Giving In – Not Giving Up

I am a yo-yo dieter.  When I started my blog, I had hoped by now to change my tag line and say I was “reformed.”  But the honest truth is that I am still struggling.  So maybe the time has come to give in.  Not to be confused with giving UP or throwing in the towel.  But giving in to what I know I need to do.  Giving in to the things that I still somehow resist.  Giving in to a life without regaining weight.

Recently I experimented with eating all my meals at the kitchen table.  I didn’t want to do it.  I knew I wouldn’t like it.  And I didn’t.  But I also suspected it would make a big difference in my eating.  And it did.  Honestly, I’d like to go back to eating in my comfy chair in front of the TV.  But the time has come to give in to what I know can work for me.  Eating at the table, much as I don’t like it, is working.

And yesterday morning I threw away my last jar of peanut butter.  (Sorry hubby.)  I resisted doing it.  I told myself I could keep the jar, unopened.  Or open the jar but eat from it in moderation.  But my previous actions were proving otherwise.  And many wise commentators told me so in no uncertain terms.  So I gave in to what I knew was right.  I typed my response to a comment to “kick the peanut butter out of the house” and got up from the keyboard and did just that.  I am not giving up on the idea that I can one day eat it again.  But I am giving in to all your great advice, that I did my best to resist, but knew was right.  Thank you for holding my feet to the fire and for telling me like it is.

Those are just a few examples.  There is more that I am giving in to, in my quest to get to some undefinable place.  The place with food balance and no roller-coasters.  The place with maintaining weight, not losing or gaining.  The place where I am in control rather than food controlling me.

I have spent most of my summer struggling with my eating.  I have been resisting things I know work for me.  I have been engaging in eating that I know, even as I chew, I will regret.  I have been giving in to temptation time and time again.  But I have not given up.  Somehow I know that all this has just been a series of setbacks or missteps or detours or learning opportunities.  Whatever you want to call them.  And while I have indeed felt discouraged at times, I have not given up on the idea that I will end the yo-yo years and start the maintaining years.  Giving in this time is a good thing.



Filed under cheating/overeating, dieting, emotions/emotional issues, making a change

50 responses to “Giving In – Not Giving Up

  1. Well I found this post while I was on Twitter! 🙂 I am with you on a struggling summer of eating!! But I have learned that by not giving up, I have maintained my weight (give or take a few pounds). That was kind of comforting because my history shows I normally would have gained all my lost weight back by now. I still have a lot to lose, but at least I held steady during my departure! Peanutbutter is my downfall as well. I used to be strictly a Jiff person, but I started buying Peter Pan Whipped so my occassional spooning of the Jar didn’t have as big of an impact! I have come to really enjoy it.

    Hang in there…You are not alone and we all can and will get through this!

    • Karen

      Just yesterday I was thinking how the summers, at least the last two which is all that stands out in my mind, have been particularly hard for me diet-wise. I would think it would be the opposite with the hot temps and fresh fruit and how fast it goes by. I am already thinking that next summer I need to do things very differently! We can do it!

  2. Good Morning Karen,

    Sometimes the whole thing is just overwhelming, isn’t it? Thanks for your comments and advice on my post of desperation last night. And no, it was (and would never be) too harsh. It is what I needed and I’m going to do exactly what I said with all comments received.

    Sorry about the peanut butter, but look at it this way. You won’t have to spend so much time washing spoons! My bagels are right behind your peanut butter unless Mr. B will agree to take them to work with him.

    We still have a lot of time between now and year end. Wouldn’t it be nice to start 2011 as reformed yo-yo’ers now in maintenance?

    Thanks for your support and friendship.


    • Karen

      Yes, and I intend to write a whole post about the coming months very soon. We can accomplish a lot yet this year. Thanks for your support and friendship too:)

  3. Yep, sometimes you just got to give in…I agree whole heartedly. We know the answers and what we need to do, most of the time…

    But there are times, that we don’t know what we don’t know. Giving in sometimes shows us those answers too.

    • Karen

      I had never really thought of it as giving in until the idea hit me and this post followed. Yes, in many regards I really do know what has to be done… now comes the Nike commercial – just doing it has been the problem.

  4. Karen, you sure are learning every day & that is what this is all about. I am still learning & that is a good thing! NEVER GIVE UP for sure because there is always more to learn! You are on the right track & moving forward. Do what is right for you!

    • Karen

      Thanks for the pep talk Jody:) My husband wishes I had not actually “throw out” that peanut butter. But I told him it was what I needed to do in that moment.

