Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Week 46 Weigh in (maintenance struggles)

I've been really conflicted about whether to write this post or not. I really don't want to write a post that sounds negative and whiny; but, readers always tell me how much they appreciate my honesty with the struggles in regards to weight loss/maintenance, instead of only writing about the successes. I've never tried to paint a picture that implies I have maintenance all figured out--I think it's something I'll struggle with forever--but writing about the struggles is hard. It's embarrassing. It's shameful. 

I'm struggling right now--a lot. I've never been one to make excuses for my weight struggles, and I won't do that now. I know exactly where I'm going wrong, and I own that. I just hope that by writing it out, I can come to some sort of solution.
Ever since I went to the Pacific Northwest for my 10K in April, I have had the hardest time getting back into a good routine. I was doing SO well before that trip! The weight maintenance almost seemed too easy, and I was just waiting for the catch. I dropped more weight, reaching an all-time low of 123, which I wasn't even trying to do. I was at a really good mental place with food, too--I wasn't thinking about food 24/7, I wasn't overeating, I was eating the foods I enjoyed. Physically, I felt like I was in the best shape of my life (and I probably was).


I crushed my goal for the 10K, and felt like I could do ANYTHING. It was awesome! Then, when I got home from my trip, I just couldn't seem to get back into that mental place I was in before my race. I'd lost my drive, my focus. It seems almost too "textbook": I was chasing down a big goal, and I absolutely killed it. Afterward, I felt an enormous sense of relief that it was over, but I had no real plan for what to do next. All of the headspace that was taken up by my race goal was suddenly empty again, and I wasn't sure how to fill it. It makes perfect sense why I'm struggling.

I wasn't expecting maintenance to be super easy, but I wish I had prepared better for what to do when it got hard. Returning home from my trip a few pounds heavier than I'd left was no big deal to me--I never intended to get my weight down that low in the first place, so I was okay with that. Seeing the number on the scale inching its way upward week after week since then, however, is a scary thing. I barely held on at my goal weight of 133 this week, and I'm happy it's not more; but, if I don't change something, I won't be surprised to see 140, 145, 150 again.

Today's "moving average weight" was up again:


My depression has made it hard to stay focused, too. I have to force myself to do things that the depression just makes me not want to do (running, cooking, taking care of the house, activities with the kids, etc.). I know if I don't fight against it, it will only get worse. I'm not going to sit back and watch all of my hard work go down the drain--I'm going to fight against this as hard as I can! My depression is always much more manageable when my eating is on target, even after just a couple of days.

Again, I'm not complaining for the sake of complaining, or trying to sound whiny--I'm just trying to write out my thoughts about all this as honestly as I can. This is the truth about my struggles right now, and I hope that they will be short-lived.

This week, I'm really going to focus on doing the healthiest things I can for ME. I felt much better about myself when I did my hair and make-up every day, but I'd stopped doing that--so I'm going to make it a point to do that again. I've written up a running schedule (not too specific, but enough to get me running 4-5 times a week) and I am going to follow that plan. I'm going to make healthy eating choices to make my body feel good. And I'm going to try to get some good quality sleep. I haven't been sleeping well at all lately, so I'll make it a point to go to bed earlier. When I eat well, I sleep better, so hopefully that will be the case.

There was something that really stood out to me when I read "How to Have Your Cake and Your Skinny Jeans Too" by Josie Spinardi, and I think it makes a lot of sense in this situation. Here is a quote from the book:
"Years ago, I stumbled across a study that completely changed the way I related to food (and challenges!). Sonja Stroop and her team found that people who did not emotionally eat did one thing differently than people who used food to cope with emotional distress. A single coping behavior made the difference between not using food--and using it. As if that weren't amazing enough, the people who did this one magical behavior enjoyed higher life satisfaction, attained more personal success, had more satisfying relationships and suffered from far fewer mental and physical illnesses. Whereas the people who lacked this specific skill frequently suffered from depression, anxiety, struggled with drugs, alcohol, gambling, anorexia, and bulimia. What's that million-dollar difference? 
When faced with a stressor, the "Shiny Happy People" (the non-food-users) engaged in task-oriented coping. They took direct action to resolve, mitigate, or eliminate stressors. They focused on solving. Conversely, the people who did use food engaged in emotion-oriented avoidant coping behaviors. These people were much more likely to think that they were unable to mitigate a stressor, and as a result, focused on soothing themselves--with food. Since they (often falsely) believed that they could not change the situation, they focused their efforts on minimizing the distress they experienced in response to the stressor--they tried to change their feelings."
In task-oriented coping, one alters the situation; whereas, in emotion-oriented coping, one alters the emotion (usually in an unhealthy way, such as compulsive overeating). Interesting, right? I've always been a pretty emotional person, so this makes a lot of sense to me. Based on that, I really ought to take some time to figure out what my stressors are and come up with a solution to resolve or eliminate them.

