Are You Battle-Weary?

There’s a phenomenon I’ve noticed that happens with many who struggle with losing weight. It’s a form of “Battle Fatigue.” People who have made several attempts to lose weight – especially formal ones, where they have paid for a specific diet program – often experience this. If they have tried many different ways, and have had limited success (i.e. they lost the weight but gained it – and sometimes more – back), then they tend to become less-and-less likely to want to try something new.

It’s as if each failed attempt drives home the idea that I am incapable of losing weight. I might even find myself saying things to myself like “I’m a loser,” or “I’m weak-willed.” I mean, why can’t I seem to stick to this thing?

I came across a posting at a website called “3 Fat Chicks on a Diet!” that I liked (but I think I’d prefer a different name for the page: that word “Fat” can be a shaming word and I don’t personally care for it). In it the person describes exactly the phenomenon I’m talking about. Here’s what she has to say. It’s titled “I am feeling weary…”:

“But, I know I must push on towards health.

I guess I woke up having a ‘pity party’. I feel weary of facing foods that are hard to resist, trying to do what it takes to be healthy (food, exercise, etc), measuring, thinking about what I can and can’t eat, staying away from trigger foods and all the rest.

I am 57 years young and have been fighting this battle for 50 years. Sometimes I feel weary of trying to make it happen. I am proud that I recovered from bulimia (33 years ago since). I even did that on my own – heck people didn’t even talk about in the sixties. But, I still can’t seem to get that food thing right in my head.

Yesterday was a healthy day until the evening. I had a gathering at my house. I put out a huge bowl of strawberries. My friend brought things including brownies. I resisted the brownies – but, it was all that I could think about all evening – the brownies. I ate my strawberries and resisted the brownies. But, I was so, so stressed out from NOT eating the brownies that I overate when she left. It was like a was shaking – waiting for a food fix. Good grief.

To you young people. NOW is your time – you don’t want to be my age and still wondering how to make it happen.

Yes, I’ve had patches of food sanity, lost many pounds recently – but, gained some of it back (although my ticker is accurate) when I injured my foot, got sick with anemia, and DH was laid off.

I will push on and keep trying. But, sometimes I feel weary of it all.”
You can find this article at http://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/100-lb-club/182523-i-am-feeling-weary.html.

The post was made in September of 2009. That was at a time when I was personally in a struggle with my food, although you wouldn’t have known it to look at me. I was muscular and fit-looking, but the way I was eating was driving me nuts. I had lost my weight back in 2003, but since that time had been experiencing minor fluctuations in my weight because I would overeat on foods that weren’t good for me, and I couldn’t figure out why I couldn’t stop.

I had read a book just 1 month prior to this posting by a lady named Kay Sheppard called “Food Addiction: The Body Knows.” In it she described a phenomenon where certain foods reacted – in the bodies of certain people – like alcohol reacts in the body of the alcoholic. That made sense to me. The way I ate looked a lot like the way I used to drink, and I’ve been sober now for almost 20 years, having had to admit that I was an alcoholic back in 1995.

I – just like the author of this posting – at that time was weary of fighting the battle. I had managed to keep the weight off for the most part, but what had been fluctuations in weight of 5 lbs was now starting to be 5, 10 and 15 lbs. On a 180 lb frame it’s not that noticeable, but it was a portent of worse things to come if I didn’t do something about it, I realized.

The point of today’s article is that the game of weight loss can become tiring if we find ourselves on the roller coaster of gaining and losing, gaining and losing, gaining and losing. The author of the book I referred to – Kay Sheppard – lost her mother to this phenomenon, and herself experienced it. They tried diet after diet after diet, all to no avail, and eventually Kay’s mother gave up. She told Kay that she was going to eat anything she wanted, consequences notwithstanding. She had grown too weary, and had simply given up. She died many years prematurely because of it.

Do you realize that being overweight will take 3 years off your life? Being clinically obese can take as much as 5 years off your life, and morbid obesity will take 10 years off your life, the same as a chronic smoker? The price for being overweight is high, and most of us know this, however many of us still find the solution elusive.

I’m writing this article because I want to address this phenomenon of weariness: it happens in the MIND. The mind is the thing that will secure – or sabotage – our weight loss. A diet is a physical solution to a problem of the mind, which is why THEY DON’T WORK LONG-TERM. See the Jan/Feb issue of Men’s Health, p. 105, for a reality check “…a study from UCLA…found that five years after a diet, you’ll be looking at a bigger number on the scales than you started with.” There are a ton more studies like it out there. The problem, I believe, is that diets don’t address the real problem, which exists in my mind.

