Monday, May 05, 2008

Thoughts on wt wtchers and on the IE book

I am thinking of going back to wt watchers here soon. I don't know, I'm conflicted. It does help me to stay on track to be accountable to someone about weighing in and hear encouraging words from a program/meetings such as this.

I had been reading the IE (Intuitive Eating) book and do like what they have to say. Here's a bit:

Respect your body

Body image: a waist is a terrible thing to mind

"Most of our clients are adept at being overly critical or hating their bodies. And putting an end to body worry and self-loathing is no easy task. Most of us have trouble accepting a compliment, let alone the idea of accepting our bodies. We have found that the notion of accepting your body was too much of a stretch for our clients as a beginning point. They feared that if they accepted their current body size, it would mean complacency, giving up, and getting bigger. It's one thing to lose the battle of the buldge, they'd say, but to totally give up would mean ultimate failure. At least there is honor and dignity in continuing the fight."

later the authors say....

"stop body bashing" such as "I hate my thighs" or "I have a double chin". Try to find something that you do like about your body even if it is only one thing such as your eyes or your feet. They also talk about what is a realistic weight to get to for your body type. Maybe it is above your ideal.

I'll talk about it more later as I gotta go pick up my kid from school.....
Have a great week. I'm doing pretty good this week!


B said...

I'm thinking about going back to WW too, I think I also need the accountability. Sorry I haven't been around, life is so full on right now. Hope you're feeling a bit better - you have so much in your life at the moment. I hope it gets easier for you.

Juliet said...

As a former die-hard WW devotee, let me say this. I really think WW is the single worst dieting mistake I ever made.

Why? Because despite their ads, it IS a diet. They make it sound like it's not, but it is. The problem is that if you can't do WW - which isn't dieting, but just "living," then what can you do?

I did WW repeatedly for about eight years. I'd join, lose somewhere around 30 pounds, and ultimately wind up gaining 45. It was a repetitive, never ending cycle of yo-yo dieting.

Last year, I felt so lost. I couldn't do it anymore. I couldn't even do it for a day. So I went to a nutritionist, and guess what? I wound up doing WW.

Then I found a therapist who specializes in body image and eating disorders. I wasn't trying to find a therapist for that reason; my husband had recently been diagnosed with MS and I was trying to cope with that and with infertility and I needed someone to talk to.

In fact, the nutritionist had told me that even working with her, someone with my long time history of yo-yo dieting and emotional eating had about a 20% chance of losing the weight and keeping off. And that, she told me, was her HIGH end estimate. She strongly advised me to get therapy, because she thought with therapy I might have about a 35% chance. Great.

But I honestly believed that after repeated rounds of therapy there was nothing to be gained, from a weight/eating perspective, in going back. I really, completely believed when I found this therapist that she'd put me on another diet and call it a "lifestyle change."

Instead, she handed me Intuitive Eating after about three weeks of seeing her. It has changed my life.

I don't get weighed anymore. I have a doctor who is 100% supportive of what I am doing and does not make me get weighed (or try to, anyway). She believes that diets can't work when you've got so much emotional baggage - and she believes that in general they fail for almost everyone. She's also anti-WLS after watching four patients go through their first year post-op and seeing how awful it was (one of them didn't make it).

I don't know if I've lost weight. My husband told me he thinks I have recently. It's not the priority now.

And that is the biggest challenge if IE. You have to be willing to stand up for yourself and say, "enough with the dieting industry. I'm not paying another cent for something that doesn't work and isn't designed to work." Face it, if diets worked, we wouldn't have a $50 billion dollar a year industry.

You have to be willing to push weight loss goals aside in favor of truly conquering emotional and mindless eating. For most of us chronic dieters, this is exceptionally hard and a major challenge.

I won't lie to you or try to kid you. This process is MUCH harder than dieting was. At least short term. I was great at WW in the beginning. But it would ultimately collapse - and there's the difference.

I know that when I do lose weight from IE, and I believe I will ultimately, I'll be able to maintain that weight loss. It won't be the constant struggle it was when I dieted. Partly because I'm not focused on the next five pounds I need to lose and partly because this isn't about being the right number on the BMI chart or about fitting into a tankini. This is about not wanting to continue with the never ending, vicious, self-destructive path of dieting.