My therapist mentioned that I use something similar for coping when I make big goals to focus on, such as the 10K. She suggested that I may have been using goals like that as a way of avoiding thinking about stressors. By focusing on that goal, I wasn't resolving my stressors; I was just avoiding them. That's why she suggested that I don't make any big goals right now--I should just focus on the present. It's harder than I thought it would be! I constantly find myself wanting to set big goals to work on.

Writing all this out actually makes me feel a little better! As soon as I finish this post, I'm going to work on figuring out what my stressors are so I can resolve them. If nothing else, it will help me to be more aware when I'm eating emotionally. Right now, I just want to focus on one day at a time, making the healthiest choices I can. It's kind of amazing how a few days of eating well and exercise can completely alter my mood for the better. Yesterday, I had a great day--a really good run in the afternoon, my calories were in check all day, and then a walk at the State Park in the evening. I even slept pretty good last night!

75 comments:

  1. I always appreciate your honesty and vulnerability. One of my favorite authors Brene Brown does a lot of research on shame and she said the one thing shame hates is being brought out into the open, bringing it out and sharing it helps us overcome it. For some reason this post reminded me of her books. I would highly recommend them. Like you said I find it hard sometimes between depression and doing what I know I should, even when I know they will help me feel better, I grateful When I can find that umphh to get it done.

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    1. I checked her out on Amazon, and I'd love to read one of her books! Do you recommend a particular one to start with?

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    2. Watch her TED talk on vulnerability. And then I'd recommend Daring Greatly.

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    3. I am reading Daring Greatly by her. I would recommend that one!

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    4. I am reading Daring Greatly by her. I would recommend that one!

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    5. Definitely watch her Ted talk but I would start with The Gifts of Imperfection. Daring Greatly is her most recent one and it's so good, but I think it's helpful to follow the progression of her work.

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    6. I watched the TED talks, and I requested the books at the library. They sound like they are perfect for me!

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  2. Thank you, thank you, and thank you. Your honesty is appreciated and respected! I have also read Brene Brown and she is very insightful. You have a support system. Although we appear to be only names on a page, please remember we are individuals who support you. Keep up the good work!!!

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    1. I ALWAYS appreciate the support--and I've formed many great friendships with people who started out as "names on a page" :) Thank you!

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  3. Great post. I know at times I'm totally focused and not tempted. But have been on a sixth month slump. This gives me some things to think about. Thank you.

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    1. It's odd how sometimes it feels so easy to stay focused, and other times it feels damn near impossible!

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  4. Thank you for your post Katie! I certainly won't judge you because you're not perfect, and I wish you didn't feel shame. I very much relate to your struggles, as my path has been quite similar to yours recently. I started losing weight by counting calories and following a running schedule in Fall 2015. It went super smoothly, and I lost weight faster than I expected to. I reached my goal in January 2016, then kept losing after that and settled 3 pounds below my goal weight for a while. I felt good about food, I allowed myself treats, it seemed like I finally done it (I reached goal twice before, in 2012 and 2014, and regained both times because of my binge eating disorder).

    Over the past few months though, maintenance has proven increasingly difficult. I fight tooth and nail to maintain. Currently I am about two pounds over goal, but my weight has been all over the place: I binge, gain a lot, then try to lose it, binge again, etc. From the outside I might appear to do a decent job at maintaining, but there is such a fight going on.

    I understand your struggle with overeating and using food to cope. Still, your binge-free streak is fantastic and you should really be proud of that. Depression is really a monster to co-exist with and you're doing your best.

