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do your surroundings support your weight loss efforts?

we are continuing our effort to offer a systematic program for new PT members by asking them a series of questions to help bring awareness to their decision making process each day. we have some ideas, but your ideas are so valuable. Thanks for the continued participation!



Tue. Oct 21, 4:14pm

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I would not have started really trying until my office started a short term "biggest loser" type competition. Having many people in the office dieting has been very helpful. Once I get home though, things get a little trickier and there are more tempations.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008, 9:15 AM

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Let me put it this way....

(I'm cutting and pasting from a comment that I made in my Beck team. Both busy and lazy today, so I cannot write very coherently right now. Perhaps you can glean something from the following):

When I did the [Beck Diet Solution] diet coach exercise, I hesitated at first, too, thinking that the coach had to be some ideal, perfect thing or relationship. But then I just told myself to at least just go through the motions of the exercise so that I could move on to the next day.

So, I decided to just asked my roommate to read the diet coach chapter and pretty much made him say "yes." I think just knowing that he's there really helps - I'm not really sure how much I consult with him. Actually, he's pretty cool about me kicking him out of the apartment when I need to do my strength training! And he doesn't judge or pick on my healthy food choices which is VERY important to me. [Wow! I just remembered how hard it was to stick with anything when I lived with my family or with my ex-boyfriend. Someone ALWAYS had some snide remark about my attempts at healthy eating.]

So, I guess by hanging back and letting me do my thing, he actually really does help a lot! (A couple of weeks ago, he was a "wine pusher," pushing me to have an extra glass of wine that was not on my plan. After we had a little talk - "You're supposed to be my coach!" - he eased off, fortunately). Sometimes I catch myself being his unsolicited diet coach - "No eating while standing up!" I should probably knock that off.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008, 9:46 AM

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9:46 here, again. Ugh! I misread your question!

I didn't click on the link and read the topic wrong. Too embarrassed to say how I read it.

Nevertheless, I DO have people in my surroundings! And the main person in my current surroundings supports me!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008, 9:51 AM

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I have been very busy with work and school lately and the kitchen and dining room got out of control. The dinner table was covered with papers and books. The kitchen got piled up with stuff not put away and dishes in the sink. I came home yesterday and had just had it. I cleaned up the kitchen and finally uncovered the dining room table. Then I noticed how I a weight had been lifted. Dinners had been very hodge-podge..whatever was in the fridge. But after my whirl wind cleaning...I cooked..made a good dinner and plan to do the same again. I noticed how my physical surroundings affect my attitudes towards eating and how I feel.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008, 9:59 AM

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That's a great point, 9:59.

I think physical surroundings can also *reflect* how I feel!

Right now, I have this one bedroom dresser drawer where I'm piling up a lot of important stuff. I try not to think about this drawer but I had to face it again today when I decided I wanted to wear a different pair of earrings. I took one look inside and instead decided to go with my old standby hoops that were on top of the dresser.

Because when I looked in that drawer, I felt myself getting all irritated and yucky- it was a stressful experience that showed me how stressed I am while stressing me out at the same time.

I know if I clean that drawer it will make me face certain things that I'm tucking away and putting off until later. I also know that if I clear the darn thing, I'll feel 100 times better.

I really believe that cleaning it would automatically take at least a half a pound off my scale!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008, 10:16 AM

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This is off topic, but in reply to the PP about her untidy drawer; I read about an interesting technique for getting through tasks that seem insurmountable; it's called "eating an elephant". The idea is to just commit to 5 minutes of it, then go back to doing something else. Then after a while, spend another 5 minutes on it, and so on until it's done. The idea being that you couldn't eat a whole elephant at once, but if you tackle it bit by bit, you get through it.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008, 11:04 AM

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Well if my surroundings include the topic threads in this forum, then NO. There's too much picking on people. Actually it's much worse than just picking on people. It's publicly taunting and even humiliating them.

I don't see how in the world I can feel good about being here in this forum, or about sharing my thoughts and feelings about my struggles or successes, in such an environment.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008, 11:08 AM

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Thanks, 11:04

But, trust me, I have plenty of tricks up my sleeve regarding how to get rid of stuff, including using the flylady methods (see link below), which are quite simlar to the eating an elephant technique.

