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Enablers

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Old 08-29-12, 01:50 PM
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Rowan
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Enablers

These are the people who give you permission to eat and drink more than you should, to exercise less than you should and generally suggest to you that you don't need to lose weight and get fit, perhaps because they are happy being the way they are themselves.

Who are the enablers in your life? Have you critically looked at the people who influence your decision-making? Have you sat down and talked through your aspirations and convictions about your weight loss?

Have you been firm enough with them in telling them to back off when they say "it's OK to have another slice" or "I thought I'd make this for you, you're looking so thin and weak", or (and this is a beauty) "you don't spend enough time with us already going on your bike rides"?

What about the people on these forums, those ones who say "I'm big boned" and "I big and fit and I am happy to be this weight"?
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Old 08-29-12, 02:18 PM
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I'm my own enabler. Trying to find an external source to blame is what got me into XL pants in the first place.
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Old 08-29-12, 02:44 PM
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Several years ago (2002) I had decided to quit drinking completely...I also began going to the gym. I managed to get under 200 lbs for the first time in many many years by the end of the year. I live in a neighborhood filled with partiers. If I was drinking water...I would get hounded about "why aren't you drinking?" and told to "have a beer". When I replied part of why was I was on medication that alcohol doesn't mix with the response was: "stop taking the medication" and if I told them how it was to help with my weight...I would get told how it doesn't bother their weight to drink...and on and on.

I went back to school in spring of 2003...and my "not drinking alcohol" ended when we went to dinner after I got a 100% on a psychobiology exam and had beer to help "celebrate". Gradually, the weight crept back on and then some. I had stopped going to the gym and working out due to time constraints between working full time and going to school full time. Then I followed up getting my BA with graduate school...and at one point I was going to school, working and had an internship. Going to the gym just wasn't happening.

So when I got back on the wagon so to speak I have been drinking beers or having alcohol only periodically and pretty much not at all at home. Nobody is giving me grief like before which is odd considering how I got hammered for not drinking back in 2002.

They all think I'm nuts for riding my bike tho. When I say I went for a short 20 mile ride ...they all comment how far that is. I get more encouragement it's just they are impressed by the distances I ride now.
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Old 08-29-12, 04:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
Who are the enablers in your life?
You should have started out by answering your own question. I see your pics and ride reports and I do see some fat around a couple of midsections as well.

Of course there is fat to be seen in my pics (Gina and I) as well but I am not here playing judge and jury to the overweight.

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Old 08-29-12, 04:49 PM
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I have to agree with TrojanHorse. I am where I am because of me...and my wife, and her family. I blame the Mexican cooking. Do you want to know how bad it is? She makes her own lard. Yup, buys the pork, cooks it to render the fat and saves it. That's how bad it is in my house. It took a while to be able to only eat one plate. In the past if I didn't eat 3 plate fulls it must have been because her cooking wasn't good. No matter what I said to her, no matter how much I said it was good, unless I stuffed my face she didn't believe me. It took a brush with death and a 10 day hospital stay before she finally started listening.

It's still the same way at my mother-in-laws house. If I don't go for at least second helpings she asks me if I didn't like it, and if I do asks for seconds, I ask for a little bit, which results in me getting a fuller plate then the first helping. So I've stopped asking for seconds.
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Old 08-29-12, 05:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
These are the people who give you permission to eat and drink more than you should, to exercise less than you should and generally suggest to you that you don't need to lose weight and get fit, perhaps because they are happy being the way they are themselves.

Who are the enablers in your life? Have you critically looked at the people who influence your decision-making? Have you sat down and talked through your aspirations and convictions about your weight loss?

Have you been firm enough with them in telling them to back off when they say "it's OK to have another slice" or "I thought I'd make this for you, you're looking so thin and weak", or (and this is a beauty) "you don't spend enough time with us already going on your bike rides"?