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    1. I can't tell you how much I appreciate your sharing your struggles as well! Breaking that binge/gain/restrict/lose cycle is so challenging, isn't it? Staying binge free is getting harder and harder, but having such a long streak is the only thing keeping me from totally throwing in towel on some days. Still, I've been overeating and eating for reasons other than hunger, which is making my weight climb. It's so frustrating, because we KNOW what we need to do and how to do it--it just feels so difficult to actually do it!

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  5. Yes, I agree - it is hard, hard, hard. I think the older I get the easier it gets. Its crazy, but the less I obsess about the scale the better. The less I eat the better (I don't think too much about food - again cause I'm older and wiser now :) I think the older you get the more forgiveness you give yourself. Honestly, just wait 6-7 years...you won't obsess as much as you do now. I was in your shoes 7 years ago (the cycle of up and down!). So... I can say I haven't binged in about a year now! Also major thanks to Kathryn Hansen as well! And this is from a hard core binge eater too!

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    1. Thank you for that! You give me hope that I won't feel like this forever ;) I know that I'm going to have to be conscious of my food choices forever, but I wish it would just start to feel more natural to me. It felt that way early this year, and I loved it! But once I was thrown off track, I haven't gotten back to that mental place.

      A huge congrats to you on the binge-free streak! If you have any tips to share that helped you to get where you are now, please do--either here or in an email. I love hearing from people who have done what I'm trying to!

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  6. Try to think of the struggle as evidence of your continual effort to overcome your problems, rather than evidence of your failure. Conquering huge issues is never easy, but keeping at it is the key. Your struggles are proof you are continuing to fight. And that is to be admired and will be how you continue to make progress.

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    1. Thank you Jeff! That is a really good way to think about it--I always tend to see the struggles as evidence of failure, which makes me feel terrible about myself. But just switching my mindset in the way you suggested makes a lot of sense!

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  7. Thank you for the post! It is nice to hear the good and the bad. I think that when you focus on a big goal, you are kind of dealing with a "stressor", depression. So I think there is a little conflict between what your therapist said and the excerpt from the book. My impression is that you are being task oriented when you focus on big goals.

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    1. That's exactly what I said to my therapist! I always thought setting goals was a good thing, and was great for helping me stay on track. But each time I've worked on big goals, I do feel that "let down" when it's over, and I get into a rut that's hard to get out of. She suggested that I don't set any big goals this summer, and I just work on one day at a time. It's so much harder than I thought!

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    2. Sherri! You said this so much more succinctly - I was thinking the same thing!

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  8. its not a race....there is no finish line....you will have numerous, multiple, continuous, struggles.....this isnt something you are doing....its your life :) the fact that you realize that and are addressing them is the reason you will be successful at maintenance!

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    1. Thank you Colleen! It would be so much easier if there WAS a finish line ;) But you're right, this is my life now. And each time I struggle, I learn from it.

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  9. I also thought of Brene Brown when I read this post! Her books are great (but NOT "light" reading - you WILL cry). I also really appreciate your honesty. I'm reading a book now called "How to Change Anything" and I find it really useful.

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    1. I had never heard of Brene Brown--I'm definitely going to check out one of her books!

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  10. Thank you for sharing, Katie. Your posts help me so much. Have a great week!

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    1. Thank you! I'm glad you find them helpful. And you have a great week as well!

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  11. You're not whining or complaining, it's your reality right now, and just part of life that sometimes things are going well and other times they aren't. And sometimes talking it out (writing) helps. You have a big group of people out here in cyber land that support you, and don't expect to just hear all "wonderful, pie in the sky, life is great" kind of posts.

    I am not at the maintenance point yet, but still I am at my lowest weight in a long time, probably thirty years. I have had similar thoughts about my weight creeping up over the summer, especially a couple weeks ago when we went away for the weekend and I came back up four pounds. It was a real mental struggle to get back to my normal eating, but I did it, and within a week I was back down to within a pound of my pre-weekend weight. It really made me feel better and gave me confidence that I could go through the summer and at least maintain where I am, even though I still have 9 more pounds to go. You can do it too! Remember you are still at your goal weight! You don't really need to lose anything, just get back to your normal routine of calorie counting. Maybe go back and read a few of your posts when you were getting into the calorie counting, just to refresh your thoughts about your mindset back then? You got this!!

