Friday, June 7, 2013

Weight Loss Advice & Losing Motivation

There's a lot of really impractical weight-loss advice on the Internet (this is not a surprise). Most of that which I have come across has advised things like simply not going out to eat or traveling until you've lost the majority of weight that you'd like, which is one thing if you want to lose 20 pounds, but not especially helpful if, like me, you've been working on losing 200 pounds.

Not eating outside my own house isn't really something manageable in the long-term. Yes, I suppose it's possible, but that means I could never do wild and crazy things like visit my family (all of whom live out of state), have dinner at a friend's house, or go out to dinner to celebrate an anniversary or birthday, let alone take a vacation. 

I'm down about 90 pounds so far, but I've hit a wall and have begun to lose my motivation because I'm tired of tracking every morsel I eat. It's disheartening because many of things I encounter just don't have a nutrition label. (And "just don't eat anything that doesn't have a nutrition label" isn't helpful when you have vast amounts of weight to lose, because, again, what if you go out to eat at a local restaurant? Or go to a friend's or family's house for dinner? Let's be practical, shall we?) I'm having trouble keeping on track of calculating all my food intake simply because sometimes there is no nutritional information available.

I'm exercising nearly daily - perhaps once a week, I neither get to the gym nor get out for a 3-mile walk. Between going to the gym 3-4 times a week, and going for 3-4 three-mile walks a week, sometimes I come back and I'm just really hungry. I try to eat something sensible, but if I'm hungry to distraction, I find it hard to stop. For many people this is as simple as "just don't eat" but I can't seem to control myself. I was never taught those skills. One wouldn't tell an alcoholic just not to drink; there's the recognition that for that person, it's not a simple thing to do. It's like that for me and food.

Growing up, food was a power struggle. The refrigerator was padlocked; a downright humiliating intervention was staged. I was constantly put on diets that the whole family didn't participate in, which is to say there were still constantly desserts available, instead of changing the whole family's eating patterns. We were not an active family; no one exercised. I was told just not to eat without getting to the emotional roots behind my eating. I felt like whatever I could put in my mouth was the only thing I could control.

Now, as an adult, as much as I love my family, and as odd as it may sound, it's nice being a bit far away. When it's just me and Ed, I can control what comes into our house and what we eat without being undermined.

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