The posting I quoted earlier outlines the problem. Let’s look again at one very important statement the poster made. I can identify with it: can you? “Yesterday was a healthy day until the evening. I had a gathering at my house. I put out a huge bowl of strawberries. My friend brought things including brownies. I resisted the brownies – BUT, IT WAS ALL THAT I COULD THINK ABOUT ALL EVENING, THE BROWNIES [emphasis mine]. I ate my strawberries and resisted the brownies. But, I was so, so stressed out from NOT eating the brownies that I overate when she left. It was like a was shaking – waiting for a food fix. Good grief.”

The problem was in her mind. It was a THINKING problem…literally, an obsession. An obsession is an idea that crowds out all other ideas to the contrary, and she was obsessing to the point where it ended up sabotaging her attempt to moderate her eating.

I struggled with this all of my life until I ultimately found a PERMANENT solution in 2009. I knew that I had to get to a place where I no longer battled in the mental arena. I no longer wanted to fight the weariness of trying yet another way of losing weight. I didn’t want to fight food any more, to have to mentally gear up and steel myself against having the next “fix”. I was battle-weary. I was done with it all.

I chose solution called abstinence, because I had to come to a place of acceptance that I was a food addict. This meant that certain foods acted in my body the same way crack acted in the body of a crack addict. To have just a little bit, once in a while, was a lie: I couldn’t do it. I always ended up eating too much. I learned that this was so because certain foods that I was eating were causing a literal craving inside my body…a craving that eventually DEMANDED more. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, and maybe not even next week, but eventually I went back and ate more food than I wanted to. It was because my MIND was sabotaging me to allow my body to get what it wanted.

So if you’re tired of the mental battle, I suggest you try the abstinence model to see if it works for you. Abstinence means eating no wheat products of any kind, no flours OF ANY KIND, and no processed sugars of any kind. As a start, I would refer to the food plan found in Kay Sheppard’s book “Food Addiction: The Body Knows” (not, incidentally, the one in her book “From the First Bite”), and start there. If you find it’s hard to do on your own, then I recommend you look up www.recoveryfromfoodaddiction.org, where you can find help and support.

To learn more about whether or not you’re a food addict, I recommend Kay’s book, and also Vera Tarman’s excellent work “Food Junkies” which came out just recently. See if you can find yourself in those pages, and if so, I recommend you follow the solution outlined.

You don’t have to continue on fighting the weariness. Victory can be yours, if you’re willing to do whatever it takes. Feel free to contact me for more free resources and ideas, if you find yourself still confused. I’m always here to help.
There’s a phenomenon I’ve noticed that happens with many who struggle with losing weight. It’s a form of “Battle Fatigue.” People who have made several attempts to lose weight – especially formal ones, where they have paid for a specific diet program – often experience this. If they have tried many different ways, and have had limited success (i.e. they lost the weight but gained it – and sometimes more – back), then they tend to become less-and-less likely to want to try something new.

It’s as if each failed attempt drives home the idea that I am incapable of losing weight. I might even find myself saying things to myself like “I’m a loser,” or “I’m weak-willed.” I mean, why can’t I seem to stick to this thing?

I came across a posting at a website called “3 Fat Chicks on a Diet!” that I liked (but I think I’d prefer a different name for the page: that word “Fat” can be a shaming word and I don’t personally care for it). In it the person describes exactly the phenomenon I’m talking about. Here’s what she has to say. It’s titled “I am feeling weary…”:

“But, I know I must push on towards health.

I guess I woke up having a ‘pity party’. I feel weary of facing foods that are hard to resist, trying to do what it takes to be healthy (food, exercise, etc), measuring, thinking about what I can and can’t eat, staying away from trigger foods and all the rest.

I am 57 years young and have been fighting this battle for 50 years. Sometimes I feel weary of trying to make it happen. I am proud that I recovered from bulimia (33 years ago since). I even did that on my own – heck people didn’t even talk about in the sixties. But, I still can’t seem to get that food thing right in my head.

Yesterday was a healthy day until the evening. I had a gathering at my house. I put out a huge bowl of strawberries. My friend brought things including brownies. I resisted the brownies – but, it was all that I could think about all evening – the brownies. I ate my strawberries and resisted the brownies. But, I was so, so stressed out from NOT eating the brownies that I overate when she left. It was like a was shaking – waiting for a food fix. Good grief.

To you young people. NOW is your time – you don’t want to be my age and still wondering how to make it happen.

Yes, I’ve had patches of food sanity, lost many pounds recently – but, gained some of it back (although my ticker is accurate) when I injured my foot, got sick with anemia, and DH was laid off.

I will push on and keep trying. But, sometimes I feel weary of it all.”
You can find this article at http://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/100-lb-club/182523-i-am-feeling-weary.html.

