Staying Motivated for the Long Haul

Posted by LindaF @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!?

@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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@contentandwell, oh probably. I was trying to be so smart and put the name of the person’s post. We all see how well that worked out this time! lol I’m glad it finally got to you anyway. Everyone on this site is so helpful. Thank you all.

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@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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@2011panc Got it! 🙂
JK

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@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

@lcamino Hi Lynn, how are you doing? I am really back on track, and hungry 24/7. 🙁 I think in some ways the hunger helps me because it reminds that i am working at losing weight. My scale has started to show a loss so that helps to spur me on, both in my food choices and in nudging me to get to my club. I won’t be able to tomorrow unfortunately because we have a party to go to, 1 3/4 hours away, beginning at noon. I would go in the morning before that, but if I did that would have to be awfully early to get home and get ready to go.
I hope you are getting on track too.
Jane

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@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

@rosemarya Thanks Rosemary. I think we all need to find what works for us. Many people of course love Weight Watchers but I find the idea of being a group and getting weighted to not be something I want to participate in. I do best with my methods. I find myfitnesspal helps me because it makes me more aware of the nutrients in everything — calories, fat, carbs, sodium, etc. When I am on a roll, which I am right now and hopefully will manage to sustain it, I am very aware that if I have it I have to record it and that helps me to not casually snack on something.
As I mentioned in a different post, when the scale begins showing a loss that helps me a lot too.
JK

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@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

Well my husband and I started Jenny Craig on Saturday and I have lost 2 lbs thus far. They say the first week is usually water but since I’m on a med that empties my body of water I’m inclined to think I might have lost some fat. The food is prepared which is making it possible because I’m learning how my lifestyle does not give me a lot of time to prepare food. I know this will change once my youngest is in college next year. You still add fresh fruits and veggies. My husband and I are starting with strength training every other day and once we have done that for about 2 weeks we are going to add cardio. It really helps to have someone to do it with. In the past either he or I have attempted to lose weight but never at the same time.

The hardest part is that I still have to cook for my youngest daughter and she had a birthday party on Saturday, special bday dinner tonight (her actual bday), and we had a cookout with our church group last night. For last night we went to the cookout but had saved our fruit portions for the evening and I brought a fruit salad so we ate that. I’m hoping to be down 26 lbs by Christmas. Having the prepared food makes it much easier to eat well because when I’m in a rush something healthy is ready. You do feel like you are eating all day because you eat three meals a day and 3 snacks. I have had minor hunger pangs which have been warded off by drinking water

The best part is that the sodium intake follows my doctor’s orders and so does the protein. In fact, I think I’m eating less protein now than before and that is good for my kidneys. I didn’t think I could find a diet program that would follow the restrictions I have for my kidney but Jenny Craig diet is set up by dieticians and approved by the Heart Association. It is probably the healthiest I have eaten in my entire life. In such a short time I’m seeing how you can eat good food with portion control.

Thanks for checking in on me!

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@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

@lcamino, Lynn, Thanks for the update, and the inspiration! I agree that having a ‘buddy’ is terrific, especially when it is your spouse!
My husband and I have been going to the gym together, but each doing our own routine – it keeps us going regularly. So many of my friends have quit going. So I feel very fortunate and healthy.

I am looking forward to hearing from you as you and your husband continue. Keep us posted – and inspired:-)
Rosemary

Liked by IWantToBelieve

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@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

@rosemarya – Good for you! My husband and I will strive to emulate you and your spouse.

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@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

@lcamino Lynn, this sounds great! Maybe I should look into Jenny Craig too.Of course I would still need to cook something different for my husband so that makes things difficult.
Years ago we both wanted to lose some weight so be both cut down. He was eating over 3000 calories a day and losing weight. I was eating around 1500 and not losing any. 🙁
Thankfully I think both my son and daughter may take after him in that area. I am thankful too that neither has my complexion, that burns so easily.
JK

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@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 – We chose Jenny Craig because my in-laws knew someone who had tried many diets and was successful on Jenny Craig. Plus she said their food tasted the best (still not all my favorite but the portions are “small”, really appropriate, so it is doable) and you can make substitutions for things you don’t like. Plus it is designed by dietitians so there is an appropriate amount of protein, carbs, fruits, veggies, good fats, salt etc. The prepared meals just makes it easier when you are learning but I suspect Weight Watchers or the Mayo Diet is just as good. My husband and I just needed some encouragement – to see some immediate progress – and Jenny Craig has made that easier. We tried others ways with some success (I lost 20# and then put on 12 when I stopped exercising and counting calories). The real test will be if we can maintain it when we are fully transitioned onto food I am cooking but for now my goal is to lose the weight before my transplant.