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    1. Thank you for the support, as always, Jessica! I really appreciate it. That is fantastic you were able to get right back to a good routine after your trip! I love it when I get in a groove where I feel like I could stay on track forever--I just wish the groove would last much longer ;) Best wishes this summer as you maintain/work on those last nine pounds!

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  12. I'm so sorry to hear that you're struggling this much. I'm confident you will overcome!

    I do have a question though.. I noticed that you started to struggle once you implemented the "no goals" perspective on the advice of your therapist. My question is why she felt you needed to stop that habit when it was working for you? It certainly wasn't an unhealthy coping mechanism... And humans are creatures of habit and routine, so it seemed odd to me that she advised you to give up a comforting healthy routine. I'm not a therapist obviously, but I've been wanting to ask about this since I noticed you were having a much harder time. I hope things get much better for you soon!!

    Allison

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    1. I was confused when my therapist mentioned it, too--I always thought goal setting was a great thing! But she was right in the fact that I always do great with weight loss and maintenance when I'm working on a tough goal, and then I have a very tough time once I reach that goal. She suggested that I learn to deal with life itself while I'm just being me, and not hyper focused on a particular goal. Last year, for instance, when I was injured--I couldn't meet any of my running goals, and it took a big toll on me. My therapist doesn't think that goal setting is a bad thing, but the way that I use it isn't always a good thing. There is more to the situation, but I don't feel comfortable sharing that here. Hopefully this makes sense! :)

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  13. Thank you SO much for sharing your struggles! It makes me feel less alone. I think your approach for tackling your stressors is interesting. I often make goals too, thinking that is the ticket to solving the issue...but maybe I need a different approach. And I noticed in some of the other comments the mention of Brene Brown and YES she is wonderful. I read "The Gifts of Imperfection" and loved it! I also took one of her online courses that my counselor recommended via Oprah's website (http://www.oprah.com/app/brene-brown-on-demand.html). It's kind of an art therapy course. I loved that too (and yes, I did cry!).

    Thank you again, Katie for sharing your journey through weight loss and life. You give me hope that I can lose this last pesky 36 pounds! It is possible! One day I'd love to meet up for coffee! I'm a Michigander myself. :)

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    1. Meeting up for coffee would be great! I would love to. Feel free to send me an email and we can set something up.

      I love setting goals, so NOT having a big goal to focus on right now feels so strange to me. But in a way, maintenance itself IS the big goal--it's just so difficult! ;)

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  14. I LOVE honesty and openness on this subject! I, too, feel like I will always struggle, but I have told myself now at this point in my life, I can never give up working on it. I've been blogging a LOT in the past week trying to get back on track after a LONG plateau, and make some meaningful progress again! My most recent post talks about what I accomplished in the past week and what my next goals are (and really breaking things down to ones that should be very easy to get done). Sometimes I really get mired down in the big picture and looking at how far I still have to go, and that can be really discouraging. I try to focus on the now, today, and what I can do to make myself feel better. Some days are obviously more successful than others, but I ride the wave! (Hope you don't mind the link – but check it out and see if it resonates with you at all! http://notafraidofstripes.blogspot.com/2016/06/whats-next.html)

    You really inspire me! Hang in there. You got this. I KNOW you do.

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    1. I get overwhelmed looking at the big picture, too--knowing that this will be forever, and I can never go back to old unhealthy habits (things that comforted me, like binge eating) is hard to imagine. Focusing on the here and now has always been difficult for me, but that's what's I've been working on lately. It does help me to feel less overwhelmed, though!

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    2. Yep, I really think it is key. I know that writing about the struggle always helps, even if it does sound like a lot of whining at times. It's when you don't care enough to think about it or reach out that you have to worry. :)

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  15. I always appreciate and respect your honesty with your readers! It makes us all realize that we are not alone. I'm in a similar boat as you with the settings goal. I set a huge goal in May for my half marathon and accomplished that goal! I ran so much from January until May, hitting all my training runs that after the race, I felt so lost. Like, now what? Honestly, since May 14, I probably have only run maybe 4 or 5 times. I fear that I'm losing everything I worked so hard to build up but the desire is just not there! And then the fear of gaining a bunch of weight creeps in because I'm just not working out enough.

    On the plus side though, recently your summer running checklist has definitely helped a little! It's fun to think of different way to check off the items, even if I'm only doing 2 or 3 miles at a time. I hope to build that mileage back up for the fall! Thanks as always Katie for inspiring and helping others realize you're never alone!

