Is Being Ready Enough? Someone Needs Your Advice

I love getting email from Lynn’s Weigh readers. I really do. And I try to answer it as best I can and in a timely manner. But this week I have so much on my plate – out of the ordinary things that are consuming my thoughts – and I wouldn’t be able to answer the following email in a thoughtful way.

So I need your help. Can you, particularly the veteran weight-loss folks, answer this email I received today from Stacey? When I get a chance I’ll refer her to what I’ve written in the past, but I know we each have our individual answer to the questions she poses.

Variety being the spice of life, your answer may be just what Stacey needs to hear to get her on the path of permanent weight loss.

Here’s her email:

“I am looking for advice. How did you stick with it at first? I have a very hard time getting motivated to do it. I know it is pure laziness on my part. I loved WW in the past when I have tried it. When seeing results I get excited and all that but as soon as I fall off the wagon or have a bad day it is all over and I’m back to square one.

I am 36 and at 290. I am so ready for a life change. Any help you can give would be wonderful.”

Leave a comment or send me an email to and I’ll be sure to forward it to Stacey. Thanks a ton, you guys.

A quick update on Mathilda. She’s not doing well. Her back legs just aren’t working. We may need to put her down this week. The only saving grace is that we got that second chance, that extra time to spend with her. And we’ve been savoring every moment.

Thank you again for all your kind comments and well wishes. I know so many of you have been down this road before. It’s never easy.

24 thoughts on “Is Being Ready Enough? Someone Needs Your Advice

  1. I think this may be the first time I've commented, but I love your blog.

    Sorry to hear that Mathilda's not doing better.

    Re: Stacey. For me, when I was 35 and 300+, I had to make it about the actions I was taking at the very beginning and not about the results. Don't know how many times I derailed a diet b/c two or three weeks in the scale didn't match how I felt. The two times I've had major success, I didn't weigh myself for the 1st 2 months–just concentrated on eating healthy (did have a specific program I followed) and exercising, and had faith good results would be there when I DID finally step on the scale. Made a world of difference to me in the beginning. Kept enjoying the overall sense of feeling better and knowing that my clothes were loser, and didn't have to worry about that object making me feel like a failure. I use a scale now, but I couldn't handle it in the beginning.

  2. My only advice is to start very, very slowly. A ten minute walk once a day or adding one extra serving of veggies to your diet or just trying to drink more water can if done regularly become a habit. These habits build on each other and soon become a new way of life. They are not so intimidating. Good luck. You can do this!

  3. So sorry to hear about Mathilda hope she will get a third wind.

    For Stacey I have “tips” in my side bar on my blog if she wants to take a look. I made them a few weeks ago for my TOPS group.

    Hope you're doing ok. I know how tough it is to have a sick pet. We lost our kitties one each year 4 yrs in a row, was very hard.

  4. Lynn – my heart goes out to you with Mathilda. I struggled last year with our 18-year-old cat and trying to make a decision about having to put her down or not. It's hard to make that decision because you wonder where you put your desires versus the best thing for your pet because the line is so blurred.

    For Stacy, I think she needs to work on not having an all or nothing mentality. That made the biggest difference for me. When you think all or nothing, then if you have a bad day, you quit. If you give yourself permission to have those bad days, it is a lot easier to move on from them. Perfection isn't possible, but good practice is.

  5. Lots of hugs for Mathilda.

    I'm certainly not a veteran weigh-loss person who kept it off, but I'm down from 299 to 224 so I qualify as having some success. And basically, she don't do it if she doesn't want to. My motivation is to be around for my son so he doesn't become an orphan. And to enjoy a new lifestyle.

    What's hers?

    The how was easier. Relatively. One tiny step at a time. Ban all soft drinks from the house and from ordering out and from the grocery cart. Then doughnuts (or whatever). And getting up and walking in front of the TV for 5 minutes a day. Then 10 minutes. Etc.

    Vee at

  6. Big hugs to (((Mathilda))). As for Stacey, she must be reading my mind today. I do really good and the scale shows it, then you hit a stopping point and the scale doesn't move. Could he scale not moving force you into an eating mood? What is it that makes us feel bored, no results or is it lack of motivation. I know I get tired of trying sometimes, but I know this week the odds are not against me and I will push thru. One day is not forever. Keep chugging Stacey and get back on plan.

  7. Stacy,
    The best thing I can contribute is to keep in mind that you could be 65 and trying to lose because your hips and knees just can't handle 300 pounds any longer! Believe that it has to be easier now than it will at 40, 50 or 60 AND you might have even more to lose if you wait. It's not easy. The favorites — a half loaf of buttered french bread, a big bucket of buttered popcorn at a movie, Mom's wonderful pies and home made bread, the chocolates that call to you from your favorite chocolate shop. Maybe It will NEVER get easier. Just keep your mind on the prize of fitting easily into the clothes you like and not worrying when you sit on a chair that it will break under your weight and not aching every morning when you get out of bed and not needing to stop to catch your breath after just a few minutes of exercise. Keep faith in yourself and keep marching on.

  8. I heard a great comment in my ww meeting about having a bad day and then totally falling off plan.

    If you broke one of your good pieces of china, would you pull the rest out of the cupboard and throw them to the floor? Of course not. Same with your weight loss journey. Good luck Stacey….you can do it!

  9. Sorry to hear this about Matilda. So glad you got some bonus time with her…but it's just sad, all the same.

    For Stacey, try not thinking about going back to square one. Restarts can happen anytime, even mid-day. It takes time, but eventually she'll get there.

  10. Lynn – So sorry to hear that Matilda is not doing well. 😦 Sending a (((hug))) your way. I've been there, and it is so hard.

