Maintainer Introductions - Welcome / Please Introduce Yourself!

11-15-2003, 08:28 PM
Welcome to the new 3FC Maintainers Forum! It's a forum for those of us who are nearing or at our goal weights and who intend to keep the weight off for the rest of our lives. As Iíve been maintaining my 122 pound weight loss for the past eighteen months, Iíve learned how much I still need the support and camaraderie of 3FC, so Iím delighted that weíve been given a place to share our experiences and strategies and tips on staying lean for life.

When I weighted 257 pounds, I used to dream of the day that I would reach my goal weight. I imagined how I would look and assumed that I would be able to maintain my loss effortlessly. After all, if I got to my goal weight, I would be normal, right? The ďdietď would be over and Iíd be cured of all my cravings and bad habits and eating issues. Iíd never binge or eat for emotional reasons. I would just naturally want to eat broccoli and tofu instead of chocolate and ice cream. :lol:

Of course I was wrong. I didnít look like I had imagined ó I looked like a deflated balloon. And every eating issue that I ever had was still with me. I also discovered that it takes as much thought and effort and planning to maintain my weight loss as it did to lose it in the first place. The reality is that this is a journey for life and losing weight is only the first step on the road to keeping the weight off forever. My weight loss phase took about a year ó my weight maintenance phase is going to last the rest of my life.

So please join in! Mel and I are the moderators and welcome any and all suggestions about the forum. This is our corner of 3FC to do with as we please!

11-16-2003, 05:47 AM
Tell us about yourself!

Is this the first time or one of many times that you've tried to lose weight?
Are you where you want to be?
How has life changed for you since you've lost the weight?
If you're maintaining, what's that like for you?
Do you exercise regularly?
Now that you're near or at your goal, what are your concerns?

And anything else that you might want to share with us!

11-16-2003, 07:09 AM
I think Iíve been on a diet for my whole life. :D I canít remember a time, even as a child, when I didnít feel fat. In grade school, I lived in a fantasy world of books and my favorite activity was eating and reading. My weight fluctuated through high school and college, depending on my current diet. But I was always self-conscious about my size and felt like a whale compared to the other girls my age. After college I went to law school, where eating was the only fun activity that one could do while endlessly studying. I met my husband there, got married, and we both started practicing. I was one of a very few women at a my law firm and continuing eating in response to the stresses and pressure of large firm practice. Eventually we started a family and I dropped out of the rat race to raise children. I stayed home and baked cookies (and ate cookies) and began my Weight Watchers era. Itís embarrassing to think how many times I joined (and quit) WW. Iíd lose 20 pounds, quit, gain 25 back, lose 25, quit, gain 30 back ó and yo-yoíed my way up to 257 pounds.

Fast forward to 2001 ó my daughter came home from college and wanted to join a gym. So I went around with her to visit gyms and ended up joining one on a whim. Now you have to realize that I HATED to exercise, despised it, loathed it. My concession to exercise in my WW days was a neighborhood stroll with a friend. So the gym was an alien planet to me and I was clueless about what to do or where to start. I found a trainer there, signed up for five weeks of personal training, and told myself that I would do whatever he told me to do for five weeks ó that I could do ANYTHING for five weeks. Well, he turned my world upside down. He taught me a different way to eat ó frequent, small meals with lots of protein, all clean food. He parked me on an elliptical and forced me to do cardio. And he showed me how to lift weights to build muscle. I didn't follow a formal diet but tracked my calories, carbs, protein and fats in Fitday (my calories were in the 1200-1600 range while I was losing).

The weight started flying off of me. I couldnít believe the amount of energy that I had. And I loved getting muscles! I lost 122 pounds in a little less than a year, going from 257 pounds to 135, size 22 to size 4, 57% body fat to 16%. Iíve been maintaining since May, 2002 and still weigh 135 pounds today, though my body fat % has continued to drop (and my body shape continues to change).

But I didnít look the way that I had imagined after I reached my goal. Instead of tight and muscular, I looked like a balloon that had been blown up and popped with a pin ó all saggy and baggy and wrinkly. I felt like a failure ó I had lost all this weight but still couldnít wear shorts or a bathing suit. Puzzled and disappointed, I made an appointment with a plastic surgeon just to find out what was going on. He lifted a tremendous burden from me when he told me that it was ďskin ó all skin ó an enormous quantity of skinĒ. Without a momentís hesitation, I knew that I wanted to get rid of it and have had two surgeries to remove excess skin, with one more on the horizon to finish up.

Much to my surprise, Iíve discovered that maintenance looks a lot like losing to me ó that I donít really do anything different today than I did when I was losing the weight. I still eat the same way and exercise as much as I did the year that I was losing. My biggest fear is that I will gain the weight back. Weíve all read the statistics that 95% of people who lose weight will regain it. For me, the key to keeping the weight off is simply to keep doing what I did to lose the weight. Theyíre not kidding when they say that this has to be a lifestyle rather than a quick fix. Without a doubt, if I ever go back to living the way I did three years ago, I would very quickly go back to weighing 257 pounds.

But the bottom line is that it is so worth the effort! I feel like I sleepwalked through the last 15 years of my life and now Iím awake and alive. Iím full of energy, strong, and in the best health Iíve ever been in. The burden of ďfatĒ that had literally and figuratively weighed me down my whole life is gone. I donít want to be invisible any more. Iím still the same person inside as when I weighed 122 pounds more, but now Iím willing to be a little more outspoken, occasionally loud, sometimes outrageous, but always free just to be me without the constraint and embarrassment of being fat.

I think I've been around 3FC forever! :lol: I know that I've re-registered at least twice and spent my WW years in the WW forums here. I found the old Body For Life forum and lurked there during the year that I was losing since it was the closest thing that I could find to what I was doing. MrsJim and Mel were my heroes. :D When the BFL forum expanded to include all of bodybuilding, I jumped in and mainly post there now. I'm looking forward to participating in this new forum also so that we can all support each other as we keep the weight off for life.

11-16-2003, 11:07 AM
Hey there! MrsJim (my husband calls me "Karen" :lol: ) here...

What a cool idea this is Meg! :)

I think most of you pretty much know my story - I'm one of four girls (the middle one!) and the only one with a 'weight problem' - definitely the black sheep of the family...Dad (who went to medical school at UNC - Chapel Hill but decided to pursue chemistry as his life avocation) and Mom were concerned about me to put me on a diet at the tender age of 7 - something I would never advocate nowadays. I tried a ton of diet programs and at the age of 11 had read just about every diet book in our town library...but also became a sneak-eater, a binge eater, etc. Anyway, I reached my high weight in 1990 of 265 pounds before I decided that was IT for me - it was time for me to make some lifestyle changes. At one point around 1988 or so, I tried to go the Fat Acceptance/Big is Beautiful route...

At that time, I was at a point where I just said "screw it. This is too HARD to try and lose weight. I'm just going to accept myself as a fat person". I read all the literature, the BBW and Radiance magazines, shoot, I even joined NAAFA for a year or two. In first real exposure to exercise as enjoyment came from a book titled "Great Shape" written by a nurse at Kaiser-Permanente who was (and I presume is) a large woman herself, who lives in the Bay Area. She had a one-day "large woman's movement seminar" that I attended. It wasn't sweaty aerobics as I recall (this was almost 15 years ago remember) - it was just movement, dance-style steps, getting into the music and all that. From there, I started walking - and at first I could barely walk around the BLOCK without going out of breath - let alone climb a flight of stairs without resting.

In doing a lot of journaling to "find myself" I came to the conclusion that I did NOT want to spend the rest of my life being fat, and that this Fat Acceptance/Big is Beautiful idea that I was taking comfort in (and using as an excuse to eat whatever and however much I wanted...a lot of fat people will say they don't eat that much or didn't eat much...but trust me, I ate a LOT...I could go through 1/2 gallon of Mocha Almond Fudge icecream without even realizing it...followed up with half a large pizza...) was actually holding me back. Bottom line was I realized that however much I was trying to buy in to that Big is Beautiful line, I desperately DID NOT WANT TO BE FAT. But when you weigh over 250 felt to me as though someone gave me a plastic spoon and instructed me to remove a mountain with it. Fortunately I heard about the Stanford research study on weight maintenance. Thank GOD I got accepted...I lost 90 pounds during the course of the study which started in May 1990 and lasted 18 months and have been on a downward trend (with some tiny ups) ever this point I fit comfortably into a size 6 (last year I was on a pre-comp diet and got into a size 4 which is the lowest I've ever been - I think at this point a six is more 'natural' for me and I'm cool w/it).

One thing I have always tried to impart in my time at 3FC is this:

Losing fat permanently IS difficult but YES IT CAN BE DONE


Maintenance isn't as glamourous as the losing stage - it's tough in the beginning but it gets easier as time goes on (trust me!)

And speaking of that, it's time for me to do my Sunday AM cardio... :)

11-16-2003, 09:31 PM
I'd like to join this party if I may. Briefly, in the year 2000 I lost over 45 lbs. using the Richard Simmons program of healthy eating and exercise. This was at the age of 74.

Now I am 77, I dropped an additional 10 lbs. earlier this year by controlling my carb intake a little more carefully. That is I am concentrating on the 'good carbs' such as whole wheat bread, lots of veggies, etc.

I was overweight simply because I got too busy doing other things and failed to pay attention to what I ate.

I am finding maintenance difficult since old habits die hard. But it is nice to be a smaller size, to be able to do more things, to be able to shop in the ladies department rather than the XXX size stuff. And above all things I do not want to regain any of the weight I have lost.

I have just recently joined Curves for Women, and am enjoying it.

I am glad a forum for maintenance has been started. And I hope that many will be able to participate in it.

01-17-2004, 11:13 PM
In October 2000 a friend and I decided to join weight watchers at work together. The leader set my goal at 131. I didn't think I'd EVER get that low. By September 2001 my dearest DH and I had modified our diet to more closely match Dr. Willett's recommendation (but we didn't know it at the time), and it is working for us. In December 2001 I weighed 145 pounds - down 31 pounds total. In December 2002 I weighed 134. I'm not the Fastest Loser.

I'm 58 years old with neuropathy...manifested by pain in my legs and a bit of a balance problem. The neurologist said that I have muscle atrophy and I should Exercise. Okay, Doc - Will Do! We were walking 30 or so minutes every day and in December 2003 decided we'd start training for a 5K race. With the information from Ian MacNeill's book we developed a plan. Today we ran our first 5K race.

Next on the agenda is to join the health club near our house. I miss the Elliptical Torture Machine (My Bestest Friend) and I'd like to work on upper body strength. And maybe swim lessons this year.

Dearest DH developed a web site for us... Weight Loss shows our before and now pictures. Fitness and Exercise describes our running plan and has a picture following the 5K.

I'm not quite at Maintenance - as slow as I am at losing, I may be a Maintenance wannabe for a while. I'll just hang around and practice, if that's okay.

01-18-2004, 10:13 AM
oh my goodness!!! you are FABULOUS!!!! by doing the 5 K race while suffering from neuropathy, you've officialoly moved into IDOL category for me!!!!

01-18-2004, 04:31 PM
Jif, you really made my day! Thanks for the encouragement! :cloud9:

01-24-2004, 08:52 PM
Wow, what great success stories!

I started my weightloss journey much the same. My mother had me on the early form of Atkins when I was 9! I can't remember a time in my life that I wasn't starting a diet. By the time I graduated high school in 1987 I weighed 200-210 and wore an 18-20. I quickly lost about 30 pounds after high school since I was trying to go in the Air Force. Of course I did it by almost near starvation and running 3 miles a day. I got down to 170 and found out I had to be at least 160 to go in the Air Force and still would have to wait 6 months to get the job I wanted. I gave up. I moved back home with mom and started eating once again.
Over the years I went to college and got more and more depressed so naturally, I ate more and more. I got married in October 1996 to a Marine who didn't really care that I weighed 285 pounds. I did okay for a while then he retired and we moved to Florida. I knew no one and was 3000 miles from family. I conitinued to yo-yo diet and gain weight. In August of 2000 I went to the doctor and the scale couldn't weigh me. I was well over 350! I said, "THAT'S IT!!!" I saw my doctor and asked for a referral for gastric bypass surgery.
In December 2000, I weighed in at 394. I had surgery in January 2001 and I know I was at least 400 having gone through the holidays and knowing I was never going to be able to eat a whole tub of ice cream again!! I ate like never before.
I had lost about 70 pounds by July 2001. On July 7, 2001, I lost my husband (who was only 42) to a massive, unexpected heart attack. We had been married almost 5 years.
Needless to say my weight loss stalled for a few months because I took up drinking. I finally snapped out of it after a couple of months and started losing again. By the time I moved to Missouri in July 2002, to be closer to one of my sisters, I was down to 200 and was wearing a 16-18.
In September of that year I started dating my new husband. We married in May of 2003. After about 5 months, I quit working. His schedule kept changing and I was tired of finding new jobs to accomodate.
Well, I am home alone and eating. I have gained over the past months about 20 pounds. I am not a happy camper I will say. I want to weigh around 170.

I have decided to join WW to get some structure back into my eating and to get some fellowship with other dieters. I am too isolated here at home and need to find ways to get out. I have also started selling Avon and my husband and I will also be starting a new home business based around cats. We have four!! I am also trying to keep myself motivated to exercise at least three to four days a week. I know I can reach my goal. It is not unreasonable.

One problem though, is I am also trying to get pregnant!! Hope that happens soon. I can still watch what I eat so I don't gain too much.

Thanks for listening,

01-24-2004, 08:53 PM
Oh and Meg, thanks for inviting me!

01-25-2004, 01:54 AM
Oh, and Meg, yes my name really is Candy :chockiss:

01-25-2004, 07:32 AM
Hi Candy! :chockiss: :D

I'm so glad you've joined us here at Maintainers and congratulations on your awesome weight loss. :cp: You're doing the right thing by facing your little bit of weight gain now before it gets out of hand. It's a heck of a lot easier to deal with twenty pounds than 50 or 100! Post a lot and let us know what issues you need help with -- there's always someone here with a good answer or idea. And be sure to share all the things that you've learned as you lost almost 200 pounds -- wow!!!

02-11-2004, 04:55 PM
Hi Ladies,
I just found this part of the web site and it is really informative. So many things in your stories ring familiar to mine. I hope I don't bore you too much-here goes. I have always had food as a crutch. I remember as a child going to clothing stores and being referred to as "big-boned", "husky". Nice words but they all meant the same thing. FAT. I am OK with it now I was FAT. :( It may be different hearing it from a male point of view but we always wanted to be attractive to you all too! More than just being the last one chosen at the ballfield for baseball and getting stuck on the line in football even though I was at least as talented as my peers, we heard comments from cute girls when we got older. People can be so cruel. Food can be so comforting. My weight was the easiest thing to see about me. You didn't have to look very hard if you were looking for a reason to exclude a fat person from the "inner circle". It was always easy to hurt a fat person by making fun of our differences. Even people we loved used it , maybe to inspire us to lose weight, maybe out of frustration, who knows! I remember my mom even in a fit of obvious frustration, calling me a "big, fat nothing". I am sure she didn't know how very much that hurt me and still hurts, and if she could have taken it back I know she would have.
It became easier to go out and feed my pain when I learned to drive and was able to go out and buy pizza and hoagies. They became my newest best friends. They never called me fat. I was always included at the pizza shop.
I went to work in one of the steel mills here in Pittsburgh and for a time I was content getting stoned and eating myself straight. Nice life,eh? The mills closed, I went to work selling stereos and the first week I sold a stereo to the most beautiful girl I had ever seen before or since. We dated for seven years and she took a job in Florida. I proposed to her after an abscence of about a year and she said yes. I was alive. She asked me to lose weight and I told her I would. I wrote letters describing my fictitious workout routines. And then after six months I went to visit her and of course shre saw what a liar I had been. The wedding plans were scrapped and I went back home and ate myself up to 410 lbs. where I stayed until my mini stroke in 2001. Then I started the workouts for real, kicked the dope habit,quit drinking and learned to love myself and Jesus. It has been a long winding road. I hope I haven't bored you too much. My true friends now tell me I have a "Superman" complex because I solved my problems by taking them on head on. Finally! By the way I am now down 160 lbs. Jack-160 :strong:

02-11-2004, 05:10 PM
Hello ladies! Such great inspirational stories, and those who have posted pics, wow!

I've been chubby since I was 8 or so; at least that's when I can remember being teased at school :( I was never inclined to be athletic, and when no one picks you for their team, it's worse! I grew up with a very bad self-image, though I was not extremely overweight. About size 14 in high school, but all my friends were the Skinny Minnies :lol: Got married very young (18!) and am still married to the same guy :p

I knew what healthy eating was, but I just loved to eat good food, and to cook/bake; and no exercise. Had tried lots of fad diets (anyone my age remember the Scarsdale diet?), but could only stick to it for a couple of weeks.

Gradually gained a few more pounds each year; had two boys; hard to get the pregnancy gains off! In Feb. of 2001 I was at 176, tired, no energy, sick of hating how I looked/felt; and looked on the Internet for help. Found this site, and hooked up with the "Doin' It The Old Fashioned Way" thread, as counting calories and exercising sounded like what I needed to do . Through the support and friendship there, by late summer of 2002 I gradually got down to 142 pounds (my lowest) and a size 6.

However, I have regained a few pounds, due to *ahem* eating like I used to!! I kept up the exercising, but the eating was way out of line. So, I would like to get back down to at least 142, but keep my mind open to gaining more muscle, and losing more bodyfat.

I do videotapes for my exercise, and definitely prefer to work with free weights than do cardio, but I realize cardio is also key to losing fat. When it's better weather outside, I do like to walk. Otherwise, my cardio is aerobic tapes.

For me, weight and eating and exercise are all control issues...when I am doing well, I know I am in control of that situation, and it feels good.

My BIG motivation was to get in shape enough to feel I could learn to ride a motorcycle...which I did! And the motivation to keep going was that I wanted to buy black leathers, and look good in them :lol:

The other motivations are that it just feel so good to NOT be so self-conscious anymore; to be able to pick out clothes happily; to not dread social functions. For the first time in my life, I don't dislike (almost hate) myself. And that feels good, because when I didn't like myself, it was hard for me to be happy with the world. I have much more confidence in myself that I ever thought I could have.

SO, I don't quite fit the "maintaining" mode yet, but would like to join you here when I do!


04-13-2004, 10:06 AM
Hello my name is Julie and I am also from Vermont :). I have been overweight all my life. Even when i was little i felt the effects of being overweight. Always the last one picked, many adults are not nice to overweight children and I alway felt I had to try harder just to have anyone like me. 85 % of my family is overweight. I reached my heaviest weight in January 2003 of somewhere around 340 lbs. I could not even weigh in on any scales I could find in the stores. I had been losing weight for a month before I could weigh in and when I did I was 335 lbs so I know I was at least 340 lbs or higher.
I have never put myself first. I am always the one to give up what I want to make things easier for someone else. In January 2003 my mom who is diabetic found her glucose levels over 350 decided that she needed to get control over it before she ended up on insulin. She was 235 lbs at that time.
She went to her doctor and they talked about the difference between a good carb and a bad carb and how to make some changes in her diet. She needed someone to do it with her to help her stay on program so I did it too. We started walking at the mall and I could not even do one lap which is 1/3 of a mile without being in pain but I kept working at it. That was last January and we havent quit.
My moms glucose levels are normal and she weighs 145 lbs and I am off high blood pressure meds and at 176. The way we eat is a way that we can do forever and we just joined the gym in february to get into the toning exercise and weights. I hope I didnt bore anyone!

05-14-2004, 02:22 PM
Hey there! I know several of you already, but here's my story.

I was a relatively small, relatively athletic kid with 3 brothers that I always felt that I needed to keep up with. Somewhere along the line, that changed. My old-fashioned parents, with entirely good intentions, pushed me into more 'girly' stuff. I got told frequently by my brothers that I was fat and ugly. I discovered boys.

At my lowest weight of 130, I was exisisting mainly on cigarettes and wine coolers. I got older, made some bad choices that resulted in bad feelings. I got hurt. I went through 3 years of a soap opera and came out of it weighing almost 170 pounds.

After that, I tried every 'easy' thing I could come up with to lose weight. I took xenedrine, xenical, diet fuel, stacker, stacker 2, ate cabbage soup for weeks, stayed under 800 calories a day for months. I'd lose 20 pounds and gain back 30. When I hit 200 pounds, I had a meltdown. I was miserable and desperate. I was so disgusted with myself that I would throw up every time I ate (no finger down the throat necessary). To try and stop that, I started taking lots of laxatives. If I believed that I wasn't really going to digest the food, then I wouldn't get sick.

Happily, my DH found the pills within a couple of weeks and talked some sense into me. I spent the next couple of months learning what I could about nutrition and decided to try the Atkins plan. Now it's 10 months later and I've lost almost 70 pounds. I'm at 133 right now and think I would like to get to 120.

It's not so much about the weight anymore. It's more about wanting to be strong and toned. I've discovered that I love to move, so my exercise consists of pilates, biking, rollerblading, bellydancing, dancing at clubs, and walking with my little chihuahuas. It doesn't feel like work, it just feels like life.

And I think that's the biggest thing I've learned: when it feels like life, you're doing it right.

07-16-2004, 04:44 PM
I was not fat until puberty, though I was never a skinny child. When puberty hit, I gained about 10 pounds a year until I hit my highest weight as a freshman in college. I was constantly trying to lose weight from about age 15 on, mostly by starving myself, eating one meal a day at dinner. In between successful times of weight loss, I'd binge on everything at the house where I babysat after school every day, also spending my own money on lots of chocolate. I hated myself, felt huge, never had a date, and was miserable all the time.

In college and later, I either lost weight by exercising (walking, swimming, and later aerobics and weight training) and cutting down on portions, or by starving myself. I was never, ever able to follow a true "diet" for more than three days. I still had a major starving/bingeing problem until I got married and got some counseling for my self esteem problems. Thankfully, it's been probably 10 years since I truly binged. I still overeat occasionally, but never have that horribly uncontrollable urge to drive to Dunkin' Donuts, buy a dozen donuts, and eat half of every single one until I feel overfull and sick.

These days, I belong to TOPS and write down every bit of food that goes into my mouth on a food sheet. I do step aerobics every morning and try to walk at least 10,000 steps a day, not counting the steps taken during aerobics. I despise exercise, but like how it makes me feel and look. Someday I'd like to join a gym again and lift weights again, but right now my kids are just too young for me to exercise away from home, not to mention the time constraint of working full time with two small kids. As it is, I have to get up at 5:30am to have time to exercise.

Right now I'm the thinnest I've ever been, and I worry that I'll gain the weight back. I've maintained about 30 pounds of my weight loss since I was 19 (20 years now), but always struggle with that final 15-20 pounds. I'm hoping this is "it" and sometimes I feel that it is. I worry though about living for the rest of my life not being able to eat like the rest of my family and friends (who are either naturally skinny and eat like horses or are overweight but aren't trying to lose it so also eat like horses).

07-22-2004, 02:59 AM

I can't tell you all how excited I am to have found this site! I've had a lot of trouble finding somewhere for maintainers to talk about how they're maintaining - finding this place is such a relief.

My story:
I didn't realise I was overweight until my Mum told me I was getting a bit big when I was 9/10, and started me on schemes to lose weight. I know she was doing what she felt was best (and don't' hold it against her), but it started me on an obssession with my weight, that as I'm sure you've all experienced, is very difficult to get past.
I'd done the yo yo thing for years, and pretty much given up. I was the weight I was - like it or lump it. But then, at the ripe old age of 26 I started having some health problems that were the result of being overweight. Scared the **** out of me. I really saw how being fat could shorten my life. So, I decided it was time to do something about it. In truth I'd been working up to it for a little while mentally, the health scare was what spurred me into action.
I joined Weight Watchers in September 2001 at 241 pounds, and lost 89 pounds to reach goal in June 2003. In truth, I think this weight is a bit low for me and am happier about 4-6 pounds heavier than that.

Maintaining has been more of challenge for me than losing the weight was!! I felt a bit lost without a goal to work towards any more. My weight has fluctuated a bit, but learning that that is normal and healthy has been a big lesson. As long as you nip it in the bud before it goes too far it's OK. "Skinny" people's weight fluctuates too, within reason.

Anyway, even though a challenge, I was maintaining fairly well until the last couple of months. I've started noticing the old eating patterns creeping back in, and I'm now 11 pounds over where I'm comfortable. But I'm finding it very difficult to halt the creep. The main problem is my eating. One thing I haven't stopped, and never will again, is exercise. I'm determined to never lose that habit.

I really don't want to go back to Weight Watchers. I know how to lose weight healthily. I want to get to what is triggering these eating patterns coming back - the emotional and mental stuff.

Either way, reading the posts I have so far here, have started putting me back in the headspace I need. I was concentrating on what I couldn't have if I wanted to stay slim and thinking how unfair it was I couldn't eat as much of them as I wanted. I wasn't concentrating on why I couldn't - because they're bad for my health. When I think about what they do to my body, they really don't seem so appealing!

So, I'm looking forward to losing the 11 pounds and getting back to figuring out how to maintain more effectively. I'm also looking forward to getting to know you all and learning how you all do it day by day :)

07-22-2004, 07:30 AM
Hello Menny and Welcome Home,
Here's as good a place as any to start. Maintaining is much like losing weight.We have found that it is a daily struggle that you will continue all your life. Like weight loss, it's not a diet, it's a lifestyle. The people who have achieved the goals they set for themselves continue daily, with little adjustments the things they did to get to their goals.This forum is a good place to come for support from people who face the same stresses daily that you do, and offer experience in dealing with them,but the bulk of the task is still yours.Everybody will have little ups and downs, they are natural, and you'll learn how to deal with them.(You probably already know) There are big things that happen that really make thing a challenge and that's where these people are so valuable with their support. If I can be of any aid, don't hesitate to call on me. I'm sure you'll find that sentiment coming from many corners here. Again Welcome!

08-17-2004, 10:35 PM
I just discovered this forum, after having re-read Passing for Thin for the third time (!!!) I found SDP and then here. I have been maintaining my goal weight for nearly 2 years now but lately I have been struggling, and am up 10 lbs from goal. Considering that I am down 140 from my all-time high, that's not a lot but I'm still trying to deal with the idea that my maintenance is really in my hands.....

Anyway, it's been great reading your stories the last few days. You all give me so much inspiration. I did a little web page chronicling just SOME of my many ups and downs: my life in weight (

08-17-2004, 10:44 PM
How cool is that! Nice photo journal, magic lady! True inspiration, welcome to the Maintainers family. Feels good doesn't it? Just do what you did and keep doing it.

08-21-2004, 12:35 PM
Either way, reading the posts I have so far here, have started putting me back in the headspace I need. I was concentrating on what I couldn't have if I wanted to stay slim and thinking how unfair it was I couldn't eat as much of them as I wanted. I wasn't concentrating on why I couldn't - because they're bad for my health. When I think about what they do to my body, they really don't seem so appealing!

Hi Mennie! I've been looking at it as NOT depriving myself of what I want. I eat what I want. I just don't eat what I want ALL the I used to. :lol: At first I stayed away from everything and felt guilty if I broke ranks just once. But a co-worker kept telling me that's the problem. She said not to feel guilty because you're not going to gain all the weight back that you've lost by just having a piece of chocolate cake when we went to dinner for our anniversary. ;) I "taste" things, and I treat myself to stuff I like from time-to-time. Use to be I ate that way daily though. Having 3 Boston Creme donuts was a normal breakfast. Now I might get one once or twice a year as a special treat.

I don't feel I'm depriving myself that way. And when I look in the mirror, I really don't feel like I'm depriving myself. LOL

You know, when I was in high school, I weighed 132 and thought I was overweight. My butt was too big or something. Years later, when I was up to about 160, I ran into an old friend from HS. His comment was "Dang girl! You used to look GOOD in high school, what happened?" He realized what he said and started backpeddling at that point...LOL! But that's when I decided to diet. And I went on about half a dozen of them after that and just kept getting bigger each time I stopped dieting.

I see myself now and realize I was never fat in high school. I had so many self-esteem problems because of family issues. Now I live far from my family, and while I miss them, their influences are no longer keeping me down. My esteem is up, my weight has finally come down, and now I look in the mirror and know that I was never fat then...and I'll never ever allow myself to get fat again. I'll never let others have the power over my self esteem that they once did. It's all up to me.

08-23-2004, 02:15 PM
Well compared to some of you who have achieved so much my weight loss is pretty pathetic.

I wanted to lose 2 stone its the first time I've ever seriously dieted. I felt my weight was starting to get out of hand. I was a UK size 10 then I went vegetarian and promptly put on tons of weight because I totally let my nutrition go to ****. I wasnt eating a balanced diet I was eating a ton of margarine and cheese to stop me feeling hungry rather than learning to cook proper veggie dishes. Since turning veggie my health had been rubbish, I've had tonsillitis, glandular fever and developed asthma in a year when i've never had a day off before in my life. So I decided it was time to nip it in the bud, I went up 2 clothes sizes and then started going up to 3 sizes in some things and it made me really depressed so I decided it was time to come up with a decent exercise and eating plan.

Anyway I've lost the weight quite quickly, my health is better now I dont have as many asthma problems which I think is to do with the gentle exercise I'm doing. I have a gym programme. I really have 2 concerns and they are pretty contradictory.
1. I want to keep the weight off, I like the way I look, I dont feel as depressed, I feel tons more confident and outgoing and I'm definitely happier.
2. i am worried about losing too much weight, since I started maintaining I've lost another half stone in 6 weeks and I got on the scales this week and I've lost another 3lbs and I dont know how. I'm trying to eat more without getting back into bad old habits but I still seem to be losing weight. When I was a lot younger in my mid teens I had the problem of being too thin and I'm stuck between the worry of being like that again and my weight becoming an obsession and between the worry of putting it back on again and undoing all the good that I've achieved.

My mum isnt helping shes been really moaning about me being overweight but now i've lost the weight (and although I've lost more since I stopped dieting I'm still in my healthy BMI) she is saying I look too skinny and that my boobs look too small etc. and I feel like she undermines any confidence I have in myself.

I'm going to have a look around this section and hopefully I'll find tons of positive stories and tips to keep me going in the right direction.

08-25-2004, 10:10 PM
Hi Almostheaven! :wave:
I know what you mean. I eat what I want, just in moderation. Well, that's what I used to do until a few months ago :rolleyes: I've been feeling a bit down lately and the emotional eating is creeping back in. I feel like a choc chip cookie, so I have a couple to satisfy the craving. But that small taste makes me want more, and lately I've been giving in! I'm fighting that old battle again, using food to numb emotions - I was in control of it for a couple of years, and thought I had it licked. I'm now realising it's going to be a day to day battle, and I really need to get to the bottom of the emotional stuff. Which is what I'm trying to work on now :)

What you say about tasting stuff is so true though. Someone told me once that if you have a craving for say cheesecake, you should have some because nothing else is really going to satisfy you. But, when you do have some, if you really think about it, it's only the first three bites that you really enjoy. The rest is nice, but nowhere near as good as those first few bites. So have the first few bites and leave the rest of the cake for someone else - you really don't need it. But you've gotten what you want.
Thanks for reminding of that :goodvibes:

Oh, and Viviki - your weight loss is not pathetic at all - itís bloody fabulous!!!
Figuring out the right balance in order to maintain, rather than lose, weight can take a bit of experimentation and time - but youíll get there. It really comes down to trying different things and seeing how your body reacts. I'm not exactly a role model for maintaining at the moment :dizzy: but I wish you all the best.

08-26-2004, 12:44 AM
I just realised i never properly introduced myself! I've been posting around the board here and there for the last couple of weeks, so i guess i better say a little about me :)

I'm 21 yr old Aussie, currently in my second year of Uni. I was never an overweight child, I may not have been the slimmest, but i was healthy and fit and always involved in sports. I especially took to athletics and sprinting and was being groomed for bigger things from about the age of 10. However my feet just were not up to it. I have flat feet you see and by the time i was 13 the tendon along the bottom of my foot, the arch, just gave out. I couldnt walk properly for about 6 months and for another 6 months after that I was terrified that if i did anything slightly strenuous it would set my foot off again, so i basically stopped moving for an entire year. Of course, at that age i didnt care what i was eating, and having the metabolism of a growing teen i didnt put on a lot of weight, but i definitly started to edge toward to higher end of "healthy" scale. Around 14/15 I started playing softball and soccer and generally became more active again and my weight gain stabilised itself at 68kgs or 150 pounds. I was an Australian size 14 since i was 14, and i stopped growing at 5'6. I was fine with my weight until I got to Uni, when things went off the rails!

My boyfriend basically became my world as he was the only person i knew in a new city, and being a naturally quiet and shy person i found it hard to make new friends. Then he up and dumped me and ran off to his ex and I fell apart. Became a hermit, locked myself in my room, ate myself into oblivion and became quite overall depressed and miserable. I went up to 78kgs or about 172 pounds.

One morning, a year ago now, i literally woke up to myself and realised how pathetic my treatment of myself was and I decided then and there to pull myself out of this self-imposed exile and mental funk and do something postive to get my life back on track. I started walking, then running, then gyming as well, i got out and met people, i put a positive spin on everything in my life, i ate better, healthier...just overall did a complete 180 reversal.

It took 9 months, but i got down to 57kgs or 125pounds (and would you believe, an Australian size 8?) in may this year and thats where i am attempting to maintain. I dont mind if my weight goes to about 60kgs, but so far it's been bobbing between 56 and 57kgs. So yes, thats me and my tale! It'll be nice to get to know you all :)


09-01-2004, 04:28 PM
Hi everybody! I just discovered this forum. I'm glad to find a strong maintainer's site.

My name's Lydia and I'm a 39 year old mom of 3 who is also the president & CEO of a healthcare association (in my spare time...ha!) Talk about stress!

Anyway, I'd pretty much been overweight my whole life. Lost 86 lbs on NutriSystem back in '89, but then crept up over the years back to a high of 210 in 2001 (4 months after delivering twins).

So I went to Jenny Craig and started my weightloss journey on 9/11/01. Talk about a day NOT to start a diet! But I did and in a way it helped to have something to focus on.

Anyway, it took me 10 months to lose 80 lbs. For the first year after I reached my goal I kept my weight below goal through exercise and, let's face it, never really stopping the diet. I'd splurge a little then diet the rest of the week. In the second year I've slowly crept up about 15 lbs, so I'm now a solid 10 lbs above my goal weight. I'm back at Jenny Craig 100% until I get it off. Frustratingly, I'd been trying low carb which was working to maintain but not to lose. When I switched to Jenny Craig, my body got MAD and it's now holding onto the weight. Granted, I'm only 5 days into my return to grace, but geez, I'd like to see something for my efforts! (I'm up a lb, bloated, and my clothes fit worse than they did a week ago!) And I'm eating 1200 cals a day!

Oh well, I know this shall pass...

I'm now 2 years and almost 2 months into maintenance. And I have to say I have yet to figure out how to do it. It's really so much harder than losing the weight. I'm good at black and white, but I have a tough time with shades of grey.

So I look forward to your sage advice and wisdom!

09-02-2004, 05:45 AM
Welcome Lydia and Lyria! We're glad you found us here. :)

10-03-2004, 02:57 PM
New to this forum--

I am maintaining a 16-18 lb. loss (hard work via Weight Watchers; I found a very helpful leader/supportive meeting and thought it was a great program for me).

What I need now: a good, enjoyable exercise routine, ways to not obsess about regaining, ways to continue positive self-talk and (especially) ways to avoid high-carb snacks at night. I live in New England, and it's pitch dark now by 7 p.m. Boy, do I hate northern winters!

Would welcome any/all suggestions and support--

10-03-2004, 03:34 PM
Hi Elanajel and welcome to Maintainers! Congratulations on your weight loss! You're absolutely right, it's hard work -- regardless of whether someone loses 5 or 50 or 150 pounds. :) And once we hit goal, it doesn't make any difference where we started because we're all in the same place NOW and in this together for the rest of our lives. We're never going to gain back those pounds we fought so hard to lose -- right, gang??!! :lol:

I'm going to copy some of your post into the "New To Maintaining" thread because I'm afraid your questions might get lost up here ... and I see you posted a bit there already. ;) They're great questions and ones that we all deal with every day, so I'm glad you raised them. See ya on that thread!

