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Sarah: READ ME before quitting

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

I have read a couple of upsetting blogs this morning, where the blogger was basically expressing the failure I fear. Right now, I am losing weight and committed. I am doing well, not really struggling with the process, and making progress.

But what if that stops for some reason I can't predict? This has been the fear that has kept me from progress for the past two years. I have lost and gained this weight in my 20's, my 30's, and now am dealing with it in my 40's. I have some reasons to think it will be different this time, but what if I am wrong?

So - now I will give my future self advice to read if this happens:

Dear Sarah,

You know, you can start over at any time, any minute, any meal. You have gained and lost this weight over and over, and you know fear of failure definitely interferes with success. So don't be afraid. The evidence is you can do it. By the way - if you don't gain 5 pounds, you can never gain 10, so manage it NOW. Don't wait. Tomorrow will not be easier or better, just tomorrow. The beauty of life is that every single new minute offers the opportunity for a fresh start. No need to wait for Monday, tomorrow, or any other time in the future.

You live life "on", you know. Monitoring, and managing life cannot be avoided. The question is, what is going to be ON for you? Food is not a good hobby, not a good comforter. It is not your friend, just a biological need. You have had hard work to develop other interests not just to keep your hands busy, but to engage your mind and nourish your soul. Go back to these. If you can't go back to them, develop some new ones. You can do it. No food TV, no reading cookbooks, and don't try to take care of everyone and yourself by feeding. It's not the only way, remember? Whatever you get from food only works in the moment, and then it takes it back double later.

You have to eat, so whatever you are eating, s-l-o-w d-o-w-n. Eat slower, take smaller bites, enjoy your meal, take a break and make it last a l-o-n-g time. Make sure you taste that food very thoroughly. Enjoy it for what it is, then leave it. And if you are thinking about what you feel while you are eating, stop eating. Feelings do NOT need to be fed. They pass, and they are not anything to fear or avoid. Don't worry about them. No matter how big they are, feelings pass. Again, you have evidence for this and experience with it, so believe it now, and don't feed your feelings. At all.

Walk the dogs. Even if they can't or don't want to be walked, you deserve to be walked. Your dogs deserve to be walked, so why don't you? Seriously.

Now get back in there.

Love,
Sarah


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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • LONGLEANNLANKY
    well put!! and well worth a second read! I am going to save your blog and i want to thank you for the pep talk we all need from ourselves
    1034 days ago
  • MNABOY
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1051 days ago
  • RAYLINSTEPHENS
    Awesome blog!

    I "liked this" blog!
    1082 days ago
  • MSBEKANATOR
    This was so great!
    "By the way - if you don't gain 5 pounds, you can never gain 10, so manage it NOW. Don't wait. Tomorrow will not be easier or better, just tomorrow."
    I need to keep these words in front of me, lol! Thank you for a great blog!!
    1083 days ago
  • EMMACORY
    Very inspirational. Thanks!
    1084 days ago
  • DIANEDOESSMILES
    WOW Sarah!! SO WELL written and thought out. INDEED a letter we should ALL write!! THANKS!! I think I'll go and do that!!

    Something for each one who does write one to recheck often.
    1084 days ago
  • OOLALA53
    I just saw that I responded to this before. I hope you know I meant that you should post "this" in a doc on your desktop that I meant your letter to yourself, not my response!

    Have you looked at this lately?

    Even if your weight is standing still, if you are responding to eating whims less often or with less intensity this year than last, you are winning! Give yourself credit for EVERY win no matter how many slips.
    1123 days ago

    Comment edited on: 7/13/2017 6:54:59 PM
  • PRECIOUSPEG
    I love the way you did this letter!
    1186 days ago
  • MARIONJEANA
    Great advice.

    emoticon
    1265 days ago
  • POLSKARENIA
    Great letter, it could have been written for me!
    Super advice, thank you.
    1384 days ago
  • OOLALA53
    I was 56 when I got scared to think I would eat compulsively for the rest of my life. I "surrendered" to the No S Diet, knowing that it was how I handled the hard times, rather than depending on the easy times, that would make the difference. Weight loss has never been my main goal, even though I was mildly obese when I started. I wrote a list of the benefits I wanted from eating sanely. Many of them were the opposite of what I wanted to avoid from overeating. I posted that list on my desktop and read it several times a day for three months and several times a week for the first year. Without that and a reasonable way to eat, I don't think I would have made it.

    If I thought there was an easier, more effective way to manage eating, I'd be doing it.

    I gently suggest you put this in a Word doc and post it where you can read it EVEN when it's easy. emoticon

    1393 days ago
  • BEESHELL8
    This is great. I hear you about the blogs, and I'm one who has regained weight several times after losing. I liked the part where feelings don't have to be fed! so apropos for what I wrote the other day - and thank you for commenting on my blog. WTG fellow rookie!
    1396 days ago
  • SHERRYF71
    Great thoughts!! and I agree with Amy-wonderful that you posted for the future.
    1403 days ago
  • AMYJO1967
    Absolutely LOVE this blog, and the idea of posting it for yourself in case you need it later! That is part of why I post almost EVERY blog...so I will have it to look back on and remember the feelings, positive or negative, related to whatever was happening in my journey at the time, and to remind myself that I don't ever want to go back to where I was.