Restrictive eating leads to binging and binging leads to restrictive eating. It doesn't stop, ever. The only hope is to learn to eat intuitively, and it's hard... it is. But it's so worth it. I'm worth ever single minute I spend on the process.

I can have foods in the house I never dreamed I'd be able to have. I hate things I thought I loved (like Twinkies). Once I stopped dieting and really started to experience food, I discovered that a) I can't eat nearly as much as I had been, if I listen to my body's hunger signals and b) I have a far more sophisticated palate than I imagined. I buy high quality foods and enjoy every bite, and when I don't like a food, I throw it away.

I never did this on WW or any other diet. I ate stuff I hated because it was low in points, and never felt satisfied as a result. I convinced myself things were "delicious substitutes" for the foods I really wanted because I felt like I had to. I was a "volume eater" because I wasn't emotionally satisfied, and ultimately it all led to binges on foods I now know I don't even like!

Anyway, I know this is long. I found your blog because I run a Google Search on Intuitive Eating and it came up. I just thought I'd throw my 2 cents into the mix, because like you I have a lot of weight I'm told I need to lose and like you I've yo-yo dieted for years. IE changed my life when I thought there was nothing that could help. Ultimately, it's the sort of thing you have to be ready for... if you still hold out hope that dieting is the answer, it won't work. If you're where I was, where you know dieting won't work, but you don't know what else to do and feel like you *should* or *have to* diet, then you're ready.

Whatever path you choose, I wish you all the best. I blog about body acceptance and IE, among other related topics and invite you to come take a look any time. I'd be happy to have you visit. :)

Spider63 said...

Not having negative thought and positive affirmations are good I think. Sometimes I try that in front of the mirror. But remembering it and thinking it all the time is very hard?

celtic_girl said...

Yes, all good and relevant points. All cognitive behaviour therapy is based around positive self talk and thoughts and challenging the negative ones.

If you decide to go back to WW, just think of it as a clean slate and think it's the first time you are joining. Don't dwell on the past, it's over and you cannot change it - you can however change the future. I was reading a book written by someone who had lost 175lbs and liked a comment her husband made when she told him whe once weighed 350lbs he said he "admired her guts for wanting to change her life". I quitye liked that comment as it's true,it's just so easy to not put in the effort.

Spider63 said...

Intuitive Eating is how I lost weight without reading the book. In other words, eat to live don't live to eat. However, what happens with Intuitive Eating is that people who are in denial will use it as an excuse to maintain their hog lifestyles by claiming that anyone who sees them as fat pigs is a bad person because they are really beautiful, etc. There is an objective standard, and it is whether or not you are actually losing weight. Nobody has to be exactly at the "normal" weight, but if you are 30+ pounds over it then you are just bullshitting yourself.

Meow Meow said...

Keep filling us in on that book. I am interested in knowing more...,about feeling LESS.

hopefulloser said...

I just wanted to say that I hope things are going well regarding your financial situation too. I'm not in exactly the same situation but had a few nervous break downs over the matter. Dealing with it face on is difficult and humbling but you can do it. I'm pulling for you in both the weight and the finances.

Christie said...

In my opinion you can't do IE and WW together. Even though WW claims to not be a diet, it still is. It still makes you beat yourself up over weighins and worry over every morsel that goes into your mouth. I think there is a happy medium somewhere in the middle. The important thing is learning to feel like you are in control - and if WW helps you feel that way, then maybe it's a good place to start and you can transition. I don't know :-P

Marshmallow said...

I'm *sort of* with Christie, that beign said, I did apply some of the Intuitive Eating principles while I was calorie counting; and that worked for little while, and made the move to Intuitive Eating less scary. That being said, you cannot truly marry a diet and intuitive eating.

spider63 - I think your comment is incredibly misguided; people who use Intuitive Eating as an excuse to maintain their 'hog lifestyle' is similar to people using calorie counting to starve themselves. Those people aren't eating intuitively at all, and the problem lies not with intuitive eating, but with those people.