Betraying the fat club!

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06/09/2013 at 09:59

I'm overweight. And I know I have serious psychological issues when it comes to food. I eat because I like the taste and I want more more more and some times don't stop even when I'm full just because I want more. If there is food in the cupboards, cakes in the office etc, I find it incredibly tough to resist. It's an addiction for me, I guess.

Couple that in with some body image issues which have led me to be a bit socially awkward, shy and lacking in self confidence, I've got a little personal experience in this area.

In my mind it is 100% about willpower, and compeltely agree with the comment from TimR. Failure to reconise it is one of the biggest problems.

I was watching the BBC2 documentary about weight loss clubs and there was a woman who has been paying money for 10 years and is the same weight as when she started. TEN YEARS. My immediate, somewhat cynical comment was "It's not working". She was a BIG lady. If she at 2-300 calories OVER her RDA she would have still lost weight.

People go to these things and think they will magically lose weight, then when they don't they are shocked and will come up with any excuse as to why they didn't. "Oh I had a glass or two of wine at the weekend" Yeah, and a kebab on the way home love? If you are sticking to the plan, a glass or two of wine is NOT going to prevent weight loss.

People lie to themselves about what they eat. I used to spend all my time self justifying. "Oh its just one biscuit" when in actual fact it might have been the whole packet. Then they lie even more to other people about it. The lie cycle becomes self fulfilling.

It takes brutal honesty, willpower, and eating less calories than you burn to lose weight. Simple.

Dieting is the most pointless task in the world and you will never be happy doing it unless you conciosuly WANT to lose weight and you make a life decision to go ahead and do it. Its the same as quitting any addiction - I kicked smoking just by deciding to, with no patches, gum or anything.

It's like going on a 10 mile race, getting to mile 5 and thinking "Oh I'm tired I don't think I can go anymore it hurts" and going back saying "Oh I tried but the course was much tougher than I thought and I was quite tired..." When the actual reason is, you didn't train enough for it.

I diet. I hate it. But I do it because I want to be heatlhier, I want to live longer, and I want to do things I couldn't do if I was bigger.

However, keeping this on topic, I USED to diet because of my body issues, I used to think people mocked me, I couldn't buy clothes that fit me and I couldn't go out and meet women because I felt I was far too ugly and fat to do so.

It's only when I switched my motivation that dieting made more sense. If you diet to feel good about yourself, guess what you do when you've lost weight or reach your goal. EAT MORE.

I am as a result of a motivational switch much better at controlling it and it's entirely about my willpower. I'm about 5 stone lighter than I was a few years back and feel great for it, with the body issues gradually going away as a nice side effect.

I really don't think Dawn French chose to gain weight. Unless she wanted an excuse to fill her face with cakes for a few months.

I don't think there is anything wrong with being big and happy whatsoever. If people are then fair play! I too also overeat on occassion, or I'll go to the pub and smash in 12 pints. But I can do it guilt free knowing that over the course of a few weeks it'll even itself out with days I end up under eating.

When i started writing this post it had a point. Now I've written it all, despite it being cathartic it may have gotten lost in my self therapy! So apologies for my rant

06/09/2013 at 13:57

You're right Matt. Talking helps. It's all good. 

It doesn't help when you go to the shop and they're pushing you to buy in bulk because you 'save' more. Nope. You just consume more. 

I only buy 4 cans of beer at a time. Not having it at home means you have to make a conscious decision to go out and buy it. 

06/09/2013 at 15:51

The trick is to eat only 2500 calories a day, maximum. (2000 if you're a lady). Then you won't be fat.

The calories are written on the wrappers, so you get clues about how much is going in.

It's a math thing.

And a common sense thing.

 

06/09/2013 at 16:00

Colin - I battle with my weight and it's not that easy, it's not black or white, there's a lot of grey around the reasons why people eat more than they need to. I used to convince myself that because I'd secretly munched on a Mars in the office toilets then that didn't count.  I admit it should be simple but unless you've been through it, it's hard to understand. 

