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Advice For Losing Weight

Group Therapy: I Won't Let My Weight Hold Me Back Anymore

This question comes from a Group Therapy post in our TrèsSugar Community. Add your advice in the comments!

Hi, I'm at a point where I just can't stand my weight. It's holding me back so much. It hurts my back. I hate clothes shopping because they don't make clothes for short fat women, unless it's a moo moo. I don't even want to attempt dating because I'm really self conscious about how I look, with and without clothes on. I've had boyfriends, but I've also had mean guys tell him how fat I am and that makes me not date worthy. It's very discouraging.

I have a huge tendency to overeat, eat junk food with a lot of fat and/or sugar, and I self sooth with food (I have a history of depression). I don't want to do this to myself anymore. I've tried stupid fad diets in the past and ofcourse they don't work. I want to Weight Watchers which seemed to help some. I lost 25 pounds last year but gained back 15 after some stressful life changes.

Does anyone have suggestions for how to get control of my eating habits? I'm stuck in a vicious cycle here and really want to get out of it.

Have a dilemma of your own? Post it, anonymously, to Group Therapy for advice, and check out what else is happening in the TrèsSugar Community.

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michirururu michirururu 5 years
Thank you guys all for sharing. I have a similar issue too. This is a very informative forum. Anyway my story is, I used to be an avid runner, until last year I totally changed my lifestyle and other stressful events in my life starts to come in. Slowly and gradually, I learned to associate food with comfort, and then running became a burden. Running used to be a source of euphoria (runner's high, you know) for me, it's a daily thing that I just have to get inspired by so that I remain positive all day long. Now, it's a whole lot different story, 20 pounds more. But yes, it's true, I don't buy weight loss pills or anything like that either. It's really about diet and exercise and that's all. For a year I've tried so many fad diets and nothing works in the long run. No matter how much you starve yourself and workout like hell, it's all a matter of balance. At some point we have to say, this is what our bodies have always been designed to do, and we're humans after all, aka smart people unlike animals. We're driven by intelligence, so that's what keeps me have second thoughts now everytime I have another bite of emotional binging. Wish everybody luck..
katialoves katialoves 5 years
i second the recommendation for the book 'skinny bitch'
Carri Carri 5 years
There is a great magazine called Cooking Light. They have very simple but great tasting recipes that you will find satisfying and fun to make. Taking a walk every day really helps with fighting off stress and helping you decompress. Even if you start off walking only one block, it's a good start. Just decide that you are going to change for the better and do it. And last but not least, love yourself. People believe anything that is told to them over and over. Make it a habit to tell yourself you're beautiful, you're smart, you're a good person, and even if you don't believe it now, eventually you will. Get out there and work it, girl! Confidence is key and if you don't have it right now, fake it til you make it!
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 5 years
You received some excellent advice. My advice to you is to start slowly. If I were you, I would start with good eating habits AND finding other ways to self-sooth that are NOT self-destructive. Self-soothing and self-destructing are two different things. You were doing the latter. Of course, that made your stressful worse. On a personal level, learn to be your own best friend. That means you embrace yourself, you like yourself, and treat yourself with love. Make that your job. It's your job, and nobody else's. When you learn to treat yourself with good self-regard, I think you will naturally develop good relationships with others. You will treat others in a similar way. You're giving away what you have.
danakscully64 danakscully64 5 years
Great advice has been offered :) As others have said, you have to change your lifestyle. You have to take all of the crap food out of your house and restock it with nutrient dense foods (this works best because if you're craving junk, you won't have access to it). Just from experience, I know that eating 1 bad meal turns into a day or two of bad eating. When I eat bad, my body craves more bad food. I think it messes with my blood sugar levels or something. You can't half-ass it. You have to change your entire attitude and outlook. Don't focus on weight loss so much as health, it's a lot easier to do that because the numbers on the scale can be discouraging. I ended up reaching my goal weight by becoming a vegetarian. It became much easier to meet my dietary goals without meat. Have you tried SparkPeople? Other tips: 1) Plan your meals in advance 2) Start off with a great breakfast (like Kashi Oatmeal, skip the sugary cereals, bacon, sausage, and high fat foods) 3) Make a shopping list and don't impulse buy at the store. 4) Plan your meals around the fruits and veggies, not the protein (one the biggest problem America has, protein should be 25% of the plate - whether that be lentils, beans, eggs, tofu, quinoa, whatever). 5) Don't be afraid to try new foods. The biggest one: Deal with your emotions, don't push them to the side and comfort them with food. See a counselor, get your emotions and self esteem in order. :) Good luck! The hardest part is breaking the cycle, but once you do, things will just go up from there, I promise.