What about the people on these forums, those ones who say "I'm big boned" and "I big and fit and I am happy to be this weight"?
I don't know if I like this. I mean, hey, we all have people that try to make us eat more, ride less, be "normal", but it seems to me that part of being an adult is being free and making your own decisions instead of worrying about what others think and say. So what? Someone says "It's ok to have another slice" all you have to do is say "No thanks", life goes on, and it's not a big deal. Part of being a grown-up is making your own decisions and taking responsibility for those choices. It's almost like we're searching for someone or something to blame for NOT losing weight instead of just getting up a head of steam and getting the job done. Also, I think if we don't take the extra slice, or do go on the bike ride when they wish we stayed home, we may be a positive example to them. We become leaders. Hope this thread doesn't turn into a rainfall of excuses.
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Old 08-29-12, 05:33 PM
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Originally Posted by tractorlegs View Post
I don't know if I like this. I mean, hey, we all have people that try to make us eat more, ride less, be "normal", but it seems to me that part of being an adult is being free and making your own decisions instead of worrying about what others think and say. So what? Someone says "It's ok to have another slice" all you have to do is say "No thanks", life goes on, and it's not a big deal. Part of being a grown-up is making your own decisions and taking responsibility for those choices. It's almost like we're searching for someone or something to blame for NOT losing weight instead of just getting up a head of steam and getting the job done. Also, I think if we don't take the extra slice, or do go on the bike ride when they wish we stayed home, we may be a positive example to them. We become leaders. Hope this thread doesn't turn into a rainfall of excuses.

+1 Nicely said.

Its human nature for others to want you to join them. Some days I say 'yes' and some days i say 'no'. Both decision paths I only have myself to blame/credit.
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Old 08-29-12, 07:04 PM
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What's a synonym of Hollier-than-thou?
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Old 08-29-12, 08:28 PM
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My spouse pushes food and treats on me. He is a good cook. But I can say no and he will back off. I think because he is over 300 pounds and I am barely over 100 pounds that he still is surprised at how little I can eat.

My neighbor at one of our homes is the worst. She brings home backed sweets over all the time, I finally had to ask her to stop. That was hard for me because it felt rude. I grew up where food sharing was the polite thing to do and turning food down was just not done. The neighbors used to say that I was biking too much or exercising too much or that I had lost too much weight. That stopped. I guess they got used to me the way I am.

Neighbors/relatives at another home are totally encouraging and never push food. A bunch of us walk together in the mornings and breakfast together. Everyone who participates is thin and fit. A good group to hang out with.
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Old 08-29-12, 08:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Acquaspin View Post
What's a synonym of Hollier-than-thou?
God.
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Old 08-29-12, 08:33 PM
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Originally Posted by goldfinch View Post
My spouse pushes food and treats on me. He is a good cook. But I can say no and he will back off. I think because he is over 300 pounds and I am barely over 100 pounds that he still is surprised at how little I can eat.

My neighbor at one of our homes is the worst. She brings home backed sweets over all the time, I finally had to ask her to stop. That was hard for me because it felt rude. I grew up where food sharing was the polite thing to do and turning food down was just not done.
Sometimes when we lose weight it means changing family traditions in the process. Sometimes when we say "no" like you did to your neighbor, in the short run it is uncomfortable and awkward - but in the long run it gives us our goals, and may actually change the neighbor for the better, too.
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Old 08-30-12, 01:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz View Post
You should have started out by answering your own question. I see your pics and ride reports and I do see some fat around a couple of midsections as well.

Of course there is fat to be seen in my pics (Gina and I) as well but I am not here playing judge and jury to the overweight.
I agree, but I didn't intend this to be another personal insult session.

I just wanted to know if people who are battling to lose weight, or claim to be, but aren't making progress, are looking at their peers to see if they are in fact enabling them to continue with their old routines. It's a subject I haven't seen discussed much here in the past.
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Old 08-30-12, 05:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
I agree, but I didn't intend this to be another personal insult session.

I just wanted to know if people who are battling to lose weight, or claim to be, but aren't making progress, are looking at their peers to see if they are in fact enabling them to continue with their old routines. It's a subject I haven't seen discussed much here in the past.
Mr. Beanz didn't mean it as a personal insult, I think he said the same thing I did but in a different way. I agree with his sentiment - you (we all) should start out by answering the question ourselves first - are we enabling ourselves?
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Old 08-30-12, 06:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
I agree, but I didn't intend this to be another personal insult session.

