How Do I Get Off The Weight Rollercoaster?

I have dieted on and off since I was 18 years old. I struggle with my weight as many women with PCOS do yet have managed to lose weight successfully in the past. This summer I have put on 8lb and feel awful! I don’t drink, don’t eat chocolate and sweets, I don’t go for a lot of puddings either. This can make “cutting back” a bind. When I am on a plan I can do well for a period of time but I really struggle maintaining any loss .

I am resigned to the fact that I am going to have to watch what I eat for the rest of my life, I put weight back on at an alarming rate and find it difficult to shift it again (hands up if you suffer with the same problem!). Roy said something recently about completely changing the way I eat and look at food (rather perceptive of him!) and I think he may be right. This conversation came at the same time I was contacted about a competition from Jenny Craig where bloggers are invited to ask a JC expert about anything related to healthy eating, nutrition and maintaining a healthy weight loss.

So my question for Jenny Craig, and my readers is this:

How can I change the way I eat / think about food in order to lose weight in a healthy way and maintain the loss?

Any personal experiences or advice from any source would be appreciated, I certainly can’t be the only one is this situation, wondering which way is the way forward, and fed up of the unhealthy loss/gain/loss/gain rollercoaster.

My current relationship with food is that it is a necessary evil that plots against me regularly to make me need to wear bigger knickers. Clearly this is not great as 1) I have previously vowed to rid myself of granny pants and do not want to see them creeping back into my undies drawer and 2) I have always quite enjoyed food, cooking and experimenting and want to recapture this.

I really need to find my way off the weight rollercoaster and onto the road that leads to a healthier weight that I can maintain long term. I need to ward off the big knickers!

photo by Christi Nielsen via PhotoRee

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  1. I feel your pain Nicki. I really do.

    I’ve been going on and off diets since I was about 16. And I’ve managed to lose weight twice in that time. Once through a strict self-imposed diet (only having salads and no naughties – far from sustainable), and once using Slimming World before my wedding.

    People keep telling me I’m young and that I should be able to lose weight, but I do think that your mind plays a massive role in weight-loss – just as much as the body. You have to think yourself slim, and be confident on your goal.

    It really bugs me that I eat so much healthier than many of my friends (I have salad and fruit for lunch, high fibre low sugar cereal for breakfast, a balanced dinner and lots of water), and yet I’m still stuck at a size 16, where as they have svelt bodies, but tuck into large mayo-stuffed sarnies… *sigh*

    1. Thanks Claire.
      This is where I am at the moment, I do eat fairly healthily but think I need to address all of the aspects of weight loss and maintenance, like mind as well as body. And portion sizes too.

      I don’t drive so walk everywhere (we love going on walks) so am fairly active in that respect however I just struggle to keep going some times.

      Such a vicious circle! x

  2. Hi Nicki, I empathise completely!
    I have lost three and a half stone so far and it has not been easy but this summer has been particularly tough.
    I think that it is a combination of the lack of routine (I’m a creature of habit and when the structure is gone, the rest goes out of the window!) and this affects my ability to plan my meals. More is eaten on the go and it is hard to keep control when this happens. The fact that I haven’t been able to exercise as much is another contributor.
    Things should turn back the right way round for me once the kids are back at school and I have more scope to plan, exercise and have a little reflection time which I get none of when everyone is around! I hope things turn around for you too. It is tough but any self awareness we learn through going through these tough times only makes us ultimately stronger.

    1. You done a fantastic job!
      I can lose the weight initially, although never as much as I want, it is the keeping it off that I struggle with.
      Like you I need organisation (I’m something of a control nut) and when this slips I fall back on bad habits.

      What the answer is I don’t know…. yet!

  3. Diets are not a good long-term solution to being a healthy weight. They sometimes work short-term, but dieters nearly always put the weight back on over time – and at the end of the day companies such as WeightWatchers, Jenny Craig etc are businesses that want to make money. People need to focus less on calorie counting and more on eating mostly healthy foods with the occasional treat. And unfortunately exercise does play a part too! Good luck x

    1. Thanks Angela.
      I’m guessing it is an individual thing. I’m a keen advocate for healthy eating however some people need more of a routine to enable them to lose weight. I have issues with weight gain, and have followed nutritional guidelines including a low GI way of eating which worked up to a point but again I found it difficult to follow long term.

      I think I need to change the way I think about food and my food eating habits and will be more successful maintaining a healthier weight.

  4. Yep, I can relate too. I think it’s especially hard being a working mum because you put yourself last, you’re often knackered and the easiest way to treat yourself is with chocolate. The way of losing weight that has worked best for me is to do a little weight training (nothing scary, just a few handweights for 15 mins a day in front of the telly) apparently the more muscle you have in your body, the more fat you burn just getting through day-to-day life. Repeated diets gradually cause you to lose muscle, which is one reason why diets get less effectrive as you get older – you’ve got less muscle to use up those calories. I had to do it alongside a healthy diet, but it kept the weight off for years – until I got pregnant! Good luck!