MySecondLife MySecondLife 5 years
I only skimmed the previous comments, but didn't see mention of SUPPORT. You must have support. Over-eaters Anonymous is free, and it will provide all the support you need. Just make sure you find a group that is committed; some groups can wind up being worse than if you didn't go, when people don't take it seriously and instead use the hour as an excuse to make excuses If you are REALLY ready, you'll do it. Pull together all the necessary elements (support, fitness and diet education), and start now. Begin by throwing out HALF of your junk food in your kitchen. A week later, throw out the rest. Literally throw it out, too! Buy a pedometer, and get in 5000 steps a day. Set small goals for yourself, like, "I'll get in 2000 steps the first day." Weigh yourself only ONCE per week, at the same time and same day each week. I ran a nutrition and fitness support group for many years. We became the world's most popular group of its kind. Our theme was to make exercise a game or as part of daily routines. Ex: When you mop or vacuum, do lunges. When you have to go up the stairs, do it twice just for the burn. When you shower, stretch your muscles. When you unload groceries, carry in one bag at a time and do it quickly. We had "games" where people were awarded points, such as "15 points for cleaning your garage today," or "10 points for detailing your car today," that sort of thing. The idea was to get up off the couch and get moving -- without worry about formal exercise. On average, the group of people I directed would lose (total) 1400 pounds a month. Our method worked. Feel free to email me if you'd like to discuss this off the net.
jessr1214 jessr1214 5 years
GTCB- there really is some interesting stuff out there! Humans are genetically wired to eat when food is available, particularly high fat foods--we evolved that way because historically there wasnt a lot of food available in hunter-gatherer societies so people that ate as much as they could did better (survived and had more children). Not very helpful in the age of McDonalds, however. I have struggled with this issue too and definitely agree that the best thing you can do for yourself (physically and emotionally) is to get into a regular exercise routine and stick to it. Start with regular walking or bike rides around your neighborhood, or find exercise classes at a gym that you like. A workout buddy always helps me stick with it too. I recently started the couch to 5K running program and I love it because I am not a runner at ALL but you start off really slow and gradually build up to longer intervals of running, its amazing how quickly your body adapts and you can feel a difference! There is an iPod/iPhone app for that too that I love. As far as eating goes, I do think that as others have mentioned a diet loaded with junk food can be somewhat addictive. One of my biggest food weaknesses is also sugar, occasionally I will do a 'cleanse' and eat nothing with added sugar in it for a week or two. It is definitely rough the first few days but your body adjusts and eventually naturally sweet foods like fruit will totally satisfy that craving for me. In general if you try to stay away from processed food and eat as many whole foods as possible I think you will see positive changes. Like Betty suggested, investing in a good cookbook and trying out some new recipes might help. I have also used an online calorie counting website (my food diary) and I found that to be really helpful but it's probably not for everyone. You log your food and it not only tells you how many calories you are eating (and need to eat to meet your weight loss goal) but also breaks it down by fat/carb/protein and tracks major nutrients like vitamin A, C, calcium, and iron. I actually thought it was really interesting and it helped me pinpoint my weaknesses (saturated fats and sodium...I never realized how much salt was in processed food before!) The good thing about programs like that and weight watchers is that no food group is forbidden, but moderation is key. I think thats important to long term success. Wow that ended up being super long, but the moral of the story in my opinion is: regular exercise and eat as many whole foods as possible! If you like to read check out one of Michael Pollan's books, he writes really interesting stuff about food and eating healthy. Omnivore's Dilemma is great but In Defense of Food is pretty much the same message said in a more concise, direct way. And good luck!
