Losing Weight is Hard

September 10, 2008 · 26 comments

Creative Commons License photo credit: ladybugbkt

This was going to be my week.  Once again I’ve been slipping but I’ve been at least thinking about what I need to do to get back on track.  Monday was going to be a hard day for me, but I was prepared for it and I was looking forward to getting through Monday as a great start to what would be a good week, but it didn’t happen.  Instead I had a bad start to what has turned into a bad week.

So what happened?  At work on Monday we had a potluck “tailgating” party in celebration of that night’s Monday Night Football game between the Minnesota Vikings and Greenbay Packers, NFL teams which have a great rivalry that extends to the employees in our office.  I’ve known about this party for a couple of weeks, and had signed up to bring a shrimp dip and crackers.

Occasionally last weekend I was thinking about Monday and thought briefly about the need to have a good week and the challenge of the tailgating party. Then on Monday morning as I was driving to work I put a plan in place for how I was going to participate in the party (by bringing the shrimp dip) but not eat anything, because I know myself well enough to know that an open-table buffett, potluck eating smorgasbord is not good for me.  

I’ve got a 70 minute drive so I had a lot of time to walk through the various scenarios and steel myself against what I would be faced with.  I was ready with a banana for a snack and I was prepared to leave the office for lunch, even though free lunch was being offered.  I had even, in my mind, written a blog post where I congratulated myself on getting through the challenge.  I was all ready.

So I don’t know how I went from all of that planning, to having a nibble.  And then a plate.  And then another plate.  And then some dessserts.  This was all at 10:00am in the morning.  Then round two in the afternoon.  Another plate of food and another plate of desserts.  I literally ate myself sick.

It is so frustrating, there is some switch somewhere in my head that somehow gets tripped, even with all of the great planning that I did.  There must be some other piece of planning I need to do but I don’t know what it is.  I must not be 100% committed to this, and I don’t know how to get there.

Losing weight is hard and it really sucks.

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Jessica September 10, 2008 at 8:13 pm

It may sound silly but perhaps focusing on the ways to avoid eating all that free food took up too much energy and was too stressful.

Hence it was easier for you to have the free food. Because you were focusing on not eating the food so much you may have tricked yourself into actually wanting it. Could you have felt as though you were missing out if you didn’t participate with your colleagues?

I read a good article the other day about setting healthy boundaries which had some thoughts on portion sizes as well getting friends and colleagues to help in your weight loss journey (http://www.thefitshack.com/2008/09/08/a-secret-to-weight-loss-setting-healthy-boundaries/).

Perhaps you would have felt better if at the start of the day you focused your thoughts on enjoying a very small portion, rather than nothing at all?

Joe S. September 10, 2008 at 9:42 pm

The office might be the biggest pitfall of them all. Our boss is alway buying bagels, doughnuts, pizzas and take out for us. It’s a gauntlet because if your like me you like food but you love free food even more. Since I’ve started my plan I have had to turn down tons of food at the office and watching football on Sunday is another challenge. Watching the game for me consists of football, pizza, chips and beer and I had to find substitutes. You fell off the wagon and your getting back up and that is all that matters!

Andrew is getting fit September 10, 2008 at 10:18 pm

I find the same thing happens to me sometimes. If I have a nibble then I have a lot. A lot of the time this means I just don’t participate in high food events if I’m having a bad time with my eating. Sometimes a period of sequesterization is required.

Losing weight is hard but it is worth it.

Usman September 11, 2008 at 1:53 am

This is human nature you see. You see food…you see everyone else eating it…you do the same. No biggy there :) . However, the key is to know when to stop and that is the hard part. Make sure you get back on the horse :) .


Alex Costa - blogdadieta.com.br September 11, 2008 at 6:58 am

Hi John,

It’s true losing weight is really hard and a bitch!!! I’ve been facing hard times with my injury and I’m not eating very well these days.

What helps me is to not go to these parties, however, this one was in your office so there is nothing that you can do.

Usually when I do exercise is easier for me to control myself because I think about how hard was to do the workout and I don’t want to gain back what I lost but sometimes can work in the other way because I think that since I work out I can eat a little dessert.

