Forever and Ever?

Forever and ever. Have you ever said that about a new diet or weight loss method you are using?

Finally. Finally it seems like you have found something that is working for you. And you think, “I will eat this way forever.” Or, “I will eliminate that food group from my diet forever.” Or, “If this is what it takes, I will keep coming to these meetings for the rest of my life.” Or, “this exercise method is the key to my new thinner self. I will do this for the rest of my life.”

I have. When I started Weight Watchers nine years ago, and it looked like it was actually going to “take,” I remember thinking (and even saying out loud) that I would continue coming to the meetings for the rest of my life. I thought of it as being like an alcoholic who needs to keep going to AA meetings to stay on the straight and narrow.

Only I didn’t. Me and W.W. parted ways  after a couple of years. I like to call it an amicable divorce.

Between W.W. and the Me Diet, there have been a lot of twists and turns in the weight loss and weight maintenance journey. I completely changed the foods I ate and how much I ate and how often I ate several times. I like to think that most of the changes I made were for the better.

Last November, when I started the “me diet,” I understood that “forever and ever” could not be depended on. I was pretty sure I could not keep drinking shakes for the rest of my life. So what was I going to do? I thought about this ALL THE TIME.

During the past year I have come up with a few alternative low-cal higher-protein meal/snacks that I can substitute for the shakes. And, surprisingly, I have come to enjoy my shakes (smoothies.) Thanks to my friends, Lori and Cammy, I have a very nice repertoire of low-calorie, high-protein smoothies.

I have no doubt that as time goes on, I will continue to make changes in my food choices and portions.

And exercise! Now that was one of the first things I read as I started to lose weight–how our bodies are highly adaptable, and would get used to one kind of exercise and become very efficient at that. And so it was a good idea to occasionally change the type of exercise you did, especially if your goal was weight loss.

The main point, I guess, is to know that the human body is very complex and is not static. It   changes, and its needs change. To navigate weight loss and maintenance successfully, I think you have to agree to this and at least be willing to consider change along the way.

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18 thoughts on “Forever and Ever?

  1. I agree with you. I am going to weight watchers and have lost about half of the weight I want to remove from my body. I couldn’t seem to punch past this plateau, and have switched to the “simply filling” where I don’t have to track points. It seems to be working for me.

    • When I did W.W. I couldn’t quite make myself do the “core” program. I liked too many artificial things. But now I think I’d do pretty well with the simply filling. Although sometimes its hard for me to stop eating when I’m simply filled LOL.

  2. Thank you for sharing, Debby. I understand what you mean about “forever and ever.” I, for one, also need a change once in a while. I also looked at your “me diet.” It makes a lot of sense, in the way it satisfies the needs of YOUR body. Bravo to you for doing it your way, because in the end (or the begging and middle) that’s the most important thing.

  3. It’s like you were inside my head…YES, when something finally works, I also think “I can do this forever if this is what it takes” – but maybe the reason I have never done something forever is that it stops working 100%? You nailed it with saying that the body isn’t static and needs to change; it’s up to us to recognize that and adapt when the time comes.

    And? Sometimes you do something long enough that you don’t need all the support you did in the beginning, and it’s OK to adapt/make changes, as long as they continue to be healthy ones.

    • Yes, and sometimes it might just be a mental change. I don’t know for sure if my “body” decided it didn’t want oatmeal or if my “mind” was tired of it, but for over a year I just haven’t wanted oatmeal any more. I like baked oatmeal, so I think it is a mind thing. Anyway, that’s why I didn’t write about this. Its hard to explain. But there’s a mental component there too. Of course, I guess the mind is a part of the body… oh, never mind…

  4. This is why I hate that question I always get asked about how I know “this is the final time”. Because I don’t know that. I hope it is, but life changes and how I eat changes and what I do changes. It’s not static. Not to mention the boredom part.

    • I almost quoted you on that (saying you don’t know) because every time you say that I find it terrifying, but also comforting at the same time. I guess that’s because its the truth. The truth that very few people want to hear.

      What is this boredom part that you speak of? I think you should write a post on that : )

  5. Great post and comments.

    I do think we need to make adjustments as we go along. Tastes may change. For we women it may be hormones, and energy levels alter. Maybe a fod we have loved becomes Ho-Hum.

    I am still learning, tweaking and becoming, hopefully, not so much of a know-all, smarty as I find that what worked without any thought 18 months ago no longer does the trick. Eliminating wheat made a profound difference but I’ve been on what feels like a plateau for 12 months. Maybe it’s time to forget about losing more weight and be satisfied that I’m healthy 🙂

    Thanks for putting into words things I often think about.

    Blessings

  6. Excellent point. I lost a lot of weight on WW at one point in my life but eventually “divorced” it and did my own thing. Even then, “my own thing” has changed and evolved over time and will continue to do so. 🙂

  7. I think it’s important that you keep changing things like food. No one can eat/drink the same thing over and over again for the rest of his/her life. I certainly know I don’t. Tomorrow I will know if I’m gluten intolerant. If I am there’s one thing I know: the diet I have to follow for that is forever. But you know what, it’s not a burden, it’s a challenge. There are worst things that can happen.

    I think the key to your success is your flexibility to change things if you need to.

    • You are exactly right Fran! There are certain medical conditions that require that we change our diets forever! Diabetes would be another example. Thanks for pointing that out.

  8. For ever and ever. Ain’t it the truth. 1972. 1977. 1983. And so on. I LOVED Weight Watchers, even in 1972 when we had to eat liver and diet 7up was about the only aid we had.It was just so commonsencical. I went the last time about 15 years ago. The whole program seemed to be made up of tricks, like the people who made it to meetings were a bunch of dumb sheep who would never know how to manage a nutritious life style. I know it works still, I have several friends who prove it, but it was beyond me.

    But I did think, for ever and ever, every time. But I also remember thinking members who visited that had been at goal for years were some kind of mutant aliens 🙂 Merciful Journey~ thanks for sharing.

  9. I’ve changed up my diet more in weight maintenance than I ever did in overweight land or weight loss by any method. Life changes and changing up your diet/exercise to match your health goals is key to long term maintenance. Good for you for changing things up to match the ups and downs.

  10. I use radiantrecovery.com. And it is my forever food plan because it reaches the issues that I have with food. I’ve been doing this since the late 90’s and am very happy with this plan!

  11. i worked on losing a lot of weight through last year. I am now working on the hardest part, maintenance. I think it is a mental decision you make. I finally heard the message, calories in = calories out. it was simple but somehow I managed to not listen for 40 years. I am listening now and hope to stay conscious. No matter what you do, what plan you try, change is always hard but necessary for growth. Good for you for listening early.

  12. I am on WW right now and have been for 7 months. I am a returneeeeeeee! I think their last year program was the best ever. I love tracking online! So easy and so much fun.

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