  5. I love that you are never giving up. TJ’s Test Kitchen blog had a great badge that said just that. The cycle of yo-yo dieting can be so overwhelming and all consuming. I long for eating balance in my life too. We’ll get there Karen, we’ll get there.

    • Karen

      Not only is it a horrible emotional cycle, but I really think it wreaks havoc on the body. I think research and experts are mixed on that concept. But to me, weight seemingly is harder to lose each time I have regained. Sigh.

  6. Yo-yo dieting is the direct result of yo-yo thinking, and yo-yo commitment. I will guess that this comment will be deleted, and for that I am sorry.

    Success is there for the taking Karen, but not there for the waiting….

    • Karen

      Why would I delete it? I love comments that make me think and question and are honest, even if I may not always agree or “like” what they say. I hated the comments that told me to throw away the peanut butter. But I appreciated them. And the commentators were right. I am pretty sure my thinking is not the problem. I think! Commitment, yes, that often falters. But much less now than in years past.

  7. Your post got me thinking – what do you envision successful maintenance as? For me, it probably comes close to yo-yo dieting! Be strict with myself all week, relax on the weekends, put on 2 lbs, go back to being strict on Monday. Finding things that work, things that don’t work. Knowing things don’t work and still doing them anyway (buying Twizzlers!) I feel all the same frustrations you wrote about!

    • Karen

      I don’t think my vision is as loose as yours Anna. Maybe because I am not starting from my goal weight yet as you are. Maybe because for me this time it is less about staying at the number and more about feeling that I am controlling eating. I am many, many yo-yo years past you so I think my issues are a bit different. For me, I think I envision eating healthy the vast majority of the time. And then the relaxing would come with special occasions, in social setting, when we eat out maybe, holidays, etc. But even then, I don’t want to go as crazy as I did for my niece’s potluck party this summer where I ate too excess all day!!! But I think you are finding your way ahead of me and learning how to balance things and that is key.

  8. It’s great to hear that you have stopped fighting what you know to be the right path. I have no doubt that you’ll break the cycle 🙂

  9. Ok so I just opened my desk drawer and pulled out my jar of peanut butter and threw it in the trash… Never thought I would become attached to that after years of not really liking it but I have. I even have a spoon waiting next to the jar. Granted it was low fat but still not the best choice of food to keep so close to me all day. LOL

    • Karen

      Oh no! I hope that is a good thing for you too! Last night we had “back to school” night at the high school and my boys both had dinner at my brother’s house. I would normally have happily, happily eaten an apple and peanut butter for my own dinner. I was sad to have to figure out something else.

  10. Superb post on an important lesson for all of us working on behavior changes (this is my “clinical voice” – as if you couldn’t tell 😉 Offering yourself a menu, so to speak, of options to choose from of acceptable behaviors in your goals is important to keep your confidence going. If one thing doesn’t work, another one will. Letting yourself experiment and not beating yourself up; in fact, reframing the experiments as lessons learned, positive steps taken, and moving on.

    Great post, really. On a very personal level this gives me encouragement to keep pushing with my exercise plan knowing that if something doesn’t work, I can always change it up, just as long as I keep moving.

    • Karen

      Thanks doc:) I really am learning, and not just about the stuff that works for dieting, but about me and that darn behavior of mine as well. I never remember a diet like this in the past where there was so much learning going on! Maybe because I just dieted, stopped, and regained. While this time I am fighting to break that pattern.

      I am confident you can get the exercise thing down. Honestly, with exercise, sometimes I think you have to try several things (different kinds, times of day, instructors, ect.) until the right thing clicks.

  11. Ewa

    Maybe it is all about the journey.
    I know that for me to stay the course I have to be militant about my food. There is no ‘just one piece of — (fill in the blank)’ because the next day I want more pieces with such a force that I usually give in.
    Keep at it. I can’t promise it will get easier but giving up is not an option.

    • Karen

      I am like that with many foods and I know it is a rather controversial approach. But I keep wondering if someday I will be able to eat just one of…

  12. Karen, I think you’ve already entered the maintenance years my writing this blog and being mindful about what you eat each day. Some days will just be better than others. There are certain things I can’t keep in this house to this day, like chocolate. Glad you said bye-bye to the peanut butter. Sounds like he deserved to leave for a while.

  13. Good job tossing the PB! It was the right thing to do and you will be happy that it isn’t around to tempt you.

    I have been a career yo yo dieter and I am happy that I gave it up. No more on a diet or off a diet, just healthy eating, exercising and good choices make for a happy life. I will choose happy over peanut butter any day.

    • Karen

      I did not know that about you. Since I have been reading your blog (and I have no idea how long you have been writing it), you have been such a sane, on track, healthy eater. Someone to emulate.

