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That reoccurring thought that I'm still trying to purge.

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That reoccurring thought that I'm still trying to purge.

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Old 03-27-12, 06:52 PM
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jethro56 
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That reoccurring thought that I'm still trying to purge.

It seems everyday I have this thought. "You've done well today. You deserve to eat some... " I've gotten fairly good at telling myself that "Food is not a reward!" but still the thought keeps coming back. Most times I'm not even hungry.
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Old 03-27-12, 07:10 PM
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I know that thought pretty well. I don't know that you can ever really purge it, only recognize it for what it is and don't act on it. I always used to say, you can't control your thoughts and feelings, but you CAN control your behavior. I haven't always been right about that, though...
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Old 03-27-12, 07:11 PM
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Yes sir, I have had that pop into the gray matter as well, lately my response is to go for a walk or take the bike out for a quick spin around the lake.

Typically after I do one of those two things my thoughts are more in the direction of "instead of eating 300 calories, I burned em" I don't think it ever gets "easy" and being creative in thwarting the thoughts with extra exercise usually helps.
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Old 03-27-12, 07:35 PM
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I heard a good technique to try on NPR this weekend. When you think of food, particularly a specific one, imagine it a being an unwanted browser pop up ad, and click on the X to make it go away. It's supposed to be a powerful assist to resist urges/temptation.
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Old 03-27-12, 07:40 PM
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Originally Posted by jethro56 View Post
It seems everyday I have this thought. "You've done well today. You deserve to eat some... " I've gotten fairly good at telling myself that "Food is not a reward!" but still the thought keeps coming back. Most times I'm not even hungry.
Oh man, I know how that is. Right now I'm unemployed, so I have more time to sit around the house, and usually that turns towards wanting to eat. Sometimes I can fight the feeling off, sometimes I can't. And most of the time when I do eat, I too am not hungry. I am getting better at doing some kind of exercise instead of giving in, but unfortunately I'm not always successful.
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Old 03-27-12, 08:14 PM
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Sigh, I have a related problem but it's that I'm hungry... I've gotten pretty good at portioning my food so that if I wait, I'll feel at least sated (not necessarily full) and all is well. But sometimes I don't wait and have an extra helping of something that just isn't necessary.

Ironically, I do better when I'm riding more often, and short rides (10-20 miles). If I go on a long ride (40+) I could about eat a horse when I get back and it's a struggle because I really AM that hungry.

You really are doing great though - don't cave! Giving in is for victims!
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Old 03-27-12, 09:06 PM
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I have adapted the "Spike day" method. I eat very healthy thru the week (Im 280lbs and eat 1800 cals a day - turkey, veg, little sugar, little bread) but on a Saturday I eat whatever I want - my Spike day. On a Spike day anything goes. Ive done quite well on this method so far. In the last 30 days I have dropped 10lbs. The theory is the spike day tricks your body out of starvation mode and the loss cycle begins again.

That realization that for one day a week I can eat things I "deserve" is mentally huge for me. Its an extra psychological trick to make me behave as I know Saturday is always less than a week away The weird think is the first Saturday I was out of control but as the weeks have passed, I really dont go too crazy - even when I am "allowed".
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Old 03-28-12, 05:31 AM
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I suffer with the same thing. It's aggravating. The Spike Day that Magohn mentions has worked for me in the past, too. I should go back to that. It's a good way to shock the metabolism back into gear. This thread had made me hungry.
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Old 03-28-12, 05:51 AM
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I think the issue is that many kinds of food cause the pleasure centers of the brain to respond. What we really mean is that we deserve something pleasurable, which is true. However, for many Americans, food has been a primary source of pleasure since our parents were old enough to bribe us. It's about finding that substitution as a reward.
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Old 03-28-12, 06:19 AM
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I wish I had some platitude or bromide that could help with this, but the truth is I'm struggling with it myself, and not doing too well with the fight. In addition to the "reward" thinking I also have a really rough time with stress eating. That was the topic in our WW meeting a few weeks ago, but nothing really useful came out of it. The coping mechanisms they suggested aren't really available to me when the urge to eat hits, which is mostly at work. Things like "go to the gym and work out" or "take a hot bath" don't fit well into my normal office routine.
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Old 03-28-12, 06:20 AM
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Old 03-28-12, 06:35 AM
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Make the reward food a healthy one?

