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I'm just wondering if anyone else has gone through something similar... Before I started this whole diet thing, good food was comforting. Then, losing weight became very fulfilling, and made me feel good. Now I'm at a stage where I really just want to maintain; I've lost enough, and really changed my attitudes towards food - huge lifestyle change. I should be thrilled, but instead, I feel a big void. I feel I have nothing to strive for. I don't love my job, and aside from my fiance, I don't have many "real" friends in the city where I live. Maybe I was using weight loss to fill that void, but, what do I do now?

Tue. Feb 21, 10:26am

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I know exactly how you feel. I had a bit of a melt down a while ago, realizing I had nothing that I could really call my own - in terms of things I enjoy doing. My whole life revolves around work, my boyfriend, and my dogs. I felt empty, like you said. So, I started searching for new things that I could call my own. I started watercolor painting (it's hard, and I'm awful, but it's still fun). I started learning to play guitar, and I joined a running club.
Maybe you should see if you can find something that is "just yours". I was happiest a couple of years ago when I took up Tae Kwon Do (but, my club closed and there is not another one close to me), it was such a challenge and so much fun - plus, I met a lot of really great people :)
I don't know if this was much help? But, I know that going out and trying some new things has made all the difference to me.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006, 10:49 AM

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Thanks! That's exactly it! I go to the gym and rock climb with my fiance b/c he likes it; I go watch his floor hockey games; I hang out with his coworkers and friends (my coworkers kind of suck). I hear about his exciting day, and don't have anything to add b/c my job is pretty bland to me. I feel like I'm turning into this totally boring person with no opinions or interesting things to say! There's nothing that I want to do, but at the same time, I'm sooo bored! My fiance thinks I should see a doctor... Do I need that?

Tuesday, February 21, 2006, 11:44 AM

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striving to feel "full" emotionally

I know what you mean too. I'm finishing a grad program this year (hopefully) and so I am already looking for new things to strive for/ways to feel "whole." (Finishing the program almost feels like "old news" already, since I've been working on it for so long!!!) I don't have "real" friends in the city where we moved this past summer. And I'm very disappointed when old friends (from other places) don't keep up. (I feel like I do more "keeping in touch.") Family is "distant" emotionally because they just ask when I'm going to be finishing up and getting back in to the "real world."

Like the other poster suggested, my strategy for feeling full emotionally is also to try new things. I just signed up for my first 5k, which takes place March 19. I also try to schedule things to look forward to like talks by authors I like or concerts. My partner and I swing dance too. So there are dances to go to. We also take dance lessons of various types, at my instigation. Dancing is a great way to feel "full" because it involves mind and body, working together. And it is a good way to meet people without a "professional" context. (You can talk about the music or the band rather than work or politics!) But I still need more. I used to do book groups. But since we moved I have been too lazy to find the right one.

Thanks for starting this thread. It helps me to hear that others are not "filled up" by the work of losing weight (or maintaining weight loss).

Tuesday, February 21, 2006, 11:45 AM

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I've been having the same problem. For me I think it was just a shock because I always had this subconsious idea that everything would be better when I lost weight... I thought I'd have more confidence to try things I'd always wanted to because I wouldnt be self consious about my body. Now I'm down to my ideal weight and I realize that I'm ok with my body but I'm still too self consious to do any of those things I dreamt of doing! Its scary to realize that my insecurity stems from something other than the fat that used to be around my hips! Weight loss is such an eye opening journey sometimes...I joined and wrote 43 new things that i want to do...its inspiring and you can check them off as you go. So maybe I wont learn french this year but it did make me get off my butt and buy a book about learning french lol, for me it helped to even write the list because I realized how many things I was actually into that I ignore most of the time:)

Tuesday, February 21, 2006, 12:17 PM

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magazine publishers get rich off women buying the message

that getting fit will make you bold and brave! Sadly simple solutions sell. (I wish they didn't!!!) For me, weight loss is just part of a long list of things I need to do in order to find the strength to try new things. It is frustrating for me too.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006, 12:41 PM

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one more thing to add to last post

I'm NOT suggesting that the people in this thread read the (crappy) women's magazines that I mentioned. I'm just saying that the message is everywhere and it is hard to avoid. I definitely don't read them but I can't help but notice the headlines on the covers while waiting in line at the grocery store!!!