10-03-2004, 05:17 PM
Hi Elanajel. I'm also in New England...until November. LOL Maybe I'll get out before the snow flies, eh? I'm in Concord, NH. I usually get out for a run right after work, so I get it in before it's dark. During the winter, I'm fortunate to live in apartments which provide a clubhouse, so I could work out there. But on bad weather days, I bought aerobics and pilates videos. I stick to my same, right after work, routine, but I don't have to leave the house in the nasty stuff.

10-11-2004, 05:42 PM
Geez, I cried through some of your stories. Yes, I happen to be hormonal today, but I SO identify with much of what youíve written. Thanks for sharingÖ

My name is Karyn Lee and I'm a married, 37 year-old mom of two boys who are 5 and 4.

"Diets" have been a part of my life since I was a teen. I wasn't really overweight back then, just obsessed with being thin. My weight problem began soon after I married and I was overweight throughout my 20s and midway into my 30s. I was (am) an emotional eater and food was definitely my drug. I was very unhappy and I was really good at hiding from the world. My highest non-pregnant weight was 215 lbs and I'm 5'6".

In March of 2002, we went on a family weekend outing and I ate myself sick. None of my own size 16 pants fit, so I began to wear my husband's (they were snug, too, but at least they didn't cause me pain!). That next Monday morning weighing in at 189 lbs, I decided I was all done feeling so out of control of my life. I had started many "Monday diets," but I just knew that it was going to be different. This time, I didn't look to an outside source to make it happen - I knew it had to come from ME. It took me about 7 months to lose down to 135 lbs and I've maintained within a 5 lb range for 2 years.

When I decided to lose weight, I knew that exercise would be a huge strategy for me. I started walking regularly on my treadmill and I remember how I thought I was going to die after just 30 min. I gradually increased the duration and intensity of my walking and added strength training (The Firm) after about 3 months. In the Fall of 2002, I began to run and I trained throughout that year. I worked up to running (no walking!) a 10k during the summer of 2003. I was so excited because I have asthma and I'd never been able to run before. Unfortunately, I developed tendonitis in my heel and have since decided that running is not for me. I joined a gym last April and just love it. My current exercise schedule is: step aerobics 1x per week, walking 2x per week, elliptical 3x per week, weight training 3x per week and Pilates 3x per week. I'm not perfect by any means, but I'm pretty consistent with my workouts. I believe that it's been the key to keeping the weight off.

My food "plan" evolved constantly just like my exercise plan. At the very beginning, I used frozen, lowfat dinners because I had no portion control. Once I got a handle on that, I cooked my own healthy meals. I used to count calories, keeping them between 1300-1500. I tried to keep my fat percentage under 20%, my protein around 30% and my carbs under 55%. I also watched my sodium, water and fiber. I ate 3 meals and 2 snacks every day and chewed gum in between if I got the munchies. I became a student of nutrition and I planned out all my meals and snacks ahead of time. I logged my weight, calories, exercise and water intake on a daily basis.

I still do the above, but I don't count calories or log my info as often. I still weigh myself every day, plan out all my meals each morning and make a non-negotiable appointment to work out each day.

One of the biggest things I continue to struggle with is binge eating. I re-read my Dr. Phil book last July and feel like I've been in a much better place since then. But, I have a vacation coming up next week and then the holidays after that (my two worst binge triggers) and I'm a little worried. I will definitely be needing some support!

Anyway, I've realized there's no end to this journey. I hit my goal and I've maintained for 2 years, but I am NOT done. I'm still plugging away, making mistakes and looking for answers. I'm positive that if I felt like my work was all behind me, I would gain back the weight in a hurry.

I've lost weight before, but I wasn't successful at maintaining it because I just went right back to my old ways. I treated reaching my goal as the end of the weight loss process. I can now embrace the fact that this battle will never be over for me. It really is just beginning! Maintenance is so much harder than I expected it to be! It takes a lot of thought and effort, but the rewards are phenomenal. I am much more pleased with my appearance, but the best part is that I'm happy. Being happy has a profoundly wonderful effect on my life and I want to do anything in my power to hold on to that.

And just for the record...I'm currently having one of those moments that make me so happy and proud of the fact that I've worked successfully to keep this weight off. (Hope this doesn't sound too shallow, but I'm thinking you will relate to this...) I'm going to Hawaii next week for the first time and I've had so much fun putting together my little summer outfits for the trip. I have so many things that I feel good in that it's hard to keep my packing to a minimum. Excitement about clothes is definitely something I didn't have 3 years ago. Back then, my main goal was to hide my body as much as possible.

Thanks for listening! I look forward to giving and getting support here!

10-11-2004, 10:02 PM
Thanks for sharing, Karyn! Wow, your story is my story! I could have written a lot of what you said, especially about binging still being a problem, exercise being key, and maintenance being harder than we thought but oh so worth it. :)

And about the clothes -- I don't think you're being shallow at all. :D Clothes are a huge incentive for me and yes, I seriously overshopped once I got rid of my big clothes forever. :o Unfortunately, I live in a older house with tiny closets, so I have plastic storage boxes of sweaters under the bed and those drop down pants hangers and ... it's embarrassing ... :o BUT if I'm ever having a bad day and want to say to **** with diets and exercise, going clothes shopping is the BEST way to snap myself out of the funk (and it gets me away from the kitchen).

Have a wonderful time in Hawaii and we look forward to hearing lots more from you. :)

10-11-2004, 10:37 PM
Thanks, Meg. I'm so happy to meet someone who has gone through and who is going through much of what I'm experiencing. There are so many little things about this whole deal that I really can't share with anyone. Whether it's good or bad, I just haven't been able to find anyone who can totally relate.


Like I said before, I may be smaller now, but I really have nearly the same issues about my body that I did before. It's not like I suddenly look in the mirror sans clothing and think, "Wow, I'm hot!" I'm still as insecure about my stomach, hips and thighs and still feel completely uncomfortable in a swimsuit. I want to get a tummy tuck when I turn 40 (in a couple years) to rid myself of loose skin from my c-section and from being overweight. Here's why I don't feel like I can talk about this stuff: Have you ever been around someone you regard as "skinny" who complains about how fat they are? When I was heavy, I just wanted to slap those skinny girls when they *****ed and moaned about their weight. I didn't feel like they had the right to complain. Am I making any sense at all??? Anyway, that's why I keep my mouth shut! ;)

I don't talk about all those wonderful little things either. About how awesome (and easy) it is to squeeze past people in a movie theatre aisle, how strong it feels to be muscular or how fun it is to go straight to the 4s and 6s when I'm shopping for clothes. To this day, though, I still take 8s in with me because my brain won't wrap around the fact that I'm a 4 or a 6. These little things bring me so much joy and satisfaction (and makes all my hard work feel worthwhile) but to talk about them seems too much like bragging.

As you can now see, I'm a babbler. I think it's obvious that I'm pretty excited about meeting you all. :)

Karyn Lee

PS Meg, I would love to talk to you sometime about your surgeries. You sound like you're very satisfied with your results!

10-12-2004, 07:10 AM
Ok, so I've figured out how to lose the weight, do you break the overshopping habit? As I was taking more clothes to Goodwill, hubby says "But I remember when you said 'but this was on clearance, but this was only $10, but this was a good deal...'" LOL

At 7 months til I turn 40, I'd love to have a tummy tuck myself. I have promised myself one the minute my rich uncle gets out the poorhouse.

Karyn, I do tend to brag. I still see that last bit around the mid-section that I'm working on, but I've always wanted to get down to the smaller sizes and am loving being there. I don't look in the mirror and see myself as fat anymore. I've slowly gravitated to two pieces, miniskirts, and lowrise pants. My motto has become "If I can do it, anyone can". ;)

I've gone through some life changes though that have built my self-esteem, which is mostly what enabled me to get a handle on weight loss finally. And it perhaps has a lot to do with not having a lot of issues with insecurities.

When I was heavy, I just wanted to slap those skinny girls when they *****ed and moaned about their weight.

Try growing up with a 95 lb dripping wet cousin who would say this. You don't know how hard it was to resist smacking her upside the head. LOL

10-12-2004, 05:16 PM
Overshopping was also a problem for me when I first hit my goal weight. I've had to get rid of many impulse buy items. Also, in the beginning, I gravitated toward tight clothes because I wanted to show off my hard work. That feeling has subsided a bit - slowly realized I could wear flattering things without them being skin tight.

It's great and kindof weird to have a "stable" wardrobe. Everything I bought in 2002 still fits! On my weight roller coaster, I usually bought clothes because the pieces from the previous year were suddenly too small. My wardrobe changed constantly because I was a different size every year!

Congrats on your weight loss and building your self-esteem! :)

10-13-2004, 06:19 AM
Karyn, youíve found the only place that I know of where you can talk about things like feeling fat when youíre size 4 and have a whole bunch of people who understand exactly how you feel (and not want to slap you :lol: ). Like Mel said a few days ago, we think weíre alone and kind of :dizzy: :dizzy: and then we come here to discover people who feel the same way about things. So you can always talk to us even if there isnít anyone in Real Life who understands. We talk about body image a lot Ė hereís a thread about it that you might want to check out: I had the same crazy thoughts last week when I was getting dressed to go out to dinner with DH and I looked in the mirror and told myself I looked fat Ė though I was wearing size 4. I realized in the rational part of my brain that was :crazy: Ė but it didnít change what I SAW in the mirror. Anyway, feel free to keep blabbing Ė itís a great feeling to discover that weíre not alone. :)

About my surgeries Ė feel free to ask me any questions youíd like Ė Iím not embarrassed about talking about them. Mel, Karen, and TusconChris here have also had TTs or lower body lifts and can help too. I donít know if you found it yet, but we have a sticky about weight loss and skin that has some posts about surgical experiences: Yes, I am extremely satisfied with my results. :D Iím never going to look like a model, but I never expected to and this is much, much better than having all the skin flopping around.

About shopping Ė Iíve gotten rid of a lot of what I bought at first too, for two reasons. First, I was so overwhelmed by the choices that I was really undiscriminating about what I bought. I was used to begin stuck in the plus sizes and having to be content to make do with anything that simply fit. All of a sudden, everything fit (or was too big) and it came in 200 varieties. Too much choice. Now I tell myself I have to LOVE it to buy it. Second, totally without realizing it, I was buying the same style of clothes in smaller sizes that I used to buy in plus sizes: big, baggy stuff meant to camouflage my body. It took me a while to realize that I didnít need to camouflage any more AND that wasnít a very flattering look for me now. Iím a much more careful shopper now. And isnít it a marvel when last yearís clothes still fit this year? Iíve never been at the same weight for two years before ever Ė it always was up or down before.

Glad you're all here -- keep talking -- great topics! :D

10-13-2004, 05:46 PM
Meg, thanks for your wonderful post. I immersed myself in the surgery thread (lots of great info!) and plan to read the body image thread next.

I get so emotional when I read the posts on this forum. I can't believe how new and wonderful it feels to have found people like me!

Oh, Meg, you really do look incredible! I love your muscles! :) I'm going to have to venture on over to the Ladies Who Lift forum to find out how I can lower my body fat percentage. I started lifting at the gym in April. I love it!

10-26-2004, 08:23 AM
This board is just what I was looking for. I am so happy to have found you guys! Your stories are sooo inspiring!
My name is Margaret and I live in NW Pennsylvania. I am a 32 yr old stay at home mom to two boys David 4 and Josh 13 mo.
I have just spent the last 3 years ( Had a baby in that time) losing 167 pounds going from 315 to 155 thru diet and exercise. Talk about life changing! It's very surread to see me at 155, believe me. I spent 30 years miserable and clueless on how to take care of myself. My only regret is waiting as long as I did to do this for myself.
I really NEED to learn how to maintain because I am only a few pounds away from my goal weight! I'm scared to death of doing it wrong.
Thanks again! As soon as I figure out how to post pics, I will!
Margaret :coffee:
Highest weight: 315
Now: 155
Goal: LTG: 150
How I'm going to do it: maintain a healthy lifestyle with diet and exercise.

10-26-2004, 08:33 AM
Wow that's a well decent weight loss! You lot are all so inspiring. Looking forward to the pics Margaret!

10-26-2004, 08:39 AM
hi guys second posting whew i m lost i donot remember i posted last .well v all know the issue ,but today my concern is ,i want to buy ttreadmill.i donot know good brand how much it cost.... i donot mind if it is exepensive.i want to see it go long way with me ,lot to loose ...donot want something cheap thats broken tommorrow

10-26-2004, 09:39 AM
Welcome to Maintainers, Margaret! Congratulations on your fabulous weight loss! Can't wait for the pictures. :D Yep, you've found the right place to help you transition from losing to maintaining. :)

I think I know how you're feeling right about now -- I was petrified when I reached my goal because the only thing I knew was how to lose -- I was clueless about maintenance. All I knew was that I was NEVER going to go back to 257 pounds again. With the help of this wonderful group, I've been able to keep the weight off for 2 1/2 years now and it does get easier over time (this is what our "big loser" Karen always tells us -- she's kept off 115 pounds for 15 years now :D ) Stick around with us -- this is a great group for support and encouragement. We're writing the "instruction manual" for maintenance right here and we look forward to you adding in all your insights and thoughts. :D

BTW, I'm a Margaret too! DH's family lives in the Oil City/Franklin area -- is that close to you?

Hi Reenu! You might want to post your treadmill question in the Exercise forum -- I bet you'll get lots of answers there. ;)

10-26-2004, 10:42 AM
Meg R U There I M Trying To Get Response From U . U R Goooooood. Plz Help Me With Two Things ***how Much It Cost U To Get Rid Of That Extra Skin, Imean Loose Skin That U Lost In Two Surgeries...aftr Weight Loss ...imean In Canadian Dollars***.***and Want To Buy Treadmill ...goood One That Goes Long Way With Me In My Weight Loss Journey......not Like One Dies Next Day ,plz Guide Me I Can Spend Good Money On Treadmill Since Thats The Only Thing I Want To Own In My Entire Life[ I Mean As Soon As I Become Teen] Not Teen Anymore Long Story Short I Need Ur Help ,sorry For English .at Work I M Inhurry,plz Reply****Thnx

10-26-2004, 10:58 AM
Hi Reenu! About the treadmill question -- go here (to the Exercise forum), click "New Thread" at the top left, and post your question there. I don't know anything about treadmills myself and so can't help you, but there's lots of people in the Exercise forum who can give you advice about treadmills. I'm afraid your question isn't going to get much notice here in the Introductions part of the Maintainers forum. :)

About the skin and surgery, there isn't any way for me to guess how much skin removal surgery would cost in Canada. Here's the web site for the Canadian Society of Plastic Surgeons: -- you might find some information there or contact them for further information.

Only Me
10-27-2004, 02:27 PM
Gulp, I guess I belong here now. The idea of weight maintenance is pretty intimidating to me after the past 6 or so years of up and down the scale.

After 7 months, I've finally lost all the accumulated weight of 4 relatively close pregnancies. My littlest one is now 9 months old and I started my weight loss journey when she was 2 months. I lost all the pregnancy weight, plus about another 5ish lbs, so now, at 31, I'm at my lowest adult weight ever. And I like it here.

I've known how I should be eating to feel at my best for a long time, but I didn't always choose to eat that way. Plus my portion sizes, even of good food, tended to be huge. Other than a crash, barely eating at all diet when I was 17-18 I'd never really dieted, although I'd thought about it. I didn't follow any diet plan. I'm ovo-lacto vegetarian, and lost the weight by keeping junk to a minimum and eating moderate portions of whole grains, low fat dairy, legumes, and lots of fruit and vegetables. It was both easier and harder than I expected.

I've been reading posts in this forum for a few weeks as I approached my goal weight. I'm nervous about maintaining, even more so than losing I think. I can lose weight. But after 4 pregnancies in the past 6 years, I also know how to gain weight all too well. Working out how to eat normal portions of mostly good food so that my weight stays relatively stable is my new challenge. Somehow the motivation of the scale staying the same isn't as impressive as the scale moving down.

My new way of challenging myself (for the past few months too) has been by taking up running. Rather than watching the scale, I can watch the distances and speed I can run slowly increase. I plan to run a 10K or 1/2 marathon at the end of next summer, giving me a new long term goal to work toward health-wise.

10-28-2004, 05:26 PM
I never introduced myself here, even though I posted...

Well, here is my story. I was a skinny kid, and analyzing it now i can say I stayed skinny because I did not like to eat. I simply would eat crust from favourite rye bread for breakfast, meat for lunch, and mashed potatoes for dinner. If I did not like food, I will never put it in the mouth - so my first encounter with rice and pasta occured in my early twenties at the University cafeteria. And you know what - i do not like them even now... Why do i eat it than?

I started to gain weight when I was 24 (i already had one child) and when I moved from Soviet Union to Austria. All of a sudden all those nice pastries, cookies, etc. around - I easily gained 10 kg and thought - well, I am 25, what do I want??? I gained another 10 kg at 30, when I moved to Canada. Easily - by living 1 month on McDonalds 49c hamburgers when you buy 10! I did not have a job, and having 10 hamburgers for 5$ made sence. Well, new size of jeans was expensive. I had 2 more pregnancies and ended up in 170-180 pound range... Eyeopener was when my 4 y.o. son and I watched a video from last summer and he said - Mom, who is this woman with huge bum there? Well, it was I, and he could not recognize me - first I thought it was because camera adds pounds, but than I looked so much like a pig there!!!

When my third child was born, I thought - I do not want to look like standard overweight North american nother of 3... I wanted to look cool and feel cool. So I enrolled to the gym for my birthday. i ended up going there 2 times a week and in 6 month (still breastfeeding) my weight dropped to 156 pounds. After that I could not loose no matter what I did. In a year I dropped to 149 (after finishing breastfeeding) or so - but again, it was so slow and so hard. So On sept 29th I joined Jenny Craig. In 3 month I reached my goal of 128 pounds and right now I try to stay in 5 pounds area around it.

I exercise at least 30 min every day, I also teach yoga (certified in order to keep myself busy - after all instructor can not skip a class), I bike (this year my daughter and I finished 100 mountain bike tour on Sunshine coast). I also work full time. Anyways, I am very glad to find this forum (thanks funniegrrl)!

I find keeping weight off is harder than loosing, so this forum is a big help for me! Knowing that youa re not alone makes it so much easier, and having people around who lost and maintained just makes it real!!!


10-31-2004, 12:52 PM
Hi! I've decided to stop lurking and introduce myself. I recently my weight watchers goal on 10/19/04 and felt that it was time to share my story:

I was a chubby kid and an overweight teenager that blossomed into a morbidly obese young adult. I'm guessing that I was about 40-60 pounds overweight in high school weighing around 150-180 pounds (I'm a little under 5'2"). I was also completely uncoordinated and was always the last one to be picked for any game in PE. I dreaded the yearly "Presidents Fitness Challenge" because running the mile felt like torture. I was always the last one to finish...Even though I wasn't the heaviest in my class I was the most out of shape. I had no concept of good nutrition and I put myself on a number of crazy crash diets in my early teen the NO fat diet. I often would try to restrict my calories to around 800 per day or less. I wasn't trying to be anorexic or anything...I just didn't know better. I thought that in order to loose weight I had to suffer. After 3 days of starving I would find myself so famished that I would just binge. I never actually managed to loose more then a couple of pounds with any of my dieting attempts so I can't even call it yo-yo dieting. By the time I was 16 or 17 I decided that I didn't want to torture myself anymore and that my body was incapable of loosing weight. I decided to accept myself the way I was, as someone that was a bit on the heavy side but also healthy and very voluptuous. It just seemed too difficult to fight with the scale and torture myself with it. From that point of I stopped paying attention to what I was eating and just ate whatever I liked and felt like eating. Between high school and college I ballooned, I was completely oblivious to how heavy I was. While I was in college I met my husband, I loved that he thought I was beautiful and didn't see me as fat. Unfortunately his acceptance of me and his love of high calorie foods didn't help my already expanding waist line. I graduated with my BA in Psychology and got a very high stress, but well paying, job working in the human service world. I knew even when I accepted the position that it wasn't what I wanted to do but it was an offer that most recent grads would jump at.

Several of my co-workers belonged to Weight Watchers and had had wonderful success. I decided to join too, in part to loose weight for my up coming wedding and in part develop a common bond with my new co-workers. When I stepped on the scale for the first time I was shocked to see that I was over 215 pound ( I can't remember my exact weight). I took to Weight Watchers quickly but soon grew tired of counting points. I didn't like paying for the meetings and I figured that I could do the program on my own. I also figured that since I have an excellent memory I could keep track of my points in my head...yeah right. I don't know who I was fooling but I know you all know what happened. little by little the 10 pounds that I had lost came back and then some. When I re-joined Weight Watchers again in order to loose weight for my wedding I was up around 225ish...but once again there was a part of me that was holding myself back. I think that in truth I didn't believe that I could really succeed. I convinced myself that I didn't need to loose weight...I had everything I needed. A wonderful husband-to-be that didn't care about my weight, a good job (even though I hated it by this point). I was going to the meetings and going through the motions even though I had no motivation. I was beginning to feel overwhelmed with work and wedding planning. Needless to say I didn't loose weight in time for my wedding on 9/26/02. I was close to my highest weight ever on my wedding day and I was in complete denial as to how big I really was.

It was sometime in March of 2003 that it hit me. I'm not really sure what happened...I think it was the culmination of many things. The stress of my job made me realize that I wasn't who I wanted to be or where I wanted to be in my life. I knew that I needed to change me. I decided that I wanted to get healthy and become physically fit. I didn't care about loosing weight to get a man or to be popular...which had always been my weight loss motivation in high school. I wanted to loose weight for me! I decided that this time I wanted to add something that had been missing before...exercise. The weird thing was that once I had resolved to get healthy nothing could stop me. The thought of exercise terrified me. All of my previous attempts had failed. I knew that I enjoyed walking but I didn't like doing it alone or outside. I promised myself that I would only make changes to my lifestyle that were maintainable and realistic to me. In order for me to be comfortable exercising I had to do it on my terms. I decided that I HAD to have a treadmill. I bought a treadmill and started a pace of 2.5 MPH for half an hour several times a week. In April I decided to join Weight Watchers again. This time when I weighed in my weight was up to 239.4. That is my highest recorded weight but I know that I was probably even higher then that since I had been walking on the treadmill for several weeks prior to joining and was making small healthy changes in my way of eating. In keeping with my new philosophy that I would only make changes in my life that I could maintain I decided that I needed to find a way to track my points without the hassle of writing them down. I liked the idea of the points bracelets that they sell at Weight Watchers but I thought they were ugly so I decided to make my own with pretty blue beads and a butterfly charm to represent my transformation...this also served as an anchor for me when I was going through rough times.

I wish I knew what it was that was different for me this time and what really motivated me to loose the weight. I wish I could remember that "Ahh ha moment". I just know that I woke up one morning with a new resolve to do it. I knew from the beginning that I would succeed, unlike my half hearted attempts in the past. Exercise was a huge part of it for me too. Over the months I progressed from a slow short crawl to an hour of fast paced walking every day. January 04' marked the beginning of learning to run. I stared out by doing repetitions of running 1 minute and walking 3. After twelve weeks of increasing running intervals I ran for 30 minutes non-stop for the first time. This was nothing short of a miracle in my mind, considering that I had never been able to run an entire mile before in my life. Running has been a great way for me to change my focus back to my original goal of getting healthy, now that the excitement of loosing has worn off.

It's taken about a year and a half to get where I am now...and I'm surprised how quickly it all has happened. I now weigh 136, and wear a size 4/6 and run between 3-7 miles 4-5 time a week. On the days that I don't run I walk and have recently stared incorporating some light weight training into the mix as well. My life has changed in a lot of other ways too over the last 18 months. The "great job", where I was so miserable, laid me off in November 03' about a blessing in disguise. I was unemployed for several months but it allowed me some time to focus on myself and learn about who I was and what I wanted to do. My weight loss gave me the courage to try a new job in a new field, it pays less then what my previous job did, but the benefits of not working in a high stress job are immeasurable.

I'm not quite where I want to be yet. The weight range for someone of my height is between 108-136 according to WW. I would like to be around 125ish I think...though I'm having a lot of trouble assessing where I'm at physically. I have some saggy skin, though it does seem to be shrinking. Even though I think the sagging is excessive my doctor seems to think it's not that bad considering how much I've lost. I think that has been the hardest thing for me to come to terms with. I don't have the perfect body....I'm not where I want to be. I still see myself as 240 pounds sometimes. Right now my plan for maintenance is to continue eating and exercising as I have been. I'm also adding some strength training into my routine...and hope to learn a lot from those of you that have more experience in this area. I'm going to continue to work on my running and increase my distance and speed. I still want to loose some more mass but I'm not going to be as concerned about my numbers as I have been. I'm healthy, I'm at a normal weight for my body and that is what is most important to me. There is something addictive about loosing and I'm going to miss the rush I get from seeing the numbers on the scale go down...though that happens so seldom now that I think I've become accustomed to it already. My biggest fear is that I will gain back the weight that I have lost. I think that by staying connected to other people that have lost weight and are maintaining their loss I will have a much better chance of succeeding. I'm glad to have found this place.

11-01-2004, 11:41 AM
Dee, I loved your intro - thanks so much for sharing with us. So much of it sounded familiar to me. Especially having a husband who is so understanding. Mine never pressured me to lose weight so I was a little too comfortable with my overeating. It took many years to realize that I didn't have to wait for someone else to motivate me into weight loss - I could motivate myself!

Sandy, I'm so impressed that you stuck to your guns during the year it was so hard to lose more weight. It's so easy to stay motivated when the scale is fully cooperating! You should be so proud of yourself.

Only Me, I went from being a non-runner to running a 10k. It was a fantastic way to stay focused on my training and it was an incredible feeling when I crossed that finish line. You're going to love it. Good luck!!!!

Big congrats to you all on your weight loss and all your hard work!!!!

Karyn Lee

11-01-2004, 11:49 PM
This is such a great forum! I've been lurking for a while and thought I'd introduce myself. My name is Anne and I'm 35 years old. I've struggled with my weight my entire life. I was the fat girl in the corner, quietly reading a book, and trying not to draw too much attention to myself to avoid harassment. I grew into an academic overachiever, eventually get my B.S. in physics and a doctorate in astronomy. I also just grew, up to 289 pounds at my heaviest. I never had much success at losing weight, and at some point decided to just be happy with myself as I was. I switched to an engineering career, married, and had a nice comfortable, sedentary life. While life wasn't perfect, I was generally content.

I don't know what changed or why. We moved back to Tucson from Los Angeles--a much happier location for me. I was under a lot of stress at work and was eating myself to sleep most nights. I also had developed a painful condition, uterine fibroids, which were at most only loosely related to weight. While I was otherwise very healthy, it did occur to me my next diagnosis might be preventable. I decided to make some changes to my life, eat healthier foods, pay attention to portion sizes, get some exercise, and find better ways to deal with stress. While I did count calories and measured my food, I never viewed this as a diet or weight loss plan, but merely as an attempt to lead a healthier life. If it worked, great, if it didn't, well, I was happy.

My body changed to fit my new lifestyle. Over a year, I lost more than 100 lbs. The closest thing to a 'light bulb' moment happened when I was about 30 lbs down, and I was walking from my cubicle at work, and I thought "This is so easy!" and at that moment I realized just how much burden I had put on myself by living the way I had. I was energized. In that year I went from barely being able to walk my dogs around the block to running a half marathon. I dropped from barely fitting into a size 24W to being a comfortable size 12. I also had surgery to remove the fibroids without having the dreaded hysterectomy, so I feel absolutely great. I've maintained my new weight for just about a year now, though I'd eventually like to lose another 20 lbs or so.

My weight ended up around 170, give or take. My weight loss basically stopped when I discovered endurance sports, right after the half marathon. I fell in love with racing, not that I'm very competitive. I find it hard to train for racing, as opposed to exercising for weight loss/maintenance, and lose weight at the same time. I run distances from 5K to marathon, do triathlon up to the half-ironman distance so far, and I'm training for my first cycling century ride right now. I swim, bike, run, and lift weights. I'm a bonafide athlete now, with the finisher's medals to prove it. Maybe slow and still on the chunky side, but an athlete none-the-less. To say I'm astonished with all this is an understatement, and I wonder at my new condition in life every day. I never expected I was capable of this.

Exercise is a no-brainer for me now. I love it (well, 80% of the time anyway), and I start to feel jittery if I take more than a couple days completely off. I still struggle with food though. I love to eat. I love to eat good food, and I love to eat crap. I want to eat when I'm happy, when I'm stressed, when I'm bored and when I'm hungry. The three most evil foods in the world are Reese's Peanut Butter cups, Cheetos, and Ben & Jerry's Chunky Monkey. I think all ice cream and all chips are sold in single serving packages, no matter how big they are. I also still find work very stressful and there is lots and lots of junk food available in my lab. Every day is hard, and some days I beat it, and some days it beats me. I still count calories and measure my food. I keep track of everything I eat every day, even the bad days. The accountability is important to me.

I've learned so much from this forum over the last couple months. You are all such an inspiration to me. I find it very reassuring to read about how you go through the same struggles I do, and find ways to overcome them.

11-02-2004, 06:27 AM
Welcome Anne and Dee! What terrific stories! We're looking forward to hearing a lot more from of both of you - you both have a lot of wisdom and experience to share. :)

11-05-2004, 09:25 AM
Hi Meg and everyone -

I've been lurking in this forum for several weeks now and I have decided to join in, at least occasionally as time permits.

Perhaps a brief background at first. In July 2001, I found myself at 191, bigger than I had ever been. As I discovered a few months ago, 191 works out to a BMI of 30.9 or clinically obese. The causes were twofold - arthritis had robbed me of most of my ability and motivation to run and I was using food to make up for shortcomings in a failing marriage. I couldn't run any more but I could stop eating fried mozzarella sticks and jalapeno poppers. By October 2002, I had battled my way down to 151. I fought for every one of those 640 ounces, figuring that I was having such a difficult time because I was now 40 rather than 27. Last time I lost a significant amount of weight, I had been 27 and that was when I had taken up running. In November 2002, I, now divorced, started a new relationship and lost my tenuous grasp of the weight-loss process. By August 2003, I was back up to 169. I started the battle again in earnest. By September, when the WeightWatcher signs began appearing around work, I had lost a pound. When a friend told me she had once lost 23 pounds in 12 weeks on WW, I signed up for WW@Work. Maybe WW knows something I don't, I thought.

I started WW at 168 in mid-September; by mid-December, I hit my WW goal of 142. By early January, I hit my personal goal of 135. My current weight of 130 was actually a dream weight. It was my running weight, more or less, but I did not expect to ever see it again. I certainly did not expect to see it at 43. It is also an accident and it is why I am here, posting in this forum.

When I hit goal in December, the sum total of my leader's advice was "Add four points and read this booklet." (the _Going the Distance_ booklet) She assumed that all of us were familiar with WW's program inside and out, when in fact I for one knew next to nothing about the program. Other than the admonition to make exercise a daily commitment, I got nothing from the booklet. I was frightened out of my tiny mind! I needed guidance now, as I never had before. I knew I could lose weight but I needed to know how to keep it off. I had come to WW because of my inability to maintain a lower weight after I'd already lost it. I mean, sure, continue to stay away from the fried mozzarella sticks, but what else?

Deciding that at this point WW had no good solid advice, I decided to wing it, to listen to my own inner voice about my body, as I always had, just use familiar structures that WW provided, like points and weekly weigh-ins. I didn't add four points. I added two points. I still had a personal goal and four seemed too much. The step down from 22 to 20 points had been traumatic for me. To re-add four points? No. I continued, as I had hoped, to lose each week. I added a point or two each week that I lost because I could feel my body continuing to burn fat. I remained calm on the weeks I knew there was a water retention issue and the scale showed a bump up - and I held the line on points those weeks. As January rolled into February and the scale crept below my personal goal, I began to panic.

Without any other guidance for my panic, I had no choice but to continue to follow this philosophy of managing points, slowly increasing points. A trip through the WW boards taught me I wasn't the first to do this nor was I the only one to feel abandoned after hitting goal. As it turned out, I had also stumbled into what some considered to be the best way to re-add points to end up with the maximum number of points per day. Before I was done, I was up to 32 (1500 - 1700 calories, more or less) points a day.

The weight loss leveled off in April at 128 pounds. Now I bounce between 128 and 130. Lately I've been "bouncing" a bit above 130. I knew all along I was going to have to play with the daily points allowance, that 32 seemed ridiculously high. So with the scale bouncing above 130, I dropped back on points for a few weeks with a sigh. I did indeed lose weight again at a points level that should be about my base metabolic rate, not all the way back down to WW minimum. I seemed to have lost mostly subcutaneous fat. The scale is still bouncing above 130 occasionally. But now I am seeing new muscle definition and loose waistbands in (new) pants (again!) since I increased the cardio portion of my exercise and added in a weekly Pilates class a few months ago. So I am thinking this may indeed be real muscles. And I am thinking of increasing my defined "bounce range", of turning loose of a little bit of WW's fascination with the scale. And I added a weekly Yoga class, starting yesterday.

I continue to journal daily and I'm still using the WW Flexpoints system for simplified calorie counting. I continue to dispose of "crappy" food from my diet in favor of "clean", wholesome, minimally-processed foods. I do allow myself a "treat" from time to time. It's a hallmark of my different mindset to say that my idea of a treat has gone from a 20 oz. full-sugar soda and a full-sized candy bar to a fried scallop and a fried shrimp off of my significant other's plate at a seafood restaurant or a small order of fries that I share with the dog.

I am running again. The arthritis only allows me to run two miles (3 1/3 km) at a time now. Sometimes, when I get a little sad that I've only managed a four mile (4 2/3 km) week (which is my weekly goal - running two miles for two days a week) when I used to run 20-25 mile weeks, I remind myself that four is a bigger number than ZERO! I may try again to stretch that out to three miles per run when the spring and the light return. But I have become able to hike without looking for easy trails or avoiding some places because the terrain is too difficult. In late September, I hiked up South Carolina's second highest mountain, a 2000 foot (600 meter) elevation increase over about 3-4 miles (5-6 km).

I am hoping I'll be able to add something insightful to this forum from time to time. It would only be fair as I've already learned so much from you guys, mostly the all-important thought that I am not alone in this struggle to keep up the "new me".

So, the summary:
High weight: 191 (86.8 kg)
WW start weight: 168 (76.4 kg)
WW goal: 142 (64.5 kg)
Current weight: 128-131 (58 - 59.5 kg)
Height: 5'6"
BMI top/WW goal/current 31/23/21

11-07-2004, 08:06 AM
Welcome Catharus! :) What a great story! You said that you're 'hoping to be able to add something insightful to this forum from time to time' - I think you just did. ;) We're glad you found us and hope you can join in as often as possible.

11-14-2004, 07:40 PM
Hi All,

I've really learned a lot reading though the threads here. I gain a lot of re-assurance knowing others have lost weight and have the same fears and same "fat feeling" as I do. Thought it was time for me to put up my story, as much for myself as for others. Sorry, it starts to babble at the end, but I thought I'd leave it in in case others can relate.

I always thought I was heavy as a kid, though I probably wasn't. I just wasn't athletic, always picked last on teams, etc. I preferred to read books, and also didn't get glasses until 6th grade, which might explain my sports difficulties. I remember being 140 pounds my sophmore year of high school, at 5'4". Soon after that, I just.... wasn't hungry. For about a year I ate less. Not a particular diet, but I dropped down to 117 pounds and a size 8. That lasted until I started college, and realized that I was an adult and could eat whatever I wanted. At home, my Mom was always on and off Weight Watchers, and my Dad went to the gym regularly and ate his Oatmeal for breakfast. I left this perfect world of skim milk and egg white omelettes with canadian bacon, and fresh fruit always available, to a world of lucky charms and soft serve icecream. My weight started to cycle: I'd gain weight during the school year, when food was abundant and I was sedentary - a campus 3 blocks long doesn't make for a lot of walking. In the summers I would work 2 jobs, with barely a break in between, and no break at work for a meal so I lived on 2 cheese bagels and a plum every day, every summer for 3 years, and the weight would slip off. I couldn't tell you what I weighed, but I think I was an 8 or 10 going into every school year, and a 10 or 12 by the end. I wasn't really worried about my weight, didn't have a scale, it just sort of happened.