I will say that I think one of the keys is eating 6 times a day because it keeps your metabolism working and burning fat. My husband’s job sent him to something called The Human Performance Institute where the executives learned about being a corporate athlete. It is very scientific and a place where olympic athletes go to learn how to maximize their energy with exercise and eating. Anyway, it was critical that people eat 6 times a day to keep your blood sugar level (no crashing and getting tired so then you sleep or eat something sweet or high in carbs) and energy high. I suspect the Mayo Diet and others do the same thing. So if you are doing it on your own I’d try smaller portions but more often.

Oddly enough I find it hard to eat that much because it does require thinking about what you eat and planning. You feel like you are eating all the time. I used to think I was so good if I did not snack between meals but that was the wrong approach. Of course, when yo eat 6 times a day you have to watch your portions. My meals are a lot smaller and so are my snacks. The hardest thing for me to cut is the fruit. I used to eat A LOT of fruit. My fruit portion this morning (a beautiful, and yummy, fruit salad I made with red and green grapes, pineapple, mandarin oranges, blueberries and strawberries) is half what I would normally eat. I always told myself, “Well it’s healthy, it’s fruit.”

It is also important to eat as soon as you get up to get your metabolism working.

All that to say that you need to find what works for you. I feel confident this is going to get me where I need to be pre-transplant. I started on Saturday and it is Wednesday morning and i have lost 3 lbs! And because of the medicine I’m on for my kidneys (it empties me of liquid) I’m quite confident I’m losing fat. Of course, I’m sure the exercising (just doing weights thus far – small steps) is aiding in the weight loss.

Once again, try to find a buddy. It really does make a difference and take all I wrote with a grain of salt (seems like a bad idiom for this conversation) because I’m not a dietitian, trainer, or doctor but someone who has not taken care of myself for many years.

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I came across this Mayo webinar from 8/18/2015 titled: “Weight Loss-5 Behavioral Strategies”.
It is 1 hour, which is a little long for me to sit, so I ended up standing at my computer and doing some leg stretches and other ‘in place’ exercises while viewing it = double benefit:-)
I also needed to view it by clicking to the utube site.
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/webinar/interactive-webinar-weight-loss-5-behavioral-strategies-for-success/?date=1439856000
I think that you might find some good ideas and things to think about. I especially liked the explanation of the “Behavior Chain” and how to break the cycle.
At the very end is Plateau and Relapse Preparation.

What did you learn that might be helpful to you?
Rosemary

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@rosemarya

I came across this Mayo webinar from 8/18/2015 titled: “Weight Loss-5 Behavioral Strategies”.
It is 1 hour, which is a little long for me to sit, so I ended up standing at my computer and doing some leg stretches and other ‘in place’ exercises while viewing it = double benefit:-)
I also needed to view it by clicking to the utube site.
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/webinar/interactive-webinar-weight-loss-5-behavioral-strategies-for-success/?date=1439856000
I think that you might find some good ideas and things to think about. I especially liked the explanation of the “Behavior Chain” and how to break the cycle.
At the very end is Plateau and Relapse Preparation.

What did you learn that might be helpful to you?
Rosemary

Jump to this post

@rosemarya this sounds great. Hopefully I will get a few minutes to check it out this week. I will be going for a knee replacement in October so for a while afterwards I will be looking for ways to not gain weight while being inactive and I need to find some exercises I will be able to do. I am thinking of some of those exercises they do while seated. I will be champing at the bit to get back into action though.
JK

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Here’s another resource on Connect that might be helpful. Check out the Page (blog) by the Non-Surgical Weight Management Program https://connect.mayoclinic.org/page/non-surgical-weight-management-program/

And for those of us using fitness trackers: You know how they are always set at 10,000 steps as a goal? Have you ever wondered if that number is too high, too low or just right for you? Check out this blog post by @epagel:
– 10,000 steps a day: Too low? Too high? https://connect.mayoclinic.org/newsfeed-post/10000-steps-a-day-too-low-too-high/

Now I’m off to get in some steps. Have a great day all.