06/09/2013 at 16:08

How many calories did you eat yesterday, marathon molly?

How did you split your allowance of 2000 between your breakfast, your lunch and your supper?

Give me your maths from yesterday.

06/09/2013 at 16:13

Colin, do you know exactly how much you eat every day without exception?  Calorie counting is fine for a while but its not a way of life that can be maintained forever unless you are particularly anal.

Besides, your assumption that 2000 calories is the correct amount to eat may be wrong.  My daily allowanc is nearer 1800 calories if I don't exercise and can be as high as 3500 on days when I do a lot of exercise.

06/09/2013 at 16:16

I had 3 meals & 2 snacks - I'm under a sports nutritionist who has put me on the right track. I'm disciplined and following the plan - I've lost 13kgs in total. A lot of it though was trying to understand WHY I ate more than I needed to. I'm a healthy weight now with a decent fat% and visceral fat rate but I can empathise with those who have overeating problems. 

06/09/2013 at 16:24

I do now, yes.

My breakfast this morning was 400 calories. Lunch was about 900. That gives me about 1200 to play with for tonight, minus a few cups of coffee with milk in.

Plus I ran for an hour at lunchtime, so I can add a bit more if I want to have more, though I probably won't.

I wasn't "assuming" 2000/2500 calories is the correct amount. It's the standard ballpark figure that gets batted about. A sedentary person will need to scale it down somewhat. Someone wanting to lose weight will need to scale it down too. A very active person can scale it up a little. I was providing a comment, not a dissertation.

Calorie counting IS a way of life that can be maintained for ever. Not only can it, be, it OUGHT to be . It isn't "anal", it's essential to do the math in these calorie-rich cheap-food times. If a person doesn't bother to count the calories they are eating, they will tend to overeat: it's what we are designed to do. They won't have a clue how many calories they are eating, because they can't be bothered to record the data.

Part of the problem is, fat people don't want to count calories and stay within their daily allowance (e.g. 2000/2500). They want to overeat instead. So they make excuses to mainly ignore the nutrition information on the packets - including the fat, calorie, sugar and salt content. It simply doesn't get read.

Anyone who wants to control their weight needs to count calories. There is no other effective way. You are allowed a set amount per day, and you stay within your limit - simple.

06/09/2013 at 16:34

I agree with Colin, calorie counting is the only way to do it - but it's not sustainable.

In my opinion you need to do it long enough to teach right from wrong and re-program your brain a bit to get used to it.

Once you really know what is good and what's bad, and you start consciously eating, it should just become second nature.

But that is definitely easier said than done!

06/09/2013 at 16:34

I got fat by under eating most of the time.  It was only when I counted calories that I realised I was trying to eat about 1000 cals a day which explained why I was struggling to run half marathons.

About once a week I ate out and ate significantly over my calorie allowance.  My poor body grasped every calorie that it could and stored it for the lean times.  The result was that I screwed up my metabolism and struggled with the exercise.  The joke was that I wasn't even trying to diet at the time but thought I was eating a balanced healthy diet.

When I started counting calories, and more importantly looked at the nutritional content of my food, I discovered that I ate very little protein or carbs.  I introduced more of both, ate more on most days and ate out less often and the weight started dropping off without me even trying.

06/09/2013 at 16:40

Matty - fully agree with you about re-programming your brain. I now consider healthy options such as broccoli rather than chips because "that's what I always had in the past". I've actually started to enjoy preparing meals instead of thinking of it as a chore, but that's because I now understand a little bit more about the nutritional value of food.

06/09/2013 at 16:41

Matty has hit the nail on the head.  Learning what is the right amount until it becomes instinctive is the way forward, so you only need to read the labels on new foods - better still ditch the packaged food and stick to raw ingredients and cut out a lot of the chemicals too.

06/09/2013 at 16:43
Colin McLaughlin wrote (see)

Anyone who wants to control their weight needs to count calories. There is no other effective way. You are allowed a set amount per day, and you stay within your limit - simple.