CraigB, distraction is your best bet here. Do something anything that's distracting, play games on your phone, computer, talk to folks etc etc the urge to eat should subside, even when very hungry this trick (if you can call it that) works. Key is the distraction, it has to be something very attention grabbing. Read stuff on this forum maybe?
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Old 03-28-12, 06:48 AM
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magohm: Last year I used to "Reward" myself with a small pizza on Friday nights. I was trying to go back to the 1800 Calorie diet that I'd done so well on in the past. The problem was the guilt I felt afterward. There was also the general feeling of being fat the next day. If your method works for you then it's what you should be doing. I can't (and don't want to) run a huge daily deficient so I'm shooting for < 500 C/day deficents and my progress is "meaured" by pinching the loose skin on my stomach.

TrojanHorse: I'm not giving in to these thoughts. It's just that I wonder why it is that I think of eating my problem foods as a reward. Cheesecake and mixed nuts are what comes to mind. My last piece of cheescake was 8 weeks ago when Walmart quit selling my favorite "reward". I still look in the frozen foods section for it though and say to myself if they don't have it neither can I. I'm only 11 days nut free. I kept going down in allowable package size until now they just can't be bought. So now it's just a matter of changing my reward structure.

IndianaRec: I hear you on exercise curbing appetite. My biggest cravings are on rest days which at age 55 I need more of than you young pups. I'd like to ride every day but find that if I ride more than 3 days in a row my fitness suffers. I have "discovered" the rowing machines at the Y and I'm doing them daily but not hard. I'm doing this to help get lower on the bike with a greater elbow bend, but still keep a light grip on the handlebar. On long rides my left shoulder bothers me. By increasing elbow bend with elbows rotated down my should pain has went away. It's also made me more aero.

Push: I read thru some of your blog and realize now how much we have in common. Really glad you've gotten your second wind. Last October was a real problem for me as I had run myself into the ground. My strength had faded and my will power degraded. In November I switched gears and decided to get my strength back and allowed myself to pickup some weight. I hit the weight room hard. Well I over shot a little on the weight gain but this is a learning situation. The overshot is gone and I'm much fitter and wiser from the experience. You've been at this longer than I so you know where I'm coming from.


So how do we reward ourselves? Or should we even feel the need for a reward for eating right? Maybe that's the key. I'm going to ponder that question.
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Old 03-28-12, 07:18 AM
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I am trying not to reward myself. Trying to look at food as energy. Before I eat, I think and look and see what that food has to offer. For example, lets take pizza. It offers simple carbs in respect to the pizza crust, sugars in the tomato sauce. Can offer protein but usually is not lean protein. Toppings can offer vegetable servings. Cheese offers dairy and protein but usually is a highly processed cheese so doesnt do much for the body.

The reward for me is to be able to take something like candy and not eat it. For example, I am traveling all week and was in a meeting yesterday morning and a big bowl of candy sat on the table. The "old" me would eat everything. Now I look at it, think hard whats in it and then make the correct (or try to) decision.

Now, I went on a hike in the Arizona desert two days ago and I needed something to snack on. Room was limited so I grabbed some quacker oatmeal bars. Didnt need to eat them but on the bus ride home, I looked at them and noticed there was 50 plus ingredients in them. That was reason enough not to eat them, period.

I am no where near perfect and it is a daily fight and I think it will always be for us. Thats ok.
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Old 03-28-12, 07:19 AM
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Originally Posted by jmccain View Post
I heard a good technique to try on NPR this weekend. When you think of food, particularly a specific one, imagine it a being an unwanted browser pop up ad, and click on the X to make it go away. It's supposed to be a powerful assist to resist urges/temptation.

Love this!!!!!!!! Do you have the NPR link to this?
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Old 03-28-12, 07:32 AM
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Originally Posted by jmccain View Post
I heard a good technique to try on NPR this weekend. When you think of food, particularly a specific one, imagine it a being an unwanted browser pop up ad, and click on the X to make it go away. It's supposed to be a powerful assist to resist urges/temptation.
Like this!
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Old 03-28-12, 07:45 AM
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chandltp: I'm hoping this pleasure response is a software glitch and not hardcoded into the instruction set. I pass by a McDonalds on the way home and through the use of Pavlovian conditioning "I'm hatin it". Your sig reminds me of something I used to tell newbie programmers. "I remember when they came out with ones. Programming with all zeros was tedious."

CraigB: This is what I'm wondering about. Somewhere along the line we've associated food with comfort, safety and maybe a whole range of emotions that we don't even realize. Could it be that some people don't form this association? I know when I hear people say "It's just a matter of willpower." all I hear is "I'm superior to you." I know some very underweight people that have no willpower that I can discern. There's more to it than willpower.
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Old 03-28-12, 07:50 AM
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Originally Posted by jmccain View Post
I heard a good technique to try on NPR this weekend. When you think of food, particularly a specific one, imagine it a being an unwanted browser pop up ad, and click on the X to make it go away. It's supposed to be a powerful assist to resist urges/temptation.
I tried this, but it appears that my mental mouse is broken.
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Old 03-28-12, 08:01 AM
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I don't know about anyone else, but I don't con myself very well, so gimmicks don't really work too well for me. While I'm losing, two things keep me going: the movement on the scale (positive reinforcement), and the memory of what it took to get it to move, that would have been totally wasted and that I'd have to do all over again if I gave in and slid back (fear of punishment).

Neither of these schemes work well for maintenance, which is why I've never succeeded at it over the long term. (Though I have managed to keep weight off for a few years at several points in my life).

I'm on a good weight-loss roll right now, but I'm really concentrating on figuring out what it will take to "win the peace", after the war is over. I think one component is to keep on measuring and tracking calories and weight, to keep up the sense of urgency. But I won't know what works until I get there.

But the other component, that I've used successfully in combating tobacco and alcohol addictions, is to build up a stockpile of memories and images of myself at the height of my addiction that I can call up when you feel myself starting to give in.

For me (for the overeating problem), it's the memory of how I would get out of breath so easily, how hard it was to get up off the floor, or to bend over. How graceless I'd be when I danced. (Yes, as a single guy who likes company, this is still relevant at 59). The creaking sound that a ladder would make when I'd use it to change a light bulb. The embarrassment of having to squeeze into an airline seat, and the worry that the day would come when the belt wouldn't buckle around me, and I'd have to ask the attendant for one of those extensions. The feeling of horror, of "Is that really me???", that I'd get when I caught a glimpse of my reflection in a mirror or a store window. The feeling of getting dressed up to go out, then looking in the mirror and being horrified at the tubby little person I'd see, that no amount of fancy clothes could cover up or make look good. The feeling of having to prove myself and establish credibility when I'd give presentations for work, or meet with new customers, to overcome the initial impression that I'd make as everyone assumed that someone with so little self-control couldn't possibly have anything worthwhile to say. The pain in my knees, ankles and feet. And the list goes on. The basic idea is to build up an arsenal of memories of how badly it sucked to be fat, and remember how EASY it was to get that way.

I'll let you know if it works, once I've finished losing...

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Old 03-28-12, 08:15 AM
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Originally Posted by jethro56 View Post
CraigB: This is what I'm wondering about. Somewhere along the line we've associated food with comfort, safety and maybe a whole range of emotions that we don't even realize. Could it be that some people don't form this association? I know when I hear people say "It's just a matter of willpower." all I hear is "I'm superior to you." I know some very underweight people that have no willpower that I can discern. There's more to it than willpower.
I think it has to do with how an individual's body reacts to certain foods. My son has an amazing ability to forget about candy.. he likes it in small doses, but he still has Halloween candy that he's practically forgotten about. He doesn't appear to get much pleasure from eating it.