Tuesday, February 21, 2006, 12:44 PM

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Second poster here:
Doing something new is definately a tough step forward. But, you do feel better once you do it - I speak from experience. I've always been horribly shy, and never tried anything new on my own.
I had to force myself to do it, especially for group activities where I didn't know anybody at all. But, after that initial first step, it got better. Don't get me wrong, I'm still horribly shy and usually very dependant on other people, but I took a chance and dove in, and it paid off. I was so proud of myself when I joined Tae Kwon Doe all by myself. It was a great of a self confidence booster, and it made it much easier, the next time I decided to make some changes in my life.

To the OP:
Can you think of anything at all that you might enjoy doing? Is there anything you've always wanted to do, but never had the guts to try? Because now would be a good time :)
Good luck.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006, 12:51 PM

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These things were always wrong

You just weren't focused on them before because you a) probably felt like cr** b) were more focused on your butt than having fun shaking it. Happiness comes from overcoming adversity to achieve small goals. If you want to be happy, set new ones... Start volunteering, redecorate your house, go back to school, plan a party... get your taxes in order... whatever.


Tuesday, February 21, 2006, 1:01 PM

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My own experience is that when I am focused on a "problem, or difficulty" I am happy or at least not unhappy, I'm occupied mentally and physically. When the problem is solved or the difficulty is passed I'm rather at a loss until the next "fire" needs my attention. Is this the same as the emptiness you experience? Maybe. Yoga helps me.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006, 3:14 PM

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Thanks so much for everyone's comments! I definitely need to go out and make some new friends and try some new activities. I'm not really sure where to start looking for activities though. I posted about wanting to find a cardio striptease class in Chicago, but so far, no luck. I did make plans tonight to go out for drinks with an acquaintance who could be a good girlfriend. I guess I won't make new friends if I don't work on it! And after I get home, I'm going to call some friends who are couples to see if I can get my fiance and I a double date for this weekend. I thought about looking into a cooking class, but I'm almost positive I can't afford it... Maybe a book club...

Tuesday, February 21, 2006, 3:34 PM

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Volunteer!!! Easy, fun, cheap, perfect way to meet people. And it's hard to feel empty when you've just made someone's life a little bit better.

Or check out a skills exchange program...I can't remeber what they are called, but it works by having people exchange hours of their skill for hours of someone else's skill. For example, maybe you are an accountant, so you offer to do Mrs. Smith's taxes this year. It'll take you 10 hours (or whatever). In exchange, instead of paying you with money for your time, she gives you 10 hours of her skill - cooking lessons? knitting you a gorgeous sweater? House cleaning? Gardening? (Sorry to be so stereotypical about the old lady skills..maybe she's a mechanical engineer and will redesign your house's heating system or something - whatever it is, you get the benefit of it!)

Tuesday, February 21, 2006, 4:36 PM

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Also check out the thread called "Much Needed Help"...I tried to link to it below, but I'm not sure it'll work.

At any rate, it has a lot of good suggestions for getting involved in a community where you don't know very many people.


Tuesday, February 21, 2006, 4:37 PM

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do you like animals? like to hike the great outdoors? check out local nature conservancy or sierra club or audubon society or your parks and rec. they usually have walks and you can see the local wildlife. they are usually free. a nice way to meet new people in a new place and those kind of folks usually can give you an inside scoop on where and what to volunteer. I move around a lot and this has been an easy way to meet quality people who are very knowledgeable about local conditions (like real estate if you happen to be planning to look for housing).

Tuesday, February 21, 2006, 11:47 PM

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Volunteering is a great idea, I agree with the others. I am not advocating a particular religion, but if you are so inclined churches are great places to make connections and meet people, and maybe hear some uplifiting messages in the process. Also, politics is a fun way to meet people with similar interests who have a passion for their community. Good luck!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006, 4:53 AM

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Volunteering is great

I just wanted to add another potential volunteering idea. I don't know if you like animals, but a great way to stay active and happy, would be to volunteer as a dog walker for your local SPCA or animal shelter. If you're anything like me it's impossible to feel down when you've got a big set of puppy eyes staring at you :)

Wednesday, February 22, 2006, 7:06 AM

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