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    1. I felt that same way after I ran the Chicago Marathon, too--I had done Hansons Marathon Method, which was 200+ miles per month(!) and after the race, I think I was just totally burnt out on running. It took me a LONG time to get my mojo back! I'm enjoying the shorter distances now. Yesterday, I ran a 2.25 mile run, which is very short for me--but I figured it was better than nothing!

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  16. I think the issue with maintenance is that it really is boring. When losing, you have goals and milestones, etc. Maintenance is just the rest of your life. It might help if you found goals or a focus outside of the weight loss world. A part time job would be a great thing to add something different in.

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    1. Love your wisdom and I think you nailed it. Wish AIM could do another round of posts. :)

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    2. So true! Maintenance is much more boring than losing weight. I used to look forward to my Wednesday Weigh-ins, because it was exciting to see the scale moving downward. Cross country is going to be starting soon, and I'm coaching again--that helped me a lot to think about something other than weight loss!

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  17. This post really resonated with me. I got a stress fracture during my last half marathon and needed to take a few months off... now that I'm recovered, I just can't seem to get back into running. So most of my posts on my own blog have sounded "negative and whiny" :) Over the last two days, however, I've felt great... because I've been highly productive and task-oriented! Had no idea that may be the reason I'm feeling better this week. Will keep the momentum going!

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    1. Sorry about your stress fracture--I know very well how frustrating that can be! Glad you're feeling better right now!

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  18. Thank you for being so candid & sharing your struggles with us! I know you don't think you have any "big goals" right now but it seems like your big goal right now is dealing with what you are going through and to me is seems like you are right on track with working to identify "target areas" to be successful. I think it's just hard to think of this as a goal since it's very difficult to set tangible goals on things that aren't "activities". I always enjoy your photographs on your site - have you thought about incorporating photography as part of your plan? Maybe 1 inspirational photo a day or something. I hope things start to get easier for you but just know that we're all rooting for you!

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    1. You're right--it's very hard to recognize goals that have no tangible results or milestones. I've been doing some journaling (in an actual notebook--something I haven't done in years!) and it has been helpful in recognizing what's going on. I'm not a photographer by a long shot--I just use my cell phone for pictures ;)

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  19. Sometimes you write something and I am so completely flabbergasted at how closely it resonates with my own feelings. This was an extremely helpful post, and I have some serious contemplating to do. I have not accomplished what you have yet, I still have all my weight to lose, but the emotions are so similar, and I also suffer depression and anxiety (the exclusive club nobody really wants to join). I truly appreciating that you share your journey - it definitely helps me with mine.

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    1. I'm so glad you found it helpful! It's interesting how writing out my thoughts sometimes can really help me as well. Best wishes on your own journey--it's a tough one! ;)

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  20. I get that maintenance is hard and that you are struggling right now. I can completely relate to that. However, I don't totally understand why you are beating yourself up when your moving average weight is still below your goal.

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    1. It's not necessarily about the weight--I'm happy that I am at my goal weight! It's the fact that I feel out of control and that my weight has continuously gone up over the past few months. If I don't change something, it will continue to increase. I don't think that I'm "beating myself up"--I'm just having a really hard time emotionally right now, and I'm writing out my thoughts.

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  21. I love your honesty and I'm glad you share the downs as well as the ups. Reading the comments has been enlightening and encouraging as well.

    I really like what Lori said just this morning, because I also struggle when there is no goal/project (even in non-weight related life). *light bulb* maybe because every day seems "boring", and so I completely understand why your therapist is encouraging you to embrace the every day.

    I also have been going through a time of dealing with some stressors that I think I've tried to push down or cover up with activity ... Or tears. :/ I'm learning it's life and one layer at a time we can improve.

    Hang in there. I'm also cheering you on. ((Hug)) :-)

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    1. Thank you, Leah! I agree--the everyday parts of life seem boring when I'm not working on a big goal or project. I'm trying to learn to embrace being content with those times in life that I don't have anything major going on. I'm sorry you've been going through a tough time as well!

