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What does it really take to begin a transformation?

I apologize in advance for the overwhelmed rambling that may occur here.

II don't even know where to begin. But, it seems like every talk show/book/advice column that has ever touched on weight loss and motivation has said that you have to learn to love yourself first before you can transform. I have felt my whole life (I am 37) that I will love myself and find happiness AFTER I lose the weight. I think that is why any weight loss I've ever managed to achieve has always made its way back into my life.

I am 80 + lbs overweight and diabetes runs in my family. I know I need to make a change- I just do not know where to start. Where do I start?

Thu. Aug 12, 2:07pm

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Read Self-Help Books

I can relate to your situation and agree that the first step is to love yourself "as is". No ifs, ands, or buts. My journey has been a slow, long, but steady one. I too said "when I lose weight" -- "I will be happy". That is just nonsense. I only say this because I have lived it. I recommend reading a book by Wayne Dyer "Your Erroneous Zones". Its a phenominal book. It realy opened the doors for lots of other great books that have helped in my journey to happiness. There were times I wanted to throw the book away because I didnt like what it said. But it was the truth. It was a great wake up call. Once I accepted that I needed to accept myself "as is", things slowly started changing.

Look yourself in the mirror and tell yourself how much you love yourself. Even if you dont believe it at first. With practice and when you say it outloud, it really does work wonders. Good luck!


Thursday, August 12, 2010, 2:19 PM

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Just do it! Seriously, stop thinking and just take a first step!! You do not have to sit around and love yourself. By taking action, you start to love yourself because you develop confidence.

Thursday, August 12, 2010, 8:19 PM

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OP here

Carolina - you said the Dyer book opened the doors of other great books. Which ones? I am definitely going to look into the Dyer book. Will check my local libraries tomorrow.

"Just Do It"... I will try repeating that to myself... just take a step in the right direction. Right??

I am so firmly rooted in all my bad habits, I just don't know how to fix it! How many calories?? What sorts of foods? When should I exercise, and what and how much? I know carbs are a big problem for me. I'm rambling again. My thoughts are very overwhelmed and cloudy. I can't even think straight about it all - can anyone relate to that feeling?

Thursday, August 12, 2010, 10:35 PM

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There's so many options out there, and so many different opinions as to what is or isn't 'the right way' to lose weight- it's easy ot be overwhelmed.

That being said, when you switch to a diet of whole foods, it's the best possible start. From there you can figure out what woks best for you. Some do better on low carb (I am one of them- long family history of diabetes and insulin resistance) but don't do the sugar substitute, oodles of processed meats low carb. Some do better on a more vegetarian diet. Focus on eating whole foods first, and if you need to start counting calories once you've changed what you eat, then fine. Overall health is more important than just weight, and for that you need to focus on eating healthy, and not caloire amounts.

As to exercise- to start: do whatever you enjoy that gets your heart rate up. "Diet" is vital to weightloss, but 'exercise' is vital again, to overall health.

Thursday, August 12, 2010, 11:04 PM

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OP here

Thanks for your encouragement so far. I think I will focus on diet for a couple weeks and stop stressing about a workout program. I weigh 240 lbs and I am about 5'9" so truthfully - exercise hurts right now. Everytime I try, my bones and joints hurt for days.

I will concentrate on whole foods, lowering carbs, cutting out late night eating (big problem for me!)

I'll be checking back often to this thread - it feels like a lifeline.

Thursday, August 12, 2010, 11:39 PM

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In some ways I agree that you need to come to terms with yourself - at least stop despising your body and punishing it by living a self-destructive lifestyle. If you don't find a way to appreciate it - you'll go back to punishing yourself for every little slip-up, and you'll do it by eating crap. (perhaps I'm projecting a bit here, but so many of us fall into that trap)

But don't hold off on healthy changes while you do it. Treating your body right can really reinforce your resolution to be in it for the long haul and not just til the weight is gone.

Diet helps you take the weight off, but for me - exercise is what keeps my mind in a good place. The more I do and the better I get at it - the more I appreciate my body and how strong it has gotten, and how much it needed me to make the changes I have made. I'm not the rail I was in high school, but I feel better about my body than I ever have in my life and that's mainly due to exercise. So I would encourage you to start gently, but try to do something small (5-10 minutes here or there) whenever you can. Little bits add up and won't be so stressful to your joints.