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@colleenyoung Colleen, I have been doing well with my own diet management and getting in plenty of exercise using my fitness tracker to keep me going but for the last three days despite keeping my calories low and doing plenty of exercise I am at a plateau. I find plateaus are very discouraging and tend to make a person want to “throw in the towel” but I am staying positive, as difficult as it is, and hoping to see things budge tomorrow. When I see the my weight slowly decrease it keeps me motivated.
I lost quite a bit of weight and recently gained back about 8 pounds so that is what I am trying to lose. I have lost three so far. I may have mentioned this before, I am sure I did in one of the forums, but we are going away two times in the next few months, once on a vacation, and once to NYC to enjoy the city at Christmas but primarily because my daughter is getting married there. I am finding VRBOs (or airbnbs) to be a Godsend. I can eat more appropriately staying in that type of accommodation. Of course something like the Marriott Residence Inns have kitchens so you can do the same there. Initially I balked at the thought of having to prepare my own meals because vacation for me has always also meant a break from cooking but now I am glad that I will have that control. Of course we will eat out a few nights.
Obviously the other advantage of VRBOs is the cost. We are staying right in the center of Manhattan in December, in what looks like a beautiful condo with a doorman and a gym in the building, sharing it with my son and his girlfriend, all for about $500 a night total, which is cheap for the city. Of course you save money by preparing your own meals also.
JK

Liked by IWantToBelieve

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I am currently upset with my weight, as I have gained 4 pounds in the last month. I know that does not sound like much, but it comes off so hard and has come back on so easily. Just today I finally put together my weight gain and the steroid shot put in my back to possibly reduce pain. I was hesitant about taking the steroid, and they made a big deal out of the fact that it could throw off my blood sugars and downplayed the possibly of weight gain. Maybe because I am no longer grossly obese they don’t think it is much of an issue, but for me that is a huge issue. So now I’m back at eagle-eyeing everything that nears my mouth. Hopefully I can get my back surgery done soon and relieve some of my pain and the ensuing depression. I am working as hard as possible to build my core strength before the surgery and increasing my fluids as much as possible. I must say, though, those big lunches, sandwiches and peaches were very tasty. I do have to say tata for now and go back to the rice cakes, tuna and summer veges. I forgot the farmer’s market Tuesday, so I have to make sure to hit up the next one on Saturday.

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@contentandwell

@colleenyoung Colleen, I have been doing well with my own diet management and getting in plenty of exercise using my fitness tracker to keep me going but for the last three days despite keeping my calories low and doing plenty of exercise I am at a plateau. I find plateaus are very discouraging and tend to make a person want to “throw in the towel” but I am staying positive, as difficult as it is, and hoping to see things budge tomorrow. When I see the my weight slowly decrease it keeps me motivated.
I lost quite a bit of weight and recently gained back about 8 pounds so that is what I am trying to lose. I have lost three so far. I may have mentioned this before, I am sure I did in one of the forums, but we are going away two times in the next few months, once on a vacation, and once to NYC to enjoy the city at Christmas but primarily because my daughter is getting married there. I am finding VRBOs (or airbnbs) to be a Godsend. I can eat more appropriately staying in that type of accommodation. Of course something like the Marriott Residence Inns have kitchens so you can do the same there. Initially I balked at the thought of having to prepare my own meals because vacation for me has always also meant a break from cooking but now I am glad that I will have that control. Of course we will eat out a few nights.
Obviously the other advantage of VRBOs is the cost. We are staying right in the center of Manhattan in December, in what looks like a beautiful condo with a doorman and a gym in the building, sharing it with my son and his girlfriend, all for about $500 a night total, which is cheap for the city. Of course you save money by preparing your own meals also.
JK

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@contentandwell , plateaus are so discouraging. But I like to think of them as times of quiet germination. Think of a young child learning. For a period of time, they may not seem to be making any progress and then, boom, all of the sudden they accomplish a new milestone. Not sure if this applies to diet and exercise and weight loss, but plateaus were a topic at the dinner table with my daughter tonight. She was getting frustrated with her apparent lack of progression in her music lessons, and then all of the sudden she got it, and the passage she was practising worked. That may be a bit of stretch to compare, but a reminder that we also have to be patient with ourselves.

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