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It's a Huge Battle Which I Suck at Some Days

I don't know about you, but even though I am not afraid of being mugged my a chocolate cake with vanilla icing (is this profiling), this effing food thing is tough. I does not care how fit you are, or what you do; when you consume more calories than you burn, you gain weight.

This should be easy - easy after 4 years. It's not.


Most of you know that since I first logged onto MFP I became a marathoner. I have run 5 of them. The real deal, the 26.2 mile kind! I have run about 45 other distances and did a 60 mile charity run across Massachusetts. I do love running, but it is not a weight loss program.

You cannot outrun a bad diet.

Marathons are a lot different than shorter distance races. You need to have lots of rest before and lots of recovery time after. With a 3 week taper leading up to the race and a week or two of recovery, you don't get a lot of exercise.

The problem is that it is hard to cut down on your food intake. Well it is for me. I need to be in a highly controlled environment. That means nothing that I should consider an occasional treat can be in walking distance. I can't have left over birthday cake, chips, dips, and other types of snack foods close by.

I just can't do it!


I have to divide up portions meat, fish, chicken and turkey when I get home from the grocery store. It's SO easy to toss the second turkey burger in when I get home from work and I am hungry. If there is more than one in a package, I will eat them all.

The good news is that when I run, I am a lot less hungry.

Now that the taper and recovery are over from running Boston, I have gained almost 4 pounds. Part of the problem was going to Disney World. Did I say I need a controlled environment? I made lots of good food choices. I skipped desserts and free sweet drinks. I only ate mashed potatoes once. I drank oceans of water. And thank God for FastPasses and no lines at the restrooms!! I averaged 10 miles per day walking in the parks. I swam a few times too. Oh yeah, and I got in a 2 mile run with a fantasy girlfriend. (She was running the same way for half of my out-and-back.)

What I didn't do was control portions.

One of the things I know about failing is that we give ourselves permission to do it. We make excuses. "It's only once", "it's vacation", "it's OK to start over tomorrow", "it's just a stressful time" and the hits keep on coming. In 4 years on MFP I have seen a lot of people come and go - a lot - thousands in fact!

Overeating is an enemy of mine

The fact still remains that 55% of those who lose weight will not keep it all off, 20% will return to their previous weight and 20% or so will gain even more weight then they lost. That leaves 5% to win the championship and make a true lifestyle change.

I want to be one of them.

69 votes + -

26 comments:

landay wrote 45 months ago:
Thanks for the reminder that it's normal for this to continue to be difficult. I lost 75 pounds 3 years ago - and sometimes it still feels just as tough to control my portions and choices as it did on week 1. Sometimes I feel like a failure because it remains so difficult.... but the fact is that this is just hard sometimes!!!
suttercm wrote 45 months ago:
So agree! Lost 60 lbs 3 years ago. Have kept it off, but it is a daily struggle - sometimes hourly!
PrimroseFlower wrote 45 months ago:
"One of the things I know about failing is that we give ourselves permission to do it." This really hit home for me. I think back to all the times that I have failed, and I know it was somewhat a conscious decision. I too want to be in the 5%.
farmboyphotography wrote 45 months ago:
Well said, David, as always. Yes, this is a daily life-long project. It takes regular planning and self-discipline to effect a change. A big part of it is knowing yourself and your weaknesses so that you can plan and overcome those triggers.

I don't just want to be one of the 5% who, as you say, "win the championship and make a true lifestyle change."

I AM in the 5%. I am doing this.

Good luck to you, sir! Never surrender!
aliencheesecake wrote 45 months ago:
I am right there with ya, buddy! I LOVE food. And growing up, I had a great metabolism and was also pretty active. I could house two Big Macs in a single sitting, never watched calories, smoked, and weighed 110 pounds soaking wet. I blame the desk job I got in my twenties for my inevitable decline ;). Anyway, my metabolism and my brain seem to disagree on how much I need to eat now, so it is a constant struggle not to overeat, even healthy food.
aliencheesecake wrote 45 months ago:
Also, I totally agree with giving ourselves excuses and permission to fail, but as someone who is plagued by clinical anxiety and chronic guilt, I have also learned I need to be kind to myself. Like the past week or so, I have been sick. I have over eaten almost every day. Will it set me back? Maybe? Will I give up? No. But I am also not gonna beat myself up about it. I am not just this body, I'm also a mother,wife, artist. dog trainer, writer, etc. All those hats get stressful sometimes, especially when you are not feeling your best. Some days, a binge of cheesy poofs is just what I need. ;)
swat1948 wrote 45 months ago:
Oh I am right there with you on that. I want to eat all the time but I can't keep all bad choices out of my way because of my living situation. (Others who eat what they want) I have to rely on good old willpower and sometimes she fails me. I have days off MFP, usually the occasional Saturday or holidays, but I am right back on track the very next day. It works for me and I have been at goal about a year and staying there and hoping to keep it there.
Leahbcc wrote 45 months ago:
You can and will David
sherry0614 wrote 45 months ago:
It's obvious that you have the dedication necessary to be among that 5% - and you have all of us on here rooting for you!!!!!
Time2LoseWeightNOW wrote 45 months ago:
Thanks for putting it all there, for me to see..I am so like that in the food area...This will always be a battle for me, I am a FOODIE!!
Mustangsally1000 wrote 45 months ago:
Amen to everything I have read here. David, your post, and all the responses. Truth, everywhere! I keep on struggling...
celticlass69 wrote 45 months ago:
I'm not sure about you John, but, my hubby sometimes makes this journey harder than need be. You don't have to exercise every day, C'mon you can have a little ..., etc. However, I'm determined to continue and maintain my healthier lifestyle. I must acknowledge though that it is a struggle, day to day, and sometimes I do feel weak and want to give in, but I haven't. I'm liking the revised version of me much better.
hohstadt wrote 45 months ago:
I lost 3 lbs in 2 days. Did even exercise just ate 3 oz of turkey 3 times a day and ate pickles and drank 1 gallon of water per day. It was freaking hard but I feel better did 800 calories per day. Had a headache 2 days but today on day 3 I feel so much better and not hungry. Took a Vit with this also. Went to my Cardio Doctor he said it was all ok. Maybe not good for everyone but for me it worked.
Bellodesiderare wrote 45 months ago:
This is me 100% : I have to divide up portions meat, fish, chicken and turkey when I get home from the grocery store. It's SO easy to toss the second turkey burger in when I get home from work and I am hungry. If there is more than one in a package, I will eat them all.

