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Old 01-08-2007, 12:37 AM   #1
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For those of you that HAVE lost a significant amount of weight, what would you say the top 3 (or more) changes in your life do you think contributed the most to your success? Would you say following a "plan" was the key, or simply lifestyle changes?

Curiously inquiring of folks who've DONE THIS

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Old 01-08-2007, 01:11 AM   #2
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I lost 75 lbs and have kept it off for 2 years.

1. Change how I eat forever. After 20 years of failed dieting (lose/gain/gain more), this time was finally different because I had to fully accept that I just couldn't diet short term and then go back to eating "normal." For me, diets were punitive - I hated them, hated ice berg lettuce and tuna out of a can and plain broiled chicken breast with lemon, I couldn't wait for it to be OVER so I could eat nachos and pizza and muffins! This time, I found healthy foods I liked - I love fresh blackberries and natural peanut butter and roasted vegetables. I had to change what was my "normal." I gave up fast food, most processed foods, sugary soda and I feel great - I eat as many whole foods as possible.

2. No more starving myself. For 20 years, I thought if I could lose weight by cutting some calories, I could lose MORE weight by cutting MORE calories. This bad thinking led to ugly cycles of restriction followed by binging. This time, I never restricted and I never binged.

3. Think long term. Before, I just wanted to lose weight, I had no other goal besides "lose weight." This time, I wanted to lose weight and KEEP IT OFF. It has made all the difference.

Good luck! You can read my whole "plan" in my "very long weight loss story" link below!
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Old 01-08-2007, 08:03 AM   #3
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I agree with thinking long term.. Its not just about losing the weight .. Its about keeping it off..

Dieting is mental... I had to really change the way I thought about food..
Over the Holidays I did not diet but I made my self be aware of what I ate..

I do not do well with any one diet plan... I hate food list that I can and can not have...
I did better with a set calorie amount and just worked hard at not going over that amount. On the weekends I would allow myself a little more calories but did my best to be a little more active.
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Old 01-08-2007, 08:27 AM   #4
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I've lost 122 pounds and kept it off for almost five years.

I never followed anyone's 'plan' - I did it by counting calories, eating clean, and exercising. Not glamourous, but quite effective.

I changed everything, overnight, forever (obviously I'm not a baby-stepper ) on June 1, 2001. Even though it sounds overly dramatic, it was like dying and being reborn. I drew a line in the sand and knew I would never go back. Constantly dieting and failing was sucking the soul out of me and I felt like if I failed one more time, it would kill me. So failure was not an option, as they say!

Let's see, the top three changes I made in my life were/are:

1. Making exercise part of my everyday life. I'm 52, post-menopausal, and hypothyroid to boot. There isn't any way I could have lost 122 pounds and maintained by just dieting. Exercise was and is a necessity for me, so I made it part of every day, just like showering and brushing my teeth. Suprisingly, I get far more from exercise than just physical benefits - there's a world of psychological rewards to exercise that I never dreamed existed.

2. Giving up on the idea of moderation. Conventional diet wisdom is that we shouldn't 'deny' ourselves any foods and that all foods are OK 'in moderation'. Moderation has never worked for me and completely giving up unhealthy junk foods works far better for me than trying to control them. There are many foods that I never eat and I'm far, far happier that way.

3. Realizing that there's no end to the journey. At first it was hard to accept that I'd never reach a safe place that would be immune from regaining the weight. You can't ever rest on your laurels and take it easy ... the weight is just waiting to pile back on. You know how they say maintenance is harder than losing and you think 'huh, you've got to be kidding??' Well, it really is - it takes constant work and attention simply to keep your weight in one place. There aren't days off, no holidays, no vacations; it's 24/7, 365 days a year. That's why it's got to be the lifestyle that Glory talks about in her post - because you're going to be living it every day for the rest of your life. But I don't need to tell you that it's totally worth it!!
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Old 01-08-2007, 08:54 AM   #5
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I don't know if I'd call myself a big loser yet, maybe I am - over 78lbs, it's just that I've got soooo much more to STILL lose. but anyway.

I too gave it an all or nothing approach. I decided I didn't want to be fat anymore. Plain and simple. So for me everything had to change because I was doing EVERYTHING wrong. I went from eating huge portions of the wrong foods (fried, fatty and starchy) to eating small portions of healthy foods (broiled, baked, low-fat, high-protein, low carb and veggies). Eating breakfast and adding healthy snacks was also a big help, #1 to get my metabolisim moving and #2 to stay satisfied and not be hungry. And I had to find foods that I love, because I plan on doing this forever and ever. Planning is also key for me. I keep a well stocked house and know what I will be eating for the entire week. Also being AWARE of what I'm eating, realizing there are consequences to everything that goes into my mouth.

I went from being almost completely sedentary to being active. Not only was I not doing intentional exercise, but I was barely doing any UNintentional exercise or movement. To show just how sedentary I was I would blow dry my hair SITTING DOWN ON MY BED. Now I stand and don't laugh, kinda dance when I blow my hair. And of course I've added intentional exercise as well.

So I suppose the top 3 changes would be:

(1) Totally changing my eating habits and my thoughts about food and it's value in my life.
(2) Adding movement, activity and exercise to my life.
(3) Deciding that I am very important and that I am worth the effort. This is just as important as keeping the house clean, the kids in check, the bills paid, hubby happy, being a great hostess, a great friend and so on and so on. I MATTER and I deserve to live the best life that I can. Why should I settle for second best? I've got to give myself a shot at being the best ME.
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Old 01-08-2007, 10:04 AM   #6
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This is an EXCELLENT post, thanks for starting it Trazey, and thank you to those who are responding. It validates how I feel about my lifestyle changes I have made ~ and gives me that much more encouragement to keep on!
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Old 01-08-2007, 11:12 AM   #7
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Looks like I've lost the least of the big losers at having lost 53 pounds in the last 5 months, but I do consider myself a big loser so here goes!

