" For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; the flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land. " Song of Solomon

March 14, 2009

I CAN'T GET NO........

m o t i v a t i o n!!!!

Having read Lyn's blog Escape From Obesity for a long time, I've seen her go from feeling like she was the 'only one' with a tough time with weight loss, to being very successful in her efforts. She has discovered a lot in her journey and I love her honesty...I love that she doesn't make it sound easy or perfect. She shares her struggles.

After reading about her current frustration with binge eating I got to thinking about my situation. Binge eating is a problem I have too. When I'm hungry due to under eating because I'm on a diet, the physical need to eat is relentless. Sort of like an asthmatic dying for oxygen but can't take any into the lungs, I'm starving and trying desperately to keep food out of my mouth and stomach.

While my binges are small in size compared to Lyn’s, they are binges none the less and destroy all my good efforts. I feel like I can't stop myself, though I honestly know I could if I wanted to badly enough. I just don't want to at the time. How do I change that--how do I change my will? It's like fighting an enemy and knowing you could win the immediate battle but no way will you ever win the war. You know you will have that same battle over and over and over. It is exhausting. It gets old. You figure you might as well toss up the white flag of surrender.

Twice I've lost 50 pounds. I find myself, once again, needing to re-lose some of the last 50. But one thing is lacking: motivation. Both times, and even now, I had an extreme, intense desire to lose my excess weight. But the first two times that desire was partnered with strong motivation to succeed. That motivation is totally absent now. Desire, no matter how intense, without motivation won't go anywhere. Why, I ask myself, can't I muster up some motivation?

The only answer I can come up with is: belief. Because I've lost, but can't maintain my loss for more than 5 years, I no longer believe there is any point in trying. Deep down, I honestly believe that permanent weight loss is extremely rare and next to impossible. That is my dilemma. And I conclude, to keep dieting, to keep trying to lose-- knowing what my previous efforts ultimately yielded-- seems like a waste of time and energy. To repeat the same behavior with the expectation of a different outcome is an exercise in futility and will drive you to intense frustration if not insanity.

I don't want to gain more, but I almost feel like it is inevitable. I gained before in spite of my tremendous desire and effort. My motivation now is nada...this lack is the huge roadblock in my path. Where and how do I get motivated to do again and again and again what I must do in order to achieve success?

So, I have no motivation and don't know how to get any.

Another stumbling block is this: volume of food issues.

Given: it takes me a specific volume of food to be filled, hunger satisfied. Given: I can replace calorie dense foods with low calorie, high fiber filling foods. But how, and when, do I learn to be satisfied on a smaller amount of food?

How does one do that? How does one eat just a little food and not be hungry?

I can employ willpower and limit my intake, quit even though I am hungry..but I can't do that forever. Eventually, hunger is going to win.

On my first diet the main reason I was able to limit my food volume for the year it took me to lose 50 pounds was that I was on a decongestant for allergies that had an anorexic side effect. I was never hungry, so it was much easier to eat a small amount of food --there was no hunger to satisfy. I mainly ate because I knew I must. Some days lunch was a single cup of fat free sugar free yogurt.

When I was taking that drug, I didn't need any motivation. No appetite, no hunger, equals no desire to eat. The result? weight loss. If you're not hungry you don't need any motivation to not eat.

Since I no longer need that drug and don't want to take pills the rest of my life, the only way I can exercise my will and not eat would require that I be highly motivated. Believing that permanent weight loss is next to impossible destroys my motivation to exercise my will to do what it takes to lose my regain and maintain a stable desirable weight.

My take on my situation is this: until I can learn to live with being hungry all the time I'm not going to succeed. I already know this: living the rest of my life with calorie dense food off limit and eating only low calorie high fiber filling foods isn't an option for me. Restrict a food, and I desire it all the more. And I’ve tried a combination of calorie dense foods plus large amounts of low calorie foods. Those low calorie foods just don’t stay with me. They fill me for about an hour, then I find myself hungry, looking for something to eat, trying not to eat, in another battle.

Minus motivation, intense desire is useless. I guess my only option is to try and satisfy my hunger with huge volumes of low calorie food. But how can I learn to be satisfied on less food overall? Some people exercise one and two hours a day so they can eat, satisfy hunger and lose or stay trim. For me that is not an option. To my way of thinking I would be replacing one disorder for another--trading my bondage to food for bondage to exercise, knowing that if I didn't exercise I'd balloon up again. Though, realistically, exercise is probably the better option.

Not only does it burn calories it promotes health. Our bodies were made to move, and movement stimulates the immune system. Exercising daily outside in the sunshine gives us a good healthy dose of sunshine that our bodies need to make vitamin D which is being touted now for its role in cancer prevention.

But one to two hours a day?..hmmm...can't think of anything I enjoy doing that much to do it religiously every day without fail. I wanted to be a runner. I liked it because you could burn a lot of calories in a short time. But, alas, I got shin splints and had to give it up.

Perhaps it is my lot in life, my destiny, to weigh more than conventional wisdom dictates.
"....there have been many times when I have shed bitter tears, when if I had understood the situation better, I would have celebrated my good luck instead."


I am not a doctor and all information, suggestions, etc are my personal opinion only.