Intellectually, I know how to get rid of stuff.

But I can only put that know-how into play when I'm emotionally ready for it!


Wednesday, October 22, 2008, 11:22 AM

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11:08- this is why we have been taking a much harder line on personal attacks. Anything you see like that please email us and we will delete the persons account.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008, 11:29 AM

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Not really

It use to cross my mind that I needed to kick my partner out of the house because of the way he eats. We've been together, oh, 11 years? And up until a couple of weeks ago he would leave to get breakfast and lunch from Carls Jr. almost every single day. And a year ago I almost did ask him to leave. And I still wonder sometimes if love is enough. Recently he has started shopping, and he keeps the freezer full of kashi pizza and lean cuisine type meals and his shelf in the cupboard is full of 'healthy' soups.This is actually worse for me because now I have access to his junk food. And while I support his way of 'leaning' into nutrition, he does nothing to support mine. Ok, that's not true, he doesn't order in pizza more than once a month anymore. But he won't cook a vegetable or make a salad, or wash a dish, and while love often wins the day, sometimes I don't cook enough veggies on purpose so there is none to share, and I never offer to make him a salad anymore, and that is hurtful and contrary to my nature.

My honey remains the elephant in the room of my eating healthy lifestyle, and I find myself building emotional walls so that his eating style won't interfere with mine. I know this isn't good for my mental health or for our relationship, and every once in a while it even has me questioning how selfish I am to put my quest for a more trim and healthy body above everything else. I have always believed that love was enough....and it hurts to be in a place where I begin to doubt that.

What a long winded way of saying, not really. And a part of me resents it fiercely. So bottom line, my partner not being a part of my supportive environment is a big problem. On a positive note, I work with a young woman who is my mentor when it comes to eating healthy, and seeing her once a week is like a shot in the arm, and I have found several women on PT that inspire me to keep trying; so this is now my supportive environment :)
ps I agree, it's always easier to make healthy food when the house is clean!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008, 11:59 AM

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My surroundings are incredibly conducive to weight loss. Unfortunately they're also conducive to gracious entertaining. ;-)

I have a beautifully laid out kitchen and nice appliances. I have a small but nice selection of uber-sharp knives and a set of Calphalon pans that I love. Stuff like that makes it easy to whip up a healthy stir fry like I did last night in no time flat, and it's a pleasure to spend time there.

I don't like clutter of any type and I'm aggressive when it comes to having everything in its place. Thus home is usually a serene relaxing place to come to. This helps. I can't stand going to my mother's house - tons of old magazines and dusty mail lying all over, knickknacks galore, etc... I feel anxious and trapped, and when I feel like that I tend to eat more.

My husband rocks. He loves my healthy cooking and doesn't try to sabotage me. He works out 5-7 days a week himself and sets a terrific example.

My neighborhood is a great place to walk/run/bike. It's quiet, pretty safe, the neighbors are friendly, the surroundings are pretty and there are several routes to take. It's also close to stores and work so I don't spend 30-60 minutes a day white-knuckling the steering wheel and cursing at strangers. We definitely ended up paying more for less house than we could have found elsewhere but I wouldn't trade my perfect (for me) little house or my 4-minute commute for anything.

My workplace doesn't exactly discourage people from bringing in treats, but it's certainly not encouraged. We don't have pastries at meetings and we don't have bagels or doughnuts on fridays (like many of my friend's workplaces). I work with a bunch of guys and it really doesn't occur to them to bring in treats that often. So I don't have to face walking by the plate of brownies in the breakroom on a regular basis. I also don't have to walk past any vending machines - they're in an upstairs room that I don't regularly go in. This helps ALOT.

I don't have a TV. Thus I don't sit on my keester in front of it all night, nor do I eat in front of it. It drives me nuts when I visit my family and it's always on no matter what. Originally I didn't get one when I moved to college because I wanted to concentrate on school and then I never got one when I finished school because I'm generally just too busy to watch it. However the longer I go without one, the more I dislike it when I'm around it.

