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Credibly Threatened

April 1st, 2006 at 03:37 pm

I am motivated to lose my extra weight as I have not been before.

I had tried thinking reward before: I had told myself that if I got to 150 pounds (I'm 5"3-1/2" tall) I'd go on a spending spree of up to $500 for all new cloths. Now, that would be an insanse spree for me-I don't spend that much a year or even two years. But no movement forward.

Shame hasn't worked either. I am not necessarily embarassed by the weight- it doesn't matter if I tell you I'm 196 or not, it doesn't change my weight, and if you saw me you'd already know I'm plump. Even though I'm anonymous online, I don't see the need to pretend I'm a tall slim redheadhead. But I do feel a sense of shame that I have not been able to control my weight. I've kicked alcohol and other drugs, I've kicked cigarettes, why can't I just be more physically active and not overeat? But, the little internal shame talks don't work either.

(With quitting drinking and smoking, there is the reward of being successful on day one. You may be a shaking, sweaty, uptight mess that week, but -snap-you are a non-drinker, a non-smoker. With weight issues, I can be physically active and eat right all day, and look and weigh the same. It is frustrating for me. I try to just enjoy the process, but it's a challenge.)

The idea of being in a bikini bathing suit on a beach in Croatia is a mighty deterent. If I make my 20 pound loss, which I expect to do, I can wear my standard one piece and be fine. I carry weight in my belly, so the bikini idea is especially funky. I'd like to be the kind of woman who becomes rubenesque, and becomes curvier everywhere with some extra pounds, but my body does a portly older man thing; weird small butt with a big gut.

Once I've hit a five pound loss, I'll assume that I've gained some new good habits, and I'll look for other ways to utilize the credible threat. A friend who just quit smoking took the idea; she rewards herself regularly, so she didn't know how to use that, but the idea of taking AWAY a reward-no buying of books for 6 months if she smokes-was a motivator she could grab onto.

Has anyone else used the Credible Threat concept? I know for some it can seem too punitive, but for me, since I picked a reasonable goal (essentially a pound a week), it's working so far.

7 Responses to “Credibly Threatened”

  1. nschock Says:

    I was able to lose weight by not focusing on the weight. Instead, I focused on attainable goals. My first goal was to switch from regular to diet soda. With that change alone I lost 10 lbs. Then I set a goal of exercising three times per week. Once I accomplished that, I went to four, then five days a week. Next, I focused on eating healthy breakfasts and snacks.

    One thing very important: I always allowed myself some stuff that wouldn't be considered "good" for a diet. I always ate whatever I wanted to at night and didn't feel like I had to say no to a few beers. If I couldn't have had some of that stuff, I never would have lost the weight...which, by the way, was 40 lbs. But I did it by not focusing on the weight, just what I could do to be more healthy.

    Good luck!

  2. boomeyers Says:

    Hey guys, your an inspiration! My goal was 40 by 40 (I turn 40 in July). I am running out of time and can NOT get my butt moving! I understand your frustration totally! I like nschocks idea of small goals and I have thought about it, and well, ya know, just thought about it! Still can't make myself do it! I too quit smoking years ago, extra 20 from that! Gee LR! Got the same gut problem! Maybe we should buddy up!

  3. Ima saver Says:

    I have had the "gut problem" for years. When I was younger, people asked me if I was pregnant all the time. My husband lost 25 pounds by cutting out all sugar in his diet and he has kept it off.
    I went on the low carb diet and lost some, but now I am just stuck. I am trying to walk more on my treadmill. The low carb diet seems to work the best for me cause I don't get so hungry!

  4. jeffrey Says:

    I'm terrible when it comes to food...if it's around, I'll eat it. I usually solve this by not having much in the house (if there is no food, I'm fine without any), but one of the best tricks I learned that works for me is conscious choice. I never tell myself I can't eat - anytime I feel like eating I do, but when I decide to eat, I have to choose the healthiest of the foods available. If I'm hungry and their are cookies, an apple, some yogurt and crackers, I eat the apple first. If I'm still hungry, I eat the yogurt - if I'm not, I stop. If after the yogurt I'm still hungry I go onto the crackers and then onto the cookies if I'm still hungry. What usually happens is I stop after the apple, but since I know I can eat everything if I want, there is no stress for me - kind of stupid, but it works for me so I thought I'd pass it along.

  5. lrjohnson Says:

    Jeffrey: I think it's these small tips that can work for us. The big answer is "Take in less calories, expend more calories." Smaller answers are "Atkins. Aerobics class. Vegertarian. Walk more." A lot of us have managed to get out of debt, or have a comfortable life without a lot of income. If the simple answers were enough, we'd all be lean and mean on this site. I'll admit I need to play headgames with myself. Your "healthiest first" trick sounds good to me. I was thinking of adding a variation: drink a glass of water and wait ten minutes, then the apple, etc.

  6. fern Says:

    I find that living in a two story home helps alot when i'm comfortablly ensconsed upstairs watching TV in the evening and i keep thinking of going downstairs to get something to munch on, but i often don't cus i either don't feel like getting up (!) or i don't want to miss the show.

    Also, it's definitely true that it's much easier to not eat too much to begin with rather than trying to shed it once it's there!

    I have never needed to lose more than 10 lbs or so, but i must agree that losing weight is one of the hardest things you can do. And that exercise can be very boring, especialy if odne repetitively, solely for the purpose of weight control. If you can work exercise into your normal routine, it's much easier to keep up.

    I control my weight by weighing myself in the a.m. every day, so if i'm up a pound or two i freak and eat less that day to get things back under control before it becomes a real problem.

  7. flash Says:

    The ONLY way I have found to lose weight is to stay incredibly busy. Retirement was not good for my weight! Keeping junk out of the house helps, and finding a small satisfying treat. Threats, nope, I'm too rebellious at heart I think. Tell me I HAVE to lose weight, and there is NO chance that I will.

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