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What Does it Take?

One of my friends wants to know why we sabotage ourselves. There is probably a different reason for each one of us. And therefore, trying to answer LindaLou150's question is more like nailing Jell-O to a tree - Diet Jell-O of course!

What I do know, is that certain behavior often precedes our failures.

I confess that I went to AA for many years (like 20), and I learned some stuff there. (I haven't had a drink in well over 30 years.) Those that are in 12 step programs know that we don't get mugged by White Russians or birthday cakes. If it passes your lips, it was probably in the hand that you also control.

Addictions like overeating, are insidious. We attack them with will-power, prayer, medical advice, and support groups. Sadly, according to a New York Times article, many of us fail. It can take 7 years to turn this around; that's a long time.

I have read hundreds of profiles on MFP, and a bunch of us have done this more than once - some many times. I don't know about you, but this time I want to take if off and keep it off.

Winning at losing is a blend of education, vigilance, honesty and a sense of humor helps. The road to failure usually involves lack in one of those areas.

- Education: We need to learn about food. I am a smart guy with 9 years of college (2 drinking oceans of booze!) - even worked at a medical school, and I didn't know anything about food other than the Food Pyramid. And truthfully, I was better at Fonix.

When we don't know what is good for us (in general) and what works for our bodies, it is hard to make good choices. I have a friend that thinks a sandwich with cold-cuts is a better choice than pizza!? I think that is like switching seats on the Titanic.

- Honesty: This is a tough one. It is hard to log your failures. It is hard to be honest about sneaking something that seems small. Oh yeah, it is hard to go over your calories and for me, it sucked being in ICU for a week because I couldn't make weight loss and health important.

Your honesty about every choice you make when it comes to working out, eating right, and admitting where you really are with food, is what changes your lifestyle. Each choice has the potential to trigger more bad eating behavior or ingrain a good habit.

- Vigilance: I see some complaining about logging on holidays, birthdays, vacations, special occasions, and the like. If you really want to succeed, this is going to be a full time job.

Vigilance is doing what it takes in spite of the fear of failure or success, and perceived inconvenience of taking care of yourself.

- Sense of Humor: For some of us this is serious business. That doesn't mean that we need to live a deprived life. Go ahead, laugh at a few fat jokes, look for your picture on PeopleofWalmart.com, but don't take life too seriously - it's not like you are playing in the Super Bowl.

Here is a little self-test to see if you are positioned for success.
1. Do you know how many calories are in your average 30 minute workout?
2. Do you weigh your food portions?
3. Did you stop blaming others because you can't lose weight?
4. Do you log everyday?
5. Can you laugh at yourself when you blow it?
6. Can you see yourself in 7 years?
7. Do you have more than 50 friends on MFP?

If you answered Yes to most of these, you are probably on the right track.

111 votes + -

30 comments:

czechsmate wrote 115 months ago:
well done..again!
VAbreeze wrote 115 months ago:
Hmmm...if answering yes to most of these puts us on the right track, then shouldn't #3 be "Do you blame yourself because you can't lose weight" (as opposed to blaming others?) .... Another good blog :)
kardowling wrote 115 months ago:
Bravo!!
MacInCali wrote 115 months ago:
Honesty, honesty, honesty!! I've never understood the concept of not logging on Christmas or a birthday or friggin Ground Hog's Day. If you eat it, why wouldn't you log it? And if you didn't log it, chances are it's because you're upset/mad/disappointed/embarrassed that you ate it, so why did you eat it? One of my main motto's is: If you eat it, own it!

Another key point to success is knowing your own weaknesses! My family still has fast food or pizza 2 to 3 times a week. I used to eat with them. That is why I'm here on MFP now. Can I eat fast food on MFP? Of course I can. But I also know it's my weakness. In the past, one small fry turned into a large fry 3 days later. A cheeseburger turned into a double cheeseburger. I've been down that road before. I don't like that road. So, yes, I personally refrain from fast food even though I have many friends who still eat it and lose, but I refrain because I know MY weekness. And, guess what? I'm succeeding! =) =) =)
baypathgradLyns wrote 115 months ago:
another good one :)
Mustangsally1000 wrote 115 months ago:


very informative...and so worth reading. As I come back to work and they are making popcorn in front of my office..that's all I can smell..fresh, hot, popcorn. Can I blame them if I eat it? No?? Rats!!! It seems I'm responsible for me....Huh...
DEEDLYNN wrote 115 months ago:
great read. You are gifted with writing talents. I appreciate them!
cessnaholly wrote 115 months ago:
Fonix - LOL
Bella3119 wrote 115 months ago:
Thank you very much for the post!

As I've increased my # of friends on MFP, I noticed that I do not publish my logs on the days I go over. I felt horrible for "hiding" my weak days. So, thank you for encouraging me to own up to all of it, the good the bad and the greasy!
Hoppymom wrote 115 months ago:
I must be winning because I answered yes to everything!
CoraGregoryCPA wrote 115 months ago:
Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes, No.

