Weight Loss support group

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04-27-2003, 03:27 PM
Weight Loss support group
Moving this from the Crash Diets? thread:

We should start our own weight loss support group, like weight watchers. We could weigh in every week and discuss diet and exercise tips, our frustrations and triumphs, etc. Anyone interested? It's so much easier when someone's holding you accountable and providing support...and I'm not paying a nutritionist or Weight Watchers.

I'll start. I'm the heaviest I've ever been in my life. In early 2001, I started the Body For Life program and lost 50 pounds in five months. I was eating right, dancing, taking karate and cardio kickboxing, and working out at the gym. It was hard work, but I made a wonderful transformation...I have pictures if anyone is interested. Anyway, I started it when I was with my then-boyfriend, who was very bad for me. I was very unhappy in that relationship, but had resigned myself to it. Anyway, the changes I had made in my life gave me the strength to get out...and I met my now-husband. I love him dearly, but we enable each other...we both love good food and it's something we enjoy together. My program went out the door, and I proceeded to gain 80 pounds from IGB 2001 (end of July) until now...a week ago I weighed 230 pounds (I'm 5'6")!! I've tried several times to get back on the program and failed to stick with it. Monday morning, April 21, 2003, I got back on the wagon. I've been eating healthfully and exercising, and I've lost five pounds this week! Part of that is water, so I shouldn't expect to lose that much every week, but what a great start. I plan to lose 10 pounds before each showcase (we have two per year at our studio) or competition (3-4 per year) to keep my goals reasonable and easy to attain. I've got five more to go before June 14th.

Who's next? Who will join me? You don't want to make me do this all alone, do you? Weigh in! Tell us your goals and what you're doing about it!

04-27-2003, 08:12 PM
Oops! Didn't see you'd already opened another thread.

I don't have a lot of drama attached to what I'm doing. I was always very thin (5'9" and around 135) until about 12 years ago. Then the creep started. I topped out at 164, dropped 15 of it just by dancing more, and hit the wall. Now I'm into the yo-yo phase. I want very much to get down to about 140, but I'm absolutely appalled at what it takes to drop even a couple of pounds now! I can't deal with a high-protein diet, and can't digest fats. I get horribly sick every time I try it, so now we're doing the phentermine trip (short term only) with more small meals. I'm not sure I'm crazy about this, or even that it will work. I actually gained weight the first week, but then it came off again in the second week.

I'm also working at getting much more aggressive about dancing through the body image problems.

Gotta run. Six Feet Under. Do say how you're doing!
04-27-2003, 09:00 PM
I'll try to keep my story short...I've been battling binge eating disorder for over 20 years now. It started when I was a young teenager. A series of unnecessary and incredibly stupid crash diets tipped me into a full-blown eating disorder. I tried my hand at bulemia (oh, that was a bad joke now wasn't it) but fortunately I wasn't very sucessful at it. After that I went into complete denial about binge eating until last summer, when I started seeing a nutritionist and a doctor because I was just exhausted with dealing with my body and, frankly, much of my life. It took me until very recently to even acknowledge what I was doing and admit to myself that I have a problem.

So now I'm left with the issue of what to do now. For one thing, I'm avoiding all diets. Any kind of "diet" sends me into a physical and mental tail spin. I'm also avoiding the scale, I used to weigh myself every time time I went to the bathroom. I'm trying to stop cycles of negative and obsessive thinking; every few hours I try to take a little break and ask myself "What do I really want now...what do I really need now?"

I've only been binge-free for about two days. My only goal now is to go a whole week without either starving myself or bingeing. I don't care so much if I lose weight or how much or how quickly, I just want to develop a more normal way of dealing with food and stress and emotions. I used to belong to a dieting support group and all the talk about what people were eating and how much they were losing really got to me, I'd start telling myself that I was a complete failure etc. etc. etc. and would stop eating, and then it would rebound on me and I'd binge. Leaving the group was actually a good step for me, so as much as I think this could be a really good thread for some people it might not be so good for me. But I certainly support the idea in general! Sometimes people really do just need a buddy or a place to talk.

Good luck and good health to everyone!
04-27-2003, 09:39 PM
Laura, have you tried planning all your meals in advance? Write up a menu at the beginning of the week, or even day by day, and stick to it. One of my problems is failing to plan, so I starve, then I eat something bad to make up for it...not a good plan!

There is a method of stopping smoking that's have this little device and you push a button every time you smoke a cigarette for a week. Then, it tells you when to smoke based on how much you smoked that just puts you on a schedule. Then it slowly increases the time between cigarettes until you're hardly smoking anymore and don't care.
04-27-2003, 10:20 PM
Well, I've never been a big eater (although I can eat half a pizza! ) and at 5'2" and approx. 115 lbs weight isn't an issue for me but I recently started eating vegetarian (but not vegen)and doing pilates and a fat-burning yoga and I lift some free weights (I used to be obsessive about lifting and developed a nicely sculpted back but too strong for dancing) and I've backed off of it. So, while I don't have a personal need for a support group, I'll sign on to support you all.
04-28-2003, 06:06 AM
I guess my goals are to eat more healthily, to get fit (aerobic, strength & flexibility), and get rid of the remaining fat!
I'm also guilty of not eating much because I'm too busy and then getting chocolate because I'm hungry and it's the easiest food to buy. I really need to break that chocolate habit (now I've finished my Easter eggs ) and plan my meals more sensibly.
I do go to the gym at lunchtimes sometimes, but not nearly enough. I rarely have time in the evenings as I'm dancing!

