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26 January 2014 @ 06:06 pm
Why do you want to loose weight?  
I tried a app last night that was supposed to help motivate you to loose weight by giving you challenges and reminders, but before you started you had to choose the reason for why you wanted to loose weight and all the reasons just filled me with anger about this society and it's superficial focus on outward appearances (things like "I want to be ready for swim suit season, or I want to impress people at my reunion). I want to loose weight because society has trained me to hate this body. I should just be happy being healthier and just move on from there.

In other news I finally found a reason to have a fitness tracker. An inactivity alarm to remind me that I've been sitting like a lump for too long.

In other other news my Zumba game makes me feel a lot better physically. I suck at doing the dance moves and I'm still not very high energy at it, but it does wonders for my back and neck, which is a huge, happy suprise.
Denebalphacygni on January 27th, 2014 12:26 am (UTC)
What are you using for the inactivity alarm? I'm interested in that but haven't found any.
Someone I am is waiting for my courageforgotten_aria on January 27th, 2014 12:30 am (UTC)
I've ordered a used Jawbone up which claims to do that. One of the nike fuelbands does it too, but they're much more expensive.
chenoamegchenoameg on January 27th, 2014 12:41 am (UTC)
An inactivity alarm to remind me that I've been sitting like a lump for too long.

This is why, if there's no one else in the house to freeze, I leave the daytime thermostat set to 62 or less. If I am cold I should go up and downstairs or clean something.
The Water Seekerplymouth on January 27th, 2014 12:48 am (UTC)
I decided to lose weight because I didn't fit into my wedding dress anymore. I payed a lot of money for it on the theory that I would be able to wear it for many years. It no longer fitting after 2 years was just not acceptable. It fits again, so, win!

But I could lose another 10 lb and it would still fit and then some of the other smaller clothes I've hung onto would fit too. Also I really think my face look better when I'm carrying less weight. And exercise is easier to do when I am carrying less weight so I tend to do more of it and stay more fit.
Denebalphacygni on January 27th, 2014 01:03 am (UTC)
Oh, and I want to lose weight for general health - having my knees and back feel better mostly. But, my big numeric motivator these days has been to get myself below the technical "obese" category, not because I think the BMI categories are terribly useful, but because every doctor's computer now pops up with "OBESE OBESE OBESE" whenever they see me, and I think it causes doctors to mostly ignore anything else. And this irritates me.

I have a basic fitbit, and it seems like between it and my phone (not to mention my pebble watch, all of which happily speak bluetooth), I feel like an inactivity alarm is obviously possible, I just haven't found one that's been written yet.

I liked the stretching reminder that MIT distributed back in the day that you could have on your PC. I would put it on my current work computer if I could (a) get it or (b) install anything on my work computer.
Shooting for the moonintuition_ist on January 27th, 2014 01:01 pm (UTC)
if you feel that your doctor is ignoring valid medical issues because you're not at a "medically ideal" weight, please try to find another doctor. i've been very persistent in this regard, and in general i stay with younger doctors, with good results.
This is a test of the Mugar Omnimax Theatre.dcltdw on January 27th, 2014 01:49 am (UTC)
I had a bunch of reasons that were not sufficiently motivating:

1. Vanity.
2. Better health.
3. Be able to run faster.

One got me to start vaguely trying, in that not-really-trying kind of way. Notable in that it was different from "not anywhere on my radar":

4. Longevity. "Sorry, honey, you're going to be a widow for 10 years because I was too lame to fix my health" did not sit well with me.

But let's be honest: what really motivated me was:

5. So I could do a broader range of cosplay.

That said, what continues to drive me, while it's all of the above, is primarily vanity. The others are nice benefits.


What made #5 work was that it was something I could foresee. Sure, looking better while running shirtless is one thing; sure, posting faster times because I'm lighter is nice; but knowing "May 2016, I want to be at average weight with much better upper body strength" is very, very specific. That, and I set checkpoints: be this weight by this race in 2-4 months. So I say it's all about vanity, but the specific targets help re-enforce the changed behaviors. It's almost never about the food, and almost always about the behavior.


I find "what do you want?" is only one-half of the Only Relevant Pair Of Questions. The other half is: "And what are you willing to give up for it?".
Someone I am is waiting for my courageforgotten_aria on January 27th, 2014 02:12 am (UTC)
First, more and more the research is finding that 4 has very little to do with weight, and more do with having healthy habits and how you carry your weight, so I don't think that's a good reason to ever loose weight since there are tons of ways to loose weight unhealthily.

