurate but it does give you a good gauge of things, primarily my fluid retention (you have to have bare feet for that to work). If I gain weight and then see that my fluid retention is high I don’t feel as bad. It measures fluid against BMI so when my fluid retention is high, my BMI is low, like in the teens and we all know is not true for me. Still, it does help me. When I start seeing my weight going down it spurs me on to stay with dieting. Sometimes if it goes up I sort of throw in the towel but I getting beyond that mindset now.
This type of scale is not as costly as you might expect. Mine is a Tanita that I got on Amazon and if I recall it was around $45.

I have included a screenshot of one day this week with my fitness tracker. I took this to send to send to my son. I did really well that day, one of my all time bests.
JK

Jump to this post

@colleenyoung Colleen, which fitness tracker do you have? Mine is a Misfit. It will also remind me to get up and move but I have not activated that. It sounds very similar though, it tracks the exercise automatically, but I track my water on myfitnesspal, if my Misfit has that feature I am not aware of it.

Tracking calories on myfitnesspal can be wearisome initially but it becomes quite easy when you get used to it. It is most difficult when trying to figure out the calories for what you have eaten in a restaurant. There is a somewhat local chain around here, The 99, whose dinners are right there on myfitnesspal. I love to go there because they have a number of meals that are good for me, that are not too caloric. My favorite is the little sirloin that clocks in at around 460 calories!

—–Fit For You Mushroom Sirloin
—–A 6.5 oz. top sirloin steak is flame broiled and served over fresh sautéed mushrooms crowned with fresh, grilled asparagus. Served ——–with fresh spring mix, feta cheese, a drizzle of balsamic and grilled, seasoned tomatoes.

Not only is it good but it’s very reasonable, either $9.99 or $10.99, great for those nights when I do not feel like cooking.

I am almost totally back on track with dieting, I have been pretty good today but due to an upset stomach have not really exercised. I love that myfitnesspal and my misfit sync together.

If anyone out there also uses myfitnesspal and would like to “friend” on it I would love to. I think that helps to keep a person going, if they know someone else is following them.

I am supposed to drink from 80 – 100 ounces a day to keep my kidneys happy so I am used to doing that.

JK

Liked by IWantToBelieve

@techi

I have been trying to lose weight for along time. Not eating procced foods, sugar and salt. Well it seems pretty hard when everything has those things in it. I will drink more juice but not more than a half a glass to take medicine. I try to drink at least 2 32oz. of water and maybe one coke a day. Then as far as fruit l buy a lot but sometimes to get to eat it everyday. I know that doesn’t help. And l like to eat green vegetables. I like beans but my husband doesn’t and l will eat yogurt and tapioca pudding. I guess that doesn’t help either. Then for breakfast l eat cereal, toast and slmetimes bacon or sausage but very really. Just when you a craving and sometimes pancakes. But not always because l hate to wait. And then l will walk my dogs and l have a little boy in the neighood who likes to walk with me. But its been awfully hot here the highest in the 100’s and sometimes in the 80’s in the evenings. When you don’t want to walk because you can’t drive and when someone comes home and you just have to get out. So what can a person do? And it seems like everytime l weigh myself up and down. And l think it might me sometimes the medicine and the doctors tell you to lose weight. And l have asked my doctor wish meds is causing me to lose weight. Its like a whrilwind.

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Oh l try to at probably but l definitely believe its my meds. Because before l was told about my liver. I asked my gastroenterologist about my liver and telling him l never had anything wrong with my liver. He said it was my meds so l am thinking about going to class for yoga or l was looking at getting a swim spa. But l have my little walking buddy who’s 9yrs old and we talk together because he thinks l am related to him. Also l talked to my doctor and he’s giving me premission to drive again. I asked him about how long have l not been driving? He said about 2-3yrs. Its been on and off and now l have to learn again, we just brought a new car.

