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Why Does This Always Have to Be a Battle?!

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 7 years. It's not.

Most of you know that since I first logged onto MFP I became a marathoner. I have run 10 of them. The real deal, the 26.2 mile kind! I have run about 80 other distances as well as a 60-mile charity run across Massachusetts, and a near 30-miler across Rhode Island. 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 for over a month.

But you are hungry, really hungry!

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 within 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 (the 8 or so hours after), I am a lot less hungry.

Now that the taper and recovery are over from running London, I have gained almost 4 pounds. I made lots of good food choices. I am back to running regularly. But....

What I haven't done is 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 7 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.

84 votes + -


beckyinma wrote 51 months ago:
"I need to be in a highly controlled environment. That means nothing that I should consider an occasional treat can be within walking distance. I can't have left over birthday cake, chips, dips, and other types of snack foods close by."

My failure in a nutshell... I couldn't put it better myself. Seriously. My daughter makes cookies all the time. She knows now to put them away where they're not on the counter, otherwise my hand is putting them in my mouth even though internally I am telling myself I shouldn't be eating them, they're still going in my belly... Chips, pretzels, cupcakes, a container of frosting with a spoon in it.... SMH
runningforthetrain wrote 51 months ago:
I will add- "it is just sooo good" not really an excuse but a justification. Great post!
heather4949 wrote 51 months ago:
I needed to read this.....I thought it was just me who thought like this.....great I have lost the weight, I know what to do, but it is harder to stay trim than it was to lose weight...just one bad meal will put kgs on you the next day.....not fair.
rfsahae wrote 51 months ago:
My husband is a VERY good cook. Sigh. It's hard to log what he puts in his creations. Items yes, quantities, no. And he likes to make enough for a couple days of leftovers so he doesn't have to cook every day. The food is healthy, delicious and just lying there in the refrigerator calling to me .... (He of course has no problem with weight.)
FormerlyWallyAmadeus wrote 51 months ago:

I used to be a very heavy smoker. It took 14 tries to stop.

And, cigarettes aren't around me constantly.

I think it just takes time, but if we persist in having that goal of being a member of the 5% we'll get there.
pizzafruit wrote 51 months ago:
You are one of them.
bf0712 wrote 51 months ago:
Sometimes I wish we could just out and out quit food! Food intake is needed, but I wish I had that switch that told me enough!! I don't eat junk sometimes I wish I did so I could have that as a good solid excuse LOL My intake is just to much at times(too many calories). It is tough...
Goin4goal wrote 51 months ago:
Since going low carb, I don't have the cravings or desire for sweets like I once did (really bad). The carbs I do eat are of the vegetable variety and seems to be working so far. Of course the reason may be because I feel all around so much better that its easier to just ignore the junk when its around. BUT, I'm not an exercise fanatic (not that you are - lol), so my body probably doesn't need the carbs that yours does.
lorrainequiche59 wrote 51 months ago:
Ditto on Pizzafruit's comment...You ARE one of them! AND you are here writing about your struggle & that will keep you in the 5% category. Realizing the struggle & being honest & accountable has been your recipe for success!! There is NO magic pill for controlling our weight as you well know. Restricting food groups, faddish eating regimens, totally eliminating all junkie food etc etc is not the answer: Moderating portions (of course healthful food choices are vital) being mindful of the amount of food we are ingesting is. It is basically calories in/calories out. That's all folks!!!!!!! And for most of us that means WORK!! And you are doing the work. So give yourself a big fat HUG!
texteach66 wrote 51 months ago:
So much truth here! I must be ever vigilant. The only positive is that I know my patterns. If I stay attentive to them and fight them, I can win. If I give in once, I have to try to catch it. I know that if I let that rock start rolling down the hill, trouble is coming. Constant vigilance, constant logging, hanging out on MFP with people who get it, that's my plan. We'll see. I look forward to being 7 years out. I don't really expect it to be easier than it is today, but if I can just keep the weight off, my life will definitely be more fun!
JeromeBarry1 wrote 51 months ago:
You probably already know this, but I just now admitted it. If I buy a food item which is not in my regular diet with the intention of having a portion of it occasionally, that occasion compresses into a few minutes of the day I open the package. If this is a revelatory surprise to you, win at the grocery, rather than bringing the struggle to the kitchen.
christinesharland wrote 51 months ago:
I've had to stop buying biscuits as I can't stop myself at a few. I live alone and eat the whole packet.
Even individually wrapped treats doesn't work as I told myself it would. .
I've left half a cheesecake for the next day so I'm winning. Lol
Best weight and quickest weight loss came when I had to get rid of my car. Hated doing it but it's had a plus. Still slow at a stone in a year but progress.
Willpower is such a huge issue for me.
christinesharland wrote 51 months ago:
Jeromebarry1 is right. Don't buy it if you can't resist it at home. I'm lucky in some ways as I don't have to buy with anyone else in mind. I've realised I'm best to just leave any treat where it is. Apart from occasionally.
hroderick wrote 51 months ago:
I've found the mindset taught in mindful eating to be very helpful in changing my harmful eating habits. I was raised in a 'clean your plate' and 'children starving in Africa' time but that resulted in me getting fat.

Now I often eat 1 homemade cookie so I don't feel deprived and really enjoy it. But I know a second one would be enjoyed less so put it away and out of sight. A few days later I may want another and have room in my calories so eat another one. After a week or so, I know the remaining cookies will be stale, so toss them into the trash (which is a very empowering act).

I feel losing weight is a side effect of my permanently changed eating habits and nutrition planning and fully expect to maintain after I go from morbid obese to normal bmi.
pocntasha wrote 51 months ago:
I struggle daily with this, especially at work, everyone thinks donuts are the key to a great work day!!
I love the comment "I feel losing weight is a side effect of my permanently changed eating habits...." that is an outlook I am really going to get on board with! Thanks for this post
micheledelliott wrote 51 months ago:
Portion control is where I stumble. I measure things and then "top it off" but don't count every little time I do that. And, sometimes I don't log little things, saying to myself "it doesn't matter, I have plenty of steps today to make up for it" but why measure and why log if you are not completely accountable and honest about it? When I am honest and accountable, I lose weight. When I am not, I am stuck. Thanks for this motivation. Today I promise to be honest! That's going to be my mantra from now on.
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nehushtan wrote 50 months ago:
I'm at eight years now calorie counting, and though it's a habit it's still not easy to keep the weight off. The question is why? I think the answer is that obesity is like a handicap. If you have parkinson's disease you will never be able to do what "normal" people do - you are handicapped by a condition that will forever keep you from merging in with the herd.
LivinMyBestFitLife wrote 50 months ago:
Very easily could have been me writing this (besides the marathon part)
aWildFlowere wrote 49 months ago:
Calorie counting seems to be the only thing that helps me keep accountable...when I screw up I can get back on track...I know that I can get back on the wagon if I eat to much pizza (fave food). I know that I can learn how to make healthier meals vs comfort food that I know how to make well. It is accepting that my metabolism has changed with motherhood and continues to change as I age (approaching 50). That growing older is about focusing on my health to live the best life I can live. This is a lifestyle includes a few treats sometimes but overall I am committed to being sexy forever.
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