Sorry guys... this is a long one... VERY long...
Originally Posted by Shari926
HI. I'm new to 3FC and would really like to join an active group like this. I'm 36, married, and I have a 21 month old daughter. I live in south Florida.
I'd like to lose about 65 lbs overall, and have lost about 9 of them so far. I'm still losing my baby weight from almost 2 years ago (sad that I actually weigh about the same as I did when I went to the hospital to have her--not sure how that happened!). Obviously, I was carrying some extra weight before I got pregnant as well.
Not sure what my exact plan is. For one, I'd like to stop all the munching during the day. I'd like to stop finishing DD's plate when she's done eating and leaves some behind. I'd like to start eating more whole/natural foods and less processed foods/junk.
What works best for me is a solid exercise program and not a lot of rules when it comes to food (I rebel and overeat when I restrict too much). So, for now I'd really like to concentrate on daily activity--well 5x per week to start. I'll take the food issue little by little from there. Baby steps.
OK, enough rambling, thanks for having me.
Hi Shari and welcome me4life and RangerChic and all the newbies and newer-bies that are here!! WELCOME!!!!!
Shari, you sound so much like me. I feel the frustration in your post but I also feel the desire to succeed… so I’ll tell you what I did and maybe you can use some of the information to help you.
I also get rebellious when I am too restricted. I have tried every diet/eating plan in the free world. Some of them worked, most of them didn't. But I always gained the weight back. The one thing I found that each of these plans did was segregate me from my family at dinner time. Breakfast I eat alone, I'm at work for lunch… but dinner... well... we always eat together EXCEPT when I'm on a diet. I hate it. Example...
On Michael Thurmond, I wasn't allowed fats of any kind... not even a spray of PAM in my frying pan. And the recipes they show you on TV? Well, they tasted like dirt. I cried a lot on that one. I also ate dinner alone so as not to be tempted by what the family was eating. In two weeks I gained 2 pounds and after I quit... in the 2-3 weeks to follow, I gained another 5 or so.
On Nutrisystem, I lost a total of 42 pounds!! I ate their food... alone. I ate all my meals alone so as not to be tempted by what my family was eating. I was able to stay on that for 5 months... at $300 per month. When I ran out of money, I stopped losing weight. Over the next 2 years, I gained it all back + another 6 pounds. All that money... wasted... and me? Still fat.
On the cabbage soup diet… oh never mind… you get the picture.
In June 2008, I saw a picture of myself that made me throw up in my mouth a little bit. I ran to a mirror, stripped off my clothes and really took a long, hard look at my body and what I have done to it. After 2 kids (which have been my excuse "but I've had two kids!!" I tell myself) and a lifetime of diet yo-yo's, THIS is what I've ended up with. Ew.
On June 28, 2008, I woke up and just started eating healthier and taking a walk after dinner. I didn’t analyze it or think about it, I just started. I figured I’d start small with small changes rather than dive in head first. We all know what happens when you dive in head first to a pool of shallow emotions but I can live with a small change here and there. My first hurdle… breakfast. Eating breakfast has always been a problem for me. I hate to eat in the morning but it does get your metabolism revving and you eventually get used to it. I added a high fiber granola cereal with skim milk to my menu for breakfast with some yogurt with some crushed walnuts and fruit about 2 hours later as a mid-morning snack. To me lunch is a tuna sandwich on wheat with a small salad or a Weight Watchers Smart Ones with a salad. Afternoon snack of fruit or yogurt or even a 100 calorie pack will get me thru to dinner.
Dinner… well, this time I decided to eat WITH my family for dinner. What they were eating, I was eating… just not have seconds (OK... or thirds). I hate to cook but luckily DH likes it so he cooks almost all of our dinners. It took some work to get him to stop cooking in butter and adding extra fats for taste but he eventually realized that it was just adding extra calories… now we use I can’t Believe it’s not Butter spray… mmmm…. I could swim in that stuff… LOL But seriously, more than once when he didn’t feel like cooking I’ll make hot dogs and tater tots for dinner (the kids complain… they’d rather have broiled flounder… I know… really). I have one hot dog on a normal bun, 11 tots and that’s it and I’m full!! I know it sounds like nothing but I’m satisfied. No seconds… remember??
