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Is it o.k. for me to be here? Help, please :)

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Old 11-01-2004, 11:22 AM   #1
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Default Is it o.k. for me to be here? Help, please :)

I am not sure I belong here, but here is where I feel the most comfortable so far. I don't have a hundred pounds to lose, but I have a lot---probably over 70 total. I am not sure how to start, but I sure need help and support. I am very ready to start losing, but seem to trip myself up by not knowing how to start. I keep going over and over different options, but get scared to try any of them ---it seems like such a huge task, and I definitely stress eat, so it causes more stress to try to figure out how to lose and how will I manage the stress of changing the way I eat?? I hope this makes sense.

But, I have been working on getting healthier and losing weight for months, and I have only lost about 6 pounds and have been just staying the same weight basically. I just don't know how to believe that I can actually accomplish this and be healthy. I weigh about 225 and my goal is around 160. I weigh more than I have ever weighed --- very distressing. Exercising is pretty easy for me, but the eating thing is NOT . I don't think I want to do WW --- I have done that in the past and it stressed me out a lot to get weighed every week---plus I don't really have the money. Are you able to be successful without going to a group like WW? How? How can I get started ---if I stay in this holding pattern I think I will give up on weight loss, which I definitely don't want to do. I am just feeling pretty discouraged right now. If this is not the place for me to post, can you tell me where I can? How do you get support from each other---by posting in the daily threads? Thank you so much for listening. I know I have a lot of questions. I hope I can become part of your group. Take care.

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Old 11-01-2004, 11:38 AM   #2
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There are others here who have less than 100 lbs to lose and they add a lot to this fourm. So I don't think anyone would mind. As far as doing it without going to a group I guess that depends on you. I have been successful without going to a goup. However I use this place as my group. As far as a diet plan I think you can do that on your own with out paying WW. I count calories there is no extra cost and it works. There are tons of sites that have calorie counting tools that can help you if you don't know what the calories are. So just jump in and start posting.
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Old 11-01-2004, 12:09 PM   #3
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Thumbs up Welcome, Kathy!

First of all, welcome, Kathy. This is absolutely a place you can hang your hat and call home. We promise to help and support, and give as much knowledge as we have --- which, collectively is a great deal! We all follow different plans here. I know that there are some among us who quite happily follow WW, but I think I'm correct in saying that most of us here don't currently. And if you have any doubts about whether you can successfully lose weight without going to WW meetings, then take a look at our Lose a Ton thread and there's proof positive!

As for getting started, you've done it! The first steps are to reach out for support and gather information. Great job on both counts! I'm sure a bunch of other folks will offer advice based on what works for them, and it's really important that you listen and see if what others do will be sustainable over the longterm for you. How you lose it will be how you're going to keep it off. In other words, if you lose it by following some diet that you hate or that is really hard to sustain, then chances are you're going to gain it all back and then some once you return to "normal" eating habits. The key is to make lasting behavioral changes. Forever changes.

We're all different, and what works for one might not for another. So do due diligence and spend hours on this site reading the different plans. Then -- and this is important -- I'd recommend that you buy a book called "Thin for Life," by Anne Fletcher. It's widely recognized as one of the definitive books on maintainers -- those who've lost weight and kept it off.

It's also important to make up your mind that you're in this for the long haul. It didn't go on overnight, and it won't come off overnight. Try to be patient, and celebrate every success, no matter how small it might seem at the time, or how it differs from what you were hoping for. Back to the long haul, it's REALLY important that you understand and remember that no matter what your rate of loss, time will pass regardless. So let's go conservatively and think of a pound loss per week, just for the sake of this exercise. At one pound lost per week, 6 months from now you'd be 26 pounds lighter -- almost halfway to goal! Now if you didn't think longterm, you might be all bummed out while that was happening, saying, "God, I only lost one pound last week!!" -- but if you were doing nothing to change your life, 6 months later you'd still have those 26 pounds and probably a few more. Choose to take control over how that time impacts your waistline and energy level.

Another related thought: Loss is the result of a thousand decisions made with the following in mind: Losing weight is my priority. It's more important than ____________. (Fill in the blank.) You won't make the right choice 100% of the time, because you're human. But the more the positive ones outweigh the ones that don't support your goals, the better off you'll be. If you get off track, no problem. Don't beat the crap out of yourself; pick yourself up and say, "I begin again NOW." That whole all-or-nothing "don't throw the baby out with the bathwater" analogy definitely applies here.