Unfortunately for us there isn’t any magic pills and we are going to succeed only by effort and discipline, I don’t think there is any way around that.

I don’t know if you know this blog from doctor Yoni Freedhoff (http://bmimedical.blogspot.com) and he always says that the most important to keep or lose weight is to pay attention on what you eat rather than exercise and he gives a lot of examples.

My conclusion is the same as yours, lose weight is hard and really sucks but don’t let those things to keep you down, because by not doing it, the only person who will suffer the consequences is you.

Take care,

ish September 11, 2008 at 7:12 am

its true losing weight is a hard thing specially if your surrounded by food the key to weight loss is discipline, don’t give its take time. nice blog here!

Steve v4.7 September 11, 2008 at 10:07 am

It’s all water under the bridge now. The only thing you can do is recognize what factors led you astray and make better choices in the future. Losing weight IS hard- that’s a given but it is not the focus. Better to move forward and resume/continue making those choices that have proven beneficial in the past- those things responsible for your awesome success so far.

Keep up the inspiration, I appreciated it. Continued success.

Matthew September 11, 2008 at 10:14 am

Great post John…especially at the beginning of the LONG season of gaining that 8-10 American pounds. What works for me is to eat before I get to the “event”…that way I am in control. Once I am there, I am not “starving” and can make a calculated decision about what to put in my mouth…and this does take down stream planning.

mrs darling September 11, 2008 at 4:31 pm

I hear ya. Last night was a potluck at my sons school. I used it to get rid of all my cupcakes and banana bread around the house. I took it all out there and got rid of it. While there I purposely chose to be the last in line and it worked. All the tempting food was gone so I ate 4 chips and a tablespoon of bean dip. There were still lots of deserts left along with some watermelon so I ended with watermelon. It worked for me and this mornings weigh in showed a loss of 4 pounds this week. It’s hard! I know~! Hang in there. We’re rooting for ya!

Alexia September 11, 2008 at 10:53 pm

It is hard — I have had lots of false starts over the years. The trick is to keep going and reassessing and readjusting. Hang in there!

Twisted Cinderella September 12, 2008 at 8:05 am

It is so frustrating to try to diet when good food is being offered. It is hard when somewhere between our plans and our actions we fall down.

Vilma September 12, 2008 at 8:12 pm

I understand where you are coming from. Losing weight IS hard and it sucks, but it’s not impossible. The great thing about Monday is that it’s over and Tuesday is a new day. Now it’s up to you to start new & fresh or keep on letting Monday weigh you down. I used to obsess about how my Monday’s started. If I didn’t go good on monday, my whole week was shot down the tubes and I ended up messing up my whole entire week for a moment of weakness. But no more… If I mess up, I either do a little bit more exercise to burn off some calories or eat a little less the next day. Keep at it, John! You can do this!!!!!!!



Rooting for ya!

MizFit September 14, 2008 at 6:48 pm

stopping by to check on you.
I just did a monday facetime on this in a way (not sure Ill ever share it—but I filmed it)

FOR ME if I focus on a habit I want to break (the thinking I WONT eat the food) im far more likely to do it.

does that make any sense? it’s-for me-the law of attraction and the more I think I WILL NOT XYZ the more likely I am to do precisely that.

hops this make some semblance of sense.

Im with the others in saying you can SO DO THIS and, at your core, I hope you believe that as well.

asithi September 15, 2008 at 10:35 am

I always try to eat less 1-2 days prior to an event that I know I will struggle with my self control. Besides a lot of time, it is the socializing that I want, not the food.

Kristin September 15, 2008 at 12:41 pm

Wow.. just ran into your website and so excited …I can believe the success you have had.. Good luck with it all. I do agree with what you wrote about hard to lose weight… I have been struggling forever… I had lost 50lbs 3 years ago and now am 100 lbs heavier than I was… I just started my own blog.. .would love for you to check it out and give me some pointers…

Kristin September 15, 2008 at 12:44 pm

I just wanted to say wow… Keep up the great work… Just found your site.. Would love some tips from you and what you did to finally get the motivation..