Other benefits have been that my husband has lost 20 pounds since I started my new lifestyle and all of the school clothes I bought my kids before school are too big for them. My kids were NOT fat in any way. My son (15) is athletic and plays a lot of sports for school and for the Township. My daughter (11) is over 5 feet tall and weighs about 100 pounds. She is more of a bookworm and she plays the saxophone but she has lost over 5 pounds since I started eating healthier and she now gets out and rides her bike and runs and plays and she looks great. No more tummy!! I never told them to diet or eat healthier (I didn’t want to make it a big deal for fear they would rebel), they, especially my daughter are making healthier choices even in the school lunch line! I used to argue with her every day to stop buying fries at school until finally I found out that she had stopped buying them over a month ago! “Too greasy!” she says.
I also allow myself one day a week to go slightly off program so I don't feel deprived in any way. So since I weigh in on Saturday mornings, Saturday is the day. That gives me a whole week until next weigh in to burn off any extra fat I might consume. If I’m craving a hoagie on Monday, I know I only need to wait until Saturday to have it… a half a hoagie of course… but still, sometimes you only need to taste it to be satisfied. And most of the time, I don’t even want it anymore. It’s amazing how you don’t want things that you’re allowed to have!! LOL Besides, I know I’ll be uncomfortable if I overstuff myself. Those days are over. Importantly though, I very rarely, if ever, go over my maximum allowable calories for the day (set by Sparkpeople.com) even on Saturdays. I love that I am getting to know what I can eat and it has become so easy. It’s not a diet this time, it’s a lifestyle and that has made all the difference.
You know about the “F” word right… well, I have another one for you… the “E” word which is way worse…
Exercise… ew… me? Exercise? Can you imagine dragging this 240 pound body to a gym? Uh, no. So I started walking my dog every night after dinner. She liked it. So did I. We spent hot and humid summer nights walking, me sweating and her panting until we both got back home and collapsed with exhaustion but full of a sense of accomplishment. I have Rheumatoid Arthritis and Fibromyalgia so I tend to get stiff and sore especially when its damp or cold outside. Obviously, unless it’s a very warm winter day, I have to make alternate plans for my winter workouts so I ordered Turbo Jam workout videos which is basically pumped up kick-boxing to good music. The videos are supposed to get delivered today and I am excited to start. I thought if I fail to plan what I’m going to do when it’s too cold to walk, I would not do anything so I found something that looks interesting and fun. I’ll try it and see.
What I’m trying to say is this… you can do it if you want to. Read labels, limit foods that are white or have enriched flour. Even some wheat breads have enriched flour. Stick with whole wheat flour items. Mix it up a little and make your tuna sandwich on a whole wheat bagel or a whole wheat wrap. It can be tough to get started but once you find the things you like, it’s easy.
And you don’t have to be perfect. Let me say that again… “YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE PERFECT!!” You can make as many mistakes as you want to and just start over! If you eat something less than healthy, it does NOT blow your whole day or your whole new lifestyle or all of your hard work! You did not get overweight by eating one unhealthy thing and you can’t destroy your health by eating one unhealthy thing. It takes lots of bad choices over lots of time to destroy yourself. So if that happens, just start over the minute you realize that you had poor judgment. Do not make the mistake of saying “Well, I had a cheeseburger at McDonald’s and now that my day is ruined, I might as well Supersize my fries and have a chocolate shake too!” Don’t be “all or nothing”… it doesn’t work that way. Every little bit helps. Every little change or decision you make gets you one step closer to healthy and to your ideal weight.