GTCB GTCB 5 years
A large body of research has been completed on the subjects of human eating patterns, trying to answer the question of why people are so fat. I have read a lot of books on the subject, and to be fair I could stand to lose about 20 pounds, but I digress. There are some fascinating details to be found out in all the research, and I'm really generalizing here, but overeating is for some people like drug addition. A certain combination of sugar/fat/salt makes a certain food "hyperpalatable" and habit-forming. Food companies have stumbled onto this finding empirically, but researchers have proven it out and it really makes sense. The unfortunate bottom line is that it is even harder to get away from your favorite junk foods because of how your brain chemistry has been conditioned by these "drugs".
JoCourtney JoCourtney 5 years
Sounds like my life story. I got fed up with my weight at the beginning of the year and lost 35 lbs. For me, once the decision was made, the changes became much easier. I would suggest exercise. Even if it's just walking, moving more will help you to see your body differently, as an amazing machine. Once you look past appearances and focus on how you feel, diet changes are easier to make because you'll want to take care of your body. Then, the weight will come off :) Good luck, I know how difficult it is, for me I have at least 50 more lbs to lose. You can do it!
Bettye-Wayne Bettye-Wayne 5 years
Wow, there is so much good advice on here! All of it is good advice, really. Only a couple things I can add, if you have a history of depression but can't afford counseling and don't have insurance, trying dialing 211 on your phone, in most cities they'll help you find free or low cost help. When you eat a high-fat diet for many years, your body becomes accustomed to it. Eating light is like going through withdrawals, you're not starving but your body thinks it is. I've never been obese but I was raised on Doritos and microwave dinners and I've struggled at times to maintain a healthy weight. Breaking that habit and eating healthy was not easy. You just need to tough it out and soon enough, you'll love health food. That's how I am now, I'll eat a cheeseburger or some chocolate cake every once in a while, but on a daily basis it's apples and salads for me, not because I feel like I have to but because I *want* to. Skipping the drive-thru feels better than eating the cheeseburger, do it a couple times and you'll know what I mean. My easiest health recipe, literally I eat this stuff three or four times a week, I cook any type of whole grain (barley, brown rice, quinoa, etc) in low sodium organic veggie broth, then add some high protein beans or veggies (navy beans or edamame- baby soy beans, they're in the freezer section at the super market) and tons of fresh of frozen veggies. Season to taste, I know it probably sounds boring but it's hearty enough it should satisfy you. Also you might want to pick up a Dutch Oven and this cookbook http://www.amazon.com/Glorious-One-Pot-Meals-Revolutionary-ebook/dp/B001NLKSKM/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2&s=digital-text&qid=1287671053&sr=8-2 Glorious One Pot Meals by Elizabeth Yarnell. Low fat and super flavorful. Another diet tip, if it's not water it's food. Juice is food, milk is food, soda is food, beer is food. Once you think of it that way you'll be surprised how much 'food' you're eating. Also, you may want to start drinking skim milk of you don't already. I drank whole milk growing up and I slowly downgraded 2% to 1% to skim, it took me a couple years to get used to the taste but now anything more than 1% tastes funny to me. You have a lot of work ahead of you, you seem so determined though I know you'll be able to do it. Just stick it through, before you know it people will be telling you you're looking good and more importantly, you'll be feeling good. I really think you have what it takes to make this change.
HollyJRockNRoll HollyJRockNRoll 5 years
First thing is I give you props for being open and honest about how you are feeling and about your problem. Next, don't think of diets, but lifestyle changes. "Diets don't work" because people get off them. You need to find a way of eating that can stick with. I eat vegan 95% of the time. Even though I love ice cream and cheese, I feel 100% better when I don't consume them. It took me awhile to get there, but it is something I have always wanted to do and works for me. The USDA, FDA, and other powers that be have really deceived the public about what is healthy eating. I recommend you read the book "Skinny Bitch." I'd focus on eating fresh foods-lots of salads, tons of fruit, and staying away from things in packages, etc Stop buying unhealthy food for the home. It's harder to binge if the food is not there. I know you are dealing with a possibly compulsive eating problem, so I would HIGHLY recommend that you begin to read self help books as well as possibly go into counseling. I believe that there is a book out there called "Getting over it", which is a book about getting over eating disorders. It helps you to find out when you first began using food as a means of comfort, or control, etc. I highly recommend you buy it , along with a journal and just begin to explore how food became this issue for you. You are already aware you use it as a form of comfort but I bet if you can figure out the very first time you began to use it, it will help you in the process of moving on by addressing how you got into this mess in the first place. Also, begin to work out! I'm serious. If you are a afraid of working out in public do it at home. If you have the money, buy a elliptical or treadmill. You can also buy workout videos or if you have netflix you can watch them for free on your computer. Exercise can help you feel calmer, relieve stress and its WAY better than overeating. Surround yourself with positive reminders- healthy food articles, motivational posters, etc.