When I left college for "the real world" in 1999 I had that "I am an adult, I can eat what I want" philosophy ingrained. Yes, they taught nutrition and exercise at my college, it was a required freshman class. No, it didn't kick in until last year. 1999-2003 my menu was filled with Banquet Pot Pies, Lunchables, Peanut Butter Cap'n Crunch, and Pringles. And a lot of healthier stuff, like bean soup. I hadn't forgotten the good healthy food my parents made for me, it was just outshined by slick pre-packaged foods. We had free pop (soda) at work, and a can of Cherry Coke a day adds up. I was up to 172 pounds (2 pounds under the "obese" rating). Work got rid of the free pop and at my next annual physical I was down to 162. In the summer of 2002 I was single, and dropped a lot of weight; again without thinking about it. I was probably back to a size 12. How did I do it this time? I was no longer dating someone long distance, so I had time for ME on the evenings and weekends. I saw friends, I enjoyed life, didn't go to bars and restaurants as much. Oh, and I instituted a "no eating after 8" rule, because that was when I ate unhealthy snackies.

Then I started another long distance romance, and travelled a lot, and ate good food when we were together, and generally enjoyed life. I moved from Michigan to Massachusetts, and 2 doors down from a Dairy Queen, and started to telecommute. You can see this is a recipe for disaster. I realized that I couldn't keep eating DQ Blizzards 2-3x/week and not moving more than 100 feet/day. I started walking for a half hour on lunch, a mile and a half. Not exactly Extreme Cario, but it got me off my duff. After 3 months I had lost 7 pounds, and realized that I could DO SOMETHING about feeling fat. I tried the "special K challenge" (awful marketing ploy!) and maybe a couple other things, but just felt deprived. My friend Laura had done Weight Watchers on her own (instead of attending meetings) and loved it, and did very well. I finally broke down and got the info from her in December of 2003. I don't think I actually started until February, but I can't find my first journal. When I started working my first outside-the-home job in Massachusetts at the end of February I was at 155 pounds, down 9 from my start. I just wanted to get out of the "overweight" range into a "healthy weight" BMI of 24, which is 140 pounds. I gave away all my old size 8 and 10 clothes that I hadn't worn in 5 years and didn't want to move again. But as I progressed, the goal kept shifting. I made 140, and stuck there for a couple of months, while trying to get down to 134 - according to Weight Watchers that's the max ideal weight for someone 25 years old and 5'4", and I was 25 when I started the journey. I made it in time for my brother's wedding in September, and just days before I officially joined Weight Watchers at work in order to get the info on the new Core Plan. I now weigh 5 pounds less, because in order to earn lifetime status you have to lose at least 5 pounds. I'm 3 weigh-ins into maintenance, and at 6 weeks (if I'm no more than 2 pounds over goal) I'll earn Lifetime status. Surprisingly, at 132 pounds I'm a size 6, both smaller and heavier than I was in high school. Yay muscles!

I've been reading about maintenance since June, when I hit 140. It sounds hard. And scary. I've read "Thin for Life", and have been reading through the Skinny Daily Post archives. Between those, and the forums here, I've learned that Maintenance involves a lot of exercise, and dedication to monitoring your weight, and a regular eating routine, and no rewarding thrill of pounds lost. Sorry to be a sad sack, I'm really a lot more chipper in person & would definitely recommend Weight Watchers to anyone. After a year of it, I don't really want to lift weights and do yoga and use the elliptical anymore. I don't want to track my food. I've put in my time! I've paid my dues! I want to be free to eat whatever! *sigh* I am a little kid who thought it would be great to be a grown up because you could do whatever you want, and am slowly learning that adults have to be responsible too. I want to live a long, healthy life. I enjoy my new found strength and flexibility. I really enjoy feeling sexy, instead of frumpy. Yes, there's still the "phantom fat" that only I see, but really, for me, it goes away when I look in a full length mirror, naked, and see how all that hard work as paid off, how great I look. When I see the truth, instead of the spell my mind casts as I look down at my thighs.

Right now I am testing my limits, seeing where I have leeway, how much can I eat before I gain, how little exercise do I really need? I think my maintenance motivation will come back, that I'll rechannel my competitiveness from the scale to the weights, to bench more, squat more, have more defined triceps. I went to the gym this morning, then showered, and was fascinated and slightly horrified to see my pumped up pecs giving shape and size to my chest, and then my breasts on top of that. "Two part boobies!" I'd say the hours at the gym are working, and hopefully someday that will mean I can eat more than 1500 calories (29 points) a day to maintain. I miss those Dairy Queen Blizzards.


11-14-2004, 08:41 PM
Hi Amy :wave:
Welcome to Maintainers :) It sounds like you've learned a lot on your journey, but the journey isn't over! Don't worry, you CAN have a small Blizzard (they are one of my weaknesses, too) sometimes, but as you've read and discovered on your own, each choice has a price and a pay-off.

I don't really want to lift weights and do yoga and use the elliptical anymore. I don't want to track my food. I've put in my time! I've paid my dues! I want to be free to eat whatever! *sigh* I am a little kid who thought it would be great to be a grown up because you could do whatever you want, and am slowly learning that adults have to be responsible too.

Uh-oh. That's the biggest lesson we all have learned. You have to learn to love the process because you didn't magically become someone else by dropping fat :?:

I want to live a long, healthy life. I enjoy my new found strength and flexibility. I really enjoy feeling sexy, instead of frumpy.

Good! You KNOW how- you got strong by using your body and that's how you'll keep it strong, healthy and sexy ;)

Glad to see you here.


11-15-2004, 03:26 PM
Hi all. Iíve been reading all of the Maintainers threads since Day One, but I usually post over at Ladies Who Lift. Lately, however, Iíve been bedeviled by maintenance issues so I thought Iíd hang my hat over here for awhile.

My name is Robin, but since there are a number of Robins, I often use my sign-on name, Airegrrl. My husband and I have only furkids -- Airedale terriers -- hence the name.

Like many of you, Iíve battled my weight for most of my life. Up down; up down; up down. Chubby as a child, chunky as a teen and a yo-yo as a college student (in more ways than one) :D . Although I was convinced that I was obese in high school, I was stunned not too long ago to look at some old pictures and discover that while I was no Twiggy, neither was I obese. Yet another example of poor body image. :eek:

It was after college that I began to encounter the worst of my problems, which should have come as no surprise seeing as how I was living on cigarettes, coffee and junk food. Fast forward to my 30s when, post-divorce, I packed on 50 extra pounds and began a vicious cycle of losing and regaining those same pounds over and over again.

The ensuing 25 years (Iím 56 now) brought about a number of changes: ditched the cigarettes and husband No. 1. Remarried, this time to a wonderful fellow. And, thanks to WW, finally lost the 50 pounds, although I continued to swing up and down by 12-15 pounds annually.

Iím no athlete, but Iíve lifted weights off and on for nearly 30 years. However, it wasnít until I discovered 3FC 15 months ago that I realized I was lifting about as ineffectively as possible. Sigh. Too many light weights, no real training schedule, thus not much progress. :shrug: Iíve learned a lot at LWL, which has been a source of inspiration, comfort, motivation and giggles. My progress, however, has been impeded by a series of injuries, aches and pains, brought about by age, fibromyalgia, arthritis and sciatica. As a high-energy, fast-moving humanoid, I find these conditions perplexing, confounding and irritating, but I canít seem to find a strategy to effectively cope with them. I *have* taken up yoga, which has been a real discovery. It makes me feel good; it makes me feel balanced; and it makes me wonderfully aware of the unity of body, mind and spirit. I hope to be practicing for many years to come.

When I was tipping the scales at 185, I believed that all would be right in my world if I weighed 140-142. Well, thatís what I usually weigh these days, and all is not right. :mad: First off, my weight is oozing up again, and Iím not very fit and Iím not very strong. Although Iíve (blessedly) learned to eat clean Ė and manage to do so a fair amount of the time, which is why my weight is oozing up instead of skyrocketing Ė I just donít have this maintenance thing totally wired yet. Very annoying, given the time Iíve had in which to practice. As Meg said in one of her typically clairvoyant posts: Losing weight changes your body, not your head. I still have head work. A lot of head work.

So, here I am. Itís a pleasure to meet those of you I havenít met before, and to see so many familiar faces. Let the good times roll!


11-15-2004, 03:43 PM
:wave: ROBIN!!!! I've been wondering where you've been hiding. Welcome back!

My progress, however, has been impeded by a series of injuries, aches and pains, brought about by age, fibromyalgia, arthritis and sciatica. As a high-energy, fast-moving humanoid, I find these conditions perplexing, confounding and irritating, but I canít seem to find a strategy to effectively cope with them.

Oh I feel for you! As a similarly challenged humanoid, all I can come up with is that you just have to keep coping. Use whatever parts work on any given day, and be grateful for those days when they all seem to work together :D


11-15-2004, 06:21 PM
You know, it's funny Mel. I find these assorted aches and pains downright infuriating. I find myself getting mad at them because they keep me from doing the things I need to do to maintain my weight. And then, I must also admit that I'm going through what Amy's describing: I've put in my time; I've paid my dues. I don't wanna fight it any more. These two things together are making me nuts. But let's face it: it's life. Ya gotta play the cards you're dealt. And all in all, I must say that I am extremely fortunate, and there's no sense in feeling sorry for myself. So, onward and upward.

11-16-2004, 06:19 AM
I must also admit that I'm going through what Amy's describing: I've put in my time; I've paid my dues. I don't wanna fight it any more. These two things together are making me nuts. But let's face it: it's life. Ya gotta play the cards you're dealt. And all in all, I must say that I am extremely fortunate, and there's no sense in feeling sorry for myself. So, onward and upward. Ohhh yeahhhh ... don't we all feel that way? But you're right - what's the alternative, after all? Robin, old friend, it's wonderful to have you join us here in Maintainers. You've been missed around here. :)

Welcome, Amy! What a great story! Yay, muscles indeed! :D - I agree on shifting the focus from scale numbers (since those aren't really going to change any longer) to gym numbers and achievements. For me, being in the gym every day keeps me in touch with WHY I'm working hard to maintain my weight: energy, feeling strong, and having a body that works (most of the time ;) )! Isn't it such an amazing thing to be working WITH our bodies instead of feeling like they're the enemy? We're glad you're here - jump in and post away!

11-21-2004, 12:55 PM
I've been reading posts here since before I reached my goal and decided to finally introduce myself.

As a teenager, I was considered painfully thin at 5'7" and 113 pounds. I ate non-stop, and never gained an ounce. Going back and counting now, I'd have to guess that I packed away at least 4-5000 calories a day, eating 6 square meals a day and snacking regularly. I must have had some supercharged metabolism then! (:?: wonder where it went?!)

I married early, right out of high school and started my family within a couple of years. I gained little with my first daughter and quickly dropped to somewhere below 120. It was my 2nd pregancy that got me. I gained a lot of weight when I was pregnant with my 2nd daughter at the age of 20 and I've been yo-yo-ing up and down but mostly up ever since.

Two times before, I've managed to reach my WW lifetime goal weight of 140 but each time, I fell back into old habits and all my losses came back and brought friends! :lol:

This time around at the age of 44, I'm determined that I will stay at a healthy weight from now on. I've only been maintaining a month or so and I'm still losing a little but much slower than before. I'm struggling with how to stabilize my weight and still keep up my brand new, healthy life style.

For the first time in my life, I am exercising regularly. (my idea of exercise used to be a good brisk sit!) I'm eating healthier with a happy balance of 'good' carbs and proteins. I have no problem eating all of my fruits and veggies every day (there used to be lots of days where I didn't eat any, unless you count french fries, or the toppings on my burger!). I drink lots of water (never did that before, i used to mainline coffee :coffee: ) I never eat fast food (I used to live on drive-thru). I've gone from a tight size 18 down to a comfortable size 8 and even my old shoes are too big. And I've got to get to a jewelry store before I lose my rings!

Because of all the exercise I guess, I'm a full size smaller than I was a few years ago when I weighed the same and people are starting to look at me and say things like: "Hey, you're looking really good, but I sure hope you're finished losing weight. Anymore and you'll be too thin". So I'm lurking on this forum, still trying to figure out this maintenance thing, hopefully before I lose much more weight.

11-21-2004, 01:21 PM
ROFL my idea of exercise used to be a good brisk sit! That had me laughing out loud. That used to be my idea of exercise as well. Congratulations on reaching your goal!

11-21-2004, 04:01 PM
I loved the "brisk sit", too :rofl:

Welcome, Barb. Don't lurk, join on in! It must have been tough going from super-metabolism to "normal". Congratulations on your journey and lookin' good!


11-21-2004, 04:13 PM
Welcome, Barb! Another 'brisk sitter' here! :lol: Stick around with us - we're all trying to figure out this maintenance thing together. :)

BTW, can you tell us about your user name? Do you really talk to flowers? :D

Laura Leigh
11-27-2004, 11:55 PM
Hi -- here's my brief story. I've always been active and liked to eat "healthy, " but like many I had little idea of the nutritional or calorie content of food. I figured as long as it was home cooked and included natural ingredients, I would stay at a healthy weight. Before losing weight, I spent a lot of time preparing exotic meals. I loved to bake, and never met a stick of butter that I didn't like. After 15 years of marriage my weight had slowly crept up. I'm 5'2", and I was starting to look pretty jolly at 130.

My husband is in the reserves and was deployed to Kuwait. Due to a combination of worry and just learning how to live alone, I unintentionally lost 20 lbs. I liked the result, but didn't really lose the weight in the best way. I often just did not eat or would subsist on mocha lattes. I realized that this would not be sustainable when my husband returned, and I worried that I had really slowed down my metabolism. My hubby got back safe and sound in January '04. Since then I have struggled to keep my weight at its new level and to learn about maintenance.

This site is a godsend. There is so little information on maintaining weight loss. Two lessons I have learned: (1) I cannot just have one big cheat meal. My body thinks I am "refeeding," and gears up for days of overindulgence. After a meal where I overdo it, I will be ravenously hungry for the next 2 to 3 days; (2) balancing my carbs, fat, and protein in the Zone fashion keep the hungries at bay and lets me eat a pretty big volume of food. I've been working with the Zone plan the last four months and have felt much less deprived and had better energy.

Maintaining is hard. I look forward to learning from all of you and to helping others in the future! :D

11-28-2004, 07:19 AM
Welcome, Laura Leigh! We're glad you found us here! We're all figuring out maintenance together so look forward to your input too. :)

I cannot just have one big cheat meal. My body thinks I am "refeeding," and gears up for days of overindulgence. After a meal where I overdo it, I will be ravenously hungry for the next 2 to 3 daysThat hunger over the next few days happens to me too! That's a great way to describe the problem (for some of us) with cheat meals and one of the reasons I do a lot better in my little day-in, day-out rut.

Good to hear the Zone plan has been working so well for you! I met Barry Sears last month and was very impressed with his research and thoughts on dieting. Fascinating guy and super-smart. I was surprised to discover that I've been pretty much eating the Zone way without even realizing it. He has a new Zone book - The Anti-Inflammation Zone - coming out on January 1 that I plan to read and you might be interested in.

Jump into posting and feel free to start a thread on anything that you've been wondering about or that interests you. We're all looking forward to getting to know you. ;)

11-30-2004, 11:41 AM
I've been reading your posts for a few weeks now and it's been a great inspiration to me. I reached my goal about 2 months ago and it was almost a letdown because I didn't know what to do once I got there/here. There are plenty of sites that will tell you how to lose weight, but figuring out how to keep it off seems to be a guarded secret. :-)

A little about myself. My name is Brenda and I'm 37. Married, with 2 kids. I was the skinny kid with glasses forever. In college I lived near campus so I walked miles every day to/from class and up/down stairs. When I graduated I got an office job, finally had money to spend on more than the basics to eat and could afford fast food whenever I wanted. Mysteriously I gained about 30# in a short time. I weighed more than dh when we met, but together we managed to add to our collective girth(s?).

Two years ago he weighed about 220 and I about 193. His sister was diagnosed with brain cancer and died in a short amount of time. I had also just taken a part time job at a health club's child care center (spending $$, kids can come along and a free membership). It was just good timing --realizing you're not immortal and having some tools at your disposal to preserve yourself a little longer. Dh decided to try Atkins while I was sure he was nuts and did WW myself. The weight poured off of him, while I struggled to lose 10# over about 6 months. This included going to the gym and doing a full body workout plus cardio about 3x a week.

Sept 2003 I went to my annual and the CNP told me I should continue doing WW & working out because I needed to lose more weight. At that point I decided to try Atkins and, after a long weekend in St Louis (fried ravioli -- ahhh...) started the next morning. Dh was very supportive. He even went back to an induction style diet nights & weekends (got his other foods in at work) for the first several months so I didn't have to look at him eating something I'd die to taste. Sometimes it was slow and sometimes it was slower, but by early Oct 2004 I was down to 134 -- a pound lower than my goal weight of 135.

At that time I decided to start adding back fruits and whole grains. Now I try not to limit myself on fruits & veggies and I'm definately more of a low calorie (and by default low fat) eater. I've managed to lose another 3# more or less and sit at around 131-132 most mornings. Yep, I'm still a slave to the scale! :-) This is the first year that our kids have been involved in sports at school and dance, etc. so we're finding it harder to make it to the gym as often as we used to but we still use our indoor bike and get there a few times during the week.

I still feel fairly obsessive in my counting. First it was points, then carbs and now calories. I'm trying to let go a little bit and trust my instincts but that losing control is a little scary. I've been promising myself that 2005 will be more loose and trusting -- I want to make it through the holidays first because I think this is a time that would be easier to go crazy.

I've thought about working off a few more pounds in 2005, but I'm not sure yet. We'll see how it goes and if I'm feeling deprived or thriving. My current BMI is 21, so I'm at a good spot. I think it's just being curious about what I could do/look like and I like the idea of having a buffer zone.

So that's the story... Thanks for providing a place where maintenance is the norm. I've looked on other sites and when people ask a maintenance type question they're derided by those with plenty left to lose rather than helped.


11-30-2004, 11:48 AM
Hello Everyone-
I have been lurking about a week and thought I'd introduce myself. I am a 23 year old young woman who has been maintaining a large weight loss for about seven months now. My top weight was 190 something when I was seventeen (I am 5''6''). I now weigh 140-145. I have lost tons of weight before, but never maintained more than 1.5 years. I need support from people who want to make their lives about more than food and weight loss.l I want to really live a life free of food and weight obsession. I want to go out and be of service to this world.
Thanks for listening!

11-30-2004, 02:59 PM
Hi Brenda and Courageous :wave:
Welcome to Maintainers :) You're right, Brenda, there really aren't a whole lot of other places to find people or info on what to do once you've "gotten there", wherever there is for you. That was the impetus behind the birth of this forum. Since we all aim to make this the LAST time we go through the diet part of our lives, we darn well better learn how to live here happily. I got pretty verbally abused on another forum for using the word "maintenance" by someone who still had a ways to here we are.

Sounds like you both have had very sucessful and different journeys. Wecome, and please jump right in on threads.


12-01-2004, 10:32 PM
Hi all,

Mel said<< I got pretty verbally abused on another forum for using the word "maintenance" by someone who still had a ways to here we are.>>

What was the reason? Is there a problem with using that word? And if so, what??? I believe words have power, but 'maintainence'?

Thanks, Jan

12-02-2004, 05:51 AM
I'd like to join Mel in welcoming Brenda and Courageous! We're glad you both found us here, for all the reasons that you both mention. Feel free to jump into any discussions, ask any questions you may have, and please let us get to know you both better. :)

12-02-2004, 09:50 AM
Thanks for the welcomes.

To answer the last question, my experience with other sites (even their maintenance area) is that you ask a question and people who are further away from goal will bombard you with "I wish I had that problem" type of answers rather than actually sharing any advice.

12-02-2004, 10:33 PM
That may well have been her underlying problem, but what she actually said to me was that no one should ever think of herself in a "maintenance mode" because there is always room for improvement and growth....I was talking about scale weight, and she wanted to extend the discussion to personal growth, spiritual enlightenment, fitness goals, whatever. She also just likes to pick arguements and is no longer a part of this board. She has never achieved her goal weight, but did lose over a hundred pounds. For that I still have tremendous respect.


12-06-2004, 10:25 PM
Okay, I'll delurk here and tell you a little about myself. I'm a nearly 60 year old library director living in Alaska, about 50 miles NE of Anchorage. I'm married to a great guy, we've been together 33 years now. No kids, but two Siamese cats that we're devoted to. :)

I was always a little skinny kid, and in fact didn't reach my full height of 5'4.5" until I was in college. I never had a weight problem at all until my mid to late 30's, when my metabolism, and activity level, slowed down. After several ups and downs with WW I found myself in late 1998 at a family reunion and then a cruise. When I saw the photos from those events I realized I HAD to do something. January 1999 I joined once again, and by June had lost 30 lbs. At the end of June that year, my DH was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma (a bone marrow cancer) and our lives took a major detour. We spent the rest of 1999 with him in the hospital 3 times, living in an upper body brace (multiple spinal compression fractures from the cancer) and doing chemo every 6 weeks. Meanwhile, I managed to lose another 16 lbs, so by Christmas I was down 46 lbs. In January 2000 we moved to Seattle for what ended up being 6 months so he could have a bone marrow transplant. While we were there, I began exercising a lot - helped that I was not working, and essentially had no social life! :) By the time we left at the end of August 2000, I was down a total of 67 lbs, and in the best physical shape in years. I ran 2 or 3 5K races during this time. I went back to my very active, though go-nowhere job as a PC Technician in an old building with only one slow elevator (hence I was up and down three stories many times a day. I kept running and doing aerobics for the next 1.5 years, and maintained pretty effortlessly. Then during the summer of 2001 I went to a conference in Santa Cruz, CA, at a college campus in the mountains. I ran 3 or 4 times on the hills, and walked every day to classes - unfortunately in sandals. I ended up with PF, which was not diagnosed til about mid- Sept, though it hurt soon after I got back. I ran two more 5K races during this time, which surely didn't help. Anyway, came a point in October that I couldn't run any more; the gym I was going to - the only one in town - closed ; and I changed jobs. I am now a library director, much more satisfying, but considerably less active. To make a long story short, I regained about 50 lbs over the next 18 months. Why? I don't know. The stress of my DH's cancer was gone - he's now 4.5 years post-transplant and doing fine - the dissatisfaction with my job is gone. Anyway, about 3-4 months ago, something clicked again, and I'm working at losing this AGAIN!! Grrr. I began riding my bike longer distances this summer. The gym has reopened, and I've been working hard at keeping a routine of weight training and carido. So far, I've been doing pretty well. I'm working on eating better, and more days than not, I do okay. Not much weight off yet, but I can tell I'm in much better shape. I really appreciate hearing all you have to say about maintenance, and the struggle it takes. I did maintain a large weight loss for 18 months; and I am determined to get there again and do it for life this time.

12-16-2004, 11:13 AM
I'm curious to know: what are the biggest obstacles to maintaining your weight loss? Let's discuss gang...

12-16-2004, 11:30 AM
Hi Lisa and welcome to Maintainers! I see from your previous two posts in August that you're a diet editor for First For Women magazine, so I'm curious about your post today asking for our members' thoughts about maintenance. Do you intend to use them for or in an article? If so, I think our members need to be aware of that before they respond to your question.

As a member of the media, I'm sure you're aware that all the posts here at 3FC are copyrighted by their authors and by the site owners and can't be used without permission. :)

sweet tooth
12-21-2004, 12:49 PM
I've been lurking here for a couple of months and think it is about time to take the plunge and introduce myself.

Hi...My name is Peggy.

I have been at my goal weight - again - for about 2 months now and want to retain this weight and this level of health for the rest of my life.

Until I was 35, I had never had any difficulty with weight. I could put anything in my mouth and not gain an ounce. However, when I was 34ish, I got a job that turned out to be extremely stressful. I discovered then that, when I am under huge amounts of stress, my metabolism shuts down. It started with weight gains of 10 plus pounds per day. When I tell people that I could gain up to 20 pounds a day, they really don't believe it, but it is true. The last two months that I worked at this job, I gained 64 pounds. I knew that there was something wrong with my body, but could not control the weight gain even though I was not eating very much.

After changing jobs to a position that was mindless and non-stressful, I did not gain anymore. I went to Weight Watchers (which I had done following pregnancies to lose the few pounds gained during pregnancy), but could not stick with the program long enough to lose the just didn't come off as fast as it went on. Sooo, I resigned myself to the added weight and tolerated it for about 15 years.

At work one summer day about 3 years ago, one of my staff was discussing the need to lose weight. I mentioned that I had the WW diet at home and we decided to do the diet together. We compared eating, weighed ourselves once a week (we have a health office with a good scale), etc. The competition was what I needed to get me started...the other lady, unfortunately, lasted just over a month, but by this time I was determined to lose the weight that I had gained. It took about 8 months for me to get back to a normal weight and I vowed that I would never regain the weight again.

However, along came my annual medical. The dr. put me on hormones and the weight gain started uncontrollably again, although much slower. When I stopped to reflect on the situation and montiored the number of calories that I was eating, I realized that I was starving myself and still the weight piled on. At that point, I gave up on the goal weight and the eating plan. I just didn't want to live my life starving myself to maintain a low weight...I knew that I would not sustain that for very much longer.

Last spring my dentist decided that I should get my wisdom teeth removed. At my age, the specialist made me get a pre-op medical, so off to the dr. again. I had been avoiding him because he hassles me about my weight, so hadn't been to see him for a while. When I went in for the medical, he did the worst thing - he weighed me. Yep, then came the hassle about the weight. I told him that I had been starving myself but the hormones that I was taking was causing a weight gain that I could not counter. Soooo, he took me off the hormones, but I was already 40 pounds over my goal. He told me that, if I wanted to lose the weight, that I should cut carbs and sugar out of my diet. Well, I really don't like starches (except for pasta) and I had already cut a lot of the sugar out of my diet when I did the WW plan 3 years ago, so that was not a problem. He told me to try it for a month and "see what happens."

I went home that night and talked to DH about the carb diet (it scared me because of all the reports of high fat on a low carb diet), and DH mentioned that his staff at work were on the South Beach Diet. I got on the computer that night and researched the basis for the diet, bought the book the next day and have not looked back.

After my wisdom teeth were removed last June, I started a cardio program of power walking. I work at a college and have access to both an indoor and outdoor track at work, so I committed to spending my lunch breaks doing a cardio workout. I have been faithful to the program most of the time and find that my cardio has greatly improved.

At the college where I work, they also teach a personal fitness trainer program and those student look for clients in their last semester. I registered for a trainer this fall and worked with her for 6 weeks. Although we also have a weight room here, the trainer set me up on an exercise program to improve my strength/flexibility that I can do at home.

Like most people, I hate exercise, but I think the part that I really hate about exercise, is that I resent the time that it takes when I know there are so many other things that I need to get done. The program that I am presently do fits into that mindset...cardio at lunch where the time spent is really wasted time in my mind anyway, and the strength/flexibility training that I can complete at home and still throw a load of laundry in the wash in between set. :lol:

In addition to the exercise, I have not found it a problem to stay with the eating program, either. I can still have the odd treat and indulge my sweettooth, and as long as I exercise control, my weight has been easy to manage, so far. The bonus, is that I am never hungry or feel that I just have to have something to eat. Getting through the Christmas season will be a true test of my new WOE.

12-21-2004, 01:02 PM
Hi Peggy :wave: Welcome to Maintainers :)
Sorry to hear that you hate exercise, but congratulations on reaching goal and finding a way to work it into your lifestyle so that you can maintain. As I'm sure you've discovered and read here, we've all found that regular exercise in integral to maintaining the weightloss!

Congratulations again on a job well done :high:


12-30-2004, 10:12 AM
My name is Gina. I am 46 years old. I have three daughters. They are ages 23, 20 and 15. I am married and have a part-time job.

My journey: Way back 13 years ago; I saw a video of my DD, second birthday. Who was that woman cutting the cake? It was I at 260 pounds. At 33 years old I was already a familiar weight watcher. I had battled my weight up and down 20 pounds since I was 16. I had never before this point gone over that 20-pound buffer. I was now 100 pounds over my heavy weight of 160. Part of the reason for the weight gain was undiagnosed depression. I was a very unhappy lady at that point in my life and food and alcohol were my self-prescribed medication. I began the journey and in two years lost 110 pounds. I steadily maintained that for the next 6 years. Then I hit a bump in the road and lost my footing. I regained 40 pounds. Thankfully, I was able to recover at that point and lose that and an additional 12 pounds. Since that set back I have been up and down at times but not more than my 10 pound buffer. I continue to follow weight watchers and am low-level exercisers. So my total number is 122 pounds. My weight watcher goal is 141 and my personal goal is 138. I continue to move forward on this journey.

I recently found this board and I felt like I found a home. The issue that are discussed here are so poignant and realistic. Below is my synopsis of my maintence journey. I look forward to posting and sharing with all of you.

Maintence is like a rose bush. It needs lots of care & it has sharp thorns. Sometimes you have no rose and it is discouraging. Just in time, a new bud is opening to renew your hope and give you strength. Maintence, like the rose, is very fragile but so beautiful and worth all the effort.

12-30-2004, 10:41 AM
Welcome Gina! You and I have lost the same number of pounds! :D

What a lovely - and oh so accurate - description of maintenance.

We're so glad you've joined us and look forward to hearing lots more from you. You've been at this a lot longer than some of us and I'm sure you have lots of tips and insights to share. :)

12-30-2004, 02:20 PM
Maintence is like a rose bush. It needs lots of care & it has sharp thorns. Sometimes you have no rose and it is discouraging. Just in time, a new bud is opening to renew your hope and give you strength. Maintence, like the rose, is very fragile but so beautiful and worth all the effort.

that is wonderful!!!! Welcome, Gina!
I am currently trying to take charge of too many thorns
:devil: a 9 lb gain - but feel confident I can do it in the next few months.

01-06-2005, 12:28 PM

I'm Colleen. I'm 37 (I'll be 38 in March), have one daughter, 15, who lives with her dad, and one son, 7, who lives with me and my husband.

I lost 30 pounds before we moved to England-then gained it right back within 18 months of getting here! :mad:

After Thanksgiving, my depression reared it's ugly head and my husband made me a bargain-if I'd go to the gym five days out of seven for a month, he'd buy me a full body massage. I get my first massage TONIGHT!!! In about two hours! And all that exercise has done wonders for my depression and energy level!

I started December 1st, 2004, at 201, currently weigh 195 (this was posted January 6, 2005). It's slow going, it's hard, sometimes it just seems like far more work than it ought to be. Then I'll write down what I ate for a day and realize why it's so difficult to lose weight faster! LOL! Oh well-one step at a time! I'll make exercise a habit, and tackle the eating habits one meal and snack at a time. What else am I going to do for the next year? There is no need to make myself miserable trying to change everything at once-one small change at a time makes it a pleasure, not a chore.

Besides, I get a massage for each and every month I work out this much! :D

01-10-2005, 09:39 PM
Hi Holly & Julie! Holy Cats! I'm in Vermont too! Wow! I'll start a new thread to intro myself, but I couldn't help jumping in there.

:) Viv

01-11-2005, 05:35 AM
Hello everyone! Im so glad I've found this site. Been lookin for some help and you guys have lots of info & support to offer. It will be nice to get to know you all.

01-11-2005, 10:31 AM
I've now read all 6 pages of Maintainer stories and I have to say, you people are all such sources of inspiration to me and probably to LOADS of others. All your stories are different, yet have so much in common. I'm not a maintainer myself yet (roughly 40 pounds before that phase begins) but reading all your posts here on 3FC has motivated me to no end and I think that's because I've realised that maintenance is the most important - and the most difficult - part about this whole body and weight business, and reading about other people who fight these battles every day is very interesting and inspiring. Like several people pointed out, it's difficult to findthings to read about maintaining while there's a neverending supply of how-to-lose-weight articles/stories/boards. I'm glad I found this excellent place already, it makes me feel more prepared! ;)

All the best in managing to stay the way you want to be. I hope that I can post my own story on here in the not too distant future. :)

Ann-Charlotte in Sweden

01-11-2005, 05:03 PM
Just found these boards the other day and man am i so happy! I totally need help and I know it will be good for me to talk to you guys on these boards! As you can see my from title, i'm a chocolate lover and i can't stop eating it!! Looking forward to talking to all of you guys. Thanks!

01-14-2005, 02:22 AM
OMG! I can't believe I have stumbled across this wonderful forum. I don't even know where to begin. I'm not from Vermont, but did go to a wonderful school there in S. Woodstock (no longer there). I dont' ever remember being anything but a fat, chub kid. Teased mercilessly, I felt extremely isolated at school until 9-12 grades, when I starved myself, like some of you, to gain acceptance. (At that school in Vermont, I got down to my lowest - 145 lbs. @ 5'7". After marriage and a child, we moved west, first to Salt Lake City for half year, then Eugene, OR for two years and finally, San Francisco, where we've been since 1974. My weight skyrocketed from that nice 145# to 190. In 1978, I got back down to 145 through WW, but gained it back plus more within a year. In 1983 (I'd become a musician and singer), I was auditioning for a big band, and was told that I "could lose some weight." There was guffawing. I was horrified, but shouldn't have been surprised. I'd made lots of friends in the Bay Area and it had been a while since I'd heard the insults. From shame, I lost (fast, this time)67 pounds in about three and a half months. I gained it back again when I decided to return to and finish college in my 40s'. By the time I graduated, I weighed 210 lbs. and found I had Graves Disease. In January of 1997, with the really bad case of hyperthyroidism I experienced as catalyst, I joined Health Resources Management (diet) - actually a fast - at a top weight of 236.5 #. My doctor had called me "morbidly obese" and I was scared and horrified. Throughout the following ten months, much like Meg, I joined the YMCA here, to fulfill my diet centers' requirement that I aerobically exercise off 2000+ kcals per week. Argh! I almost quit with that edict. But I began, slowly, to learn how to use that treadmill every single day, until I got better and better at it. I also fasted for 13 weeks, then got 1200 kcals of food back. Three months into my "Last Journey Down," as I dubbed it, a trainer told me I was looking better. That was all I needed to keep going. I never cheated on the diet, and hired this trainer for the duration to help me learn my newest fave thing. Pumping iron! I've never stopped lifting, and suffer the same dread of cardio, but do it 4-6X week anyway. Good listening music and dancing on the stairmaster! And.......I became a trainer in 1998. I'm still a trainer! I still can't believe it that I actually have clients - at my age! (56). All either have lost or are losing or trying to lose weight and most are women about my age. It's the finest job I've ever had. And, my job really forces me to maintain, if the truth be told. My goal weight was 150#, but I can be found anywhere between 145 - 155#. Quik story and then I'll stop. A bit over a year ago, I broke my r. ankle, tibia and fibula. This put a dent in my program. I gained 23 lbs. I had three operations last year, and trying to work, as well as work out has been a bear. I'm at 158.5# and very scared, which is a good thing. I just entered Lee Labrada's Lean Body Challenge and finally am "zoned" in on it. A little competition never hurts in my case - when I was working with that first trainer, he was always greeting me with the "let's see if you can lift this" game. I was always ready to pick up the gauntlet. I still am and am in the mode where I'm excited now. My "before" pix are in place (on mirror in bath -worst!) and body fat taken, goals written etc. Then I came across this particular forum and saw all your stories. I'm simply blown away by the barriers you all have crossed or climbed over and around. Congrats to you all and thank you so much for sharing your (sometimes painful - sometimes sheer delight) wonderful stories. My spine tingles - you are all amazing! I know you all know how much better it feels to fit into the clothes you want, and to do the things you all desire to do. A lot better than a few days of dieting and intense exercise! I even rock climb, ice climb and go boxing! I love this life. I will get those pounds off by April 4 dagnab it! Thanks again so much for being here- for starting this thread. I'll be checking in each day. Happy New Year. N2L. 1/2/148/148/.png (

01-14-2005, 06:22 AM
N2L! Wow! Your story just blew me away! Welcome home - you are definitely in the right place! Hey Mel, we have another crazed middle-age lifter with us. :D :D :D (you'll meet Mel, who's 50 - am I allowed to say that? - is a trainer and sounds a lot like you :) )

Please poke around the Maintainers Forum and join in any place that interests you - we've got a wonderful group of people all looking to keep the weight off for life. It sounds like you have a lot of wisdom to share. :)

01-14-2005, 07:57 AM
A warm welcome to all. This site is a wealth on information and a pleasure to be involve in. The best part is knowing we are not alone and others know what our struggles are like.
Good luck to all

01-14-2005, 09:06 AM
I'm waaaaay behind on my "hellos"! :wave: Welcome, all you new lovely ladies to the Maintainers forum!