    1. Working from home definitely doesn’t help! in my early weight-loss days I found it all very easy – I took the “correct” food to work each day and that was that. Much easier to stay organised!

      I’ve found weight-related things much more difficult since having the kids. i have been known to say that my metabolism followed my pelvic floor and the chances are neither will be seen again! 🙂

  5. I made up a diet that suits me, including (healthy)things I like to eat, 3 small meals a day plus some fruit at teatime with a cuppa. I don’t count the calories but they add up to about 1250 a day if I eat everything, including the most calorific options on the list, and not more than 1500 if I have second helpings of dinner (which I can’t resist sometimes. I’ve just (almost) completed day two so I can’t blog about it until I’ve managed a week. Watch this space – I am determined this time. My biggest tip is to eat small meals for breakfast and lunch so that if you blow it in the evening you’ve still had an ok day. Good luck!

    1. Oh! I shall be watching to see how you get on. Will you incorporate treats into your week? I’m not a breakfast person usually but have been making more of an effort with this.
      Good luck to us both xx

  6. I recently found out that I have Hashimoto’s which basically means that my thyroid has been killed by a nasty virus and I will have to take thyroid meds for the rest of my life..It was kind of a relief to be able to find a reason for my ongoing battle with my weight – but along with the diagnosis came another revelation from my Endocrinologist – I am one of the few people on the planet who cannot utilise carbs properly. This means that I have to avoid potatoes, pasta, breads and to a certain extent rice…For years I ahve told people aboutt he adverse effect I thought carbs were having on me, and everyone told me I was insane – well it seems I am not insane, when I eat carbs my body goes into melt down mode and stores everything – the result is that I can quite literally put weight on overnight – typically 3 to 4 lbs, which will then take me up to 2 weeks to move again….I do my best to avoid these carbs, and prevent this weird freak of nature as I call it.

    Perhaps you have a weird thing that you eat, but really shouldn’t….At least now I can say with confidence that it is a medical fact that I can’t eat this stuff and not something I am being faddy about…..

    1. I remember having an issue with a Weight Watchers “leader” years ago. I actually lost 4st which I was thrilled with however, at the time I was allowed 18 points and if I ate more than 13 points I would maintain or put on. Basically I starved the 4st off which is neither healthy or sustainable.

      I tried to have a quiet word with the woman and explained that I had PCOS, had been warned that I was susceptible to weight gain and would find it hard to lose, yet was determined and wondered if she knew how to best use the plans to support this.

      She very loudly proclaimed everything I’d said as complete tosh, something I was hiding behind (I wish!), and that I clearly wasn’t committed. This was after losing 4st. I tried to explain that this was coming from my consultant and I wanted to maintain not put it back on etc but was basically scorned.

      Many people have weight issues whether they have a related condition or not but when they do and seek help to work alongside it, they don’t expect that level of crap basically.
      (Small slightly off topic rant there but you know what I mean!) x

  7. Hi Nicky
    I’m there with you and agree with what everyone has said so far. My business revolves around baking cakes every day. However lately I have programmed my mind to believe I don’t like eating cake. I guess I’ve had cake overload over the years and now it’s time for my body to say enough! Strangely though this shift in my thinking has had an effect on the way I see snacking on the wrong things and incredibly I’ve shifted a few pounds. So it really is in your mind I believe where the battle is won. I’ve got a long road to travel with stones to shift but it’s the small steps which make a difference in our daily routines and I want to build in regular exercise as part of mine. Perhaps we should form an online group to rally the cause! I also find as I’m getting older weight has tended to stay on. Xx

    1. The body does seem less resistant to change (positive change!) after having children or gaining a couple of years. Bloody conspiracy!

      You are right though, it is a matter sorting your mind out and taking small steps.
      Good lucky lovely x

  8. I was diagnosed with PCOS at 19 and the only way I found to control my weight successfully and I apply this whiles pregnant (not to lose weight but to balance blood sugar) is the maintenance part of the low GI diet-eating protein with every meal and wholegrain carbs, lots of fruit and veg and most importantly exercise (I would run 4-5 times a week)-along with that I would take 1000ml evening primrose oil a day to balance hormones. It’s an on going thing but after my first and before getting pregnant I was rocking sizw 10 jeans so it works. Your insulin is supported by slow releasing food and energy levels are high. I’m going to write a post about it soon hopefully. Good luck x

    1. Hello!
      I followed a Low-Gi plan alongside exercise (probably not enough)for years on the advice of my consultant and while it worked to an extent the weight loss soon stalled, despite mixed the foods around etc.
      It is definitely the best known and prescribed diet for PCOS. Perhaps I need to rethink it and start again with it. I remember it certainly boosted my energy levels.

      I’ll look forward to that post x

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