I love the questions at the end... it does mean success if you can truthfully answer yes to them! Love it!
lissamok wrote 115 months ago:
This was an interesting read. I love your perspective and find your honesty refreshing. Thanks!
SMarie10 wrote 115 months ago:
Excellent commentary. My downfall is still not weighing my portions. Seems like such a bother but I know my eyeballing the portion size is never accurate.
odditblue wrote 115 months ago:
SEVEN FRIGGIN YEARS??????????
OH my sweet Beezus.... I'm gonna be on this stupid sinking Titanic ship a long, long time. Maybe if I go over to Italy, I can go down a little faster... I dunno, seems to me they got a little sideways over there... And ouch. Yeah, honesty. It's good, but kicking my butt more and more lately. You wanna know what you really look like? Go to all your friends and relative's Facebook pages and look at the photos THEY took of you! That there is scary beyond measure. Every time I think it's ok to slip a little, I go look at the old pics and go nuh-uhh... nope. Not doin' it. It's a cure for the mirror-challenged. =) Thanks by the way for all your blogs. Dunno how you keep up with all the great ideas. Don't stop. =)
Hungry_Tuna wrote 115 months ago:
Woo I'm on the right track! :) I loved this post, as always!
bllowry wrote 115 months ago:
Excellent blog, as always!! I finally have convinced the hubby that if it goes in his mouth it has to be logged!
Judway wrote 115 months ago:
i am so glad I came to read your blog. It is everything I have been saying to myself and finally see it all down in this blog.If you go read my profile you will see this weight loss thing has been life long for me. I am so sick of it and NEVER counted calories just W.W. points which were not working for me anymore.Then I heard about this site and checked it out only to find something different for me and that is counting calories and they made it easy by tracking all this for you. Now I have a new addiction, that being myfitnesspal.I am looking at food differently and really noticing the sodium and stuff in all foods.I rated a yes on everything but the exercise. I had a problem and can't exercise right now but have looked at some exercises and picked out the ones I CAN do. So I am commited to getting this off although I am a slow loser as long as I lose I WILL NOT BE A LOSER.
USCEE77 wrote 115 months ago:
Great article. In addition, you have to be honest with yourself and stop making excuses. The reason why over 30% of Americans are obese is because "I'm too busy to cook a healthy meal, so I'll just eat a Big Mac and greasy mcnuggets" Don't be like some of my friends who cheat on their golf, they never improve their game because they're not honest with themselves. The only person you're cheating is yourself.
Pkiddy wrote 115 months ago:
"we don't get mugged by White Russians or birthday cakes. If it passes your lips, it was probably in the hand that you also control." My favorite part! That and the part about why people "don't log birthdays"... i agree. you eat it, you log it! how else will you know what you ate and what worked or didnt work! Great blog as always!
SmartFunGorgeous wrote 115 months ago:
I really like the part about being honest with yourself. That's my goal now. Honesty with y'all, honesty with myself.
Amayrial wrote 115 months ago:
I think it's important to know it's ok to say no.
and if you stumble, it's ok. Pick yourself up and keep going. It's a turtle's race, not the hares.

great blog o_o
happylittleclam wrote 115 months ago:
Now I feel really dumb. I thought a sandwich with cold cuts was better than pizza too! This is going to be rough ;)

I liked this article.
felicity866 wrote 115 months ago:
i agree....if you can't admit where you went wrong...how do you fix it??? logging,logging and more logging!! and a chuckle along the way! i think anyone not logging even a small amount of naughty food is probably doing this out of guilt or shame...how do i know this??? because i have done it!!! i am now much more honest with myself!!

another inciteful post....thanks!
77tes wrote 115 months ago:
I've stopped blaming everyone except my husband -- doesn't that count? If I can't blame him, why did I marry the guy?
jcnpedersen wrote 115 months ago:
Today is the first day that I'm checking out this site with plans to switch from a WW program where I've never really been successful to join my daughter here on her MFP journey. I have over 100 pounds to lose and I have to tell you how much I enjoyed reading your point of view about what it takes. It put a smile on my face because you are SO RIGHT!! Love Love Love it and plan to revisit this blog again when I need a kick in the you know what!
minnie05355 wrote 115 months ago:
To be successful at this game, I recommend a lot of cheating - according to the following rules:
Rule No 1. Recording food - cheat higher than what you ate. Grab onto a handful of your belly and then log in another 400 calories consumed that day.
Rule No 2. Recording activity - cheat less than what you exercised. Grab onto two handfuls of your butt and then UNlog about 600 calories burned that day.
When you can no longer grab onto handfuls of fat, you'll see why cheating is a good thing.
vamomma4 wrote 115 months ago:
Great read.
I am learning, eventhough I thought I already knew, that this eating plan is for FOREVER. It only takes a weekend to blow the whole weeks work. It's so hard, but good to see the support of fellow strugglers.
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