Great read. Thank you :)
shiftynj wrote 45 months ago:
First-ever post!

Surrounded, absolutely SURROUNDED by food pushers. "But I made it special...", "It's a special occasion" "It's a sin to waste it." or my favorite "You're no fun!" I never understood how the number and quality of the calories I put in my mouth affects anybody's happiness or well-being but my own, and the only conclusion is that watching you be disciplined forces them to think about their own choices, which they don't want to do, especially on every dad-blamed "special occasion".

Like @alienredqueen I used to be rail-thin and all the relatives would empty the serving bowls on my plate when meals were over. This was apparently "stored in the cloud" somewhere and came back to find me, so now I have to be a lot more careful. And like @celticlass69 I have a SO who is the devil on my shoulder at times. Glad to find some community here and would welcome tips on how to resist the pushers without getting branded as a heartless ascetic.
retirehappy wrote 45 months ago:
Nice post and I needed to read it today. I had planned a day to go over my cals. It is Cinco de Mayo and I do live in Colorado. Yeah, I cut back the last few days on cals because this was coming, but there will be a price paid for the indulgence.
heather4949 wrote 45 months ago:
You are a real hero......
LinOtt wrote 45 months ago:
Thanks for this, I was starting to think I am a hopeless failure with absolutely NO self control - now I know I'm just a normal human being and everyone has the same struggle!
magairlin wrote 45 months ago:
This is a great post thank you. It reminds us that it is a daily struggle for everyone for the rest of our lives and it's not easy but it is soooo worth it as one likes the fitter, slimmer version of oneself. Sometimes it's easy to make good food choices and sometimes it isn't and I rarely have sweet and sugary food in the house to test my will power.
rosfk wrote 45 months ago:
I lost 9.5st, ran a marathon and put 3.5 back on by not really running but continuing to eat to support training. Only just beginning to come off again now but I can't run at present due to a foot injury and I agree. This food lark is HARD!
karensuegill wrote 45 months ago:
One thing I have tried to do is change my brain. I believe I have done it. I am talking about changing my relationship to food. Deciding to eat to live not live to eat. I mean seeing food as fuel, not my best friend. I mean educating myself about the human body and nutrition and switching from eating packaged foods to whole organic foods. I mean educating myself about what exercise does for my body and what good food does for my body and what unhealthy food does to my body. I am not saying I am perfect all the time. I slip like everyone else, but I have become passionate about my health and I don't think about food and my body the way I used to. I always log all my calories, even when I go way over so that I am always accountable and so I don't deceive myself when the scale goes up. I don't struggle near as much as I used to because I feel so much better, sleep better, am off all my medications and I don't ever want to go back to my old way of thinking.
cbirdso wrote 45 months ago:
You really hit the nail on the head in this blog: Toughest part about maintaining is that is (almost?)a greater effort than the original weight loss. Next, you can't out-exercise a bad diet or over-eat just because you are exercising. I see this as a major fail for many MFPers and is what I struggle with constantly. Last but not least, portion control when hungry, tired, unfocused, stressed, distracted (need I go on) is my Achilles heel, too. Only planning and habit has saved me many a time. Great blog.
Lazystuff wrote 45 months ago:
Good blog, and great comments too.
dsjohndrow wrote 45 months ago:
I have thee best readers and commenters.
angieroo2 wrote 45 months ago:
It's nice to hear that others still struggle with weight loss and bad habits after years of success. I still have lots of those moments.
Jen5366mfp wrote 44 months ago:
Fabulous post.... I am normal after all!!

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