All in all - I do fairly well. My biggest issues are that I love going out with friends and love having friends over and I do so several times a week. Even when making decent choices, restaurant food is not as healthy as it could be and it's too easy to say 'yes' to that second glass of wine while sharing dessert. Thus, the weight has crept on. I can't complain much because I don't have that much to lose and I know what my problems are. Thus I'm here looking for that bit of accountability to myself.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008, 12:38 PM

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So when are you going to have us all over for dinner PP? Your place sounds awesome! Especially the kitchen.

I hear what you're saying about the tv. I got rid of mine over a year ago and I've not regretted it. There are so many books out there that I haven't read yet and I regret all of the hours wasted watching Judge Judy or reruns of the Golden Girls. Oh well, fiddle dee dee.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008, 6:22 PM

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Considering that I work around food all day, I would have to say that no, my surroundings are not conducive to a well balanced diet. I mean, when you can just reach out and grab any old thing you choose...but, in the last year I have learned to set limitations, and I have lost 40 lbs (30 to go).

On the home front, my husband tries to be supportive, but he still asks in a childish whimper some nights, "can you cook something tonight?" To be fair, he will cook once in a while, but it's usually bbq, which is sooooo hard for me to refuse. I can completely relate to what Vail above is saying. If I only had to worry about MY dinner, I would have no problems because something simple and quick is satisfying to me, but I feel guilty that he has to fend for himself because my Lean Cuisines or grapefruit doesn't do it for him. And otherwise he is such a great partner to me that I don't feel I'm doing him justice, so what my latest approach has been is to eat very, very light during the day, so that I can enjoy "his" type of dinner.

Compromise - it's a B sometimes.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008, 9:31 PM

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How interesting that this topic would appear today! I spent most of yesterday re-arranging the living room furniture. Changing a room has always energized me and this is no exception.

My 'favorite chair' is in a different spot with a different view and there is no space on the table for snacks. Instead, there's a classic novel, a world atlas and a wicker orb. Food for the mind.

- Gray

Sunday, January 04, 2009, 11:26 AM

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On TVs.

10/22, 12:38pm and Buzzard - I hear you! I just got a membership to Planet Fitness, a big gym with a couple dozen TVs you can plug earphones into any of their machines to listen to. They have 16 different channels in full view all the time and for the entire 45 minutes I was there not a single channel had anything I wanted to watch. And they were all so full of commercials it only reinforced that I made the right choice in discontinuing my cable subscription years ago. What a waste.

However, I do sit on my rear in front of the computer...

Sunday, January 04, 2009, 11:46 AM

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readiness is another important factor. One thing we have learned through the tip of the day email program is that so so many people are simply not ready to lose weight. And they tell us over and over. It is very interesting. WW has a "readiness" assessment and we point people over there- it is a really good tool. Hopefully we can get something as good up on PT at some point.



Sunday, January 04, 2009, 4:33 PM

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Weight Loss and Environment

I work in two different offices and usually with a small number of other people. At one location, the staff is great about eating well - salads, fish, lots of fruits and vegetables and it's a rare thing to see doughnuts and such. The schedule is also conducive to eating small amounts often, too.

At the other location, I see doughnuts regularly, usually in a box of 24! and the schedule, here, can be abusive (word chosen deliberately). I bring a lunch box with me and squeeze in a salad here, a yogurt and piece of fruit, there and so far, I'm doing OK. I'M actually the example at this job, which is a real turnaround.

I'm pretty much at the point where I've put my foot down to myself. I HAVE to eat and I have to eat often. I don't care anymore if the business owner has an "I don't need to eat, therefore, you don't either" mentality. They can fire me for it, but I'm going to eat and if I don't get a scheduled lunch, I'm going to eat between appointments if I'm hungry. I AM THE ONLY ONE who can look after myself. That is no one else's responsibility.

I think, like Habib said, you have to be ready to lose weight so you can take the actions YOU need to keep yourself working toward your goal. I keep my goal in sight all the time and I REALLY want it, so it's easy to make decisions in my environment to support that.

