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Losing weight: is it worth it?

Ok, this likely falls into the category of asked and answered, but I thought I would give it a go with a new thread.

I've lost about half the weight I have set out to lose but it is definitely true that it takes a lot out of me to exercise and eat reasonably well day-in and day-out month after month after month.

For folks who have lost all the weight that they wanted, is it as good as you thought it might be? Has it really rocked your world? On sober reflection, is it worth the months or years of hyper focus it takes to get there?

Mon. Jan 22, 12:51am

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I would say for one thing... I think your looking at this wrong. Exercise shouldn't be what you doing to lose weight but your new lifestyle choice. Just doing this to lose weight you may eventually get to your goal, but you can't just then quit.

Now at the end you may be able to relax and cheat a bit more, and enjoy things a bit more... but this shouldn't ever be 'over'.

But what bad is there? More energy, better health, and body you can be proud of???

Monday, January 22, 2007, 8:54 AM

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i'd say, if you're not enjoying the ride, wait until another train comes by and jump on again. in the meantime, you can see how not adhering to some sort of structured exercise and diet will affect your body and how you feel overall. you don't want to struggle every day or feel like "when will this end?!" all the time. that's not beneficial!!

Monday, January 22, 2007, 8:59 AM

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Totally worth it.

I feel better all the time. I look better all the time. I'm getting to the point where I'm no longer "working out" but instead "getting out." What I mean is that I've changed the focus of my life from laying around in front of the TV or computer with a bowl of snacks to getting out and enjoying the world, be it cycling, cross country skiing, running, canoing, or just taking the dog for a walk.

Eating less makes me enjoy the food I eat more- instead of eating tons of crap, I eat less, but what I eat tastes great.

I stopped thinking "when will this end" when I started to understand that living healthy is something I want to do for the rest of my life.

Even when, after losing 50 pounds, I went to the doctor and he told me my blood pressure is still high and will probably always be high, and that I'll probably have to keep taking BP meds the rest of my life (thanks mom and dad for the genetic predisposition!), I wasn't like "well screw this, I'll just get all fat and gross again because it doesn't matter"- the benefits of feeling more active and fit far outweigh anything else.

Is it worth it? yes.

Monday, January 22, 2007, 11:11 AM

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I wholeheartedly agree with the sentiments already posted.

You continuously hear people say "yeah, I lost a lot of weight, xx pounds, and I looked and felt great but then I gained it back (and then some)". So why is that? I do think that a big part of it is looking at diet and exercise as a means to an end - not an end in and of themselves. So what happens when you've lost the weight? Are you going to stop?

To me - yes it's worth it! I love the way I look, but mostly I love the way I feel! I have so much energy now! I never knew I could have that much, and my body just works so much better! I no longer "diet" - I eat 'clean', and I do a lot of activity because now that I'm in pretty good shape, the activity is fun and a great social outlet for me (I've discovered i don't like sitting at home in front of the tube). Initially I looked at a lot of the changes I made just like you seem to (necessary evil), but as soon as I was 'done', the weight came back on because I wasn't truly committed to living in a way that would prevent that.

So I looked at the healthy foods and activities that I enjoyed and made changes in my life that incorporated all the positive aspects of those. Then I tried new activities and healthy recipes and just kept adding the ones I loved to my life until there was no room for the unhealthy, sedentary ways.

My body has changed and so have my tastes - I don't even want to go back to the way I used to eat and sitting around feeling lonely and watching other people go out and do interesting things. Yes, I still enjoy treats and rich food in moderation, but now I don't really have to exercise much willpower in not eating them - I just don't enjoy the way I feel after I do. Also, I've become much more social and through my various activities I've met and made a lot of friends - that has really helped me stay active and happy with my life and the changes I've made. My new friends share similar health habits and so eating out and excising are not difficult because we all go to places that have healthy (ar at least lighter) food options and enjoy doing things like hiking, walking, shopping and hitting the gym. My old friends have definitely gotten into the spirit and I think the changes I've made to myself have brought some fresh air into relationships that had gotten somewhat predictable. A group of supportive real life frinds in addition to the virtual support here has really made is so much easier to get it off and keep it off. Other people can have great influence in your life for better or worse.

Monday, January 22, 2007, 11:33 AM

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Check out -- it's the National Weight Control Registry's website. There are links on the homepage to articles that report their research. The things you'd be interested in are the habits that people who've lost weight and kept it off have adopted in order to maintain their new weight. To qualify for the register, you must have kept at least 30 lbs off for a year or more, and the average member has kept 70 lbs off for 5 years.

Some of the habits I can think of off the top of my head are (a) daily food log, which peertrainer makes enjoyable for me (love my teammates!!), and (b) walking 60-90 minutes per day, (c) breakfast breakfast breakfast!, (d) frequent weigh-ins (once a week minimum).

If those habits sound awful to you, then maybe now is not the time for you to lose weight since you won't be able to make the changes to maintain. And take it from someone who has ridden that yo-yo 10 times since the age of 14 until maxing out at 100 lbs overweight, it makes it harder and harder to diet successfully in the future.

Good luck.


Monday, January 22, 2007, 6:28 PM

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