So it clearly IS a 'lifestyle choice" to continue to consume an appropriate amount of calories every day and track them to make sure you do it right.
Having difficulties with a mid or longer term lifestyle choice was my problem. Being a coach and other things I was rarely home, etc. Each fastpitch season (school ball then the summer travel season) I'd gain 10-15lbs and each Winter I'd try to get back to zero. Over the years my weight crept up until this past Thanksgiving (2012) I hit 300lbs. The problem was what we mentioned above is that I did not have a long term lifestyle change. I am now at 225lbs and I'll have no issue staying on track to arrive where I need to be. The majority of my weight was lost because I found a way to sustain better nutrition even though my base lifestyle (still coaching, etc) did not change. Once I started down that path I believed I could do it and did. I added bike riding back in to help things out but the majority of safe weight (not consuming muscle) was via nutrition.
I am saying that long term changes are not sustainable for everyone. Look at how many people gain weight back, it is a huge majority. Biology can easily trump resolve.
I think people do not realize what a huge lifestyle change it might have to be. You will not be living the lifestyle of a person who was never overweight. And, you probably will need fewer calories than a person of the same weight who exercises the same amount.
It is possible that if you manage to keep the weight down for several years that it will get easier. Maybe appetite regulating hormone levels will start to stabilize. The jury is out though. It would be interesting to test hormone levels in those who have kept weight off for a number of years.
Last edited by goldfinch; 09-20-13 at 08:40 AM.
I think biology trumping resolve is the small minority of situations. Resolve, being "locked-in", etc. is the largest issue. However your point stands and it is not sustainable, be it because they won't allow it to be or they have a condition.
It didn't used to be sustainable for me, but now it is. The difference? I found a way for it to be sustainable. Once I believed I could do it then it was all but done.
Go to myfitnesspal.com and look for the top menu item of "Apps". That should put you in the "App Gallery". On that page somewhere is Endomondo. Mine is already setup but I think if you click into that there is a "Connect Accounts" link that walks you through it.
What I suspect specifically ISN'T a sustainable long term solution is a starvation diet combined with an over the top exercise schedule. Most of the people I know who've lost large amounts of weight in short periods of time manage to put a lot of it back on once they reach their goal. The people who lose more slowly with less drastic plans tend to maintain the weight better, perhaps because maintaining the plan over a multi-year period ingrains it into their lifestyle and it no longer seems like a diet or exercise plan - it's just how they live.
"Don’t take life so serious—it ain’t nohow permanent."
Earlier this year I was just about as heavy as I've ever been (about 235). But my fitness level this time around was far better than last time. When I was pushing 240 in 2005, I literally was short of breath with minimal exertion, and would wonder if I was going to have a heart attack. At my worst this year, I was able to ride 20 or 30 miles without too much of a problem. But there was no denying my waistline was too big and my belly was starting to hang over it. I felt... actually, not that bad. But after losing 15 lb., I feel much, much better and I'm looking to lose some more.
I started riding as an adult back in 1994, after getting winded playing with my then 3 year-old son. I think I was only about 220 at the time, but I got really spooked by how little effort it took to leave me gasping. I glimpsed a future I did not want to experience.Earlier this year I was just about as heavy as I've ever been (about 235). But my fitness level this time around was far better than last time. When I was pushing 240 in 2005, I literally was short of breath with minimal exertion, and would wonder if I was going to have a heart attack. At my worst this year, I was able to ride 20 or 30 miles without too much of a problem. But there was no denying my waistline was too big and my belly was starting to hang over it. I felt... actually, not that bad. But after losing 15 lb., I feel much, much better and I'm looking to lose some more.
Now, I'm coming down from 240, but in all that time I have NEVER been as out of shape as I was then.
"Don’t take life so serious—it ain’t nohow permanent."
Of course, it does come down to calories in, calories out. But that omits the big issue of why we overeat. Do you know that appetite hormones go way out of whack when you lose weight? Do you know all the factors that drive appetite? Do you know the effect of depression or other life events on eating behaviors? Do you know how your brain responds to the sight of certain foods? Do you know the impact of genetics on susceptibility to weight gain and on eating behaviors?
All it would take is a hundred extra calories a day, hardly anything. And you end up with 11-12 extra pounds a year.
Now tell me about a sustainable long term solution that is a Solution.
I have difficulty explaining to people why lifestyle changes sometimes just are not sustainable and the extent of lifestyle changes that might be necessary. You equate not-sustainable to simply not sticking with changes. Sure, it is true that people do not stick with all the changes they made, after all, they do start of overeat. The question is why. The answer is not a simple answer but the important point is that desire alone is clearly not sufficient to keep off weight. And people find that hard to handle because people do love the illusion of control. We want to be in control of our lives and what happens to us. I do as well. After all, I lost weight despite the poor odds of keeping it off. But, given I know the odds are bad I try to find as many tools as I can to help my desire overcome my biology and my psychology and hope that the longer I keep off the weight the better my odds become of continuing to keep it off.
By way of example: I lost a lot of weight. I lost it at the rate of a pound a week. I got down to low to mid normal weight a couple of years ago. The desire I have to keep off that weight is boundless. I do not want to be obese ever again. I do not want lie in bed feeling the weight of myself and the pain in my back. I do not want to look at those pictures of obese me. I do not want to face my friends with a new fat self. I do not want to seem a loser, a failure. I want to ride my bike mile after mile. I want to hike. I want to sleep well. I want to feel good. I want to live a long and healthy life. My whole life I have been a highly competitive person. Gaining weight is totally inconsistent with how I view myself and how I want to be.
Yet, in the past few months I increased my body weight by 10%
I am addressing it with a rigid set of rules regarding eating and other behavior modification techniques. I do not do well without that rigidity. YMMV. Either way, I am yo-yoing.
Hopefully, compliance got easier for her overtime as her body adapted.
Last edited by goldfinch; 09-20-13 at 12:15 PM.
Consider - you gained weight for a reason. At the simplest level, you were consuming more calories than you were burning. If you reverse that trend for, say 6 months (i.e. short term change), but then return to the eating and exercise habits you had before, you will simply gain the weight back. On the other hand, if you change your eating and exercise habits long term and keep your consumption and exercise in balance, you will reach a stable weight and stay there.