Planning is key. Once you decide how you're going to proceed, set yourself up for success by planning your meals, preparing them in advance if you need to (I do that every day and consider it critical to my success.) Removing the choice in the beginning can be critical to setting you off on the right foot.

For what it's worth, here's what I do, and what I'll do for the rest of my life:

* I count calories (like 1300-1600, depending on exercise) and fat (about 20-25% of my diet.) (I have a lot of other nutritional goals that I set, monitor, and track, but you don't have to be as intense as I. )
* I follow a low-glycemic diet (google it and you'll see a lot of info on why it's good. It means that the carbohydrates I eat don't turn to sugar as quickly, and give sustained energy rather than more readily turning into fat. Pasta, for example, when cooked al dente, is GOOD, not evil. )
* I drink 140-160 oz. water per day.
* I make sure to get about 40% of my calories from protein -- I do NOT skimp on the protein. It helps you feel full for longer, it helps to sustain your muscles, and it doesn't weigh down your energy like carbs.
* I go for a high fiber diet -- like 40-50 grams/day.
* I restrict my sodium. (I average like 1800-1900 grams/day.)
* I log all of my food and exercise religiously in a nutrition/exercise/diet software program called Diet Power, which I (and some others on 3FC) love, but lots of people use Fitday, and are very happy with it.
* I exercise now about 5 times a week, but I keep telling myself I'll do 6.
* I spread my meals throughout the day, eating breakfast, a mid-morning snack, lunch, a mid-afternoon snack, dinner, and (usually) an after-dinner snack. At every meal, I have a protein and a carb -- almost never do I have a carb without a protein to accompany it.
* I take vitamins and supplements.

This is what I've done since the beginning (with the exception of the exercise -- I used to do it less frequently than I do now) and at the time of this writing I've lost 72 pounds since March. I'm 40, and I have an office job. And I started out about 60 pounds heavier than you. You can do this, Kathy. Do your research, and set yourself up for success. There are two schools of thought about how you start out. Some people believe in baby steps, and recommend you build upon your improved behaviors. Others -- and I fall into this category -- need to just do a total overhaul on their lifestyle, and just dive right in with a "lifestyle makeover." Baby steps wouldn't have worked for me, but they do for some others.

So there we are.........this is a long one, but I wanted to make sure that I was giving you all that I thought you needed. I'm sincerely excited for you, and I wish you every success. It's 80% diet and 20% exercise. And it's 100% head work. Set your mind, be kind to yourself and change your definition of "reward," continue to come back here for support and renewed focus -- and the occasional kick in the *** --- and you'll do just fine.

Yay, you!
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Old 11-01-2004, 12:43 PM   #4
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Default Hi!

Hi Kathy
We have similar amounts to lose!
I don't go to a class or follow a big plan but I'm happy to share what I do.
I eat a low GI diet.
I don't weigh or measure portions (but I think it must be around 1200 - 1800)
I eat protein in every meal
I eat lots of veg and fruit and drink lots of water
I have three regular exercise sessions a week (a dance class, an exercise vid and a cold, muddy (usually raining) bike ride for an hour or more.)
Every night I have a little treat - A couple of glasses of wine, a small chocolate bar`or a small packet of chips etc
I don't know if this is the height of boredom but this is what I've eaten today and yesterday.
Breakfast: Sunday - 2 poached eggs on wholemeal toast, Monday - Porridge with honey and nuts.
Lunch: Sunday - Roast beef and vegetables (no potatoes), Monday - rice crackers, lean ham and cucumber sticks.
Tea/dinner: Sunday- cream cheese,ham and beetroot sandwich, yogurt.Monday - I'm having chicken and a huge salad with pumpkin seeds on.
For snacks I eat fruit, fat free yogurts, veg sticks dipped in low fat yogurt/ cheese and my little evening treat!!

Its working O.k.
I come here for support. It makes a difference reading through the posts and being able to ask questions. You've made a good start and if you lose weight slowly its more likely to stay off. Its a lifestyle change we need not a diet to follow.
I wish you well. Don't be distressed!!! You're taking action.
Keep in touch
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Old 11-01-2004, 01:03 PM   #5
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The others have some good suggestions about food and the like. I want to address your concern about feeling overwhelmed at the task, wondering how you feel this is "doable."