I just wanted to know if people who are battling to lose weight, or claim to be, but aren't making progress, are looking at their peers to see if they are in fact enabling them to continue with their old routines. It's a subject I haven't seen discussed much here in the past.
Based on behavioral research, social support can reinforce positive behaviors and help eliminate the negatives. I find it easiest when I am with my rural Minnesota friends. They are all thin and eat little and never snack. They keep busy. They are good to be around. I am not very likely to overeat when I spend a day with my cousin. She is thin and wiry. She eats a decent breakfast, doesn't touch food until lunch, eats a high vegetable content lunch, and then nothing again until supper.
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Old 08-30-12, 07:00 AM
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These are the people who give you permission to eat and drink more than you should
I grew up in a household where gravy was a food group and the closest I got to fruit with breakfast was a blueberry PopTart. I was a fat kid and a fatter teen, but at some point I grew up and became responsible for my own actions. I've struggled with weight and health issues my entire life but the truth is that it isn't "enablers", fast food ads, or high fructose corn syrup that is the problem. It's me. I'm responsible for my choices and actions. When I make good choices I reap the benefits, when I make bad choices I suffer the consequences.
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Old 08-30-12, 07:06 AM
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Me too. I grew up on a typical british diet, fish and chips, bacon and eggs, pie and chips, and trifles etc. My mother,father,brother and sister are all in 'normal' weight ranges. I am not because I eat too many calories - I simply like food more than they do. The last thing I would want is to change the behavior of others around me because I cant control myself like the rest of my family can.

Originally Posted by Myosmith View Post
I grew up in a household where gravy was a food group and the closest I got to fruit with breakfast was a blueberry PopTart. I was a fat kid and a fatter teen, but at some point I grew up and became responsible for my own actions. I've struggled with weight and health issues my entire life but the truth is that it isn't "enablers", fast food ads, or high fructose corn syrup that is the problem. It's me. I'm responsible for my choices and actions. When I make good choices I reap the benefits, when I make bad choices I suffer the consequences.
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Old 08-30-12, 07:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Myosmith View Post
I grew up in a household where gravy was a food group and the closest I got to fruit with breakfast was a blueberry PopTart. I was a fat kid and a fatter teen, but at some point I grew up and became responsible for my own actions. I've struggled with weight and health issues my entire life but the truth is that it isn't "enablers", fast food ads, or high fructose corn syrup that is the problem. It's me. I'm responsible for my choices and actions. When I make good choices I reap the benefits, when I make bad choices I suffer the consequences.
You have to make the choice to eat less or better, but you also interact with your environment and your environment can make the choices easier or harder. That is why I think of weight maintenance as not just eating less, but to put myself in an environment where I am not as likely to overeat.
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Old 08-30-12, 07:51 AM
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Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
I'm my own enabler. Trying to find an external source to blame is what got me into XL pants in the first place.
+1. No one can deny me the ability to do the things you mention. Ergo, no one can give me permission to do so. In the end, the choices I make are of my own free will, or lack thereof, not based on what others may say to me.
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Old 08-30-12, 08:26 AM
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Well...they do say fat cells never die. And, they are hungry little buggers. My guess is we all enable ourselves when we give in to the craving to eat that which is fattening and then lie around on the couch instead of getting up and moving.
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Old 08-30-12, 09:09 AM
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I have to admit I am pretty shocked to read some of the responses here in this thread. I mean in a positive way

It's refreshing to see so many people post they, and they alone are responsible for thier own results. I see far too many folks post here saying they couldn't ride because, of kids, or football, or other things that in my opinion are simply excuses, or personal enablers.

The don't have time because of my kids is a very common one here. I have never bought that excuse personally. First I believe it's important for me to be healthy so that I can
provide for my son, as much as I believe it's important I keep my job, so I can provide for my entire family. So to me exercise is as important as my job, and has to find a balance with work and family time.

I also believe a family has priorities, as well as family members have priorities. That means to me that each of us deserve time for activities to ourselves, and also there needs to be some family activities.