    I have to echo what so many others are saying. It's not about “laziness.” There are larger forces at work here, and it takes a lot of strength and courage to fight them. (Reading “The End of Overeating” might make you mad enough to buck the system. Skim the food descriptions, though; Kessler describes them rather enticingly. 😉

    And what Lori said about the “all or nothing” approach is so true. I found that it helps to course correct ASAP, rather than continue to throw away the progress I've made. Sometimes it looks a lot like standing still, which can be discouraging, but that's better than regaining it all back.

    I don't know that there's any one, true way to do it. When I was losing, I was desperately dealing with diabetes and just started hurling every technique into my lifestyle and seeing what “stuck.” I know that varies from the “take it gradually” advice; maybe my approach worked because I was hyper-motivated at the time.

    I also noticed the statement, “I have a very hard time getting motivated to do it.” I think motivation is kind of overrated. It implies the excited willingness to throw ourselves into what we're doing. When I think what's really needed is commitment. An analogy is feeling motivated to exercise. I was successful at regular exercise *only* when I made it non-negotiable. I had to do something for 30 minutes per day, 5 days per week. Motivation only affected the intensity, not whether I did it or not. Maybe try that with food: come up with some base behavior for how you're going to eat, and then “extra credit” behavior for when you're feeling motivated? I'm not sure what that looks like, but maybe have a “go to” menu that will work when you don't feel motivated to do stuff like cooking or trying new recipes? It's good to have a strategy in place for when motivation wanes, because I've found that it is a very cyclical thing for me.

    One more thing: I know it's scary, but see your doctor and get a physical. In my case, I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes; that diagnosis got me some much-needed help in turning my health around, although at the time it felt pretty grim.

  11. I would encourage Stacey to read through your blog from the very beginning. I've done that a couple of times and it's been really motivating to fast-forward through someone else's ups and downs. You begin to recognize that any weight loss journey includes setbacks, but if you go right back to what you know will work (counting points or calories, planning meals, etc) the pounds will come off.

    Two key points that I've taken from your blog, Lynn: 1)you lost weight slowly, no quick fix.
    2)you had a support team by way of the WW boards. That allowed you to share your struggles and keep going. Finding a way to get the support you need is a really good place to start.

    So sorry to hear about Mathilda.

  12. Thank you so very much for your comments. I've directed Stacey to your answers. I knew you'd all have some great advice (and things I needed to read, too. I'm always learning something from you.)

    We'll be saying goodbye to Mathilda tomorrow at 2:30. Tonight, she's getting all the love (and a few treats) she knows she deserves. She's a good dog and my dear, dear friend. I will miss her so.

  13. I'm so sorry about Mathilda! I'll be thinking of all of you tonight and tomorrow.

    I can't think of anything truly useful to add to the others' advice for STacey.

  14. Dear Lynn, You know I've been down that road a few too many times. I'm crying with you this morning. Thanks for sharing your life with us. Dogs are one of God's most wonderful gifts to man, don't you think?

    For Stacey. Not much to add. I will say that for me, an RN and a praciticed 'dieter'–turns out I needed a little help. The support and the information I received by attending Weight Watchers meetings was very important in the beginning and also I sought out help and information everywhere–talking to healthy living folks and reading everything I could get my hands on. I have a suggested reading list on my blog if she wants to check it out.

  15. ((Lynn & Matilda))

    I echo what many have said and would like to add that if you set little goals it will help. Make Monday your day to start getting in all your F/V, then Tuesday is your day to get in your water (and your F/V), Wednesday add activity and on and on… then rest and reset on Sunday. On this journey we have our ups and downs, but no matter what we need to continue to move forward… walking backward is not an option.

  16. Lynn, I'm so sorry that you have to say goodbye to your pal Matilda today. You and your family are in my thoughts. In addition to remembering how much Matilda added to your life, remember the wonderful life you gave to Matilda. Kathy

  17. I've been there. I think we all have been at some point. Don't think about the big picture because it seems too overwhelming. Just do this….take ONE day at a time. Just try to stay on track today….then do the same tomorrow. Pretty soon you'll have a successful week and then one will turn into two and so on. When your clothes start feeling better, you'll want to keep it up. Pretty soon you'll start seeing some big changes. I wish her the very best.
    My motto: Keep On Keeping On! 😉

  18. for Stacey: at the age of 24 I was in a very destructive cycle of binge eating. Every diet I tried didn't work (w/w then wasn't what it is today). Tired of being 'fat' and tired of dieting and tired of bingeing, I stopped. Just stopped. And read a few books (Fat is a Feminist Issue by Susie Orbach and Feeding the Hungry Heart by Geneen Roth) which helped tremendously. And then, as another 'replyer' has stated, I became committed to changing my life. It was work but worth it because in stopping and thinking why I was eating and what I really wanted, I–in the end–changed my habits and developed a healthier relationship to food. That was 24 years ago. Some of the weight has come back on, from time to time, but nowhere near where I began. Yes, I have a weight-loss blog. Yes, I have twenty or thirty pounds to lose. But as others have stated: take time. figure out what works for you. But most importantly, FORGIVE YOURSELF. and. TAKE the LONG VIEW: the good habits you practice (because it is continual practice) today, if you are consistent, will produce results. Where were you last year? Where would you like to be next year?…then read Lynn's blog (as someone else suggested also.) and best to you!–apologies for the length.

  19. I don't think I've ever left a comment on this blog – even though I've read it for quite some time – but I just wanted to thank everybody for their responses on this because I too am having the problem of getting motivated. At 335 pounds I know changes need to made but no matter how much I try to scare myself into making changes, I still lack motivation. It's great to know there is so much support out there.

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