Struggling to get my stuff together (a confession)

5’11, 225 lbs, 30% bf, 50 years old

I can logically reason that I need to eat healthier, but here is a gods honest true set of statements (not whining or feeling sorry for myself…just being honest):

  • I’m 40 lbs overweight
  • Stressed and overworked
  • Depressed
  • Dealing with repetitive cycling injuries (hip)
  • Extremely demotivated to diet cause I gain in back in the past (and I’m in a deep weight gain rut)
  • Stress eat/Emotionally eat
  • Fucking Love ice cream okay sugar in general
  • Stuck in COVID land with no gym access

I have ZERO motivation to start a diet. That said I don’t like looking in the mirror and it can’t be good for my life expectancy to continue down this path.

My gp has basically said I need to stop cycling until I fully rehab my hip. I’m doing the floor exercises, but miss cycling for sure.

My question, have any of you gotten down and back up again? Again ZERO motivation…

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This is going to sound like some total bullsh1t but, is there anything chance a slight change of mindset could help? Maybe move away from the word diet? Tell yourself that you’re cutting back and do that cutting back gradually.

Why remove everything from your life that you enjoy? I’m no doctor so I’m not going to question their advice with regards to your cycling.

If you love ice cream, why deny yourself entirely? Try buying a smaller tub and using a smaller bowl and spoon when you treat yourself. Sounds like you have enough going on right now. No need to create your own version of hell.

These reductions don’t even need to be huge to start with, just something that forms the basis of a good habit. Yeah, the weight won’t magically disappear but you know that. Being kind to yourself mentally right now is going to put you in a far better place.

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5’11" 211 Lbs 50 here, don’t want to guess at BF but probably close to 27-28% was at one point 245 4 or 5 years ago and hardly able to climb stairs and after 15 years retail decided change was an absolute priority

I got everything but the hip injury, I am no doc but maybe a second opinion from a doc that rides ( check local cycling club maybe )
Ice Cream is my Achilles also, half gallon tubs are no contest, recently switched to bars and the little “hoodsie cups” in an effort of portion control which is what kills me every time… stress/emotion is a hard thing to shake as a trigger, I try to find projects around the house to ease it, small victories ( shelf in the garage, organize tools, in summer pull some weeds in the flowerbeds ) trying to remember this is a long game plan it didn’t get this way overnight, it won’t go away in a month
I have always believed everyone is an addict of some sort, ( booze, sugar, exercise etc. ) so we can use some of those established methods to treat whatever our personal addiction is and it is all “one day at a time” whether we like it or not and we really need to remember we are never alone and almost always only see others “A game footage” when they share on social media not the binges they have as nobody wants to show their addiction ( insert empty ice cream container pic here )
YOU will get this, YOU want this, and you know what needs to be done, so remove or minimize the temptations and fight the negative, find the ways to reduce the stress and maybe rework the work so it isn’t so overwork driven. it is all by degrees never an all or nothing proposition…

Thanks for sharing and as I reread this reaffirm what I need to do

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Second the point about your hip and maybe a second opinion! What is the injury if you don’t mind me asking? Sometimes medical professionals take a very conservative view without actually understanding the hollistic impact such guidance can have. If possible I’d speak to a sports physio or sports injury therapist about how best to manage it and how you can safely return to cycling

Steal a few minutes here to give you some good news and bad news OP.

First, getting off sugar SUCKS!!! There WILL be pain involved. But it will pass.

Now, do not diet. Lifestyle changes. Slowly and in small bites so you can experience success.

Here is one suggestion: Find one thing every single day you are grateful for. Write it down. Keep a list. Every single day, no matter how hard find something. No cheating by looking at the list first. This will help with the depression.

Now, more on the depression. If you need help, get it. No shame in it. This can be medical (medicine) or mental (counselor). Just shut up and do it.

Not sure where you are located, but get a PT that is good to look at your hip. Call around. Good PTs will know who you should go see. See them. (tell us more about the injury).

I am dealing with lack of motivation after training and racing solidly for almost 10 years. 3 months ago I hit a wall and just am not bouncing back. My discipline keeps me doing things. I am out of time right now but will try to get back to this thread. Been there, done that. Wore out that T-shirt.

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Deal with ONE thing at a time and make it ONE thing over which you have control and will make the biggest impact of positive change.

My suggestion: hip rehab.

Being chronically injured (or sick) is very detrimental to physical and mental wellbeing.