I've lost 150+ plus and am still going strong -- I need to lose about 10 - 20 more. I've been overweight all my life, and you can bet that staring at that final goal that was less than half my starting weight was intimidating. I did finally understand, as you do, that feeling optimistic was important to continuing. It's all about postive energy & mindset vs. negative energy & mindset. We get so used to being down on ourselves that it's hard to know any other way to be. Overweight people also tend to have compulsive, perfectionistic tendencies, and that not only made us overweight to begin with but keeps us from reaching our health goals if they are left to rule our lives.

So, here are some things I did to cope and rebuild my mentality to HELP rather than HURT my efforts.
  • First, I didn't even worry about an end goal when I started. In my secret heart of hearts, I hoped that I would be able to get down to 220, which was my lowest adult weight to date. That is what I considered my final goal, and I just forgot what the height/weight charts said.
  • Second, I even made myself forget about that 220 goal. My first "goal" was to lose 10 pounds. My next goal was to get below 300. My next goal was to fit into the the size 28 clothes I had in the back of the closet. Etc. Some people just think in neat 10 pound increments, but I picked numbers that were meaningful for me. Break it up into smaller, very achieveable goals, because each time you meet a goal, you're building your sense of accomplishment, and the more you accomplish, the more optimistic you feel about your next goal.
  • Next, forget about the weight goals! I actually think it's great that you don't like the scale, I think it can be a real distraction when you are first starting out. So, weigh in once to start (and take measurements, too), then weigh and measure yourself in a month, or even further out if you feel like it. Then, make your goals about BEHAVIOR rather than numbers. You might have daily goals about things you find challenging, or weekly goals. Again, make them small and very doable. The idea is to not only change your lifestyle, but to recognize your very real achievements. I did this -- I only weighed in about every 6 weeks when I started my program, and didn't start doing weekly weighings until about 6 months in. This freed me to concentrate on the lifestyle changes which would LEAD to weight loss. The weight loss is just a byproduct of turning your entire life around.
  • Finally, practice positive self-talk, and be aware of when you fall into the "all or nothing" trap. Every time you hear that evil inner voice tell you "It's not worth it" or "I might as well eat the house and start over tomorrow" or whatever, remind yourself gently that EVERY bite counts, that a slip is not the end of the world, that you CAN do it, you just may have to get creative about getting around whatever wall is in front of you.

Sarah recommended Thin for Life, and I heartily endorse it -- in fact, there's a whole chapter about positive self-talk that I think is invaluable. Another book I would recommend is The Thin Books, which talks about compulsive eating, all-or-nothing thinking, and how to derail those defeatest concepts.
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Old 11-01-2004, 01:46 PM   #6
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Welcome Kathy,

It is fantabulous to have you apart of our group. Make yourself at home. Read through the threads. Sometimes you'll find that the questions you have have already been asked by someone else and the answer is just there waiting for you. But feel free to ask for what you need too.

Kudos on the six pound weight loss. Sarah was right. You've already overcome the biggest hurdle and that is just starting. As far as being apart of a weight loss group. It completely depends on you. The good thing about being apart of a diet group such as WW or Jenny Craig is that they have done most of the work for you as far as the diet goes. I've never done weight watchers but from reading the posts I gather that they give you a set number of points per day and you have to stay within those points. You have weekly meetings where you talk, face to face, with other women going through the same thing as you.

I did Jenny Craig for three weeks one time. It's a good program but I quickly realized that it wasn't for me because they had a preset food plan that didn't really work with my busy life. Plus it was expensive and I had a hard time connecting with my counselor. I didn't feel like she understood what I was going through. That was just my experience and it has led me to realize that I would do much better with my own plan and getting support from a community like this.

I don't count calories, as yet. My main focus, right now, is cutting the sugar out from my diet and getting into an exercise routine. My suggestion to you would be to read as much as you can about fitness and nutrition. Get an idea of what a healthy diet is and how to incorporate healthy choices into your life. I also recommend getting a composition book and taking note of what you eat during the day so you can see what you are already eating and where you should make the changes.