N2L- Yup, another crazy middle-aged, iron pumping ex-fatty turned trainer here :dizzy:

01-14-2005, 05:25 PM
Thanks so for your responses. I'll tell you what really got to me. I was up way too late last night reading through a lot of posts, but the info from the Columbia U. lecture just slayed me. (and very intelligent responses too!) I slogged into the gym this AM, shoulders a bit slumped, let me tell you. But when I hit the treadmill, I ran harder and more than I had since I broke that D____ ankle, staring red-faced through all the hard-bodied young women in front of me on other cardio equip. And that was after an hour+ of legs. I became so motivated, after having such difficulty getting to sleep. I felt like the Prof's info was just weighing me down like a big old backpack full of rocks. Shoot. But I guess I've known that something like that was going on, because my maintenance program has always looked pretty much like a diet at least most of the time. But seeing it written on paper (and you summarized soooooooo eloquently - great writing) somehow makes the maintainer's future seem a little bleak, if not downright unfair! But I guess you've all already hashed through these issues. It was a superb piece of info. What to tell my clients, most of whom are having trouble just losing the weight? Don't know...............Hmmmmmmmmmmm . So good to be here and feel so welcome already. I love this board! C ya later!

01-16-2005, 02:56 PM
Hi, wow, I came across this web site a few days ago and have spent at least a few hours a DAY going through posts.

Although if you see my stats at the bottom, it might seem odd for me to be posting an intro here, I feel more 'at home' reading the posts in this section than I do with the others. Weight LOSS, as you'll read, has never been an issue for me. Maintenance is another story!

I'm currently 37 and am 5-2 1/2.

It's been a 6 year 7 mo WL journey for me where I've been trying to 'find my groove'. You might consider me to be a yo yo dieter, but the scale has continually been going down. I've always heard that most dieters will gain back the weight they lost PLUS more. Fortunately I've always been able to nip things in the bud before I regained everything.

I went from 208 to 153 year 1 and maintained for about 6 months. My mom died and I had a lot of outside stress.

Weight went back to 191 and joined WW. Over 7-8 months went down to 143 and plateaued for 3 months.

Quit WW and went down to 138 where I stayed about 6 months. Had been running and decided to train for half marathon. Weight started to 'fall off' - couldn't seem to eat enough clean food. Went down to 104 over 6 months of training. Stayed there a DAY and got panicked. Was way too low. Anyhow, got back to 125-130 and stayed there for 5 months. Then hurt my knee. Started to pile on weight after having it hard to find any exercise to replace the running and cutting back on the number of times I was eating a day rather than the calories.

I started back with WW 2 weeks ago and weighed in at 185 and am back down 7 lbs. I've been waiting for knee surgery for 16 months (Canada's wonderful health care system SIGH). Set a more realistic goal of 145 since I was able to get to and maintain 143 without running.

As I wrote at the start, I feel more like I am dealing with maintenance issues rather than WL issues. Even though I have gone back to 191 and 185 at various stages, losing is not a problem. Keeping it off IS.

It's weird but in the 120's I still saw myself as a fat person. Now at 178, I see myself as a thin person with a temporary weight gain.

I'm one of those people many of you would hate to have around as you are losing/ trying to maintain. I think because of being active my entire life other than 2 separate one year periods, my metabolism might be different. I don't have kids either which might make things easier for me too. When I GAIN weight, I do it at 1000-1500 cals of junk at one or two late meals in the day. When I LOSE, its by eating every 90 minutes to 3 hrs from the time I get up. I don't lose by cutting back calories. I have to increase them and eat more frequently. I had mentioned breaking a plateau post-WW. I actually did that by eating 2500+ cals a day. When I kept losing past where I wanted to, I was having sometimes as much as 3000. But I was really active.

I had many reasons for tackling the remaining weight once and for all this time. First off was that I had to go and buy new clothing for the holidays. I had gotten rid of all of my fat clothes as I lost last time. You can imagine that size 0's-4's don't fit very well on a 180+ lb body! I was shocked to discover I had gone back to 12's and 14's. I have way too much $ in clothing I can't fit into.

Second, I own my own business. (Which at one time had over 50 employees.) Marketing work. But I've been unhappy for a couple of years. Gradually started to make changes in the company to allow me to find something I WANT to do. That turns out to be real estate (part of a long-term plan - I want to buy and renovate houses, so this will be a few year learning period for him). I'm doing the coursework now and will be starting in late August. I'm going to need more energy to manage this new career and my business (and the clothing issue comes up again).

My 20th high school reunion is coming up. Need I say more? :)

I hate the feeling of basing what I do in any given day, week or month on my weight and that's what I've been doing for the past year. Even at my heaviest, I never let weight interfere with me doing things, but I have since I stopped running.

I don't have kids. (I DO have 7 furry friends i.e. cats) I've been married for 9 1/2 years and with hubby for almost 14. My father moved in with us after my mom died. He's battled a slew of health problems and has been having a good year after a rough ride. As my own weight crept back up over the past year, meal planning went out the window. So making sure HE gets healthy meals is also an incentive for me.

I'm trying to get in daily walks (my knee is okay with walking as long as I don't go fast, but I'm doing inclines to increase energy expended) and am going to be joining a curves-like fitness club which uses hydraulic systems on their equipment (supposed to be better for my knee than traditional weights).

Looking forward to learning more from all the amazing people who have managed to succeed where I've failed in the past.


01-16-2005, 02:59 PM
Weird.... I set up a profile pic but it doesn't seem to be working :(

01-16-2005, 03:11 PM
Hi Sharon! Yep, you're definitely in the right place here at Maintainers and we'll try and help you keep it off for good this time. ;)

I have to disagree with one thing you said in your terrific introduction:Looking forward to learning more from all the amazing people who have managed to succeed where I've failed in the past. I don't think you've failed at all. Think of it this way - everything that's happened up till now has been the groundwork for the last diet. Each time you fell down, you learned something important, right? Look at all the lessons you've learned about yourself that you talk about in your post! And so you got up, bruised but smarter, and tried again. It sounds to me like now you're ready to go down and STAY down this time!

We're so glad you're here and look forward to hearing lots more from you! :D

01-16-2005, 04:34 PM
Thanks for the welcome, Meg. Your story and so many others here have certainly been inspiring.

Yes, you are right and I do know it. It's just frustrating having to lose the same pounds all over again. But I know two things that hit a lot of people that lose - periods of heavy stress and dealing with an injury - are problems I've had to deal with already. Now I'm trying to get back down while having an injury and dealing with moderate levels of stress. I feel more confident. I also know that at 37, my idea of a realistic weight to maintain permanently has changed because of experience and understanding my own body a bit better.


01-16-2005, 05:28 PM
Hi Sharon :) Welcome to Maintainers :wave: I think you're definitely in the right place and in the right state of mind. You said it right here:

I feel more confident. I also know that at 37, my idea of a realistic weight to maintain permanently has changed because of experience and understanding my own body a bit better.

I think that's the key to the whole process of maintenance: confidence and understanding yourself.

Wow, SEVEN cats???


01-16-2005, 05:31 PM
Love your story too, Mel. Thanks for the welcome.

Yes, 7 cats. It was a running joke -everytime DH and I talked about having kids, we'd get another cat. Fortunately, we stopped 6 years ago at 7. Interestingly enough I don't LIKE cats other than mine which are my kids. (Grew up with dogs!)

01-22-2005, 12:02 AM

I'm 20 years old and live in Stockholm, Sweden. I've been lurking around here for some time now and thought it was time to introduce myself.

I was always the chubby girl and that was only because I ate the wrong things and was lazy. I ate a lot of pasta and drank pepsi everyday. My highest weight was 155 pounds at the age of 17 (no muscles at all). I lost it by starting exercising for the first time in my life and found myself really enjoying aerobics and other classes. I went down to about 118-120 (depending on time of month) and I maintened that weight with not much problem. One year ago I hurt my knee and had to stop exercising for a couple of months. Due to medicial reasons I had to start take a medicine which made me gain almost all the lost weight. I also moved to a new city where it took some time before I found a gym I liked (I'm picky when it comes to gyms).

Right now I'm slowly quitting my medication and I feel much better. I'm right now at a plateau (sp?) of 137-139 pounds. It have lasted a month :(

I don't follow a diet like ww och jc. Instead I try to eat healthy, nutritious food. I don't drink coffee or pepsi. I eat a lot of chicken, cottage cheese, fruits, vegetables and brown rice. I go to my gym 4-6 times a week. I get easily bored so I do a mix of classes including: pilates, aerobics, water exercise and ashtanga yoga. I also use the treadmill and lift some weights.

When I don't am at the gym I love shopping and decorating. I live with my long-time boyfriend and a dog - Candy. I love reading and hate the cold Swedish winter.

Take care and hope seeing more of you here.

01-22-2005, 09:59 AM

I'm on the same plateau as you only I'm not so bothered as I started a bit higher and I've not been 118 since I was about 14! I don't mind if I don't lose much more weight but I would like to be more toned, I know 24% fat isn't great at 20.


Golden Girl
02-06-2005, 05:28 PM
Hi, my name is Julie too. I am married 41 years, have 3 grown children and 5 grandchildren ages 19 down to 1 1/2. I'm 61 (hence my name, Golden Girl) but feel 40. (except for an arthritic knee LOL) I do exercise 30 minutes either walking or the treadmill. I have a little fluff dog, a 3 1/2 male Bichon Frise, named Bo. He is the apple of our lives. Such a wonderful dog. I haven't read all the posts yet but will go back when I'm done.
I live near Seattle in Washington state. I have lost from 155 to 115 and have been on maintaince since May 2003. I lost my weight by low carbing. It was easy for me and have been maintaining quite well until after Christmas of 2004. I got through Christmas ok but after that I've been gaining and trying to get it back off. I only gained 5# but it's 5# I don't want. I try and stay between 120 and 115. I seem to be stable at 118. Low carb was just not working anymore. On my other bb people suggested I should count calories too. Hmmm I am not going to do both. I missed a few foods like popcorn. I was unable to keep the carbs low enough now so I decided to just go with the calories. I really hate the thought of writing everything down again but am willing to do anything to keep the lbs off. I am back to 120.5 and in a couple weeks will start once again on maintaining.

I've been eating out of control this past month. I think I was just binging on foods I've been staying away from. Although I think the sugar is not something I should indulge in as I've had GERD so bad lately and am convinced it's mainly from the sugar and eating too much. I have probably forgot a lot of info about myself but I'm sure with me being so gabby that you'll hear all about more of me in the future. :lol:

I have been looking for a support group for maintainers and can't believe my luck finding this forum. I think maintaining is the hardest for me. I have lost and regained 20-30# so many times I lost track. I seem to be able to lose it pretty well when I make up my mind to it but keeping it off is my problem. Doing low carb was easy but I think I hit a wall. I want whole grains and love my apples. Thank you for welcoming me and hope I too can contribut to this forum. :^: :)

02-06-2005, 05:36 PM
Welcome again and we're lookiing forward to hearing lots from you, Miss Gabby! :lol:

Poke around and check out some of our threads - we do a lot of talking here about maintenance and regain. We also have a book discussion group going in the Maintenance Library right now and this week we're discussing Thin For Life (Anne Fletcher), chapter 5 - all about stopping relapses and preventing regain. It sounds right up your alley and it doesn't matter if you haven't read the book.

We also have a weekly chat thread that starts new every Monday and it's a great place to jump in and let us get to know you. :)

02-10-2005, 10:26 PM
:D Hello everyone I am a newbie to this thread . I am so impressed with everyone's stories, such strengh and determination. Congradualations to each and everyone of you.
I have recently reached my W.W. goal (for the second time) I had lost 30 pounds several years ago. I was able to keep off the weight for a year, then I had some personal problems and my life was falling apart and so did I. I stopped caring about myself, returned to my old eating habits, stoppped exercising and quit going to meetings. Before long I put all my weight back on. In fact to the pound. I weighted the same on my return that I has when I joined three and half years ago when I first joined. Now 7 months later I am back to goal.
For most of my adult life I have belonged to weight losss support groups. I have lost and gained the same 30-35 pounds many times in the last 35 years. I had belonged to T.O.P.S. for many years, in fact I was a leader for 2 years and was crowned regional Queen one year with a 38 pound loss.
This time I want to keep off this weight. I think along the way I have finallly got it. This can not be a diet but a lifesytle. One that I must want BADLY!!!
I must continue to care and look after myself, choice food wisely and continue to exercise daily. I also know that I feel so much better when I am making good food choices and when I am sticking to my fitness routine.
Thank you for listening. You are all an inspiration for me. Any and all advice suggestions will be appreciated as I continue on my journey.

02-11-2005, 05:43 AM
Welcome Honeyjoe! Congratulations on getting back to goal. :high: It doesnít sound like you need too much advice about maintenance since youíve got the basics figured out already: just keep up the healthy eating and exercise that worked to lose the weight AND itís got to be a lifestyle. Thatís it in a nutshell for all of us! :)

We have a book discussion going in the Maintenance Library that you might want to check out Ė weíre talking about Thin For Life by Anne Fletcher. This weekís topic is how to keep lapses from turning into relapses and how to prevent the dread weight regain. Itís probably the Number One thing we maintainers worry about and your input would be valued!

Feel free to jump into any threads or start a new one with questions or concerns. Weíre glad you found us and look forward to hearing more from you!

02-13-2005, 04:31 PM
Hello Fellow Maintainers!

:D I really can't express how very thrilled and relieved I am to have found this site in general and this Maintenance area in particular!:D

Since I became a lifetime member at Weight Watchers in January of 2004, I've been adrift in the ocean of maintaining. Now, here is my life preserver! Finally, the information and support I've been searching for during this very long year!

My middle name is Cebelle (I used it as it is less common, therefore not taken as a user name;) )

I was always very skinny until I went to college. They had food there - lots of it - and they never tried to control my intake like my mom had! (Bless her - she was trying to help me, but never let me learn to help myself...)

I didn't become truly obese until several years after my son was born. A combination of emotional eating/stress, depression and undiagnosed hypothyroidism led me to my highest weight. I don't know for sure what the very highest was, but when I joined WW it was 186.

The program was a great fit for me - just enough structure along with freedom to eat food I liked. Then I made lifetime and felt lost. I still weigh in every month, and I've only (officially) gained 3 pounds above my lowest weight. But between weigh-ins, I'm up and down like you wouldn't believe!

Then I had surgery on December 30. Nothing serious - laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Since then, I've been slower than I should have been at getting back on track. Even though the recovery time is short, it hurt to exercise - at least anything that involved my abdominal muscles or any impact. Besides that, I felt the need to test my ability to digest. I would eat more and more fat, just to see if I could tolerate it!:crazy: ! I could. And by then, I was used to eating a cruddy diet again. So, I'm trying to get back on track and I just feel so lucky to have found you all!:thanks: !

I don't always get online regularly, but when I do I will come here first to read, read, read!

Cebelle (:?: who usually goes by Hannah:?: )

02-16-2005, 10:15 AM
Hi Cebelle! I also had my gall bladder removed (about a year ago) and rediscovered the "joy" of eating fatty foods. My weight loss has been slow since (as in, about 30 lbs during the entire year).

I've been hanging around the Maintainers and LWL forums for a while, posting off and on (more "off" than "on"), but the only intro I ever posted was in a weekly thread back in May (I think). So here's my introduction:

I'm 27 years old, single, and working as a technical writer. I was always "solid" as a child, but quite athletic, up until high school. I gradually got chubbier in high school, maintained (for the most part) through my undergrad college years, then shot up 10-15 lbs/year as a grad student. I ended up leaving my school (for many reasons) without completing my doctorate in environmental engineering.

I always recognized that I was overweight, but I fooled myself into thinking it wasn't that bad - mainly because I didn't want to change my habits. I occasionally played with the idea of dieting and exercise, but I never really did it.

Then, mid-July 2003 (I don't know the exact date, but I might be able to track it down), something clicked. I was looking at physical requirements for joining the Army because my brother was considering it, and I thought I might be interested as well. I was a little taken aback by how much weight I'd have to lose before the Army would even accept me. Suddenly I had a goal - to get fit enough that, if I wanted to join the Army, I could. I started running (jogging and walking, really), joined Curves, and cut back on what I was eating.

I'm not sure that I truly thought I could do it, but I wanted to do something with the motivation while I had it. When I saw that it was actually working - I lost about 7 lbs in the first two weeks - I was confident that I really could lose weight. I added weightlifting somewhere along the way, and it was at that point that I started to look a lot better.

Since I started, there have been a few bumps in the road. During the Fall of 2003, I started having severe abdominal pain, and after a few trips to the ER, they finally discovered it was gallstones. As I mentioned above, I had my gall bladder removed - on Christmas Eve. Other than that, the only problem has been consistency; some weeks/months I'm "into" fitness and eating healthy, but some I'm not. I'm still not at goal, but (like Ilene says :) ) I consider myself a maintainer in training.

I'm a chronic lurker, so if you don't "see" me much, I'm still probably here. I'll try to contribute occasionally, though, since I've gotten so much from reading what y'all have written.

I'm going to paste this in the LWL intro thread as well. See ya around!

02-16-2005, 10:49 AM
hi, i've been around the forum for a little while now but haven't been in the maintainers forum yet. while i would like to lose 10 more pounds, I am not actively trying. I am runningand working out for sport and counting calories for maintenance, and am hoping that the last few pounds will comeoff naturally over time.

I am 23 years old. at my heaviest i weighed 215 pounds (i'm 5'8'') about two years ago i dropped down to 150 pounds through working out and food journalling and have been at this weight for 2 years.

i ride and race bikes, i have just really gotten into running as a sport and am training for a marathon. thats about all. just wanted to say hey.

02-16-2005, 06:34 PM
Welcome Cebelle and hiya Laura and JCH :wave: ! Old friends, new friends - we're happy to have all of you here with us. :)

02-20-2005, 05:24 PM
I have been doing WW's off and on since my mom introduced me to it at age 16. I'm now 46. I was at gaol weight in 1992 for about one year. I stayed there only as long as I over exercised, i.e. 3 hours per day. Needless to say this did not last. I re-joined WW in January 2000 and lost 80 pounds in about 14 months. Since then I have been gaining and losing the samme 7 pounds. I've upped my goal weight and hope to get there in 2005.

Cory S.
03-19-2005, 10:51 AM
Hi everyone, I just found this forum a couple of days ago and boy am I glad to find a good maintaince board!!

My name is Cory, I'm 32 and a SAHM to 3 kids dd 7yr, dd 5yr, and ds 21 months. I've been married to dh for 12 1/2 years now. As a kid I was never overweight, I was always the tiny one. I am 5'1" and in high school never weighed above 100 lbs.

Dh and I got married the summer after my first year in college, I was 5 days away from turning 20. He ate a LOT and boy I did my best to keep up! :o By the time I got pg with dd#1 I was about 70 lbs overweight. I did manage to keep my weight gain below 20 lbs with both girls. In 2/01, when dd#2 was 20 months, I had an epiphany. I realized that *I* was worth more than any cookie or chocolate out there! On 3/26/01 I started WW At Home and made my goal on 2/18/02. I was a frequent visiter to the BCB forums and only went off program 3 times while losing.

I maintained for 7 months with no problems whatsoever. Then in 9/03 I got pg with ds. I counted points throughout pg with my ob's blessing and kept my weight gain to 25 lbs. I was back at goal the day he turned 3 months.

I look forward to getting to know everyone here!

05-23-2005, 09:14 AM

Hi Everyone- this board is great!! Have been looking for an inspirational maintainers board.

I have lost 45 lbs since Summer 2003, I reached my goal of 130 lbs in Summer 2004 and have maintained since then. My weight gain was due to 1) getting comfortable in a relationship ;) 2) University and all the drinking and bad eating that happens there!!

Having never set foot in a gym before I am now an excercise nut, I love the way it makes me feel and look, I do cardio and weights 3 times a week and Pilates 3 times also. I also walk EVERYWHERE, FAST :lol:

I have cut down on exercise due to obsessions that started rearing their ugly heads so I'm happy now and still maintaining and that's what's important to me.

Plus, I'm 23, have been married for almost 3 years :dizzy:
and am hoping to start a family soon. I work with children with learning difficulties and love my job!!

So that's me, lovely to meet you all...

Suzi x

05-23-2005, 10:37 AM
Hi Suzi! Glad you found us here. :)

We have a weekly chat thread that we'd love to have you join in on. Also, poke around our old threads and feel free to post about anything that interests you.

And congratulations on your weight loss!

06-12-2005, 06:34 PM
Tell us about yourself!
Is this the first time or one of many times that you've tried to lose weight?

i was 100 when i got married in 1998, and reached my highest weight in 2004 at 154.

i have tried to lose weight many times throughout the past 6 years. i succeeded twice.

once in 2001 i lost 25 pounds. then i got depressed and gained it all back + an extra 15 pounds.

second, in november 2004 - april 10th, 2005 i lost 37 pounds.

then i got pregnant, so my diet stopped. i ended up miscarrying :( so now i am working to get off the remaining 4 pounds to get back to where i was pre-pregnancy.

Are you where you want to be?

i am, but i would be happier at 115. i said during my last diet that as long as i stayed below 120 during maintenance i would be happy. and i'm 119 now, so i'm alright.

How has life changed for you since you've lost the weight?

hubby likes my body more
i feel better about myself
i can wear cutsie clothes again
i no longer have high blood pressure and absolutely no heartburn either

If you're maintaining, what's that like for you?

maintaining isn't too hard for me. i got used to my eating habits and knowing howmany calories i can eat daily. so i just count them in my head and know if i've overeaten or not...which i rarely do.

Do you exercise regularly?

i just had a d&c last week to remove all the tissue from the pregnancy :( , so i just started biking again this weekend. hubby and i and a group of friends aggressively mountain bike in the summer 2-3 days a week. i am looking forward to toning up again. in the winter we snowborad.

Now that you're near or at your goal, what are your concerns?

that i will get depressed again and want to eat. but i am doing alright. i have learned many coping mechanisms over the years and i do know that eating is not the way to go. despite this being my second pregnancy loss in a year, i am strong........believe it or not. i want to look good and feel better physically and mentally, so i know maintaining my weight loss will help me with that.

And anything else that you might want to share with us!

no, that's about all. i explained my story in the introductions page.

06-27-2005, 12:10 PM
Hi everyone,

Iím currently 22, single, no kids or pets, working as a marine research assistant on the Gulf Coast/panhandle of Florida. Iíve lived here for a year, where I moved after I graduated from college in Connecticut. I grew up in Pennsylvania, where my parents still live about an hour NE of Philadelphia. I was always a chubby kid, but never obese until my teenage years. Both of my parents, my older sis, and extended family have always had weight problems, but I was never pressured to lose weight.

Around age 11 I really started packing on the weight, and by 15 I hit 200 pounds at 5í5Ē and with a medium frame. I played sports 5 days a week after school, but outside of that I wasnít physically active, ate a lot of junk, and ate a lot, period. I was also under a lot of academic pressure. Both of my parents are teachers at the middle & high school that I went to, and their daughters had to get perfect grades. I spent all of my ďfreeĒ time studying, staying up however late I had to in order to get my work done, rarely going out with friends, and the stress definitely took a toll on my body. I should qualify that my parents certainly didnít physically force me to stay in and study so much, and would have been upset if they realized how sleep deprived I was. My dad had lost quite a bit of weight, and kept it off, two years prior when the doctor told him that at 42 he was headed for early heart disease like the rest of his family. My mom and several friends had just had a lot of success with Weight Watchers, and disgusted with my ever-increasing weight I tried it. At age 15 I lost 35 lbs (putting me at 165), and settled in at 170. I still wasnít happy with my weight, but the academic pressure continued and I just couldnít find the time to put more effort into weight loss.

For my first two years of college I maintained between 170-175 without conscious effort, studying hard in school and not working out. I spent my junior year studying marine bio abroad, which was wonderful but I came back at 182 pounds. I blame the Australian beer. Just kidding, I know it was my own fault! I ďgot seriousĒ again, and lost 20 pounds using the WW program again. I maintained a steady weight of 163 my senior year and balanced my eating, workouts, and academic life much better. After graduation in spring 2004 I moved the 1000 miles away from my family to Fla. I started doing the WW eating plan again and then switched to counting calories and looking at my overall protein/fat/carb intake. I also started running last winter, and strength train also. In March 2005 I decided that at 135, wearing a size 4-8, I was happy where I was and this was a maintainable adult weight for me.

Iím still getting used to what I can and canít do on maintenance, and am terrified of regaining. Iíve found that eating about 1700-1800 cal/day, working out 5-6 days a week, and religiously keeping a food journal is whatís necessary to keep myself steady. So much has changed, emotionally and physically. Since I do a lot of field work in the water I often wear my bathing suit at work, and finally feel confident when Iím doing it. I do have more confidence in myself, but still sometimes fall into the trap of thinking of myself as the fat, ugly girl. My self-esteem is higher than it used to be, but not always. For example Iíve never really dated and find it impossible to approach men romantically. Iíve become a completely different person over the past 7 years of weight loss, but itís so hard for me to distinguish whatís from the weight loss and whatís just from growing up. Iíve stabilized the mood swings that I used to have get from blood sugar highs and lows, and have hopefully headed off a lot of the health problems that run in my family. My friends and co-workers in Fla. have never had weight problems and only saw the last bit of my weight loss. They kind of laugh when I bring my carrots and celery to work every day and politely refuse the doughnuts, but they respect my healthy habits. My mom has regained some weight, and my sis has been unsuccessful at her attempts to lose, so I feel guilty about talking to either one of them about my struggles in maintaining. Iím glad that after lurking about for a while Iíve decided to join in here, with people who can really relate to me and offer me advice. I hope I can contribute too :) .


07-30-2005, 04:42 PM
I sugest you submit, or try submitting, to rigorous advanced portion control methodology control. :-)

A humorous way of stating to weigh all of everything one prepares and then eats. A visual impact of the mass of consumables is striking in its dimunition.

A mindset that one will (or even should) be hungry for most of the time is to be anticipated.

When consuming the food prepared, yes i know this is the difficult period, eat deliberately and methodically, slowly. Masticate, masticate, masticate.

And it is a fact that some types of food will "collect" at different points on the body. Curries and chutneys are advised here. hot, and consumed with no water.

I'm thinking of you from now on.


Hi everyone,

Iím currently 22, single, no kids or pets, working as a marine research assistant on the Gulf Coast/panhandle of Florida. Iíve lived here for a year, where I moved after I graduated from college in Connecticut. I grew up in Pennsylvania, where my parents still live about an hour NE of Philadelphia. I was always a chubby kid, but never obese until my teenage years. Both of my parents, my older sis, and extended family have always had weight problems, but I was never pressured to lose weight.

Around age 11 I really started packing on the weight, and by 15 I hit 200 pounds at 5í5Ē and with a medium frame. I played sports 5 days a week after school, but outside of that I wasnít physically active, ate a lot of junk, and ate a lot, period. I was also under a lot of academic pressure. Both of my parents are teachers at the middle & high school that I went to, and their daughters had to get perfect grades. I spent all of my ďfreeĒ time studying, staying up however late I had to in order to get my work done, rarely going out with friends, and the stress definitely took a toll on my body. I should qualify that my parents certainly didnít physically force me to stay in and study so much, and would have been upset if they realized how sleep deprived I was. My dad had lost quite a bit of weight, and kept it off, two years prior when the doctor told him that at 42 he was headed for early heart disease like the rest of his family. My mom and several friends had just had a lot of success with Weight Watchers, and disgusted with my ever-increasing weight I tried it. At age 15 I lost 35 lbs (putting me at 165), and settled in at 170. I still wasnít happy with my weight, but the academic pressure continued and I just couldnít find the time to put more effort into weight loss.

For my first two years of college I maintained between 170-175 without conscious effort, studying hard in school and not working out. I spent my junior year studying marine bio abroad, which was wonderful but I came back at 182 pounds. I blame the Australian beer. Just kidding, I know it was my own fault! I ďgot seriousĒ again, and lost 20 pounds using the WW program again. I maintained a steady weight of 163 my senior year and balanced my eating, workouts, and academic life much better. After graduation in spring 2004 I moved the 1000 miles away from my family to Fla. I started doing the WW eating plan again and then switched to counting calories and looking at my overall protein/fat/carb intake. I also started running last winter, and strength train also. In March 2005 I decided that at 135, wearing a size 4-8, I was happy where I was and this was a maintainable adult weight for me.

Iím still getting used to what I can and canít do on maintenance, and am terrified of regaining. Iíve found that eating about 1700-1800 cal/day, working out 5-6 days a week, and religiously keeping a food journal is whatís necessary to keep myself steady. So much has changed, emotionally and physically. Since I do a lot of field work in the water I often wear my bathing suit at work, and finally feel confident when Iím doing it. I do have more confidence in myself, but still sometimes fall into the trap of thinking of myself as the fat, ugly girl. My self-esteem is higher than it used to be, but not always. For example Iíve never really dated and find it impossible to approach men romantically. Iíve become a completely different person over the past 7 years of weight loss, but itís so hard for me to distinguish whatís from the weight loss and whatís just from growing up. Iíve stabilized the mood swings that I used to have get from blood sugar highs and lows, and have hopefully headed off a lot of the health problems that run in my family. My friends and co-workers in Fla. have never had weight problems and only saw the last bit of my weight loss. They kind of laugh when I bring my carrots and celery to work every day and politely refuse the doughnuts, but they respect my healthy habits. My mom has regained some weight, and my sis has been unsuccessful at her attempts to lose, so I feel guilty about talking to either one of them about my struggles in maintaining. Iím glad that after lurking about for a while Iíve decided to join in here, with people who can really relate to me and offer me advice. I hope I can contribute too :) .


08-25-2005, 11:05 PM
Hi everyone,

I'm not quite at the *official* maintainer stage just yet, but I'm preparing myself for it. I just love reading all the 3FC Maintainer gals/guys are great!

Okay, here's my story. And it's gonna be a looong one. Sorry!

My mother was anorexic when I was growing up, and my father was a closet compulsive eater/binger. Mom weighed herself 3 times a day and scribbled it on a chart hanging in the bathroom; Dad hid bags + bags + bags of potato chips in his car. Mom taped a piece of paper to the fridge that said "1 orange = 30 calories = FAT, FAT, FAT!"; Dad secretly took me out to McDonalds and wolfed down 2 Big Macs while I inhaled my Happy Meal. Mom had 2 ounces of tofu for lunch every day; Dad ate whole 12-inch logs of pepperoni after dinner. Mom generally weighed between 90 - 100 lbs (at 5'8"); Dad usually weighed 200+ lbs (also at 5'8").

I think you get my point: I never had a healthy role model, and I never learned what was "normal" in terms of nutrition, portion size, or even BODY size. It took me decades to learn these things, but more about that later :) .

I've always felt fat. I felt fat even when I wasn't fat. One story that I've already posted somewhere on 3FC is about my pediatrician. When I was 11 yrs old, I was already full-grown height-wise -- 5'4". I went in for my annual check-up and weighed-in at 140 lbs. The doctor looked at me and said, "Kate, you need to lose 20 pounds." And that was it. Not nutrition advice, no tips on how to get started -- nothing, not even a lousy food pyramid to look at. And then I went home to the chaos described above. I remember on the drive home (probably as Dad and I waited in line at McDonalds) thinking: "How the heck am I going to lose TWENTY POUNDS? Oh, well. I guess I'll just be fat forever." This was in 1983, and that became the way I thought about myself for the next 19 years.

We never had food in the house -- Dad had plenty of food in his CAR (and in his dresser, his workroom, his toolshed, etc) -- but there was never anything in the kitchen. And when I say "there was never anything in the kitchen," I'm not exaggerating (much.) My parents used to go away all day on Saturdays to have "their time," so I spent a lot of time on my own (I'm an only child). There were days when my lunch was a slice of Wonder Bread with salt sprinkled on it. I remember drinking the liquid that was left over in an empty pickle jar. I used to eat lemons, and even nibbled at a cinnamon stick once. Mom wanted no food in the house, so there was no food in the house. My "complaints" about this situation got so bad that by the time I was a Junior in high school, my Dad was giving me $25 a week for allowance. WITH the understanding that the $25 was to FEED me as well as handle whatever little things I wanted/needed to buy for myself. So I started grocery shopping on my own. Having NO idea what was good and what was bad -- and seeing ALL these marvelous, wonderful-looking foods that I had only experienced at my friends' houses (or on TV commercials). So I think you can imagine what kind of garbage I brought home with me: Apple Jacks, Doritos, Coke, candy bars, frozen pizzas, etc. And -- perhaps not surprisingly -- I got into the habit in high school of going out for "dinner" with my friends right after school. This "dinner" being either pizza, ice cream, or Chinese food (we were teenagers, after all!)

I was pretty much a size 12 all through high school -- which I thought was fat. Looking back at those pictures now, though, I see that I actually looked pretty "normal." But I felt fat. Mom -- obviously -- had a lot to do with this seeing as how she was a size 0 and everything. But the most extreme example of how she influenced my sense of self happened in 1988. I went to visit my uncle in Spain. Within 24 hours I had contracted aomebic dysentery from some bad tapas. I was in bed (and in the bathroom) for 14 days, and lost somewhere in the area of 25 lbs. When I was finally well enough to fly home, I got off the plane and my mother was BESIDE herself. With joy. NOT because I was home, not because I was no longer sick, but because I was so thin. She took a picture of me that day, and it's still on her mantle to this day -- despite the fact that she is a "recovering" anorexic and about 130 lbs. She's told me hundreds of times over the years that it is her favorite picture of me. And I look like I have a terminal illness in that photo. Literally.

So, moving on now to my adult life. I went to college in another state and managed to put on somewhere around 30 lbs in my 4 years there. This was due to a lot of things, but mostly (and most OBVIOUSLY) due to the fact that I didn't know how to eat. Some days I would eat practically nothing -- maybe a Coke and a bag of pretzels. Other days, I would eat a whole large pizza by myself, followed by a pint of Ben & Jerry's and a liter of Pepsi.

When I left college, I also ended things with my boyfriend (of 4 years). We had both gained a lot of weight, and as part of my "new single life," I wanted to lose it. And I did. I walked, I bought a NordicTrak, and I watched my fats. I probably lost 20 - 30 pounds. And then I started teaching and over the next 8 years or so, food became my stress relief. Thursday nights were always "Pizza Night" for me. And low and behold, I was *suddenly* 189 pounds.

For my 30th birthday (8/29/02), I gave myself the gift of a personal trainer. She is my guru, my savior, and (now) one of my closest friends. She has filled in all the blanks for me...everything I should have learned about nutrition as a kid, she has taught me as an adult. I can't say enough about her. She has literally saved my life.

So I began this journey on August 29th, 2002. In one year, I lost about 25 lbs through weight training, good nutrition, and (due to my laziness and hatred of it) limited cardio. In August of 2003, I moved to England and went off track -- not very FAR off track, but off track nonetheless. I returned to the States a size 14 (having left the States a size 12). I got right back on board with my beloved trainer, added regular cardio to the plan, and...well, here I am now. :)

My name is Kate, by the way. I'm (nearly) 33, single, with 2 dogs + 3 cats.

Thanks for *listening.* :)

08-26-2005, 05:09 AM
Kate - what a wonderful story of success despite the odds -- of taking charge of your own destiny and triumphing over some terribly flawed relationships with food. Your stories would be funny if they weren't so tragic -- there's got to be a book in there somewhere!

We're so happy that you've joined us here in Maintainers! You've written some fabulous posts and we look forward to hearing lots more from you. :)

08-26-2005, 08:59 AM
Thanks, Meg :) . It helped a lot just to WRITE all that, if that makes sense. You've already been so nice to me with responses on a few of my other posts, so I look forward to getting to know you better -- and hearing more of your wisdom!


11-15-2005, 08:03 AM
Hello everyone!

Well, I posted in this thread almost exactly one year ago, hoping to be a real maintainer someday and now I am! All of my excess pounds are gone and now I am at a normal weight AND I have visible muscles too from my frequent sessions at the gym!

So, about me then.. My name is Ann-Charlotte, I'm Swedish, 27 years old (for another month) and I live in Gothenburg on the Swedish west coast. I work as an IT-technician at a web hosting company. Quite nerdy. :)

I've battled with my weight for almost 10 years now, I became overweight when I moved away from home after I finished high school. That's when I developed my binge eating disorder as well. Since then my weight has fluctuated wildly over the years and I haven't been at a normal weight for longer than a total of a year in the past decade. I've tried a gazillion different diets, I've read every self-help book there is (or at least that's how it feels) but I never quite made it, the "click" that I wanted never came and I mostly felt miserable. I moved around a lot, between different cities and different countries, never feeling quite satisfied with anything in my life and constantly looking for something new, although exactly what I don't know.