The post was made in September of 2009. That was at a time when I was personally in a struggle with my food, although you wouldn’t have known it to look at me. I was muscular and fit-looking, but the way I was eating was driving me nuts. I had lost my weight back in 2003, but since that time had been experiencing minor fluctuations in my weight because I would overeat on foods that weren’t good for me, and I couldn’t figure out why I couldn’t stop.

I had read a book just 1 month prior to this posting by a lady named Kay Sheppard called “Food Addiction: The Body Knows.” In it she described a phenomenon where certain foods reacted – in the bodies of certain people – like alcohol reacts in the body of the alcoholic. That made sense to me. The way I ate looked a lot like the way I used to drink, and I’ve been sober now for almost 20 years, having had to admit that I was an alcoholic back in 1995.

I – just like the author of this posting – at that time was weary of fighting the battle. I had managed to keep the weight off for the most part, but what had been fluctuations in weight of 5 lbs was now starting to be 5, 10 and 15 lbs. On a 180 lb frame it’s not that noticeable, but it was a portent of worse things to come if I didn’t do something about it, I realized.

The point of today’s article is that the game of weight loss can become tiring if we find ourselves on the roller coaster of gaining and losing, gaining and losing, gaining and losing. The author of the book I referred to – Kay Sheppard – lost her mother to this phenomenon, and herself experienced it. They tried diet after diet after diet, all to no avail, and eventually Kay’s mother gave up. She told Kay that she was going to eat anything she wanted, consequences notwithstanding. She had grown too weary, and had simply given up. She died many years prematurely because of it.

Do you realize that being overweight will take 3 years off your life? Being clinically obese can take as much as 5 years off your life, and morbid obesity will take 10 years off your life, the same as a chronic smoker? The price for being overweight is high, and most of us know this, however many of us still find the solution elusive.

I’m writing this article because I want to address this phenomenon of weariness: it happens in the MIND. The mind is the thing that will secure – or sabotage – our weight loss. A diet is a physical solution to a problem of the mind, which is why THEY DON’T WORK LONG-TERM. See the Jan/Feb issue of Men’s Health, p. 105, for a reality check “…a study from UCLA…found that five years after a diet, you’ll be looking at a bigger number on the scales than you started with.” There are a ton more studies like it out there. The problem, I believe, is that diets don’t address the real problem, which exists in my mind.

The posting I quoted earlier outlines the problem. Let’s look again at one very important statement the poster made. I can identify with it: can you? “Yesterday was a healthy day until the evening. I had a gathering at my house. I put out a huge bowl of strawberries. My friend brought things including brownies. I resisted the brownies – BUT, IT WAS ALL THAT I COULD THINK ABOUT ALL EVENING, THE BROWNIES [emphasis mine]. I ate my strawberries and resisted the brownies. But, I was so, so stressed out from NOT eating the brownies that I overate when she left. It was like a was shaking – waiting for a food fix. Good grief.”

The problem was in her mind. It was a THINKING problem…literally, an obsession. An obsession is an idea that crowds out all other ideas to the contrary, and she was obsessing to the point where it ended up sabotaging her attempt to moderate her eating.

I struggled with this all of my life until I ultimately found a PERMANENT solution in 2009. I knew that I had to get to a place where I no longer battled in the mental arena. I no longer wanted to fight the weariness of trying yet another way of losing weight. I didn’t want to fight food any more, to have to mentally gear up and steel myself against having the next “fix”. I was battle-weary. I was done with it all.

I chose solution called abstinence, because I had to come to a place of acceptance that I was a food addict. This meant that certain foods acted in my body the same way crack acted in the body of a crack addict. To have just a little bit, once in a while, was a lie: I couldn’t do it. I always ended up eating too much. I learned that this was so because certain foods that I was eating were causing a literal craving inside my body…a craving that eventually DEMANDED more. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, and maybe not even next week, but eventually I went back and ate more food than I wanted to. It was because my MIND was sabotaging me to allow my body to get what it wanted.

So if you’re tired of the mental battle, I suggest you try the abstinence model to see if it works for you. Abstinence means eating no wheat products of any kind, no flours OF ANY KIND, and no processed sugars of any kind. As a start, I would refer to the food plan found in Kay Sheppard’s book “Food Addiction: The Body Knows” (not, incidentally, the one in her book “From the First Bite”), and start there. If you find it’s hard to do on your own, then I recommend you look up www.recoveryfromfoodaddiction.org, where you can find help and support.

To learn more about whether or not you’re a food addict, I recommend Kay’s book, and also Vera Tarman’s excellent work “Food Junkies” which came out just recently. See if you can find yourself in those pages, and if so, I recommend you follow the solution outlined.

You don’t have to continue on fighting the weariness. Victory can be yours, if you’re willing to do whatever it takes. Feel free to contact me for more free resources and ideas, if you find yourself still confused. I’m always here to help.