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Dear @cblasz

I do understand that it is a real effort for you to lose weight and that it requires a lot of thinking to do things differently.

Apologies for seeming to "keep on" over certain ideas. I do try to only mention something again if I am aware of a new perspective, though sometimes I repeat ideas because the forum does have a changing membership. I wouldn't presume to give advice, but do hope that some of the suggestions might resonate with you (and anyone else) as something worth thinking about / trying.

I have mentioned before that I wish that the forum had more discussion on weight management issues. It is useful to hear other perspectives - gives one food (!!) for thought.

Regarding your comment that I presumably find it a real effort to not eat chocolate - certainly if I start eating chocolate, it can be an effort to stop at a reasonable quantity. So not starting is the better option, and of late this seems to be not so much of an effort. Not exactly sure why.

However, reflecting on your comment has made me realize that it is "just" a habit for me to eat in the evenings. I may be eating for reward, comfort, pleasure, etc, but it is habit that means I turn to food for these needs, rather than (perhaps!) more healthy alternatives. A moment of enlightenment for me, I think?! :smile: :like:

Did you find anything useful in the book about habits? And with the eating habits that you have been able to change (for the better), what helped you do that? Once something is a habit, then the theory is that it no longer requires effort - but this is not your experience?

I think the daily tip about what is more of a burden - being overweight or taking steps to change that - is very salient.

Anyway, enough from me.

I would be very interested to hear the thoughts of others on this topic.
After a rough week, I'm back on track and have lost the pound I gained last week! Hurray! Two stars for me, please! Wow, what an effort to get back on track this time around. Geez! But here I am and it's getting just a little bit easier again -- eating healthy constantly is never easy!

Also, @sassy1, I think you may be thinking of me as the person who doesn't eat a lot of vegetables, lol! :lol: I do like them, actually, but in a showdown between broccoli and starbucks, well.... :oops:

But I think that's most people, right? We all want the not good things, which I'm imagining is the point @cblasz is trying to get at. I mean, even when eating appropriately gets a bit easier for me, it's not necessarily natural. If it was, I don't think any of us would be here doing these challenges and hanging around message boards; because even when it becomes more of a habit, it's still a requires some amount of thinking. For example, for me, I have to weigh ALL of my food or I end up over-doing it or under-estimating how much I'm actually eating. Now, thankfully, I'm a bit of a nerd, and so I find that I've been enjoying the game of weighing and calculating my calories, adjusting as I lose weight, etc, just as I enjoy the game of budgeting my money down to the penny each month. This personality quirk works in my favor, but I imagine I would have given up long ago if I didn't actually enjoy that part, you know? :smile: And even though I enjoy it, it doesn't mean that I don't end up giving in to my daily cravings and urges more often than I'd like, because, well, bread and pancakes and all that delightsome stuff, lolol.

I think what I like about being on the message boards is seeing how everyone is doing this over time, as we all try to find the bits that make it sustainable for each of us in the long-term. Because at some point or other, the process becomes frustrating for each of us, even I (who has been described on this forum as "enthusiastic" about this way of eating -- which I am) also have hard times with this, too, and I love seeing everyone's thoughts and advice and attempts and successes and even failures and frustrations, too. It's all incredibly helpful for me.

So thank you everyone for coming back here every week and keeping on keeping on, as well as for the advice that all of your share, because while this whole thing may get EASI-ER, it never quite gets EASY, and I'm so glad we all just keep on trying and re-trying. Have a lovely week everyone!
Very pleasing for you, @Fancyfinch, to have lost the gain - no doubt a relief to see the weight going down again. :smile: I have awarded the stars. :star: :star:

I am also going to award myself two stars for the first time this challenge. Although I haven't fasted, I have now gone two weeks without overeating in the evening. That must be a record. :grin: I have had very little chocolate, and have to say I haven't been craving it. I would still like to eat it, but somehow have been able to not do so. I have been thoughtful about what I do eat in the evenings - most evenings I do have some snacks, a bit of cheese, a few nuts, a piece of fruit. I don't like going to bed feeling at all hungry...

Looking forward to other weekly reports starting to come in... :like: :like:

And thanks Fancyfinch for contributing to the discussion on the issue of "effort". I will make some more comments later in response. :smile:
I weigh now 61.6 kg. I ate a bit more over the week end and my weight went up. Now it is down again to what it was at its lowest this time around. So I am pleased with that :grin: .
Well done to everyone for keeping us posted on how you are doing in the run up to Christmas. I weighed in, as usual, on Sunday and am maintaining at just a tiny bit (.2 of a pound!) under target. I have done quite well on the other goals for this challenge, although I think I only did four days out of seven for the walking , instead of five ( the weather has been cold, wet and windy), so that will be just one star for me this week, please, @Sassy1! :smile:

I will not be on the forum much for the next week and a half as I have lots to do before our holiday and then I will be totally out of touch until the New Year. It won' mean that I have forgotten about you all - just very busy. Have a very good Christmas and I will check in when I can!