This past year has been a very good one though, I'm in a stable relationship with a lovely man (we celebrate 4 years together this Christmas), I bought a cozy flat together with said lovely man, I have a steady job with a decent income.. And I suppose I needed this stability to dare tackle my weight proper. No more running away, just facing the facts: To reach a normal weight I need to take care of myself, eat good food that I actually *like* and I need to exercise. I never wanted to exercise before, I always hoped that I could lose all my extra weight without having to exercise. But for some reason or other I was ready to give exercise a go, so I ponied up for yet another gym membership but the difference this time was that I didn't stop going after 2 months. I'm still at it, exactly one year later, much longer than I've ever stuck to any exercise before. And I accepted that change was necessary and that I had to make an effort to get results.

And results I have gotten, for sure! I'm now a total of almost 60 pounds lighter, I am fitter than I've ever been in my entire life! I'm now happy at a weight of 154 lbs to my 5.8" height, I don't care if other people my height aim for much lower weights because I'm happy with the shape of my body. I can finally buy clothes in normal shops and things fit AND look good when I try them on, now that I'm the equivalent of a US size 10. :) People around me have been very positive and are happy for me, I haven't had one single negative comment regarding my weight loss, it's been 100% supportive. My BED is almost non-existent now (it will never go away, I see myself as a sober alcoholic sees herself) and my relationship to food is so much better and healthier now, and it's constantly improving. And if I have a relapse I recover quicker now and don't beat myself up so much. So many good things have come from my decision to finally allow myself to succeed!

So that's me! I've been reading the Maintainers forum for over a year and I even posted a little every now and then but I felt that I wanted to be a real, proper Maintainer when I started posting more frequently. I've read so many inspirational and wise things from all you people here that I can't wait to participate myself. :D

Here's to finally succeeding. ;) And thank you for reading this far!

Hugs from a happy Ann-Charlotte

12-15-2005, 02:26 PM
Hi everyone! I figured it's been a couple weeks since I hit my goal weight, so here I am! I'm going to answer the questions first, then at the bottom is my sort of life story (copied and pasted from my post on the success stories board, I hope that's okay).

Is this the first time or one of many times that you've tried to lose weight? - This is the second time I have actually tried to lose weight, but I have wanted to lose weight as far back as I can remember. The first time I tried to lose I went about it all wrong, and gained it all back plus more! This time it is for life.
Are you where you want to be? - Yes and no. I am at the goal I set for myself, but I still kind of feel fat when I look in the mirror. My body will never be perfect, but I think it could be a lot better. But I think this has more to do with exercise and strengthening than weight loss at this point.
How has life changed for you since you've lost the weight? - The weirdest thing is that people I meet don't know I used to be fat. It is SO WEIRD to have people say things like "oh, you don't need to worry about your weight" and stuff like that. But the good things: I am the healthiest I've ever been in my life, I can do all sorts of physical activities I never could do before, shopping isn't depressing anymore (I love shopping, and I did at my high weight too, but I used to spend more time shopping for shampoo than for clothes!), and most importantly I am comfortable with myself and my self-confidence has finally arrived.
If you're maintaining, what's that like for you? - I'm still trying to figure out this maintenance thing . . . I feel like I'm eating for maintenance, but I'm still losing weight. I don't want to start eating more because I'm afraid of a backslide!
Do you exercise regularly? - Yes, at least three times a week, but once finals are over I'm hoping to get back to five days a week.
Now that you're near or at your goal, what are your concerns? - Obviously my main concern is that I'll gain it all back, and then some. It's scary to think of how careful I'll have to be for the rest of my life (which is a long time, I'm still young!). I'm also afraid of getting lazy, slacking off at the gym, and eating too much junk. In terms of what I'm still working toward, I know I have a long way to go with strengthening and toning my body. Due to some wrist problems I've had to lay off the weight lifting, but I'm hoping to get back to it in a couple months.

So, here is my story. I'm happy to be here on the maintenance forum with you wonderful ladies!

I was raised eating at restaurants a lot, and eating a lot of fried and fatty foods. Outdoor activities and exercise of any kind were never really encouraged in my family. My parents are both overweight, my dad much more so than my mom -- every so often my mom would decide she wanted to lose weight and we would do a Jane Fonda or Richard Simmons workout tape for a day or two, but it never lasted. We always had some kind of sweets/dessert around the house, with the only rule being that we (my sister and I) had to eat fruit before we were allowed to eat dessert. Actually, when I was little my mom cooked at home most of the time and we didn't go out very much, but she started working full time when I started high school, and after that there were a lot more fast food and diner meals.

I started getting chubby right before puberty, but as usually happens my growth spurt counteracted it. However, I never really exercised outside of gym class at school, so I was never physically fit at all. In high school this meant that I would see all the flabby skin I had (and I grew up in LA, where there are like five million supermodel-looking girls all over) and think I was fat, even when I weighed 115 lbs my freshman year. In fact, I don't remember ever not thinking I was fat, because most of my friends were always skinnier than me. In gym class they would have us run twice a week, and I was always at the back of the pack, and couldn't run a single lap around the track (1/4 mile) without having to stop and walk and feeling like I was dying. I hated that feeling and I hated being last, so I just told myself "well, I am just not good at running," and I celebrated when I finished the required two years of PE classes.

Basically in high school I gained about 10 lbs/year. By the time I graduated I was around 150 (I'm 5'4"), having started around 115. As I gained weight in high school, my dad started to point out that I was "getting a belly" (he started making these comments when I was around 128 or so). This became a huge point of contention because he would always make comments about my weight, then when I started crying he would yell at me that I was being too sensitive. Keep in mind that my dad is about 5'5" and somewhere around 230 (no, it's not muscle). Eventually he said he was telling me I was fat because he didn't want me to end up like him. Maybe that makes sense in some twisted way, but I really don't think a very overweight man telling a teenage girl she is fat (when she's at a healthy weight) is going to convince her to lose weight. In any case, I just became more convinced I was fat, fat, fat, and since I am an emotional eater, that turned into eating more and more junk food.

Here is an idea of how I might have eaten on a typical day in high school: breakfast would probably be a frozen meal, like a toaster strudel or french toast sticks. At around 10am, I would probably have a muffin I bought at school. Lunchtime meant either Pizza Hut pizzas (which they sold at school) or candy bars from the vending machine. When I got home around 4:30, I would eat whatever dessert was around (ice cream sundae, a couple donuts, etc). If my dad cooked dinner, it would probably be some kind of deep fried Chinese chicken dish -- if my mom cooked it might be breaded and fried turkey breast with a side salad. If neither of them felt like cooking, it was TV dinners or a local diner. Around 8pm was usually snack time -- more of whatever I had been eating at 4:30!

Then it was off to college and all-you-can eat meals. To be honest, I have never had much self control when it comes to food -- if there is yummy food in front of me, I will eat until there is no more, whether or not I am hungry (this is something I've been working on a lot lately). All four years of college, I lived in a dorm and ate at the cafeteria. My last two years I ate cereal for breakfast in my room, but every lunch and every dinner was at the cafeteria.

Now, our cafeteria was pretty notorious for bad food. But the dessert was always pretty darn tasty -- their Mexican food was pretty good too. So I would end up eating huge amounts of fatty greasy food and then pile on the dessert afterward! Being an emotional eater like I said before, the stress of college led to even more junk food.

Here's an example of what I might have eaten on a typical Saturday in college: first would be a bowl of cereal in my room. A couple hours later, I would go to brunch, where I would probably have a couple pancakes, a couple pieces of sausage or bacon, some eggs with cheese, maybe a belgian waffle if I was really hungry (with strawberries and whipped cream, of course), and a couple bites of whatever "lunch" food they had (chicken strips or something). I would always have dessert afterwards too. Around mid-afternoon I would probably go to the coffeeshop and get hot cocoa or chai. Dinner would probably be a big plate full of spaghetti with the oily sauce they always had, five garlic breadsticks or so, and a piece of whatever kind of chicken or fish they had available. Plus at least one of the desserts from the spread (cake, cheesecake, pudding, pie, ice cream, etc). In the evening I would go to a party with my friends, have a couple drinks, then go buy ice cream or pizza when we got the "drunken munchies."

I have to say it is completely embarrassing to admit that I used to eat like that (I am really not exaggerating).

The summer after my sophomore year, I was moving into an apartment on my own for a summer job and I decided I was fed up and I wanted to lose weight. I didn't have a clue how to do it, so I did the only thing that looked easy -- SlimFast. I would have a small bowl of Special K for breakfast, a SlimFast meal bar for lunch, and a very low-calorie dinner. My goal that summer was to eat under 1000 calories each day (I really had no idea that that was an unhealthy amount to eat). In any case, I lost 30 lbs (without any exercise, also not good) and got down to 150 again. The following semester I developed some pretty intense stomach problems and had some kind of liver problem as well that went away before they could diagnose it. Suffice to say I was really sick and couldn't eat much more than green beans at the dining hall. Obviously that allowed me to maintain my weight for that semester, and into the next. The following year was back to the old habits, and I gained an amazing 35 pounds in one year to hit my all-time high of 185 at graduation.

After graduation, I moved across the country and moved in with my boyfriend. He has many of the same self-control problems as me, but has always been good about exercising. I thought to myself that Slim-Fast worked before, so I would give it a shot again. I would eat cereal for breakfast, a Slim-Fast bar for lunch, and a sensible dinner (no more super-low-cal). I also started going to a pilates class three times a week. After a couple months, I started to feel some of the stomach symptoms I had had the previous time (heartburn) and I cut out the Slim-Fast immediately. I figured it was probably responsible for the heartburn, so there must be a better way. I switched instead to Lean Cuisine for lunch, and in general tried to get around 1200 cals/day. After my pilates class ended, I made a new year's resolution (for 2005) that I would be able to run a mile, something I had never done before.

Soon after that I found 3FC. I learned SO MUCH from this website, I have to say a huge thank you to all the wonderful ladies on here. A couple months after that, I was able to run a mile. A couple months later, I could run two. In September this year I ran my first 5K race, and did not walk at all. I have since given up the Lean Cuisine deal and am sticking to healthy food made at home. Whole grains, fruits and veggies, low-fat dairy products, and lean meat. I still eat sweets every now and then, but moderately. I still go out to eat, but only once a week. I work out at least three days a week (during the summer I was doing 5-6).

For the past couple months, I have been eating at what I feel is a maintenance level (something I could continue with my whole life). Imagine my surprise that I continued to lose weight! Not only that, but after coming back from a week of indulgence for Thanksgiving, I actually lost the last two pounds and hit my goal weight of 130.

I went from 185 to 130, from a size 16 to a size 8 (I actually fit into some 6's now too). It took over a year to lose those 55 lbs, but I think that is just fine. Before, I lost weight rapidly, didn't learn how to eat right, and gained it all back. Now I have so much more knowledge and I have you wonderful ladies (and gentlemen) to thank for that. I am in the best shape of my life and I don't plan to slack off on that any time soon. If a few more pounds come off, that's okay, I wouldn't mind being 125. But I am going to be careful to stay at a healthy weight.

I plan to maintain this weight for the rest of my life, but especially I hope to maintain my fitness level so that I look great when I get married in fall of 2007!!

12-15-2005, 02:55 PM
:welcome3: to Maintainers, Paperclippy! What an awesome story! It's amazing the way you've turned your eating habits around. :faint:

We hope you stick around with us and keep posting ... we've all got the same goal: to keep the weight off for life. :carrot:

12-15-2005, 05:49 PM
I've got to lose 25 pounds by bathing suit season."
"Thirty pounds by Christmas!"
"I've got to be in a size 12 by the wedding!"

These "gotta lose by" numbers and dates are markers for impatient losers. And impatient losers DON'T LOSE. If they DO manage to lose, they frequently don't maintain those losses. How come?

The idea isn't to lose pounds on the scale by a certain date. The idea is to change your relationship with food and exercise and establish behaviors and habits that support and maintain a healthy weight.

When a person grits their teeth and suffers through a "diet" to reach a goal defined by the number on the scale, then when that number is reached, the efforts stop. The person, who has not changed how they think about food and exercise, now goes back to the fat-promoting behaviors, and BOOM! Before ya know it, the prom/wedding dress/bathing suit doesn't fit anymore, and the fat is back
It's important to take the time to slowly establish new patterns of thought and behaviors that lead to habits that support health..[/B]

That's where I'm at. I've found that if I maintain a daily life style/pattern then my weight naturally falls off!! So I've found in the past month a daily pattern/lifestyle that I'm happy with, that I can maintain comfortably for the rest of my life and the weight is falling off!!

and the best news!! Since lurking here I've discovered that my definition of 'normal' doesn't apply to me!! I have to redefine what normal eating/exercising is for me and my life because my patterns don't fit the 'shoulds' of the dieting world. I 'should' be able to control cookies. Well I can't so I'll probably never have a cookie again in my life, the flip side is: I won't have to fight the cravings either. I won't have to fight the constant urge to binge and I live in peace with food.

So even though I still have 20 or so pounds to go I am maintaining a healthier lifestyle with daily exercise (and a lot of it) as well as a menu that keeps me happy and thinner. It's amazing that the # on the scale is only a by-product of my daily habits and not the focus of my life!!!

Maintaining and loving it!!!

12-15-2005, 06:07 PM
Woo hoo, Miss 2006! You 'get it'! The whole business of losing weight is simply practice for maintenance. And you are so, so right that we all have to redefine 'normal' to what fits us, not someone else's idea of what we should or shouldn't do. Trust me, you'll get people telling you all the time that you're obsessed or eating too much or too little or the wrong foods or exercising too much :dizzy: ... just stick your fingers in your ears and say "I can't heeeeaaaar you!' :lol: It just cracks me up when people still tell me that I'm doing it 'wrong'! Hello?

Welcome to Maintainers! You bet you belong here! :welcome2:

12-15-2005, 08:49 PM
Hello !
My name is Janice and I am 39 years old. I weighed from 150-160 from junior high through adulthood with a pre-delivery pregnancy weight of 220 two times. Both times I easily lost the weight and returned to 150 where I easily maintained. I have always been physically active and very fit. I wore a snug size 10-12.

In 2002 I hit 36 years of age & realized that I was in bondage to my weight. I really felt too heavy and that I wanted to make a change. I knew a lot about nutrition, calories, etc but needed a good, solid program to follow. I ordered the WW At Home Program and within hours of it being delivered to my door I was on my way. I set my initial goal weight at 142 because I really had no frame of reference on what I would look like/feel like at a certain weight. I followed the Program to the letter and continued my daily workouts. I believe the reason that the Program worked so well for me is that I was required to eat my minimum daily Points. The weight literally fell off each week that I weighed myself at home (I did not attend meetings) and I quickly understood that I had been undereating all of my life and that my metabolism was finally waking up and being 'stoked' with the small, frequent meals I was eating each day. I quickly passed my initial goal and continued to follow the Program for losing until I felt like my body was at its perfect weight. Today I weigh 111-113 and maintain without a problem. I realize that my weight is below the WW guidelines (I am 5'6") but my physician feels that 110-115 is perfect for me. I have been at goal for 3 years this month.

Losing this weight has been a fascinating experience. To had never been thin and now to be thin is hard for me to fathom at times. I love the way I feel and am finally comfortable in my own skin. I will journal the rest of my life, get my daily water in and follow the Points program. I am just two weeks away from turning 40 and I have never felt better.

Thanks for reading !

12-17-2005, 06:51 AM
:welcome: Janice! What a great story! I'm one who was never thin before either and I LOVE the way it feels! SO much better than any food!

We're so glad you found us here and look forwarding to seeing lots more of you. :)

12-17-2005, 12:24 PM
How wonderful to meet someone right away who was never thin before either. That right there is great news! I look forward to reading through your posts and meeting others here. :)


01-30-2006, 09:43 AM
Actually, I came out of lurkdom a couple of weeks ago, but I wanna introduce myself properly. I'm not sure I belong in here, but since I've been lurking and maintaining (albeit not at my goal weight) for years, well, maybe I do :D . Long story short: ten years ago I lost 37 lbs (from 169 to 132 - I'm 5'4") through cardio and a low-cal diet (1000-1200/day). I maintained that for 5 years (I never got heavier than 138, and I even got as low as 127 once...sigh...). Then in 2001 I gained 10-12 lbs. I've never lost them. No, not true, I've lost 5 or 6 lbs a billion times, only to regain them. The good news is I haven't regained any more either. I've been maintaining at 140-142 for a long time. It's very easy to maintain this weight, but it was not hard to maintain 132 either (I ate like a cow when I gained). For a while I was terrified of dieting and deprivation and couldn't stand the idea of trying to lose weight again, but now I think I'm mentally ready again. I need to be *really* patient, and that's the hard part for me. I'm in my healthy weight range, and I can't expect to lose more than 5 lbs a month. The problem is, I always think that's too slow (I know, I know!) and give up after losing 2 or 3. I'm also 35 now, so the weight does not come off as fast as it did when I was 165 lbs and in my 20's. But enough whining. You guys are the greatest inspiration and I hope to be a true maintainer again soon!

Oh yeah, I'd love to get to 125 lbs, but let me first try to get through today...

01-30-2006, 09:13 PM
Welcome! I think that what you're describing is typical of 'maintenance' for many of us. Up and down, gain a few, lose a few, never quite where we want to be. :p We're glad you delurked and want to hear lots more from you! :)

02-05-2006, 07:00 AM
Thanks for the welcome!

Yeah, I know what you mean, but this is way above my comfort zone...

02-18-2006, 04:09 PM
Today is my second day on this site, and I figured it was time to formally introduce myself.

I'm Erin. For the last three years (almost to the day!), I've been slowly losing weight. I started at 286 lbs. and I've worked my way down to 167 (as of this morning!). I've always been a big girl - at 167 lbs., I weigh about the same now that I did when I was in 4th or 5th grade. I've still got about 20 pounds or so more that I would like to lose, but I'm closing in on the "maintaining" stage.

One thing that I'm struggling with right now is that, since I've always been overweight, I'm finding it hard to deal with not being that way. I don't know if that makes sense, but I'll do silly things like automatically go to the back of the rack (where the bigger sizes usually are) in stores. I don't personally know anyone else who's lost and kept off this much weight, so I'm hoping that here I'll find some folks who've also struggled with some of these issues.

02-18-2006, 04:33 PM
Hi Erin!:wel3fc:
Congratulations on your journey so far :high:

If you scroll through the pages of threads on the maintainers forum, you'll find that what you are experiencing is perfectly normal. Most of us found it takes quite a while for our heads to catch up with our bodies. I don't really know anyone else in real life who has maintained a large weight loss either, which is why this forum is so special to me. The experiences we have really are different!


02-21-2006, 09:25 AM
I have been wandering this site for a few weeks now, but after reading some of the posts in here, I feel this is where I need to be! These are the words that I have so depserately needed to hear for the past year and a half. You all have no idea how relieved I am to find you!


My name is Jen. I am 24 and began my weightloss journey in March of '04. It was spurred by an injury that changed my entire outlook and motivation. Since I was laid up and could no longer excuse my eating habits with excersize, I freaked out. I ended up doing a 4 day water fast, which ended up opening doors inside me that I never knew existed (spirutally speaking). As soon as I became well (and upright!), I poured my heart into what would be an incredible (and somewhat painful) journey. I started small. Since I now knew what hunger actually felt like, I began to listen to my body's "real" hunger cues (not a perfect plan as I'm learning). I began to eat breakfast. I planned everything. I began what is known as "clean eating".

The first month after my injury I lost 35 pounds without even knowing it. I feel lucky because it gave me the motivation to lose the last 45, which took another 7 months. I fought for every last ounce. I have been at an acceptable weight for me (lowest 124-yuck!, highest 138) since November 15, 2004.

What I learned during this ordeal has been downright shocking. After a lifetime of being overweight/obese, I am having to learn how to navigate the world of "normal". Even though I still feel like "the fat girl". Even though I will never have "that body". Even though I am still Jen, the world is a different place. People are different, too. The S.O's of my male friends have taken away their friendship as well as their boyfriend's. People who were horrid to me when I was younger now feel it appropriate to comment and approach me on something that is incredibly personal to me. To them, I am no longer to be avoided like the plague (woo freakin' hoo, right?). I remember being disgusted at how differently people (strangers and friends alike) treated me. Even though I am in a loving and committed relationship with a beyond fabulous man that I will marry, women treat me as someone who can not possibly be trusted in the presence of their men(and I was waaaaay more of a flirt before). Social acceptance IS skin deep. Ugh.

BUT, in this journey I have discovered part of me that was hidden by weight. This "new" Jen doesn't necessarily care what you think about her. I'm more aware of how I carry myself and verse myself and I'm more likely to say what is on my mind. Perhaps that's why I'm treated differently? Being comfortable in my own skin is only partially reliant on how much I weigh, but I'm getting there.

And I couldn't ask for a better vehicle than this place!:)

03-04-2006, 04:35 PM
Hello, I've been lurking for months now and thought it was about time to introduce myself.

I joined the 100+ board in Jan 2005. I don't post much but I was always reading. Someone posted a link to the Skin faq. After reading it I realised there was a lot of great info here and I've been lurking ever since.

I haven't met my goal yet. I was going to wait to post but I've noticed you don't mind those not at goal posting.

ok about me. I'm 40 and I have 11 kids (yes all bio). I've been married to my best friend for 20 years. I'm a stay at home mom.

I was a normal weight kid. I never worried about my weight. My mother otoh was always worrying about hers. She just looked like a normal mom to me lol. As I hit puberty I started to worry. I have a large frame and I knew I was bigger than other girls. I thought it was my fault. At 15 my mother started commenting that she was thinner than me at my age :?: . I started eating less and that gradually developed into bulimia by 17.

At 19 I met and married my dh. We both loved cheesecake and we both gained 15 lbs. He even got stretch marks. I panicked and gave up cheesecake only to maintain my weight while he lost his. I was only 147 but I felt really fat. I'm 5-7 with a large frame so I was at the low end of my weight range. I got pg with my first. I tried to only gain 25 lbs but I was hungry all the time. I only ate healthy foods with 1 small treat a week. I gained 45 lbs. I lost all but 10. I did the same thing with my next 3 kids. By then I was around 190.

Trying to not eat too much made me crabby and didn't seem to help anyway so I gave up. I started eating what I wanted when I wanted. I lost weight! I lost 75 from my highest pg weight. I was thrilled except I realised that being thin didn't solve all my problems lol. I did really enjoyed fitting cute clothes and I had fun. I didn't like the saggy skin (the tiny bit I had).

I got pg again and gained over 50 lbs. After the baby I tried to lose but only to end up gaining. I gained back all I had lost plus those dang "friends". I kept on having babies and gaining. I accepted that I was going to overweight and there was nothing I could do to change that. Trying to lose made me crabby so no one wanted me to lose. My kids and dh are all normal sized. They didn't want me to stop cooking or eating treats.

I was 272 lbs when I got pg with my 10th. At 18 weeks I had a gallbladder attack. I went on a very, very low fat diet. I tracked everything I ate. I never cheated as I was terrified of the pain. I didn't gain any weight. I thought I figured out how to lose weight! I cancelled my gallbladder surgery appt. After the baby was born I stopped tracking. I knew what I could eat and eat I did lol. Here I was pumping 50 oz of milk (baby refused to nurse), walking 3 hours a week, and eating a very low fat diet and I gained weight.

I read walter willets book. I found out that very low fat wasn't healthy and that most people on high carb/low fat diets gain. I added some nuts back to my diet and other bits of fat. I ended up in emergency surgery and got my gallbladder out. ouch. Then I packed on the lbs.

I got pg with my 11th. I had just lost 20 lbs that I always do the first 20 weeks. I felt awful. I hadn't walked or done much of anything. One day in Jan 2005 I was trying to have a shower. I felt so tired. My heart was racing and I was gasping for breath. I felt like I had run up 10 flights of stairs. Just over a simple shower. I was in horrible shape. I decided then that dieting for the rest of my life was easier than being fat.

I got my tracker going. I joined the 100+ board. I ordered watp dvds. I tried to maintain my weight since I was pg. I had the easiest pg since my first! I was doing 30 min of watp right up to the day I gave birth :)

Since then I've continued to lose and exercise. By Nov watp got too easy so I bought an elliptical. First time on 5 min at lowest resistance wiped me out lol. Today I did 44 minutes at 40%. I'm so amazed! (44 min is one episode of Millennium ;) )

I'm losing weight this time knowing that being thin won't solve my problems or make me happy (except about my weight). I know this "diet" is for life. I know I will have saggy skin. After 11 kids I wasn't expecting much lol. My goals were to be in better shape, be able to find clothes at walmart, and fit where average people fit. I've met those goals :D but I'd like to get to a healthy weight too before maintaining.

My website needs to be updated. I don't have anything about my weight loss on it :o but there are pics of the kids and more about me.

Catherine mom to 11
mabear's homepage ( (

03-04-2006, 06:54 PM
:welcome3: to both Jen and Catherine and thank you both so much for taking the time to share your stories with us! I got chills reading them - wow, how inspirational! If anyone out there is thinking 'I can't do this', I hope they read here and see how you two took charge, dug in, and just DID it. :cheer:

We're looking forward to hearing lots more from both of you! :)

05-21-2006, 02:32 AM
Printing some of this thread. Found it very inspirational.

06-20-2006, 01:37 PM
Believe it or not ... this is probably the only thread at 3fc in which I have never posted!
I'm an old hanger-arounder and plan on growing old in the maintainers category.
I'm posting today because (althought this is not my first time at maintenance weight) this is the first time I'm determined not to 'lose' it while on vacation. I plan to eat mindfully and get some exercise and get right back into routine when I return. I'm hoping that posting here will give me an added sense of responsibility ... Put it in print and make it so.
Simply put ... here's my story ...
I was made of skinny sticks when I was nine or ten. From a family who thought you were either sporty or smart. On field day I signed up for the highjump knowing full well I'd be the first one out and could sit and do nothing.
By the time I was 17 I lied about my weight on a passport application. We didn't have a scale when we first married but I know I grew out of my clothes.
I was 162 lbs and toxic the day I had a crash c-section with my first child (now 24). After number three, I settled in just over 130 lbs.
I then alternately moaned about that, yo-yo'd, decided I didn't look too bad and gained my way to 162 lbs again.
In April of 2003 the funeral pants episode happened as advertised here

And now ... Meg's questions.
Is this the first time or one of many times that you've tried to lose weight?
One of many and a continuing journey of about three years this go round.
Are you where you want to be?
No, I'm learning to better utilize cardio and resistance exercise to be an awesome looking 40- something
How has life changed for you since you've lost the weight?
Healthier ... better blood pressure, more level blood sugars, much much less trouble with my old nurses feet, knees and back. I feel solid in my knowledge and enjoy helping others.
If you're maintaining, what's that like for you?
I'm still learning, but so far not very different from losing.
Do you exercise regularly?
Yes, yes, double yes. Right now, most days I do cardio morning and night and weights in between somewhere. 20-30 minutes at a time.
Now that you're near or at your goal, what are your concerns?
Complacency, a life change that changes my focus, a fear of going overboard ...

08-01-2006, 09:43 PM
Hi everyone, I read this thread and realized I had never posted an introduction. My name is Lily. I am 46 yrs. old. I am married to a wonderful man now, after a couple of bad practice husbands. LOL. I am a Disabled RN and he is a State Trooper. My children are son ,Shane, age 20 and daugter, Lacy, age 14. I was athletic through high school and thin. My weight problems started in college. Too much fun and pizza. I did WW for a while and did lose 31 lbs. once. After my DD was born, I was up to 237 lbs. I used Phen/Fen and lost about 90 lbs. I put it back on gradually after stopping the meds. 3 1/2 yrs. ago I got very sick with a rare Liver Disease. I was placed on prednisone and gained 50 lbs. during this time. I started seeing a new hepatologist that basically told me my only cure is a liver transplant. He also told me to get on a low-carb diet and walk 20 min's 4 times a week. He basically said that without losing the weight that I would not be a candidate for a transplant. I took his advice. I started Atkins on June 24, 2005 and reached my goal weight of 145 on July 5, 2006. I lost 89 lbs. I have been on maintenance now for 3 1/2 weeks. I am still eating low-carb and can walk up to an hr. on the treadmill. I have lost 4 lbs. past my goal now. I'm not really trying to lose, just going slow with adding in extra carbs. My BMI has went from 36.6 to 22.5. I feel better physically. My blood pressure, heart rate, blood sugar are all in normal range. Cholesterol is improved. Liver enzymes have decreased ten-fold. I no longer have shortness of breath or need daily inhalers. My feet are normal sized and not swollen. Anyone that sees me thinks I look healthy. Many of medications have been reduced, including the prednisone. The great news is that currently I am too healthy for the transplant and hopefully it will be a long time before I have to have one.
Since coming to 3 FC's, I have read a lot on maintenance forums. I want this weight to stay off. I am totally committed to keeping it off and working just as hard to maintain as I did to lose it. I don't feel the pressure to see more lbs. drop, just the pressure to see it stay the same. I do have some loose skin. My body isn't perfect. I went from a tight size 20 to a baggy size 4. Heck, I was even able to button and zip a size 1 when I laid down, but had the Muffin-top thing going on. LOL. My breasts have gone from a DD to a C cup and I don't fill them completely up. Top of breasts are now flat. My tummy isn't perfectly flat, except when laying down. I have had multiple abdominal surgeries and am not able to do abdominal work-outs. Even with all my flaws, I am totally happy with my results. Would I do it all again, you bet. My health and outlook on life is so improved. It was worth every minute and every effort I put into it. I want to personally thank everyone for all the help along the way. THANK YOU

08-02-2006, 12:47 PM
A dear friend told me about this site, and I've been reading almost non-stop since yesterday...I am in Aww at all the great weight loss stories, very motivating...I guess I'll start off by saying hi, my name is Ladean, I've lost from 246 pounds down to 150, I am now 151, I lost the weight doing Dr Phil's Ultimate weight loss solution, I've been maintaining since March 2006, but am getting a bit bored with the same thing all the time...I am hoping I can get some advice on a good way to maintain without having to count every little thing. All emails welcome as well.


08-02-2006, 09:36 PM
Hi Ladean and welcome! :welcome3: Poke around like you have been and feel free to start a thread about anything that's interesting or a concern for you.

Congratulations on your wonderful weight loss! :carrot:

09-10-2006, 01:34 PM
Hi everyone. I have lost 50 pounds. Back in august of 2004 i was 190 pounds i knew something had to change. I was wearing size 18 at that time and that size was getting way to tight on me. But i refuse to buy size 20. So i knew i had to watch what i ate and basically i gave up all simple carbs and sugars. Now i weighs 140 pounds and wears size 10.

09-10-2006, 02:31 PM
Welcome Lisa and Congratulations on the weight loss. Thanks for sharing with us.

10-04-2006, 12:16 AM

I've just joined your great forum from Australia. I've recently got to my goal weight after losing for just on a year now. I started in October 2005 at 102.5 kgs (224lbs) and I'm at my goal weight of 66kgs (145lbs?) that's a loss of about 80lbs.

I lost the weight by a combination of low carbs, low fat, low sugar. No eating snacks and drinking lots of water. I was a member of a great forum which helped me lose the weight, but I've found that support for the maintenance is hard to come by... that was until I found this site.

I look forward to having a great read of previous posts, and contributing where I can. Thanks for your great forum.

10-11-2006, 10:53 AM
Wow, I finally found the stories I had been looking for.

10-11-2006, 02:04 PM
Welcome Lervly, and Congratulations on the fantastic weight loss. I hope you enjoy the forum and it's nice to have you aboard with us.

11-09-2006, 10:10 PM
I said Hi earlier, but I thought I'd add and official introduction. My story isn't awe inspiring or shocking. I don't even have any before and after pics. It's kind of dull actually. I was a skinny child, but put on weight in high school because working two jobs left me no time to be active or eat well. I gained more weight in college. At that time I was 5'6" and 155. After graduation my fiance and I split, I became unhappy and lost weight down to 135. I met my future husband and we married. I was happy so gained weight again. I was 140 when I became pg with my first dd. I was pretty much pg or breastfeeding for the next 14 years. One day last year I woke up and realized that my size 12 jeans were TIGHT, my 'baby' was two and my BMI had snuck out of the healthy range. I began eating well in April. I've taken things slowly and since September I have been at my goal weight. It took me six months to lose 20 pounds, but I've done it in a way I can stick to forever. I try to eat healthy foods, lots of fruits and veg, and eat as many 'superfoods' as my calorie allowance affords. The hard part will be keeping this up and not slipping into old habits. I'm hoping a forum of others in the same place will help me stay motivated.

09-18-2007, 04:13 PM
Hello Everybody,
I have been on numerous diets for over 1/2 of my life. I was a chubby kid, but I always played sports and worked out, so that has helped keep the pounds at bay. Most of the diets I was on were starvation diets, then I'd give up and gain the weight I lost over and over again, it was always real low calorie diets that I followed, but none of them worked LONGTERM, duh?

However, now that I am older and wiser, I wanted to become fit and fabulous before turning 40 & I have achieved that. I was never really fat per se, I have an athletes body and I carried my 170 pounds very well, as I am well proportioned and I am 5 feet 8.5 inches tall. But this time on my new healthkick for life plan, I wanted to be healthier for many years to come. So I began eating many of the good for you right foods, and never starved myself. I eat a lot of fiber, a lot of protein like chicken, egg whites, salmon, tuna and yogurts, plus tons of fruits and veggies or salads and whole grain bread and rounded each meal with some good fats like olives and almonds or ground flax. I still can not get myself to use olive oil- nope, I can't do it, way too many calories, I'd rather eat more food for those calories than drizzle on the good for you oil, but hey thats me I am sure others have a VISE too.....

I started this new weightloss lifestyle in January 2007 and I lost 25 pounds and I have been maintaining this loss (give or take a few pounds) for the past 6 months... I prefer weighing 144, but anything over 150 signals a red flag, so I drop back to watching what I eat until I reach goal again.

I work out religiously for 1.5 hrs a day either biking, walking, gliding, kickboxing etc. I also lift weights daily too. I am always challenging myself so it doesn't get old.

Healthy eating PLUS working out PLUS weights have made me FIT AS A FIDDLE. I wanted to take CONTROL of my weight yoyo-ing once and for all. I have a family history of not the best health, so I figured my odds of having troubles myself probably would develop if I didn't quit my starvation diets etc., because they never worked long term.

I am pretty confident and hope I did it right this time around, because I feel that I have gotten a better control of my life now by all of my new and healthy choices that I now incorporate, I am not PERFECT somedays of course, but I try my dardest most days to be! Infact, I still have some bad days and INDULDGE far too often in the foods I know I should not eat, but I am only human I suppose and I hope it gets easier the longer that I am maintaining my new figure.... Wish me luck, because with some more supporters I am CERTAIN I can do this for LIFE! By the way, I am not such an evil woman afterall, a name is just a name ya know....

11-21-2007, 11:03 PM
Hello!! This is my first time in this website and I have to say that I love all of your stories. THey are very inspiring. THank you!!

12-02-2007, 07:38 PM
Hello, everyone!

I am not new to weight loss. I've lost and gained many pounds over my lifetime--ever since I was in 5th grade and I am approaching the 5 decade mark in a few years. This time, though, I REALLY want to make it stay off. I have lost about 85 pounds in 10 months through LA weight loss and have been maintaining that loss for about a month and a half now. I'd like to lose another 5 lbs or so just to have a bit more cushion, but I don't want to go too low as I want to be able to "hold" the number, or close to it, on the scale, for life.

When I decided to lose weight, and pay someone to help me lose it, I never thought I'd lose it....not really. I had battled myself so many times and wasn't able to lose weight on my own. Yet, I worked very, very hard and here I am. I know I deserve this weight loss, but I want it to stay away and am focused on being overly watchful. I know what to eat, but, you know, I want to eat stuff like "normal" people eat--I want the fudge and the fried pork tenderloin sandwich with french fries (sorry if I'm making anyone else hungry). I have to come to terms with the idea that some foods are just not going to be a part of what I am now or will be in the future. I just keep wishing for what I can't have.

I try to exercise at least 4 days a week doing cardio of at least 30 minutes and then, if it's available, I attend an exercise class (like step or cardio mix). I also teach a water aerobics class 2 nights a week. I like the idea of working out about 1.5 hours a day 4 times a week, so I push myself to do that as much as I can.