I must say cosplaying was fun when I was a better weight. In general it is much more fun to be the social norm for "looking good"

Part of the problem is what I can give up. This is my nth round, so I'm already only drinking soda as a treat (once a month or so) and very little fast food. There are things I can give up, but I also have to fight with my mood and going without food, calorie counting and alike all make me quite cranky, which is why I'm trying to focus on getting more exercise. I should also eat more green veggies.

This is a test of the Mugar Omnimax Theatre.dcltdw on January 27th, 2014 02:38 am (UTC)
I found that exercise only indirectly helped me lose weight. The two big indirect things were that I wanted to eat better, and I had fewer episodes of emotional eating.

To me, "and what am I willing to do about it?" is very powerful, because it stops being about externally-imposed views ("you should be thinner", "you should be X", "you should eat this") to internally-motivated ("I'd rather be thinner than eat *these* french fries *right now*", which has no particular bearing, other than breaking habits, for any french fries I might eat tomorrow.

Then again, I find that "and what am i willing to do about it?" really casts the Harsh Light of Reality on the difference between what people wish for and what they're willing to work for. :)
Someone I am is waiting for my courageforgotten_aria on January 27th, 2014 02:44 am (UTC)
Well it might be a harsh light, but having been through this a few times, I can tell you it's not just the actions, but where you are in your life, your stresses, where you are starting from and just how you have to fit into the world.

When my knees gave out because I was 200lbs, I cut down to 1400 calories, I could calorie count with out driving myself batty and I had DDR to help me exercise. I think for me the exercise is what helps me eat correctly. There is something that happens when I exercise that makes it easier to eat less.

This time around I have no "will power" partly because I have fewer obvious things to give up (giving up soda and switching to tea was easy for me, but now I'm drinking tea and I don't have that low hanging fruit) and some of it I think is just where the rest of my life is. I have to stay cheerful and happy for the people at taiko and come with lots of energy. So it's not just "do I give up eating this" but "what will my mood be like if I give up eating this today?"
This is a test of the Mugar Omnimax Theatre.dcltdw on January 27th, 2014 06:03 pm (UTC)
Sure. Obviously, for 42 years, it hasn't been a priority for me, but it is now.

For me, the key hasn't been "give up eating X entirely", because that just makes me neurotic. Rather, it's "what can I substitute for this that I'll be happy with for the rest of my life?". Lots of times the initial answer is "I dunno, that's hard to figure out!", to which I then reply, "Well... is this really important, or not?"

It's okay if it's not, of course: there are times I eat whatever because I have more pressing demands. But recently, I've been more willing to do my homework and figure what will work, and then engage in trying.

Well. And the other half is accepting that, if I want to look a certain way, I just can't eat whatever the heck I want. Some people aren't okay with that decision, which I can certainly understand. And now I've come full circle to the "are you at that life stage" point you raised earlier.
Someone I am is waiting for my courageforgotten_aria on January 27th, 2014 08:04 pm (UTC)
I've been a few rounds on this, so I've already given up a lot of the easy stuff. There are certainly other things I can give up, but I'm completely frustrated by the fact that it gets harder, not easier, since my body, at least, loves to adapt to the new habits.

I gotta get back to prepackaged eating diet meals more regularly though. I think that often helps.