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  22. Oh Katie, you're not a whiner, you might be a 'winer,' but never a whiner! We all identify with your struggles, as evidenced by your huge blog readership (is that even a word?), and by all the supportive and helpful comments every day. I don't have any advice to offer. Just support. I know once I lose that focus, I have a devil of a time finding it again. I also am wondering about the therapist's idea to NOT have any goals for a while. You are a very goal-oriented person, and perhaps you need that in your life to keep that focus in other areas (like eating)? I'm obviously not a therapist and I hesitate to even offer suggestions to someone like you who has accomplished so much and continues to inspire and motivate me and so many others. Hang in there, perhaps if you can identify those stressors you can find that focus again.

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    1. Thank you Pam! I know you've been through the ups and downs, too--it's so frustrating, isn't it? I understand my therapist's point about figuring out how to maintain without having a big goal in front of me, but maybe this will just end up being a learning experience--maybe I really do have to have goals all the time!

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  23. Kudos to you for facing it...now that it's out there you can work on your plans and move forward!

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    1. I swear, the hardest part is just admitting it and facing it!

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  24. Thank you so much for this post, Katie! I have been right there with you for the past few months. I had been doing really well losing for several months straight, and then we went on a cruise (where I didn't have wifi to track my steps or food), and then when we got back I was changing jobs, and now we're moving, and blah, blah, blah (I have a ton of excuses I can and have been using. :-) ) But, I realized that the only one I'm hurting with my excuses is myself, so I started tracking again this week, and it's slowly getting easier to keep it up. Thanks as always for your strong, introspective post, and I just wanted to let you know that you aren't alone, and sometimes your posts are the exact kick-in-the-pants we need to get us/keep us going too. Take care of yourself, and thanks for sharing your all of your journey (the ups and the downs) with us. Hugs!

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    1. Yes! The only ones we're hurting are ourselves with the excuses. I really need to keep that in mind. I always tell myself, "Oh, just one more ____ isn't going to make a big difference!" but it adds up. No more excuses!

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  25. Great post---I'm pretty much in the same place you are, and feel everything that you're saying. I just wrote my post about it all on Monday :D Writing everything out like this was a big step! Bringing it out into the light goes a long way in removing the shame factor. I'm cheering for you!

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    1. I agree, the shame is much less prevalent after bringing it into the open! It's so hard to write about, but I felt much better after doing so.

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  26. I'm curious to know if you lift weights at all. I know this doesn't help with the deeper problem, but I always feel so confident after lifting. It's a struggle to get my butt to the gym each time, but I seem to walk around proud as a peacock the rest of the day. It's an inner strength I feel and completely changes my mood.

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    1. I don't... I know that I *should*, but I just don't have any desire to. I do enjoy the fitness games on the Wii U, so maybe I'll start doing those again once in a while. They kick my ass!

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  27. Thanks for sharing your struggles along with your successes! We are here for support - but you also help me to learn/realize things about myself along the way. I get a lot of great ideas from you, and from other readers! I just went on Amazon and ordered two of Brene Brown's books - I've seen her on Ted talks, and it was very interesting!
    Sending positive vibes to help you through your struggles!

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    1. Thank you Jen! I learn a lot from readers as well--I had never heard of Brene Brown, but I requested her books at the library. And the TED talks were great!

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  28. Hi, Katie
    One thing that occurs to me regarding the non-food users "engaged in task-oriented coping. They took direct action to resolve, mitigate, or eliminate stressors. They focused on solving." Sometimes if your stressor is outside of your control and you can't resolve or eliminate it, I think you have done a fantastic job of finding a healthy big goal to focus on as a non-food alternative and as an outlet for releasing the stress and feeling a sense of accomplishment on something you CAN control! Great food for thought (poor word choice :)) “engage in task-oriented coping, take direct action to focus on resolving, mitigate, or eliminate stressors”, but equally important to have a task-oriented GOAL!! to focus on when some of our stressors are not really in our control. Thank you so much for your post - you really help so many of us navigate the realities of maintenance!! (PS – I’m in the 4th week of the 12 week RFC “Best 5K Training Plan”. I love it, and THANK YOU! For the first time today, I ran a full mile without walking at a 12 minute mile pace. I never thought I would work up to that!! And relatively quickly. I love having permission in the training plan for so many “easy” days interspersed with speed work to really see improvement! )
    I was also the winner of the case of dog treats 6 months ago and we don’t have a dog – the neighbor’s black lab now LOVES me! Your focus and generosity with your readers with your time, gifts, goals and ideas is another great non-food focus that helps all of us with our various stressors!
    Hugs, June D.

