Weight Loss Support - New to the journey:encouragement and tips needed, please! :)

11-14-2010, 11:27 PM
Hello Everyone!
I am a 21 year old college student. I currently weigh about 190, and I am miserable. I have gained most of my weight in the last five years, and I am truly tired of not feeling good about myself. I find it so hard to stick to diets or anything. I am on a semi-tight budget also. I am the maid of honor in my best friends wedding coming in May, and I just picked up my dress (size 12) to discover it is too small by just a bit. I'm hoping that it is the motivation I need to finally get this weight off and feel better about myself. I want to be a normal twenty-something and go to the beach with my boyfriend and be comfortable in a bathing suit. I loath shopping because it reminds me of my unhappiness.

So, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE give me all your best tips and some encouragement might help also. :)

Thank you for your time!

11-14-2010, 11:40 PM
What sorts of diets have you tried before? I have done the "too depressed to eat," the "go to the gym 2-3 times every single day and do cardio for 2 hours," and currently am finding success with calorie approximation/counting.

It doesn't have to feel like torture and you shouldn't be hungry all the time. Figure out an eating plan that will work for you. Calorie counting is easy for me because having a number to stay below means I can fill up those numbers with whatever I want. Drink a ton of water and go for walks (if you don't work out regularly, starting off with super strenuous exercise might turn you off exercise which is no bueno). Try cooking or making your own meals.

I highly recommend something you envision yourself being able to maintain in the long term. Fad diets, master cleanses and whatnot do work for a quick fix but who can keep that up for 60-70 more years?

It might suck/feel tough at first but after keeping up good habits for a while, it will feel natural and correct to eat well.

What is your current diet and exercise routine like?

11-14-2010, 11:53 PM
My current diet is awful and embarrassing. I eat whatever I can find in the caf, and that is usually grilled cheese and french fries. Awful. I also tend to over eat. I'm a stress eater and an emotional eater and a bored eater and all of the above!

I currently do Zumba (aerobic dance) about 2 times a week here in my school's gym. I'm looking to work in more cardio, tho. I love the elliptical machine because I have a knee condition that this helps with tremendously.

I have no excuses about exercise, because my school has such an awesome rec center that I get to use for free.

As far as past diets I have tried, I usually just try to eat better. I last for a little while, but then when I go home on the weekends and out with friends it is just so hard to say no to all the fat-full foods.

11-14-2010, 11:56 PM
Get some kind of exercise everyday. No matter how badly you don't feel like it. You will feel better afterwards and find it easier to do in the long run. I just joined these forums and have been reading a lot of old threads, and this piece of advise is repeated over and over and over again. For me it's totally true, since I added daily exercise into my routine I feel more motivated and better about myself.

11-15-2010, 12:23 AM
Zumba is a good start. I am so curious about it, hope it's still a "cool" way to work out when I come back to the US so I can join a class!

OK so it sounds like you might want to completely overhaul your eating. What sorts of things does your caf offer? Is there a healthy option like a stir-fry station? Wheat bread instead of white? What does "eating better" entail for you?

I find that like you it is hard to say "no" on weekends when your friends want to experiment with deep fried cheeseburgers and all you can eat buffets. What seems to work for a lot of posters and successful losers on 3FC is budgeting your calories during the week to allot for more "freedom" on the weekends.

One easy change is to stamp out liquid calories if you haven't already.

11-15-2010, 12:54 AM
Raw Food Diet. Research it, have an open mind, experiment with it, feel good about life. That was my recipe.

11-15-2010, 01:35 AM
Well, I have found that cutting down drastically on carbs really does do what they say - you stop craving them after a few days. It is only a few days to get there. The South Beach approach is reasonable.

Try to psyche yourself up for a stretch of three days. Give yourself permission to evaluate whether or not you want to continue after the three days. You don't have to decide today that it is forever.

Before you even start, think through how you're going to do it. Imagine eating large salads with meat in them. If you always have toast or cereal for breakfast, just let yourself imagine what else you could have, and make sure to include vegetables. An omelet makes sense. It seems weird at first to have it without toast, but just do it anyway.

Are you on the meal plan at school? There are usually good choices available. Let yourself imagine NOT choosing a dessert before you even get there. I used to get hung up thinking I was really missing out if I didn't take advantage every time I was faced with an unlimited amount of food for the taking. Well, the selection is there for EVERYBODY, it doesn't mean I have to have EVERY thing there!