With 6 weeks of stabilization under my belt, I am upset that I still feel as if I am on a diet. I am really watching what I eat--writing it down, weighing, etc--because I am totally scared that I will regain the weight. Perhaps others can relate to that huge fear of the scale jumping up to a number you don't want to see on it ever again?

On a good note, I am wearing really cute clothes now--I'm down about 5-6 sizes. I love clothes, I always have. It's just nice to be in a "normal" size. It's not super small, but it's so much better than where I was. I'm not ashamed to tell someone what I weigh or what size I am anymore though I think a 14-16 is still larger than what I'd like to be.

I guess I am looking to this group to help me talk through all my fears, to relate with, and to turn to with successes and with concerns. Although I know I'm thinner, I'm not 20 anymore and I don't look as good, body wise, as I'd hoped to. Things kind of sag a bit more than I'd envisioned. Can anyone else relate to that?

Well, guess I'll go ahead and read about you all.

12-02-2007, 08:15 PM
Hi goalsuccess and :wel3fc:

Congratulations on you weight loss! I think most of us here can relate to just about everything you posted.

I'm not very familiar with the LA Weight loss program, so I'm not sure how they ease you into maintenance. I'm sorry you still feel that you are "on a diet" and really want to eat normally, but I think you are going to want to revisit what "normal" really is. There just aren't many people who eat a steady diet of fudge and fried foods and stay at a normal weight. As an occasional treat, sure...if you can get back to healthy eating easily, but normal, healthy people just don't eat that way all the time.

Are you eating good healthy meals that satisfy you? If so, congratulations! you've found a lifestyle plan! If not, please explore the whole forum- there are so many different ways of eating to either lose or maintain (and both really come down to finding a sustainable way of eating), that somewhere between calorie counting, whole foods, LA Weight loss and all places between, there must be a way for you to enjoy your food and maintain your fantastic loss!

And congratulations on the exercise commitment :) Want to get smaller and be able to eat more? Pick up some weights :dizzy:

Again :welcome:

Pink Geranium
12-05-2007, 05:34 PM
Hi, I'm very happy to have found this site, so I'd like to say thank you right away. I am on the verge of celebrating what in my family we call my "Second Chance birthday" on 12/16, and so it seems even more fitting that I am here now.

My story in short form: over the last 2 years I have lost 83 pounds. I was thin as a young person, and very athletic. Hoever, since I was so active, I didn't learn good eating habits; I needed every calorie plus some just to maintain my strength and I ate whatever I wanted. This habit continued even when my physical activity didn't, and over the next 30 years I put on a few pounds a year. They really added up (to 213 in 12/05). Over these years I got married, had a son, worked at different jobs, changed careers, etc. etc. etc. There was no time, so I said, or any willpower, to pay attention to my health.

In the last few years I have addressed many things in my life, and it became time to be realistic about this situation. I needed to lose weight for my health - I have a family history of diabetes and heart disease - and I finally found the determination to visit a nutritionist and exercise. I even joined a fitness club. I made small changes at first because that was all I could do. Results were slow, but positive. I began to believe that I could improve things.

Then, last December 2006, I was diagnosed as pre-diabetic. This news woke me up completely. I committed myself to losing enough weight to have a "normal" BMI (154 pounds) and to following a reduced carb diet as reccommended by my nutritionist. I exercised every day at the fitness center with a goal of working 500 calories each day (I even made a chart and gave myself a sticker every 500 calories I did. Sounds a little silly but it was very motivating.). I started off with swimming, my sport from childhood. I also walked miles and miles and miles. I really put time into learning about nutrition and what I needed to be doing in my particular situation.

I made my goal in May 2007. I knew, however, that because of my potential health issues I could not go back to my old ways, and I continued on my routine. I reminded myself of the health reasons when I became discouraged about giving up so many food related pleasures. As time passed I realized that I really enjoyed being in shape and that I looked forward to going to the fitness center. I found classes and exercises I liked to do and expanded the activities that I did (such as cardio kickboxing).

As far as food, I finally let go of trying to make my new requirements fit my old recipes and meal plans, and started over. I tried a lot of new foods (tofu, for instance!) and went from there. I am surprised how much I like vegetables and fruits now. And I finally accepted that my former ideas about portion size were way out of line!

I have lost another 24 pounds since 5/07 and I'm very happy where I am today. My goal is to stay under 140 pounds, and to keep my fasting glucose levels as low as possible (they are now 1 point into the normal range, so I have moved away from developing diabetes rather than rushing toward it as I was doing). I hope to maintain this improved health and I'm willing to work at it every day. I put my efforts to maintain it at the top of my list every day.

I am grateful for the support of my nutritionist and for all the information she gave me. And I am especially grateful for the support of my husband. We have done this weight loss journey together (he has lost 115 pounds).

I am very happy that I no longer feel apologetic about myself, my appearance, or my health. It's a great feeling to be "normal"!

12-05-2007, 05:45 PM
Welcome, Pink! Congratulations on your weight loss and happy "Second Chance Birthday" (I love that!) a few days early. :balloons: Kudos for taking charge of your health and turning that prediabetes around. My DS is diabetic, as is our NightengaleShane here in Maintainers, and they can assure you that it's not a disease you want to have. And tell your hubby that we're all proud of him too!

Take a look around Maintainers and see what interests you. Don't be shy about asking questions and starting new threads -- we love a good discussion! And please come join in our weekly chat thread. With the holidays breathing down our necks, we need all the mutual support that we can get. :)

We're glad you found us and are looking forward to getting to know you better!

12-29-2007, 06:03 PM
Although I am no where near maintaining, I'll add my story here. My name is Okie and I am 24 years old. As a child, I was always a bit chubby. I didn't become truly fat until around puberty. At 12, I weighed more than my aunt with three kids did (sigh)! I went to Nigeria for two years and lost the weight. My mom ribbed me to death about my weight and that was a part of the reason I lost weight. I came back to the U.S. a healthy size 8-10. I kept the weight off for two years till a devastating event occurred. I was molested by my own father. He had also molested my sister. I went back to my old "friend", food, to numb the pain. I graduated high school at 5'6, 180lbs. In college, I packed on more than the freshman 15 and gained close to 100+ during my 3.5 years. I decided to lose weight in August 2004 'cause I was tired of being fat. I lost 80lbs in 5 months on the South Beach Diet. Although I was 200lbs, I felt good about where I was at and where I was going. Then came the diagnosis that I was schizo-affective. I gained the 100lbs I had lost and added nine more. I was hospitalized from December 2006-April 2007 due to my illness. I came back to 3FC not too long ago and I am determined to lose the weight since it's starting to affect my health (cholesterol problems). As we move forward into a New Year, I hope to lose a lot of weight, increase my self-confidence and find work. Hopefully, I'll be on my way to maintaining by this time next year.

02-08-2008, 09:48 PM
This is definitely not the first time I have ever tried to get rid of this weight. I tried: Lean Cuisine dinners only, liquid diets(without medical supervision), Weight Watchers, Nutri-system, Atkins, starving myself, the list goes on.

I am still considered overweight for my height. That is okay with me. Do I want to weigh less? Sure, but I rather have my bodyfat be at a healthy % than have my pounds be okay and still not have my bodyfat under control.

My life has changed mostly because I have changed. I'm more self-confident. Most people looking in before would of thought I was confident but it was all an act. I now am genuinely happy and striving to be as healthy as possible.

Maintaining still means exercising and eating healthy. This seems to evolve on a daily basis. I have learned so much and continue to learn about nutrition and weight lifting.

My main concern is really getting the bodyfat down at a healthy level as stated above. I will never go back to the way I ate before. I may not eat the same next month as I am today. I hope I never stop learning. I have learned lots from my mistakes. I am stronger emotionally today as well as stronger physically than I think I have been my whole adult life.

03-09-2008, 02:42 PM
I feel a little funny doing this, almost like a fake. I can't quite believe I am at the goal I thought was barely within reach. Now I'm going to continue on making adjustments toward maintenance (watching fat and fiber primarily, adding more grains and fruit) and let my body continue on until it reaches a new set point. So at maintenance and not at maintenance :)

* Is this the first time or one of many times that you've tried to lose weight?

I'm an expert at weight loss, at least I was before I turned 40!
This time I've been really focused on maintaining. I picked a plan I could live with and have made decisions and choices based on my ability to stick with the changes long term.

* Are you where you want to be?

See above :)

* How has life changed for you since you've lost the weight?

I feel -so- much better than I did. I'm sleeping better. I have more energy. I can do things without getting winded. In the past there was a suspicion I was hypoglycemic - I think my body's reaction to only eating healthy carbs is connected to that. I feel great!

* Do you exercise regularly?

Yes! Right now I'm doing at least 3 miles cardio and 30 minutes of stretching/strengthening/PT a day. I had hoped to start the C25K program but my knees swelled almost immediately and my doctor says no running. I'm looking forward to hiking and getting my bike out once the snow is gone (at this rate it may be May!)

* Now that you're near or at your goal, what are your concerns?

Maintenance! I know a lot more than I did after past weight losses and my thinking and motivation are different, but I'm still afraid of losing ground. I'm reading Thin for Life (thanks for the tip!) and that is bolstering my confidence. I'm also counting on this forum to help. Don't know if I would have made it this far with this positive an attitude without 3FC.

And anything else that you might want to share with us!

I am a completely addicted birder and tend to mention birding all the time. I'll try not to put you all to sleep ;)

thanks for being here!!

03-09-2008, 09:23 PM
:welcome3: Cyndi and thanks for sharing your story! We're all looking forward to getting to know you better. :)

04-28-2008, 03:51 PM
Tell us about yourself!

Is this the first time or one of many times that you've tried to lose weight?
Are you where you want to be?
How has life changed for you since you've lost the weight?
If you're maintaining, what's that like for you?
Do you exercise regularly?
Now that you're near or at your goal, what are your concerns?

And anything else that you might want to share with us!

Hello everyone, my name is Karla. :wave: I'm in my mid 30's, married to a wonderful man, no kids.

I'm making a commitment to change my life style. I've been counting calories since early this year and I've lost 25 lbs so far, I still have a long way to go, but my goal is two-fold, I want to lose more weight, but most important, I want to be able to maintain whatever weight loss I have.

I'm originally from Guatemala and moved to the US 15 yrs ago. People say I don't look Guatemalan, I'm tall and white as white can get, not your typical Guatemalan I've been told I speak English better than people who were born here. I do have a slight accent that comes out when I talk too fast or get too excited. :hyper:

This isn't the 1st time I try to lose weight, I remember being on a diet at around 12 yrs old, maybe earlier. I was a normal looking child probably until I was 7 or 8 yrs old. At the time I moved to a bigger school that scared the lights out of me and caused me a lot of anxiety, I turned to food for comfort, and steadily gained weight. I was around 185 lbs before coming to the US, which was another source of anxiety and for the past 15 yrs I've been down and up with weight. About 6 yrs ago anxiety hit again and I started developing an eating disorder that brought my weight down to 155 lbs, I was barely eating. When the cause of anxiety subsided the weight came back on with a vengance, my highest weight has been 256 lbs, which is where I started this year.

The most difficult part of changing my life style is trying to incorporate exercise in my life. I will admit that I hate it. It's not that I hate all physical activities, I love hiking, would love to try rock climbing. But having an office job from 8-6 doesn't leave me much time for a work out and I'll be honest, I'm the queen of excuses when it comes to working out. :o I wished I liked it a little more, so that's an area of my life that still needs a lot of attention and work on my part.

The big slap for me came when I was out of a job early this year and was looking for options for health insurance. My husband got approved and I got declined b/c I was obese. I cried that day, and I kept the letter to remind me why I'm on this journey.

I'm very scared of weight loss failure, I've tried so many times before, I don't want this time to be like other times. This maintainers forum has been instrumental to my weight loss this time. I can find the support and wisdom I need to keep me going.

Thank you all for welcoming me here.

07-30-2008, 11:52 AM
Hello All! I'm just now a maintainer and posted my Goal Story (link in signature) just last night. I am so happy to be here...although I imagine I'm going to go about 10lbs beyond my original goal and will be doing a lot of lifting and running thru maintenance to tone and strengthen to where I want to be. Glad to join all of you!

08-07-2008, 12:34 AM
This website really intrigues me. It's kind of a love-hate thing. I love the community aspect and I am hopeful to make many connections but all of the talk of losing weight is really starting to make me feel more self-conscious than I already was about my body and its size. Do I need to lose weight? Sure, I would love to be back to 110-115 like I was in high school (which was 9 years ago - I'm 27). Yes, I think that I'm carrying a little too much for my body frame (5'1" and I am 120 pounds - just look at my knees!). But, am I getting sucked into all the female body-hating stereotypes of popular culture by focusing on the numbers?

So, even though I guess in a perfect world I would be working towards losing these last 5-10 pounds, really I am the most fearful of gaining weight as I get older. I've been watching the 20-somethings and the featherlights for a few days and I'm really not finding a place to fit in. So I hope to find my support here in the Maintainer section of the community. The only thing is, I have never lost a huge amount of weight. I hit my lifetime high of 130 in college. I dumped the boyfriend and went off birth control pills and the extra weight went away.

I have a family history of diabetes on both my mom and dad's sides. There is a history of obesity on my mom's side, although everyone is a little chunky. My mom says that I will be more likely to not get diabetes if I keep my weight down. So that is my main goal. My mom got diabetes while I was in middle school which resulted in a candy-free household. I am so thankful for that! Although I can resist most sweets urges, in the end, we are both are chocoholics.

Then I remember how I grew up with two overweight parents who were too tired or too out of shape to participate in activities with me and really didn't even encourage me to get regular exercise. I do not want to be this type of parent for my future children! I finally figured it out for myself as I found my niche as a swimmer in high school which helped a lot with teen emotional traumas and weight management. Plus I had a really muscle toned body!

So what do you all think? Ya got a place for me here?

08-07-2008, 07:54 AM
So what do you all think? Ya got a place for me here?


Yes, yes SURELY. Pull up a chair, stay awhile and get yourself comfy. :smug:

Really, I'm so glad you've joined us. I commend you for taking charge of your health/weight when you did, so that you never become obese and will hopefully avoid diabetes. If you want to lose those lbs some where down the road, well that's fine and if you don't that's fine too. You don't need to listen to anyone but yourself.

Your future children will be lucky to have a mom like you - with the right attitude about exercise and food.

I look forward to hearing lots more from you.

08-07-2008, 09:31 AM
Hi Lightrae,

Welcome! You should absolutely stick around here! I completely understand what you say about not wanting to get caught up in the numbers and negative self-image that can sometimes be connected with weight loss and/or a more health-conscious lifestyle. Some of us might use the scale as a tool to help us be aware of weight gain before it gets out of hand, but it is certainly not any kind of requirement. If you don't pay attention to numbers, it doesn't matter a whit to anyone here! And there is plenty to focus on being healthy without scale numbers - eating foods to give more energy, improve cholesterol or blood pressure numbers, weight training goals, cardio goals like running a 5K, are just a few of the other "goals" some of the people around here shoot for.

And like you, my family (on both sides) has a history of obesity, heart disease, cancers, dimensia, alcoholism... just to name a few. I was quite overweight as a teenager, but I continue to focus on health now that I'm at a healthier weight for the same reasons as you. I'm 26, but I'm trying to avoid those problems as I age.

My point is that this is a great place for you!

So please, dive into our conversations and join us! Glad you're here!

08-07-2008, 12:11 PM
thank you megan and rockinrobin for the welcomes.

08-11-2008, 02:16 PM

i always thought that losing weight would be my biggest hurdle, but now that i'm on the other side i find that i'm maybe more entangled in numbers internally now than when i was outwardly counting and obsessing openly in my fitness journals.

my start weight was 165 and my goal weight was 125, but my doctor told me 130 was healthy for my height so i should stay around there. i've been up and down the 130 mark for the past few months and it's making me insane! currently i'm at 136.5 and trying to lose.

the worst part of maintaining is knowing that i've been less before so it's almost like i beat myself at a more sinister and intense level because it's like i've failed. i can't help but live in the numbers....but it's not so much calories now as it is clothing sizes [which i know are insubstantial BS anyway], and the scale.....i feel healthy and all that jazz, but i knock myself down because of my jean size.....[i'm currently enforcing a jean boycott]

anyway, i should save this rant for the appropriate thread. i found this site through a friend who swears by it. i'm looking for the support and community a maintainer needs in order to safely ***** about "fat days" without getting the stink eye....

i applaud everyone for reaching their goals and i look fwd to getting support and also helping others along the way. maintaining is difficult!

thanks for reading ^_^

08-12-2008, 10:23 AM
Welcome Blue Parade! :welcome: Congratulations on all of your hard work and accomplishments! The head and numbers games of maintenance can be very daunting, I agree. I'm still trying to figure it all out myself. ;) But I'm glad I've got so many supportive and understanding people here to talk to and listen to me. I don't really have anyone IRL who I can relate to about weight maintenance, so this forum is a wonderful place for me. I'm so glad that you found us!

08-15-2008, 06:18 PM
Tell us about yourself!
While I am new to the maintainers forum, I am not new to 3FC. Most of my story can be read by following the link in my signature, so I won't re-post it here.

Is this the first time or one of many times that you've tried to lose weight? Definitely it was one of many, but thankfully - due to the lessons I have learned here at 3FC, it was the last :)
Are you where you want to be? Almost. I would love to be at 125 with 130 as a "bumper weight".
How has life changed for you since you've lost the weight? I have more balance in my life. I do more things with others, and I have hobbies (like hiking) that help keep me fit. I feel more confident in my work environment and I love helping others along their journey.
If you're maintaining, what's that like for you? So far, it is easy - but it doesn't look much different than losing did. I suspect that the challenge will come this winter when I have to rely on indoor forms of exercise. I think the novelty will have worn off and could bring some challenges. Time will tell.
Do you exercise regularly? Yes, though moderately. I try to rotate among fitness ball/weights/pilates/yoga/resistance band workouts 5 mornings a week, and then either walk or dance 4-5 times a week after work. Weekends are "off" times, but often include activities that are quite physical in nature.
Now that you're near or at your goal, what are your concerns? Exercising faithfully. I truly think (maybe naively) that I have made lifestyle changes that are sustainable where food is concerned. Stress eating is non-existent and I am enjoying eating mindfully. Again, time will tell.

And anything else that you might want to share with us! How absolutely inspirational everyone here has been for me. Without your success stories and faithful participation at 3FC, I don't think I would have assembled all of the necessary keys to unlock the secrets to maintenance. Learning that I had to change me, instead of limiting food for a prescribed period of time, is a lesson that I needed to learn, and I don't think I would have, without you.

08-18-2008, 08:18 AM
Hello there!

I've been maintaining my goal weight (130-132 lbs.) for 2 1/2 months so thought I'd just slide on over here.

I've been a faithful poster in the "featherweight" threads for over a year now and have lost 17 lbs. I've never been obese but always carried just enough extra weight to not really love my body.

I have practiced, over the many many years I've been dieiting/bingeing etc., a quite unhealthy form of maintenance. I would drink alcohol and binge eat all weekend and then starve myself and exercise like mad all week. I generally fluctuated about 3-5 lbs. every week for years.

That has stopped. I find I am now maintaining my weight by healthy eating all the time and I've given up alcohol entirely (since I just immediately cave and start eating after a glass of wine or a beer).

I still stress eat but nothing like the binges. My body has started saying no to junk food. I'm looking at the long term now (I'm 51) and realize that I've got to just do this for the rest of my life.

Loooking forward to chatting and getting to know all of you in the weekly thread.

Dagmar :cool:

08-27-2008, 10:47 PM
Hi everyone!! :wave: So excited to be here...well, almost ;)

Is this the first time or one of many times that you've tried to lose weight?

Definitely one of many times...I just never stuck with it! Finally, this year I came to the essential realization that I had no other option but to make a lifestyle change if I wanted to be slim and healthy. So several months ago I started exercising every day and eating small portions of nutritious foods - no diets, calorie counting or specific food plans for me, just plain old watching what I eat and working out. To my surprise, I have been able to lose about 1lb/week during the summer and only have a few more to go!!

Are you where you want to be?

While my weight is down, I would like to keep working towards a firmer body. I still feel chubby at 105lbs, so adding muscle to my frame is my current goal.

How has life changed for you since you've lost the weight?

Well, it has only been 3.5 months since my "journey" began, but I am enjoying life more and more as I get healthier! I am less self-conscious and clothes shopping is so much easier when you are proportioned. Physically, I don't become winded from doing something as simple as walking up the stairs quickly.

Do you exercise regularly?

Yes!! And that will not change until I am too old to move...:lol:

Now that you're near or at your goal, what are your concerns?

Gaining it back, of course....I am studying abroad in Spain this year, and my main fear is destroying all the hard work I've done by eating too much yummy food :o But I am planning on exercising at a gym near the university I'll be attending, so that I can explore the local cuisine without simultaneously expanding my waistline.

Also, since I used to hide behind my weight somewhat and use it as an excuse (i.e., "When I'm thin, I'll <insert risk/reward here>"), I am slightly concerned that I STILL won't go after what I many of you probably learned, being "thin" doesn't automatically fix everything in your life. I am still the shy girl I was before, only more compact :D So my goal is to transfer the knowledge I have gained from weight loss, that I can do something I set my mind to, to other areas of my life.

I hope to remain accountable and find support here in the future, which doesn't seem so difficult after reading your posts since so many of you are very inspirational!!

09-02-2008, 01:35 PM
Hi Kimberly!
I'm so glad you've joined us! Congratulations on all of your health accomplishments so far. You know, I've heard/read a lot of people who say that when they study abroad in European countries in some ways it's easier to maintain their weight loss because people in Europe tend to walk more, appreciate truly delicious/quality food more, and eat more intuitively. Hopefully you will find this is true. Sounds like a great experience. I hope to "see" you around!

Countingdown, welcome to you too! I'm glad you've joined the maintainers and congratulations on all of your hard work!

Dagmar, welcome, again, glad that I see you around the maintainers forum already. ;)

Shannon in ATL
09-16-2008, 03:44 PM
I just realized that I've posted several things on the Living Maintenance section, but never got to the Introduction part... So, here I am in a nutshell...

As far back as I can remember I've never been comfortable with my weight. I was never the biggest girl in my class, but was never the smallest either. I was always self conscious about my appearance, whether it was about my poochy tummy or my non-existent boobies. I always felt like I should be skinnier than I was - I have a pretty small frame that just seemd like it was meant to be carrying less weight than I made it carry. This self conscious feeling was compounded by my 5'3" mom who weighed 105-115 pounds when I was young and constantly felt like she was overweight. She was always talking about how she needed to diet, had to lose weight, how disgusted she was with herself for getting bigger. Looking at myself through that vision said "wow, she is disgusted with herself for weighing 105, she must really be disgusted with me for weighing 110, 120, 135, etc..." I used to hide snack chips under my bed so I could eat at night when no one would see me. I said it was because my brother always ate my favorite things if I didn't hide them, that was a lie to make myself feel better.

I outgrew her when I was in junior high so we couldn't share clothes anymore - she commented on that a lot too. As an adult, I realize that she had her own body issues, ones that she still hasn't dealt with to this day. She is still unhappy with her weight, only now it is because she went from an unhealthy 82 pounds to an only slightly less unhealthy 97 pounds. She has an assortment of health problems, all of which I track back to never eating right. It worries me. I also realize as an adult that I'm 4 inches taller than her, so it makes sense I would outweigh her, even as a teenager.

Enter my brother's girlfriend, now wife. Cute, thin, smart, big boobs, great hair, loved to shop. The daughter my mother had always wanted me to be - they shopped for clothes, talked on the phone, shared clothes. I acted like it didn't bother me and told people how bad she was for my brother and treated her like poo. :( As an adult, she is great for him - and I learn as a grown up that her thin was hard fought.

I let myself gradually gain weight all through high school and college, always telling myself 'when I weigh XXX' I'll do something about it. Never did anything about it. When I graduated college I was in a size 16-18, weighed somewhere in the 140 range - didn't really weigh myself, didn't want to know. Took a job I hated out of state for a year, came home just under 150, started working as a trainer for a fast food franchisee. I was on my feet all the time, but was eating fast food every meal. Lost back down to the 145 range, but ate nothing but french fries it seemed.

Enter alcoholic ex-husband, well at the time, he was soon to be husband who told me he had stopped drinking. :) I ran all the time, lost down to 135 before our wedding - the on my feet all the time thing. Didn't have any healthy habits, just running flat out, never eating, stressed all the time weight loss. He commended the weight loss, but bought me 'fat clothes' anyway. Constantly talked about my SIL and the bikini he saw her in the first time he met her. Reality crashed in on me just before the wedding, but too late to cancel out... I focused in on the good things, well, I only told my friends the good things, lets put it that way. :( I left him weighing back at 147 in 2001.

I wavered up and down from that 147 for a year, always staying just under that magic '150 will be when I change things'. Then, I crossed 150, the next 'I'll change then' because 155, then 160, 165. At 165 I started taking kickboxing and yoga four nights per week - never lost a pound. Did it to support my Starbucks twice a day habit... I kicked my constantly refilled at every restaurant stop Dr. Pepper habit for the same Starbucks habit. Luckily, the soda habit never came back. The kickboxing and yoga faded away.

Enter my now DH in 2005 (and his son, an infant when DH and I got together) - I was 174 when we got together. I dropped to 145 in the first few months by stopping the snacking (yes, I still hid food in my bedside table, even when it was just me in the apartment), eating more cooked meals, and having a vigorous new sex life. Hey, it was exercise! :p

We got married in Nov 2006 and I was 134 at that time. I maintained it for what felt like about a minute and a half... was back up to 145 in Jan of 2007. Hovered between 143-147 until this year when I decided I needed to do something. Was there a trigger event? Sometimes I say no, sometimes I say yes. I halfheartedly counted calories starting in August of 2006 when DH and I moved into our new house - didn't get really into it until May. DH bought me a dress for my birthday that was the right size for when we got married, but snug for May 2008. (He didn't see the ten pounds impact on my clothes because I didn't let him, he wasn't trying to be mean. He started dating me when I was 30 pounds heavier, he didn't care what I weighed.) He also bought us tickets to Les Mis, for this weekend actually, and I wanted to be able to wear the dress to that event. It is at the tailor right now getting altered, because it is now two sizes too big... :carrot:

I've had other 'ah ha' moments this year - about my mother and her own weight issues, about the fact that she can't see me as smaller than my SIL. For years she bought me a larger size than SIL, because I was larger, then when it flipped and I was the smaller one she still bought me one size larger most of the time. That hurt my feelings, but I'm learning to let it go, and educating my mom to who I am now. SIL and I are actually both dieting and exercising at this point, she is likely always going to be bigger than me now, and she is dealing with that too. We are all working on our issues together. The most recent hurdle was convincing my mom I wasn't wasting away and making her tell me why a size 6 was too small a size for me to be, but not for SIL. Still don't think we are quite done with that, but, a work in progress...

I chose to marry a man with a child when I was always saying I never wanted kids - I love the fact that I can be a part of this wonderful little boy's life. I can see me in some of his behavior and it makes me feel good about who I am and the choices I've made. I want him to see me as an example of a strong, healthy woman.

I'm terrified of maintaining because I'm convinced I'll gain all the weight back. I've never been the engineer of my own weight loss in the past and I have doubts about my ability to maintain a healthy lifestyle. I've worked hard to craft menus that are workable, eat new foods (I discovered I love brocolli, tomatos, carrots, yogurt, almonds, a lot of things I would never have eaten before), build good habits. I exercise a lot now - so much that I know I will hit a wall eventually and that will drop a little, so I'm learning what I need to do now so I can adjust with the future. I have come to love the way I feel with exercise - never thought that would happen...

So, the questions:
1) This is the first time I've tried seriously to lose weight. Other weight loss efforts happened to me by circumstance, I can't take credit for them.
2) Am I where I want to be? Yes and no. I'm at goal, but not shaped the way I would like to end up. I'm shaped completely different than I was six months ago, but I know I still have room to improve.
3) How has my life changed since I've lost the weight? I feel like I am who I'm supposed to be, not who I've let myself be the last several years. I'm more confident, more comfortable in my relationships. I have to credit DH for a good bit of that - he always sees who people could be and encourages them to make themselves better without beating down or disparaging who they are that minute. He is a change agent in the lives of people around him, not just me.
4) What is maintenance like? Well, I'm only a week and a half in and I'm still scared to death. I started maintenance at 124.8, jumped to 126.1 after the first week, to 127.3 yesterday, but am back to 125.4 today. I'm researching some changes I made recently to my exercise pattern and realize that is the most likely reason for the change. So, for me, maintaining is about learning myself and my patterns. There will likely be more ups and downs, I'm going to learn how to weather them.
5) Do I exercise regularly? 6 days per week of 45 min cardio, either elliptical or stationary bike right now, want to add in using the weight bag in place of a couple of those I think. Three days per week of 50 min strength training on my Weider home gym. Yoga, pilates or ab video (10 - 20 min) every day before cardio. I might be a little over the top with the exercise right now, so it could settle down in the future to less total time, maybe not. I'm channeling my fear of increased calories into more exercise right now!;)
6) Concerns now that I'm at goal? I already answered that up there - scared I won't be able to maintain the changes I've made. Scared that I'll sit back down and let life happen to me instead of me controlling it. Scared that a hershey kiss will make me gain five pounds. Scared that I'll still be 'hands shaking, a little nauseated' scared about maintenance a year from now and won't learn how to live without the fear.

So, moral of the story, I've taken control of my life in the last few years. I left a dead end job I'd had for 12 years for a position I hoped would be permanent, but turned out to be a bad fit. I used it as a springboard to the position I have now, which is a great fit. I love my job today. I'm using my knowledge and skills to influence, not sitting back like I used to and doing just enough to get by. I've done the same thing with my weight - I'm making changes, not just getting by. This website was a big part of that process - I learned things here I don't think I would have learned anywhere else. I can rant here, I can vent here, I can learn here, I can support other people here with things I learn. I firmly believe that I can do this. I can maintain, I can improve, I can survive.

Shannon in ATL
09-16-2008, 03:45 PM
wow, that was longer than I expected...:o

Mrs Snark
09-17-2008, 04:11 PM
wow, that was longer than I expected...:o

But it was a fantastic read! :)

Wolf Goddess
09-19-2008, 12:07 AM
I was fat from the time I was little. I have no idea when I actually became classified as "overweight" - my parents were both heavy, and I guess in my mind I just took it as being what it was - I didn't associate it with my eating.

I've been home-schooled all my life, and when I was younger all of my fun activities included reading, watching television, playing video games, doing crafts – all sedentary activities. I didn’t really have anyone to play with, so I rarely went outside or walked around the neighborhood.

After I joined Girl Scouts, I started to see that weight isn't something like hair color and height - you don't inherit it. Being around a group of girls that I was by far the heaviest of made me feel like the odd one out. They had their own little clique – and while I know that that was because they went to the same school, I always blamed my weight on why they wouldn’t accept me.

Before I went to a Girl Scout camp I had a physical; I weighed a whopping 160 pounds. This was the first time my weight really hit home for me, because my mother (who had started exercising regularly) weighed the same amount and was 5 inches taller than me. I decided that I needed to get serious about losing weight, starting now.

At the camp I started by hiking around a bit and forgoing dessert. I also ate a lot of the salad bar (though not knowing much about calories, I did eat a lot of Ranch dressing). After I cam home in a week, I had dropped two pounds. That was enough to start getting me motivated.

I started walking and doing workout tapes with my mom. Gradually, I started to eat fewer desserts and less junk food. I also started eating healthier foods. It wasn’t until after my family moved though, that I started to see real results. My family moved near a Navy base that we have full access to. This allows us free gym access. My mother, father and I all started going to the gym four times a week. I still remember the first time on an elliptical. I had never experienced any kind of workout that rigorous, but the feeling of pride I experienced after finishing on it was enough to keep me going.

So, here I am, 45 pounds lighter, happy, healthy, and hopefully remaining so.

10-07-2008, 02:12 PM
I have never had a weight problem growing up, althought I was almost 2 feet long when i was born ;) By the time i was 12, i was 5'11" and hovered around 145-150 ish. Around age 13 i developed a late night binge habit, although at the time i had no idea that that is what i was doing, i just thought i liked larger snacks than most people. I did not gain weight until a few years later, over about a year i put on 40 pounds. I realized it beginning of my sophomore year of high school and went on an innocent "diet". Well 50 pounds and 2 months later, I found myself in an eating disorder hospital with some nice nutritional deficiencies. 6 weeks later i came out at a healthy weight and a much better outlook on things. I maintaned my weight for a few months with minimal slipups, and then i got a boyfriend...Who loved to eat. I slowly began to put on weight and while i was not thrilled with it, i did nothing to stop it. After we broke up, i spiraled out of control pretty bad with drugs, drinking etc, and the binge eating came back full scale. Within 4 months I was up to 275 and while it scared me enough to stop the gaining, i did not make any effort to lose it.
For 4 years i stayed at that weight, had awful eating habits, and was basically completely out of control with everything going on in my life. Although i was completely aware of how big i was, i told myself the usual excuses of "well its better than being too thin", "Im tall so i cant look THAT big". I was, however, completely miserable. I refused to go anywhere, would never have my picture taken, and absolutely HATED shopping. But despite how unhappy I was, I did not stop the binging.
Sometime in august of 07, i had a random idea to weigh myself, and the scale said 252. I was not sure how long of a time period i lost those 23 pounds, but as soon as i saw that they were gone, something clicked. That day i decided I was going to see if i could lose anymore. I did not set any goals or follow any particular plan, just started making better choices and taking a walk everyday. To my surprise the pounds started FLYING off. For months i was losing 4 pounds a week minimum. I suppose its because my body type is just not naturally heavy, and i have been told being young helps. I decided in the beginning to not count calories, because i was afraid old habits would come into play. Well around january i hit my first plateau at 170, and thought i was well enough to start counting again. I was wrong:^: Between february and july it was pretty rough, i told myself i was not going below 1200 a day, although looking back it was probably close to 600. And my whole plan of "eating healthy through the week, treat yourself on saturday" turned into full scale restricting during the week, full scale binge on saturdays. I felt sick and cold all the time, was not losing any weight, and was just overall not healthy
Beginning of july i crashed. It was a saturday and on top of the tens of thousands of calories i had already consumed, I ate 2 pints of ben and jerrys and got awfully sick. The next morning i realized I had a choice, I could just quit and go back to my old eating habits, or buckle down and get healthy. I chose the latter. I did some research, started a food journal, and started eating 6 balanced meals a day at around 1600 cals. And what do you know, once i started eating more, those last 15 pounds came right off.
As of now, I do have some bad days where i don't eat enough, but the good thing is i LOVE working out. Running, weight training, you name it I'll do it. But if i don't eat enough there is no way i can work out the way i want to, and i love the feeling i get from running a few miles so much better than the feeling i get after skipping a meal. Now I am just trying to keep up that happy medium, trust myself and learn to read the signs my body is giving me.

Sorry if this seems so long and rushed, on my break at work and wanted to get this down. Thanks for reading!

01-20-2009, 01:27 AM
Tell us about yourself! I name is Jason. I lost 130 lbs on WW. I have kept it off now for over a year. Looking for weight loss and maintenance talk. Love to encourage others.

Is this the first time or one of many times that you've tried to lose weight? I tried everything before and WW coupled with running took the weight off and has kept it off thus far.

Are you where you want to be? Right now I would like to lose 7 lbs max. I would like to be in the 170's but my life time hope is to stay under 185 and I am there so that is a good thing.

How has life changed for you since you've lost the weight? Well, I can breath. HAHA. Everything is easy from running, sleeping, sex, driving, working, etc. I love it.

If you're maintaining, what's that like for you? It is good but a struggle still. I find myself wanting to just say screw it and binge. I keep it in check most of the time but that is why I am here. I want to be able to talk about the issues.

Do you exercise regularly? I do. I get around 50-80 AP's a week and my goal is at least 5-7 hours of activity. I am current planning on running my 5th ultra marathon, the Strolling Jim 40 miler in May.

Now that you're near or at your goal, what are your concerns? Gaining it back and losing control over my eating. It freaks the heck out of me.

01-25-2009, 01:51 PM
Tell us about yourself!

I joined 3fatchicks in January of 2007 . Over a period of 8 months I lost 80 pounds. I walked with WATP until I was fit enough to work out with Jillian's Girls.It was fantastic. I changed my eating habits and my son began to also understand how eating could change his ability to perform as an athlete at school.