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    1. Thanks for the input, June! Yes, there are definitely a few stressors that I really just can't do anything about. So I'm not sure what to do in that kind of situation. It's been difficult not having any particular goals right now (other than maintenance).
      Thanks for the feedback on the training plan as well! I would love to know your thoughts on it when you're done, too. I agree, it's so nice to have easy days--I look forward to running so much more now than before, when I was running too fast all the time. I even (somewhat) enjoy my speed work now ;) Please let me know how your 5K goes!

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  29. I wouldn't love your blog so much if you weren't honest and real, Katie. We all have plenty of options to try quick fixes and read about "perfect" weight loss and exercise routines...but we choose you because not only do you live the life we do as regular people, but you inspire and encourage us to keep trying, too.

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    1. Thank you! It's hard to post the "real" stuff sometimes, but it really is therapeutic for me.

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  30. Hi Katie--I used to follow your blog religiously then for some reason I can't remember now, I stopped. I too had started running after losing a lot of weight and I was signed up to run a 1/2 marathon for my 40th birthday. A couple of months before that race, I found out I was pregnant with my miracle baby, the one I never thought I would have so I didn't complete training because my pregnancy was high-risk and I didn't run my race but I did have an incredibly healthy pregnancy and only gained 22 lbs. However, 2 years later I haven't lost any pregnancy weight plus I've gained about 20 more. I dealt with a lot of depression and anxiety after my son was born and it just feels so defeating to see that number on the scale. Reading through your blog posts the last couple of days has made me feel less alone and realize this is something a lot of people struggle with. I love how honest you are and I appreciate you being brave enough to allow us into this part of your life. Thank you so much!

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    1. Congrats on having a healthy "miracle baby"! I can certainly empathize with the pregnancy weight and feeling defeated to see the number climb on the scale. Depression and anxiety make it so hard to lose the weight in the first place, but then the extra weight causes the depression and anxiety to be worse. It's such a bad cycle! I'm glad you found my posts helpful the last couple of days :)

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  31. Katie-- you should never feel embarrassed or shameful regarding your struggles. It is soo normal! Everyone experiences those same feelings and I think you need to remember that you are only human. You are doing an amazing job! You should give yourself more credit and realize how far you've come. We all go through different phases of life, through ups and downs. It's okay. You are beautiful and doing an amazing job! Don't be so hard on yourself :)

    Some books that have helped me through depression and shame-- Feeling Good by David Burns and any book by Brene Brown (watch her Ted Talks- she's awesome) Anyways, Hang in there!

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    1. It's funny--I know that other people experience the same things I do, but because I'm not reading about their experiences (as others read about mine), I feel so alone sometimes. Thank you for reminding me that I'm not :)

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  32. This post came at the perfect time for me. I've been struggling with my binge eating and depression for the past few months. After losing 150 pounds, I have gained back 17 pounds after several binge eating episodes recently. The weight has come on so quickly I feel like I am spiraling. I haven't wanted to talk to my DR because I felt like if I said the words then it would be true and I would be a failure, but I need help. Reading your blog and today's post specifically, gave me the courage to call and make an appointment today with my DR to finally reach out for help for my depression and binge eating disorder. Thank you again for being so honest and candid. You make me, and I'm sure countless others feel less alone. Your courage is greatly appreciated. It helped me to find mine.

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    1. Isn't it scary how quickly the weight can come back on? You spend SO much time and effort to lose each pound, but literally one weekend of poor eating choices can set us back a month's worth of progress. I'm so glad that you decided to reach out to your doctor. And just so we're clear, you are CERTAINLY not a failure! You lost 150 pounds--that is AMAZING. xo

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  33. In my opinion, these are your best post… The ones you don't want to make, but do. I learned a lot from you, especially when you open up and show your vulnerability. Thank you so much for sharing.

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  34. I always appreciate your honesty. Always remember that you are not alone. Ever. I am struggling too but reading your posts always helps me. Thank you for sharing this because i really needed to see this.

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I'd love to hear from you! I read all of my comments, and if you have a question, I do my best to respond; sometimes, however, I get busy and forget to go back to reply, so if it's important, just email me! :)