      • Karen I have had my blog since January of this year. Check out my weight loss story on my blog by clicking on the photos tab at the top of the home page and scroll down towards the bottom of the page.

  14. As long as you don’t give up you are doing well IMO 🙂

  15. Ann

    YEAH!!!! Good job dumping that peanut butter. It was calling your name way too often. Good riddance. Each day, once good choice leads to another. Keep choosing.

  16. Amy

    wishing you luck on this. I would have a hard time dropping my PB. I missed it so much when I pregrant and BF. Good luck.

    • Karen

      I was telling my husband that I was not very into PB in the past so wonder if it became my “thing” since I have cut out most junk food.

  17. Good for you for changing things up! And I like the distinction you make between giving up and giving in.

    Your PB=my cheese dip. I still have the cheese dip (maybe twice a year?), but I do NOT have it in my house. It’s definitely a ‘consumed elsewhere’ food. You can always grab a spoon and ask a neighbor to borrow a taste. 🙂

    • Karen

      Oh that is a funny image that made me laugh out loud. I may need to do some internet research and find out if there is a national peanut butter day and use that as my excuse!

  18. I am with you on this one. I had to stop buying it. I kept trying to keep it around and eat it responsibly, but I had to give it up. I am a long way from maintenance and so maybe a long way from being able to deal with peanut butter and many other foods. I will follow you travails and learn from them!!

    • Karen

      I will let you know how it goes. In my mind, I have not banned the stuff forever, just for a while. But then again, I thought that with Triscuits too! Time will tell.

  19. It’s okay to give in now and then. Fighting too many things for too long isn’t healthy. Pick your battles and give in when necessary so you’ll have the energy to fight the important fights! 🙂

    • Karen

      The thing is if I get rid of stuff that I am struggling with, it is like I no longer have to fight. But I have always loved that concept ever since and old boss asked me “Is this the hill you want to die on.” I had not though about relating it to my eating or healthy lifestyle.

  20. Good for you Karen! I hear some determination there. I’m proud of you! And the PNB won’t be gone forever. Just until you get control of the way you deal with it.

    • Karen

      Yep, some days there is determination. And a big thank you Tish for writing that comment that put me over the edge and sent me to the trash can with that jar:) I literally typed my response to you and then went and took action. Thank you.

  21. You really inspire me, and I appreciate all you share. It actually makes me feel better to know I’m not alone in these struggles and I don’t mind the thought that even after I’m at a reasonable weight, I will still have to be conscious and even struggle. I’m in the company of such amazing women (men too, I know). You’re a wise woman and you will continue to live a healthy life.
    Congratulations on sticking with the table eating! That’s a tough one.

    • Karen

      Thanks for telling me that Teresa. Some days when I write about my struggling I think it is so depressing and that I should be writing something light and fun and optimistic. But I guess I am just being honest. And I also love knowing that I am not alone. Seems there is someone out there that I can relate too or who can relate to me with every little step of this journey.

  22. Well done and well said, Karen! I’m so proud of you. This post is highly inspirational for me… the concept of giving in (not up) is also important for me. Table, huh? That and meditative eating… I resist giving in to those two things that are good for me. Maybe not, now that I have your steps to follow. Thank you!

    • Karen

      I have actually been thinking about your abstinence counter on the side of you blog and wondering what I could do that would be similar and make me feel accountable enough to give that extra little bit of motivation when I need it. Not sure if it would be something like “days on plan” or “days without overeating” or, when I get to my goal weight, something about sticking to that. (I hate to make it weight focused but it might be good for me to see in print if I start creeping up again.)

  23. i just love your dedication, it’s so inspiring! and i wouldn’t be so hard on yourself, nobody eats perfect all the time. if you don’t have the occassional cookie, you’d probably go bonkers! (i know i would 🙂 )

  24. Bravo, Karen! I love that you are thinking about your actions. You are definitely moving in the right direction by considering changing past behavior that didn’t work for you, to testing new ways of dealing with food. Two years ago, I threw out a full jar of a treat that I loved (I am purposely not saying the name of it for fear that someone reading this will start obsessing about it), and I’ve never bought it again….although I REALLY loved it. You can do it!

    • Karen

      Funny – but now I am trying to guess what it is:) I wonder if you will ever buy it again and be able to eat it with moderation… which is exactly what I wonder about peanut butter for me. And Triscuits!

  25. SOOOOOO late to the party on this one, but like I said, I’m working through your archives.

    This post really resonated with me…I don’t always need to fight or resist or insist that I’m right (even when my body tells me otherwise).

    Great post.

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