South Beach Diet - The good things about losing slowly

12-05-2009, 12:01 PM
I've been on and off the weightloss rollercoaster most of my life. I gained a lot of weight about 15 years ago, and had a great deal of difficulty taking it off. I got stuck at 295 and the scale would not move (menopause?) About a year ago, I started losing slowly, about 3 pounds a month, and have now lost more than 40 pounds since my highest.

I'm writing this partly because there are always questions from people, or posts expressing dissatisfaction at slow weight loss, and I thought I'd give another side to it; and also because I've had a curious reaction to it and I'd be interested in comments on that.

The good part is that by slow weight loss, there are no loose skin issues, and the times that I go off plan (which, despite best intentions, I still do) I maintain the loss. I had a horrible summer with a lot of health and other issues and gained back only a few pounds, which came off within a week when I got back on plan.

The odd thing is that I don't feel as though I've lost an ounce. I've only gone down one size -- and a half-size in shoes! -- and while clothes are more comfortable, I don't need a new wardrobe. I'd changed my ticker to where I was a few weeks ago at my latest restart :) I look at my top weight and shudder -- it doesn't seem possible and I hate to think I was that heavy. I've changed it back, partly because I feel I have to own that top weight, and partly because, no matter how long it's taken, 40 pounds is an accomplishment!

If it takes me another two or two-and-a-half months to lose another 10, then that's fine.

What are others' experience with this issue?

12-05-2009, 04:59 PM
Xan-I couldn't have said it better. I am sooo happy to be where I am today; not feeling frantic about my choice of SB, the pace of my weight loss and the feelings of self doubt which I had for many years as I tried every way possible to come to grips with my weight and my health. I am healthy and happy today.

I think it takes awhile to actually realize that we really are changing-many times others notice before we do ourselves. Some days I still feel just as big as I was a year ago, but when I look at the pictures I have to accept that the changes are major-and very real.

In retrospect, it's taken 7 short months of my life OP with SB to come to a point in my life that I struggled with for over a decade.

I don't have a time frame anymore. Sure, I'd still like to lose more(and need to) and that is why I stay OP. Today I know that if I continue with SB as a WOL that I WILL reach goal-there's no way not to. I'm just so happy to be so healthy and not living with that constant aching hunger that used to be a part of my daily life.

Best Wishes! Thanks for sharing your experience.

12-05-2009, 05:20 PM
Thanks, Debbie! But 79 pounds in 7 months is warp speed!!! :) (And good luck and keep going.)

12-05-2009, 05:34 PM
Xan, 37 pounds since May! Nice and easy! They were much much easier than the previous 42. Took me 5 years of H--- to lose them because I didn't have a "plan" to follow...100 cal snacks filled with sugar x 5 added up fast and I always wanted more...and more... Glad the cravings are gone!

12-05-2009, 05:59 PM
Okay. That makes me feel better :) (I can't help but boticing that I am now where you were then, but .... all in good time!)

12-05-2009, 06:08 PM
Good for you, Xan! Sounds like you are finding a way to live that will serve you well for years to come.

As to loose skin, slow loss doesn't mean a person will not have loose skin. Once skin has been stretched beyond a certain point (and that point varies with the person based how much weight they carried, how that fat was distributed or concentrated, length of time spent fat, genetics, a person's history of gaining and losing, etc.) it's just not going to bounce back. I only mention this because I don't want someone who has loose skin after losing to feel like they did something "wrong" and therefore the loose skin is their fault. It's more complex than speed.

12-06-2009, 05:23 PM
Xan - by losing slowly you are already an expert at maintenance and that's the hardest part. Congratulations!

12-06-2009, 05:46 PM
Thanks, Cyndi. Oddly, I've always been fairly good at maintenance -- for the first five years, anyway. (I'm one who is fine until there's a change in job, or some other major crisis, and I haven't done well maintaining during them.)

I'm very grateful to you and the others who are in maintenance who continue to post -- it's very helpful to those who haven't yet made this a habit.

12-06-2009, 05:59 PM
I think slow weight loss is the way to go. Time is on your side, giving yourself an opportunity to internalize the habits. I lost 80 pounds once, rather quickly and obsessively, and put it all back on plus another 17. This time, I'm focusing on moderation, consistency, and balance.

12-07-2009, 08:41 AM
I think it's funny...I'll tell people I lost 20 lbs, and the first thing they ask is "how quick?". They're quite disappointed when I tell them 4 months. Apparently, 5 lbs/month wasn't good enough. (never mind, I was in a LOT better shape, so it was like losing 5 lbs fat too, and gaining 5 lbs muscle!)

Everyone wants a quick fix.

12-07-2009, 10:04 AM
I would say that losing the weight is actually the easy part, while the changes that have to happen in your head in order to be successful are the real challenge. There's no way around the fact that it is a slow process, nobody changes overnight. That's why I've decided I'm not going to weigh anymore. I think in the long run it takes my focus away from where it should be - consistency and commitment. When I started and was having success taking off the pounds, I thought I'd be done losing in a year (100 lbs). Now, more than two years later, I know I'm in this for life. It doesn't really matter how long it takes.

12-07-2009, 01:20 PM
Xan, that was WONDERFUL!!! And 40 lbs off, plus KEEPING it off is a major accomplishment! :cheer2: :high: :carrot: Yay you!!! :yay: :hat: :cheer3: :cheers:

I lost quickly at first, but then much more slowly. I highly believe in the importance of slow loss. It gives your skin time to bounce back. It gives you time to get used to your "new" body. It gives you the ability to slowly change your wardrobe, so you don't go broke. Most importantly, though, it allows you to adjust to this way of eating so it becomes a lifestyle. I think that's crucial. Fast crash diets might work, but they don't stick, IMHO, because you don't get used to eating that way (nor would anyone want to! *shudder* ).

I found that until you get to size 16, it takes a LOT of weightloss to lose a size. It's frustrating at first, but it also means that you have time to shop. I'm almost out of a 16 at this point, and I'm frustrated that just losing 10 or so pounds has me needing to buy 3 new pairs of pants (oh, I'll be going to Salvo, but that's still an extra expense this time o' year...not that I'm really complaining! ;) ). As you get closer to goal, you'll be shedding sizes like nobody's business. :hug:

12-07-2009, 04:21 PM
Thanks for the info on sizes, Laurie. I wasn't expecting a new size every 10 pounds at my weight, but I am surprised that I'm still wearing the same clothes I did when I started.

I think you're absolutely right about making it a lifestyle -- that's what's so nice about this particular forum. There are so many people who've made it a lifestyle.

When I weighed 210, I was a size 20, so I'm jealous that you're nearly out of 16s (although very happy for you, of course).

12-07-2009, 06:23 PM
Xan, about the sizes, when I started, at 245 lbs and 5/4" I was in very tight size 20 jeans. I didn't get into 18s until I'd lost about 30 - 40 lbs. Another 20, and I was in 16s, another 10, and into the 14s, so the larger sizes really cover a lot of territory compared to the smaller ones.

12-07-2009, 09:23 PM
I think you're doing wonderful Xan! Keep up the good work!