I travel for work, but even so I find time to hit the hotel gym for an our, or go run outside for an hour, or something. I could say I can't exercise because I am on the road, but I put exercise first.
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Old 08-30-12, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by vesteroid View Post
I have to admit I am pretty shocked to read some of the responses here in this thread. I mean in a positive way

It's refreshing to see so many people post they, and they alone are responsible for thier own results. I see far too many folks post here saying they couldn't ride because, of kids, or football, or other things that in my opinion are simply excuses, or personal enablers.

The don't have time because of my kids is a very common one here. I have never bought that excuse personally. First I believe it's important for me to be healthy so that I can
provide for my son, as much as I believe it's important I keep my job, so I can provide for my entire family. So to me exercise is as important as my job, and has to find a balance with work and family time.

I also believe a family has priorities, as well as family members have priorities. That means to me that each of us deserve time for activities to ourselves, and also there needs to be some family activities.

I travel for work, but even so I find time to hit the hotel gym for an our, or go run outside for an hour, or something. I could say I can't exercise because I am on the road, but I put exercise first.
Well said.
I too was pleasantly amazed at the number of "it's all on me" replies. Good to see that.
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Old 08-30-12, 09:32 AM
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I'm about to enable my self to have a couple of beers and some fried food at a charity ride wrap up party...by riding a few miles of singletrack and about 30 miles of towpath
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Old 08-30-12, 11:52 AM
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One problem I have is that at our church, we'll have monthly pot-luck dinners, and monthly birthday celebrations, basically a pot-luck supper. In either case, if you simply sample some of everything, you've done eaten too much. And it's good food, too. And I have trouble getting through one of those without eating too much. So, as you might expect, there's no end of overweight people and diabetics there.

Unfortunately, if you organize an activity like that, that automatically lends itself to overeating, it's popular, but anything that involves something other than sitting and/or eating, doesn't go over so well. Fortunately, I've found some riding friends. I just wish there was more overlap between the two groups.

I do get some negative input from my wife, but it's mainly just because she's negative, period. Long ago, I went for a walk and heard "It doesn't do any good if you only do it once." Then I got to hiking regularly, and heard "Do you have to go every day?" And that's how it is with the bicycling, too. But it's not so much that she's an enabler, as just a criticizer of whatever I happen to be doing.
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Old 08-30-12, 12:32 PM
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Trojanhorse is right, I am my own enabler and you are your own enabler. Unless there is some one physically shoveling extra food or beer into your face, or physically keeping you from exercising, then you are your own enabler. I found StephenH's comments about his church pot-luck dinners funny; this is not a personal shot at you, I have nothing against you or your religious beliefs, but it is your choice to sample everything. If YOU make the CHOICE to take an extra forkful of whatever food they have, then make the choice to put an extra 2 or 3 miles on your ride. Again, respectfully speaking, putting blame on your wife is equally disheartening, it is obnoxious to be told to exercise more, and then when you do, they tell you 'you're never around any more' or whatever. One solution, take her along with you! Get her a bike and now your bike group is +1, you spend more time with your wife and who knows, maybe she will be the one pushing you to go further or longer...
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Old 08-30-12, 12:33 PM
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My enabler is success in exercise.

Just three weeks ago I proudly exclaimed to this board that I figured out that I was losing a pound a week since the beginning of June after a long 9 month plateau/gain period.

I started biking with my club again the next week, achieving the best speeds I'd ever achieved before. And after each and every ride I would be so proud of the hard work I was doing that I rewarded myself with some nice tasty fast food value meals. Not extra large like I usually did, mind you, but rather I chose "small", because hey, I'm trying to lose weight here!

But of course the truth became very evident at weeks end... I had gained a few pounds again. Shock. Horror. Denial...


So this week I said nope. No more rewards for you, big fella. Ride my ass off every day this week, and just plain old normal healthy dinners, and by Thursday morning (today!) I am now back down to my yearly low point.



So yeah. My enabler? Me, myself, and I. It is truly mind boggling when you understand just how easy it is to convince yourself of something even when there are facts in evidence directly refuting it.
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