@techi

I have been trying to lose weight for along time. Not eating procced foods, sugar and salt. Well it seems pretty hard when everything has those things in it. I will drink more juice but not more than a half a glass to take medicine. I try to drink at least 2 32oz. of water and maybe one coke a day. Then as far as fruit l buy a lot but sometimes to get to eat it everyday. I know that doesn’t help. And l like to eat green vegetables. I like beans but my husband doesn’t and l will eat yogurt and tapioca pudding. I guess that doesn’t help either. Then for breakfast l eat cereal, toast and slmetimes bacon or sausage but very really. Just when you a craving and sometimes pancakes. But not always because l hate to wait. And then l will walk my dogs and l have a little boy in the neighood who likes to walk with me. But its been awfully hot here the highest in the 100’s and sometimes in the 80’s in the evenings. When you don’t want to walk because you can’t drive and when someone comes home and you just have to get out. So what can a person do? And it seems like everytime l weigh myself up and down. And l think it might me sometimes the medicine and the doctors tell you to lose weight. And l have asked my doctor wish meds is causing me to lose weight. Its like a whrilwind.

Jump to this post

@techi, Keep on taking care. And be careful with driving.
Rosemary

@contentandwell

@rosemarya @fessmom I neglected to include some of my best helpers in losing weight.
I have a fitness tracker. You set what you want your goal to be and it lets you know how you are doing. It really pushes me to get to that goal and beyond.
Next, I use myfitnesspal to track everything I put my mouth. I have not been doing that recently because I know have been not eating correctly but I am getting back on track with that too. It also syncs with my fitness tracker and adds to my allowable caloric input, the amount being dependent on how much exercise I have gotten.
Last, I have a scale that tells me BMI and fluid retention. I know it is not professionally accurate but it does give you a good gauge of things, primarily my fluid retention (you have to have bare feet for that to work). If I gain weight and then see that my fluid retention is high I don’t feel as bad. It measures fluid against BMI so when my fluid retention is high, my BMI is low, like in the teens and we all know is not true for me. Still, it does help me. When I start seeing my weight going down it spurs me on to stay with dieting. Sometimes if it goes up I sort of throw in the towel but I getting beyond that mindset now.
This type of scale is not as costly as you might expect. Mine is a Tanita that I got on Amazon and if I recall it was around $45.

I have included a screenshot of one day this week with my fitness tracker. I took this to send to send to my son. I did really well that day, one of my all time bests.
JK

Jump to this post

@contentandwell, sorry for the delay in responding. This is exactly the encouragement I was looking for. I will give it a try. I’m hoping that once I get a sense of the caloric intake, I can let go of the tracking, like I did with the water. I don’t like being a slave to quantifying myself.

I have a Fitbit. It doesn’t track the water automatically. I manually enter it. But the plus is that I can track physical activity, water, calories and sleep with the one device. It also allows “friending” which can be a great motivator.
Thanks for being my motivator.

@contentandwell

@rosemarya @fessmom I neglected to include some of my best helpers in losing weight.
I have a fitness tracker. You set what you want your goal to be and it lets you know how you are doing. It really pushes me to get to that goal and beyond.
Next, I use myfitnesspal to track everything I put my mouth. I have not been doing that recently because I know have been not eating correctly but I am getting back on track with that too. It also syncs with my fitness tracker and adds to my allowable caloric input, the amount being dependent on how much exercise I have gotten.
Last, I have a scale that tells me BMI and fluid retention. I know it is not professionally accurate but it does give you a good gauge of things, primarily my fluid retention (you have to have bare feet for that to work). If I gain weight and then see that my fluid retention is high I don’t feel as bad. It measures fluid against BMI so when my fluid retention is high, my BMI is low, like in the teens and we all know is not true for me. Still, it does help me. When I start seeing my weight going down it spurs me on to stay with dieting. Sometimes if it goes up I sort of throw in the towel but I getting beyond that mindset now.
This type of scale is not as costly as you might expect. Mine is a Tanita that I got on Amazon and if I recall it was around $45.

I have included a screenshot of one day this week with my fitness tracker. I took this to send to send to my son. I did really well that day, one of my all time bests.
JK

Jump to this post

@colleenyoung Colleen, today was a really bad day, I totally fell off the wagon. Tomorrow is another day so hopefully I will get back on track. I am not happy about today but I think it really must be like being an alcoholic, once I get going I can’t stop myself. 🙁 The day started out well but then this afternoon it went really downhill. I did get some good exercise in, so at least that was good.
JK

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