04-28-2003, 12:03 PM
Hi, Guys!

This support group is a great idea, and weight and body image are very difficult things to control.

I've realised just recently that I've been a binge eater and am really tired of all the guilt that eating and not eating brings. For me, the type of day I have is governed by the number on the scales in the morning - so thanks Laura for pointing out that the scales need to go into hiding.

I used to be a good 53kg, but went up to 62kg when I injured my knee a few years ago. So my goals are to go back to the size I used to be [to fit into all my old dance practice wear!] but do so in a healthy way.

my few little story... and here's to the support group!
04-28-2003, 12:36 PM
I've gotten some good advice on controlling the physical symptoms and effects of bingeing. The simpler bits of advice include:

Eat regularly-spaced meals so that you don't get hungry enough to trigger a binge.

Keep a constant supply of healthy food and treat food in the house. The healthy food bit is obvious, the treat food thing is a little different: the idea is that if you start craving something and then start obsessing about it you can eventually trigger a binge, but if you have some around and so have a bit of what you really want, you won't start obessessing. When you eat the treat that you are craving sit down and really focus on enjoying it.

If you start to crave or feel like random bingeing, have a healthy meal or snack and wait a while to see if the feeling goes away. It's also suggested to drink a glass of water and wait ten minutes. Binge eater's responses to their body's signals are messed up so sometimes what seems like a craving is really an honest desire or need for food and/or water.

Don't "diet," meaning don't start restricting calories severely or makings lists of things you "can't" eat -- this sort of denial can trigger food obsessions that can rebound and one day you'll find yourself eating a box of chocolates. Many binge eaters fell into this pattern of negative behavior on the rebound from other restrictive diets.

There are vitamin, mineral, and amino acid supplements that really do have a positive effect on alleviating the physiological conditions that are present when binges are triggered. Low magnesium, low vitamin B, low vitamin D, low endorphin and low serotonin are all common in people with binge eating disorder. You can boost your endorphin and serotonin (brain chemicals) via amino acid supplementation with DL-phenyalanine and L-tryptophan. See "The Diet Cure" by nutritionist Julia Ross for more information (Ross is my nutritionist, and is part of the team who helped me come to realize what my problem is and what I must learn to do to deal with it).

If you're using drugs, including tobacco, caffiene and alcohol, seriously consider eliminating them from your life. It's easier to fight binge eating disorder if you're not consuming these substances. It might be easier to kick these habits before trying to do anything else related to recovery.

There's tons of other helpful information on the Internet. Aside from all this physical stuff, it is extremely important to look into the emotional issues behind it all. It can be anything from childhood abuse and trauma to simple boredom and isolation. Binge eaters basically use food as their coping drug of choice, and need to develop other coping mechanisms.
04-28-2003, 12:54 PM
I can't believe this but I forgot the most important part: start to gain an awareness of when you send yourself into negative thought cycles and stop them. For example, if you're in the ballroom and see people thinner or fitter or prettier than you (or even a better dancer than you, or whatever), try not to fall into the "I wish I could look like her / I'll never look like her / I'm such a freak / I'm such a failure / Everyone here is probably laughing at me behind their hands / Why am I here, I suck" cycle. Catch yourself as early as possible and consciously say something positive about yourself and the world around you to break the cycle. For example, "Oh god I feel so fat compared to all these women -> Oh wait, I'm being negative about myself -> Ok, I'll think something positive --> I have very strong legs and great hair, I'm getting healthier ever day --> Lots of people have said nice things about my dress and makeup today."
04-28-2003, 02:07 PM
That's great advice, Laura. The last bit is important...I beat myself up all the time because I'm not good enough. I leave darned near every private lesson almost in tears, because I wasn't perfect. Duh, no one's perfect, but I should be better, dammit! *sigh*

As for cravings, I understand that a lot of times it has to do with a nutritional, you crave milk when you're low on calcium, etc. I would imagine that taking vitamin supplements and eating a well-balanced diet with plenty of variety that will help. Of course, my cravings usually come from smelling something yummy and bad! I've been isolating myself from temptations...I made my neighbor at work move her mints that smelled so good to the other side of her desk, stay away from the refreshments counter at the studio, etc. Also, I get one free day a week where I can eat whatever I want, so I usually take care of my cravings first one since I started will be this coming wednesday, Outback Steakhouse!

Here's another tip for you: when eating out at restaurants, you can usually find something healthy on the menu, but it's almost invariably much too big. Ask them to bring you a box with your meal, divide it in half and put half in the box before you even start. If you have to, take the box to the car! That way, you only eat a human-sized portion, and you have a second meal for later. By eating several small meals a day, you'll shrink your stomache and you won't want those he-man portions anyway.