I also have an addictive personality and / or physiology, so alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, sugar, and refined carbs are all foods that I pretty much need to do without. If I'm not eating them I'm fine, and as long as I'm eating enough I'm fine. However, a little bit and I get into a physical / psychological cycle that I have an extremely difficult time breaking. So in part it's physical. My body gets pleasure from these things, so I want them. However, in their absence the pleasure center kind of forgets about them and I'm fine as well.

I believe that it's the same reason that once I start biking I want to do it to excess... pleasure is derived from it and I can't get enough.
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Old 03-28-12, 08:16 AM
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I think people who have been fat are less satisfied (that is, rewarded) with the amount of food that they need to maintain their new, lower weight so the drive to eat more remains. I think this is primarily due to metabolic reasons (with some behavioral) and may take some years to fade, if ever. Because of the ongoing lack of satisfaction with the amount you eat it may make sense to try to find other ways of rewarding yourself. But that is hard to do, to find the right kind of satisfaction to substitute for the lack of satisfaction we might feel because we can't eat as much as our bodies seem to desire. Right now I am trying to satisfy myself with high quality food. It is a bit costly but it seems to make me more satisfied in general. I do think that we have to live with a high degree of unrest about how we eat.

Originally Posted by jethro56 View Post
I know when I hear people say "It's just a matter of willpower." all I hear is "I'm superior to you." I know some very underweight people that have no willpower that I can discern. There's more to it than willpower.
For sure.

Originally Posted by tony_merlino View Post

I'm on a good weight-loss roll right now, but I'm really concentrating on figuring out what it will take to "win the peace", after the war is over. I think one component is to keep on measuring and tracking calories and weight, to keep up the sense of urgency. But I won't know what works until I get there.
You and I are on the same page with this. I have bought into the need to daily track not only calories but weight and keep the running average of weight. The time it takes is minimal and the chance of catching the weight gain early arguably will help. I am finding it very difficult to figure out how much I can eat as I maintain. Today I was 101 pounds and my moving average has dropped to 103.3. And this is with no exercise to speak of for a week and lots of eating out as I am on a birding trip.

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Old 03-28-12, 08:48 AM
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Originally Posted by jethro56 View Post
CraigB: This is what I'm wondering about. Somewhere along the line we've associated food with comfort, safety and maybe a whole range of emotions that we don't even realize. Could it be that some people don't form this association? I know when I hear people say "It's just a matter of willpower." all I hear is "I'm superior to you." I know some very underweight people that have no willpower that I can discern. There's more to it than willpower.
I don't think there's any question any longer that there are all kinds of baggage associated with food for many people, whether psychological/emotional or physiological (brain chemistry and hormones). Food comes with major league connotations, good and bad. I would give almost anything to be one of those who think of food as a nuisance on the order of having to go buy gas for the car. My brother was like that for many years, eating purely for fuel as needed. He's even more like it now that a recent virus pretty much destroyed his sense of taste, making most foods unappealing.

About the only thing that gives me hope is that there are certain foods that I used to love that I gave up completely and have no desire to return to (like sugared soft drinks, which I've sucessfully avoided for over 5 years now). So for some stuff I know I can do it. And there are some foods I have no/little desire for in general, like candy. But those are vastly outnumbered by those foods that hold an almost siren-like appeal for me, and they're the ones I struggle with almost every waking minute.
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Old 03-28-12, 08:55 AM
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Originally Posted by chefisaac View Post
Love this!!!!!!!! Do you have the NPR link to this?
D'oh! I can't remember (I listen to a lot of NPR shows). It may have been People's Pharmacy. I'll ask my wife if she remembers.
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Old 03-28-12, 09:00 AM
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I don't see anything wrong with sometimes looking at food as a "reward." I don't kick myself if I do a 75 mile ride with a lot of climbing and then say "I hit it hard today. I have earned a dozen buffalo wings."
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Old 03-28-12, 09:12 AM
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Seems to be a common theme amongst all of us Clydes/Athenas.
Good post (#21) Gold. I use the same methodology to ensure I don't fall off the wagon. I weigh myself EVERYDAY in the morning.
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