Will @ 4XLT September 17, 2008 at 5:41 pm

Situations like you describe are SO HARD to get through succesfully. In truth, I make it through them without doing something stupid only about a third of the time.

I’ve learned that I either have to refrain from going or to eat my regularly scheduled meals ahead of time and not eat at all while I’m there.

Usually, if I start to snack, I gorge myself - because hey, the food tastes great!

So, I try and keep myself from even starting.

Will @ 4XLT September 17, 2008 at 5:43 pm

PS: Go Seahawks!

Weight-Loss Dude September 18, 2008 at 9:08 pm

Yeah, I’d have to say that these setbacks happen to everyone. Don’t give up, and keep tracking food and workouts. Football season is tough, especially for guys, because you feel like you aren’t a “man” if you don’t partake in all the football rituals like eating.

MizFit September 19, 2008 at 5:07 am

I wish I had some more insightful comment than the fact that youve veered off path and, sometimes, thats just what happens.


according to my calendar it’s nine days after this post and a friday (GO STEELERS!) and football is coming as is the weekend.

whats the plan for staying on track? any thoughts? ANY WAY I CAN HELP?

email me….

HalfMan September 19, 2008 at 10:05 am

I have learned that I cannot avoid those situations. I do have a couple of strategies. 1) I eat a healthy snack previous to the meal. Preferably a high fiber carb and little protein. For example and apple cut up with 1 Tbsp. of peanut butter and 1-2 cups of water. 2) I plan to eat at the potluck (no need for total deprivation). 3) Self-Respect. What do you think about when you see an obese person with a plate piled high with unhealthy foods? I do my best not to be that stereo-typical person. 4) Talk. Mingle. Socialize. It’s hard to eat while you are talking. 5) Plan to eat 1 dessert and eat it slowly. 6) Drink water, not pop, juice, or punch. 7) Remember 3 & 4 instead of loading up another plate. 8) When it’s all over, don’t dwell on it. If you did poorly, don’t beat yourself up. If you did well, don’t fool yourself into thinking you can get away with eating like that all the time. Just get on with living a healthy lifestyle. Anyhow, that’s my strategy.

Chris Martin September 19, 2008 at 12:24 pm

I think you should have decided to eat! I am trying very hard to diet as well. (Check out our challenge) Anyway…. they brought pizza into the shop the other day and I had one slice. It was hard, because I can easily go through one PIE, but I did it, and it felt great. I focus on healthy eating, not dieting per se, but I feel better when I succeed at restraint. I keep a box of cheese-itz in the house, right next to where I play XBOX 360 and it is hard every day, but I feel better when I resist temptation. Don’t deny yourself anything, just deny yourself A LOT of it!!

Israel September 19, 2008 at 12:43 pm

you’ve been here before, I know I have. it is hard, but just keep being anal about it. tell everyone you know and come in contact with on a regular basis that you are trying to get healthier and need their support. put visual cues up all over the place to remind you of your goals and keep blogging about it, but more often…

Losing Weight and Getting Healthy September 21, 2008 at 3:17 am

Something I always forget to factor in when planning for this sort of occasion is pressure from other people. I recently went to a BBQ and was offered food as a gesture of kindness in front of lots of people which I could not refuse for fear of offending people and then even had food put on my plate. It was really hard and I guess I just have to avoid these types of occasions whenever I can.

IAAdmin September 23, 2008 at 9:50 am

Losing weight is definitely hard work, and I’ve been in situations just as you’ve discribed. Before I used to overeat, but once, I was able to keep my eating under control. Since then, I remember the feeling of success I felt by sticking to my plan of not overeating, and that worked. I still fall off the wagon once in a while, but those times are fewer and far between…………….:)

Greg September 2, 2009 at 3:59 pm

Hadn’t heard from you for a while, so thought I’d drop in to check on you.

You’re exactly right about weight loss being hard. Most of our societal norms push us toward obesity. But sometimes, all we need is a little encouragement.

Look forward to seeing you get back in the hunt.

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