It’s also keeping you from exercising, which is very beneficial to physical and mental wellbeing.

Put all your energies into fixing your hip; leave everything else alone. Hip, that’s it. One thing. Hell, make ice cream your reward for doing hip rehab exercises!

Also, stress & depression do a great job of keeping the weight on, so you probably need to change your diet a lot less than you think.

Show your hip some love. :+1:

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I think that’s a good idea. Focus on the hip.

For people that are addicted to these kinds of foods, the just eat a little less strategy usually doesn’t work. It’s like telling an alcoholic to just drink a little.

I know. I’m one of these types. It’s an all or nothing deal. If ice cream comes into the house, it will get eaten a bowl at a time. A tub is not going to last a month. It might last a week. If ice cream keeps getting bought then it will be a daily habit.

I deal with this by just not buying it and bringing it in the house. I’m not against sugar at all. Just not having a constant supply in the house leads to way better habits.

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IamDeablo, I hear ya. Covid 19 has brought a lot of highs and lows to our house. It f–ing sucks. Hopefully, many of us will all get the vaccination soon and things will start turning around.

I’m in lockdown with my 10 year old doing virtual school. I went from riding outside 300 days per year to riding a trainer almost every day of the week. I get outside for a ride once a week depending on weather and family life. The stress of having everybody cooped up in the house in each other’s faces 24/7 has not been great.

My recommendation - never start a diet. Diets always fail. The only thing you can do is permanently change the way you eat. You do things like decide that sugar is bad for your long term health and that you are going to stop eating it or at least cut out 90-95%. The same could be said for anything: alcohol, prepared packaged foods, take-out foods, etc, etc. Or you decide you are going to eat more fish, eat less high glycemic foods, eat more vegetables, eat more fiber, etc. Just start chipping away and transforming your diet into something that is healthy long term.

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I like to think of it as nutrition and exercise, not diet and exercise. I try to focus on getting nutritious things in, and, for me anyway, it displaces some of the junk I’d otherwise be eating. I STILL EAT SOME JUNK THOUGH. Finding healthy snacks and setting some guidelines that I should eat healthy snacks before junk helps. I don’t set hard rules, those get broken at some point and then it just feels like another fail.

Good luck on your journey. Opening up about it is rarely easy - thanks for sharing.

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I’m just going to come in with the correction that nobody is addicted to sugar. Ice cream tastes nice that’s why people like to eat it, but if it wasn’t in your freezer, you wouldn’t be eating a bag of granulated sugar with a spoon to get your fix…

I’d echo earlier comments, having been a yo-yoer for many years (decades). It’s not a diet, its a change of diet, and my n=1, incremental changes and portion control is a good place to start. It has to be sustainable changes.

fwiw, I’d recommend looking up someone like “The Fitness Chef” on social media, who does a lot on small changes you can make. A lot of people recommend swapping “unhealthy” foods for more calorie dense “healthier” options, which is well and good, but a calorie is still a calorie when it comes to weight loss (because, Science!).

Yeah, me too!

I recommend you read Matt Fitzgerald’s Endurance Diet. It is a quick and easy read and was enough for me to significantly cut back on my sugar intake. (I still have a long way to go but the book kick started my journey.)

Yes, the word “diet” is in the title but what he outlines is not really a diet, it’s a paradigm / philosophy about how to eat. I do track my calories via MyFitnessPal mainly because I’m a data junkie but I don’t weigh my food, so it’s probably only accurate to within +/- 15%. I also don’t use it to make meal-by-meal decisions. I use it for long-term trend analysis and to ensure I make a conscious decision about impulsively eating something (i.e. do I really want to log that bowl of ice cream).

BTW, I do enjoy a small piece of dark chocolate after most dinners. It seems to scratch the chocolate itch and isn’t as unhealthy as processed sugar. Fitzgerald talked about this in the book.

Finally, for weight loss, weight lifting is a critical component. Hopefully you’re already doing physical therapy for your hip and can maybe (with your GP’s concurrence) add in some light weight lifting to start.

I can understand not liking the word ‘diet’. I get annoyed by people saying diets don’t work, which is kinda true and not true. Dieting and then returning to your old habits doesn’t work, sustainable lifestyle changes do work.

