I lost my first 100 pounds in 9 1/2 months and a total of 122 pounds in a little less than a year (and have kept it off for more than seven years, which is the important thing!)
I was/am a calorie counter and started out at around your weight and 1600 calories. If I plateaued, I just dropped my calories by 100 and kept going. It ended up being around 1200-1300 calories for the last six months of my weight loss. It was essential for me to combine calorie counting with an emphasis on whole foods and protein, to get as much nutritional "bang for my buck" as possible. No 100 calorie packs or cheat meals for me.
I also became an avid exerciser (me, a lifelong couch potato?) and think that had a lot to do with both my speed of weight loss and being able to keep it off for so long. I started out lifting weights from Day One of my weight loss and know that it was essential for maintaining my muscle mass as I lost fat. I also did daily cardio and both are still habits that help me keep the weight off.
So my formula was really simple: counting calories + cardio + weightlifting. I didn't follow anyone else's plan and it didn't cost me a penny, aside from a gym membership.
In the end, it doesn't matter how fast we lose. All that matters is that we don't gain it back! It's fun losing 100 pounds in a year, but even if you only lose 15 pounds in the next year, those 15 pounds are precious and you want to guard that loss carefully. The time of weight loss is the time you're going to be preparing yourself to keep the weight off for the rest of your life. You'll be putting together your tool box of skills and strategies for lifelong maintenance -- because what you do to lose the weight will be what you do every day for the rest of your life to keep it off.
I daresay we've all lost many -- perhaps hundreds? -- of pounds, only to gain them back. This time is different! This time is about keeping the weight off and in the end, the speed doesn't make any difference at all. My best advice is to keep your eye on the prize -- being fit and healthy for the rest of your life -- and let the weight loss take it's own time.
(This has been a public service message from your Maintainers forum moderator
We're glad you're here and look forward to sharing your journey with you!