Weight Loss Support - Not sure how and where to start....

04-16-2009, 08:07 AM
Hello everyone,

I'm Betony, and I have over 100 lbs to lose (sigh). I've been heavy my whole life, but I need to lose it -- not only do I want to lose it for me, but I'm also going into Nursing school in August and I'm currently working as an aide, and it's hard work when you're carrying around an extra 100 lbs. :( I want to be a good role model for health, and just don't feel like it right now when I look like an inflated balloon. My schedule is really insane for the next two weeks (working 60+ hours plus school part time) but will return to manageable levels (40 or less hours work, part time school) after that, and I want to take the next couple of weeks to make a plan of attack on this fat.

Problem is, I don't know where to start to actually get to where I want to go. I have a health club membership, and will be going regularly, but I'm intimidated at the amount of weight I need to lose. For those of you who are working on this same battle, what's working for you? Did you start out with little steps and eventually start losing, or did you change your whole life all at once? What do you do to keep yourself going? What did you concentrate on first? Food? Exercise?

I know deep down that I can do this, and need to do this, and I'd really like to know how to do it! LOL So any advice you can give will be well-heard and hopefully I can let my inner beauty be seen on the outside too. :)

04-16-2009, 08:12 AM
Welcome, welcome!

First I would say start by recording everything you eat in an online calculator such as Fitday or The Daily Plate. Once you see where you are, you can see where you need to go. More fruits and veggies needed? Check. Too many calories or not enough? Check.

Planning ahead is key. Like Glory says (a successful longtime maintainer), healthy eating does not happen by accident. Make sure you have healthy yummy options available.

Consider mini-goals. Some people look at it like losing 10 lbs 10 times. Totally doable, right?

Join the 100 lb Club here at 3FC. Great support.

When you slip, get back on plan. Kick perfectionist thinking to the curb.

You can do this!

04-16-2009, 08:48 AM
Welcome! I started with over 100 pounds to lose too, and I know it can be overwhelming.

Some people make sweeping changes, others take baby steps. I think I was more the second category. I first started by bringing my lunches and snacks to work and watching portions. I tried to park further away and "move more". That was it for the first month. Then I started using an online calorie counter and tracking calories, trying to keep them below 2000/day. And things evolved from there!

Good luck!

04-16-2009, 09:17 AM
When I made the decision to lose the weight and be healthy, I wanted the weight off in as timely a fashion as safely possible. So I kinda changed up everything. Baby steps don't work for *me*.

*I started by counting calories (forced portion limits and control). You bite it, you write it.

*I started eating healthy foods wanting to get the very most filling power, volume, satisfaction & nutrients from those calories.

*I eliminated most added sugars, the flours, the rices, the pastas, the bread and that whole bit. It was those foods that I overate the most and the ones that I craved the most. Eliminating them took the "decision making process away". I had no control over them and felt it best to just do away with them completely. It was the best decision I could have made. Like a true addict, my cravings for them greatly diminished after giving them up.

*Also very important - I planned out everything ahead of time, leaving nothing to chance.

*I packed foods with me and took them along with me.

*I loaded up my home with healthy foods and got rid of the junk.

*I started walking as my exercise. Very little at first and I kept increasing as I could tolerate more. I eventually added in strength training down the road.

*After making the decision to lose the weight, I then made a commitment to do so. That commitment was/is very important. It's much more lasting then motivation. It's the commitment that helps me to say no to tempting foods when I'm faced with them. It's the commitment that helps me to make the right choices all throughout the day. It's the commitment that helps me to exercise when I don't feel like it. It's the commitment that gets me back on track when I falter.

I think it's very important to remember that you are trying to learn new habits. You're trying to become a health minded person. For most, it doesn't happen overnight. Try to look at it as you are no longer on a "diet". Just someone who wants to lead a healthy lifestyle. If for some reason you should stray from your plan the very best thing would be to not "throw in the towel". You haven't "blown" your diet, because you're not on one. You get right back to your healthy plan pronto, with as little damage done as possible.

Just know that losing weight and a large amount of it is 1000% doable. It's something that I wish I would have known years ago. Since you already know that, you are one step closer to making it a reality. :smug:

04-16-2009, 10:00 AM
Welcome!! I started this about a month ago and since that time, I have lost 15lbs. The first two weeks I just concentrated on eating right. I switched out the junk for fruits and veggies. I wasn't perfect, but everyday I tried to do better. I drank lots of water, too. By the third week, I had started going back to the gym and now I am working both the eating and the exercise consistently. Now, I haven't been perfect, but I have gotten better at this by using a calorie counting system and journaling. That's what works for me.