HollyJRockNRoll HollyJRockNRoll 5 years
First thing is I give you props for being open and honest about how you are feeling and about your problem.Next, don't think of diets, but lifestyle changes. "Diets don't work" because people get off them. You need to find a way of eating that can stick with. I eat vegan 95% of the time. Even though I love ice cream and cheese, I feel 100% better when I don't consume them. It took me awhile to get there, but it is something I have always wanted to do and works for me.The USDA, FDA, and other powers that be have really deceived the public about what is healthy eating. I recommend you read the book "Skinny Bitch." I'd focus on eating fresh foods-lots of salads, tons of fruit, and staying away from things in packages, etcStop buying unhealthy food for the home. It's harder to binge if the food is not there.I know you are dealing with a possibly compulsive eating problem, so I would HIGHLY recommend that you begin to read self help books as well as possibly go into counseling. I believe that there is a book out there called "Getting over it", which is a book about getting over eating disorders. It helps you to find out when you first began using food as a means of comfort, or control, etc. I highly recommend you buy it , along with a journal and just begin to explore how food became this issue for you. You are already aware you use it as a form of comfort but I bet if you can figure out the very first time you began to use it, it will help you in the process of moving on by addressing how you got into this mess in the first place.Also, begin to work out! I'm serious. If you are a afraid of working out in public do it at home. If you have the money, buy a elliptical or treadmill. You can also buy workout videos or if you have netflix you can watch them for free on your computer. Exercise can help you feel calmer, relieve stress and its WAY better than overeating.Surround yourself with positive reminders- healthy food articles, motivational posters, etc.
sarah_bellum sarah_bellum 5 years
I've been there too, and I'm talking morbidly obese. My weight is now in a healthy range, although I'm still trying to lose a few more pounds and tone up some more. I didn't find this book until after I had lost much of the weight, but it really resonated with me, because I had found out on my own all of the things she talks about in regards to permanent weight loss. It would have saved me so much trouble had I found it years ago. It's not a diet program or anything, just sort of preparation and strategies for designing a healthier life. I highly recommend it. http://www.amazon.com/Secrets-Former-Fat-Girl-Sizes/dp/159463033X
sarah_bellum sarah_bellum 5 years
I've been there too, and I'm talking morbidly obese. My weight is now in a healthy range, although I'm still trying to lose a few more pounds and tone up some more. I didn't find this book until after I had lost much of the weight, but it really resonated with me, because I had found out on my own all of the things she talks about in regards to permanent weight loss. It would have saved me so much trouble had I found it years ago. It's not a diet program or anything, just sort of preparation and strategies for designing a healthier life. I highly recommend it.http://www.amazon.com/Secrets-Former-Fat-Girl-Sizes/dp/159463033X
BiWife BiWife 5 years
I have been working on the same thing for the last year. When I got diagnosed with carpal tunnel, cubital tunnel, bilateral hip bursitis, bilateral chondromalacia patella, and fibromyalgia all at the same time, I was suddenly almost bed-ridden and completely reliant upon help from others, I went into deep depression and began seld-soothing with food. I packed on almost 100lbs in barely 6 months & spent 2 years thinking I'd never get rid of it. I'd cycle between weeks of healthy eating & then several days of bingeing on junk food. My psychological problems would likewise vacillate between even & in-control me and moody & depressed me. And of course, each time I would binge, I would feel guilty and get into self-destructive thoughts. On several occasions, I had a plan & everything for how I would kill myself, since I was so useless and fat and ugly (imo). So, over the last year, I made promises to myself. I wasn't going to hurt myself because - despite any personal wrongdoing - I don't deserve that. I deserve to be beautiful, deserve to be loved, deserve to have the chance to make myself proud. I made a few key changes to help myself avoid previous obstacles: - I had to open up more to my hubby. I was feeling alone because I was pushing him away. Same thing happens