The last time I returned from a work stress related cycling break, these are the things that worked for me:

  • No big changes, a small series of lifestyle changes implemented over time was more sustainable for me.
  • Prioritizing my health and wellbeing and exploring options to mitigate work stress, including finding a better job.
  • Rediscovering my love of cycling. I didn’t train and didn’t ride unless I wanted to ride. I just rode because I wanted to.

Specifically, regarding food:

  • Ignore the crowd that is down on artificial sweeteners.
  • Don’t drink your calories. Coke Zero all the way.
  • Check out Greg Ducette’s Anabolic Icecream recipe. For me its 90% there and super filling. Make that instead of getting the regular stuff.
  • These need to be permanent changes. So make them small and over time and allow them to become habits and lifestyle changes.
  • There are certain foods I love and are always going to be in my diet. You need to keep some of the foods that you love, you just need to moderate and keep them part of your ‘plan’.

Good luck.

These are extremely demotivating times so you are very much not alone.

A personal strategy of mine is to allow myself 2 days out of 5 where I can eat my favourite things. On the other 5 I’m eating vegetables, whole foods etc. So overall, I’m consistently eating healthy. Having the 2 days gives me something to look forward to and is kind of a reward. The way I look at it is I’m hacking my mood.

Guess I’ll chime in with “diet” thoughts…DON’T!

Diet — aka what you eat — should be the last thing on your list to address. Although you may be surprised to find that you won’t need to address it at all. Focus on reshaping and healing the other areas on your list and a lot of your positive dietary changes will take care of themselves (e.g. you’ll want to eat better because you’ll want to have better bike rides).

For so many of us, food fuels our mental state. Your current eating patterns are supporting your decreased motivation, stress, and depression. Eating salad every day isn’t going to make you feel better in your present state. But when you get to a more positive state, you’ll be far more accepting of eating salad.

Go easy on yourself and don’t worry about the bike, it’ll still be there when you’re ready.

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Somehow, it’s a whole lot easier to take the decision not to add sugar into the grocery cart than to take the decision not to eat the sugar that made it into the house. The grocery sugar screams at you for 30 minutes once a week. The one in your house screams at you 24/7.

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Never understood the “need” for soft drinks in the first place. What’s wrong with water?

There are quite a lot of studies that disagree with that statement. Sugar triggers significant dopamine release.

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None that are properly peer reviewed. I again say, if that was the case, wouldn’t these “addicts” be eating granulated sugar from a bag to get their fix, instead of using really great tasting food?

Ok, so my 2 pence worth. I’ve dealt with chronic injuries and they suck. I’ve dealt with substance issues and they suck too. I’ve never had issues around food (I don’t want to imply anything negative by that word, just to be clear), but hopefully I have enough general perspective to offer some advice.

  1. What we might loosely term addiction patterns don’t go away on their own.
  2. Chronic injuries don’t usually go away on their own.
  3. There is a limit to how much others can help with these things.

So, essentially, you need to find your own motivation. Mine was to go cycling with my daughter, and not having to hide alcohol/other stuff around the house whenever anyone came round in case they found it. That was followed by various medical scares, and I realised I’d come from a national standard Cx racer to an early middle age guy with/on the verge of some quite serious self-inflicted health issues.

So find that motivation and put specific but manageable targets in place. What they are doesn’t matter, but work towards them. Write them down. Tick them off. Tell people what they are so you’re accountable.

If there is something you’re trying to change your relationship with, you cannot use that as a reward for ‘good behaviour’ - that reinforces all the wrong mental patterns. It was over 3 years before I allowed myself to drink again, and even now I’m very careful with it.

Sorry for the very long post, and I hope it doesn’t come across as a lecture. You CAN do this.

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Some of us prefer / “need” flavor and / or a little fizz in our drinks. It is a struggle for me to drink just plain water…and there are times when that “bubble burn” is exactly what I need.

But @Craig_G’s point is spot-on…don’t drink anything with calories. Black coffee, club soda and diet sodas (if that is your thing) are a great way to save a TON of calories.

As others have noted, don’t diet. You don’t even necessarily have to change what you eat, but how much. Opt for smaller portions, don’t drink calories, etc can all go a long way to reducing your caloric intake. And the reality is that w/o the added calorie burn from exercising, the OP needs to limit how much he is consuming.

I’d also look into getting a bike fit…you may be able to get into a position that does not aggravate your hip.

And if you are truly depressed, find a therapist to talk to. It can make a massive difference in your mental outlook.

Sparkling water?