So, I wish you good luck and good health and listen to these ladies on here, they know what they're talking about!

Lori Bell
04-16-2009, 10:05 AM
Hi Betony. :wave:

You can do this. You deserve to be healthy, and your patients deserve a healthy nurse. You can bet that your job will be mush easier when you are not hauling 100 extra pounds down the corridors at the hospital.

My story is very much like Robins above. I was sick and tired of being sick and tired and tired of my own excuses and lack of desire, (for everything but food). I went into this full speed ahead, and have not looked back. Every one has to do what is right for them. I admit that when I see posts of morbidly obese woman who have lost 5 or 10 pounds and come on and spill their guts about a 3 day binge really get on my nerves...just because I think...don't they WANT this? How can they be binging when they still have 100's to go. Or how did they let it go on for 3 day??? Then I think about how I got to be so huge, and it sure wasn't from sticking to any plan...:)

You can do this. It's hard, but it is SOOOOOOO worth it!

Thighs Be Gone
04-16-2009, 10:09 AM
Betony, I think the exercise and calorie intake are both important. However, 80% of weightloss happens on your plate. I started my own journey in May '08.

I would also like to (as "they" say) sign my name to Robin's post. She is pretty well a God around these parts--she knows what she is talking about.

04-16-2009, 11:02 AM
I'm intimidated at the amount of weight I need to lose ...

For those of you who are working on this same battle, what's working for you? Did you start out with little steps and eventually start losing, or did you change your whole life all at once? What do you do to keep yourself going? What did you concentrate on first? Food? Exercise?

I can relate to the intimidation. I felt slapped in the face when, having already made the decision to overhaul, I finally got on the scale to write down a starting weight and realized I was 20-30 lbs heavier than I thought.

For me, I came out swinging with the strict caloric limit when I started back in the fall. Committed to a limit right away and stuck to it.

Slowly the foods became increasingly healthier and more filling (apple, PB, boiled egg) to help me stick to it.

So even though I changed my intake swiftly and strongly, I didn't change my lifestyle all at once. The foods I eat have still been evolving this last month, to include more 'superfoods' that I read about on this website.

This winter, about 2 months of losing weight, I finally cut down my daily diet sodas to 1 per week. Primarily for teeth, but I wondered about the rumors that it diet cola would make me stall (who knows).

Exercise I didn't even begin until last month, after I'd lost the first 50. That's when I bought a stationary bike and have since committed to a cardio/mat excercises routine.

Weights are my next step. I need to tone arms and I'm fearing loose skin.

I guess what I'm saying is -- even though I've been whole-hog enthusiastic about losing pounds from the start, I'm certainly still discovering the healthy lifestyle I want to lead. For my cardio workkout capacity, I have reduced cigarettes to 2 per day instead of half a pack per day. I plan to quit completely next January, which may seem odd -- but I know myself, and for me it is putting the weight loss first.

04-16-2009, 11:50 AM
Welcome! Here is what is working for me. Most of this is in all the postings that you have already seen but here is my spin on it.

*Commitment – See Robin’s posting above. I think that it is crucial.

*Patience – Whatever plan you decide to use will need to be customized to you. There is some trial and error involved so you have to be patient and work it out. If one thing does not work for you, try something else.

*Realistic expectations – I think we often get discouraged because we expect weight loss to be fast and easy. Expect it to take time and effort but it is so worth it! Setting goals like losing 100 pounds within a short time frame can set us up for disappointment and discouragement. Having small goals like losing 5 or 10 pounds really helped me. Losing 100 (or more) pounds seemed overwhelming but losing 10 pounds seems doable. Then once I lost 25 pounds, losing 100 seemed doable.

*Journal - Write down your food, water, and exercise – online sites are great but a small notebook carried in your purse also works.

*Support – It is wonderful if you have it at home but even if you don’t, you have it here. The 100 lb Club is a great support forum.

*Plan – there is more than one approach to planning and you should do what works for you. Some people start the week with a plan that includes menus for every day of the week. I like flexibility, so I have my food and meals planned but move them around depending on my mood. For example, on Sunday I have enough lunch items for the week. I take most of it to work on Monday and have then can choose day to day what I feel like having. At home, I always keep 3 or 4 frozen items so that I can change my mind if my planned dinner does not sound good to me or if I don't want to cook.

*Small steps – The mini-goals I have already discussed but also with exercise. I am adding my exercise gradually. I think “The Biggest Loser” often makes us think that we need to be working out several hours a day. The is just not realistic for most of us.