1. I THINK about everything I eat. No putting food in my mouth out of boredom or habit, or just because it tastes good. I knew I couldn't live my life saying "I can't have that" so I do eat what I want, I just make sure I do actually really want it! Many times I think I want something, but a taste of it will do. I made a homemade apple pie yesterday at my DD's request. This was dangerous, 'cause it is my favorite too. After I was done with everything for the day I decided I really did want some of that pie. I figured points, took just a SLIVER of it, about two bites worth, and enjoyed. In the past I would have had a slab of it, but I was more than satisfied with the nibble!

2. It's very important to me now that I MOVE. I still sit down and watch a little TV with DH, or a movie with the kiddos, but I also make sure I exercise every day, no exceptions, and walking around the mall shopping with DD doesn't count!

3. Make it a lifestyle. Dieting is not an option for me, because that just makes me want to cheat. These are changes that I've made in my life, and this is how I live. Again, we still have fun, we still go out to dinner and things of that nature, I just THINK before I order and make wise choices.

Seems like such little things, but they've made such a difference in my life.
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Old 01-08-2007, 11:20 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meg View Post
I'm 52, post-menopausal, and hypothyroid to boot. ...
IT IS POSSIBLE! Meg, you have no idea how encouraging this is to hear...especially today! I am post-menopausal and I might be hypothry as well (I'll find out soon.) Everything I read about losing weight after menopause, and with hypothryoid, has been so negative. Thank you for the good news!

Kelly - 53 lbs definitely puts you in the Big Loser category in my book!
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Old 01-08-2007, 11:27 AM   #9
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Rhonda, forget what 'they' say. Believe it - it's totally possible for us to lose weight! Jtammy is hypo too and has lost even more than me, as well as QuilterinVA who lost 200 pounds and kept it off for something like 30 years.

You can do this!!
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Old 01-08-2007, 09:10 PM   #10
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Great post! Thanks for all the advice ladies!
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Old 01-08-2007, 09:13 PM   #11
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Super thread.
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Old 01-08-2007, 09:29 PM   #12
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I shed 80+ pounds over 3 years ago & have kept if off by following the Fat Flush Plan by Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD.

Your current lifestyle (lifestyle = diet + exercise or lack thereof) has made you fat so...
1) Temporary changes will not result in permanent weightloss. I changed how/when/where/what I ate. I even changed WHY. I do pilates or yoga every day and spend at least 15 minutes on the mini trampoline 3x per week. What's not to like about jumping on a trampoline??

2) I got over it. You know - the "why can't I eat <insert fave food here>?" Truth is, those fave foods of mine made me morbidly obese.

3) PLAN AHEAD. Walking out the door without a clue what you will be eating at your next meal is a guarantee of off-plan eating and long term failure. PLAN PLAN PLAN or fail.

4) Your belief system will ALWAYS trump your willpower. This is why - in my humble opinion - so many ultimately fail in their quest for a healthier, slender body. If you BELIEVE deep down that you a) deserve off-plan foods or b) will never succeed or c) have been good for so long a little surely can't hurt or d) can't handle one more "healthy" meal or e) deserve to be fat, or ....you get the idea - your belief will win. EVERY TIME. So change what you believe.
Look yourself in the mirror every morning and tell yourself you deserve to be healthy, slender and happy. Then make the decisions that are in line with that belief. You'll get there. HONEST.
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Old 01-08-2007, 10:19 PM   #13
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1) Realizing that there are some foods that I do best staying away from. I may be able to enjoy cookies in moderation one day, but I can't today. I may never get to that point, which is okay. I can keep from eating the first cookie, it's the second and third and fourth, that I can't stay away from. Sugars, HFCS, white flour are foods that I have to avoid.

2) Start moving. I started out walking a half a mile, and was exhausted! But I had to start somewhere, and I think that exercise will be key to maintaining the loss.

3) Believe that I can and have to do it. I decided that I wasn't going to "try" to lose weight. I had to lose weight. I told myself that if my original plan didn't result in weight loss, I would have to keep trying until I found something that would.

I did start out on a "plan". I started out somersizing (Suzanne Somer's diet plan). I did that exclusively for the first 6 months, then I decided that there were some foods I didn't want to exclude from my diet. The formal "plan" helped me, because at the time, I didn't have a lot of time or desire to make my own plan. I just wanted something to tell me what kinds of foods I should eat. That worked at the time, but I couldn't do that long term. I still follow many of the principles of that plan, by the way.

Rhonda, Yes, I am also hypothyroid, so don't let that discourage you. You can do it.
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Old 01-08-2007, 10:24 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by csoar2004 View Post
If you BELIEVE deep down that you a) deserve off-plan foods
This is a biggy, and I just wanted to add my 2 cents worth to it! My WW leader talks about this regularly, and I am in 100% agreement with her. She states that by "deserving" to eat something, you are really telling yourself that you deserve to have to work that much harder to combat what you ate, and that you deserve to have to pay for an extra 2 or more WW meetings while you lose what you gained from eating the food you deserved. Looking at it this way, I don't eat whatever the item is, because I deserve to be slim and trim!
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Old 01-08-2007, 10:46 PM   #15
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I LOVE threads like this. I freak out so easily over things and it's so comforting to be able to read stories and advice from people who have been there. Thanks to all of you "big losers" for sticking around these boards, it's an inspiration.

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