    I need to take your advice with me to Vegas, because while I don't plan to worry about tracking or even be too concerned about the weight I will very likely gain on this trip...I can get back to business when I'm home again...this doesn't mean that I have to treat every meal like it's my last! The idea will be to enjoy some foods that I typically don't eat, and I can enjoy them more if I eat them slowly, savoring the flavor, and don't heap on a side of GUILT with every plate by not stopping when I've had enough!
    1403 days ago
  • SUSANSKI
    LOVE THIS:
    "By the way - if you don't gain 5 pounds, you can never gain 10, so manage it NOW."

    This is basically what I was saying a few blogs ago "An Eye-opening lesson that Everybody Needs to Learn". It was about finding the center of your BMI range and trying to STAY centered within 10 or so pounds either direction. If you begin touching those last 10lb in your range, you know you need to tweek your plan.

    Thank you so much! I'm going to quote you, next blog.
    emoticon
    1404 days ago
  • PISCES24
    Love it! And thank you....I needed that pep talk today for myself :) Yesterday I was ready to throw in the towel....stuck between 164-161 for the last 2 months. Trying hard and then blow it. At least it is within a 3lb range, so not horrible. But I keep thinking what if I just quit.....what would happen? Probably gain what I lost and more and I have worked too hard to get this 24lbs off that I gained in the past year at 50+ and menopause, it only gets harder the older you get. So I will stick it out, because I am healthier even if the scale wants to waiver or not move. I feel better and more energetic and actually like the new body I have now, much better than the old one I had 25lbs heavier. It still has room for improvement, but at least I am not in the obese BMI anymore and just in the overweight BMI. Will I get to the normal BMI? I don't know, but I will continue on. Thank you again from the bottom of my heart!
    1404 days ago
  • METOBE
    Some very good thoughts, Sarah. One really good thing to keep in mind is your statement that "if you don't gain 5 pounds, you can never gain 10". Setting a small upper limit for gaining weight and not going past that will ensure that it always stays manageable. Also a good idea to write a letter like this for yourself to read if you're thinking about giving up on your efforts. I need to do something like that as well. Kudos.
    emoticon
    1404 days ago
  • HICKOK-HALEY
    Great blog. One day at a time, and if you fall on your face one day...then the next day you can get back on track. emoticon
    1404 days ago
  • AQUAGIRL08
    Bullseye! Great advice!
    1404 days ago
  • BARBARAJ73
    emoticon your philosophy - if you don't gain 5 then you can't gain 10 lb. A great "rule" to live by! Thank you for sharing.
    1404 days ago
  • 1CRAZYDOG
    Spot on. The thing of it is, every journey does have it's detours, but you never have to start all over again . . . you start from where you're at! That realization helped me tremendously. It's far less daunting to face that detour knowing you don't have to start from square one, but from right where you're at!

    The best point? Feelings . . . they DON'T have to be fed! That is another huge lesson that I had to learn . . . but have to work on it daily.

    Keep pushing!
    1404 days ago
  • 2BDYNAMIC
    Excellent advice! ........ every word you said is "right on" and how kind that you
    took the time to help your friend out! ......... Solid! ...... emoticon for
    sharing! .....
    1404 days ago
  • OLDFASHIONEDGRL
    I love your comment. "If you don't gain 5 pounds, you can never gain 10." It is so obvious, but it holds so much truth. Don't worry about the extremes, control the manageable. Thanks for this blog entry. I appreciate it.
    1404 days ago
  • JEANNETTE101
    Yes, mam, I will! Thanks. That letter is one I'll re-read often.
    1404 days ago
  • KALISWALKER
    Sarah I understand how you feel. I am committed to losing weight and never gaining it back. The book 100 Days of Weight Loss has helped me change my thinking.

    I am cheering for you!
    1404 days ago
  • SHOCOSS
    Great letter. I have yo yo dieted always losing for a special event. Then go back to my evil ways. I will take the advice you have planned out and apply it to everyday events. It's great advice.
    1404 days ago
  • KELLEYKELLER
    Beautiful!
    1404 days ago
  • TAMIP62
    LOVE THIS.

    I wish I had read this years ago. I am in my 50's and doing it yet again. Like you, almost every decade I had attacked the problem, had some modest success, sometimes even great success, only to fall back into old habits and find myself back in the same place and worse. Each time, I would kick myself remembering how well I had done, and if I had only stayed strong a little longer, i could have broken through whatever barrier was holding me back, instead of losing all that ground again, and having to do it all over again.

    I am going to copy your letter in a personal file. I hope you don't mind. But I want to read that letter to myself if that barrier shows up again this time. I can't afford any more decades, or any more do - overs.
    1404 days ago
  • JULIENSMITH
    This letter to yourself is a great idea for us all. Just keep going girl.
    1404 days ago
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