Valerie
Hi Everyone,
2 stars for me! Hooray! I'm down to 160 lbs. (Well, 160.9 but that counts in my mind!) I'm so happy, I haven't seen these numbers in as long as I remember. At my best on 5/2 I got down to 170 but never really below that, so I'm very pleased. So that was my Christmas challenge goal (also my halloween goal which didn't happen :confused: ) My next goal is to get down to a 'normal' BMI and not be overweight. So I have 6 lbs more for that - but that is for the future.
My goal now is to stay at 160 through Christmas!
In terms of the discussion going on in the board, for me, losing weight takes a lot of effort. I can get a bit obsessed. It's SO easy for me to slip back into eating sugar nonstop all day. I've lost weight countless times, and always gained it back. One of my problems is that I don't love cooking, and I live in New York City where I can have any sort of food from any country delivered to my door in a few minutes, often very reasonably. And we have food trucks where I can try new, exciting foods for just a couple dollars. So going home and cooking and eating a nice piece of chicken or whatever is not at all enticing and takes a lot of effort for me!
Good luck to everyone and Happy Holidays to those already celebrating!
Very impressive @nycnyc2013!! Great job!
That's great @nycnyc2013, you must be feeling very pleased. Two stars awarded. And @Stowgateresident, I felt you also deserved the two stars. Enjoy the run up to Christmas and all your activities in the period that follows. :smile:

Thanks for the additional comments re effort. This is obviously a major issue in weight management that I hadn't fully appreciated. I wonder if this is more of an issue in the US than Australia. In the US there appears to be more "temptation" readily to hand, in the form of cheap accessible food. And I expect a lot of the food has lots of added sugar and fat in their worst forms?

I don't recall that the need for effort, per se, has prominence as an issue in weight management, though I guess it underpins many diet strategies that are designed to make it "easy" to diet. Perhaps it needs to be addressed more directly?

I have lots of thoughts on the matter, but need to reflect further before posting them.

Best wishes everyone! :clover:
Today to my surprise I weighed 61.2 kg. I have been around the 61.6 mark for quite some time. Often hovering quite a bit above that. So it was a nice change to see the scales move down, instead of up. :smile:
Thanks to those of you who backed me up regarding the "effort" required for dieting!

@Sassy1 - yes, it's true we have a ton of unhealthy food readily available to us here in the U.S., which is definitely not helpful and causes temptation. However, I consider eating an addiction. Basically, part of your brain knows you shouldn't eat something because it is not healthy and will undermine your efforts to lose weight and you will regret it later. But there's another, more powerful part of your brain that says "I'm going to have it anyway, because I'm tired or lonely or bored or stressed or sad, etc." So, the effort comes in fighting that part of your brain. When life is normal and going well, then it's possible to plan and set up strategies to make that easy, but when it's not then it all falls apart. The difference between eating and other addictions is that you can't quit eating altogether, which to me makes it even hard to conquer!
Thank you for last week's two stars, @Sassy1, that was very kind of you! Just a quick check in with today's weight. I am maintaining at 147.2 pounds this week and that is after having friends round for supper last night.

It's a shame that my weigh-in day wasn't yesterday because the scales showed 145.5 pounds which sounds much better. However, I only have myself to blame for the overnight weight gain. No-one forced me to make two desserts, one of which contained mascarpone, double cream and dark chocolate, chicken in a white wine and cream sauce and to drink far more than usual! :pig2: :pig2: :pig2: :pig2: :oops:

On the plus side , I enjoyed it all and I have done well with all my other goals for the Christmas challenge so please may I also have two stars for this week, Sassy1? As I will be away when my next weigh-in day is due, this brings my Christmas Challenge to a close so I will take this opportunity to wish the rest of you good luck for the remainder of the challenge, a very happy Christmas and look forward to catching up with you in the New Year when I for one will have a shed-load of weight to get rid of! Valerie :heart:
Merry Christmas to you too, Valerie (@StowgateResident! I'll be joining you with lots of weight to lose in the New Year! :lol:
Two stars awarded Valerie @Stowgateresident :like: :smile: Thanks for being part of this challenge. Your positivity and realistic approach to weight management are an example to us all! Enjoy all of your Christmas activities and look forward to hearing from you next year. :star: :star: :smile:
Thank you, @Sassy1, for running the challenge and s Merry Christmas to you and yours.
I now seem to be stuck at 61.6 kg :confused: It has finally snowed here quite a bit, which makes the scenery to look like a winter wonder land :smile: . We have had so much rain that the snow is more than welcome. In these dark Northern climates the snow lightens things up amazingly :lol: . Again, there is not much more for me to do than to keep on going. :razz:
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