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Successful at losing weight, but now all I think about is exercise: when is a good thing too much?

By February 24, 2009 - 12:57pm
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I'd like to know if others have experienced this same thing with weight loss and their mental well-being:

I have lost 8 pounds over the last 3 months, so my weight-loss has been successful but slow (which, I guess is the healthy way to lose weight). I am now in the "overweight" category by just a few pounds, so am very proud of myself! I used to be fairly athletic in my younger days, and am finally feeling like I can exercise without being sore for weeks, I can say "no" to sweets, and find food filling, satisfying and can enjoy a snack in the afternoon without guilt. I am much more energetic, feel stronger...life is great! I've got 10-15 more pounds to lose to be at an "ideal" weight, and about 3 more pounds to lose to be back in the "normal weight" category. Yeah!

So, since I've finally got this diet and exercise thing headed in the right direction, I'm noticing that I am paying attention to my food consumption and exercise every day...so much that when I am with my friends, I'm thinking about when I can get to the gym next, and I have nothing else to talk about with people! It's almost like my entire mission is to lose this weight and get healthy (ie, lower my cholesterol, for one!), and that this mission has consumed my normal, every-day ability to talk about other topics. I almost feel like I am extremely boring if the conversation does not revolve around food or exercise, and I don't want to be selfish and talk about myself; I know there are many important events going on in the world, and I love hearing about my friend's lives, etc.

Is this "preoccupation" a normal part of the weight-loss cycle? I'm not afraid of becoming obsessive or losing too much weight, but I'm not sure how to focus continuing my losing weight while having time and mental-energy for the rest of life.

I'm hoping that this is a normal part of the cycle, and that I'll be back to my regular "conversational" and "non-preoccupied" self after I've reached my goal, and can just maintain my weight without so much effort and mental stamina. Has this happened to anyone else? I've struggled to lose weight; it's been really difficult to re-learn how to eat healthfully and get to the gym most days of the week, so I want to keep this momentum going.


Add a Comment5 Comments

Free2beme, I can identify very much with what you're saying. I think it goes to the "A body in motion stays in motion, a body at rest stays at rest" rule of physics.

You have momentum, and you are being very careful to not lose your momentum. I actually think this is a good thing. You went through a long period of time when you felt badly about your weight and/or fitness levels, and now you have achieved something huge: You've actually changed your life. You are eating differently and you are exercising, and you are happy with your progress. Do you know how many people would trade places with you in a nanosecond? Well done!!

I would suspect that you feel your weight loss -- even though it has been over 3 months -- is still a little too new to you, and you are afraid that without constant consciousness about it, you'll gain that weight back, or lose your good new habits? Any truth there? You are right to guard your new routines!

One thing to be careful of (always my problem) is thinking that you have to do all, or it's worth nothing. I know that whenever I am in a good exercise routine, if something gets me off of it even for a day or two (like a trip, for instance) it is nearly impossible to go back. It's almost as though somewhere inside I feel like I've lost momentum, or I screwed up, or something. I know cognitively that I just took a couple days off, no harm, and can get right back to it, but knowing something cognitively and acting on it are two different things with me.

It's ok that you're putting yourself first right now. And that's all this is! You have not suddenly become boring or selfish. You're just being protective of the great work you're doing, and I think as it becomes more and more habitual, you will feel like there is more room for other things.

February 25, 2009 - 9:18am

It sounds to me that you've learned to love your endorphins, and that's a good thing. Hopefully, your friends will be inspired by you to follow a healthy lifestyle, themselves. That would be a great thing!

Congratulations and stick with your program. :))

February 24, 2009 - 7:41pm

Congratulations on your success and continued luck on your weight loss journey!

I have not personally experienced the obsession you currently have with working out and losing weight, but it seems like a good thing.

You are really excited to see progress and can envision yourself reaching your goals!

Right now, I think this excitement is driving your obsession, but, like I said before, it seems to be good. It makes perfect sense you would want to tell all your friends about your accomplishments because you are proud of yourself and you should be.

I say, continue your journey toward health and fitness, feel great doing it, and don't suppress your urge to share the good news. Maybe they'll join your the health bandwagon.

Also, I would image, once you've reached higher goals and level off to your new satisfied weight, your preoccupation with the gym and food will relax and simply become a natural aspect of your new life.

February 24, 2009 - 1:56pm
(reply to Shannon Koehle)

Thanks so much! I was hoping to hear this. :-)

I just hear so much information about eating disorders and the obsession with food and exercise, that it concerned me. I feel like once I do reach my higher goal, that I can "level off" as you say, and return to a more relaxed state of enjoying food and exercise and not be so preoccupied about it as much. It really takes a lot of time, effort, stamina, and emotional/mental/physical energy to lose weight...I had no idea!! It's a full-time job!

thanks again for the wonderful pep talk.

February 24, 2009 - 2:50pm
(reply to Free2Bme)

Free2Bme -

I'm glad my pep talk was helpful. You've worked hard and it's good to be proud of yourself and your accomplishments.

As you've been doing, continue losing a few pounds every month, since this truly is the best way to keep it off, and enjoy your new body and the energy and happiness it brings you!

Go Girl!

February 25, 2009 - 12:53pm
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