Is this the first time or one of many times that you've tried to lose weight?
This was the first time I seriously did something about it. Between the babies I managed to lose weight, but I would gain it back again.

Are you where you want to be?
Well no, I am four pounds over the weight I had when I stopped posting at 3FC.I never made the 142 pound goal I set for myself mainly because I was so happy at the spot I was in.Right now eating is still healthy with a burp here and there. Exercise is 5 days a week because it's apart of my job.

How has life changed for you since you've lost the weight?
I think that is a huge part of my story. I am now a single Mom, working on getting a divorce and dating. I live in the city and gave my beloved horse away. I work full time as a catering assistant around food after being a SAHM for five years.I can climb an 8 ft fence and the last trek on the bike was for 25 miles.

If you're maintaining, what's that like for you?
Maintaining is easier than dieting as I don't measure calories. I look at fat and protein no longer use fitday although I have visited there to remind myself of the way life was when I started. I do have one day a week that I make a turkey burger or fix myself eggs and cheese on the grill.

Do you exercise regularly?

Part of job involves walking a facility that employees 3600 people.I no longer lift weights, but cases of soda and water. I sit down at lunch and for a small morning break. Before I moved to the city and was hired for my job I ran the stairs at the small high school stadium. Regular jogging gave my knee fits- but I knew I had to so something to keep at it.I still do some pilates and yoga on weekends when my kids are with their Dad.

Now that you're near or at your goal, what are your concerns?
I know that my muscle mass has changed from when I was lifting and being true to plan. I don't think it is an issue of weight loss, but I just need to eat cleaner and focus on getting more exercise on the weekends.

01-26-2009, 03:45 PM
Hi Jason and Sirak, welcome to the maintainers forum! We're so glad that you're here. Congratulations to both of you on your successes so far, and successes to come as well. Please dive in to our weekly chats about the trials and tribulations, as well as all of the rewards and day-to-day shtick that goes along with weight loss and maintenance.

Jason, I hope you won't be intimidated by the fact that the maintainers forum is mostly women, though we do have a few men who pop in from time to time. Please, jump right in! ;) A lot of us on the board sometimes experience the "just wanna binge" feeling that you mentioned, and I find it's a great help to me to have 3fc to come to when I get that feeling.

Sirak, it sounds like you've been making a lot of changes in your life lately! It sounds like you've got a wonderful job that lets you be active, too.

01-26-2009, 05:06 PM
Tell us about yourself!

Here the California poet Kim Noriega looks deeply into a photograph from forty years ago.

Heaven, 1963

It's my favorite photo--
captioned, "Daddy and His Sweetheart."
It's in black and white,
it's before Pabst Blue Ribbon,
before his tongue became a knife
that made my mother bleed,
and before he blackened my eye
the time he thought I meant to end my life.

He's standing in our yard on Porter Road
beneath the old chestnut tree.
He's wearing sunglasses,
a light cotton shirt,
and a dreamy expression.

He's twenty-seven.
I'm two.
My hair, still baby curls,
is being tossed by a gentle breeze.
I'm fast asleep in his arms.

I share this poem because it happened to me too. I am over fifty and have been on a healing journey my whole life. Not all trauma survivors become obese but I did. Most of my adult life was spent on the yo-yo train so at times I was overweight and others at around 160 pounds. I became morbidly obese after a triggering event. I was attacked with a knife and that was when food became my only medication and friend. Trigger because when one has PTSD everything seems to go out of control. So I was out of control until I reached my highest weight in 2002. January 2003 made a resolution to become healthy when I got sleep apnea, heart palpitations and was diagnosed prediabetic. I did South Beach and walking 10k daily in 2003 and lost 85 pounds. Regained 33 pounds the next year and hovered around 170 until I joined this forum this year. I decided enough's enough!

Tried SB again and had an initial loss but when I moved onto Phase 2 the added carbs triggered binges.

Reread Atkins book and began to follow that WOE. From the end of July to December it was a steady loss curve down until goal was reached.

Is this the first time or one of many times that you've tried to lose weight?
I have tried may times to lose weight.

Are you where you want to be?
:goodscale Most definitely! This weekend my friend and I are going to to Whistler where we discovered a recycled clothing store (mostly brand name) and do some heavy duty shopping. Then we will go snowshoeing later.

How has life changed for you since you've lost the weight?
It has been wonderful. I no longer have sleep apnea etc. and I stick to my WOE so no cravings. Did I mention newer clothes? Imagine going from wearing size 38 waist men's jeans to women's jeans size 4. :cool:

If you're maintaining, what's that like for you?
I still consider myself a brand new maintainer and so far it is going well. So well that even though I am eating more I have lost three more pounds.
I survived my birthday, Christmas and New Years day parties. Gained a pound or two but adjusted my eating and lost it.

Do you exercise regularly?
Yes daily. I walk 10k and did 30 Day Shred which I am going to do it again. Also doing 100 day push ups program. :faint:

Now that you're at your goal, what are your concerns?
I am an emotional eater so I use mindfulness meditation to keep in touch with what is real for me. Observing my thoughts which trigger feelings= binges has been a saving grace.

I also read the forums daily. Especially the maintainers threads where I have read a ton of good information. :thanks:

And anything else that you might want to share with us!
My cat Felix. He is in his tux.

03-30-2009, 11:59 PM
My name is Jessica, I am 27.

I grew up obese. My family was all obese. I ate a lot; we all did. I also stole and hid food--not sure why. I did that up til my freshman year of college--can we say I was the WORST roommate ever?? At least once I went to a warehouse-type store and bought a retail box of candy--the kind you buy if you own a convenience store--and ate it within a few days. I always swore I'd never binge and purge--at least, never purge. I was sure that throwing up my food wouldn't help me learn the over-eating lesson, and would plunge me down the narrow rabbit hole of bulimia. So I'd eat until it hurt, especially when with other people. I couldn't stop til it was too late. I blamed my mom for teaching me bad habits, for emotionally abusing and neglecting me, etc. It wasn't until a kind friend reached out to me that I started thinking maybe I could try losing weight--and it wasn't until I realized that my mom may have made me a fat kid, but I'D made me a fat adult, that I could really own my weight, whatever it was--and change myself.

* Is this the first time or one of many times that you've tried to lose weight?

I struck gold on the second attempt. The first was just very ill-informed, so I was kinda sunk from the start.

* Are you where you want to be?

Yes and no. I feel like I could lose my five more pounds and be numbers-happy for the rest of my life, but I am flabby and have loose areas that I really want to tone. I feel like that is attainable for me for the first time. If the scale never budged again, I guess that's be fine. But I DO need to lower my body fat, so that's my next big thing.

* How has life changed for you since you've lost the weight?

Hmm, let's see, I got my first kiss! And a lot of other firsts. I am engaged. I have a lot more confidence and ownership of my life now. I care about myself, I like who I see in the mirror. I can ride amusement park rides, and horses. I can sit on play equipment with my friends' children and not worry about breaking it. I ride a motorcycle now...something I would NEVER have done, in a million years, before I lost weight. At least in part because I was so certain I would suck at it. I wear regular clothes, pretty dresses, cute underwear--no more Just My Size, etc. I have a way smaller chest now, but I also don't have a "Shelf" under my bra band. Little things like that make me feel like I fit myself now, when I never did before. People who meet me now and find out I used to be fat won't believe it. People don't see fat first, me second. That's huge. I eat more frequently. I eat SOY! Tofu! Veggies! (sometimes). My favorite foods are the same, and I still eat them, I just realize that there are a lot of ways to prepare things like pizza without loading up on bad stuff. I make a lot of foods at home. I eat a lot less red meat. I can walk places and not get winded--ditto for stairs. I can run when I want! Sometimes I run across the room when it isn't necessary just to do it. I am not afraid of being looked at anymore.

* If you're maintaining, what's that like for you?
It's a lot of habitual behavior, being easy and hard on myself at the same time. It means watching my portions without even thinking twice. It means eating sweets if I want, but integrating it into a whole eating plan and being mindful that if I eat too much of one thing, I am going to miss out on a lot of other really tasty and satisfying food--but I have the strength to hold myself to that consequence. It means realizing that my diet is fluid. It changes. It means listening to my body. It means working out often enough, and with purpose. It means eating, and really loving food--more now than I ever have. I can ALWAYS CLEAN MY PLATE if I serve myself sensibly to begin with. :D

* Do you exercise regularly?

I have been. Currently I am between gyms and it is hard. I do yoga and pilates at home when i can't go to the gym. But for the last month it has been tough.

* Now that you're near or at your goal, what are your concerns?

The honest truth? I am terrified to get pregnant. Terrified. I cannot even imagine what it would be like to get fat again. I want to be a mom someday, but I am really afraid. I don't want to be like my mom, who got fatter with every child, until she couldn't do anything fun with us. Not wanting to be like her is one of the things that kickstarted me into losing weight to begin with.

It's cool to be here. For a long time I wanted no one to know I'd been fat, because I just so desperately wanted to be normal. But I can feel proud of who I am, who I was--not just a sad, fat girl, but a fat girl strong enough to change her life a pound at a time.

That's me! I have a dog and a man I love who supports me in my goals and is committed to helping when I need it--we eat together, work out together, etc. He's an athlete/body builder of sorts, so he is helping me get some muscle!! I Will Never, Ever weigh what I once did. I will never again be obese. That is my commitment, and its been...4 years since I lost my first 50! (now 75 and counting.)

03-31-2009, 06:54 AM
Hi Jessica and :welcome3:! Thanks for sharing your story and wow, congrats on maintaining for so many years! You were so, so smart to get it together while you're still young and have so many years ahead to enjoy your new body and life.

We hope to see lots more of you!

Shannon in ATL
04-01-2009, 04:40 PM

04-01-2009, 07:44 PM
Thanks for the welcome! I'm happy to be here!

04-01-2009, 07:54 PM
Hi Jessica! What a great story! (and kind of like mine!)

I can relate to the fear of getting pregnant. It seems so weird and vain to fear the unkown in regards to pregnancy. I've been doing this new lifestyle for 5 years, over which time I got married. For a loooong time I was worried about how pregnancy would figure into maitenance, but the longer you maintain and "get the hang of it", the more secure you may become :)

Welcome to 3FC!

04-03-2009, 07:44 PM
First, I want to say that I truly and deeply admire everyone who has lost and kept it off! There are SO many great role models here. You all just totally ROCK and, from the bottom of my heart, I thank you all for sharing your struggles and triumphs and all the stuff in-between.

Someday maybe Iíll post my whole long story in the Success Stories Goal Section (with all the tragedy and drama and stuff) but for now I figured Iíd just answer the introduction questions:

Is this the first time or one of many times that you've tried to lose weight?
This is ďOne of manyĒ. I did a lot of unhealthy "diets" (translation=starvation) in my youth, but I won't go there for now. I remember joining one of the places where you buy the food from them when I was in my mid or late 20s, but I only had maybe 15-20 lbs to lose at that time. Many memories are fuzzy back in those days.

I first started moving into the seriously overweight category in my early/mid-thirties. In... 1999 or 2000? I joined WW and lost from 150-ish down to 120. Six months later I was back up to 150, then got pg with twin girls. They were born in 2001, and I lost for a while - back down to around 150 again, then started gaining (3 teenagers, two babies, full-time job, a LOT of personal stress, an anxiety disorder that was out of control, mild depression, tough days... ). In Jan 2003 I hit a new high of 170, then I joined an online subscription diet service. I lost 50 lbs in 8 months Ė hit my goal of 120 in Aug 2003, then had a pretty major disaster/tragedy a few weeks later - if I thought I was stressed out before, I hadn't seen nothin yet! I started stress/comfort eating again, and by the end of 2004 I weighed 178. I have some really sad pics -- me at goal in Aug 2003 holding out my "too big" pants, then at 178 in Oct 2004 wearing the same pants & shirt which were way too tight. Actually in the avatar those are the same pants - I still have them.

When I was finally ready to try again in early 2005, I decided to take it very slowly, baby steps Ė so Iíd lose maybe 20 lbs, maintain for a bit, start gaining, put on maybe 10 or so, get serious, lose another 15-20 or so, etc. I got down to 145 in, I think it was late 2006? Then at the end of 2007, by the time the holidays were over, I was back up to 164, so knew I had to get serious about losing and learning to maintain.

I joined a free diet support forum and set my goal at 135 b/c it was at the top of my healthy range Ė I figured Iíd have the best chance of maintaining a healthy weight that way. I told myself that if I could maintain for 6 months, then Iíd try losing a bit more, maintain a while, etc. I reached 134.5 on May 1st, 2008, down to 128 in Nov 2008, back up to 135 after Christmas, and am on my way back down now.

Are you where you want to be?
I feel good about my progress, and about being where I am (as opposed to where I was). At the same time, I still have goals. Eventually I think 120-125 would be a good, healthy range for me, but it depends on fat/lean% and other factors like how my body responds. Iím in no rush. Iím just enjoying the journey of healthy living. My primary goal is not gaining. Don't cross the red line! And sitting w/my toes on it isn't feeling too good either.

How has life changed for you since you've lost the weight?
Which time? lol! Life changes daily, but some of the things on my Ďbeing healthy gratitude listí include:

I have more energy to play with my 7 yr old twins, and I'll live long enough to play w/my grandkids and great grandkids....
My knees and back ache less
My skin doesnít feel tightly stretched and itchy all the time, like a snake preparing to molt
My thighs donít rub together when I walk (they donít get chapped from my pants, and they donít make that awful ďswish-swishĒ noise with every step)
I can cross my legs ďlike a ladyĒ when sitting (at higher weights, my thighs are too fat to sit with my legs crossed at the knees Ė it just doesnít work)
I donít huff and puff walking up a flight of stairs
Iím more confident. Most of the time I feel pretty, occasionally beautiful (and sometimes even sexy)
If I have trouble finding ďmy sizeĒ while shopping, itís the clothes that are too big instead of me being too big for the clothes
There are a billion other things, but most of all Iím just grateful that Iím healthy enough to walk and run and play and laugh and have an amazing life!

If you're maintaining, what's that like for you?
Like losing, only less exciting :lol: As you all know, preventing weight gain takes just as much diligence in exercise and portion control as losing does, only without the ďbig bangĒ rewards. When losing thereís the rush and excitement of change-something new, the thrill of victory when the scale drops another pound or two or three, the anticipation/excitment of having people notice and say, ďwow, youíve lost weight, how'd you do itĒ, you get to dig out your ďskinny clothesĒ from the back of the closet and/or shop for cute clothes in smaller sizesÖ the list goes on. It's hard, but it's also exciting.

Maintaining, by its very definition, is about remaining level Ė being static, stationary. There are obviously rewards during maintenance, but they arenít often of the ďbig bangĒ variety. They are slower, further between, and most of the time much more subtle. The "wedding" was thrilling, the "honeymoon" full of romance and new experiences, but those are over and now itís just day to day life. BUt day to day life is beautiful too.

I have to learn to see beyond the immediate and come to know in my soul that good health, like most worthwhile things in life, is not about ďreaching a destinationĒ but about growing & learning & enjoying the journey. Instead of always racing ahead full-steam screaming ďare we there yet?!Ē, I have to slow down and see the beauty in the little things all around me. That's what the "gratitude" list does - helps me to remember where I came from, what got me here, and why it's worth the effort to stay here.

Do you exercise regularly?
I know itís important, and that if I donít I will gain back all Iíve lost Ė not just the pounds, but also the misery. But Iím not always 100% on it. I believe motivation is a decision not a feeling, but even so, sometimes there are periods when itís really tough to motivate myself. Sometimes I find Iím doing the minimum, and fighting to get myself to do that much. Other times itís easier, feels more natural to work out and eat healthy. When Iím doing it right, I always feel better though!

Most of the long term maintainers Iíve observed get very involved in one or two competitive sports Ė running, biking, weight lifting, kickboxing Ė something that involves other people, scheduled events, and some form of competition. It seems to be a major milestone in maintaining a healthy weight and lifestyle for the long-term. I see this and think, ďI need thatĒ, but as of yet I havenít found something that makes me excited in that way, so for now I just keep plugging away at various cardio and strength workouts Ė elliptical, On-Demand exerciseTV videos, hand weights, floor exercises, stretching, etc. I try to get in at least 20-30 of cardio/toning and 10-15 min of stretching/toning 3 to 6 days a week, and while doing it, I try to really picture myself continuing to do this year after year and feel good about getting stronger and healthier. I want to be a good example for my kids, my grandkids, even my great grandkids!

Now that you're near or at your goal, what are your concerns?
The same as everyone always Ė how do I live in a society where being inactive and overeating are the norm (even encouraged) and live comfortably doing the opposite of that? I know how quickly I can start ignoring the ďsignsĒ and start to gain Ė put on a few lbs, decide not get on the scale ďfor a few days until I get it back down", more bad choices, ignore, gain, deny, gain, whine, gainÖ It's a slippery slope and Iím a pro Ė so I just need to remain diligent and connected to solid support.

Okay, so if this is the short version, maybe I won't post the "long version" :o Anyhow, I'm grateful today to be healthy, and I know I need support to stay that way. So that's why I sought out a place where there are maintainers actively supporting each other. :D I need you!!! :hug:

06-19-2009, 04:05 AM
Hi everyone,

I am brand new to this forum & I’m very fortunate to have found all of you. I’m 37 years old, married, a full-time working mom, & I have a 4-year old daughter. I’ve been maintaining my weight loss of 33 lbs (11 inches lost) for about 8 months now & I’ve been desperately seeking guidance & motivation on weight maintenance with little success prior to this. I’m 5’3.5” & currently at 132 lbs. I am so very excited to have found this forum. I don’t feel like there are enough hours in my day to catch up & read all of your posts & I’ve already learned so much. I look forward to posting a lot more but first I’ll start with my story:

Is this the first time or one of many times that you've tried to lose weight?
Nope. When I attended college I gained the dreaded “freshmen 15 (actually 25)” because of dorm buffets, late night eating due to studying (think – Pizza Hut), indulging in vending machine food such as candy & chips, fast food restaurants, & convenience stores. My normal breakfast was coffee (lots of cream & sugar) & a sugary pastry (i.e. donut w/ chocolate icing was my favorite). This is about the same time I met my future husband, who by the way was an awesome cook, but it didn’t help my waistline since he cooked fatty meals. I remember waking up really tired one day & thinking “I shouldn’t be feeling like this…I’m only in my 20’s!” My weight was 140 lbs. Fortunately in college I had the wisdom to seek out the advice of a nutritionist on campus & she advised I follow the low end of the FDA Food-Pyramid and educate myself to make better food choices. This allowed me to eat whatever I want but to exercise portion control. I also cut down on my sweets & fatty foods. In addition, writing down everything I ate in a steno book, along with my feelings for the day, helped me out tremendously.

I’m not sure exactly what compelled me to start running but it seemed like the perfect sport for a poor college student. So I started running…very slowly. It was especially difficult because where I lived had a lot of hills. I remember my shins hurt so badly after the 1st day but I kept going & I kept going farther & farther. I decided to enter my very 1st 10k race & the thrill of participating in a race with so many people was intoxicating & the fact that I didn’t need to run with anyone else was exciting – I was hooked! There began my “hobby” of entering races for years to come. Through portion control & running I managed to lose 25 lbs to settle at 115 lbs. Although deep down inside I knew it was an unrealistic # I was ecstatic with the results & compliments. Sure enough I didn’t maintain that weight for long. While in college I could walk to my classes, fit running in the morning before my classes, & learned to choose healthier foods at the on-campus food courts & restaurants I frequented. However, life changes: I graduated & started my 1st real job at a bank. Eventually I gained back the weight …albeit slowly.

Suddenly, I was working a full-time job that left little room for running, except in the afternoons – the hardest time for me because I was exhausted at the end of the day. In addition, I was surrounded by unhealthy food (pastries, candies, cake, etc) that customers or my co-workers would bring. Finally, there were new restaurants (Italian) nearby that I wasn’t used to making healthy choices. Although it took a while, slowly but surely over the years I began to gain the weight back & then some. During those years, I still managed to enter races but I would mistakenly say to myself “I run so I can eat” & began making poorer food choices and eating bigger portions. I would still be in denial even as I bought bigger sized clothes & donated my old clothes away. Meanwhile, my husband continued to cook fatty meals (fried chicken cacciatore with lots of pasta & cheese, pork chops with cream sauce, steak, fish baked with mayonnaise & Portuguese sausage, tons of white rice) that we both willingly indulged in.

In addition, our get-togethers with both our family & friends were primarily food centered. We also hosted a lot of bbq’s at our home & food became a means of socialization. We’d all eat to our hearts content & sit around afterwards feeling like beached whales. In addition, our camping parties also consisted of a table laden with unhealthy food choices & minimal veggies if any. Many times I would wake up in the middle of the night with indigestion. I started working for a new company several years later as I hit my 30’s at 130 lbs. Eventually, I gained even more weight at a faster rate & in just a mere 4 years later I was at 145 lbs as the denial, shopping of bigger clothes, & donating of old clothes continued. I would scoff at “heavy” pictures of me and continued to avoid weighing myself. My running was inconsistent at 1-3x a week (if any) as I made up any excuse not to run (rain, tired, no time). Although I’d still enter races, I’d train in short bursts before the race, complete the race in really slow form, & completely stop running afterwards for weeks or months at a time.

During that time, I said to myself since I lost the weight that 1st time in college & I should be able to do it again so I followed the same process: I studied the food pyramid & ate at the lower end, wrote down what I ate & felt as well as my goals, bought healthy foods, and continued to enter races. Yet, I was really frustrated because if the weight came off it was a very slow process. Finally, I would get bored with being healthy & I’d go back to my poor eating habits & run sporadically. This cycle would continue for years as I avoided the scale even though I knew in the back of my mind I was getting heavier.
Additionally, even though I knew how to eat healthy & that I needed to run more, I would falter during my PMS days, when I’d get sick, after a big party or bbq, etc. So I’d fall off the wagon, & stop running & eat like crap – fried foods, pastries – for immediate gratification. It would only be about 1-2 lbs up & down but it was a painful 1-2 lbs and eventually, a few more pounds would show up the scale.

I was finally on my way to losing a few pounds then I got pregnant & gained 40 lbs during my pregnancy – probably a little more than I should have. Of course I completely stopped running & ate whatever I wanted, which included a lot of fatty foods and take-out. I knew it was going to be difficult to lose the weight and I wondered how I would ever fit running into my schedule again after being a mommy.
Someone told me I could start exercising about a month after giving birth. Yeah, right…try a year. I started running but I was still inconsistent. I was really tired from lack of sleep in large part because I was still breastfeeding & my baby didn’t “sleep through the night” like everyone else’s. However, I did start on weight watchers with some co-workers so we could all provide support to each other. Although I didn’t really follow the plan to the tee, I learned a lot of information about portion control & especially liked the weekly weigh-ins as I slowly started to lose some weight.

Finally after I weaned my daughter off I put back on some 5-lbs within month & that’s when I decided I really needed to get serious about it. I had ballooned to 165 lbs, I was exhausted all the time, and I really hated myself in pictures. In addition, I couldn’t believe I had to buy a size 12 pants! Although they were loose I was determined not to go up another size. In addition, my tops were edging close from medium to the large sizes. One day I was complaining to someone at work about how too tired I was to exercise, & she replied “That’s how it is being a mother”. I reflected on this for a second & said to myself “NOT ME” & I made a commitment to start running again but this time more consistently. I watched what I ate & I was finally running 4x/week for at least 40 minutes. Slowly but surely I lost 10 lbs – about a pound a week during the summer months & I was down to 155 lbs. However, this plateau would last through the end of the year & I was got really frustrated.

I knew I had to do some strength training but as I researched on-line, I became overwhelmed with the amount of information out there, got easily frustrated, & kept putting it off. I never thought I’d ever hire a personal trainer but it was the best investment I’ve ever made. One day my husband told me an acquaintance we knew just got certified as a trainer & I knew I had to take this opportunity. During my first session in February 2008 she showed me proper form, tweaked my workouts (cut down running to 3x/week & added jumping rope 1x/week), & provided me a new wealth of information both on exercise & nutrition. I was on my way to losing the rest of my baby weight….

Are you where you want to be?
Yes, I’m currently at 132 lbs (-33 lbs), which is what feels “right” for my body. My initial goal weight was 135 lbs & I actually went down to 128 lbs & finally settled at this weight. Although it’s been the greatest feeling ever I know I still have a long road ahead of me because the hard work is just beginning. As time passes, I do find myself more at ease with my healthy eating habits & workouts.

How has life changed for you since you've lost the weight?
I have so much more confidence, strength, & I have energy to keep up with my 4-yr old daughter. I also feel more relaxed, partly because I started practicing yoga too. I’ve been shopping a lot more too…which doesn’t really help my budget but I truly believe non-food rewards are important. That said I have a lot more pride about what I wear. I no longer choose loose, black clothes to cover myself. I’ve been choosing clothing that flatters my body in different colors & prints (I’m a size 6). I’ve also starting using more accessories & jewelry.

If you're maintaining, what's that like for you?
After reaching my goal weight, it was an adjustment not focusing on lowering the # on the scale anymore.

To keep on track, I make sure I incorporate many of my own little “healthy habits tricks” everyday. For instance, I make sure I eat every 3-4 hours so I’m not starving. I also eat when I’m 8/10ths full so I don’t feel like a beached whale after meals.

I also plan a lot prior to my “food trigger” moments. For example, prior to going to a restaurant I peruse the menu beforehand on-line so I can make healthy choices. As I face these situations more often, I’m not as nervous about them as I used to be because my confidence grows in learning to deal more effectively with these situations as I face them head on.

I’m not perfect & there are times where I eat more than I’ve planned. However, unlike the past I get back on the wagon & eat lighter at the next meal & continue with my workouts & even add an extra workout to compensate.

Compliments from others were nice at first but now I’m over it. I’m glad because I don’t need them to keep going. I’m actually kind of irritated when people ask me how I did it & when I begin to tell them they start having this glazed look in their eyes because they don’t want to hear that it’s hard work…they want a magic pill. I believe a lot of people don’t take me seriously because of comments such as “you’ve always been a runner” or “you weren’t that heavy”, etc (I have a small frame). Nevertheless, people are surprised when I tell them how much weight I lost then I get the “it doesn’t look like you had to lose that much” or “you weren’t heavy for that long” (my daughter turned 3 when I finally lost the baby weight). It’s almost as if they think I can’t possibly understand how it is to really be overweight because I wasn’t that big. Or maybe it’s because when I was really big it wasn’t for that long so it couldn’t have really had it that bad or it wasn’t that difficult for me to lose the weight.

It was a lot of hard work & although it gets a little easier it still is a lot of work. People don’t realize there is no “magical place” once you reach your goal weight where you can eat whatever you stop exercising – unless you want to gain the weight back.

Do you exercise regularly?
Yes, I have to admit, while most people struggle with deciding whether or not to workout, I find I spend more time planning my workouts in advance so when I get up in the morning I just do it. I don’t waste my time thinking up excuses. I know exercise is great for my body & I’ll feel awesome afterwards & I’ll have a better day. I think back to the times when I didn’t work out & remember telling myself if I ever get fit again I will never take my fitness for granted because I did not want to feel the way I did this very moment. I workout every other day for at least 40-60 minutes as follows with a combination of cardio (running, jump rope, stationary bike, fitness DVDs or elliptical) & strength-training (free weights, bands, or medicine ball). I also practice yoga once a week. I do not particularly enjoy strength training so I follow my “10-minute rule” & just do it for 10 minutes (most of the time I fit in at least 20 minutes).

Now that you're at your goal, what are your concerns?
#1: I’m worried about becoming overconfident & allowing the weight to creep up on me slowly like I did over the years.
However, I have tools in place that I didn’t before to keep me focused: “just fit” clothes I try on every month, I track my workouts on an excel spreadsheet, I have a calendar at home & at work with colorful stickers indicating my workouts. In addition, I enter my daily weight in the google15 – just curious if anyone does this? I used to keep track of my food on fitday but slowly weaned myself off (although I still log on & write my feelings in the journal). I think I got a bit obsessive about logging every food item & although it helped me during my weight loss period, I realized I eat pretty much the same foods on a daily basis. If I do gain the weight back (my magic maximum # is 135 lbs) then I’m back on fitday. To compromise, I made an excel spreadsheet cheat sheet indicating the calories of the foods I normally eat including cheat foods so I won’t “forget” & keeps me on track (you can tell I love excel spreadsheets).

Sometimes I worry about not being able to keep up with my workout schedule. To counter this, I tell myself as life changes, I need to be flexible. When I look back at when I regained the weight, I realized I didn’t have a back-up plan when life “happens” even though I saw it coming (i.e. job changes). I know life will change & I may not be able to have the exact workout schedule I do now but I’m confident I can find a way to fit in my workouts in one way shape or form.

I also realized my workouts need to be varied & if I want to run for a long time & prevent injuries I need to cross-train too. As I mentioned earlier, at least once a week I practice yoga and try other forms of cardio – jump rope, kickboxing, elliptical, or stationary bike. I also like taking classes at the gym at least a few times a year with friends to learn something new. This year I want to try Pilates & kickboxing.

In addition, I am very fortunate also to have a very supportive husband who understands working out is very important to me. He oftentimes takes care of our daughter so I can workout. Fortunately, he’s finally on the same page as me when it comes to choosing to live healthy. For years he had a high metabolism & I swear he could eat fried chicken every other day and not gain a pound. However, his metabolism finally starting slowed down & when he went to the doctor for a routine physical (which took me years of prodding), he received a scolding from his doctor due to his poor triglyceride, cholesterol, & blood pressure readings. So he decided on his own to start working out more consistently & watching what he ate & cooking healthier for both of us.

Another very important attitude change that will help me to keep on track is my mantra “I don’t want to take pills when I get older.” I see too many people use this as the easy way out. Genetically, I have a high cholesterol but I’m determined not to have to take a statin to keep it under control because I believe I can control it with a healthy lifestyle (incidentally, I have a cousin who takes a statin for cholesterol & now has a liver problem).

My goal when I turn 40 in 2 years is to be as fit as I am now or better =)

06-19-2009, 11:01 AM
Hi workingmom! Glad you've joined us and thanks for posting "your story" so we can get to know you a bit. Please jump into the forum wherever you feel comfortable - we have a weekly maintainers chat, food & exercise accountability thread, and a bunch of other threads here, and there are many forums filled with interesting and supportive people all over this board. Glad you've found us! :wel3fc:

Shannon in ATL
06-22-2009, 11:51 AM
Hi there workingmom! Welcome! This forum has been very helpful to me trying to maintain my weight loss, and there are a lot of great people here with amazing success stories to answer questions and provide support! :) Like Megan said, check out the threads and jump in wherever you feel comfortable!

Mrs Snark
06-22-2009, 11:56 AM
Hi workingmom! Welcome!

07-20-2009, 10:48 PM
Hi everyone, I'm new to this. I have been visiting this website for over a year, but never actually registered to it. Now I wanted to come on here and introduce myself.

I am 25 years old. I just graduated from law school, and am studying to take the bar exam, which is next week. Growing up I had always thought of myself as the "chunky kid" or just plain fatter than everyone else. I always felt like something was wrong with me, and I focused way too much on it. I look at the pictures now of what I looked like back then, and I was a healthy weight. I have always been super athletic. I think my problem stems from the way I was raised. My parents made my weight the center of attention. I think they had good intentions, but went about it the wrong way. My mother was concerned for our health and just never wanted us to get unhealthy. However, her constant telling me to stop eating and persuading me that I was no longer hungry, always made me think I was ugly or fat. After my mom passed away when I was 13 years old, my dad increased his pressure on me. My father has always mentioned that I could lose another 5lbs. After my mother died, I did not know how to handle anything. I ended up losing drastic amounts of weight, that I now look back on and think was unhealthy. I thought that was my only way to cope.

Anyways, speeding things up to the more present time. I have always been a healthy weight and very athletic, though I believed otherwise. I started gaining some weight in college. I started college at about 112lbs. I maintained about 125lbs most of college. My senior year, I shot up to 140lbs. I started trying to diet, but kept failing. I think my whole life has been a diet. I stopped eating. I would starve myself, and I would do excessive amount of exercise. The most I would ever manage to lose was about 5lbs. Then I would hear my father tell me it was good, but 5 more was better. After a short while, I would give up and gain so much more weight. I started law school in August 2006. I had been with my boyfriend for only a short while and he made me feel so liberated, and not worried about my weight. At the end of that first year I was up to 170lbs. I tried to diet and went down to 160lbs. I was so happy for my progress, but it just was not enough for others. I gained it all back feeling like a total failure. In March 2008, I had gone up to 186.6. My father constantly mentioned my need to lose weight. For some strange reason, I felt liberated at 186.6. I felt like I had no cares and worries. I felt great for the first time in my life. I then started bumping into people that once knew me at 112lbs. I started getting a lot of comments. I also got engaged in April 2008, and figured it was about time I got serious. I then discovered this website. This website helped me immensely. Though I never posted until today, it was a source of encouragement and strength. I realized that weight could be lost and health gained by being healthy. It was possible if there was healthy food and healthy exercise. I started on a very healthy exercise and food plan. I checked calories, but never really strictly counted calories. I never went hungry. I ate to make sure I got what I needed. I worked out about 5-6 times a week for about 1-2hrs a day depending on how much time I had. I ended up losing 64lbs. I originally set a goal for 51lbs to get down to 135. When I hit 135 back in January I adjusted my goal weight to 118. I managed to get down to 123lbs the day of my wedding (April 4, 2009), and felt fantastic. I never have felt so great in my life. I managed to drop down to 122 right after my wedding and maintained it for a little while. A few weeks ago I started my incline again. I feel like such a failure at times, but I decided to visit this website again. I thought it was time to post because I needed encouragement.

I now weigh 132lbs. I cannot believe I let myself gain 10lbs in about 2-3weeks. I thought this time was going to be different. I told myself I was not going to gain weight. I never was going to let myself go above 130lbs. I must admit though, that i have no stuck to plan. I have no worked out since I started studying for the bar exam back in May. I have stopped eating healthy. I just can't seem to stop eating. I am overly stressed out about the bar exam, and my only refuge is food. I came on here to get encouragement because I do not want to relapse further. Though my father was so happy I had lost 64lbs, everyday he constantly reminded me how hard it was to drop weight. Everyday he reminds me of how much I have to eat less. When I was down at 122lbs he asked me everyday how much I weigh. I just do not know how to deal with all the pressures, and still manage to maintain. I hope I am able to get myself back on plan.

I know this was merely supposed to be an introduction, and if you read this far, thank you. I am sorry for the long post. it has just been one of those days. I ate everything in sight, I'm studying non-stop for this bar exam, and I am overly stressed out with my weight and life.

Okay I shall go back to studying now. Thanks for listening.

10-10-2009, 12:56 AM
I've been enjoying the posts and support of 3FC this year. I started my weight lose on Jan 20--inaugeration day. I wanted to bring "change" to my own life. But my biggest reason was I sincerely believed that weight loss would help the pain in my knees which had been developing the past year or two. I also have had back issues that core strengthening would help.

I kept a journal that reminded me of the national issues going on with a new president that sometimes paralleled my own daily work to lose weight. There were days when I had my entire agenda on track. There were days when it seemed there were too many outside issues defeating my serious efforts. I found it fun and interesting to see the similarities.

I decided in January that I hoped to get to my max BMI (145). By May, I'd had enough consistent weekly success to consider lowering my goal weight. I planned myself to lose one pound a week--through injury, illness, busy-ness, and strange outside forces. I ended up losing about 1.5-2 pounds per week. Mostly because I walked many many steps but never "counted" that as exercise. I only counted the burned calories of my early morning dvd workouts. Anything else was to hedge my math for each day's calories.

I ended up targeting 138 and looked like I'd make it by my vacation home. I came darn close at 140. On vacation, I hoped to enjoy some delicious food while keeping to my fitness intensity of the past couple months (1 1/2 hours of intense cardio, five days a week).

Unfortunately, when I returned from vacation I ended up in the ER with what now looks like my first bout with sciatica. I'd been struggling with my latest hip pain issues for a month. Vacation, running for miles and hours on concrete, and train travel did me in. I injured an ab muscle trying to flip with my injury. My sciatic nerve was causing numbness, severe tight hamstring, and weird walking gait. I also had the pleasure of experiencing a horrible rash over both my nicely toned arms that was horrible. It's called KP and a lifelong condition that is flaring up--both my sons have it too (but no flare-ups thankfully).