Good luck - the hardest part is getting started. You are already starting if you are going to fitness classes - good job.

11-15-2010, 01:58 AM
Hi there! I'm also a 21 year old college student who is trying to lose weight.

Do you have a meal plan in a cafeteria? If so, that makes things a little harder, but not impossible. When I lived in a dorm, I filled up on pita and hummus, fruits, salads (there was always a huge salad bar in my dorm) and limiting processed foods.

Personally, calorie planning has worked best for me. I have a limit on calories I can eat for the day. I try to eat healthy, but if you're just starting out maybe just try to stay below a certain number. This has worked wonders for me.

I have a free rec center at my school, too. It's fantastic - I have to walk 10 min to get there, so that's a 20 minute round trip, which is good exercise too. For exercise, do what you like to start out. Don't push too much - if you're like me, too much pushing equals quitting. Just gradually move up whenever you want to. I've stuck with it so far, which is amazing for me.

Good luck! Don't worry, just shop around on this site and you'll get loads of great advice - you'll find something (or make some plan) that works for you.

Arctic Mama
11-15-2010, 01:58 AM
I am also a calorie counter, it works for me :). That, coupled with slowly changing out junky calorie choices for healthier calorie choices, adding in more water and cutting out things like alcohol and soda, are easy and progressive ways to better your diet without a drastic change. Instead of a grilled cheese and fries, why not a turkey sandwich? Instead of soda, get water with lemon. If you must have alcohol, limit it to one drink you love rather than three you don't, you know? Do basic plate dividing - half your plate to veggies and fruit, a quarter to a nice complex starch like brown rice, a quarter to a decent quality protein like beans, lean steak, grilled chicken, or even something like chili or a casserole.

You have a lot of flexibility with calorie counting that can make it cheap and healthy (our food budget is very tight, I do understand!). But the bottom line is that you need to know how much you are eating to give you a baseline for how to improve. Journalling your food intake and keeping a running calorie total is a versatile, non-finicky way to do it. As Krampus said, you can fill those calories however you choose, and that is well suited to cafeteria eating.

You can do this, but it does take mindfulness and either eating WAY less of the junk, in terms of quantity (so it stays within your calorie budget), or eating a ton of food that is healthier and lower calorie (thus filling you up without breaking the caloric bank). If you can't manage either of those, you're not going to be able to lose weight. Weightloss depends on a calorie deficit, and you have to create that in whatever way best suits you, but without it you WILL gain.

You have control over this, small positive choices add up to big rewards :)

11-15-2010, 07:03 AM
Consistency matters more than strictness. You want a plan that you can stay on day after day, week after week, month after month. IME, people start out too strict (because it makes them feel proud to have such a strict plan) and then hand-wave away near-constant off-plan "mistakes". Make a realistic, moderate plan--and at your age and height, you can eat a surprising amount and still lose at a good clip. I mean, I am 15 years older than you and 2 inches shorter and I lose well on 1600-1700 calories a day and steady on an average of 1900 calories a day. So don't feel like you have to hold yourself to 1200 because that's what 15 year old diet books recommend (and remember, they assume their reader is mid-30s, at least).

Record keeping is key. Record even the "bad stuff". Go to a party and drink 4000 calories of margaritas? Write it down. It's too easy to pretend it didn't happen otherwise. Don't fixate on mistakes, but own them.

Change the sort of person you are. I used to be a burger and fries gal. I didn't realize it, but that was as central to my sense of who I was as being left handed or having brown hair. Turning into a grilled-chicken breast and steamed veggie gal--for life--was a true shift in identity. It was like moving to a new town--all my old choices were gone and I had to find new ones. That's a complicated process.

11-15-2010, 11:19 AM
Thank you all for the advice!! I too, Shmead, consider myself a "burger and fries" girl. I enjoy meat and home cooked meals. This week is going to be a test run, I think. I've bought some good fiber-full cereal for breakfast with fruit. Then I cleaned out and threw away/gave away any crappy food I still had in my room. I've got turkey sandwich stuff and fruit and water. Our caf does have a great salad bar, but I figure I will need to go grab some dressing bc all they have is full-fat.

Once again, I REALLY appreciate this feedback and any other advice anyone has!! It is so encouraging. Thank you all! :)