with friends, family, coworkers, etc. Find someone(s) that you can talk to about your feelings on your body size, emotional triggers for soothe-eating, etc. Chances are, you have several people happy to help you and eager to be a bigger part of your life. - avoid people & places that made me eat unhealthy. I didn't completely avoid friends & family, but I did "happen" to miss potlucks, all-you-can-eat buffet nights, super bowl parties etc. - examine your emotional triggers for bad habits & talk to a counselor, pastor/priest/rabbi, trusted friend/family member about ways to respond to those emotions that don't involve food. I can give general suggestions like: walking, knitting, bubble bath, meditation, going to a secluded place to scream your lungs out, write poetry/music/blog, play with an animal, or whatever helps you vent frustration, express your emotions, deal with issues. - exercise, exercise, exercise! Even if its just walking around the house, stretching, lifting a milkjug, playing with kids/dogs. Do something. The endorphins will make you feel better. Accomplishing something will make you feel better. And by increasing your activity, you are slowly, but surely, helping your heart, lungs, and everything else. Yoga is awesome because it can be tailored to your ability level & accomodates just about every physical condition out there, so it's the safest way to get back into shape. However, if you're a beginner, take a class with an instructor or see a fitness trainer at least a few times. Yoga done wrong can be very bad, so you need to have a firm grasp of the basics before you start a home regimen. Hope those ideas help.
BiWife BiWife 5 years
I have been working on the same thing for the last year. When I got diagnosed with carpal tunnel, cubital tunnel, bilateral hip bursitis, bilateral chondromalacia patella, and fibromyalgia all at the same time, I was suddenly almost bed-ridden and completely reliant upon help from others, I went into deep depression and began seld-soothing with food. I packed on almost 100lbs in barely 6 months & spent 2 years thinking I'd never get rid of it. I'd cycle between weeks of healthy eating & then several days of bingeing on junk food. My psychological problems would likewise vacillate between even & in-control me and moody & depressed me. And of course, each time I would binge, I would feel guilty and get into self-destructive thoughts. On several occasions, I had a plan & everything for how I would kill myself, since I was so useless and fat and ugly (imo). So, over the last year, I made promises to myself. I wasn't going to hurt myself because - despite any personal wrongdoing - I don't deserve that. I deserve to be beautiful, deserve to be loved, deserve to have the chance to make myself proud. I made a few key changes to help myself avoid previous obstacles:- I had to open up more to my hubby. I was feeling alone because I was pushing him away. Same thing happens with friends, family, coworkers, etc. Find someone(s) that you can talk to about your feelings on your body size, emotional triggers for soothe-eating, etc. Chances are, you have several people happy to help you and eager to be a bigger part of your life.- avoid people & places that made me eat unhealthy. I didn't completely avoid friends & family, but I did "happen" to miss potlucks, all-you-can-eat buffet nights, super bowl parties etc. - examine your emotional triggers for bad habits & talk to a counselor, pastor/priest/rabbi, trusted friend/family member about ways to respond to those emotions that don't involve food. I can give general suggestions like: walking, knitting, bubble bath, meditation, going to a secluded place to scream your lungs out, write poetry/music/blog, play with an animal, or whatever helps you vent frustration, express your emotions, deal with issues.- exercise, exercise, exercise! Even if its just walking around the house, stretching, lifting a milkjug, playing with kids/dogs. Do something. The endorphins will make you feel better. Accomplishing something will make you feel better. And by increasing your activity, you are slowly, but surely, helping your heart, lungs, and everything else. Yoga is awesome because it can be tailored to your ability level & accomodates just about every physical condition out there, so it's the safest way to get back into shape. However, if you're a beginner, take a class with an instructor or see a fitness trainer at least a few times. Yoga done wrong can be very bad, so you need to have a firm grasp of the basics before you start a home regimen.Hope those ideas help.
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