My office work continued to be intense and demanding. I was on daily muscle relaxers, pain meds, constant carrot juice (yuck), and evening baths with sugar/sesameseed oil exfoilation.

It's been a month and I'm slowly recovering my former strength. I've been off most meds for two weeks. I've been constantly stretching and working my hamstring and entire leg. My gait is much improved. I'm getting used to the numbness. My KP (skin thing) is completely gone. This week I have done my regular dvd routine (with the next lower weight for hand weights---5 instead of 8 pounds). Tomorrow I hope to continue this and insert my normal ab routine too.

After all this...I've gone up and down three pounds. Around my TOM, I had maxed to 144. I have binged but I've compensated with a low cal next day. I'm now able to exercise more.

I feel safe now to know that I can have serious health crisis and not turn back in to that heavy woman I was last year. I can maintain--and lose the last few pounds to perfectly fit my dream dress for the upcoming inaugeration party for our incumbant mayor (there are no other candidates this year).

For me, clothes to fit into are serious guides to my maintenance. I am dumping all my larger sized clothes. My "save everything" mindset is allowing me for once to give every single non-fitting clothes to Goodwill. I will never need them for any reason ever again--no matter what.

ēIs this the first time or one of many times that you've tried to lose weight?
-----This is my first time to combine exercise and a food plan (not a diet). I never really knew enough to know the connections of food, calories, exercise. I learned volumetrics just before I started in January and I felt supremely informed and prepared to be successful.

ēAre you where you want to be?
---If I can really believe I wear size 6 & 8, then maybe I'm where I want to be. I do want to fit solidly in size 6 so I can more reliably shop for clothes.

ēHow has life changed for you since you've lost the weight?
---I'm so much more powerful. I am defending myself to women who normally can be very passive agressive with me. Yesterday, I told a 60 yr-old woman at a group meeting that I will not take her comment and I feel attacked for no reason. (Later everyone said they were so glad I told her off. She's always cruel to people). I have committed myself to a PhD program starting next Fall (2010) because I feel so empowered and able to handle everything.

ēIf you're maintaining, what's that like for you?
---I have tried maintaining--basically--for two months. I feared reaching goal. I feared it. A 3FC supporter suggested that I keep creating goals to target. Right now it's the very slow application process for the PhD program. I haven't suddenly gained 40 pounds. I'm still plugging along. I do see that I need to count calories. Luckily, I'm perfectly happy eating volumetrics for life. I also love the meals I eat. So, I see this process continuing. My binging is an issue that needs to be examined and look for some solutions to reveal themselves. 3fatchicks will be important for some time.

ēDo you exercise regularly?
---I am working back up to five times a week. I want to get down to 138. My next goal after that is to increase muscle and reduce fat percentages.

ēNow that you're near or at your goal, what are your concerns?
My binges are my biggest concern. I do not feel that my knees, sciatica, hip and medical issues do not slow me down. I've had these issues all year. I only find them motivating and reminders that I lost weight and maintain my fitness level because I must have core strength and leg muscle.

And anything else that you might want to share with us!

I learned and continue to reflect on my visit to family after weight loss. My sisters practically ignored it. No one in my family took a photo of me (except my sons when I asked them). One friend who lives near us here (who was visiting her family at the same time I visited mine) asked about photos and I told her no one had taken anything. She snapped a few for me.

When I talked with my dad about my almost complete application PhD program and the very positive support the PhD chair continues to give me, my dad told me I should instead go teach an evening class at the local community college. He later said my niece (who almost was arrested this past Spring for her wild ways) was brilliant and likely to be able to get a doctorate.

I finally was able to place my support network where it belonged--inside of me. I can't rely on family, friends, or anyone. I need to review each success, say each thing I'm grateful for, and continue my maintenance. I am strong now and practically pain free. This is maintenance--living and continuing.

Shannon in ATL
10-12-2009, 11:54 AM
Welcome to maintenance, iaradajnos! And congrats on your loss!

This forum has been so much help to me during the maintenance process. Everyone is supportive and helpful, and have answered so many crazy questions from me! I hope you find some of that same support here! I'm sorry you don't get it from your family. :hug:

What a fantastic story you have! What are you going to study in your program?

10-14-2009, 09:32 PM
Oh, thank you. I do find so much support even while lurking. Sometimes I'm reading a message by someone that really is asking my question or revealing my own issues. The replies and conversations are so helpful. I just think there's so much here.

I tried to consider a PhD program about 2 yrs ago but didn't. Last year, I'd loss some weight and I stood up for the entire office and put myself on the limb to report a very abusive boss. Five people had quit and it looked like nothing would happen. After my report with the CEO, the boss was fired. Now, this year I'm more than empowered--I'm anatomically changed to allow me to pursue the impossible. I'm going for a PhD in Public Policy to focus on vulnerable populations.

A very good friend of mine was about 230 pounds or so last year. She had been about this weight or more for the past six or seven years taht we've known each other. She has lost so much weight. Well, recently she was called in by her CEO of her company where they asked her if she would tell them about her direct supervisor. They had lost four employees because of him. After a 1 1/2 hour meeting, the CEO asked if she would consider taking on that key director's position.

Losing weight adds so many valuable changes in life. It's more than getting healthy. And for me, that was my greatest hope. I was (and still am) living in pain. Getting in shape has helped me to manage and reduce the pain. Losing weight adds even more.

It's finding value within and around you. It's prioritizing life, direction, and purpose. These skills grow from within the process of losing or shedding the covering to get to the core.

Very glad to be here, Shannon.

My name is Sonja.

Bright Angel
11-24-2009, 12:28 PM
For the past 4 years I have been working to maintain within my Goal Weight Maintenance Range, which is between 115-105 lbs. :angel:

I developed a weight-problem at puberty...which for me was age 9.
I am now over 60 years old.
During my lifetime, I've lost 100+ lbs four separate times and regained it 3 times.
I've been on almost every diet and belonged to most diet-clubs.
I spent 5 very active years in Overeaters Anonymous.
I spent 20 years in therapy addressing this (as well as other) issues.
I spent time in an outpatient eating disorders hospital program dealing with binge eating.

17 years ago, after the OA, the therapy, and the eating disorders program, I had a gastric bypass,
which did not remove any intestine so that every calorie I eat is still absorbed.
At that time I weighed 271 lbs. I lost to 160 lbs,
maintained there for several years and then began to regain weight.

At 190 lbs in September 2004, I began using a food journaling program, Diet Power,
to log every bite of food I took, and began, on my own, working to eat approximately
1000 to 1200 calories per day with a daily calorie average of around 1250.
After an average weight loss of about 1 lb per week for a 16 month period
I reached my goal of 115 lbs.
Since then, I've been working to maintain in a range near that number.
I still log all of my food into my software journal every day,
and work to keep my calorie averages low enough to maintain my goal weight.

My Height is 5'0", and I'm over 60, so maintaining a light weight has not been an easy task.
I am in excellent health, and take no medication.

I now have extensive personal data records which are contained in my software program.
They show that during the past 4 years of maintenance, my calorie burn has dropped lower every year.
This is despite the fact that I do frequent and consistent low-impact exercise.
The first maintenance year, 2006, I was burning a daily average of around 1400 calories.
In 2008, that daily average burn went down to around 1250 calories.
In 2009, that daily average burn went down to around 1080 calories. :censored:
I see no basis for this, and I'm hoping it is a temporary phenomenon.
Even so, I am determined to continue to maintain my current size and weight.

12-28-2009, 10:29 PM
Hi. I have lost 50 pounds over the last 18 months. I didn't follow a specific diet, but cut out the junk, added lots of fruits & veg, and started a modest exercise program (mostly walking). I found this forum when I was looking on info on maintenance, and have been lurking for a month or two. I hit my goal a couple of weeks ago, and decided to join the forum, because I am concerned about gaining the weight back and want some accountability in case I backslide. I have already learned a lot by browsing through the threads.

Is this the first time or one of many times that you've tried to lose weight? One of many times, but the first time in about 20 years. I dieted a lot in my teens and twenties (I'm 41 now) but always tried very low cal diets, got cranky and weak, and went off them before I could lose 10 pounds.

Are you where you want to be? Not sure. I have a BMI of 22.1, but some weight-loss tables say I could lose 10 more pounds to be optimal. Nevertheless, I am going to maintain for at least 6 months before I decide if I want to continue.

How has life changed for you since you've lost the weight? Feel so much better. I lost weight for health reasons and I have much more energy and stamina and my general mood and outlook on life has improved.

If you're maintaining, what's that like for you? Hard. Have only been doing it a week or so. Not sure how many calories I can add.

Do you exercise regularly? I log 10,000 pedometer steps a day (some jogging but mostly walking). Occasional calisthenics for resistance training.

Now that you're near or at your goal, what are your concerns? Losing sight of my goal. Losing healthy habits. Binging. Backsliding. Going out to eat (haven't been to a restaurant in 6 mo!). Trigger foods.

12-30-2009, 02:35 PM
Belated welcome to BrightAngel, and welcome to HoldingSteady! :welcome:

Congrats on your loss, and please come join us on the maintainer's chat thread!

lora m
05-04-2010, 10:15 AM
* Is this the first time or one of many times that you've tried to lose weight?

One of many, although most times were short term and not sustained. It is the second time I have dieted for a sustained period to lose 45lbs plus, and both times I did that using the Weightwatchers points system. Last time I stayed at or under my goal weight for a year, although as I continued to drop weight during that time slowly, then started regaining, it's debatable whether I truly learned to maintain. This time around I went to the doctor about pitting edema on my ankles and breathlessness after doing small things like climbing stairs. Since my dad has heart failure, I was worried about that possibility. My doc told me to lose weight and sent me for various hospital tests. The tests came out normal, but that was such a huge wake-up call that if I didn't have serious problems now, I'd probably get them later. That caused the *click* in my head which got my motivation back.

* Are you where you want to be?

Earlier, shortly before going on maintenance, I said I felt quite comfortable where I was. However, 'comfortable' seems to be relative with me. I lost some more weight after going on maintenance, most of it in the first 3 months after goal. As of the time of editing this I am at least 15lb lower, and prefer being the size I am now. I can still see areas I would like to improve but I have some loose skin and saggy bits. I'm not sure that more weight loss is going to help with that. Give me a time machine and I might finally be satisfied with how I look. ;-)

* How has life changed for you since you've lost the weight?

Physically, I felt older than my years before this. Now that I am fitter I feel younger again, and I don't suffer much from the aches and pains and bad circulation I was getting. Although I get cyclical water retention I haven't had swollen ankles since. I love having more choice of clothes and generally feel a bit better about myself. I like that my cooking has improved this time around, as I wanted to have a good repertoire of healthy recipes so that I wouldn't get tempted to eat out or get takeout too often. I live in a very hilly area and one thing that pleased me recently was walking up a particularly steep hill from my local train station and not feeling like I was struggling every step of the way. :)

* If you're maintaining, what's that like for you?

It feels very similar to losing the weight, except I'm not so haunted by the impatience I used to suffer when the scale doesn't move down. I still feel better about a loss than a gain though. My routine of counting points and keeping an eye on my weight is still the same, only involving a little more to eat. I don't intend to stop weighing myself and nor do I intend to stop counting points yet. I have moments when I wish I could be 'normal' so that I wouldn't need to rely on counting anything to control my food intake, but I don't trust my weight not to creep up if I abandon it at this stage.

* Do you exercise regularly?

Ahem. I *aim* to exercise at 5 days a week, not to any high level, just regularly. I have grown more inconsistent though, and I now notice my strength and cardiovascular fitness isn't as good as it was months ago. For possibly the millionth time I'm working on the regularity again.

* Now that you're near or at your goal, what are your concerns?

I am worried that I'll get back into old patterns of emotional eating and drinking, particularly when under pressure. Last time I genuinely thought I'd made permanent changes to my habits, but as soon as I started going through a stressful period in my life with some financial problems, everything fell apart. I didn't revert to good habits once my life became more stable again. So I don't know if I can ever get complacent.

05-04-2010, 10:43 AM
:welcome: Lora! Congrats on your loss! Please feel free to join us in the weekly chat thread, or any of the other threads on the living maintenance forum.

joyful retiree
07-13-2010, 10:17 AM
Hello Maintainers,

I'm not quite to goal yet, but have been lurking, and decided to introduce myself.

I have lost weight off and on all of my adult life, and each time reverted to old habits and regained all I'd lost and they brought friends with them. So each time I lost weight, I had more to lose than the next time.

I have lost 53.5 lbs. and have 4.5 lbs. to go to reach goal.

I feel and look better since losing the weight.

I do not regularly exercise in the way one normally thinks of exercizing, because I have Rheumatoid Arthritis, which has impaired my ability to function, causes pain, and depletes energy. The exercizing I do is low impact and focuses on maintaining function as much as possible.

My biggest concern as I near my goal is that I might repeat all my past mistakes and gain it back. In the past I lost weight rapidly & had the infamous "diet mentality". I just kept going back to my previous WOE. This time my weight loss has been very slow. It has taken me 3 years to get to this point, & I have been focusing on learning to be a good steward of my body & learning to eat in a way I can live with for the rest of my life. I am very hopeful this time, but know I need all the support I can get to maintain. For me maintaining is so much harder than losing.

11-07-2010, 10:33 AM
I've been at my Goal Weight - I'm a member of TOPS weight loss group - for about 3 months. As I look back at my childhood in San Diego, amongst many very thin children (by todays' standards) I was usually the slightly larger child. I remember being 5'5" in the 6th grade, and 120#. I'd get the occasional comment from classmates, like "wow", but the comments that really hurt were from family and friends. My grandmother called me "fattie". My sister said I had a big butt. I remember glances from grown men who looked at me as if I were a grown woman. Also, the Barbie Doll and Twiggie came into my life just as I was beginning to develop. I know in my head that these things combined to make my own body image somewhat twisted. Before it had a name, I was anorexic. I got down to 95# in Junior High. My mother was worried, so we moved far away from family and friends. I quickly gained 45#. I would stay in our apartment, skipping school, and just eat. In High School, I was my current height of 5'7", and 160#. My doctor kept telling me I had to lose weight. I should be 125#. I hated going to the doctor and hearing that. I was already miserable and friendless. Many years later, I'm at my goal weight of 150#. Still 5'7". I think my body looks clothes, anyway, but I'm still not sure. I've gone from a size 18 at 180# to a size 10. That's my history. I know I will always have a problem with food. I try to eat healthily - I eat out less than 5 times a year - but sneak snacks as if I am still a child. I consider exercise a blessing. I work hard at it, and am good at it for my age of 58.

07-25-2011, 04:13 PM
Hi - I'm thrilled to find an established forum of fellow maintainers! :carrot:

Is this the first time or one of many times that you've tried to lose weight?
This is the first time I've attempted a sustainable attempt to lose weight. I have had a weight problem since early childhood. Apart from a few unsustainable attempts at dieting in my early 20s, I continued to steadily gain weight. By the time I reached my mid-40s, I weighed 100kg (about 220 pounds).

Are you where you want to be?
Yep. I've lost 40kg (about 90 pounds) bringing my BMI to 23-point-something, and will reach my eight-year "thiniversary" later in 2011. Best of all, I'm maintaining steadily.

How has life changed for you since you've lost the weight?
It's changed in so many ways! I feel completely different - far more confident and energetic, and people treat me very differently (that was an unpleasant realisation at first).

If you're maintaining, what's that like for you?
I've found maintenance to be a part-time job. The longer you do it, the easier it gets, but sometimes I feel I'm on a treadmill - no pun intended! I'm aware that I need to stay on track, but sometimes, to be perfectly honest, I do get a bit fed up with it.

Do you exercise regularly?
I exercise for about 15.5 hours a week (8 hours of which are intense exercise). That 15.5 hours includes warming-up, stretching, prehab-type exercises, and other activities just for the fun of it such as yoga, Pilates, tai chi and hiking with my husband.

Because I've built up considerable muscle mass, I no longer need that much exercise to maintain my weight, but I do it anyway because I want to improve on all fronts - strength, flexibility and cardiovascular output and endurance, as well as improve my form and skills. I have a very stressful full-time job and exercise is both a hobby and means of stress reduction for me.

Now that you're near or at your goal, what are your concerns?
I guess my main concern is finding time to fit in my exercise regime, for example when I need to work late night after night, or work on the weekends.

My secondary concern is that, since I took up kettlebell training a few months ago, my body is changing shape very dramatically, and my pants are all baggy. I know that's a nice problem to have, but it's messing with my self-image a bit. I feel like I did when I first lost weight and sometimes didn't recognise my own reflection. But as I say, it's a nice problem to have... :lol:

My before and after pix are published on another forum, but I'll wait until my husband has taken some "after-after" pix before publishing them here.

07-28-2011, 07:25 PM
Wow.Glad you posted this redpanda.I'm 7lbs away from goal and have had major anxieties about maintaining. It's nice to have a heads-up from women like yourself ; your post is a nice synopsis of many that I've read.It's interesting you talk a lot about exercise but not about food.I infer that,for you, the fact you exercise a lot helps with eating what you want within reason? I love the exercise part of my weight loss and health improvements as well.But I love good food too! I've learned that a smaller amount is as satisfying as a mega plate..go figure.
Thanks again for the post redpanda.

07-29-2011, 05:42 AM
It's interesting you talk a lot about exercise but not about food.I infer that,for you, the fact you exercise a lot helps with eating what you want within reason?

Hi Singing!

I've figured out the right food/exercise balance for me. For me, maintenance is down to 50/50 diet and exercise. I certainly don't starve myself, but I'm very mindful of what I eat. I eat roughly within a set calorie range every day and my diet is very "clean" - no sugar, processed food, refined carbs etc. The good part is that stuff doesn't call to me - well, at least not very often!

I've also think that exercise is necessary, not just to burn calories, but to keep our metabolisms humming along at a good level.

:strong: :boxing: :ebike:

Shannon in ATL
07-29-2011, 11:22 AM
Hi RedPanda! Welcome!

Sounds like you are doing a great job with the maintenance road. :)

Look forward to getting to know you!

08-01-2011, 10:25 AM

I have been lurking for a long while and figured it was time to introduce myself as I am 7 POUNDS AWAY FROM GOAL and have felt the urge to post replies to threads and have refrained from doing so, well because I have not formally introduced myself.

I need to post a profile picture, maybe some before's and afters, and will try to do so soon, but in the meantime, here is my story in a nutshell.

during my childhood and teenage years I went from being a skinny baby and preschooler, to being a chubby fifth grader, to being slim in middle school (though I felt fat compared to my peers) to gaining a bunch of weight in highschool. Around ninth grade I went to a nutritionist and started going to a gym and lost a bit of weight, though that lasted for about a year maybe two.

Gained a bunch of weight the first year in college, made it to around 160 pounds (I am 5 feet 2 inches). then did Jenny Craig. lost 20 pounds with the program. went on to lose about 5 more on my own, thoguh the 135 weight lasted for about a week or so. but was able to keep the 140 for about 2 to 3 years. developed bulimia unfortunately. I would binge and make myself throw up or exercise excesively. then several lifestyle changes happened i.e. got a job out of college, did my MBA, got married (to a chef, can you imagine the yummy yet fattening meals we had every night :)) , bought a house, had two kids. so, ended up at 225 when pregnant with my second child. lost to 191 on my own after the birth, then went back to Jenny Craig. lost about 20 again with them, then went down to 147 on my own. but... i did it the wrong way... though the bingeing did not come back, I did go back to purging, and though i did not make myself throw up, I started abusing laxatives and eating very little or at leat not balanced diet, and this time I wasnt exercising. the 147 weight lasted about a week, but I was able to keep it around 150 for about a yer or so. then another lifestyle changed, we moved from Puerto Rico to northern Virginia, so sold the house, bought a new house, started a very rewarding but stress filled job, have an almost 2 hour a day commute, etc. etc. etc. and over the last 4 years managed to go up to 201.6 (except for a brief period in 2008 where I managed to drop 10 pounds or so for a vacation).

So this January/February several things happened which I consider my triggers: I broke a camping chair (yes, it was a 4 year old camping chair, but still, I am sure it was my weight), I got a (false positive turne out to be) pre-hypertension result which scared the heck out of me as there is history of cardiovascular disease/diabetes in my family, I realized that come Spring/Summer I would have NO clothes to fit me and I would have to either get a new wardrobe or spend the following seasons uncomfortable and being the fat mom at the pool, and of course, going over the 200 pound mark, yikes. So I decided I needed to do something. I realized I had forgotten how to eat and i remembered I had done well instructured plans (jenny craig) but this time around i did not want to (nor had time to) go to weekly appointments, etc with a counselor so I decided to try nutrisystem instead (less expensive too, whcih was a concern for me). Started February 22 (right after the holiday!). My plan was to follow the eating plan to a T and exercise at home in the treadmill every morning. I did strict Nutrisystem for 2 months and for the last 3 months or so I have been folloiwng their meal plan but wiht my own food OR eating what my handsome husband makes BUT in tiny portions or with certain substitutions. so while it was tough initially, now I dont feel deprived at all. I have done away with sugar and artificial sweeteners. I only drink water all day and one cup of black coffee (no creamer or sweetener) in the morning, 7 servings of fruits and veggies a day, low GI carbs, high protein, etc. I ahve been on the treadmill every y since, for 30 minutes, except for three days in which I was still physically active otehrwise (either went to a park and rode the bike, were in an amusement park logging in thousands of steps, etc. I started this journey with the goal of it being a healthy one (which has been so far, no binging, purging, starving, etc but rather healthy diet and exercise and moderation, and vitamins, etc.) and that it woudl be a lifestyle change (not getting any younger here and dont want to be a diabetic ever which is my biggest fear).

anyway, I am down to 143 as of yesterday (after 5+ months) and I had originally set my goal weight at 136 (which would be 65 pounds lost) since that is the highest weight in the normal range according to BMI. after I get there I plan to continue doing what I am doing (1,200 to 1,300 cals a day plus the half hour exercise) for a bit longer to see if I can drop down to the low 130s for a buffer. If i lose into the 120s then that will be the frosting on the cake since I have not seen that weight since 7th grade. but somehow this time I feel that I could do it since I am doing it the healthy way and not the crash and burn way. my husband does like a bit of meat on the bones, and I am feeling pretty comfortable right now with my current weight, so goal is close!

i have been reading old threads here in maintainers, (since I know in the past my challenge rather than losing has been maintaining the weight loss) and if there is something I have learned is that maintaining looks just like losing, which is why i have made sure the plan i have is sustainable for me in the long run and i am pretty confident it is. i am not blind to the challenges that may come my way, but i have made a vow to myself to never be in denial again thus weighing myself twice daily (works for me despite normal fluctuations, i prefer to understand the normal fluctuations and embrace them :)).

my biggest challenge so far comes this week during a week long busienss trip (happens annually and usually gain weight during it) but this year I am more than mentally prepared and have a plan to succeed, at the minimum maintain, and maybe even lose. i know where the fiteness center is, where the supermarket is, have checked restaurants menus online, etc.

so, i am sorry for the looong drawn out post, but I think it helped me to put all of this in "writing" and wanted you to konw who I am for when I started posting. again, my plan to lose the last 7 pounds and then maintain is to continue watching the cals, stick to low GI carbs, high protein, lots of water, daily exercise, daily weigh in, etc. just continue doing what I am doing.

thanks for all your wisdom and support!


Shannon in ATL
08-19-2011, 02:36 PM

08-19-2011, 06:58 PM
Thanks Shannon!

09-06-2011, 09:42 AM
Hi, I'm Val. I've been maintaining for about 3.5 months now, just found 3FC while looking for a Beck Diet Solution forum.

09-06-2011, 10:19 AM
Welcom Val! I read the beck diet solution book and it definitely helped me change my way of thinking about food, specially realizing that hunger is not an emergency, etc. Congrats on your success and maintenance!

12-06-2011, 06:10 PM
Hi everybody. I've been lurking around here since mid summer. I was at the tale end of another round of Weight loss, and knew I needed to get my head wrapped around maintaining, even before I lost all the weight. All of you have been very helpful.:D

I'm a WW lifetime member, 2nd time around. I've been maintaining since September. :carrot:

My mother has always been heavy and my sisters and I have to ever watchful, we don't wind up weighing 250+ with all her medical conditions. EEk. Diabetes, blood pressure, c-pap machine, bad back, hips and knees, and on and on.

A little about me, married, grown twin boys, 2 granddaughters, work for a veterinarian and live on a farm.

01-19-2012, 11:11 PM
Hi all,
I'm new to 3FC- I lost 120ish pounds using Medifast- reached goal Oct 19th 2011, so I'm exactly 3 months post goal. After 8 weeks of transitioning from medifast to real food, I'm settling in with calorie counting and beefing up my exercise program. I've been looking around for a maintainers group and I'm so happy to have found this one!

I am 44, professional, married, mother of one 6 year old, 2 cats and a crazy dog (a goldendoodle). I was overweight since early childhood, was 215 at high school graduation and never had any success with weight loss (maybe 20lbs here or there quickly regained) until I started this last time in Nov 2010. I went from a size 26 to a size 6. It's been quite an adjustment.

I've been reading about maintenance and endocrine changes -- this maintenance thing is going to be a challenge, but I'm thrilled to have found this group and the rich resources you have with your long time maintainers!

10-07-2012, 08:36 PM
I was a member of 3 fat chicks back in 2006. I failed on a diet of my own doing. I just couldn't get all the way down there. After my parents passed and all that was associated with that, this January, kind of on a whim. I joined HMR and did the decision free plan. And I lost it. 60 lbs All in about 6 months. I went from 214 on my scale to 155 on my scale.

I have decided to stop and maintain -- at least for a while.

I spent a lot of money on HMR and I simply refuse to gain it back. I still have a lot of HMR food and as much as I want to "eat normally" if I gain more than 5 lbs (water or no) I will go back on the diet until I am back to 155. The plan is that this January, I am going back on the dieting portion to attempt to lose 20 lbs more.

But I know it is crucially important for me to not gain it back. I have been off the active portion of dieting since August. Unlike other diets where I gained it back hand over foot.. this time, I didn't. I suspect that due to the low calories of HMR / lack of any wheat / pasta, I am no longer insulin resistant. My blood sugar is 75-79.

I am a maintenance virgin. NEVER have made my goal weight since I have been dieting. Over 20 years. So I want to get this right.

10-08-2012, 09:50 AM
Congratulations on making goal, Ann! FWIW, for me the crucial behavior (besides still exercising and limiting portions) is daily weighing. I try to not skip weighing unless I'm out of town. I ESPECIALLY think it's crucial to weigh if I suspect that I might have gained, such as after a 'bad' day or after a vacation. I never let myself fall into the trap of being 'afraid' to weigh. If I feel afraid to weigh because I'm worried I've gained, that's when it's MOST important to weigh.


I was a member of 3 fat chicks back in 2006. I failed on a diet of my own doing. I just couldn't get all the way down there. After my parents passed and all that was associated with that, this January, kind of on a whim. I joined HMR and did the decision free plan. And I lost it. 60 lbs All in about 6 months. I went from 214 on my scale to 155 on my scale.

I have decided to stop and maintain -- at least for a while.

I spent a lot of money on HMR and I simply refuse to gain it back. I still have a lot of HMR food and as much as I want to "eat normally" if I gain more than 5 lbs (water or no) I will go back on the diet until I am back to 155. The plan is that this January, I am going back on the dieting portion to attempt to lose 20 lbs more.

But I know it is crucially important for me to not gain it back. I have been off the active portion of dieting since August. Unlike other diets where I gained it back hand over foot.. this time, I didn't. I suspect that due to the low calories of HMR / lack of any wheat / pasta, I am no longer insulin resistant. My blood sugar is 75-79.

I am a maintenance virgin. NEVER have made my goal weight since I have been dieting. Over 20 years. So I want to get this right.

10-08-2012, 09:58 AM
I never let myself fall into the trap of being 'afraid' to weigh. If I feel afraid to weigh because I'm worried I've gained, that's when it's MOST important to weigh.

Thanks Val. I am going to start a thread to ask for advice but I do think that is going to be a large part of it. I do weigh myself daily now.

12-26-2012, 07:11 PM
HopeT - Season's Greetings - Have entered the maintenance phase from IP - this is proving to be quite challenging, especially now that the holidays are here.. Looking forward to reading about reasonable choices!

12-26-2012, 07:40 PM
Welcome, goldendoodle, Ann and Hope. This is a great place to get support for the challenges that lay ahead.

07-27-2013, 09:56 PM
Is this the first time or one of many times that you've tried to lose weight?
This is the second time I've lost a significant amount of weight -- 10 years before this round I lost 26 pounds on Body for Life, but I was trying to get pregnant and it took a few months and I fell off the wagon. In 2010 I realized I'd gotten up to 212 and started working out again, but just after my 40th birthday I found myself pregnant again. I took a break until January 2012 when I started tracking my food online. At first I just wanted to go from Obese to Overweight, but when I saw how well tracking worked I decided to go for a healthy BMI. I was nursing a baby and now that weaning is done I realize what an advantage that was. But I've become more active now.

Are you where you want to be?
I am finding my level by eating 2,000 cal/day and alternating 10,000 steps a day with full body strength days. So we'll see. I've kept losing gradually since I reached my goal in December. I first heard this concept of goal weight from The Beck Diet Solution site.

How has life changed for you since you've lost the weight?
It feels great knowing I have kept promises to myself. That's really the main thing.

If you're maintaining, what's that like for you?
I have made it my mission to know everything I can learn about maintenance to stick with the 5%. I read a lot of the NWCR research, though after a few months I felt less afraid that I my commitment would evaporate, and I just need to work the predictor behaviors the NWCR identified.

Do you exercise regularly?
Absolutely. It was a learning curve at first but I really don't mind it now. I especially like how strength training makes me feel. I want to do a pull-up someday.

Now that you're near or at your goal, what are your concerns?
The toughest predictor for me is dietary consistency, or having the same nutrition goals 365 days a year.

And anything else that you might want to share with us!
I decided to try this forum because you have height on the identities. I think height and how much weight you started with make a big difference to your experience.

Shannon in ATL
07-29-2013, 02:57 PM
Hey Tricia! Congrats on your weight loss. Come chat with us in the weekly chat.

Dietary consistency is a tough one for me, too. I do so much better with a plan that I can count on.

01-19-2014, 08:33 PM name is Rita and I am semiretired.I have been lurking for 2 months while dieting counting calories and carbs and have lost 15 lb.I am 5 ft 5.5 inches tall and currently weigh 145 but would like to attain a goal of 135 to 140 lb.I have been lurking on the maintainers sites and am impressed with everyone here.Everyone is so intelligent and well versed.You have all kept me amused and entertained with your posts.I finally got the nerve to sign up when silverbirch attempted to out us lurkers.I cant think of a better bunch of people to diet with.

01-20-2014, 05:06 AM
Rita, I'm so pleased you've posted!


You flatter us but thank you, all the same! Come and post on the Bulge thread. You can post whatever you like - we thrive on variety! See you over there.

01-29-2014, 03:21 PM
I have been losing weight since March of last year. Thus far I have lost 110 pounds and I am intending to lose 15 more. So, I can't say I am maintaining yet, except for the pounds I have already lost of course :)

I have really loved looking through the Maintenance forum...I am just a sponge soaking up all the advice, techniques and life experiences posted by members. I never want to EVER regain the weight I lost. I am going to keep doing what I did to lose the weight - go to Weight Watcher meetings, read up on 3FC daily, exercise 5-6 times a week and track my points. I also like the idea of a "redline" weight, I believe it is called. With WW you are not supposed to go two pounds under and two pounds over your goal weight. So I suppose that would be my redline weight.

A little about me...I have a real sweet tooth. I love desserts like nobody's business. I can't really have much of it in the house (like birthday cake or ice cream), but found that I am not tempted by granola bars or honey or brown sugar. I am a Christian but obviously love and embrace everyone. Just sometimes it is good to know that, I suppose.

One last thing about me, I feel like I have been given an incredible gift - a new lease on life. As I believe Meg has said in a past thread, everyday feels like Christmas. And as Robin has said, I get to play dress up everyday and I feel like a real life princess. I would not trade these feelings for my old unhappy life and I am looking to acquire as much knowledge and skills as it takes and put them into practice in order to keep at it.

As I mentioned, I have 15 more pounds to lose. I am really looking forward to reaching my goal weight and entering the maintenance phase. I have a little contest with my boss to reach our goal weights in the next 1.5 months. It is something light-hearted and fun; if we don't reach our goal weights on the day of we are not going to be terribly upset or anything. But in the midst of this dreadful winter weather, it is a nice sunny spot to look forward to and we are both excited about it.

01-29-2014, 03:31 PM
I have been losing weight since March of last year. Thus far I have lost 110 pounds and I am intending to lose 15 more. So, I can't say I am maintaining yet, except for the pounds I have already lost of course :)

I have really loved looking through the Maintenance forum...I am just a sponge soaking up all the advice, techniques and life experiences posted by members. I never want to EVER regain the weight I lost. I am going to keep doing what I did to lose the weight - go to Weight Watcher meetings, read up on 3FC daily, exercise 5-6 times a week and track my points. I also like the idea of a "redline" weight, I believe it is called. With WW you are not supposed to go two pounds under and two pounds over your goal weight. So I suppose that would be my redline weight.

A little about me...I have a real sweet tooth. I love desserts like nobody's business. I can't really have much of it in the house (like birthday cake or ice cream), but found that I am not tempted by granola bars or honey or brown sugar. I am a Christian but obviously love and embrace everyone. Just sometimes it is good to know that, I suppose.

One last thing about me, I feel like I have been given an incredible gift - a new lease on life. As I believe Meg has said in a past thread, everyday feels like Christmas. And as Robin has said, I get to play dress up everyday and I feel like a real life princess. I would not trade these feelings for my old unhappy life and I am looking to acquire as much knowledge and skills as it takes and put them into practice in order to keep at it.

As I mentioned, I have 15 more pounds to lose. I am really looking forward to reaching my goal weight and entering the maintenance phase. I have a little contest with my boss to reach our goal weights in the next 1.5 months. It is something light-hearted and fun; if we don't reach our goal weights on the day of we are not going to be terribly upset or anything. But in the midst of this dreadful winter weather, it is a nice sunny spot to look forward to and we are both excited about it.

Welcome and good luck, you are off to a great start.

04-14-2014, 05:04 AM
Hello! After a year of being 'normal weight,' I finally feel like maybe I've earned the right to call myself a maintainer - so here I am!

I was slender growing up, only to find myself gaining 50 lbs. with my first pregnancy at 22 years old. Two more babies after that and little time for myself had me eventually reaching an unbelievable (to me) high of 186. My health got scary-bad, and I felt like my life would never get better - that scared me a lot, being ready to call it at the age of 44.

I'd made several half-hearted attempts to lose weight during the previous couple decades; 12 years ago I actually got down to 131, the lowest I'd been for nearly 10 years, before rebounding to a higher weight than I'd ever been. Then a couple years ago, a bad cold put me to bed for two days and I dropped 6 lbs. I thought it'd be cool to keep that off and maybe even build on the loss - and it worked! Following the principles of SBD, focusing on whole foods and portion control, and keeping my body moving had the extra weight shedding at a steady clip.

I'm pretty happy at my current weight and health. It's wonderful that my reflection shows me the person I expect to see, instead of the overweight stranger that looked back at me for years. I used to be so embarrassed by my appearance that I wanted to hide away at home; now I enjoy dressing up a bit and going out with family and friends. And photos? Please, take mine!

Maintaining has been surprisingly easy for the most part, and I think it's because this time I lost weight to feel better, both physically and mentally. Before I eat anything, my question to myself is "how will this make me feel?" Fortunately I've developed a taste for vegetables at long last; now I crave broccoli and green beans, things I used to avoid like the plague!

I try to walk at least a mile most days of the week, I aim for 2 or 3 at-home strength workouts per week, and I like to get some yoga in as often as possible. Exercise makes me feel strong and vital, and the muscles are a definite plus.

My concern for the future is that I hold onto the positive mindset I've been working on for the past 2 years and keep focused on maintaining the health I've got now. Logging in here to 3FCs is a very important tool to me in that regard. I'm aiming to beat the odds and be a long-term maintainer - for the rest of my life. Lurking on this thread for the sage advice of you chicks has been very helpful, so thank you for sharing!

05-30-2014, 06:08 PM
:welcome3: cattails! Sorry we've been so long in welcoming you. Congrats on your weight loss! And I love your "seeking balance".

Please come and join us on the weekly thread - or wherever you like. (And that goes for anyone reading this!) We old lags love new people.