Edited at 2014-01-27 08:04 pm (UTC)
The Water Seekerplymouth on January 27th, 2014 09:53 pm (UTC)
My rule with the low-carb diet, which I have been doing for nearly 3 months now, is that I can make exceptions for 1) small amounts 2) of things I really like or 3) on special occasions. So far this is working and the more time I spend doing it the more it feels like something I could do for the rest of my life. Turns out that when I started asking myself the question "is this something you REALLY like?" I found out that a lot of things I put on the "no" list I just didn't care about that much; rice, potatoes, bread. I do still miss pastries but I've gotten so used to eating things with less sugar that I expect I'd find them too sweet now and not actually enjoy them. I had some of my previous favorite flavor of frozen yogurt recently and found that it was too sweet - I still enjoyed it but I would have enjoyed it more if I'd mixed it half and half with the tart-yogurt flavor (so I'll do that next time). It really surprised me how short a time it took for my sweet-tooth to adjust; it was really only about a week before coffee with 1/3-1/2 the sweetener I used to use tasted great. Also, I've been doing this long enough now that eating something carb-heavy makes me feel SO TIRED, like it never did before I went low-carb. So that has set up a negative-feedback loop that really makes me just not want to eat lots of carbs.
Cos: frff-profilecos on January 27th, 2014 02:35 am (UTC)
I once asked a girlfriend who was trying to lose weight why she wanted to, because I really didn't know. She didn't have any of the common body image problems as far as I knew, she wasn't concerned that her weight was affecting her health, etc. She explained it to me like this: Imagine the difference between driving around city streets, or parallel parking, in a compact car vs. a pickup. That's how she felt about her body: she wanted to be able to maneuver more adroitly, to have a clearer sense of what she'd physically contact or avoid as she walked, to fit through narrower spaces, etc.
Shooting for the moonintuition_ist on January 27th, 2014 01:04 pm (UTC)
that's interesting... certainly when i was larger, i felt "in the way" more, but that also had a huge mental component.
Someone I am is waiting for my courageforgotten_aria on January 27th, 2014 08:05 pm (UTC)
I almost always don't feel fat until the mirror reminds me or until I have to do something that is supposed to look "light on the feet" like a dance leap.
Princess Wonderbutt: capybarabluepapercup on January 27th, 2014 02:39 am (UTC)
I want to lose weight because I was happier with how my body looked when I was thinner, and I loved the way clothes fit me then. I am ridiculously healthy despite being overweight and my vital numbers are of someone you'd assume was much smaller. I want my outside to match my inside.

Edited at 2014-01-27 04:45 am (UTC)
blkblk on January 27th, 2014 02:49 am (UTC)
For me it's pretty much just that I move better and do things easier when I'm lighter. With running and rock climbing particularly, I can tell a huge difference in performance with just a few lbs different, so it's good motivation for me to watch myself, as I really enjoy doing those things.
champagne and formaldehydecoffeekitty on January 27th, 2014 03:32 am (UTC)
i am a big fan of exercise that decreases levels of pain. until i started doing yoga regularly, i hadn't even realised that i was in constant low-level pain. having all that discomfort that i didn't even realise was there evaporate was a completely addictive experience. so now i do power yoga 2-3 times a week even though really, i like having done it more than i enjoy it while i'm doing it. i also like being able to stand on my head, which is a thing i wouldn't ever have thought possible.
i'd LIKE to lose about twenty pounds, but that would leave me too weak to enjoy my life, so enh.
(Deleted comment)
Someone I am is waiting for my courageforgotten_aria on January 27th, 2014 03:43 am (UTC)
I have that, but it includes bone structure and race. Who I am in my head has very little to do with the body I'm in.
Shooting for the moonintuition_ist on January 27th, 2014 01:05 pm (UTC)
amen to that!
Jvisage on January 27th, 2014 01:48 pm (UTC)
Hmm. Last year, my appearance changed in three major ways:
* I started wearing glasses because by eyes stopped putting up with contacts
* I cut my long hair off because it had crossed a thinning/balding threshold
* I lost a bunch of weight, because I could.

The first two of those changes were away from my self-image, the last was towards it. Now I wonder if trying to balance out self-image changes wasn't a part of what was going on with the weight loss....
kelkyag: birch eyeskelkyag on January 27th, 2014 05:36 am (UTC)
I want to be able to do and/or more comfortable doing things I could do without worrying about them when I weighed less (and got more regular exercise). Thus far, I have not mustered the motivation or activation energy to want that more than I want tasty treats, but I am working on 'eat more vegetables' with moderate success and some resulting shift in my default eating patterns.

Edited at 2014-01-27 05:36 am (UTC)
Shooting for the moonintuition_ist on January 27th, 2014 01:17 pm (UTC)
now that i'm not OMG FAT (tm) i'm not really sure how much I *want* to lose weight.

i'm never going to be losing weight "to appear thin". no matter how much weight I lose, there's always going to be someone who looks at me and judges me as "too fat". just look at the ultra-thin, ultra-fit celebrities who take a beating in the media for showing even a small weight gain.

that being said, i've found that exercise really does help me take weight off, so any attempt pretty much has to have an exercise component, or it's doomed to failure.

that being said, if you're going to lose weight and keep it off (i'm at 7 years and counting, btw), it's really about changing your relationship with food -- what you have in the house, what you're willing to eat at restaurants, and how you use food to reward yourself, and how you feel when you look in the mirror in the morning. make that change, and the weight will come off. (it also helps to have lots of things to keep you busy so you don't obsess about food while trying to lose the weight.)

Edited at 2014-01-27 01:17 pm (UTC)