I disagree.  Over a fair amount of time, I've got down from 16st 10 to 11st 0 (something like that; I haven't weighed myself for months, but the belly flab is definitely at an all-time low, and the 30" jeans are loose...) but I couldn't tell you how many calories I've eaten today. I could have a guess, because I've clued myself up on nutrition generally, but I'm not gonna start weighing out my bowls of cereal... or come to that, ask the waiter how many calories are likely to be in my chicken tikka masala this evening ( etc etc...).  And how do you start accurately assessing how many calories you burn on a daily basis?

Much easier to follow some basic common sense principles about sustainable diet and exercise habits and do what you can to do the right thing.  Not necessarily "simple" at all, especially when there are no doubt complex issues involved, will power being one of them.  Once you get into new habits, if they stick, less will power is involved in keeping them going.  I've tried to get that ball rolling many times in the past.  Thankfully, it's finally stuck. 

As for Dawn French... hmmm... irresistible lucrative new contract from Terry's Chocolate orange maybe?

06/09/2013 at 17:03
PhilPub wrote (see)

I'm not gonna start weighing out my bowls of cereal... or come to that, ask the waiter how many calories are likely to be in my chicken tikka masala this evening

But you don't need to know to the gram how much your cereal weighs. After a while you know how much the "Right amount" is when you pour it in the bowl.

It takes all of about 30 seconds to google an estimated amount of calories in any meal you like. Not to mention theres dozens of apps that can tell you.

But the point is it doesn't matter if you go over calorie on any given day by having a tikka masala, as long as you recognise you've done it and accept it. In life people go out to restaurants to it but for most its an exception to the "norm".

A common response from a dieter who has eaten out one evening may be "Oh I've already been naughty once this week, so my weigh in is a write off, might as well be bad for the whole week". I know, I've done it! The conscious dieter doesn't worry about it because they know that it happens.

kittenkat    pirate
06/09/2013 at 17:24

mattywarr, thanks for your honesty in your first post here.

I've never had a problem with food and weight, but I've had problems with other 'addictions' and I think the subtext is the same. There are hellish places to be in with all this stuff, but people who aren't in it, or have never been in it, don't get it.

I'm not saying that they should, or making excuses for anything. But fuck me, how do some people get through life without some sort of self destruct button on any level?

Edited: 06/09/2013 at 17:25
06/09/2013 at 17:28

Colin. It's far more complex than that. And you know it. 

There's only 300cals odd in a Mars bar. The problem is it's all sugar. Not only that, if you are inactive your glycogen stores will be full. You have no temporary reservoir to store that sugar. So it's stored as fat which is not your body's preferred source of energy. So then you feel tired and hungry and eat more.

Not only that the less you eat the less your body will let you do. 

Exercise will deplete your glycogen store and provide a tank to draw from. 

I can run 20miles in the morning on empty, eat two scrambled eggs on toast and that's me done until my evening meal. You do the maths!

We're all different and need to learn and train our bodies individually. cals in = cals out    isn't true. 

06/09/2013 at 17:39

I used to run 13 miles on 1 shredded wheat with fresh raspberries, then nothing until mid afternoon when I would have a cereal bar, then an evening meal consisting mainly of veg.

I can still go 24 hours without eating a thing if my mind is on other things.

06/09/2013 at 19:37
kittenkat wrote (see)

mattywarr, thanks for your honesty in your first post here.

I've never had a problem with food and weight, but I've had problems with other 'addictions' and I think the subtext is the same. There are hellish places to be in with all this stuff, but people who aren't in it, or have never been in it, don't get it.

I'm not saying that they should, or making excuses for anything. But fuck me, how do some people get through life without some sort of self destruct button on any level?

Yes. So true.

I sometimes wonder if those who apparently don't get it, and go on about how "simple" everything in life is, really don't have any problems, or whether they are just in deeper denial

06/09/2013 at 20:44

Nobody's perfect MikeFrog - most people have demons of one sort or another. 

06/09/2013 at 21:19

Sorry but how can you get fat by undereating?

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