Don't worry about being perfect. All that's really important is that you maintain your committment to yourself about losing weight. Do the best you can. If you slip up it's not the end of the world. Just think about what went wrong so you can avoid it next time and then get right back on track. I fell off of my diet. I had toffee flavored rice cakes as a treat and before I knew it I had eaten the whole bag which in turn brought on fierce sugar craving. At Halloween. It wasn't pretty but I'm not giving up. I learned that I absolutely cannot have sugar not even as a treat and today I'm back on track.

Celebrate your successes. You build up confidence in yourself by setting goals and acheiving them. Break up your 70 lbs into minigoals of five pounds and focus on losing one pound at a time.

You can do it

We are in your corner and rooting for you. Good Luck!
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Old 11-01-2004, 01:55 PM   #7
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sure, jump right on in. The gals(and howie ) are a great source of inspiration and information. I can relate to feeling overwhelmed. What I did (and am still doing) is to take baby steps. For the next week or two, change one habit. For example, my first steps were: cutting out soda, drinking more water, eating wheat bread instead of white. Then the next week I added fruits and veggies to my diet and after that I started exercising for a set number of days per week. I am not following any set plan, I just try to make more good choices than bad overall.

Just take it one decision at a time. You can do it! besides, you have already lost 6 pounds and that is nothing to sneeze at. You would be surprised how much that really is. I recently got a 5lb dumbbell and i was like,.. wow this is 5 pounds. I just imagined how many of those 5 lb weights that I am carrying on my body every day!
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Old 11-01-2004, 02:41 PM   #8
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Kathy,you are certinly welcome here.I check out the site everyday and if I have something to share I post and if I can give suport to someone I post. You'll find wonderful careing people here who can share their experiences and answer questions.Together we are powerful.
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Old 11-01-2004, 03:11 PM   #9
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Welcome Kathy! I must say, I've enjoyed reading the responses to your post, and I'm sure they've been very helpful to you. I look forward to reading some more of what you have to say.
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Old 11-01-2004, 03:12 PM   #10
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Welcome. You've been given great advice. Six pounds is still great for not making many changes. You could've gained 6 pounds or more in that time had you not been making an effort.

For me, it has been making a change here and there. Yeah I know I don't have the 2-5 pound losses a week that many experience here but, for me, I have to make the small changes in order for this to stick.

For me, the key to losing the weight is finding a plan that I can stick with and not giving up when I find something that isn't working for me. That just means it's time to move on to something else that could fit into my lifestyle.
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Old 11-01-2004, 04:27 PM   #11
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Welcome Kathy - you most certainly have come to the right place and you are very welcome here!

Wow! there has been some great responses and excellent advice given here! As you will see, each of us is different - so take what you feel is useful to you and leave the rest! I have found that writing down what I am going to eat the night before has really helped me - I know I will be fine if I stick to what is on my daily menu, I like having that discipline.

It is scary to get started - but take it one day at a time and you'll soon get into the swing of it.

Good luck and post often!

Love Amanda x
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Old 11-01-2004, 04:28 PM   #12
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Wow...I am new to this board also, and I feel such amazing energy here!

Unlike Kathy, I do have 100 pounds to lose. Sarah, I loved your post. Thanks for sharing all that has worked for you. I have lost 18 pounds in the past month, and I am making total lifestyle changes as you described. Small changes just won't cut it for me.

I am excited to join this community!

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Old 11-01-2004, 05:04 PM   #13
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Welcome, Vivian -- and CONGRATULATIONS on your 18-pound loss!! Wow! Thanks for the positive feedback, too! I'm very glad you're here. This group is full of amazing winners -- actually LOOZAHS -- and I just know you'll find among us enormous support. I'm glad you're here!
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Old 11-01-2004, 08:03 PM   #14
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Oh my goodness. I am completely overwhelmed by the support from everyone. Thank you so much. I will be thinking and reading and making some decisions. I REALLY want to do it this time. I am so thankful for all of you. I just had a chance to check here after a busy day, and reading your kind responses to my questions just about made me cry. I think I have found a weight loss home. I'll write more soon.
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Old 11-01-2004, 08:25 PM   #15
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I only have a second ... so for now I'll just say WELCOME, post often and good luck!
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