Hope this helps! You can do this!

04-16-2009, 12:16 PM
The ladies above are very wise and have helped me get to where I am today. I am constantly learning and making life changes.

I had to stop dieting and focus on the desire to get and be healthy. For me it really is as simple as eat less and move more. I use many of the suggestions above to help keep me motivated, show progress, and stay accountable but really the bottom line is eat less and move more.

I just posted this on another thread but it's appropriate here. For me I really have to deal with the WHY I eat not the WHAT. I found that I can just as easily binge on healthy food as I can crap. There is nothing that is off limits on my plan it's the situations that lead to binge eating that I have to watch for.

04-16-2009, 12:38 PM
I say right now while you are very busy- focus on the good choices. I started out with eating better. Making more meals at home, buying more fresh fruits and veggies, getting rid of the junk food, and so on. Then when I got that down pretty well I started exercising. I had a gym membership but I hated going so I cancelled it and bought a used treadmill for $100 on Craigslist. Now I try to run on it a few times a week and the best part is no gym to drive to and no other people watching me when I work out. Just me, my TV or headphones, and my water. I prefer it!

Start out slow so you don't get discouraged- everytime I'd go into it I'd get discouraged if I made one mistake, quit, then gain a buttload more weight.

04-16-2009, 09:05 PM
Last December I just changed my eating habits. It was not really a conscious decision, I just changed. I lowered portions, didn't go for seconds and skipped dessert. I can't explain why, it just happened and was so easy. I lost about 4 pounds. In mid January I got some blood test results back and they were awful. I was looking at having to start using insulin. That night I figured out how many calories I should eat to lose weight and cut back the next day. It took about 2-3 weeks for the hunger pains to stop and I just ignored them when they came. This is so different from the other times I have dieted. I have lost almost 44 pounds and I am not obsessing or talking about it very much. It was probably around the end of February before I even mentioned it to my family.

My feet feel so much better and I can sleep in my bed all night now. Before this I was sleeping half the night on my sofa and half in bed. My back couldn't handle all night in one place. I think it must have been divine intervention that changed my behavior in December, it was certainly not me. Of course now that I have lost a significant amount of weight and my clothes are falling off I am highly motivated, but I sure didn't start out that way.

My advice to you is to just take each day one at a time. Don't think about the 100 pounds, think about the first 5. Tell yourself that you are going to stay on plan today and that you will decide about tomorrow when you wake up in the morning. Don't obsess too much. Pay yourself $1 for each pound you lose. Put the money away and tell yourself that when you are done you will use the money to go out for a great meal where you will eat anything you want. Know in your heart that when that day comes you will probably buy a fabulous outfit instead. I think what I am really saying is to "Fake it till you make it".

Good luck starting your journey!

04-16-2009, 09:48 PM
Hi there! Congrats on starting nursing school in August. You have lots of time to get some great habits established before the pressures of higher education hit you!
The top 3 things that helped me start out (and I am by no means an expert as I have another 50lbs to go) are:
1. Be patient and realistic. Don't panic! At the risk of sounding cliche'd, a journey of a thousand miles starts with one step. And the best news is that you've already taken that first step!
2. Start with the diet. What you look like is mostly a reflection of what you eat. Go to the library and research online to find one that you can stick with because a structured plan will be a habit for you by August.
3. Be absolutely consistent. Note: don't expect perfection! But be as consistent as possible, like 95% of the time. Get back on track if you fall off.
Get some support, log in regularly, and get at it!

04-17-2009, 12:30 AM
Thanks for all the insight, everyone! I'm hoping that with a positive attitude, a huge dollop of patience, and a little support here, I can do this. I'm reaching the dreaded age when they say it gets harder and harder to lose weight (mid 30's) and I really would like to make it happen. :)

04-17-2009, 08:45 AM
Thanks for all the insight, everyone! I'm hoping that with a positive attitude, a huge dollop of patience, and a little support here, I can do this. I'm reaching the dreaded age when they say it gets harder and harder to lose weight (mid 30's) and I really would like to make it happen. :)

I didn't start this little venture of mine til I was 42 years of age.

There are many successful, made it to goal and kept it there people, right here on this site who has started even later in life then myself. With determination, commitment and hard work anything and everything is possible. Luckily, it's all in your hands. No leaving something so important as this to anyone else but yourself. Have confidence. Take that confidence and know, really, really know that you CAN do this. Because you without a doubt can. And you should!!! You will not regret it - not for a teeny, tiny second. :cheer2: