I am a newbie that wants to lose 130 lbs and needs some advice on how to get started. I currently weigh 282 and would like to be in the 150 range. This is a comfortable weight for me in the past. I am 5'9" and have a large frame. I have been overweight or "morbidly obese" for 15 years, I am 41. I have finally made up my mind that I am sick of being the FAT wife, friend, and co-worker. I am a very social person and my weight hinders many things that I want to do. I am a type 2 diabetic with hypothyroidism and these are obstacles in my weightloss journey. I came here looking for support for people who have "been there" and understand how this affects you not only physically, but emotionally. My current plan of action is to go very low carb to get sugars under control and begin walking, working up to running eventually. Any other suggestions to help me are welcomed. I have many questions like weighing in, should it be done daily? how do you set mini goals on here? should I be journaling my food intake?
Please help me get started on my way to a happier life! Feedback is super appreciated!
06-03-2012, 10:37 AM
I started at a similar weight to yours, though I am considerably shorter. The best news I can give you is that at your weight, you don't need to do everything perfectly to see results - you just need to consistently eat better and less than you did before.
I don't really have advice about going "very low carb" - that is not something I ever did or felt I had to do, so I can let others chime in on that.
But, the #1 piece of advice I can give you is PATIENCE. No eating plan gets results overnight. Even week-to-week, you won't always see losses. When you make a change in your plan, stick with it for at least a month before deciding whether it's giving you results. Real fat loss is easily masked in the short term by weight fluctuations due to a whole host of factors that you cannot control. So, the important thing will not be whether you weigh less today than a week ago, but whether you weigh less today than a month or two ago.
I weigh every day so I can learn my own body's patterns. But part of what I have learned is that I can see daily fluctuations of up to 3 pounds that have nothing to do with what I ate the previous day or how on plan I was. They just happen!
So be patient with yourself, stick to your plan like glue no matter what, and give it time to work. Come here and post often - but more importantly, READ the questions and answers of others. You will learn a lot about what is normal, how different people are, and how to set your own expectations realistically. And you will get a ton of ideas.
Oh, on goals - I do not set numerical goals or mini-goals. This is because (as I mentioned above) numbers are fickle and ot always within your control. Instead, I set goals that I can actually achieve with my own behavior, like "stay on plan for 30 days" or "exercise every day this week." if I stick to those goals, then numbers will follow in their own time.
Enough for now - many of us have lots to say on this subject so you have found the right place! Good luck.
06-03-2012, 04:44 PM
We're really similar. I started at 271. I'm also 5'9" and I have PCOS, which messes with my blood sugar. As far as I know I don't have hypothyroid to go with it.
I have lost weight pretty slowly, but this time is different, and I'm continuing to keep going all the way to my goal instead of just trying to quickly lose 10 or 20 or 30 lbs. I gained 8lbs over Christmas and lost it again over the first few months of 2012, but otherwise I haven't had any major rebounds or setbacks.
I run now, but I started with yoga and walking. What I found is that doing more physical activity meant that my calories could be in a more reasonable range and I would still lose. Right now I'm losing about 1 lb a week eating about 1800-2000 calories a day and running about an hour a day. With walking I had to eat less or accept that the weight would hold steady or losses would be small. My overall average is less than .5 lbs a week, but it's ok. Even the weight I have lost already has made a major difference in my life. You can look at the mini-goals picture sticky and see that I look really different. My physical health is way better -- blood sugars are lower, blood pressure lower, I can run 6 miles or so when last fall I could barely run for 3 minutes. My hips and back don't hurt anymore. I have more stamina for things like gardening. I can do things I never thought I would be able to do, like go rock climbing. Life is good.
I eat low-carb-ish. Breakfast is two boiled eggs and greek yogurt with honey. That's pretty much the only sugar I eat. Lunch is usually a salad with chicken or a vegetable sandwich. I try to limit starches at dinner.
My biggest challenge is that I work really, really crazy hours and often find myself away from home with nothing to eat. It has been a challenge not to eat fast food.
Good luck! You can do this.
06-03-2012, 04:48 PM
Sorry, not mini-goals, but the 100lbs progress pics. I'm on the last page.
I guess what I was trying to communicate is that even when you aren't very far along this journey, it is still better than where you are when you start. It seems really daunting to try to lose 120 or 130 lbs, but if you just put your head down and start working, you'll get there.
06-03-2012, 05:20 PM
Wow Carter! I really love this response to terilaine's post. I am new here too and saw many great accomplishments from many members in here. I have always wondered what is a reasonable goal?, what exercise works?, how long should I do it for?, & how much should I eat? Frankly, I just wanted to know what really works. I have always set a goal of 10lbs. a month, tried and fail numerous times because for the mere fact that you have stated. I started walking and exercising and cutting down on the food I ate a month ago. In the first week I did not see a drop in weight. By my second week, I lost 2 pounds and I was thrilled. By my 3rd week weigh in I gained the 2 lbs plus an extra 2. I was so furious I just quit and went in to a depression.
I am glad I decided to go into this blog again today & saw your post. It gave me hope. I think I will go back and start my exercise again. This time all with a different mind set. Whether I lose the weight or not I just want to be healthy for my husband and kids.
Thank you again Carter.
06-03-2012, 08:45 PM
Welcome, new members. I have to agree with a Carter. Patience is needed in this process! I didn't strictly do low carb, but I did cut potatoes, rice, pasta, and bread almost completely out of my diet when I first started, and kept calories at 1400 - 1500 per day. I'm trying to eat intuitively, and wanted things to be simple. I don't weight or measure, but I keep in mind the fact that portions are WAY smaller than we think they should be because of supersizing, etc.
As far as goals - we are all driven by different things. I didn't have any really big goals but I had a weight I wanted to hit every Wednesday when I did my "official" weigh in. Like Carter, I weigh every day. But I only charted my weight on Wednesdays. When I first started, I thought I could lose 3 pounds a week for a while, then 1% per week after that. I made a chart on Excel that showed that goal. I put the dates for each Wednesday down the first column. Then I set up 10 weeks where I wanted to lose 3 pounds each week, then 1% after that until I got to goal. Every Wednesday I felt like I was accountable to the chart. I was usually on target, and actually a bit ahead of schedule for a time. I think 1% a week is a reasonable goal.
Setting a mini goal of - for example - losing 25 pounds, with no time frame, wouldn't work for me. To me, that's anyone who is trying to lose weight's goal. I needed something specific. There are others in here who take a different approach. Some don't weigh very often, but I "had to know." LOL
I also exercised at a gym 5 or 6 days a week - fitness classes for the most part. I still do, but now maybe 4 or 5 days a week. You have to find what works for you, but walking is certainly a great place to start.
Good luck to you.
06-04-2012, 11:03 AM
I find that action goals, like "I will eat on-plan for two weeks" (or just "for today" if you have to go day-to-day) are more effective for me than results goals, like "I will lose 20 pounds by September".
I can affect the actions. The expectation is that the actions will get me to the goal. But I really don't have control over the goal... not specifically.
I CAN control the actions that will lead to that goal -- eating on-plan, exercising more, or even more specific goals like eating 1400 calories/day, or fewer than 100 carbs a day, or doing calorie cycling for an average of no more than 1400 calories/day (or whatever your particular plan is).
And because my body often surprises me by its responses (or NON-responses) to the various plans I've tried, I've found a lot of encouragement in being able to say "I've been on-plan for five days" and then five days more, and then a falling-off, then on-plan for three days, etc.
Whenever I have set my goals as a result -- x pounds lost by y date -- I end up discouraged and blaming myself for being a whiney loser (and not the kind of loser I want to be!).
So my advice is:
Find a plan that you think will work to begin
Stay on that plan for at least one month without tweaks to see how your body reacts
Set your goals to be action-oriented (I will do x) rather than goal-oriented (I will lose y pounds).
Post here regularly for support and encouragement.
As to the type of diet... there are all kinds out there. It may take you some time to find the one that fits you best.
Personally, I'm pre-diabetic and insulin resistant, and am not on any medications... so lower carb works really well for me. I use the Insulin Resistance Diet framework (linking and balancing whatever carbs I DO eat to protein, and limiting carbs to fewer than 100/day), and JUDDD calorie cycling (a very low-calorie "dieting" day followed by a higher-calorie "normal" day, because plans where I am on restricted calories every day leads to burnout and binging for me). I also use "Brain over Binge" techniques to avoid overeating (or overdrinking, another of my many faults!).
I find these combine very well to keep my blood glucose level and under control... and still give me the calorie average I need to lose weight slowly, and the flexibility to allow me to eat out with my family, which is an ingrained part of my lifestyle.
06-04-2012, 11:13 AM
Thank you again Carter.
Really, really glad it helped. :hug: Don't give up if the scale shows a bounce. Trust your plan and stick with it, stick with it, stick with it! If you stick to your plan, you'll get results over time.
My weight today is up 4 pounds from two days ago. 4 pounds! But I know it's just a fluctuation and the trend over the long term is still doing what I want. So, I stick to my plan, and I wait. :)
06-04-2012, 11:42 AM
A warm welcome to you Terilaine!
To answer some of your questions: I find daily weighing really helpful. I did it the whole time I was losing and still do it as a maintainer. Some people do find it makes them obsessive so you just have to see what works for you. The times in my life when I avoided the scale I always put on weight.
I didn't have specific goals of how much I wanted to lose each month or by a certain time. What I did was reward myself though for every ten pounds lost so that gave me some additional motivation. It was always something very small but it gave me something to look forward to.
I'm a calorie counter so I did write down everything I ate. It really kept me accountable and I didn't mind it. Some people find it very tedious though so it's a trial and error thing to find what works for you.
Good luck with your goals!
06-04-2012, 02:37 PM
Hiya. Good to have you around! I'm 41 and started pretty close to where you're starting.
I do calorie counting - been on around 1200 a day since I started. You mentioned you're diabetic. I have to say that although not diabetic, after I lost the first 50 lbs I had my sugar taken and it had dropped like a rock. So that's something to look forward to. :)
I had tried low carb in the past and it just didn't work for me - I just crave them too much. Everyone is different though.
I 100% agree with writing down your food intake though. There's some sort of powerful mental connection about writing down what you're eating. You can do it in a notebook, or there's tons of free places online that already have a food database.
I'm sure you'll do well!
06-05-2012, 10:29 AM
Hi and WELCOME!
So glad you posted. Folks at 3fc are friendly, supportive and have wisdom to share.
You've gotten alot of good advice and suggestions. One thing I"d like to add is: Plan, plan, and plan some more. That is what has been helpful to me.
Find a food plan that you can live with. It may change a bit over time. Have a backup plan when necessary.
Keep your environment as 'friendly' as you can. If it's not in the house... you won't be so tempted.
When you are faced with cravings/fatique/stress/desire/illness and you don't want to eat something unplanned try the D's:
Distance - yourself from that food
Don't drive - don't get in your car to get that food you are craving
Distractions - can be getting online, calling a friend, take a walk, read, do a craft, etc
Deep Breathing - it's amazing how a few deep breaths can help forstall a binge
Drink Water - sometimes that works as a 'decoy' to the food you are about to eat
Don't be a baby - LOL say... It's not fair... "Oh well."
Destroy - I frequently pour liquid dish soap on a food that I am obsessing about. (better in the trash than me)
06-05-2012, 10:45 PM
While I can't tell you what will work for you, I can sympathize. I'm hypothyroid and hypoglycemic, and I've just figured out what works for me right now.
My 2 cents -
Pick a plan and commit to it for at least a month before reevaluating/tweaking/switching.
Don't be afraid to try a different plan. But if your plan is working and you can live with it, commit to sticking with it, even if you don't lose every single week.
I'm on a pretty strict plan, so I do allow myself to go off plan occasionally, but it is pre-planned, it can be for part of several days in a row, but never a whole day, and I need to have a good reason for it.
I weigh daily, but record my weight and measurements weekly. If the daily fluctuations start to bother me, then I stop it for a while.
I didn't start exercise til January. I started with a 3 day a week goal, now I'm aiming for something, anything every day.
I think what's different for me this time is that I'm learning how very mental losing weight is. I've committed to sticking to the plan, and while I wish it would happen faster, I'm not giving up.