Monday, February 16, 2009, 2:07 PM

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very VERY lucky

i am so lucky to be able to say this. I have the best partner in the world support wise. Not only does he cook (better than i could!), he loves healthy food! So at least twice a week we whip up a huge batch of Hummus, buy tons of fresh veggies, and cook fish. I was always the unhealthy one that would beg for pizza 4 nights a week. but now, its like "honey, i need something Crunchy" and we'll have fish cooked skin-side down to give it that crispiness. so we're working on it. and making progress.

Monday, February 23, 2009, 5:13 PM

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do your surroundings support your efforts

Yes, I can say that my surroundings do support my efforts, in most part. My husband is a fitness fanatic and eats very cleanly. This encourages me to follow suit though I do sometimes have a bit of a cheat. That's okay, though; I plan for it and quickly get back on track afterward.

On vacation in Florida, I am in a condo directly on the beach and across from Planet Fitness. I train there every morning EARLY, then do a 45-minute power walk before settling in for the day for some R'nR and good reading.

In my opinion, life is all about choices. If we choose to surround ourselves with positive influences and ban the bad ones (or ignore them) we can succeed at what we do.

Saturday, April 25, 2009, 5:29 PM

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space and fitness

my home doesn't help me at all...cluttered but fairly clean (except for the dust on the clutter) when we travel, and go to hotels or whatnot with no clutter, I feel so much better so I know there is something to this...this weighs (no pun intended but makes sense) on my mind and shoulders dailly. I think this is why I take on so many outside activities therefore not giving me the "time" to declutter my own home...vicious cycle.

Sunday, June 07, 2009, 1:16 PM

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do your surroundings support your weight loss efforts?

I am so blessed! My new husband is almost my coach!

He eats all the new foods I am trying and has made lots of healthy chages himself!

I have posters and motivation charts all out in clear view... he loves it!

We walk together every day. He is 91 in 2 weeks and very very sedentary.

He is walking 2/3's of a mile every morning.... Monday he starts for 3/4 mile length! I am so proud of him. After we walk, I take off on a hike for 3-4 miles.

He still buys his "food treats" but consistanty hids them out of sight in his desk
so I do not see them and get tempted. If he wants one while watrching tv, he asks if it would bother me to eat one in the living room where we are. That is my signal to get up and eat fruit!

I have every reason to be successful at this total life stye change with this kid of surroundings!

Sunday, July 26, 2009, 11:59 AM

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Yes, they do now. A week or so ago, a thought of the day involved getting rid of any unhealthy food ( a recurring suggestion), which I did. As we finish somehting like chips or ice cream, it isn't replaced. I buy a variety of fruits now, and try to keep fresh veggies available. Limited cupboard space has kept me from stockpilingm, and I don't have anything except fruit and veggies now that can be ready in under 5 min. that I like.

Now, about halloween, Im afriad it's not supportive of my healthy lifestyle, but I guess one 24 candy binge a year isn't all bad.

Sunday, November 01, 2009, 4:24 PM

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healthy relationships and supportive surroundings

I am so very blessed that my hubby and kids are supportive of my efforts and they have adopted many of the healthy habits as well. But I think the key is good communication, mutual respect, and love. If that is present then those healthy relationships are the foundation to be relied upon.

Sunday, November 01, 2009, 4:45 PM

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No, my surroundings do not help. I have a husband that has bad habits and unfortunately my kids have adapted to it. We all love sweets, but he is not ready to watch what he eats. He even told me he doesn't want to until he is told to from the doctor. He hates veggies and doesn't like many fruits. It has made it very difficult to raise kids because they say, "how come Dad doesn't have to eat/try it?" Exercise is a whole other issue. If I don't buy the chips and sweets, after a while, he will run to town to buy a whole bunch himself anyway. I have to be very strong willed when it comes to choosing healthy foods because I know the bad stuff is in the house.

Sunday, November 01, 2009, 5:27 PM

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do your surroundings support your weight loss efforts?