Just think how easy it will be for you to teach your daughter good nutrition and that she’ll just eat healthy because she eats like you! No bad habits to break. She’ll just eat healthy because that’s how she’s always eaten. I wish I would have done that. My kids are thin but until June they didn’t eat healthy. They have always been “good” eaters and love fish and things like that but they tended (as kids do) to lean more towards unhealthy food when they chose for themselves. If it wasn’t wrapped in a tortilla or smothered in cheese, it barely stood a chance… LOL
Also, it’s normal to feel out of your element when you first start. It takes time to develop new habits but once you do, it starts to feel so normal, you forget that you have even made a change. That’s how I feel now… like healthy choices are normal. Planning meals and having the right foods in the house is normal. Do I still let the kids pick a snack of a can of Pringles or a bag of Doritos? Yes! But they eat a serving in a bowl and not out of the bag… it seems to be working. If they feel deprived, they’ll only crave it more or, god forbid, start hiding to eat and I won’t do that to them. They are learning that with moderation, nothing is off limits. Funny thing is that they don’t even realize they’re doing it… they just see me doing it and now they are too.
As of last Saturday which was 14 weeks of my new life, I’ve lost 19 pounds. I don’t feel deprived or sad or alone. I feel vibrant and healthy and proud!! I’m doing something for me that is also benefiting the ones I love with good healthy lives!
I also contribute a lot of my success to sparkpeople.com where I have my own web page, support, food and fitness diaries and team challenges. It’s lot of fun. If you want to sign up, tell them poppyseeds sent you!
I guess the difference between what I’m doing now and how I used to diet is this… When I was dieting, I always looked forward to reaching goal so I could go out and eat whatever I wanted. I was too strict with myself never allowing for normal life and I can remember crying if we had to go to a family party or a wedding or something because I was afraid of the food that might be there. Imagine that, a grown woman afraid of an hors’doerve. Dr. Phil should hear about that one. It never occurred to me to make healthy choices (as best you can in any circumstances) or to eat before I went so I wasn’t famished when I got there. DUH!
I didn’t think of goal as starting to maintain my hard work, I thought of it as the end of the diet. Which is why I gained to all back every time. Now, I know when I get to goal, I don’t have to change a thing! I just keep eating right and exercising and the weight will eventually stabilize and where I am is where I am. Because I allow myself a treat here and there, I don’t have to look forward to a day when I can have it… I just schedule my treats now!! LOL Goal to me doesn’t mean an ending anymore, it means a beginning. It’s not a race. It’s my life.
I also know now that if the scale doesn’t show a loss or god forbid, a gain… (gasp), it’s temporary and what’s important is that I know that every day I am making choices that will eventually get me to my ideal weight. Whether it’s my food or fitness choices, I know I’m making the right ones. If you look at my 3FC blog weigh in’s, you’ll see there was a time that I only lost 2 ounces for like three weeks straight and then I stayed the same one week. But I made it through and here I am. I had to prove it to myself that I could keep going. Normally I would have cried and thought back over the week of deprivation and sweating my patootie off and would have consoled myself with a Big Mac and fries. But because I’m not deprived and I go more by how my clothes fit and how I feel, it doesn’t matter what the scale says anymore. Don’t get me wrong… I’m the first one to post on 3FC when I have a loss but the girls here know that I’ve had weeks without a loss too and somehow I just keep going… LOL!!!
So I no longer have 80 pounds to lose… I now have 61. That seems so much better to me!! LOL. You can check out my 3FC blog for my written out meal plan and my “Guidelines” for a healthy transition. My blog on sparkpeople.com (link in my siggy) is updated regularly with weigh-in’s and posts about my thoughts, emotions and how I’m dealing with the changes in my mind and body.
Oops… almost forgot… drink plenty of water. I take my weight and divide it by two and that’s how much water I drink per day. (221/2 = 110 oz. per day).
You can do this! I’m here for you!
PS – I’m going to use parts of this post in my transformation story on beachbody.com (where they pay you to work out with daily contests) since it’s so darn long and the story there is like 5 sentences!! LOL