Best wishes!

Friday, August 13, 2010, 10:03 AM

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When I finally made a commitment to transforming myself, there were a few things that made this time different from the last. First, I dropped bad habits one at a time instead of all at once. That made for a less traumatic transition. First I cut out fruit juice, then ice cream, then sugar, etc. Once I was well-established in a "good" eating regimen, I added in exercise a few times a week. Over a month, I increased the frequency and intensity of the exercise. I continue to do that as I get stronger.

Another big difference this time is that I have a really good reason to want to change. It's firm in my mind, and it's something that is so important to me I can't live without it happening. So, that keeps me going. Every time I even think of stopping, I think of my goal and that pushes me forward.

Finally, I connected with other people doing the same thing I am. For me, the best place to find people is right here on the Internet. Besides PT, I also belong to another site. I even started a blog so that I could share my experiences and interact with people who don't belong to any particular site.

You've taken the most important step, and that's deciding you want to transform yourself. Good! I wish you all the luck and encouragement in the world.


Friday, August 13, 2010, 1:04 PM

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OP- It may seem challenging but get in a public pool and start swimming, since your joints hurt. I know of what I speak- I'm 5'6" and my highest weight was 248 lbs. I decided not to care at all what anyone thought of what I look like in a swimsuit, I was there to exercise, not socialize and you know what? No one said anything, I didn't even catch anyone looking at me. No one cared because they were focused on their own exercise time.

Psych yourself up- JUST DO IT!- and you will start loving yourself for pushing past the fear and doing it anyway. As an earlier poster said, making these small steps will build your confidence and this is one way you will start loving yourself.

And give yourself credit for getting on here and asking for help. Good for you! You're already on your way.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010, 3:31 PM

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OP here

Thanks for all the wonderful advice, everyone! I know, I really do need to just do it - I am starting - I just dropped got out of a very stressful contract that I had committed myself to, and I think that will be the beginning of a series of healthy decisions (I am hoping).

The other night, I went out with some friends for dinner. We do this once a month or so. They are both rail thin, and always griping about losing 10 lbs - in fact, they have just recently lost 15 lbs each making them both look anorexic - and theres me at the table - ballooning at 240 lbs. Well, this time at the end of out dinner, they both folded their hands and looked at me and started telling me about they are both increasing their fiber and how much it has helped them, and that they wanted to share their success story with me and they kept exchanging knowing little glances at eachother and I started to realize that I think they were making an attempt at some sort of intervention about my weight! How humiliating! I was so hurt when I left - I listed to them both go on and on about how many grams of fiber I should be having every day, and how they are both losing weight consistently, even on days when they don't think they should have - it really hurt me. I just kept listening and nodding, and pretending I didn't notice their premeditation of it all - and I really am hurt and embarassed. UGH. It brought me down a few notches. I don't judge or lecture them about all of their issues - but just because mine are worn on the outside, I guess that makes me some sort of target.

I really didn't need it. Does anyone know what I mean? I felt like I was 12 again, having to get on a scale in the nurses office in front of my friends or something.

Thursday, August 19, 2010, 12:35 PM

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OP- Yes, I do. I've taken the heat about my weight from my Mom for decades. I finally told her the lecturing was not helping me, in fact it was hurting and I would lose the weight in my own time, without her needing to say anything. My advice to you is to email your friends with your thoughts/feelings and let them know you *are* working on losing the weight and they are not to bring it up to you again unless you have a question. Create a boundary and stick with it. Stay strong, Sister!

Thursday, August 19, 2010, 12:48 PM

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I think you are my twin in my head.. Im so glad I have found this forum.. You are saying and asking everything I have been thinking but keeping to myself.. I have to thank you!!

Thursday, July 12, 2012, 11:05 AM

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I think something that might be the most helpful for you is to take it slowly. Make one small change at a time, focus on that and when you've mastered it or feel comfortable with that change move on to the next. Try to figure out what you think is causing you the most harm and make that your first change.

Best of luck to you!

Thursday, July 12, 2012, 4:07 PM

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Also - as a substitute for the mountain dew - just to help you adjust. Try some club soda with a mix of real lemon and lime juice. So you still have something fizzy with a similar flavor.

Friday, July 13, 2012, 1:23 PM

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Monday, February 26, 2024, 1:34 AM

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