Absolutely NOT! I have grown children at home who don't eat the way I do now. I make sure to have the kind of foods that I want to eat around and so far it has not been a problem. My son works full time and goes to school full time so he isn't much of a problem. My daughter, on the other hand, is here after work. She is thin and does not want to eat the way I do. I can get her to eat some of the things but not everything. I have not asked her not to buy things like ice cream because she lives here too and I am going to have to learn to live in a world where every one does not eat the way I do. So I just ignore the foods. Once all the kids are gone then I will not allow any foods that I don't eat in the house but for now it is fine.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010, 11:35 AM

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Mine do now. Before it didn't but going to the doctor yesterday, my roommate has definitely changed her tune. She's lost 20 pounds since last year's physical and most of it has been since I moved in. I cook great food for her and make sure it's as low fat and healthy as possible. Even doing eggs, I add veggies instead of cheese and crap. I add spices instead of salt and condiments. All sorts of things and that's very different than how I was over the last 18 years.

When I was raising my daughter, I made sure she ate well but didn't care enough about me to feed myself right. Fortunately, how I fed her taught her a lot. And being around the rest of my family was never very healthy either. And my dad was usually an ass about my weight which certainly didn't encourage me to lose weight in a healthy manner.

But that was then, this is now and I'm on my way to healthy and I'm taking my roommate along with me.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010, 2:00 PM

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Pfft; no. My roommates are really, really fond of chocolate -- and I find it hard to resist the stuff myself. And my sister's boyfriend recently bought her a giant thing of Costco cookies and a bag of fun-sized Snickers bars because she was upset over something, which was awfully sweet of him, except I can't stay away from those cookies! Fortunately the snickers bars aren't a problem though, which is good because those are what Becky really likes.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010, 6:21 PM

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I'm very fortunate in the fact that my mother decided to go into the healthy lifestyle with me. Just yesterday, we went out shopping and bought a whole bunch of healthy food- fruits, veggies, low fat dairy, etc. It makes it so much easier to eat healthy at home when all you have is healthy food!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010, 8:27 PM

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I find college in general to be very much destructive to my weight loss will power. Whenever I go home I lose weight! At college friends drink 4 - 5 times a week sometimes (especially lately now that we're about to graduate)! And people bond over pizza. All of the stereotypes associated with indulgence in that way are true here. Sometimes I feel limited constantly trying to keep the weight in check while skipping meals/nights out. Then, I start to resent the diet.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010, 12:32 AM

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Changing habits to support the Thin Mindset

I finally realized that I walk into New Seasons or Trader Joe's with a different mindset than when I walk into say Safeway. In the back of my mind I think "health food store" or "be careful what you buy". I was buying nuts every time I shopped and I found I can't control my portions when I eat nuts. I can easily eat a pound of nuts in a few hours, especially if they are raw. It's the "health food" mindset. Anyway, I went to Safeway and found my guard was up and I was able to shop without buying the food that trips me up. It might not work for everyone but it is worth looking at the "why".

Sunday, November 07, 2010, 4:54 PM

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pp, there's a name for that! It's called the Health Halo. People often put a 'health halo' on foods that we deem having healthful qualities or are labeled as such. And when that happens a couple of things are shown likely to happen: we eat more, we underestimate calories and/or allow ourselves to eat other things b/c we were so good with that 'healthful' choice. The psychology of food is fascinating!

Sunday, November 07, 2010, 7:04 PM

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healthy eating environment

Due to PeerTrainer I talked to my husband about keeping the treats that tempt me out of the house. I talked about the Possibility of doing let him think about it. Then today I suggested that he just put them up where it is hard for me to reach and not in my face when I open the pantry. He immediatly put them WAY up and we were both very happy.

He is very supportive and considers me a model for him to follow...some day.

Work is great. My two new partners are young women who keep their treats in their desk and we NEVER bring horrible things into the office. Many gifts come our way and when it is a gift to me I spray it with windex and put it in the trash.

Riva Leya

Sunday, August 28, 2011, 4:00 PM

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great to hear!


Wednesday, September 14, 2011, 3:13 PM

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